If you?re planning on visiting the world?s most romantic
country and staying in a luxury gite, France will leave you spoilt for choice,
but one of its most stunning cities has to be Bordeaux. Situated on the River
Garonne, Bordeaux is the capital of France?s world-famous wine region, recognised
not only for its high-quality reds and whites but also for its numerous 18th
and 19th century mansions as well as its excellent range of museums.
There?s plenty to see in this thriving city, so, without further ado, here?s
ten of the highlights you simply need to visit during your time in Bordeaux:
Place de la Bourse
The Place de la Bourse is perhaps Bordeaux?s most recognised
landmark, with its square and surrounding buildings perfect examples of the
region?s late 18th century architecture. The square is also home to
the breath-taking Miroir d?Eau, or Water Mirror, which offers magical views as
it changes the scene it reflects as you move around it ? one minute, you?ll see
the reflection of the Place, the next, the Garonne and the Pont de Pierre will
appear on the water.
Place du Parlement
Found behind the Place de la Bourse is the Place du
Parlement, another excellent display of 18th century Bordeaux
architecture with its own unique atmosphere. Place du Parlement is filled with
richly decorated facades and lined with small restaurants and cafes, perfect
for sitting back and watching the world go by.
La rue Sainte Catherine
La rue Sainte Catherine is Bordeaux?s main shopping street,
and, measuring 1.2km in length, is the longest pedestrian street in Europe.
Connecting the Place de la Victoire to the Grand Theatre, you?re sure to find
plenty of great shops here no matter what you plan on bringing back home.
Place des Quinconces
One of the largest city squares in Europe, there?s always
something happening at the Place des Quinconces, as it regularly hosts events
ranging from flea markets to funfairs and circuses. At the centre of the square
lies a fountain dedicated to the Girondists who died during the French
Revolution, decorated with bronze horses.
Le Grand Théâtre A marvel to look at
just from the outside, many tourists are unaware that you can also admire the
interior with guided tours given every Wednesday and Saturday. Le Grand Théâtre
has one of the world?s most beautiful concert halls, dating back to the 18th
century, the auditorium decorated in extravagant blues and golds. It?s also the
ideal place to head to for some evening entertainment, as it?s home to both the
Opera National de Bordeaux and the Ballet National de Bordeaux.
Cours de l?Intendance
Cours de l?ntendance
is one of Bordeaux?s prettiest avenues, boasting plenty of 18th
century architecture and lined with prestigious stores, perfect for those
looking to bring home a little bit of French luxury with them.
The Tour Pey-Berland
has over 232 steps to climb, but once you reach the top, you?ll be able to take
in some amazing panoramic views that take in the entire city, including the
River Garonne, which flows through the city?s centre. A recognised UNESCO World
Heritage Site, you?ll also find next door the beautiful Cathedral Saint Andre.
Les Quais, le Pont de
Pierre and le Pont Chaban-Delmas
Best explored by bike, this area of Bordeaux is simply
wonderful to explore as you take in the docks which line both banks, punctuated
by shops and green spaces. While exploring this area you?ll also get to take in
the views from two of the city?s most important bridges, the Pont Chaban-Delmas
and the Pont de Pierre, the oldest bridge in Bordeaux.
Wine tasting at the CIVB
If it?s high-quality wine you?re looking for, there?s no
need to venture out of the city ? the CIVB (Bordeaux Wine Council) offers
2-hour wine tasting courses from Monday to Saturday during the summer, and on
the last Saturday of each month for the rest of the year. You?ll also get to
try a local specialty, cannelés, custard-filled pastries, perfectly paired with
one of the local wines.
Marché des Capucins
Open almost every morning, the Marché des Capucins is the
quintessential Bordeaux market and the oldest in the city. Here you?ll find all
manner of fresh and local goods, from fruits and vegetables to meats, cheeses,
breads and flowers.
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