Bordeaux

Bordeaux

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.

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Things to Do in Bordeaux

Saint-André Cathedral

Landmarks

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
  • Place Pey Berland, 33000 Bordeaux
Great Bell Bordeaux

Monuments

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
Musée d'Aquitaine

Museums

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
Grand Theatre - Opera National de Bordeaux

Theaters

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 Place Royale

Popular Areas

“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
  • Place de la Bourse, 33000 bordeaux
Quinconces Esplanade Esplanade des Quinconces

Monuments

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
  • Place des Quinconces, 33000 Bordeaux
Saint-Michel Basilica

Monuments

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
  • Place Meynard, 33800 Bordeaux
Pont de Pierre

Landmarks

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
  • Pont de Pierre, 33000 Bordeaux
CAPC Musee d'Art Contemporain

Museums

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
Chaban Delmas Bridge

Monuments

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
  • Pont Chabans-Delmas, 33000 Bordeaux

Accommodations and Hotels in Bordeaux

InterContinental Bordeaux Le Grand Hotel

8.7 Excellent

Score from 680 reviews

$305

Average price per night
  • 2-5 Place De La Comédie, Bordeaux City-Centre, Bordeaux
Hôtel de Sèze

8.8 Excellent

Score from 586 reviews

$177

Average price per night
  • 23, allées de Tourny, Bordeaux City-Centre, Bordeaux
Mercure Bordeaux Cité Mondiale Centre Ville

8.1 Very good

Score from 1063 reviews

$95

Average price per night
  • 20, quai des Chartrons, Chartrons, Bordeaux
Hotel Continental

8 Very good

Score from 590 reviews

$74

Average price per night
  • 10, Rue Montesquieu, Bordeaux City-Centre, Bordeaux
Quality Hotel Bordeaux Centre

8.6 Excellent

Score from 1941 reviews

$90

Average price per night
  • 27, rue du Parlement Sainte Catherine, Bordeaux City-Centre, Bordeaux
Hôtel La Cour Carrée

8.2 Very good

Score from 584 reviews

$121

Average price per night
  • 5 rue de Lurbe, Bordeaux City-Centre, Bordeaux
Best Western Bordeaux Gare Saint-Jean

8.4 Very good

Score from 928 reviews

$85

Average price per night
  • 15 Rue Charles Domercq, Bordeaux Sud , Bordeaux
Pullman Bordeaux Lac

8.1 Very good

Score from 625 reviews

$116

Average price per night
  • Jean Gabriel Domergue, Bordeaux-Lac, Bordeaux
Le Boutique Hotel Bordeaux

8.9 Excellent

Score from 603 reviews

$174

Average price per night
  • 3 rue Lafaurie de Monbadon, Bordeaux City-Centre, Bordeaux
Discover Bordeaux

Popular Neighborhoods in Bordeaux

Bordeaux City-Centre

120 properties

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.

Chartrons

37 properties

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.

Saint-Michel

19 properties

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”.

Saint Jean Station District

17 properties

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.

Bordeaux-Lac

10 properties

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.

Bassins a Flots

8 properties

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.

Bastide

8 properties

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.

Local Tips for Bordeaux

Jardin Public de Bordeaux
Simon by Simon

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.

Shopping on Rue Sainte-Catherine Street
Anne by Anne

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.

Le Marché des Capucins
Guillaume by Guillaume

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.

  • Place des Capucins, 33800 Bordeaux
  • marchedescapucins.com
  • Open Tuesday-Friday 06:00-13:00, Saturday-Sunday 05:30-14:30
Wine-tasting sessions at the CIVB (Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux)
Laura by Laura

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!

  • 1 Cours du 30 Juillet, 33075 Bordeaux
  • www.bordeaux.com
  • Open Monday-Friday 08:30-12:30 and 13:30-15:00
Summertime dancing on the river banks
Zoraida by Zoraida

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.

  • Quai Louis XVIII, 33000 Bordeaux
  • www.dansonssurlesquais.fr
  • Open every evening from Wednesday to Sunday, from mid-July to mid-August. Check website for details.
Make the most of your visit to Bordeaux with the City Pass
Thomas by Thomas

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.

Local treats at the open-air Marché des Quais
Erwan by Erwan

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.

  • 41 Quai des Chartrons, 33000 Bordeaux
Looking for antiques in the Saint-Michel District
Helen by Helen

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.

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.

Booking.com asked travelers...

Why do you recommend Bordeaux for food?

International cuisines!

walk everywhere

Take a day trip to St. Emilion.

Le Vieux Chaudron

Visit out of season

Buildings

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 locals

all most popular brand are there, from luxury to affordable

Transportation

Bordeaux Transportation

Air - Bordeaux-Merignac Airport

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.

Train

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.

Bus

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.

Taxi

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.

Car

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.

Tram

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.

Bicycle

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.

Food in Bordeaux

Top Restaurants in Bordeaux

Mid-Range Fare
French
Glouton Le Bistrot
Upscale Dining
French
Marcel
Mid-Range Fare
Irish
The Blarney Stone
Cheap Eats
Japanese
Maruya Dining Japanese
Cheap Eats
American
Le Cafe Gourmand
Cheap Eats
French
Karl
Mid-Range Fare
French
La Brasserie Bordelaise
Mid-Range Fare
Italian
Restaurant Osteria Da Luigi
Upscale Dining
Seafood
Le Petit Commerce
Upscale Dining
French
Garopapilles
Mid-Range Fare
French
A Cantina - Comptoir corse
Upscale Dining
French
Une Cuisine en Ville
Cheap Eats
French
Toque Et Broc
Mid-Range Fare
Grill
Le Garage
Upscale Dining
French
Le Bistrot Gabriel
Mid-Range Fare
French
Le Bouchon bordelais
Cheap Eats
French
Les Tontons Restaurant Bordeaux
Cheap Eats
Italian
Buona Pizza Social Club
Mid-Range Fare
South African
Samanké
Mid-Range Fare
French
Le Passage Saint Michel
Cheap Eats
French
Le Petit St Mich
Upscale Dining
French
Cochon Volant
Mid-Range Fare
Seafood
Chez Jean Mi - Marché des Capucins
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