The country of France ignites a different emotion and paints a different mental image with whoever you ask; from the delicious fine cuisine to its famous landmarks and having being the home to various famous figures. France is steeped with history and houses a proud culture and identity that branches off and varies slightly with every town you visit. One of the better known cities is Bordeaux, which rests on the Garonne River and is filled with fascinating buildings and activities that is sure to ignite the imagination of any visitor that ventures there! Here is our pocket guide to this beautiful and unique southwest French town…
When to go…
The best time to take to the streets of Bordeaux is suggested to be between June and August and that is when most French and other European tourists visit too. Alternatively, for fewer crowds and lower rates, try coming in spring or autumn. If you are coming for the wine, keep in mind that from September onwards, the wineries start doing their harvests and some won’t be allowing visitors during this time. Coming at Christmas however is perfect if you are looking to feel a little more festive!
The Water Mirror
Located across from Place de la Bourse, this spectacular pool was designed by Michel Corajoud, landscape artist, and creates a mirror effect that reflects its surroundings in a most extraordinary way. The changes within the 2cm of water that lay on a giant slab of granite make this location beautiful and picturesque (to say the least!).
The Jardin Public (translated into Public Garden in English) is a perfectly marries the famous stone stately 18th century buildings in the surrounding area with nature. The Jardin Public offers visitors a relaxing setting to wander through at their own leisure, with century old trees surrounding a pond. The area is very much thriving with people who enjoy walks, jogging and bird watching. This is a great destination if you are looking to take a breather from intensive museum visits and to get away from the hustle and bustle of the inner city.
After the Roman town of Burdigala ceased to exist, the inhabitants moved away from the river and the new city centre that is now referred to as the Saint Pierre district was born. The first church in this area was built on the premises in the middle ages. This area is filled with lovely buildings that line the quays and are seen to be the heart of the city.
La Cite Du Vin
The incredibly designed La Cite Du Vin is a unique cultural centre dedicated to the universal living heritage of wine and offers visitors to go on a spectacular journey around the world throughout the ages and across countless cultures and civilisations. The building offers an immersive, sensory and interactive tour which you are not likely to forget in a hurry!
Things not to miss…
As Bordeaux is well known for its wine, be sure to check out the two hour wine tasting course (this is available in both French and English) at Maison du Vin de Bordeaux, located near the Golden triangle. It is also highly recommended that you take the time to splurge on the art at Le Passage Saint Michel, where you can find everything from Renaissance pieces to 20th century treasures!
Don’t forget to renew your existing E111 or EHIC card before you travel to any European destination. It will ensure that you will be covered when it comes to receiving free or significantly discounted healthcare when in countries included in the EEA.