Famous for being one of the most spectacular wine growing regions in France the port city of Bordeaux nestles nicely alongside the Garonne River in the South West of the country. With stunning Gothic architecture, graceful fountains, delightful cuisine and brimming with interesting sights to see a break in Bordeaux is sure to be beautiful and let’s not forget the importance of tasting some of the finest wines in the world while relaxing in this wonderful city.
There really is so much on offer when it comes to things to see and do in Bordeaux but there are a few sights that really make this city special and really mustn’t be missed when visiting. Below are a few ideas to inspire you when it comes to spending time in this part of France.
Place de la Bourse
Instantly recognisable of one of Bordeaux’s most iconic landmarks the Place de la Bourse is a breath-taking wonder of the 18th century and took 20 years to build, it represents more than an amazing feat of architectural design it is a symbol of freedom. Freedom from the medieval city walls that once surrounded the city.
Visiting the Place de la Bourse is a must and absorbing its beauty both during the day and at night is the perfect way to see the changes in the design and details. By night the softly lit building has a completely different ambience and romance to its façade. View up close and from afar to really appreciate the details and scale this immense piece of architecture portrays.
Glistening and still sits the Miroir d’Eau, a vast landscape of granite slabs covered in the finest layer of water that replicates Bordeaux’s iconic Place de la Bourse in its reflections. Created in 2006 this modern pool designed by Michel Corajoud creates a modern contrast to the historical landmark sat behind. The water alternates between a still pool and fine misting effect adding drama and excitement to this part of the city. Locals and visitors can all enjoy a cooling paddle in the warmer months and the changing weather all year round creates some fantastic photographic opportunities of this unique combination of old and new together.
Standing powerfully, yet gracefully, at the heart of the city is the Cathédrale Saint-André an impressive feat of architecture that in parts dates back to 1096. With stunning carvings, arches and statues the cathedral can be enjoyed both from the inside and out though there are set opening times and an entry fee is required. View both day and night to really appreciate the changing elements of the architecture within different lighting.
After admiring the beauty of the cathedral climb the Tour Pey Berland a grand bell tower situated next to the Cathédrale Saint-André. From 160 feet in the air, you can admire some of the most spectacular views across Bordeaux and see the architectural details of gargoyles and statues in a lot more detail.
The Cité du Vin
After you have a soaked up the dramatic landmarks head to the Cité du Vin to see a more modern piece of architecture that is the home to all things wine-related. Impressive exhibitions including multimedia experiences, state of the art tasting rooms for of course tasting the wondrous flavours of Bordeaux’s finest creations and let’s not forget the shop that sells no less than 800 wines all of which have been carefully selected and include 200 from France and 600 from all over the world, a modern and interesting environment to learn more about the delights of wine.
The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux
For something a little creative head to the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux where you will find one of the largest art collections outside Paris. Set within a beautiful building the gallery is home to some of the most classical pieces by Delacroix, Matisse, Picasso and Renoir as well as works my key Bordeaux artists such as Albert Marquet, Odilon Redon and André Lhote. The collection here is vast and there is sure to be something to delight the tastes for all, don’t forget to look up opening times before you plan to visit.
With so much on offer in Bordeaux, it really is worth looking up ideas before you visit to ensure you see all you can in the time you have. A few more ideas include… The Place des Quinconces and Le monument aux Girondins, CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art, and The Grosse Cloche.
Whatever you choose to see and do you are sure to have a beautiful break in Bordeaux.