A photo of the central street of Riquewihr village

Ribeauvillé & Riquewihr: Alsace’ must-see villages

Picture of Maury van den Wildenberg

Maury van den Wildenberg

Go back in time to the Middle Ages with the half-timbered colorful houses and cobblestone streets in the Alsace villages Riquewihr and Ribeauvillé while enjoying one of the best wines in this region.


Known for its magnificent wines and picturesque old medieval and German-influenced villages such as Ribeauvillé and Riquewihr, Alsace is a great get-a-way for combining history and delicious food and wines on your vacation. This historical region consists of many lovely places to visit. You can choose to visit one or a few of these, or if you’re a sporty type: grab your bike and cycle the 170 km long wine route d’alsace.

Riquewihr a little gem in the Alsatian region

Riquewihr is, in our opinion, the most magical and fairy-tale-like village in Alsace with its brightly painted half-timbered houses. Even though we had heard already that it feels like stepping into the Middle Ages when visiting this area, we were still surprised by the looks of this exceptional village. Some even believe that the town only opens up for tourists but is abandoned at night…

A photo of Alsace by night
At night, when the lights turn on, the beautiful german style buildings get even more fantastic.
A photo of the central street of Riquewihr village
At Riquewihr, it feels like stepping hundreds of years back in time. Perfect place for drinking Riesling wine and experiencing their local cultures.

Walk Through Rue Du Général De Gaulle

When visiting Riquewihr, you have to stroll through the little alleys and walk through the ‘Rue du Général de Gaulle’: the main street. Here you get a real impression of the medieval and mystic historical center. Admire the beautiful architecture, the steep-roofed and half-timbered houses, but also notice the many cozy little shops located here.

A photo of the Main Street in Riquewihr
Rue du Général de Gaulle, part of the Main Street in Riquewihr

If you want to bring souvenirs, this is definitely the place to get them. There are a few typical Alsace souvenirs to bring home:

Munster cheese: This is a typical Alsace cheese. A semi-soft, strong-smelling, but also delicious cheese. We did try this quite mild-tasting delicacy, and we were a real fan! 🙂

Christmas tree ornaments: For example, the Féerie de Noel shop offers a wide range of Christmas tree ornaments whole year-round. Imagine yourself in a real Christmas mood, even in the middle of summer.

Alsace wine: There are a few typical Alsace grapes: Gewürztraminer, Muscat, but the most famous one is probably Riesling. Visit one of the many shops to bring a nice bottle home.

Have Lunch And Drink Wine At Restaurant Le Médiéval À Riquewihr

Tired of walking and shopping? Time for a great lunch and recharging with a good bottle of Alsace’s greatest wines. We really enjoyed our lunch at restaurant le Médiéval à Riquewihr. Located on a small square near the Dolder tower and surrounded by lovely small shops, this is a great place to enjoy the charming vibe of Riquewihr.

A photo of the menu of restaurant le Medieval a Riquewhir
Menu of restaurant le Médiéval à Riquewihr

They have an old-school menu on a chalkboard, but we decided to ask them for advice. We ended up with a bottle of excellent Riesling wine and a delicious ‘Tarte flambee,’ a real specialty of the region of Alsace. It’s an often rectangular, kind of flat pizza, composed of bread dough and covered with cheese, crème fresh, onions, and lardons. Of course, there is a bit of variety in toppings. Not the healthiest choice, but delicious!

Stay Overnight In Riquewihr

Convinced that Riquewihr really is a must-see in France? Or can you not believe that this place is not made up just for tourists after seeing all the pictures? Then you should stay overnight in this Medieval wonderland. We made up a list of a few great hotels located here.

$ Hôtel le Saint Nicolas

Do you want to stay in one of the half-timbered houses without paying that much? Hôtel le Saint Nicolas is located in the center of Riquewihr, has great rooms and very friendly staff.

$$ Hôtel Le Riquewihr

With its location just a little bit outside of the business in the center, but surrounded by vineyards, Hôtel Le Riquewihr is an excellent option for staying. Clean and comfortable rooms, a swimming pool, sauna, and friendly staff.

$$$ La Cour Des Nobles – Appartements Riquewihr

If you want to have it all, the ideal location, very much comfort, but at the same time feeling like living in the Middle Ages. Then you should stay at Le Cour Des Nobles.


We felt sorry leaving this place so soon and are coming back as soon as we’re in France again. What did you think of this magical place? 

Ribeauville surrounded by castles, mountains, and vineyards

Another cute medieval village in Alsace is Ribeauvillé, surrounded by vineyards and mountains. Ribeauvillé is not only lovely because of its magical fairy-tale looks. It is also surrounded by three old majestic Castles, which promotes the feeling of stepping into the magic realm.

An aerial view of Ribeauville
Aerial view of Ribeauvillé

For The Best Wine Tastings, Visit Bott Freres

The best time we had during our visit was at Bott Freres. Located on the border of the authentic village of Ribeauvillé and with the best views over the vineyards. Bott Freres makes exquisite wines and crémant. Here you can learn how this delicious wine is made, and you can have a look in the cellars and at the vineyards, whereafter you can also taste their full-bodied wines. We got a sensational tour from Nicole, one of the most warm-hearted and helpful persons we’ve met.

An aerial photo of the winery Bott Freres in Ribeauville
The winery Bott Freres
A photo of the owner of Bott Freres explaining about their winery to Maury
Nice views at Bott Freres

Crémant is the sparkling wine of this region, just as Champagne is from the champagne region. The one we tried at Bott Freres was truly delicious. Are you also curious about the champagnes? Then you should visit the Champagne region in France. Read this article to know where to start for planning your trip to this area.  

Stroll Through The Cobblestone Streets In Ribeauvillé

Being almost the oldest village of Alsace, it is worth it to visit the center of Ribeauvillé. Here you can find great restaurants located in the nice squares. Stroll through the cobblestone streets, admire the views over the vineyards and castles, or visit one of the many shops to buy some souvenirs.

We were lucky that we were allowed to climb the church tower from where we had a nice view over the castles that surround this village. Unfortunately, we did not have the time to visit them, but if you’re in for a hike, walk the route around the village where you pass by all of these medieval wonders.

The inhabitants of Alsace are really into festivals, but one of their festivals really stands out. It is called the Fiddler’s festival and is held on the first Sunday of September. It includes a parade with real medieval costumes and delicious local food. We have been told that they also turn water into wine in one of the fountains..  so, something you really have to see!

If you want to ask anyone about this village or search for even more information, you need to spell and pronounce the name right. The name is Ribeauvillé, with an emphasis on the é. Another Ribeauville, without the é, exists in France but is located on the northwestern side. So, keep this in mind.

Make Ribeauvillé Your Home Base In Alsace

Staying in Ribeauvillé is definitely a good idea. We have made a list of a few great hotels here.

$ B&B Hotel Restaurant 3 Châteaux

One of the best well-prized options to stay in Ribeauvillé is Hotel Restaurant 3 Châteaux. It has a great location in the center of Ribeauvillé, so a perfect starting point to explore the village or the surrounding castles.

$ The One Apartments

With its location in the center of Ribeauvillé and getting a very high rating, The One Apartments is a good choice for staying. The location is perfect, the staff is friendly, and the rooms are new and clean.

$$ Hôtel Barrière Ribeauvillé

For absolute comfort and luxury, you can stay in Hôtel Barrière Ribeauvillé. Located a little bit further from the center of Ribeauvillé, very quiet and has beautiful views over the mountains and vineyards.

Staying in Riquewihr and Ribeauvillé were our favorite villages in Alsace. If you think we forget one, please leave a comment :-). Of course, there are many villages, and if you want to visit more of them, you should consider doing the Alsace wine route.

Get active and explore Alsace by the wine biking route

Can’t you get enough of these fairy-tale villages, and are you a true wine lover? Then go on the Alsace wine tour. The best way to do this is by bike, although the whole route is 170km long. You can do a part of the route, but if you really don’t want to get on your bicycle, there are also organized tours that visit a few of these medieval villages. We will give a few examples.

A photo of Maury and Dave on their bike, biking a part of the Alsace wine route
Bike the Alsace wine route

Do The Alsace Wine Route By Bike

With its 170km length and 103 stops to make, the Alsace wine route is one you should take the time for if you want to do this by bike. The idea is to start in Marlenheim and cycle all the way down to Thann. You will bike through vineyards and hills, so exquisite views are guaranteed. If you want to do the entire route, you should be a bit trained, take an electric bike, or just take enough time, of course ;-). At your endpoint, you can take a train back; to bring your bicycles is often free.

An image of the Alsace wine route
The Alsace Wine Route

We have a few tips if you are going to do this route. Some of the villages that you pass by may look too idyllic to be true, but these places also attract tourism, of course. If you’re looking for a place to stay or eat a meal, better stop in the smaller villages. If you’re a wine lover, you probably want to bring a bottle or even more. Make sure that you can pack these properly while you’re on the way. Maybe a pair of bicycle bags?

Explore The Alsace Region With An Organized Tour

Day tour to the 4 wonders in Alsace

Start in Colmar and visit four of the picturesque villages in the region Alsace. You will also see Riquewihr and Ribeauvillé and two other magical places along the Alsatian wine route with this tour. You will also visit a wine cave and, of course, plenty of great wines to taste. 

Half-day tour to some Alsatian villages  

Suppose you have less time or are not in the mood to go on a guided tour for the whole day. In that case, there are also half-day tours where you can visit three of the typical Alsace villages to see the beautiful half-timbered houses. This tour also starts in Colmar.

Full day tour starting in Strasbourg

If you are staying in Strasbourg, it is also possible to start your full-day tour to the lovely, picturesque villages here. With this tour, you will also visit one of the many castles surrounding the region.

You can stay in the Alsace region only for just a few days, but time flies when you’re in one of the fairy-tale-like villages such as Ribeauvillé or Riquewihr. We wished we could have stayed longer, and we will come back to this region. Have you been here already? And what did you think? Or have you heard nice stories about this place? Please share them with us! 🙂

A photo of Maury walking though Riquewhir with her bike
Walking in Riquewihr

Check out our video X-plore Alsace

Check out this video to learn about the best places to visit in Alsace. Help us by liking the video and subscribing to our channel! 🙂

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