“The Pearl of Aquitaine” is a city with many assets, including owning the most prestigious classified Grand Crus since 1855. With a myriad of things to do, it’s best to spend at least four days in Bordeaux.
Bordeaux is known for its prestigious vineyards and châteaux, and many visit “The Pearl of Aquitaine” to taste the freshly harvested wine. In addition to producing some of the finest wines in France, Bordeaux has a rich historical heritage that appeals to everyone, the UNESCO even baptized Bordeaux as “a city of art and history.” As the famous French writer, Stendhal, wrote “Bordeaux is without a doubt the most beautiful city in France.”
HOW TO GET THERE
Being the capital of the Aquitaine region, Bordeaux is fairly easy to reach from Paris. From Paris Gare Montparnasse, it is a direct 2-hour voyage to Bordeaux Saint Jean and costs between 70 and 140 euros. The drive to Bordeaux is approximately 5 hours but it is the perfect opportunity for a road trip as you pass through Orléans, Tours, and Poitiers. From Bordeaux, you can easily visit the city’s surroundings, including: Arcachon and its bay. Click here to know everything there is to see.
La Cité du Vin
134 Quai de Bacalan, 33300 Bordeaux, France
This building is hard to miss! Shaped like a UFO, La Cité du Vin was built as the world’s first immersive wine experience. Entirely dedicated to the history of wine, la cité comprises of a museum, exhibitions, and projections acting as an informative tour through the world of wine. On the building’s top floor, a belvedere wine bar was unveiled with an amazing panoramic view of Bordeaux. Officially inaugurated in 2016 by France’s former president, François Hollande, the museum was made possible thanks to over 100 advisors from several different countries. Start your visit with an conceptual tour of the vineyards going back to 17th century Japan. The idea behind this eye-opening experience is to show the educational enormity of the wine world and its inclusivity of various countries.
Le Miroir d’Eau
Pl. de la Bourse, 33000 Bordeaux, France
This is an iconic landmark in Bordeaux! Located on Place de la Bourse, Le Miroir d’Eau was built in 2006 and is the number one attraction in Bordeaux. The architect, Michel Corajoud, designed the superb pool – along with the help of a fountain expert – with a stunning mirror effect that amazes every visitor. In the summer, you will see children playing there as it is a famous meeting place for families. The landmark was even listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since it is the largest water mirror in the world with 3,450 m² of granite stone.
Wander around Rue Sainte Catherine
Rue Sainte Catherine is the longest pedestrian street in Europe and known as the “spine of Bordeaux!” 1.2 kilometers long and 10 meters wide, the street was pedestrianized in 1984 and every shopaholic’s dream. The northern part of the street is devoted to clothing stores and major brands, while the southern part mostly encompasses regional shops, restaurants, and cafés. Rue Sainte Catherine stretches through the city from Place de la Comédie to Place de la Victoire. Besides the endless boutiques, the street is lined with typical bordelaise architecture. Online shopping is easy, but sometimes braving the crowd and being in the action is worth it! Although we would not recommend heading there on busy Saturdays.
Restaurant le 7
134 Quai de Bacalan, 33300 Bordeaux, France
Located in La Cité du Vin on the 7th floor, Restaurant le 7 attracts visitors for its view of Bordeaux and its chef’s cooking. The open-air terrace offers a breathtaking view of Bordeaux and the river traversing through it, La Garonne. However, the real gem of this place is the chef, Nicolas Lascombes. Every dish is uniquely prepared with fresh and regional ingredients. Simple and light, the main courses are designed to leave room for dessert! One of the chef’s passions is wine and offers a beautiful and universal selection of 500 wines, originating from 50 different countries. Be ready for the best meal of your life!
16 Pl. des Quinconces, 33000 Bordeaux, France
Bordeaux’s culinary scene is dynamic and Saveurs d’Aquitaine is one of the very best and most popular “neo-bistros” in the city. The menu changes constantly but always maintaining light and seasonal dishes including the restaurant’s prized and rare ingredient: truffle. The constant change of the menu is in line with the chef’s inspiration and his findings at the local market. A single chef works tirelessly to provide the best meals possible. Humble-looking, stylish, and locally-known, the restaurant offers a symphony of flavors that will make your taste buds dance. The brief but dense menu offers dishes, like: fresh seasonal truffle egg scramble and cream of cauliflower soup, diced ham with truffles. It is also an ideal spot to taste the regional wines reaped in Bordeaux.
Le Bouchon Bordelais
2 Rue Courbin, 33000 Bordeaux, France
For those seeking a local cuisine, Le Bouchon Bordelais is a top choice! Located in a small alley, the restaurant is set in a rustic and warm atmosphere which attracts many locals. The menu changes regularly, according to the seasons. Each dish is prepared with regional and seasonal produce and mixes both tradition and the chef’s own twist. The short and recent menu offered dishes, such as: grilled peanut sandwich with tandoori breaded scampi and fillet of scorpion fish with fennel, black olives, and parsley juice. Fixed-price menus are available at reasonable price points and the wine list is brief but meticulously chosen.
9 Rue de la Course, 33000 Bordeaux, France
This charming B&B is located at the heart of Bordeaux, in a lively neighborhood, Les Chartrons. Vintage shops, boutiques, pastry shops, restaurants, and cafés are within walking distance from the guesthouse as well as the town center and the Wine and Trade Museum. Fun fact: Famous author, Victor Hugo, used to stay on the same street. Set in a 19th century edifice, Casa Blanca was fully redecorated, blending both luxury and tradition. The 5 rooms are equipped with contemporary amenities, without changing the atmosphere of the guesthouse. With exposed stones at the entrance and the integration of wood and marble, it is impossible to not be seduced! The owners, being from Bordeaux, can offer you advice on which attraction to visit and can even prepare a wicker basket for lunch! After a long day of sightseeing, the B&B provides various services, such as: massages, yoga, and even cooking lessons.
La Cour Carré
5 Rue de Lurbe, 33000 Bordeaux, France
Set in a 200-year-old building in the center of Bordeaux, La Cour Carré is the ideal base for visitors. Featuring elegant Scandinavian-decorated rooms, a patio, meetings rooms, and a buffet breakfast; the hotel perfectly combines state-of-the-art facilities while keeping its fundamental soul. The guest rooms are furnished with a range of luxurious amenities, including: an Italian bathroom and a private terrace. The main attractions of Bordeaux are situated at a 10-minute walking distance from the hotel and shuttles are available to take you anywhere. Every morning, before spending the day in the city, enjoy the complimentary breakfast on the patio or in your room. The overall Zen atmosphere makes the hotel a true oasis of peace.
10 Rue Montesquieu, 33000 Bordeaux, France
A stone’s throw away from the Opera House and the Cathedral, the 18th century townhouse is a perfect spot to visit the city and its main attractions! A recent renovation – aiming to preserve the original architecture – brought all the rooms and common areas to the Roaring Twenties. The mural prints, ochre colors, high ceilings, and dark green furniture all contribute to the hotel’s charm with the Art-Deco style. The 51 rooms are simple yet comfortable equipped with Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and flat screen TVS. On the first floor, a lounge of the era welcomes the four-star hotel’s clients every evening for a wine tasting and charcuterie boards. Hotel Konti is a great address for a chic yet easy stay!
Eve stayed 1 week in Bordeaux.