Our first stop on our Moms Trip to Europe, was Colmar, France. This first stop was just Stephanie and I. In order to make the dates of our pre-planned trips work with the Delta deal, we were meeting our moms in Frankfurt. After our barely making our Delta flight to Amsterdam and our KLM flight, we landed in Basel. Now we had to figure out how to get to Colmar. There is very little on the internet about getting there, so I figure this deserved its own entry.
Colmar, France is a Little town, it’s a quiet village. Every day like the one before. A little town, full of little people. Waking up to say… Bonjour! Bonjour!
If you close your eyes and Imagine what Belle’s provincial French town from beauty and the beast looks like, you would get Colmar. It is the spitting image of what is described. Heck, while we were walking around in a morning, a baker with a tray of cookies leaned out the window and said Bonjour, and offered us a sample. You can’t get any more Beauty and the Beast than that. It is rumored, but never confirmed, that the town from Beauty and the Beast is based on Colmar.
Colmar is located in Southeastern, France. It is less than an hour from the borders of both Germany and Switzerland. Given this, it has a very unique feeling because you can really see both the German and Swiss influence.
I will go in more detail about this in my 1-day colmar itinerary, but it is a perfect place for a 24 hour stop on a European Trip.
Getting to Colmar
From Mulhouse Airport
The closest airport, is EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg. This is an extremely unique airport because it rests right on the borders of 3 countries. The airport itself is in France, however, it has exits that allow you to enter directly into Switzerland and Germany, not having to go through French Customs. As a result it can be a little confusing even for such a small airport.
Upon landing and claiming your bags, go through French Exit (the one with the red/with/blue French flag). Upon exiting take Shuttle Bus Number 11 (you can pay on the bus), to the Saint Louis SCNF Train Station. Once you get to the train station take the 30 minute train ride from Saint Louis to Colmar. There are thirty trains that run this route per day, typically you will not have to wait longer than 30 minutes for your train.
NOTE: Google Maps does not have this route, it will want to you to go to Basel and then take the train up to Colmar. This will take you about 30-40 minutes longer.
If you are in Paris and want to take a trip to Colmar, by far it is easiest to take the train. It is about a 2 hours and 45 minute train ride from Paris to Colmar. There are a few direct trains from Paris, but if you are willing to change trains in Strasbourg, there is a train leaving from Paris that can get you to Colmar every 30 minutes or so. Rates are currently starting at €16. So while buses ar an option, they will not save you too much and take you 3 hours longer.
The closest major airport to Colmar is Zurich. Lately there have been a lot of cheap flights from the United States to Zurich. Switzerland is however, an extremely expensive city to visit. So why not head over to colmar. The two easiest ways to get from Zurich to Colmar are train and bus.
A train from Zurich will take about 2 hours and require a change in Basel. Typically these trains run at about 30 minute intervals, so you will not have to wait too long to start your journey. Based on current pricing this will run you about €45. If you want to save money you can take a bus from Zurich to colmar. When traveling by bus Flixbus is extremely popular. The bus will take only 50 minutes longer, but will save you €35, as the bus is currently running at €9.99 a person. The bus runs less often, about 8x a day. If you want to take the bus it pays to plan ahead.