The Ultimate Guide to Bordeaux
Updated: May 24
Bordeaux is the 6th largest city in France. It is known world wide for its rich Bordeaux wines, but the city itself is simply incredible. We lived here for a year and fell in love with the people, culture, food and wine! We have narrowed down our favorite things to do, what to see and where to eat in Bordeaux!
Things to do in Bordeaux:
Place de la Bourse: Easily the most recognizable monument in Bordeaux. The beauty of the square is the Mirroir du l'eau located across the street. This one of a kind fountain is displayed during the warmer months of the year. It creates the most beautiful reflection of the square at sunset and perfect for a photo! You will will find children playing in the water and misters during the day.
Porte Cailhau: When Bordeaux was occupied by the British, there was a wall built around the entire city. This is one of two remaining entrances to the city built in the late 15th century. You can walk around the "door" and see where it was once connected. This is a square overlooking the porte where there are many cafes to grab a drink and enjoy the view.
Cathedral Saint André . This cathedral is located in the heart of Bordeaux. In front of the cathedral is a beautiful square with some nice cafes to stop and have a drink. Nothing is better than a drink with a view! This is a must see when in Bordeaux!
La Cité du Vin: This is the world's ultimate wine museum! You could spend hours here learning about the production of wine, wine history, and the history of wine in Bordeaux. It is an interactive and futuristic museum. You are given an audio guide and are free to walk around the museum in any order. My favorite section is the history of wine. The museum dates the history of wine back to Egyptian times and the first ever historical evidence of wine. There is also a super interesting section over the impact of wine production in Bordeaux. Included in your ticket is a tasting on the 8th floor of the building in their wine bar overlooking the Garonne river. Tickets are 20 Euros per person. For more information, click here.
Place de Quinconces: One of the largest squares in all of Europe. Many events happen in this park, including a fair! Place de Quinconces is mostly known as a hub for transportation as there is a bus stop and tram stops that connect here.
L'Intendant: One of the coolest wine shops we have ever been to! They have a spiral staircase that leads up 4 floors filled with 20,000 bottles of wine. These are wines only from the Bordeaux regions. It is categorized by region as well with a map of where the wine is created. It is located just across from the Opera House and next to the Intercontinental hotel. Click here to view their website.
Where to eat in Bordeaux:
L'Entrecôte: L'entrecôte in French literally means steak dinner. The restaurant is so unique in that it only offers three things on the menu: a salad, steak, and fries! And oh, do they do it well! I am still dreaming of the sauce that they put over the steak! The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner. There are no reservations possible. It opens at 7 PM for dinner and there is usually a line, so you must get there around 6:30 PM. It is located in the heart of Bordeaux just next to the Opera House. The dinner starts with a traditional French salad, then thin steak and French fries served family style. There are no alternate choices. The only questions the staff will ask you are: How would you like your meat cooked? And what do you want to drink? Try to get a medium well steak, they tend to undercook. It's a very affordable meal with a fixed price of 19.50 euro per person.
4 Course of July 30, 33000 Bordeaux
Comptoir Cuisine: This is an upscale restaurant across the street from the Opera House in Bordeaux! The view of the Opera house only enhances the ambiance and taste of the meal at this restaurant!This is a very traditional French style restaurant in Bordeaux. They offer a wide range of French specialties, including Foie Gras. This is a very popular dish in the Bordeaux area. We loved this restaurant because of the attention to detail. We shared a beautiful three hour long meal here with friends and enjoyed every minute of it! The food was perfectly paired with the wine and the staff was attentive to our needs. Try to make reservations in advance. This is more on the pricy side.
2 Place de la Comédie, 33000 Bordeaux, France
Place Saint Pierre: One of our favorite things to do was enjoy a bottle of wine and cheese platter in the square. This was a much more relaxed atmosphere. Our favorite spot happened to be Place Saint Pierre! This is a small square off of the Rue Sainte Catherine street. They have small cafes outside that sell mouth watering charcuterie and fromage plates. The ambiance is so quintessential France. You can admire the world go by in front of a beautiful cathedral while enjoying your fantastic Bordeaux wine.
Canelés: These are a dessert traditional the Bordeaux region only! You MUST try these while in Bordeaux. The best place to go is La Toque Cuivrée. There is one located across from the Apple store on Rue Saint Catherine near the opera house. They are absolutely delicious! Tradition is that the wine makers would clean the wine tanks with egg whites because it kills all the germs. They had an excess of egg yolk, so these monks decided to use the rum (that they got from French owned islands in the Bahamas) and the egg yolk and made these delicious desserts.
5 Rue Sainte-Catherine, 33000 Bordeaux, France
Bar a Vin: This bar used to be the wine quality control check for wines being shipped to the world. Now it is one of the best wine bars in Bordeaux. Make sure to get there early because it's first come first serve! The wines are all Bordeaux based wines. The waiters can help you chose from different Bordeaux regions and tastes! The best part: each glass is around 3-6 euro. The bar is open from 11-22h.
3, cours du XXX juillet 33000 Bordeaux
Best Time to Visit Bordeaux:
June is a beautiful time to visit Bordeaux! The weather has just warmed up and everything is green from all of the rain. It is warm at this time of the year, but not too hot.
We also loved Bordeaux in November when all the vineyards were turning orange and red. We loved seeing all the colors changing. It is a little on the cooler side, so we did wear a sweater and jeans most of the month.
How to travel to Bordeaux:
Bordeaux has an airport-the Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport. It located about 25 minutes away from the city center by car. It is about 30 Euro to take the taxi from the airport to Centre Ville.
You can take the local bus, Lianes 1+, which makes stops from the Airport to the train station. Tickets can be purchased on the bus with cash and it is only 1.70 euros. It takes about an hour to go from Bus to train station.
If you are traveling from Paris, the easiest way to reach Bordeaux is by train. There is a train that leaves every 45 minutes to Bordeaux.
We hope we have convinced you to visit this beautiful city! It really is a one of a kind French city!
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