Located in the heart of the renowned wine region of France, Bordeaux is much more than a destination for wine lovers. This charming city is also a place where sustainability, pedestrian culture, and cycling blend beautifully. Here is a list of 10 things not to miss in Bordeaux, which will lead you to discover its natural and cultural wonders.

1. Place de la Bourse

Not to miss: if you love taking beautiful photos and refreshing yourself on a summer day

Place de la Bourse, Bordeaux
Place de la Bourse, Bordeaux, photo via Canva PRO

Begin your journey in Bordeaux with a visit to Place de la Bourse, one of the most charming squares in Europe. Its elegant architecture, with the Customs Palace and the magnificent water mirror in front, provides a perfect frame for taking unforgettable photographs.

Built in 1720, this symmetrical royal square is an icon of Bordeaux. Today, thanks to the contemporary work of Michel Corajoud, it is even more fascinating. A thin carpet of water covers the square, reflecting the surrounding facades and the colors of the sky.

The fountain follows a 15-minute cycle: it fills with water for 2 cm, empties for 5 minutes, and then covers with mist for 5 minutes, creating micro-changes in space and offering spectacular views.

2. Parc Bordelais and Jardin Public Bordeaux

Not to miss: if you love greenery and nature

boat ride in the public gardens
Boat Trip in Jardin Public

Bordeaux is a green city, and these two parks are its gems. They are ideal places to relax, have a picnic, or simply stroll through well-kept gardens.

Parc Bordelais is an oasis of tranquility in the city center. Inaugurated in 1888, it features vast expanses of green lawns, centuries-old trees, and picturesque lakes. The park is an ideal place for families, with playgrounds for the little ones and open spaces for outdoor activities. Moreover, during the summer, Parc Bordelais becomes the perfect place for picnics, concerts, and other cultural activities, attracting residents and tourists seeking relaxation and outdoor entertainment.

Jardin Public, or Public Garden, is an even older green jewel, inaugurated in 1746. Characterized by elegant landscaping, with extensive lawns, flower beds, canals, and picturesque lakes, Jardin Public also hosts various statues, a bar, and a summer theater.

3. Bassins des Lumières

Not to miss: if you love contemporary art and cinema

art museum
Bassins des Lumières

This is the place where art meets technology in a surprising way. Immersive projections of works of art make this gallery unique and provide an exciting experience for lovers of contemporary art.

This innovative attraction comes to life inside a converted submarine base dedicated to digital art. Here, you will be immersed in a world of colors, shapes, and sounds thanks to breathtaking digital projections covering the walls and ceiling of the enormous underground structure. The works of art come to life, dancing and transforming before the eyes of visitors, creating an immersive and engaging experience.

4. The City of Wine

Not to miss: if you are passionate about wines

city of wine in bordeaux

Bordeaux is renowned for its wines, and La Cité du Vin is the ideal place to discover their history and culture. This museum, spectacular from an architectural point of view, allows you to explore the history and diversity of wines from around the world through a variety of interactive exhibits and engaging multimedia installations. In addition to learning about the wine production process, you can taste a wide selection of wines from different wine regions. The museum’s panoramic tower offers a spectacular view of the city of Bordeaux and the surrounding vineyards.

5. Grosse Cloche

Not to miss: if you love medieval history

Grosse Cloche, Bordeaux
Grosse Cloche, Bordeaux, photo via Canva PRO

This ancient medieval gate is a symbol of Bordeaux. Admire its Gothic architecture and discover the intriguing stories surrounding this historic structure. Located in the heart of Bordeaux, La Grosse Cloche dates back to the 15th century and is one of the largest and oldest bells in France. The ancient bell, embedded in the iconic Gothic tower, played a significant role in the daily life of Bordeaux over the centuries. It is the ideal starting point to discover the history of the city.

6. The Cathedrals of Saint André, Basilique Saint Michel, and Basilique Saint Seurin

Not to miss: if you love architecture and sculpture

cathedral of bordeaux
Cathedral of Bordeaux, photo via Canva

These architectural wonders represent the historical heritage of Bordeaux. Explore their splendid facades and discover the art and spirituality they guard inside.

The Cathedral of Saint André is an architectural masterpiece and a historical icon of Bordeaux. This majestic Gothic cathedral dates back to the 12th century and is dedicated to Saint André, the city’s patron saint. Its imposing facade is adorned with intricate carved details and Gothic decorations, while inside, stained glass windows create a spectacular light. One of the highlights is the bell tower, from which you can enjoy breathtaking views of the city and the Garonne River.

Basilique Saint Seurin is one of the oldest churches in Bordeaux, with a history dating back to the 4th century. This basilica exudes an atmosphere of ancient spirituality, with its Romanesque columns and crypts housing sacred relics.

Basilique Saint Michel is famous for its 114-meter-high bell tower, which offers breathtaking views of the city. Inside, you can admire beautiful stained glass windows and sacred artworks.

7. Rue Sainte Catherine

Not to miss: if you love shopping

 the center of Bordeaux, near Rue Sainte Catherine
Art in the centre of Bordeaux, near Rue Sainte Catherine

With over 1.2 kilometers in length, Rue Sainte Catherine is the longest shopping street in Europe. You will find a variety of boutiques, fashion shops, and cafes, as well as artworks and street musicians. Rue Sainte Catherine is lively day and night, offering a vibrant urban atmosphere and the opportunity to discover the charm of traditional commerce in one of the most fascinating cities in France.

8. Port of the Moon

Not to miss: if you love walking, skating, or rollerblading

The port of the moon, Bordeaux
Cycling and pedestrian path along the Port of the Moon in Bordeaux
Cycling and pedestrian path along the Port of the Moon in Bordeaux
Cycling and pedestrian path along the Port of the Moon in Bordeaux
Cycling and pedestrian path along the Port of the Moon

The banks of the Garonne River are perfect for a walk, a bike ride, skateboarding, or rollerblading. Enjoy the riverside scenery and the view of the city while engaging in outdoor activities.

The “Port of the Moon,” or “Port de la Lune” in French, is the affectionate name by which Bordeaux residents refer to the picturesque port of the city. This name derives from the curved shape of the Garonne River that crosses Bordeaux, resembling a crescent moon. Along the riverbanks, you will find cafes, restaurants, and shops that invite you to stroll or sit and admire the spectacular view of the city.

9. Lacanau and Le Porge

Not to miss: if you love surfing

Beach near Bordeaux
Beach near Bordeaux

If you are passionate about surfing, Bordeaux is surrounded by some of the best surfing beaches in Europe. Lacanau and Le Porge offer spectacular waves for surfers of all levels.

Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, less than an hour from Bordeaux, Lacanau offers kilometers of golden sandy beaches and spectacular waves, attracting surfers from around the world. In the pine forest just steps from the beach, you can go hiking or cycling, exploring the surrounding natural beauty.

Sand Dune

Le Porge is cherished for its relaxed atmosphere, waves, and expansive white sandy beaches. In this case as well, the surrounding pine forests offer splendid opportunities for hiking and cycling.

10. Dune du Pilat

Not to miss: if you love the wonders of nature

Dune du Pilat
Dune du Pilat

Dune du Pilat, the tallest sand dune in Europe, is located a short distance from Bordeaux, offering spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding forest. It’s a perfect place for a hike in the nature.

In conclusion, Bordeaux is much more than a wine city. It’s a destination that captivates with its architecture, culture, natural beauty, and attention to sustainability. Take advantage of the green and bike-friendly atmosphere of the city as you explore these 10 wonders that make Bordeaux unique and unforgettable.

Original article written by by Silvia Ombellini

Author: Viktoria Szabo

Sono una ragazza di 22 anni che sta vivendo il sogno d'infanzia studiando in Italia e facendo viaggi in tutta Europa mentre scoprendo se stessa e il nostro bellissimo pianeta. Ho sempre avuto una passione per l'ambientalismo, quindi viaggiare in modo sostenibile è sempre stato importante per me. Sono pronta a fare gite in bicicletta, cammini, dormire in tenda o prendere semplicemente un viaggio in autobus di quattordici ore invece di prendere un volo.
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