Today, we’re diving into two lesser-known towns near Colmar and my personal favorites in the Alsace region — Riquewihr and Kaysersberg! If you’ve never heard of these towns or this region before, these photos will blow your mind!
After we dive into the photos, be sure to keep reading til the end if you’ve been inspired to plan a visit for yourself! I’ve provided some extra insight on what you can expect when you visit Colmar and the rest of the Alsace region.
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In Photos: Riquewihr, France
Riquewihr is a super cute and storybook-looking village located in the Alsace region of northeastern France near the Vosges Mountains.
This village is a must-visit if you’re a fan of medieval architecture, colorful half-timbered houses, and cobblestone streets that pair so well with the rest of the town’s atmosphere!
In fact, it’s considered one of the most beautiful villages in France! Take a look and see why for yourself:
Cuteness overload, am I right???
One of my favorite stores is pictured above — La Maison des Legendes! They sell all kinds of witch puppets and figurines (in lots of different sizes too), which is something I had never seen before.
Apparently, witches bring good luck in Alsace! So I bought a mini-witch as a souvenir for my sister.
In Photos: Kaysersberg, France
Kaysersberg, another gem in the Alsace region of northeastern France, shares similarities with Riquewihr in its storybook charm and appeal.
Much like Riquewihr, you’ll find colorful houses, old-timey village charm, and lots of locally-owned restaurants and storefronts selling everything from gingerbread, kugelhopf, Christmas ornaments, sauerkraut, cheese, pretzels, and more!
Just like Riquewihr, Kaysersberg is situated along the Alsace wine route, offering visitors the opportunity to visit by bike. This means you could easily spend a full day exploring other nearby villages and wine tasting, all by bike!
In fact, this is how we arrived at Kaysersberg and Riquewihr ourselves. We had actually rented bikes from Colmar and biked our way through the countryside until we reached these two towns. So much fun, would 100% recommend that experience to anyone who’s able to!
Shortly after parking our bikes at the main parking lot of town, we started walking through town and it wasn’t long before we stumbled upon this random medieval festival called Festival du Jeu de Rôle de Kaysersberg (Role-Playing Game Festival).
I’m a sucker for all things medieval, so I almost died when I realized what was going on. What were the chances I would come across one of my favorite things in the world — in a town that actually looked like a medieval village?
It was small, but so amazing to see! Though mostly everything was in French, one of the guys who was explaining weapons from back in the day spoke English so he gave us a little shpiel about medieval swords in English.
What Can You Expect in Riquewihr, Kaysersberg, and Alsace?
First off, let’s make a quick distinction here — Riquewihr and Kaysersberg are two charming towns nestled within the Alsace region of northeastern France.
Bordered by the Vosges Mountains to the west and the Rhine River (as well as Germany) to the east, Alsace has a unique blend of both French and German influences.
The region is speckled with picturesque villages, vineyards, and charming towns (like Colmar as well as Riquewihr and Kaysersberg). It’s all about medieval architecture, gastronomic delights, and world-class wines here!
The Alsace region is a treasure trove of charming villages, each exuding that old-world vibe that you mostly only ever see in movies. Strolling through cobblestone streets lined with half-timbered houses is all too common here!
Some of the towns we visited during our trip to Alsace include:
And we would have visited a lot more had it not decided to rain during our time in the area!
These other towns are also known to be drop-dead gorgeous as well, and though we didn’t have time to stop by, they were technically on our travel itinerary (darn the rain!). Oh well, there’s always next time for us.
Prepare your taste buds for a French/German-influenced adventure! Alsace is a haven for food enthusiasts, blending French finesse with hearty German flavors.
Treat your belly to foods that can only be enjoyed locally, such as tarte flambée, sauerkraut, gingerbread, nougat, macaroons, and an array of delightful pastries. And let’s not forget the wines – Alsace is renowned for its exquisite white wines.
Countryside Charm and Vineyard Views
Rolling hills dotted with vineyards, plus a thing called the Alsace Wine Route that you can actually bike through — does that not make your heart scream with excitement???
Wine enthusiasts will find themselves in paradise with the renowned Alsatian wines! Really, if you enjoy wine, you won’t want to miss the chance to explore the region’s wine routes and savor the flavors of the local vineyards.
There are tons of wine-tasting opportunities within the little towns as well as at the countryside wineries.
How To Visit Riquewihr and Kaysersberg
In terms of distance, Riquewihr and Kaysersberg are close neighbors, separated by approximately 13 kilometers (about 8 miles) of countryside. This proximity allows travelers to easily explore both villages and appreciate the individual character each of them contributes to Alsace’s heritage.
But how do you get to these towns in the first place? There are a couple of ways —
- Renting a car
- Getting a taxi
- Taking the local bus
- Renting bikes to ride along the Alsace Wine Route
Well, you’re the type of person who’s open to driving through Europe, you could rent a car and drive yourself to these towns on your own.
Need a rental car for your trip? To find cheap rental cars, I recommend using Rentalcars.com. Their search tool is one of the best I’ve found!
If a taxi is more your style, you could do that too.
You could also take the local bus. Just pop in your starting destination (assuming you’re based in Colmar or Strasbourg or somewhere close by) into Google Maps and follow the bus directions it gives you.
The last option is to rent a bike and bike yourself there via the Alsace Wine Route!
What we did: For us, we like to do our travels internationally without a car whenever possible. We based ourselves out of Colmar for a few days, rented bikes from a local bike shop, and rode our way to both Kaysersberg and Riquewihr on the same day.
It was totally doable, and it was so much fun to be outside all day! I’d definitely do it all over again if I had the chance to — the countryside views are so pretty. It’s something that I’d recommend you do if you’re up for pairing your town visits with a bike-riding excursion.
Be sure to rent an e-assist bike though! We had opted for regular bikes, not realizing there were wide hills we’d have to ride over. When we encountered some of the steeper hills, we’d literally have to get off the bikes and push them up the hill — as everyone else with e-assist bikes rode past us, haha!
Our bike route was as follows: Colmar > Kaysersberg > Riquewihr > Colmar.
- Colmar > Kaysersberg = 30 to 40 minute bike ride (no car traffic)
- Kaysersberg > Riquewihr = 20 minute bike ride (minimal car traffic)
- Riquewihr > Colmar = 30 to 40 minute bike ride (the first stretch is riding alongside cars, then you’ll head back on the bike/walking paths)
You can get more info about the exact biking route and itinerary along the Alsace Wine Route that I created for my full-day bike-riding adventure here!
Where To Stay To Visit Kaysersberg and Riquewihr
Since we wanted to explore a bunch of towns in the Alsace area, we chose to base ourselves outside of a larger city compared to that of Kaysersberg or Riquewihr. We opted for a 3-night stay in Colmar, where there are lots and lots of hotels to choose from!
Below are my top choices for hotels in Colmar:
PAUL & PIA – Welcome Home Hotel ($): This is the hotel we stayed at! It’s so cute, colorful, and intimate. My favorite thing about this hotel was their free breakfast — we got to ‘feel’ like locals by gorging on a slice of kugelhopf every morning!
They also have a massive locker room for you to leave your suitcases in safely and securely should you want to continue exploring after your check-out time.
Hotel Le Colombier ($$): Located in the Little Venice district of Colmar town center, this warm and woody accommodation is such a cute design hotel!
L’Esquisse Hotel & Spa Colmar – Mgallery ($$ – $$$): For the luxury seekers! This is a 5-star boutique hotel and spa in the heart of the historic center located in the green haven of the Champ de Mars. There are a total of 62 rooms & suites with unparalleled comfort, the Spa by Clarins and a gastronomic experience at the JY’s restaurant.
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