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Bordeaux

Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Gironde

Bordeaux - Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Gironde
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Renowned worldwide for its famous vineyards, the capital of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region also has a prestigious architectural heritage. An 18th-century gem, the City of Art and History of Bordeaux, a World Heritage Site since 2007, takes visitors back to the Enlightenment. A remarkable urban and architectural ensemble to enjoy on a sightseeing walk along the quays of the Garonne, its elegant streets and imposing town squares. Must-see places inherited from this period include the lively Place de la Comédie with its neoclassical Grand Theatre adorned with majestic Corinthian columns, Place de la Bourse with its fountain of the Three Graces, and the Allées de Tourny.

Strolling through the historic centre is also a great way to discover medieval Bordeaux: Saint-André Cathedral with its carved portals, Gothic choir and Renaissance organ loft, the imposing Cailhau door dedicated to Charles VIII, the Holy Cross (Sainte-Croix) Church with a façade carved in the Saintonge Romanesque style, and the door of the Great Bell (Grosse Cloche), the belfry of the old City Hall, are all reminders of this time. A bell tower separated from St Andrew's Cathedral, the 15th-century Pey Berland tower, offers breathtaking views of the roofs and spires of the city. Although this view must be earned by climbing the 231 steps of the narrow spiral staircase! Not far from this Gothic gem lies the famous pedestrian street of Rue Sainte-Catherine, a long commercial street popular with shoppers, which connects Place de la Victoire to Place de la Comédie.

Garden lovers will prefer the banks of the Garonne, where the lovely Enlightenment Garden (Jardin des Lumières) stretches out on both sides of the beautiful water mirror. Featuring a beautiful view of the river and the Bastide district located on the right bank, this vast space with walkways and flower beds is dotted with street lights that illuminate it magically at dusk. Walkers can then continue their walk towards the huge Esplanade des Quinconces. On one side of it stand the two rostral columns, and on the other is the illustrious Girondins monument built in the late 19th century in memory of Girondin members of Parliament who fell victim to the Terror. A listed Historic Monument, the latter consists of two basins adorned with bronze water horses and a column 43 metres high, on top of which stands a Statue of Liberty breaking her chains. A few blocks away is the public park, an English garden of 10 hectares popular with joggers and strollers, which includes a botanical garden, a library and a museum of natural history.

The City of Light is also a destination of choice for visitors who thirst for culture: the Aquitaine Museum, dedicated to the history of Bordeaux and Aquitaine from prehistory to the present; the Museum of Fine Arts, with collections of paintings and sculptures from the 15th to the 20th century; the Museum of Decorative Arts, with ceramics, furniture, paintings and engravings; the National Museum of Customs, dedicated to the history of the customs service in France; the Museum of Natural History, with zoological, mineralogical and paleontological collections; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, whose works are displayed in the old Lainé warehouse.

Finally, food-lovers won't want to leave Bordeaux without trying the famous canelés, delicious little cakes flavoured with rum and vanilla, best enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee…

At the end of June, the quays of the Garonne are abuzz for one of the city's two main events, "Bordeaux celebrates the river" ("Bordeaux fête le fleuve") in uneven years and "Bordeaux celebrates wine" ("Bordeaux fête le vin") in even years. The programme includes: concerts, shows, a firework display, and many activities!

Additional information
Bordeaux

Bordeaux enjoys both an amazing architectural heritage and the friendliness that own commercial cities. Designed by the centuries, it alternates facades and sumptuous buildings, the quaint shops and gardens Carthusian bourgeois, cellars and sheds revisited, new development and architectural buildings. If his metamorphosis Bordeaux treats his pace, swallowing its facades, creating new green spaces, by illuminating monuments, by choosing a streetcar powered by the ground, it does not forget the irreplaceable value of businesses proximity, outdoor markets, associative and sporting venues and relaxation and footpaths spaces.

On 28 June 2007, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has listed Bordeaux, Port of the Moon, on the World Heritage List under exceptional urban ensemble. The distinction of this vast area of ​​1810 hectares is a first. The Commission of UNESCO World Heritage had never honored an urban complex of this magnitude.

Things to see and do

Leisure activities

Last nameActivity typeRateCity
Private Guided Walking Tour of Bordeaux – 3 hours
Culture and education52 € Bordeaux
Private Guided Walking Tour of Bordeaux – 4 hours
Culture and education61 € Bordeaux
Private tour of Bordeaux's monuments and riverbanks by Citroen 2cv - night time
Entertainment98 € Bordeaux
Gourmet morning in Bordeaux
Local flavours70 € Bordeaux
Private Citroen 2cv tour around the monuments of Bordeaux and taste Cannelés - night time
Entertainment130 € Bordeaux
Private Citroen 2cv tour around the monuments of Bordeaux and taste Cannelés
Culture and education110 € Bordeaux
Private Guided Walking Tour of Bordeaux – 2 hours
Culture and education47 € Bordeaux
Private tour of the monuments and riverbanks of Bordeaux by Citroen 2cv
Culture and education78 € Bordeaux
Fun wine tour in the city of Bordeaux
Local flavours34 € to 69 € Bordeaux

Places of interest

Information points
Leisure centres
Monuments
Performance halls
Transport

Events and festivities

Detailed information

Bordeaux International Show Jumping Contest
An unmissable sports events for all horse-loversFebruary 2019
Bordeaux Métropole Marathon
A night-time marathon, unique in France, through the vineyards and the city of BordeauxApril 2019

Photos

The Grand Theater of Bordeaux (© F. Poincet)
The Grand Theater of Bordeaux (© F. Poincet)
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The former convent of the Dominicans (© F. Poincet)
The former convent of the Dominicans (© F. Poincet)
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The facade of the quays (© T. Sanson)
The facade of the quays (© T. Sanson)
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The stone bridge (© F. Poincet)
The stone bridge (© F. Poincet)
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The Cailhau door (© F. Poincet)
The Cailhau door (© F. Poincet)
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The Pey Berland tower, bell tower of the cathedral (© F. Poincet)
The Pey Berland tower, bell tower of the cathedral (© F. Poincet)
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The water mirror
The water mirror
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CAPC - Museum of Contemporary Art of Bordeaux
CAPC - Museum of Contemporary Art of Bordeaux
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Visits, leisure and activities nearby

Restaurants

Bed & breakfasts

Vacation rentals

Campsites

Hotels

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A leisure activity
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