Bayonne Travel Guide

  • Bayonne
    by bijo69
  • Bayonne
    by bijo69
  • Keep your eyes open for bull
    Keep your eyes open for bull
    by mikey_e

Bayonne Things to Do

  • Biarritz

    If you're staying in Bayonne you should definitely visit nearby Biarritz. This luxurios seaside town started of as a whaling port back in the 12th century. The rich and famous started to swarm to Biarritz in the 19th century when Queen Eugenie began to come to Biarritz regularily.Apart from enjoying the beach and the sea, you can also visit a...

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  • Eglise Saint Esprit

    This church was built in the late 15th century by Louis XI in romanesque and gothic style. It was an important stop for pilgrims on the way to Santiago de Compostela.

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  • Eglise Saint André

    This church was built during the mid 19th century in the Neogothic style, which was typical for that time. It was financed by one of Bayonne's richer citizens.

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  • Basque Museum

    The Basque Museum is a great place to go to learn more about basque tradition and also about the history of Bayonne. I found the exhibits very interesting, but I think they could have been organized a bit better.Opening times: Tuesdays-Sundays from 10am to 6:30pmAdmission is 5,50 EUR, free for everybody under 18Free admission also on the first...

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  • Old Castle

    The Old Castle was built in the 11th century by the Viscounts of Labourd. During the century it was altered a few times and now belongs to the army and therefor can't be visited. You can have a peek into the courtyard though.

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  • Cloister

    The adjoining cloister was built between the 13th and 14th century and was intended as a cemetary. Later it was also used as a meeting place for the city council and as a base for merchants.Opening times: Mondays-Sundays 9am-12.30pm and 2pm-5pm (16.09.-15.05.) 2pm-6pm (15.05.-16.05.)Admission is free

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  • Cathedral Notre Dame de Sainte Marie

    Bayonne's beautiful gothic cathedral was built between the 12th and the 16th century, with the two spires added only in the 19th century.Visiting hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-11.45am and 3pm-5.45pm Sundays 3.30pm-6pmAmission is free

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  • Statue to Charles Martial Lavigerie

    Charles Martial Lavigerie was a pioneer of Catholic-Muslims relations, you could say. Born in 1825 in Bayonne, he taught at the Sorbonne and discovered Islam and Arab culture in Syria. He was an Cardinal and named the Primate of Africa by the Holy See, as he founded the White Fathers, whose mission was to evangelize the peoples of Africa. This...

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  • La Nive

    The Nive is the second, smaller river that runs through Bayonne and that splits Petit Bayonne off from Grand Bayonne. In fact, Bayonne is where the Nive ceases to be a separate river, as the city is at the confluence of this river and the Adour. The Nive is an entirely Basque river: it originates above Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port (Donebane Garazi) and...

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  • L'Adour

    The Adour is the river that flows through Bayonne, cutting Grand Bayonne and Petit Bayonne from the quarter of Saint-Esprit and the train station. It is also a significant river with respect to linguistics and dialectology, as it represents a rough border between the Gascon-speaking areas of Aquitaine and the Basque Country, with Bayonne a mixed...

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  • La Mairie

    French cities generally have pretty impressive town halls (La Mairie). Bayonne is no exception, and if you enter the city from the train station, you will certainly notice the grand building to your right that dominates the entrance to the city. The thing is that the architecture of the building and the square, with a great view of the Adour behind...

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  • Église Saint-Esprit

    The Église Saint-Esprit is in the autonomous commune of Saint-Esprit, which is located across the Adour from Bayonne. The ironic thing is that this commune is home to the Bayonne train station, and as such will likely be the first place you visit in Bayonne if you arrive by train. The Église Saint-Esprit caught my fancy because the architecture of...

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  • The Synagogue

    The Synagogue of Bayonne is not a tourist attraction, and thus it is not officially open to the public. Nevertheless, Jews played a very important role in the city's history, and so it would be mistaken not to include it somehow in a review of the city's attractions. Jews from Spain and Portugal began arriving in Bayonne after the Inquisition, and...

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  • Château-Neuf

    The Château-Neuf is, obviously, the newer version of the Château-Vieux. It sits atop the highest point in Petite Bayonne, in order to provide a look-out over this part of the city, which I don't believe would have been included in the defensive structure of Grande Bayonne (given that the Nive and the Adour separate the two). In the 12th century...

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  • Église Saint-André

    The Église Saint-André might very well be considered something that is off the beaten track, except that it is right below the massive Château Neuf in Petite Bayonne and so pretty hard to miss if you were attracted to that site. I arrived at it because I was wandering around Petite Bayonne looking for an internet café (there appear to be absolutely...

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Bayonne Hotels

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Bayonne Restaurants

  • Good value Bayonne lunch

    Cafe Moka is a brasserie/bar in Petit Bayonne, opposite the Chateau Neuf. It serves excellent value lunchtime formules - for example, starter/main course/coffee for 8.50 euros. There was an extremely wide choice of dishes, freshly cooked and tasty. The staff were extremely helpful and friendly - for example, as I got up to leave, the waitress...

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  • 1* michelin restaurant

    I came for dinner while staying in Biarritz one night. The restaurant has a small but interesting menu. For 80 euro, you can have a 5-course meal- appetizer, seafood plate, meat plate and two desserts. Very good deal indeed. I should have, but I would feel so guilty eating two desserts. So I ordered a la carte instead and ended up paying more for...

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  • Good food...

    Overlooking the Adour River, I waited in the hotel lobby until noon when the restaurant finally opened. For the appetizer, I had mussels baked in saffron sauce. Mmmmm, not bad! The main course was veal with tagatelli. I liked it. The profiterole was mouth watering. The waiter/waitress were very friendly (I choked so bad when the waiter tried to say...

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Bayonne Transportation

  • Local buses

    Quite a few bus lines run between Bayonne and Biarritz via Anglet. Tickets can be bought at special kiosks or tobacconists or from the driver. The single fare is 1,20 EUR.The services usually start after 6am and stop around 9pm.

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  • To Bayonne by train

    Bayonne is located on the TGV line from Paris Montparnasse to the French/Spanish border at Hendaye. It also can reached by regional trains (TER) from Bordeaux or Hendaye.The beautiful train station was built in the early 20th century and is located in the Saint Esprit quarter if town. Must city buses depart from here, as do the buses to Biarritz...

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  • Getting there by car

    Bayonne lies directly at the A63 in the southwestern tip of France. It's just half an hour drive to the border of spain and a 2.5hr drive to Bordeaux.Bayonne is well signposted along the route, the A63 is a part of the route from San Sebastian (Spain) to Paris. From Spain just follow the route to San Sebastian and Irun, then head for the French...

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Bayonne Shopping

  • aaaarrgh's Profile Photo
    choco machinery

    by aaaarrgh Updated Jul 24, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Of course, the Choco Museum is a cunning, generous and imaginative attempt to sell you some Bayonne cocoa products ;-) It is the size of a medium shop and, okay, three quarters of the space is filled with chocolate tools, adverts, molds, grinders and information about Bayonne chocolate. Chocolate was 'discovered' by the Spanish and, because of Bayonne's close links to Spain, the tasty product reached the city in the early 1600's.

    There are a fair number of chocolate makers and chocolate shops in Bayonne. the Choco Museum also makes its own chocolate ~ you can watch its slightly embarassed staff through glass screens.

    FREE ENTRY. The most annoying thing for me about the Musee Choco is their three hour lunch, from 12 till 3pm. I assume they need this time to lick their fingers greedily ;-)

    What to pay: A large bar of Puyodebat chocolate (variety of flavours) will set you back 5 euros. A generous bag of cocoa powder will cost around double that.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Food and Dining

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Bayonne Local Customs

  • Basque Politics

    Ok, I don't want to anger or upset anyone with this tip, so I won't be too detailed, but I do think that it is worth explaining some of the aspects of nationalist politics in the Basque Country. This is especially true for the northern Basque Country (i.e. Bayonne), since any information about Basque nationalist politics in the English language...

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  • Basque lettering

    I've always found Basque lettering interesting and somehow attractive. The Basques use the same Latin alphabet as the Spaniards (that is, it includes ñ and considers rr a single letter), but, like the pre-WWII Germans, a special script is sometimes used to write Basque, especially when it is in signs or titles. It looks rather cartoonish, with some...

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  • The Gascon Language

    I’ve often referred to Bayonne as a Basque city, but that’s really only half true – it is officially a trilingual city, where French, Basque and Gascon (the western-most dialect that makes up he Occitan continuum) coexist. In practice, French is the overwhelmingly dominant language. Everyone speaks its, and it can be used pretty much everywhere and...

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Bayonne Warnings and Dangers

  • mikey_e's Profile Photo
    Storm clouds approaching 2 more images

    by mikey_e Written Dec 17, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Bayonne, Biarritz and Anglet frequently get lumped together and – lucky for Bayonne – are stuck with Biarritz’s glamorous reputation. Bayonne, however, is further inland, at the confluence of three rivers and closer to the mountains. The result is a climate that is not as conducive the spending all your time out of doors. For one, the mornings can be chilly, with heavy mists rolling off the water. These gradually burn off and, in the summer, the temperature can go fairly high. This would be ok, if it weren’t for the third characteristics – heavy spontaneous showers. I was there for two nights and experienced more than a few wet moments, including two incredible thunderstorms. Always, always remember an umbrella and possibly a jacket of some sort, as it is rather unpleasant to go around soaking wet (and highly uncouth, something that will anger the French).

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Bayonne Off The Beaten Path

  • Parc Leon Bonnat

    I don't know that this park is actually called Léon Bonnat, but given that I can't really find a name for it and that it is in fact on Avenue Léon Bonnat, it seemed like this was the best name to give it. It is in a newer part of Grand Bayonne, not far from the Tourist Office and the main Post Office, so I doubt that the park itself is of any...

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  • ProformArt ~ maybe with added...

    ProformArt is a small private art gallery behind Bayonne Cathedral. An exhibition had opened the day before I visited and the gallery was offering free food and drink. Considering they open a fresh exhibition of work every six weeks or so, your chances are reasonable to get free food ;-)The gallery is located on the ground floor of a typical,...

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  • go also to spain(san...

    go also to spain(san sebastian);there are buses from bayonne everyday at 12 o'clock from the ATCRB bus terminal,place des basques,near the tourism office;you can catch this bus in biarritz-javalquinto;In summer,the Bayonne tourism office organizes direct buses bayonne-bilbao every thursday to visit the guggenheim museum;departure from bayonne:9 am

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Bayonne Favorites

  • fabrice's Profile Photo

    by fabrice Written Sep 1, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: of course,the bordeaux area has a lot of wineyards,which give the best and the most expensive wines in the world.I also recommend the atlantic coast(gironde,landes,pyrénées-atlantiques)which have the best beaches in france

    Fondest memory: I already lived in bayonne,biarritz,anglet,saint-jean-de-luz,ciboure,urrugne.I was 11 years in this part of france;this map is the french part of pays-basque;I do not want to get shot,so I will say:northern pays-basque

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Explore Deeper into Bayonne
Cloister of Sainte-Marie de Bayonne
Things to Do
La Poterne
Things to Do
Promenade des Remparts
Things to Do
Le Rempart Lachepaillet
Things to Do
Le Château Vieux
Things to Do
Porte d'Espagne
Things to Do
Cathédrale Ste. Marie
Things to Do
Graffiti
Local Customs
Musée Léon-Bonnat
Things to Do
Musée Basque
Things to Do
City wall
Things to Do
Palmtrees
Things to Do
Church of Bayonne
Things to Do
'Door of Spain'
Things to Do
Cathedrale Sainte-Marie
Things to Do
Bonnat Art Gallery ~ colourful and worthy
Things to Do
Basque Museum - great start to a visit
Things to Do
St Marie Cathedral
Things to Do
French cooking Basque Style.....
Restaurants
Fetes de Bayonne / Bayonne' Festival
Things to Do
Try REAL hot chocolate!
Things to Do
hanging hams...
Local Customs
city center
Things to Do
Map of Bayonne

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