DestinationsEuropeRiquewihr – France’s prettiest village?
Riquewihr - prettiest village in France

Riquewihr – France’s prettiest village?

Riquewihr is a dreamy place, some even claim that it is the prettiest village in France. Let’s see why!

In this Guide, I will tell you all you need to organise a perfect trip! Logistics, accommodation, restaurants, and activities, they are all covered!


What you need to know before you go

Is Riquewihr worth visiting?

Riquewihr is definitely worth visiting for a few hours or even a day or two. However, you may run out of things to do if you stay for much longer. Its beautiful architecture dating from as far back as the 13th century is incredible. Otherwise, because it has vineyards all around its walls, the wine tasting is amazing. Therefore, it’s great to stop by in September or October as the grapes are being harvested. Otherwise, Riquewihr’s Christmas market in December is unmissable because it is so pretty, warm, and full of gifts and treats.

What is Riquewihr known for?

Riquewihr is known for its architecture, its fascinating history, and its wonderful wines and wine tasting. Firstly, Riquewihr has beautiful, half-timbered buildings which are hundreds of years old. Therefore, visiting it feels like stepping into a fairytale. Furthermore, it has attractions such as the Dolder Tower and the Thieves’ Tower. These are incredible to see and have amazing museums inside. Also, because Riquewihr is on the Alsace Wine Route there are delicious wines such as Riesling from the local vineyards.

Short History of Riquewihr

Riquewihr is one of the most beautiful villages in France because of its historic architecture. Many of the buildings date to the medieval period. Fortunately, fighting during WWII didn’t damage them! Therefore, you can still see houses from the 17th and 16th century as you walk around it. Also, there is even a stone gateway dating from the 13th century! Luckily, there are great museums about Riquewihr’s history in sights like the Dolder Tower and the Thieves’ Tower as well as a WWII museum. Perfect if you want to find out more about the village!


Logistics of your trip to Riquewihr

There are a few things you need to be aware of to plan your trip well. These are as follow:

Where is Riquewihr?

Riquewihr is in Alsace in Eastern France. It is halfway between the Vosges mountains and the Rhine River border with Germany. Furthermore, it is an important stop on the Alsace Wine Route!

How to get there?

The closest airport to Riquewihr is Strasbourg Airport ( around 65 km away). The second closest airport is Basel Airport (120 km away)

How to get from Colmar to Riquewihr?

The closest airport to Riquewihr is Strasbourg Airport ( around 65 km away). The second closest airport is Basel Airport (120 km away)


What is the best season to visit Riquewihr?

Riquewihr’s amazing location among mountains and vineyards means it’s a great holiday destination all year round. In summer, the surrounding nature is beautiful, and the colors of the village’s historic buildings pop. Additionally, the weather will be ideal for following the Alsace Wine Route. However, Riquewihr also has unmissable Christmas markets! The town’s centuries-old buildings feel extra cozy during the winter. Also, the scenery of the Vosges Mountains is stunning when it snows!

Obviously, high summer and December are thus the busiest times in Riquewihr. Therefore, if you really want to avoid the crowds, go early in the year. Otherwise, don’t miss the wine harvest in September and October!

How long do you need to visit it?

Riquewihr is quite a small village. Therefore, you only need to spend at most a day or even a few hours visiting. It can be a great place to stop at if you are doing the Alsace Wine Route. Moreover, staying overnight in the town means you get to enjoy it without all the daytrippers!

Top things to do

There are a few things you need to be aware of to plan your trip well. These are as follow:

Walks through the little side streets of Riquewihr

Riquewihr is such a small village that you can see many of its most beautiful streets by walking around it for about an hour. However, aim to do this early in the morning or later in the evening if you want to avoid the crowds of day tourists! Our favorite streets in Riquewihr would be Rue du Général de Gaulle, Rue de la Couronne, and Rue des Trois Eglises. You’ll find amazing architecture and sights on these streets, as well as useful places like the tourist office.

Hiking along the wine trails surrounding Riquewihr

Riquewihr has many beautiful, gentle hikes through its surrounding vineyards. The beautiful landscape with the Vosges Mountains in the distance makes this the perfect spring or summer activity. Also, it only takes 30 minutes to hike to the Château de Reichenstein. This is an incredible 13th-century ruined castle in the forest you cannot miss seeing!

Wine tasting in Riquewihr

Naturally, all the vineyards around Riquewihr make delicious wines such as Riesling. Therefore, you cannot miss going for a wine tasting when you visit the town. Our two favorite vineyards would be Hugel & Fils in the center of Riquewihr or Dopff au Moulin just outside the village’s walls. Both do cellar tours and wine tastings.

Dolder Tower and Museum

The Dolder Tower is an impressive 13th century stone watchtower. It is now a museum that tells you all about the history of the village of Riquewihr over the centuries. Furthermore, there is an incredible view from its top floor because this is the highest point in the town!

Explore half-timbered houses

You won’t want to miss a wander around Riquewihr to see its unique, historic half-timbered houses. While all of these are beautiful, some are even prettier or have even more history than others. For example, the Kouglopf & Cie Bakery and Winemaker’s House on Rue de la Couronne or Le Gratte-Ciel on Rue du Général de Gaulle. The name ‘Gratte-Ciel’ means ‘skyscraper’, because this is the highest timbered house in the region!

Thieves’ Tower

As you might guess from the name, the Thieves’ Tower used to be Riquewihr’s prison. It is now a museum which will tell you all about Medieval Europe and about the torture that used to happen in the Tower. Therefore, it might not be the best place to visit for the faint-hearted!

Where to stay

There are a few things you need to be aware of to plan your trip well. These are as follow:

Hôtel de la Couronne

Hôtel de la Couronne is in a beautiful, half-timbered building dating from the 16th century. Moreover, it has a great location right in the center of the village. It is a comfortable three-star stay with great perks like free private parking. Furthermore, the rooms are affordable and have gorgeous period features like wooden beams in the walls and ceiling. Book here.

Best Western Hotel & Spa Le Schoenenbourg

Just outside Riquewihr, this hotel has stunning views of the town, vineyards, and Vosges mountains. Moreover, it has great features such as indoor and outdoor pools and a spa. The rooms are comfortable and modern. Additionally, it is cheap to book one of the smaller rooms. Otherwise, there is a buffet breakfast, a bar with a sunny terrace, and a restaurant that serves evening meals.

Hotel Restaurant Saint-Nicolas Riquewihr

This is a lovely, two-star hotel. It is in beautiful half-timbered houses in the center of Riquewihr. Rooms are cozy and simple but quite reasonable. Also, there is an affordable family room that sleeps up to four people. Finally, the hotel has a great Alsatian restaurant onsite called Le Manala. Don’t miss trying the delicious ‘choucroute verte’ which is only available in Riquewihr!

Bastion de Riquewihr

Bastion de Riquewihr has luxurious accommodation right on the town walls of Riquewihr. Choose from a luxurious suite or two spacious, completely private apartments. There are amazing period features such as the wooden press in the basement. The rooms have great views and there is access to a garden in sunny weather. Otherwise, the apartments both have kitchenettes. Finally, breakfast is available on request.

Where to eat

There are a few things you need to be aware of to plan your trip well. These are as follow:

Au Trotthus

This restaurant in a sixteenth-century house in Riquewihr will surprise and amaze you. For, it serves Japanese food that is so delicious that it has an entry in the Michelin Guide. Therefore, it gives you an unmissable experience. However, expect to pay quite a bit for one of the restaurant’s tasting menus. Also, booking in advance is essential.

La Table du Gourmet

La Table du Gourmet has one star in the Michelin Guide. Therefore, you can expect an unforgettable meal in this sixteenth-century, half-timbered house. The menu shares the best that Alsatian food and wine has to give. The chef uses amazing, seasonal ingredients from a garden close to the restaurant. Finally, there are a range of incredible tasting menus to choose from.

La Grappe d’Or

This is another restaurant in Riquewihr to appear in the Michelin Guide. It serves traditional Alsatian dishes such as choucroute. Moreover, it has a warm, charming atmosphere. Outside, there are flowers; inside, antiques decorate the walls. Finally, this all comes at a reasonable price!

Riquewihr Christmas Market

Riquewihr Christmas market runs every weekend from late November until Christmas. And, where better to enjoy the warming sights, smells, and flavors of a Christmas market than this fairy-tale village?

Obviously, you’ll find delicious Alsatian sweet and savory snacks in the market’s huts, as well as mulled wine. Otherwise, there are plenty of gorgeous, local products on offer which make perfect gifts.

Finally, there’s even a Christmas market shuttle bus that leaves from Colmar that will let you explore other great Christmas markets in Alsace.

Find all the relevant and up-to-date info about the Christmas markets in Alsace here.

Final tips

In conclusion, I would definitely advise you to visit Riquewihr, as it really is one of the most beautiful villages in France. Above all, during Christmas period it turns into a fairy tale.

If you already make it to Riquewihr, then you should also visit Strasbourg and Colmar as well as the smaller villages nearby such as Kaysersberg and Eguisheim!


Voyage Provocateur

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