Bordeaux
 

Travel guide - Bordeaux

Although undeniably at the forefront of French winegrowing culture, Bordeaux is more than just its vineyards. In the capital of the Gironde, the city’s historic heritage can be seen in the grandiose facades around Place de la Bourse and the imposing white stones of La Grosse Cloche. Along the banks of the Garonne, this elegant testament to the French way of life should be savoured like a fine wine.

Go back in time with a visit to old Bordeaux

Bordeaux’s luxurious avenues, much like Paris’, hold a particular fascination for its visitors. The city owes its magnetism largely to its prestigious past, as can be seen in Place de la Bourse. Bordeaux’s medieval architecture, whose most beautiful example can be found on Place Pey-Berland, also adds to the beauty of the city. The city’s most visited monument, the 15th century Tour Pey-Berland watches over the residents of Bordeaux and points the way to the doorway known as la Grosse Cloche. Before you leave, be sure to say a final farewell to Notre-Dame d’Aquitaine, the golden statue atop the tower. Cross to the other side of Cours Victor-Hugo to walk through the doorway of Saint-Eloi, one of France’s oldest bell towers and the only remaining piece of Bordeaux’s city walls. It’s not by chance that the bell, named Armande-Louise, still appears on the city’s heraldry.

Bordeaux at the forefront

The city of Bordeaux is home to eleven museums, including the ultra-modern CAPC. Within the walls of this colonialist warehouse is one of France’s largest collections of contemporary and avant garde art. A half-century of culture awaits you inside where the products of a lively artistic scene are displayed against the backdrop of solid stone walls. After your encounter with Bordeaux’s effervescent modern art world, the Musée d’Aquitaine will bring you back down earth with its archaeological collections dedicated primarily to Prehistory and Antiquity.
The cultural city of Bordeaux is before all else a city of creation, as is proven by its substantial music scene. The most beautiful venue of all is found near Place des Quinconces: the Grand Théâtre. This is where Bordeaux’s most refined performances, such as operas and ballets, take place.

Fall for Bordeaux’s delicious culinary specialities

Food lovers will be in heaven in Bordeaux! A city of many flavours, Bordeaux has a culinary heritage that fits perfectly with its sophisticated way of life. During a candlelit dinner, enjoy local specialities such as Pauillac lamb or caviar from the Gironde estuary. If you have the chance, sample a fricassee of Bordeaux Boletus mushrooms to discover the woody flavour of this “king of mushrooms”. While you visit one monument or another, treat yourself to a bouchon de Bordeaux, a small pastry that combines almonds with Fine de Bordeaux, a high-quality local eau de vie.
Naturally, you can’t visit Bordeaux without sampling the famous canelé. This speciality goes far into Bordeaux’s past, though there is no specific proof of its origins. But that hardly matters—the pleasure comes from the expert blend of vanilla, rum and sugar used to make this moist, spongy cake.

Bordeaux, wine and vineyards...

Just as we associate Nice with the sea and Marseille with the Vieux-Port, Bordeaux is automatically associated with wine. Indeed, wine is everywhere in this city; it’s a shared inheritance that visitors can enjoy in all its diversity and on any occasion. While eating lunch, discover the flavours of a Fronsac, taste a generous Graves or give into the sweetness of a Sauternes. For a more distinguished tasting, sample a Château Margaux, a Saint-Emilion or a Pomerol.
If the spirit moves you and you have the time, head out on the roads of the Bordeaux countryside, starting with the splendid B road 2, which winds its way through the Haut-Médoc region. Amidst the vine-covered landscapes, the many beautiful châteaux beckon you to sample their products. The elegant Château Paloumey is the perfect spot for an epicurean break and a tasting of three high-quality wines.
An elegant city where you’ll eat well throughout your stay, Bordeaux stands out thanks to its splendid historic centre, exemplified by the Miroir d’Eau and Place de la Bourse. From your first visit to one of the city’s monuments to your last glass of Haut-Médoc, you’re sure to fall in love with Bordeaux, this jewel of French heritage.

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