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
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.
Chic Bordeaux has plenty of cool museums, but if you want to see the quirkiest, head for the one that tourists hardly ever visit: La Maison de L’Eau. Unique in France (and pretty rare elsewhere), La Maison de L’Eau water museum is a weird wonderland of wacky hands-on exhibits, wonderfully eclectic artefacts and a few wired experiments focussing on the – far from drippy – theme of H2O.
Think bookstores are boring? Well, think again. Living up to its disreputable moniker, Bordeaux’s La Mauvaise Reputation (bad reputation) prides itself on promoting anything that’s avant-garde or cutting edge. Achingly hip, this far-from-musty paper-vending parlour is also the best place in town to catch art shows, live music gigs and a whole host of arty activities organised by the stores’ innovative team.