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Colmar

Never heard of it? Or worried that it's too touristy?

I took a chance and really liked Colmar. Yes, the center is rife with foreigners, but a 5 minute walk puts you in a nice small French town.

We stayed at the Hotel Turenne and loved it. It's far enough from the tourist hoards to feel local and quiet, but close enough to walk anywhere. The lobby is newly remodeled, the front desk staff are superb (friendly, helpful, knowledgeable), and the rooms are clean, comfortable and attractive, though not huge and no views. There is a computer set up for guests off the lobby and lobby-level restrooms. Also, a bar and (smoker's) patio. The breakfast is varied and delicious but pricey unless you are a big eater. I recommend the hotel highly and would definitely stay there again.

We ate at several of RS's recommended restaurants. The best was Wistub de la Petite Venise--excellent food (the best salad in Europe) and attentive service. Second best was Wistub Brenner, just next door. The owner and wait staff were especially friendly here, and the food was lovely.

We also ate at the Restaurant Le Fer Rouge. My son thought the waitress was cute, but the food was pretty mediocre and not cheap.

Biggest problem for me was that smokers have taken over the outdoor seating options in nearly every restaurant. If you are sensitive to smoke, as I am, that really limits your options.

One request: the RS guide didn't offer enough suggestions that were not touristy, not exorbitantly expensive, and not closed on Sunday or Monday.

Posted by
6616 posts

Did you have the chance to visit some of the Alsatian wine villages too?

Posted by
145 posts

Suki,
Missed the wine route. Harder to do without a car. It is getting harder and harder to find "unspoiled" towns (that is, places tourists haven't discovered) in Europe, but I'll bet a car would make that easier.

And additional comment: While in Colmar, we visited the Hauptberg Castle, which was neat, and stopped at the Montagne de Singes (probably misspelled...)--a preserve for monkeys where they roam free, on the way back. It was VERY cool.