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Colmar to Switzerland...1 day trip ideas

My wife and I will be in Colmar for 3 days with a rental car. Is it possible and/or practical to take a day trip to Switzerland? If so, what town/ area would you suggest we visit for such a short trip? Thanks a lot Rick

Posted by
7051 posts

I guess it depends on if you just want to go to be in Switzerland or if you want to see iconic alpine scenery. Basel is a great town for a 1-day visit and it's only about an hour's drive. Lucerne would be a longer, but nice, drive (closer to 2 hrs) but it would get you the alpine scenery and it's on an extremely scenic lake. Maybe let the weather decide for you - nice weather head to Lucerne, poor weather head to Basel.

However, I think most people here would suggest with just 3 days in Colmar you should do a day trip to Strasbourg (if you're not already going there and haven't been) and/or spend some time driving the wine route and the smaller villages, it's a very scenic area.

Posted by
20296 posts

Remember to get a Swiss vignette if you intend to use any autoroutes (freeways, expressways, autobahns, whatever).
Edit- if I was just going to Basel. I'd take the train. Negotiating Basel with a car and parking would be a headache (in my mind). Take advantage of the car and go to a small village. Of course I have no idea which one. Maybe Chris F will chime in.

Posted by
101 posts

Thanks folks. I figured one day touring Colmar, one day travelling to nearby Alsace villages, and one day in Switzerland. Is it a pain to drive to Lucerne or would a train be better? How long is the drive?
We'll be driving to Gengenbach in the Black Forest once we leave Colmar so should I want to stop in Strasbourg I could do it then.

Posted by
7051 posts

The train to Lucerne is just a little over 2 hrs. Taking into account possible traffic and a rest stop it's probably just as easy, if not easier, to take the train. I've not driven it myself so maybe someone who has will chime in on whether the drive is worth it.

Posted by
8889 posts

Yes, you can drive from Colmar to Luzern, or take the train. The train requires changing at Basel, the car risks traffic jams, requires a vignette (CHF 40) if one is not already on the car, and finding parking in Luzern. Either way a long day trip.
But, you only have 3 days in Colmar, that is one day to see the town, one day to see the wine villages (2 would be better). I think you have plenty to see in Alsace, unless you really need to "tick the box" for the Alps. Otherwise save it for "next time".
Other places to consider nearer Colmar:

Posted by
7410 posts

Good advice so far. Other ideas: Le Corbusier chapel in Ronchamp. Vitra Design Museum in
Germany. Augusta Raurica in Switzerland. Black Forest hike. Michelin 3 star in Ill, (ill) Alsace.

Lucerne is too far for a day trip, IMHO.

Posted by
101 posts

Thanks folks. I think you may be right....I'll put Switzerland on my "to do list" for next time

Posted by
389 posts

also in Colmar this summer looking for day trips (6 persons in a van).
how scary (winding mountain roads) a drive is either of these from Colmar? For east coasters, not used to driving in the mtns.
Haut Koenigsbourg castle: http://www.haut-koenigsbourg.fr/en/
Route des crêtes: http://www.fun-moto.fr/docs/route_des_cretes_vosges_alsace.jpg
Also assuming rental car is allowed to drive into Germany, do we need anything special (tag, toll device, etc.) to drive to Freiburg?

Posted by
8889 posts

Elaine,
Haut Koenigsbourg castle - One winding road up from the valley. Parking at end. Scary count: 1-2/10.
For a video, see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_dijrfkFzU

Route des crêtes: Does as it says on the tin, runs along the crest of the Vosges mountains. Snow makes it not recommended in Winter, can be windy, lovely views across Alsace plain to the Black Forest on the other side. Scary count, 3-4/10.
For a collection of videos, see here: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Route+des+cr%C3%AAtes%2C+Vosges

There should be no restriction taking a hire car into Germany. You don't need an stickers, and Autobahns do not have a toll. I would recommend looking for "P+R" signs (Park and Ride) as you approach the outskirts of Freiburg im Breisgau. You then take a tram which gets you further into the centre than you could by car.
I thought you had mountains like the Appalachians on the East Coast?

Posted by
389 posts

yes, we have the Appalachians, but they are 2 hrs away, so we infrequently drive over there. Just wanted to check, as DH is not keen on hairpin turns in a manual van with 6 persons. But, looks like we can drive just fine to Haut. We will be coming from Nancy, so was wondering about the terrain over the Vosges to Colmar. Sounds like we can manage that also.
How much does the tram from park-ride cost into Freiburg? thanks, again. Elaine

Posted by
8889 posts

Elaine, info on the Freiburg Park-and-Ride scheme is here: http://www.vag-freiburg.de/fahrplan-linien/park-ride.html
Ticket info is here: http://welcome.vag-freiburg.de/tickets-prices/tickets.html Price €2.20 per person each way, but if there are enough of you a 5-person all day ticket for €11.20 may be better.

It's château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg, which is a French version of the original German Hohkönigsburg, which literally translates as "High Kingscastle". "Haut" on it's own just means "high".