The art of living Bordeaux-style
In a nutshell
The city of Bordeaux, nicknamed "Port of the Moon", is like a mini Paris, it seems. But nothing beats a trip to the region to see how different it is. To introduce it properly, let's start by saying that Bordeaux is the wine capital of the world. It is home to some of the most expensive wines in the world. The city, also known as "La Belle Endormie", has made its ubiquitous vineyards the city's main attraction. Some tourists come to Bordeaux just to enjoy a red wine with a good lamb or beef dish, while others prefer to enjoy a sweet wine at the end of their meal.
Wine is so important in this city that wine bars are springing up like mushrooms. To find out more, the Cité du Vin is an exhibition on the theme of wine and can provide you with more information, located in the Bacalan district. However, the city is not only famous for its wine, it also has an important cultural and historical heritage. Bordeaux, classified as a City of Art and History, attracts more than two million visitors every year and welcomes about 2,900 people who come to live there.
If you want to spend a few days here, there is plenty to keep you busy. There are many places to visit and some great culinary discoveries to be made. Split into two banks, the left is south of the Garonne and the right is the area north of the Dordogne river.
Bordeaux can be explored with family and friends alike. Historic and modern sites and monuments are grouped together. Annual festivities are held to entertain you and bring the inhabitants together. As far as temperatures are concerned, the winters are rather mild in contrast to the summers when it can be very hot with a lot of sunshine. Fortunately, the famous Arcachon basin is nearby, where you can swim and do water sports. If you like climbing, you should know that the highest dune in Europe is located in the Aquitaine region.
The Dune du Pyla has been developed as part of a national site operation for the pleasure of sportsmen. But for the others, don't worry, a staircase is at your disposal for both the ascent and the descent. But coming back down on foot is an exceptional sensation! Bordeaux is known as the largest city in the Gironde, and due to the number of inhabitants and tourists, it is difficult to get around.
Unlike Paris, there is no RER or metro, you can only travel by tram or bus. By the way, the Bordeaux tramway is the first modern tramway network to use the ground power system. You can buy your ticket directly from a ticket office, the cost of the ticket is less expensive than the metro, at around 1.5 pounds. Fancy a night out with friends? Bordeaux has many bars, one of which, on rue Sainte-Catherine, is located in the heart of student life in Bordeaux: Place de la Victoire. At every corner, a building will rise up in front of you and you will be enchanted by the magnificence of these historical works that allow tourists to splurge on postcards and souvenirs. Come and stroll along the old Bordeaux quarters, visit its internationally famous buildings and finish off with a tasting of one of those great wines that the whole world envies.
How to get there?
Bordeaux is direclty accessible by plane from the UK. Flight time from London is just over an hour and a half. Discover flight prices here!
✈️ Flights to BordeauxEasy access to Bordeaux from several cities in the UK and Europe.
Where to stay?
In Bordeaux, there is no shortage of hotels, you'll find them around every corner, in the most attractive or the quietest. From the best value for money to the most prestigious, the choice is yours. You can also decide to stay in an Airbnb.
When should you go?
Throughout the year, temperatures vary greatly. The rainiest months are between October and December, although it is mild. We advise you to go between March and September, as the climate is hot in summer.
How can I visit the city?
The Bordeaux tourist office offers self-guided tours with the help of booklets or guided tours of the city which take place every day at 3pm. You can discover the less frequented areas of the city as well as a wine bar route. The office is open every day to answer your questions or help you with your research.
There is only one airport, Mérignac. You can rent cars on site. To get to the airport, you can take the car or the 30'direct shuttle bus which leaves from Bordeaux Saint-Jean station. By 2023, a direct tramway line will run from Bordeaux Saint Jean to the airport and will be faster. In front of the station you will find some terraces where you can have a drink, if you are hungry there are restaurants and shops inside the station. In some train companies like OUIGO you don't have a catering service so don't forget to eat before the departure of your train!
Take the tram or bus. As the largest city in the Gironde, traffic in Bordeaux is a real headache.
Don't forget your papers, you always need your carte vitale and your identity card. The same goes for your driving licence, if you decide at the last minute to rent a car you need your papers.
Things to avoid
If you want peace and quiet. Bordeaux is a very dynamic city, with sporting events and festivals throughout the year.
What to bring back?
A bottle of Bordeaux
The Gironde region has the largest AOC vineyard in the world. Between reds, sweet whites and dry whites, the Bordeaux vineyards will make everyone agree. Don't hesitate to try the famous Clairet, a rosé with deliciously fruity aromas, served as delicious aperitif.
You don't need to come too loaded, among the many shops you will inevitably buy souvenirs for your loved ones or clothes for yourself, your suitcase will be full so no need to overwhelm yourself on the way out.
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