The beautiful city of Bordeaux is the capital city of Aquitaine, the most southwesterly region in France. Situated on the Garonne River, this sprawling port city is known for its wine, chateaux, universities, museums and city architecture which is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Known as the ‘City of Art and History’, Bordeaux enjoys mild winters and hot summers making it an ideal place all year-round for visitors.
There are no skyscrapers or high hills in the area, and it is very easy to get around on foot or by bicycle. There are also plenty of local buses and an electric tram which serves the pedestrianized city center.
Places to visit in Bordeaux
Gambetta Square is nicknamed ‘Little Paris’ and has some wonderful architecture. This is also the area to find high-end shops. Although Paris is the center of the fashion world, many boutiques offer a superb range of chic couture at more affordable prices in Bordeaux. The nearby Botanical Gardens are a beautiful place to rest after all that shopping!
The Roman Victory Arch is at the center of La Victoire and is well worth a visit. This area is also known for its many lively pubs and sports bars. The best views of Bordeaux can be found from the top of the tower of Saint-Michel in the center of the city. An interesting history of the region can be found at the Musee D’Aquitaine which is well worth a visit. On a more modern note the smaller Musee D’Art Contemporain has some interesting exhibits of modern art.
Things to do in Bordeaux
One of the delights of Bordeaux is walking along the banks of the River Garonne on what are known as ‘Les Quais’. Admire the Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge in the city, and the Aquitaine Bridge which is the largest bridge in France. The Miroir d’Eau is a fascinating water mirror which alternates with a cloud of mist. Take a ferry trip along this scenic river or visit the ‘Colbert’, a historic battleship with a restaurant onboard.
French cuisine is of course all part of the wonderful experience when visiting France, although international cuisine is available all over the city. The local delicacy which is only available in Bordeaux is a pastry known as ‘cannelés’. The batter is poured by funnel into special fluted tins prepared with beeswax and then cooked until deep brown and caramelized.
A visit to a few Bordeaux wineries is a must, as this is what the area is famous for. One of the best-known wine producers is the Chateau Mouton Rothschild where you can tour the vineyard, learn about the wine-making process and taste the final product. The annual Bordeaux wines festival is at the end of June and draws huge numbers of visitors.
Beyond Bordeaux there are many more attractions to entice the inquisitive traveler, including magnificent chateaux, historic towns, famous vineyards and the golden beaches of the Atlantic Ocean. It is wise to allow plenty of time to enjoy the whole region when visiting Bordeaux. best willamette valley wine tours