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Bordeaux is a new twist on an old recipe
Bring a healthy appetite. Bordeaux’s sophisticated restaurants are like cookbook annotations on classic French cuisine, where everything is served up with nouvelle flair. Lift the cloche on this city known for its fine dining and fine wine that flows like the Garonne River.
The story of Bordeaux’s cathedral started almost a millennium ago. It was barely fifty years old when Eleanor of Aquitaine married Louis VII here in 1137. The cathedral has become a pastiche of sorts since then. Three centuries later, the Pey-Berland Tower was added, followed by the remnants of other destroyed churches when a 19th-century fire ravaged the cathedral.Accommodations near Saint-André Cathedral
Ding dong, Middle Ages calling. Cast an upward glance at these 15th century bells, as you pass beneath the belfry en route to Rue Saint Jacques. Long before the days of telly and Twitter, they tolled to warn of fire, imminent siege, and to kick off harvest season. In order to preserve the almost eight-tonne bells, they are only rung six times a year.Accommodations near Great Bell Bordeaux
The story of Bordeaux. This museum recounts the history of the Aquitaine region from the dawn of time to the present day. Trace the ascent of the Gauls through objects like the Statue of Hercules and the Laussel Venus. Feast on further helpings of local history with the programme of lectures, screenings, concerts, guided tours and educational workshops.Accommodations near Musée d'Aquitaine
Bordelais call this the “Grand Théâtre”. The regal and refined have flooded here for operas, orchestras and divine comedies since the quirky ballet “La Fille Mal Gardée” premiered in 1783. However, this is a theatre not merely of performance. The statues of the nine muses that overlook Place de la Comédie hint at the inspiration to be found in the theatre’s sumptuous interior.Accommodations near Grand Theatre - Opera National de Bordeaux
“Place de la Bourse” definitely makes a royal splash. Reflections are everywhere in the watery film that covers the square. Its centred by the bubblegum-pink fountain of the Three Graces, a popular spot where friends congress in the evening. The palace wraps around the square like a pair of headphones. Today its home to the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce.Accommodations near Place de la Bourse Place Royale
Bordeaux’s courtyard-by-the-river is quite a delight. This massive square is shielded by dense rows of symmetrically planted plane trees. Spot the flamboyant Monument aux Girondins fountain by the mid-gallop horses erupting from its core, right next to a column topped by the Angel of Liberty. Any other time, the square packs with fair-goers and flea-market shoppers.Accommodations near Quinconces Esplanade Esplanade des Quinconces
Imagine a pitch-black room. Now imagine a single light source. Daylight floods this basilica from a stained-glass panel behind the altar, yet its innermost nooks are shrouded in shadows. From the mid-1800s until 1979, the crypt played host to a spooky exhibition of well-preserved mummies, kept juicy by the area’s rich soil. Today, a short film tells the tale of this grim tableau.Accommodations near Saint-Michel Basilica
Pont de Pierre bridge is luminescent at dawn. Dusky pinks and faded tangerine make its colours radiate against the city’s medieval backdrop. Medallions are affixed between the bridge’s eleven arches like cameos, there to exalt the virtues of its commissioner – Napoléon himself. Promenade along Quai Richelieu, morning coffee in hand, to witness its beauty.Accommodations near Pont de Pierre
First-time visitors might feel like they’ve stumbled into an old cathedral. The CAPC feels ecclesiastical on account of the vaulted ceilings and stone arches, but it was originally built in pre-industrial times as a warehouse. Today it’s a major exhibition space for emerging artists. Mixed-media artist Richard Long and French designer Andrée Putman were among its recent exhibitors.Accommodations near CAPC Musee d'Art Contemporain
What goes up must come down. On first sight, this bridge seems fairly unremarkable – traffic flows to and fro across the half-kilometre stretch from La Bastide to La Bacalan. Then all of a sudden, traffic screeches to a halt. A foghorn bellows. The bridge goes up like an oversized limbo stick. Ships sail underneath. Then, back down it goes as if nothing had ever happened.Accommodations near Chaban Delmas Bridge
A triumvirate of triumphant buildings. Grand Théâtre, Saint-Seurin Basilica and Saint-André Cathedral stand proudly in the city’s historic heartland. Smart-suited businessmen zip by in their shadow, as tourists happily pose for pictures. Duck inside to brush up on your Bordelais history.Accommodations in Bordeaux City-Centre
Centuries ago, Chartrons bustled with merchant trade. Goods from far and wide passed hands, and the area was pumped full of wealth. They left behind a legacy of million-Euro mansions, patina-ed iron gates and tree-lined streets, which give the area its grand appearance. Cruise the area’s shops for antiques, art and furniture from days gone by.Accommodations in Chartrons
La vie bohème! Saint-Michel has taken the well-worn path from grimy sub-division to thriving bohemian ‘hood. This area brims with vintage boutiques. In true Bordelais style, the cafés spill into the street, where languid locals hold congress. The covered Marché des Capucins (a market) is the stuff of food-seekers dreams, cheekily known as the “belly of Bordeaux”.Accommodations in Saint-Michel
Saint-Jean Station is marked for rapid renewal. Visitors will soon make the 2.5-hour journey from Paris on high-speed trains, and flood out into this area that seems to be a state of constant development. It’s an area filled with regal hotels in various states of glory – some faded, some lustrous - surrounded by cafés, restaurants and greengrocers.Accommodations in Saint Jean Station District
Fairy stories don’t often begin in the marshlands. Yet this one does. Bordeaux-Lac’s fortunes changed when its humble marshes were transformed into a princely lake. Shazam! Now it has views that would make Rapunzel green with envy – swathes of forest, a huge rose garden and a pro golf course. Add the shiny new football stadium and you’ve got your happy ending.Accommodations in Bordeaux-Lac
Geometry isn’t just for squares. Jagged modern edges and television-shaped windows give Bassin a Flots’ buildings a distinct look. For proof, visit the Base sous-marine, a 40s submarine base-turned-pavilion for roving arts exhibitions. The soon-to-be-completed “Cité des Civilisations du Vin” promises to corner the market on wine-themed amusement parks.Accommodations in Bassins a Flots
Once upon a time, Bastide was its own city. Now part of Bordeaux’s urban sprawl – and the only district on the Garonne River’s right bank – it’s a beacon for peace-seeking urbanites who stroll in leafy Parc des Berges. Its paths cross thickets and estuaries, perfect for an afternoon away from city life.Accommodations in Bastide
Simon studied in Bordeaux and returned after a couple of years living in Paris.
I love this beautiful 11-hectare garden which attracts all kinds of visitors from families to joggers. You can spot wildlife including squirrels and swans, or enjoy a coffee out on the Orangerie Restaurant’s lovely terrace.Accommodations near Jardin Public de Bordeaux
A resident Parisienne, Anne loves to visit Bordeaux every now and again.
This bustling, 1 km-long pedestrianised street is the perfect place to track down some high-end items — and treat yourself to a glass of Bordeaux wine afterwards.Accommodations near Shopping on Rue Sainte-Catherine Street
Guillaume moved to Bordeaux over 3 years ago and hails from the southwest of France.
A true Bordelais hang-out, this market is open from Tuesday to Sunday. Browse its stalls which sell regional delicacies and fresh flowers, sample some seafood or enjoy a coffee at Jean Mi Bar, at the entrance to the market.Accommodations near Le Marché des Capucins
Brittany native Laura came to Bordeaux to study and stayed put.
A wine-tasting tour is a must in Bordeaux. The CIVB (Bordeaux Wine Council) gives you the chance to sample and discover new wines from the region and is a must for any budding oenology enthusiast!Accommodations near Wine-tasting sessions at the CIVB (Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux)
Spanish Zoraida came to Bordeaux for a short visit and loved its charm.
For one month during the summer (normally July to August) the city's river banks provide the stage for some outdoor dancing. It’s free to join in and there are different theme nights from Wednesday to Sunday — ranging all the way from country to rock, salsa and swing.Accommodations near Summertime dancing on the river banks
American Thomas moved to Nice last year and has spent a few weeks exploring Bordeaux.
My tip is to get yourself a City Pass for 1, 2 or 3 days. It will provide you with use of public transport, as well as entry to some museums and the botanical gardens. You can even get access to some tours of the city — including a ride in a yellow, open-top Cabriolet bus.Accommodations near Make the most of your visit to Bordeaux with the City Pass
After trying out a few French cities, Erwan decided Bordeaux was the one!
Located on the riverside by Quai des Chartrons, this market offers a taster of Bordelais life. It sells local specialities, unique produce and delicacies including oysters and crépinette — a parcel-like sausage patty.Accommodations near Local treats at the open-air Marché des Quais
Expat Helen loves exploring new French cities and found Bordeaux to be the most beautiful yet.
Saint-Michel’s brocanteurs – second-hand shops – store away trinkets and other curiosities. My favourite one can be found on Passage Saint-Michel – it’s set over several levels, so you’re bound to find the perfect gift to take back home.Accommodations near Looking for antiques in the Saint-Michel District
Booking.com asked travelers...How was the wine culture different than what you'd experience at home?
Well. It's Bordeaux. We were there for the wine festival, which was fun. But even then, one of the nights we were just walking in town and came across another large wine tasting event which was being held in the opera building. We could taste 160 Grand Cru wines, chatting with representatives from the chateaus.See all 10 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...What's the best way to make the most of Bordeaux by foot?
walk everywhereSee all 6 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...How can you get the most authentic cultural experience in Bordeaux?
Take a day trip to St. Emilion.See all 5 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...Where should people go if they don't want to eat in a tourist trap?
Le Vieux ChaudronSee all 5 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...How can you enjoy the sights in Bordeaux while avoiding the crowds?
Visit out of seasonSee all 4 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...What is it in Bordeaux that makes history come to life?
BuildingsSee all 3 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...What's the secret to sampling all the diverse food Bordeaux has to offer?
Try just as many smaller restaurants as well as a few of the more popular larger ones and compare. Go also on recommendations from the localsSee all 3 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...Describe what other people like you would like about shopping in Bordeaux.
all most popular brand are there, from luxury to affordableSee all 3 answers
Located 12 km north of the city, Bordeaux Airport is connected to Saint Jean Station by the 30'Direct train which takes 30 minutes and costs EUR 7.20 each way, or EUR 12.30 return. Services to the airport operate between 06.00 and 21.00, while city-bound trains leave between 08.00 and 23.00. Departing every 10 minutes, the Lianes 1 bus connects you to Place Gambetta or Place des Quinconces in around an hour, costing EUR 1.40 each way. A taxi will cost around EUR 30.
Five bus lines and the C tram line run to the main railway station, Bordeaux-Saint Jean. A one-way train ticket will cost EUR 1.40 and you can top up travel cards with 5 and 10-journey amounts. You can buy tickets online, in offices or vending machines.
Buses are run by TBC and certain lines - Lianes - offer faster and more direct routes with some avoiding the city centre. A one-way bus ticket will cost EUR 1.40, 5-journey tickets cost EUR 6.50 and 10-journey tickets cost EUR 12. You can buy tickets at stations, at vending machines and online.
Bordelais don’t tend to travel by taxi but there are around 26 ranks across the city with more found around the train station and airport. Taxis are generally not one particular colour but all have a "Taxi" sign on their roof.
Driving in Bordeaux is generally discouraged and made more difficult by the implementation of pay-parking. Visitors and citizens are encouraged to park outside the centre and explore the sights by foot or bike. Main roads, including Rue Sainte-Catherine, are blocked off to cars.
Bordeaux has 3 tram lines, which run from 05.00 until 00.30 from Monday to Wednesday, and until 01.15 the rest of the week. Trams are frequent, running around every 6 minutes from 07.00 until 20.00 and every 8 to 15 minutes outside these times. A single-journey ticket costs EUR 1.40, while 5-trip tickets cost EUR 6.50 and a 10-journey ticket costs EUR 12.
Cycling is an easy way to get around Bordeaux and there are over 200 bike paths across the city. Bikes are available 24 hours a day at 149 VCub stations with one day’s hire costing EUR 1.50, while 7 days cost EUR 7. Bikes have orange and blue markings on their back wheels.
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