Little Venice (Petite Venise)
It won't take long to see Little Venice, which stretches only a few blocks. Stroll along the river and across flowery footbridges for views of medieval river houses once belonging to Alcace’s powerful fishing and farming families. In summer, hire a gondola for Venetian-inspired cruising. Head to historic Marche Couvert (covered market) on the north bank for Alsatian wine, cheeses, and other delicacies. Some sightseeing tours and Rhine River shore excursions departing from Strasbourg stop here.
Things to Know Before You Go
Commentary on boat tours is generally provided in both French and English.
Make a reservation if you plan to dine at a riverside restaurant in the evening, as tables often fill up, especially in summer and at Christmastime.
A public restroom is available at Marche Couvert.
Many of Colmar’s uneven cobblestone streets and footbridges are not wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
Little Venice stretches between Pont Saint-Pierre and Rue des Tanneurs in Colmar. If arriving by car, park in the small outdoor parking lot called Parking Marché aux Fruits nearby. The Colmar train station is about a half mile (1 kilometer) away via Avenue de la République and rue Bruat.
When to Get There
Little Venice is especially charming in December, when the half-timbered houses, bridges, and cafes are adorned with Christmas decorations.
Petite France in Strasbourg
If Little Venice leaves you craving more storybook scenery, venture an hour upriver to the town of Strasbourg—a popular stop on Rhine River cruises and the seat of European Parliament. Strasbourg boasts both French and German architectural influences in its picturesque historic center surrounded by the River Ill tributary, known as La Petite France. Keep your camera handy as you stroll down cobblestone lanes and across medieval stone bridges to view the district’s three islands.