Capital of the seafood-loving Aquitaine region, Bordeaux lies along the banks of the River Garonne, and is home to 362 magnificent monuments, several first class museums and a pedestrian shopping zone that’s over a kilometre long. This charming city has also been famous for fine wines since Roman times, and is still at the epicentre of today’s international wine trade. Get some inside information by visiting Bordeaux’s vintners where you can sample and buy sweet whites such as Chateau d’Yquem, and exclusive reds like Chateaux Margaux, and other top wines at hard-to-beat prices. But if you follow our tips and roam off the beaten track, you’ll discover there’s a lot more to buzzing Bordeaux than historical sights, great shopping and posh grape juice.
Main City Paris
Surface 49.36 km²
Density 4,779 /km²
Fancy a pleasant walk along Bordeaux’s Right Bank? Get a bigger picture (and better pix) of this Unesco Heritage town by turning your back on the coach crowds surging towards the neoclassical Grand Theatre and other sights. Instead take a hike over Napoleon’s Pont de Pierre to the Right Bank, and wander through the botanical gardens to admire untrammelled views of Bordeaux’s beautiful baroque façades.
Want to go where the locals in Bordeaux go when looking for a green space? Then slam a beret on your head, grab a baguette and a bottle of wine, and head for the Les Berges de Garonne. An eco paradise planted with a lazy shady selection of trees, this vast (yet surprisingly unknown) park in the centre of town is the place to spend a lazy summer afternoon. Or get more energetic Davy-Crockett kicks by hiring a canoe and heading out to explore that mighty Garonne river.
More fish bar than chic seafood restaurant, Le Petit Commerce is a no frills restaurant with its own shellfish bar, serving some of the best seafood in Bordeaux. At the heart of the Arcachon, a French region famed for its oysters and mussels, this is a real local’s address situated just around the corner from the historic Place du Parlement. Sit at one of the rickety tables covered in chequered tablecloths and order brine-fresh oysters, Basque-style seafood stew, mussels served in a rich garlicky sauce and other seafood delights that are chalked up on a board each day.