Bordeaux

Esplanade des Quinconces © Jonas Witt
Bordeaux is synonymous with its greatest export; wine. Bordeaux wines have commanded respect worldwide since Roman times, when vines were first cultivated in the region. The first winery is said to have emerged around AD 37-38. The lush green countryside captures perfectly the meaning of the French saying la douceur de vivre; 'the sweetness of living'. To the east lie the vineyards of Route de Medoc and the charming medieval town of St-Emilion. The North hosts white-sand beaches on the atlantic coast. The region is also a major stop on the fabled pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella.

The city of Bordeaux itself is one on the rise. Bordeaux is consistently voted one of the best French cities for young people to live in, and has the largest number of preserved historical buildings in France, aside from Paris. The city is tucked into a bend of the Garonne river and houses stone-sculpted palaces, 18th century wine merchant mansions, and stunning contemporary architecture such as the decanter-shaped La Cite du Vin. Bordeaux features several interesting museums, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Musee D'Aquitaine, featuring exhibits of Gallo-Roman statues and relics dating back some 25,000 years.

Wine connoisseurs looking to take home some of their favourite bottles from the region would do well to buy directly from the wine farms. However, shops such as La Vinotheque on cours du XXX Juliet, or L'Intendant and Badie on alless de Tourny are good alternative options. The city also plays host to the world's most famous wine fair, Vinexpo, every two years. The next fair is in May 2019.




Attractions

Basilique St-Michel © Jean-Christophe Benoist

Basilique St-Michel

Constructed in stages between the 14th and 16th centuries, the Basilique St-Michel is a typical Gothic-style church and the main place of Catholic worship in Bordeaux. The main distinguishing feature, the Basilique's tower and spire - which rises to a height of 374 feet...  see full details



Bordeaux Wine Country © Mark Goebel

Bordeaux Wine Country

The area surrounding Bordeaux produces more than 70 million gallons of wine each year, including some of the world's best red wine. Many vineyards are small family-run businesses without staff to cater for tourists, but the larger, more famous wineries organise tastings and tours...  see full details



Grand Theatre de Bordeaux © Christophe Finot

Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux

Designed by renowned architect Victor Louis, the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux was built between 1773 and 1780 and is one of the grandest 18th-century theatres remaining in the world. It served as the National Assembly for the French Parliament briefly in 1781 and was...  see full details



Musee des Beaux-Arts © Alain Muller

Musée des Beaux-Arts

The Musée des Beaux-Arts was established in 1801 and is one of the largest French galleries outside of the capital city of Paris. Featuring the works of artists from the 15th to the 20th centuries, visitors can view the works of Perugino, Titian,...  see full details



Place de la Bourse © Veronique Debord-Lazaro

Vieux Bordeaux

Vieux Bordeaux (old town) centres on the Quartier St-Pierre, which is surrounded by narrow streets, and lined with old churches and grand mansions adorned by wrought-iron balconies and arcading. There has been a lot of restoration over the last few years, but some streets...  see full details


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