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Our 48-Hour Bordeaux Travel Guide

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Between culture, wine and gastronomy, the pearl of Aquitaine will surprise you with its unique beauty, its gentle lifestyle and its many good addresses. Bordeaux is the perfect gateway for an urban escapade before dropping your bags by the sea or exploring the region’s prestigious vineyards. Keen to discover the world’s largest UNESCO World Heritage site, with 347 listed buildings? On foot or by bike, go with the flow along the Garonne, with this Bordeaux travel guide.

The best way to explore the city and its finest treasures!

Bordeaux Travel Guide: Day 1

A stroll through the historic centre

Because of its role as a wine-producing region and trading port for over 2,000 years, Bordeaux, also called “Port de la Lune”, has benefited from a variety of influences over the centuries. This is perhaps why it boasts such a rich and harmonious urban and architectural ensemble, stretching along the left bank of the Garonne.

To truly feel the heartbeat of the old town and appreciate its most attractive historical monuments, venture out to explore its narrow streets, cafes, restaurants and boutiques. 

From the Saint-Michel to the Saint-Pierre neighbourhoods, don’t miss these architectural masterpieces:

  • Flèche Saint-Michel, which rises to a height of 114 metres 
  • Grosse Cloche, a remnant of Bordeaux’s ancient ramparts
  • Place du Parlement, lined with 18th-century buildings 
  • Porte Cailhau, another remnant of the ramparts to visit 
  • Grand-Théâtre, now home to the Opéra National

A relaxing break on the Place des Quinconces

Surrounded by tall trees, this large square is a regular venue for events and festivals. Its creation, which took about 10 years to complete, dates back to the early 19th century, when it was built on the site of a former fortress. 

In addition to enjoying a break in the shade and some peace and quiet, don’t miss the Monument aux Girondins. At 43 metres high, this famous column is topped by a statue of Liberty and surrounded by fountains.

Cité du vin - voyage à Bordeaux / Bordeaux travel guide
Cité du Vin

Immerse yourself in the interactive world of Cité du Vin  

Whether you’re a connoisseur of fine wines or simply curious to learn more about the world of wine, this immersive experience spanning six exhibitions is not to be missed. 

Discover the history of wine from ancient times to the present day, test your five senses, travel through the different wine-growing regions of France and the world, and discover how this exceptional product is made. These are just some of the experiences that await you at the heart of this modern 3,000 m2 space.

Allow 2 to 3 hours for this fun and entertaining visit, which ends with a glass of wine on the building’s panoramic decanter-shaped terrace.

Psst! If you’re not interested in wine, you can also visit the Bassins des Lumières, the largest digital art centre in the world.

A stroll along the quays of Bordeaux 

After exploring the streets of Old Bordeaux and visiting to the Place des Quinconces, head to the banks of the Garonne. Whatever the time of day, the quayside offers a peaceful atmosphere for a walk along the water. If you’re hungry, head to the Chartrons, the former headquarters of foreign wine merchants. You’ll find that the area has retained its authentic character, even taking on the air of a village.

Our favourite addresses in the Chartrons neighbourhood:

Bordeaux Travel Guide: Day 2

A gourmet brunch 

There’s no shortage of good cafes and restaurants in Bordeaux, making it a destination that will particularly appeal to brunch lovers. Whether you’re looking for a coffee and a canelé, a typical Bordeaux pastry, or the full experience, the historic centre is home to several addresses that will delight foodies. Here are a few of our favourites: 

An inspiring visit at Darwin

While most of the city’s attractions can be found on the left bank of the Garonne, the right bank has been given a breath of fresh air in recent years, thanks in large part to the creation of the Darwin ecosystem

Housed in a disused military barracks, this alternative space invites you to discover a variety of creative projects, from a skate park to an organic bistro-dining hall, eco-friendly boutiques, a distillery and numerous works of street art. 

On weekends, the space attracts families, teenage groups and travellers passing through Bordeaux. To get there, take the stone bridge or the river shuttle.

Place de la Bourse - voyage à Bordeaux / Bordeaux travel guide
Place de la Bourse © bordeaux-tourisme.com

A photoshoot at Place de la Bourse 

Back on the left bank, head to Place de la Bourse, on the banks of the Garonne. Designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel, a renowned 18th-century architect, this space, built between 1729 and 1755, is a typical Bordeaux postcard. 

In recent years, this magnificent square has been enhanced by the famous Miroir d’eau. This attracts amateur and professional photographers alike, who try to capture the reflection of the facades in the water, as well as Bordeaux locals looking for refreshment.  

For the ultimate experience, visit the square at sunset, when the water-covered granite slab reflects a colourful landscape back at you.

Cover photo credit: Nicolas-Duffaure, Bordeaux Tourisme

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