I am biased as I am from Alsace, but Riquewihr is the most beautiful village in France. It is full of tradition, brightly painted homes and flowers draping over the windows it feels like you have jump straight into a fairytale book.
Riquewihr is located in the middle of the Route du Vin in Alsace making it an Old Village with a long history of working in the vineyards. Nested between the Vosges foothills planted with vines it became famous for its wine trade. Within the town's twin fortified walls, the old town retains lane ways and close knit house atmosphere with stunning buildings dating from the 15th to 18th century.
Riquewhir was founded in the 8th Century, it was passed between Germany and France. The towns folk of Riquewihr supported the French Revolution, which is not surprising as the town passed hands between multiple Lords for Centuries. The village hasn't suffered harshly from the destruction of Wars, in World War II it was only bombed twice. It retains its original charm of a traditional Alsatian Village that is has been for centuries.
To me Riquewihr will always be a Spring Village as the first time I visited it was Easter and the Village was draped in Easter Decorations, I was so happy to come back 10 years later and see it again full of Easter and Spring decorations. During this time of the year it is quiet and charming, but come Summer it becomes extremely busy with visitors but it is a wonderful display of Flowers.
When walking through either of the 2 main doorways of the town at the Town Hall or at La Porte Haute you land on the main street, Rue du General de Gaulle it will allow you to see all the wonderful shops, delicious restaurants and weaving alleys.
On the Rue du General de Gaulle some of the highlights to visit are:
Macarons de Riquewihr- The smell alone will make you seem as a cartoon following the delicious smell. The best Macarons you will ever eat.
Au Marche de Riquewihr- Offers all you can imagine with food from the area, it is covered from floor to ceiling of produce. Try not to over spend on such amazing food in there.
Hotel Restaurant Au Dolder- Lunch at this restaurant is delicious, the locals suggested it to me and I wasn't disappointed. Each mouthful was so scrumptious. It is a perfect 3 course meal and traditional interior, make sure you try the dish of the day.
Drink the Wine- A must do in Riquewihr as it is the heart of the Route du Vin. Many Winstubs offer a large selection of local produce. My personal favourites are Riesling and Cremant, so delicious.
Feerie de Noel- Is the greatest Christmas shop in the whole world. It feels like you are in Aladdin's cave weaving through all the treasures.
Fountaine de la Sinne- The locals dress it up every season into a beautiful arrangement. A wonderful place to relax and look at Riquewihr.
The Dolder Tower- Is the belfry and watch tower of the town. It is a beacon that looks over the whole town.
The Thieves' Tower- Is a wonderful feat of 15th Century Architecture. It has a torture chamber museum but if you are not in the mood for that, seeing the unique architecture is a must.
Kalinka- Is a wonderful hidden gem full of Russian Babushkas of all sorts and sizes from Thimbles to Traditional Dolls.
The Porte Haute- It is the second main door of the town, it has one of the oldest doors in Europe.
When Visiting Riquewihr make sure you wander off the main street, there are wonderful things to behold on the alleys giving you a real sense of Alsatian life that hasn't changed in centuries. Riquewihr is a great village to visit all year around, It is beautiful in Spring and Summer, I can't wait to go visit the Christmas Markets one day.
Going to the Tourism Office is a great idea, I was able to pick up a really great map on Riquewihr that I wasn't able to find online.
Car: There are multiple car parks around the Village to park in for the day.
Bus: The way to get there from Bus is catching the bus from 106 Bus from Colmar Train Station to the Post Office at Riquewihr.