Staying in Bordeaux: city map, gastronomy
The city of Bordeaux, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007, is a city of Aquitaine known for its good wine, its history where gastronomy, sun and southwestern heat are mixed. Here is the Bordeaux guide for a successful stay.
The city map
First of all, it is very easy to get around in Bordeaux: streetcars, buses, trains and vécub (self-service bicycles). There are three tramway lines in Bordeaux:
– Tramway A which goes from Carbon Blanc to Mérignac via Mériadeck (shopping center).
– Tramway B which goes from Pessac (from the train station, easy to access) to Claveau along the quays and through the university area.
– The streetcar C which goes from Aubiers to Bègles (Bordeaux agglomeration). It is therefore easy to get around and discover the city of Bordeaux and its surroundings. As far as places to visit are concerned, there are streetcar stops at the Bordeaux Cathedral (line B), the Grand Théâtre (line B), the Quinconces (line A and B, to go to the water mirror), the Victoire (line B, the main square of Bordeaux) or Sainte Catherine (main shopping street) and the Chaban-Delmas stadium (line A) if you feel like supporting the Bordeaux team. Moreover, the train stations of Pessac and Bordeaux are accessible by streetcar (line B and C) if you want to go to the Arcachon basin.
If you are looking for a good meal, there are several places in Bordeaux that may interest you:
– First of all, the Saint Pierre district, the old Bordeaux, is the restaurant district, there is something for everyone: exotic restaurants, pizzerias or French gastronomic restaurants. Not far from the district and the Place Saint-Pierre, in the perpendicular streets, there are several small bars if you want to continue your evening with a good glass of Bordeaux wine.
– You can also go to the Grand Théâtre, where hotels and four star restaurants are waiting for you or the restaurant “l’Entrecôte” very popular in Bordeaux, you must reserve your table or arrive at 7pm to be able to eat there.
– La Victoire will satisfy you if you are looking for bistros and small bars. On Thursdays, the night of the student parties, this place is full of people who want to party.
If you want a walking tour with a local lets talk with Manh Tran ( he own this blog visit the website to contact him ) he know very well every corners in this beautiful city
City of wine but not only, Bordeaux is the ideal destination for a long weekend, summer or winter: its small pedestrian streets, its stores full of delicious sweets, its famous Sainte-Catherine street, its cosy restaurants, its Christmas market, its seaside and of course… its castles! All reasons are good to visit Bordeaux…
15 things to do in Bordeaux for a successful stay!
And if you don’t know where to start to discover “la Belle Endormie”, here is our selection of 15 things to do in Bordeaux for a successful stay!
1. Walk on the water mirror
Created by the fountain designer Jean Max Llorca, the “water mirror” of Bordeaux is the largest in the world. Inside, you can observe the reflection of the Place de la Bourse and the quays. Since its opening in 2006, it is a place not to be missed in Bordeaux!
Times: The water mirror is open every day from 10am to 10pm (except in winter).
To get there : Tram C : stop Place de la Bourse.
2. Taste a canelé
This little sweet flavored with rum and vanilla is emblematic of the city of Bordeaux.
To taste the reference in the matter, go to one of the 13 Baillardran stores in the city and don’t forget to choose your cooking! You can even learn how to prepare them at the canelé school at the Atelier des Chefs, 36 Place Gambetta.
Address Bar à canelés Baillardran : 76 RUE SAINTE CATHERINE
3. Have a glass of wine in the Saint-Pierre district
This is the place to go if you want to spend the evening in a wine bar and taste the best wines of the region.
To get there : Tram A : stop Place du Palais. Streetcar C : stop Place de la Bourse.
And if you are charmed by the area, do not hesitate to book a hotel for your stay!
4. Take a walk along the quays
Bordeaux’s quays are a great place to stroll and discover the city’s most important tourist sites such as the Parc Saint Michel, the Place de la Bourse, the Pont de Pierre or the Cité du Vin. You will also find outlets of great brands.
5. Climb to the top of the Pey Berland tower
Named after Archbishop Pey Berland, this tower is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site and allows you to admire the superb panorama of the city.
Opening hours : Open from Tuesday to Sunday (every day in summer) from 10am to 12:30pm and from 2pm to 5:30pm.
Rates : 5€ for reduced rates, 6€ for all. Free admission on the first Sunday of the month from November to May.
To get there: Trams A and B: Hôtel de Ville stop.
6. Enjoy a plate of oysters
If you spend more than a weekend in Bordeaux, take a little trip to the Arcachon basin. A little extra for seafood lovers: oysters! Accompanied by a small glass of white wine and buttered toast, the oysters of Arcachon will make the happiness of fine gourmets!
7. Visit the Arcachon basin
Take the boat and visit the basin. You will discover the emblematic “tchanquées” huts on stilts and the beautiful “île aux oiseaux” located in the town of Teste-de-Buch.
8. Cross the Quinconces square
The largest square in Europe, the Place des Quinconces, which takes its name from the quincunx arrangement of the trees on top of it, is home to the impressive Monument aux Girondins, classified as a historical monument. You will be impressed by the grandeur of the place!
9. Visit Cap Sciences
This scientific museum in Bordeaux has many exhibitions, for adults as well as for children.
Times: Tuesday to Friday from 2 to 6 pm (and Monday during school vacations), Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 7 pm.
Prices: Free for children under 5, 5€ for children under 26, 8€ for adults.
10. Take a wine initiation course
Bordeaux is the ideal city to learn about wine and oenology. The wine school offers workshops, evening classes and courses on wine.
More information : www.bordeaux.com/wschool/fr/ecoleduvin
11. Take a surfing course
If you want to discover the surroundings of Bordeaux and enjoy the ocean, head to Cap-Ferret or Lacanau and enjoy the local sport: surfing. You can also attend international competitions like the Lacanau Pro, usually in mid-August.
You can reach Lacanau from Bordeaux with the Transgironde bus: it takes about 95 to 120 minutes.
12. Visit the village of Saint-Emilion
If the name tells you something, it’s normal! The eponymous village of the Grand Cru, Saint-Emilion, is a must for all wine lovers. You can visit the cellars and even do a little tasting. Visit Bordeaux in an original way! A must if you travel by car.
13. Tour the vineyards of Pessac Léognan
We continue on the wine road! Located in the south of Bordeaux, this production area benefits from an appellation of controlled origin and includes 10 villages: Cadaujac, Canéjan, Gradignan, Léognan, Martillac, Mérignac, Pessac, Saint-Médard-d’Eyrans, Talence and Villenave-d’Ornon. You will be able to taste wines from the famous Chateau Haut-Brion estate.
14. Visit the Saint-Michel market on Saturday morning
The Saint-Michel market, also known as the Royal market, gathers more than 160 merchants offering delicious food products but also other goods of very good quality.
Address: Place Canteloup et Meynard – 33800 Bordeaux
When to go : every Saturday morning, between 7am and 1pm.
15. Taste the macaroons of Maison Larnicol
When you think of macaroons, the first thing that comes to mind is the macaroons of Paris. However, Bordeaux is not to be outdone when it comes to sweets!
We advise you to try the macaroons of the Maison Larnicol: a reference in the world of pastry!
Address : 1 cours de l’Intendance, 33000 Bordeaux
16. See an exhibition at the CAPC
Formerly known as the Centre d’arts plastiques contemporains, the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Bordeaux hosts many artistic events and exhibitions throughout the year.
Opening hours : Tuesday to Sunday from 11am to 6pm. Nocturnes on Wednesday (until 8pm).
Rates: 4€ for reduced rates, 7€ for full rates. Free admission on the first Sunday of each month (except in summer).
To get there: Tram B: CAPC stop. Streetcar C: Jardin Public stop.