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  • Writer's pictureZuzanna Szeliga

What to visit in Bordeaux

Bordeaux, a city synonymous with wine, history, and elegance, offers an unforgettable experience to every traveler. Nestled in the heart of the renowned wine region of France, Bordeaux boasts a rich cultural heritage, stunning architecture, and a vibrant culinary scene. Whether you are a wine enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking a delightful getaway, Bordeaux has something to captivate your senses. Discover the nicest parts of the city, including a trailblazing eco-district, vintage shops, and stylish art galleries.


What not to miss?


Place de la Bourse

Place de la Bourse is a captivating square at the heart of Bordeaux. Designed by Ange Jacques Gabriel in the 18th century, its centerpiece is the Palais de la Bourse, an elegant neoclassical building that once housed the city’s stock exchange. The square’s allure is enhanced by a vast reflective pool that beautifully mirrors the Palais de la Bourse. This space has evolved into a cultural hub for events and performances. Along the Garonne River, Place de la Bourse’s charm, history, and modern vitality converge, making it an essential stop for those exploring Bordeaux.


Saint-André Cathedral

This captivating example of Gothic architecture was built over centuries, its intricate façade and towering spire highlight its historical and artistic significance. Inside, vaulted ceilings and stained glass windows create a serene atmosphere. The cathedral has played a vital role in Bordeaux’s history, hosting important events and housing a renowned organ. Adjacent to it, the Pey-Berland Tower offers panoramic views. This cathedral stands as a timeless symbol of spiritual devotion and architectural brilliance in Bordeaux.




La Cité du Vin

Immerse yourself in Bordeaux's wine culture with interactive exhibits and tastings in

La Cité du Vin. Its avant-garde architecture resembles a wine decanter and stands as an emblem of the city. Through interactive exhibits, immersive experiences, and a vast collection, it celebrates the history, culture, and art of winemaking globally. With its stunning design and engaging content, La Cité du Vin is a must-visit destination for wine enthusiasts and culture seekers alike.




What else to visit?


Capucins Market

Nestled within Bordeaux, the Capucins Market is a hidden gem that unveils the city authentic essence. Vibrant stalls offer fresh produce, seafood, and local crafts, while the lively atmosphere lets you engage with the heart of Bordeaux culture. Amidst the bustle, it a tranquil retreat to savor genuine flavors and experiences that remain undiscovered by many.



Les Chartrons District

Les Chartrons District is a captivating neighborhood that beckons with its unique

charm and historical significance. Once the heart of the city wine trade, its cobbled

streets now echo with a blend of past and present. Stroll along the Quai des

Chartrons, where 18th-century warehouses have been transformed into trendy

boutiques, art galleries, and antique shops. This district seamlessly marries the old

and the new, offering a glimpse into Bordeaux vibrant past while embracing its

modern creativity. From exploring the Musée du Vin et du Négoce to savoring local

cuisine in charming bistros, Les Chartrons is an enriching journey through time and

culture that undoubtedly worth experiencing.



Basilique Saint-Michel

Discover the Basilique Saint-Michel’s tower for a breathtaking panoramic view that

captures the city essence. Gaze upon the Garonne River, historic streets, and

modern landmarks. Its an awe-inspiring perspective that paints Bordeaux in a new

light. Don't miss this chance to see the city from a whole new angle.




How to travel there?


By plane:

For international travelers, Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport is the gateway to the city. Situated just 12 kilometers from downtown Bordeaux, the airport offers excellent connectivity and modern facilities. Several major airlines operate flights to and from various destinations, making it easy to find a suitable flight.


Upon arrival, you'll have multiple transportation options to get to the city center. Taxis, shuttle services, and car rentals are readily available. The airport is also connected to the Bordeaux Tramway, providing a cost-effective way to reach the heart of the city.


By train:

Bordeauxs excellent rail connectivity makes train travel an attractive option for

visitors. The city's main railway station, Gare Saint-Jean, is a hub for high-speed TGV

trains that connect Bordeaux with major French cities like Paris, Lyon, and Marseille,

as well as international destinations like Madrid and Brussels.


The TGV offers comfort and efficiency, whisking you to Bordeaux in just a few hours.

With well-designed train stations and ample amenities, train travel is a convenient

and picturesque way to reach the city.


By bus:

Traveling to Bordeaux by bus is an affordable and eco-friendly option, particularly for

those exploring neighboring cities and regions. Several long-distance bus companies

operate routes connecting Bordeaux with other major French cities and European

destinations.


Bus terminals, such as the Gare Routière Bordeaux Saint-Jean, offer easy access to the city public transportation network. While bus travel might take longer compared to trains or planes, it allows you to enjoy the scenic landscapes along the way.


When to travel there?

The best times to visit Bordeaux are during the shoulder seasons of spring (April to

June) and autumn (September to October). The weather is pleasant, and tourist

crowds are thinner compared to the summer peak. Wine enthusiasts might enjoy the

harvest season in September, while winter offers a quieter experience.


Average costs

The typical expenses for a trip to Bordeaux in 2023 can differ depending on your

travel approach, accommodation tastes, dining selections, and intended outings.

Please note that these approximations rely on mean costs and may change over the

course of time. Below is a general overview of potential expenditures:


Accommodation:

Budget Hostels or Budget Hotels: €30 - €60 per night

Mid-Range Hotels: €80 - €150 per night

Luxury Hotels: €200 and above per night


Outside Dinings:

Budget Food: On average, a budget meal at a local café, street food vendor, or casual

eatery might cost you around €10 to €15 per person. This could include items like

sandwiches, crepes, or simple dishes from local bistros.


Mid-range dining: If you're looking for a more substantial dining experience, expect to spend around €30 to €50 per person for a three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant. This range covers a diverse selection of cuisines and dining atmospheres. Fine Dining: Bordeaux is known for its gastronomic excellence, and if you're seeking an exquisite culinary adventure, fine dining establishments await. These upscale restaurants offer top-notch service, creative menus, and exceptional wine lists. For a lavish multi-course meal at a renowned fine dining restaurant in Bordeaux, be prepared to spend upwards of €100 per person.


Transportation:


Public Transportation:

A single fare costs 1.50 euros. For a card usable for 1, 5, or 10

trips, use euro coins or debit/credit card to make the purchase. You can transfer

between the tram and bus as many as necessary throughout the hour for one fee,

which covers an hour's worth of travel. Tickets are available for purchase on buses,

but not on trams.


Taxi:

Taxi fares in Bordeaux are regulated by the government and are metered. The

base rate and the distance traveled are used to calculate a fare.The base fee is €2.43

and the cost per kilometer is €1.80. Except for Monday through Saturday from 10:00

pm to 6:00 am, these fees shall be charged. all day on Sunday.


Car Rental:

A basic automobile rental costs between €30 and €80 per day, excluding

petrol.


Where to eat?



Whether you're a food enthusiast seeking local flavors or a connoisseur of fine

dining, Bordeaux has something to offer for every palate. Here a curated list of the

best must-visit places to eat in Bordeaux that promise unforgettable gastronomic

journeys:


La Tupina

Nestled in the heart of Bordeaux historic district, La Tupina offers a rustic and

charming dining experience. This restaurant is celebrated for its traditional Gascon

cuisine, focusing on dishes prepared with locally sourced ingredients. From duck

confit to slow-cooked lamb, the menu pays homage to Bordeaux culinary heritage.


Le Petit Commerce

Seafood lovers rejoice at Le Petit Commerce, a cozy establishment renowned for its

exquisite seafood platters. Located near the Garonne River, this restaurant offers an

array of fresh oysters, shrimp, crab, and more. The laid-back ambiance and

knowledgeable staff create an ideal setting for savoring the finest fruits of the sea.


Oiseau Bleu

For an upscale yet approachable dining experience, Oiseau Bleu is a must-visit. This

Michelin-starred restaurant combines elegant décor with innovative French cuisine.

Chef Nicolas Frion creative dishes are a testament to Bordeaux evolving

gastronomic scene, showcasing a fusion of flavors and techniques.


Brasserie Bordelaise

Step into the Brasserie Bordelaise and be transported to a classic French brasserie.

Known for its cozy atmosphere and traditional Bordeaux dishes, this establishment

offers a variety of comfort foods like entrecôte steak, foie gras, and crème brûlée.

The extensive wine list allows you to pair your meal with the perfect local vintage.


Dan

For those intrigued by fusion cuisine, Dan offers a unique blend of Asian and French

flavors. This trendy eatery surprises diners with its inventive sushi rolls, delicate dim

sum, and bold cocktails. The restaurants vibrant ambiance and artistic presentations

add to the overall dining experience.


Garopapilles

If you are a fan of wine pairing and artistic plating, Garopapilles is a destination to

consider. This Michelin-starred gem focuses on seasonal ingredients and intricate

flavors, offering tasting menus that highlight the best of Bordeaux terroir. The knowledgeable staff ensures that each dish is impeccably matched with a local wine.


Events



Bordeaux, a city known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and world-famous wine, is also a hub of cultural activity, offering a diverse array of events that showcase its dynamic spirit. Throughout the year, locals and visitors alike eagerly anticipate these mainstay events that capture the essence of Bordeaux identity.Here's a handpicked selection of upcoming events that promise unforgettable experiences:


Bordeaux Wine Festival (June - August)

As a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the heart of wine country, Bordeaux is synonymous with exceptional wine. The Bordeaux Wine Festival is a grand celebration of the city viticulture heritage. Taking place along the picturesque Garonne River, this event invites attendees to savor an extensive selection of Bordeaux wines, interact with winemakers, and participate in tastings and workshops. A vibrant atmosphere, live music, and gourmet food complete the experience, making it a must-visit for wine enthusiasts.


Fête le Fleuve (June - August)

Bordeaux relationship with the Garonne River is deeply ingrained in its history. The

Fête le Fleuve celebrates this connection with a captivating river festival. The event

features a diverse range of activities, including water sports, boat parades, light

shows, and concerts. Visitors can also explore interactive exhibitions and enjoy

culinary delights from local food vendors.


Bordeaux International Arts Festival (September)

FAB is a cultural extravaganza that brings together international artists across disciplines such as theater, dance, music, and visual arts. The festival takes place in various venues throughout the city, providing a platform for avant-garde performances and creative expressions. Its a unique opportunity to witness innovative collaborations and discover emerging talents.


Bordeaux Marathon (April)

The Bordeaux Métropole Marathon is a major sporting event that attracts runners

from across the globe. Participants have the chance to run through Bordeaux

charming streets, passing by historic landmarks and vibrant neighborhoods. With

options for full marathons, half-marathons, and relays, the event caters to runners of

all levels.


Bordeaux Fête le Vin et Épicuriales (June)

Bordeaux appreciation for good food and wine is beautifully encapsulated in the

Fête le Vin et Épicuriales event. The city Place des Quinconces transforms into a

haven for foodies and wine connoisseurs. Visitors can indulge in delectable gourmet

dishes prepared by renowned chefs, accompanied by exceptional wine selections

from Bordeaux vineyards.


As we conclude our exploration of Bordeaux, a city brimming with captivating vibes, we are confident that you will embrace its charm just as wholeheartedly as we have. While we bid adieu for now, there's plenty more to delve into on our website. Stay connected with us @thewalkingparrot to remain in the loop about our latest updates. We will return shortly with fresh insights to share in our upcoming article!



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