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Strasbourg vs. Colmar

New York City, New...
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Strasbourg vs. Colmar

In my research and pre-planning, it seems that popular Colmar is a smaller version of "old town" Strasbourg. Would you recommend seeing both towns, are they similar? Other than the altar pieces, what would be distinctive in Colmar that I would not get in Strasbourg? Thank you.

Alsace, France
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1. Re: Strasbourg vs. Colmar

I don't think I dare answer this question .......................

But ok, I'll leave my coat in grabbing distance and the door open ............

Colmar is a town, the principal town of the Haut Rhin (68) department. Strasbourg is a city, the principal town of the Bas Rhin (67) department, and home to the European Parliament, the European Court of Human Rights and the Council of Europe.

Strasbourg is much bigger, with many outlying suburbs and far more guest workers of other nationalities especially when one of the European Institutions is in session. Strasbourg has a good urban network of buses and trams plus park and ride car parks on the borders of the city. Colmar has a good bus network but fewer suburbs and is more compact.

Both have universities, multi-screen cinemas, swimming pools, ice rinks and exhibition halls.

Both have good museums, large churches (Collegiate Church of St Martin in Colmar and Strasbourg cathedral). Both have rivers running through them, Strasbourg having an extensive boat trip (1.5 hours) and Colmar approx 20 mins to visit the Art Nouveau quarter of the town.

As you probably can guess from my reluctance to plump for one over the other, I'm trying to be neutral, although I live closer to one than the other!!

For an international atmosphere, big department stores and city ambiance, it's Strasbourg. For more intimacy, small shops and a more relaxed feeling, it's Colmar. I have my preference, but think I'm biassed!

There's a frequent train service between the two ... approx 30 mins. If you decide to visit both, please let me know your opinions! But which ever one you visit, have a lovely time.

Edited: 25 May 2013, 21:07
Takapuna, New...
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2. Re: Strasbourg vs. Colmar

Although Strasbourg is a city with a population of around 270,000, compared to 70,000 for Colmar, Strasbourg has a quire compact and attractive city centre. When visiting the area, we tend to alternate between to 2 places for accommodation, usually 3-4 days, but make a point of visiting the other because they are quite different. I don't really consider that Strasbourg has a big city atmosphere.

Takapuna, New...
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3. Re: Strasbourg vs. Colmar

Just a further point - Strasbourg has all of the advantages of a large city with an extensive cultural and arts scene, good shopping, while still retaining a relatively compact old center which is a delight to walk around.

Houston
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4. Re: Strasbourg vs. Colmar

We visited and enjoyed both cities, but if I had to choose I would go with Colmar (there, I said it!) Both have quaint old-town type areas, but Strasbourg seemed much more commercialized, in a big-city way, with all the department and chain stores. And Strasbourg seemed to have--how to say--an unsavoriness in some areas? Maybe it seemed that way because we stayed at a hotel near the train station and while the area did not feel unsafe, it did feel a little run-down with some dodgy people hanging about. That said, there was an Irish pub there that we really liked, the Dubliners, right near an open-air market we went to on a Saturday afternoon. So we still had a great time.

5. Re: Strasbourg vs. Colmar

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