Visiting La Petite Venise, Colmar is definitely only of the nicest things to do in Alsace. Cute, colorful houses, charming river, narrow streets, and romantic restaurants – all of these you can find in this unique place.

In fact, hanging around in La Petite Venise is one of the best things to do in Colmar in France. And in this brief article, I will show you tips on how you make your visit to this place unforgettable.

The Launch river in La Petite Venise, Colmar, France

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Why should I visit La Petite Venise, Colmar?

La Petite Venise is one of the most picturesque places in Colmar. And, obviously, one of the absolute must-sees in this city. So when you think “visiting Colmar” you automatically have La Petite Venise in mind as well.

And the most significant reason for visiting Colmar is the beauty of local architecture. It’s one of the most charming towns in Alsace, and a lovely example of local traditional details in building and construction.

Hanging around in Colmar La Petite Venise guarantees you unforgettable memories from your Alsatian trip.

Read more: 29 Unique French Gifts Ideas From France

La Petite Venise, Colmar – a bit of history

The first medieval buildings in La Petite Venise in Colmar were built in the XIV century. While the newest ones come from the XVIII century. For centuries, this district was a place where the people of Colmar could purchase their groceries in the markets.

The place was perfect for importing different kinds of goods because of the Lauch river location. Flat-bottomed boats could easily dock here, after transporting commodities from nearby fields and farms. The people were trading fresh fish from Colmar waters, juicy fruits and vegetables, traditional Alsatian wine, and anything else that was possible to sell on the market.

The name La Petite Venise was given to this neighborhood because it looks like a small charming version of real Venice in Italy, with the Lauch river flowing between enchanting houses.

Charming river in La Petite Venise Colmar

Where is La Petite Venise in Colmar?

La Petite Venise is a part of the Krutenau district. It’s located in the Southern part of the Colmar center, very close to the historical centrum.

The neighborhood extends between the bridge Pont Saint-Pierre and the covered market. The distance between those two places is around 400 meters along the river. So the district isn’t that big but definitely lovely and worth visiting.

In Medieval times, it was a very lively place, located just next to one of the city’s gates. The people living inside the town had an opportunity to meet the regional farmers and purchase from them necessary products.

La Petite Venise Colmar - map of a district
La Petite Venise Colmar - half-timbered houses

Things to do in La Petite Venise

Although it is a very small district, there are a few fun things to do in La Petite Venise. Colmar historical center is very close and you might not feel the difference when you walk from one place to the other. Yet here you’ve got a list of things that you can enjoy typically in La Petite Venise.

Wander around and admire half-timbered houses

La Petite Venise (and all the rest of Colmar’s historical center) is a perfect example of traditional Alsatian architecture. Half-timbered houses that you can see all around are painted with vibrant colors and decorated with cute and original elements. You can very often spot original iron signboards, and decorative window frames but also more unusual details. Such as steel watering cans hanging on the facade. And, of course, a lot of flowers.

So definitely number one above things to do in La Petite Venise de Colmar is just to simply walk around and admire the architecture.

Colorful street in La Petite Venise Colmar France
Half-timbered houses in Colmar, Alsace

Cruise on a traditional boat

The boats are not that often used to transport commodities anymore. But, thanks to tourism, they are still used on the river Lauch. Today, you can take a lovely cruise along the city banks to observe the district from a new perspective.

One of the companies that organizes the boat tours in Colmar is Colmar Au fil de l’eau – Promenade en barque – Sweet Narcisse.

Colmar, the Launch river

Buy some delicacies on Marché Couvert

To get the feeling of the old merchant atmosphere of the city, you can visit Marché Couvert – the covered market in Colmar. You can find there fresh local fruits, vegetables, meats, sweets, wines – all the best tastes of Alsace.

The market is closed on Mondays, and on the rest of the days, it has different opening hours. You can check them here, on the official website of this place.

Marché Couvert in Colmar, France with the view of the Launch river
Marché Couvert in its beautiful location next to the river

Drink some wine in a winstub

Winstub is a traditional type of winery-restaurant, very popular for many years in the region of Alsace, German-speaking Switzerland, and the Baden region in Germany. Those are cozy places serving local wines (and sometimes beer), usually visited by regular local clients.

In Little Venice, Colmar, you can visit for example Wistub de la Petite Venise, located close to the bridge on the rue Turenne.

Try some Alsatian traditional dishes

In the district, you can find a few cute restaurants, where you can try some local food. In Alsace, there are a few very popular dishes including tarte flambée (my favorite pick!) and bäckeoffe.

Tarte flambée (or flammkuchen in German) is a kind of a pizza, with thin crispy dough, covered with sour cream, cheese, onions, and bacon.

Bäckeoffe is a one-pot dish, often served in an iron casserole. It contains tasty sliced potatoes, and a few kinds of meat, usually beef, pork, and lamb.

If you’re looking for a restaurant Colmar Petite Venise with a nice river view, you can try Le Caveau Saint Pierre or La Fleur de Sel.

Tarte flambee and backeoffe - Alsace food
Tarte flambée and bäckeoffe for tasty dinner

Take an organized guided tour

If you would like to know more about the city of Colmar, you should definitely consider taking a guided tour. Usually, they include not only La Petite Venise but also the rest of the historical city center. Here are some ideas:

How to get to La Petite Venise

Since La Petite Venise is located very close to the city center, it’s really easy to get there. Colmar was one of our points on the Black Forest – Alsace road trip itinerary, so we get there by car. If you’re looking for parking Colmar Petite Venise, you should navigate to Rue Turenne Parking which is a long square where you can leave a car, and simply purchase a city parking ticket. For this region, I advise you to download the application EasyPark. You can use it also in the Black Forest region in Germany.

The train station Colmar is just 1km away from La Petite Venice, so you shouldn’t have any problems with getting there.

If you’re going to Colmar directly from Strasbourg Airport, you can consider purchasing a private transfer here. Or get to the city of Strasbourg, and from there, take a train to Colmar.

Colmar, la Petite Venise, river

When to visit Little Venice, Colmar?

I’ve been visiting Alsace in May, and honestly, I find this month perfect. When you’re wondering when to visit Colmar, I suggest the spring and early summer months, because everything is flourishing around. And colorful Colmar houses look even more beautiful with charming flowers everywhere.

Alternative great time to visit Alsace is the Christmas time. And that’s because France and Germany are well-known for their Christmas markets. Spending winter holidays in such a charming place is a real fairy-tale!

Where to stay in La Petite Venise?

Little Venice, Colmar, is a very small district, so there are not a lot of hotels directly there. You could consider checking the hotels in Colmar’s historic center if you’re looking for a unique place to stay. But here are two propositions of La Petite Venise accommodation that I find really nice:

  • Reflets Sur La Lauch appartements – this place is definitely worth considering since it has a perfect location, just next to the bridge on Rue Turenne, and excellent ratings on The rooms are modern and simply beautiful yet still cozy and showcasing some details of the original architecture. Check the rooms on Booking. com →

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