Colmar is easily visited on a day trip from either Strasbourg or Basel by train, being only about 30-40 minutes from both cities. The station is a short walk from the town. Travelling on a weekend or public holiday is a great option if you are in a group, as you can pick up a ticket for 2-5 people all for the same price. Check at the ticket office too, because there are many special offers that aren't obviously available. One day we got a return ticket for just one euro, as Wednesday was a special day.
Remember if you take a train from Strasbourg to Colmar, make sure to sit on the right side of the train to enjoy the wonderful views of the Vosges Mountains.
Important - in France you must validate every ticket before you get onto the train. There are yellow validation machines throughout the station.
No problem in purchasing the return ticket at Strasbourg rail station as there are assistants walking by the waiting line. We asked a question and she took us to the correct window to purchase our ticket.
The trains are very modern and the train we caught on the return journey was continuing on to Paris. So do not go to sleep or you might end up in Paris for the night.
From memory the trip took approximately 1 hour and train service was every hour during daytime.
Our hotel was located across the square from Strasbourg rail station and we went to the station the previous evening to check out the timetable.
By car: Colmar is linked to the European motorways network.
Air: Colmar is equal distance from two International airports
Strasbourg-Entzheim and Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg are each 70 km away.
There are shuttles from the airports to railway station which allow you to get to Colmar by train.
Rail: Direct link with Paris-Gare de l’Est once a day at 5:16 pm.
Colmar is a 5:20 hours journey. Otherwise hourly departures from Paris Est all day with a change of trains in Strasbourg.
Colmar is a great half day trip when you are staying in Strasbourg. Trains run from Gare du Strasbourg at least once an hour and the duration of the journey is approx. 33 minutes. Fare wa 16 Euro return but this was after my senior's discount had been applied.
Colmar is located on a major railway route between Strasbourg and Basel. Trains are running frequently, usually every hour.
The railway station itself is an architectural sight, built in Art Nouveau style. It is unfortunately located somewhat southwest of the old town. It is a walk of about 10 - 15 minutes to the old town (and back).
Walk along Rue de la Republique. After two blocks turn right and cross the nice park with the Bruat Fountain and continue via Rapp Monument and Rue des Tetes to the Unterlinden Museum where you should start the sightseeing.
Most trains between Strasbourg and Basel stop here (just not the fastest express trains so DO check) so train is definately easy. This also means the train from Brussels/Luxemburg to Milan. Colmar is only half an hour south of Strasbourg but I would advise you to book a seat for Sunday evening travel when all of France seems to have been out hiking in the nearby Vosges mountains.