Bordeaux Travel Guide

  • Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux
    Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux
    by Sambawalk
  • Place Quinconce
    Place Quinconce
    by violette_ca
  • Bordeaux
    by PALLINA

Bordeaux Highlights

  • Pro
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    ceswho says…

     Tremendous Architectural Heritage, Great Wines and superb cuisines 

  • Con
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    nzobx says…

     Quite rainy during winter 

  • In a nutshell
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    aaaarrgh says…

     Friendly, amazing architecture, lively city with good attractions 

Bordeaux Things to Do

  • Cathedral Saint Andre

    The massive Cathedral St. Andre at Place J. Moulin is one of the centerpieces of central Bordeaux. Even with the large square it is almost impossible to get a photo of the entire cathedral. There are regularly scheduled organ concerts featuring the massive organ in the back. It took over 800 years to complete beginning with the 12th century...

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  • Grand Theatre

    Right in the middle of the city center at place comedie, is the regal Grand Theatre. Unfortunately the music/ballet season was over in July, but on the plus side they turned the theatre into a museum featuring the costumes of the myriad of ballets and opera staged there. The inside is quite stunning, with decorated boxes allowing full wonderful...

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  • Place de la Bourse

    Also known as Place Royale, this is a perfect example of Bordeaux architecture at the end of the 18th century. This is a beautiful line of archways and slate roofs, with an impressive fountain in the centre - a setting made even more magnificent when it is lit up at night. There is a superb view of the Garonne river's right bank from this square.

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  • Esplanade des Quinconces

    The Esplanade des Quinconces is France's largest square and one of the largest in Europe. It was laid out in the 19th century on the site of the former Château Trompette and is surrounded by trees that were planted in a specific pattern, a so-called "quinconce" (like the 5 pips of a dice). While the larger part of the square is not really inviting...

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  • Tour Pey-Berland

    The belfry of Cathédrale St André is a curious building. First of all, it's not part of the cathedral, but a few meters away from it. This was meant to protect the structures of the cathedral from the vibrations of the bells, but also as a safety measure as the ground was rather swampy. However, being built as a belfry doesn't necessarily mean that...

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  • Walking

    I can personally recommend BordeauxWalkingTours.com Patricia has some standard walking tours she does and will customize a tour to your needs as well. She has an amazing knowledge base of the history of Bordeaux and France and a background in architecture that seems to make any humble streetscape come to life. 2 thumbs...

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Bordeaux Hotels

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Bordeaux Restaurants

  • The Most Typical French Cafe in Bordeaux

    This is definitely one of the loveliest places I've been to: the tiny Cafe Casse Croute on Place St Michel in Bordeaux. A few old chairs and tables covered with red-and-white plastic tablecloths, a decanter filled with ruby-coloured red wine, a few slices of baguette, a fresh salad, a lot of conversation about everything from Sarkozy to the...

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  • Just like Mom's

    Another one of the many restaurants around the lower end of Rue Sainte Cathérine, "Chez Maman" was a very good choice. We went for the 16 euro "formule" which was really good: a lot of food, very good quality and a lowish price. The waiters were friendly, the service was quick - all in all a good experience. My starter, French onion soup, was...

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  • Great food, but very slow service

    While we normally tried to eat a bit away from the main tourist spots, we went here for my final night in Bordeaux. The location is just perfect: under the shadow of an old tree directly on the beautiful Place Saint Pierre. Naturally, this meant higher prices than normally and unfortunately also a worse service...The food, however, was perfect: I...

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  • Yummy food

    La Remise is located in the heart of the old town just around the corner from Place St. Pierre. This is an area where dozens of restaurants tout for the attention of the passers-by, so it is rather a hit-and-miss thing if you get something good or if you march into a tourist trap with your eyes open. La Remise belongs to the former category: the...

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  • Good Food, Good Value

    Le Vieux Chaudron is a central place with good food for a really good price: the 3-course menue is available for only 13 Euros! Naturally, you can't expect 5-star-cuisine for this price, but none of our group of 10 was disappointed either. Furthermore, the staff at this place is really friendly and patient, and the general atmosphere with some...

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  • My Favourite Restaurant in Bordeaux

    This small restaurant offers real Italian food - not the pizza and pasta mishmash you often get at the bigger chain restaurants. All dishes on offer cost around 7 Euros which is great value for what you get. There are, for example, a tasty Lasagna or chicken wings marinated in aioli and lemon juice; you can get a plate of mussels or Bruschette with...

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Bordeaux Nightlife

  • Nicest cinema in Bordeaux

    Believe it or not, the cinema has been built in a XVth century church.It's a cinema "d'art et d'essai" with a careful selection of movies coming from everywhere, all shown in original version, of course.(but don't forget that culture is often more fun than boring) No food, no drinks, no phones. You're not in your average hollywood factory.

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  • Dinner Cruises

    There are tour boats docked on the river along the Quai de Louis XVIII opposite the Rostrales of the Quinconces that offer afternoon and evening cruises of the river with views of the adjacent activities. We have been on many of these elsewhere and although they are a nice evening, we opted to splurge on a fine seafood dinner instead (see our...

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  • A Night At the Theater

    As part of the annual chamber music festival, a concert for viola and piano was performed at the Theater on our second night in Bordeaux. We were able to buy balcony (unreserved) tickets which provided an enjoyable evening. We lost the program but the main feature was one of our favorites: Brahm's Op. 120 , two very late sonatas for clarinet and...

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Bordeaux Transportation

  • Bicycle storage on local trains

    Many of the local trains have special room to store a bicycle. This made it very easy to travel between towns, unload my bike and begin exploring. The conductors were very helpful in making sure I was pointed in the right direction for the bicycle storage.

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  • Esprit Cycle

    I found that renting a bicycle from a local shop in Bordeaux a most excellent way to explore Bordeaux. While the tram and bus system is convenient, having a bike enabled me to easily go from one place to the next. Plus Bordeaux has many bike lanes that cover most of the main routes in the city. The bike was relatively tame, medium tires, a rack on...

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  • Bus and Tram

    Bordeaux has an excellent public transportation system that is easily used in town, but also connects to the suburban areas and convention center on the outskirts of town. For the trams, tickets on a trip by trip basis can be bought at the tram stops. In July 2011 it was 1.40E per trip. The machines did not appear to take paper money, but did take...

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Bordeaux Shopping

  • Very cool wine shop

    A very friendly wine shop/art gallery located right in the heart of the real Bordeaux, between capucin market and Saint-Michel.The wine selection is great: local and worldly varieties. We had a very cool cheese and wine tasting for a very low price. It was so much fun ! I highly recommend this place Wine

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  • Bad Taste

    This must be a shop with a whole new concept: instead of selling best-selling books or second-hand books or the like it specialises in books with a bad reputation. In most cases, this means books that feature a topic that is somehow taboo, such as weird art, photography or music. Or sex, as a matter of fact. You won't find smut here, but stuff for...

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  • Shopping Heaven

    Bordeaux is a shopping heaven: Not only are there the well-known brands but also very many smaller shops with their own independent collection. You can get literally everything in the streets in the city centre: rue Ste. Cathérine is the 2km long pedestrian zone with the majority of the larger chains such as H&M, Fnac, Galeries Lafayette, C&A etc....

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Bordeaux Local Customs

  • Graffiti Bordeaux

    Bordeaux has some super graffiti, murals and street art, despite being such an ancient historic city. No doubt it is related to the fact there are over 60,000 students in the city! I came by train to Bordeaux and noticed there was graffiti 'peices' on almost every spare wall by the tracks for the last few km's of the journey.The city council cracks...

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  • Bordeaux Wine

    Bordeaux is a wine lovers paradise. Its famous red wines are recognised all over the world. The prices are good here and the quality is excellent. We tried many locals wines at the restaurants in the city and at a wine festival which coincided with our visit.

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  • Tipping

    In most restaurants tipping is not required as service is included. Some restaurants will try to encourage you to leave an additional tip by bringing your change to you in small shrapnel. Don't worry, save the small change for paying buskers who play nearby and will be satisfied with any coins you have to hand.

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Bordeaux Warnings and Dangers

  • Avoid Children's Clothing Stores

    The French have a passion for dressing-up their children and grandchildren hence it is not surprizing to encounter places like tthis on the walking-shopping streets. Our 4 year old grandson was soon scheduled to go fishing with his Bass Master father for the first time. We saw a complete outfit in green khaki from hat to boots. We did not buy the...

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  • Foreigner be careful

    Not a danger but be careful. After got thru x ray machine and waiting to go waiting area have to go thru police. They suspect something not right with my passport and i have to wait 40 minute. I think they got not enough info or maybe my new passport is laminated by unclear picture. Not my fault because since last 2 years Malaysia introduce new...

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  • Landmines

    French are really fond of dogs, who scatter pavements with unwanted subproducts. However, a french saying tells us that when you step one with your left foot it's a sign of good luck coming.As far as I have seen, it's overall a sign of a smelly shoe, and a sore bottom if you slip on it !

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Bordeaux Off The Beaten Path

  • Bordeaux in Moscow

    I (and you) may refresh our memory about Bordeaux even without leaving Moscow. We should go to the Main Building of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts and see a plaster cast of Apostles from St Andre Church in Bordeaux.Every time I visited this museum since my childhood I admired by this masterpiece… Never knew that I would be able to watch it...

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  • Reserve Naturellle - Marias de Bruge

    Located roughly 8-10 Km North of Bordeaux, there is a natural reserve and protected habitat. Even bicycles are not permitted once inside. Open between 10 and and 18:00, it is serene place for viewing wildlife.

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  • Le Lac

    Approximately 4 KM from the city center is Le Lac, a small lake with swimming, boating and other recreational activities, including a sand volleyball area. Set among pine trees, it is a nice place to relax or picnic. I reached it via a short bicycle ride, but Tram C takes you to within a hundred yards.

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Bordeaux Sports & Outdoors

  • Avoid the visitors section of the...

    Girondins de BordeauxThe visitors section is fenced and from where we sat you could only see one third of the pitch. Very disappointing.Both sets of supporters created a good atmosphere but not being able to watch the game properly completely spoilt the trip. Just as well Liverpool won or my memories would have all been very negative.

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  • The Stade Lescure

    The Stade Lescure, also known as Stade Chaban-Delmas. Buiilt in 1924 with an all seater capacity of 35,200.Man Utd actually won away for a change. 2-1.

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  • Match Tickets

    Why cant all football grounds behave like this?We were able to buy 4 match tickets for the Bordeaux v Man Utd Champions League Match from the Ticket Office at the Ground on the morning of the match, with no hassle!A great city !

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Bordeaux Favorites

  • The "Grosse Cloche" Is Not a Clock

    Cloche is French for bell and clocher means belfry (or bell-tower), derived from Celtic clocca or clang (the sound of a bell). A large clock in French is "horloge". This tower (actually originally a belfry part of a gate in the city wall is from the 13C. There were no clockwork mechanisms developed at that time. There is a modest bell in the arch...

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  • St.-Michel's Belfry & Freestanding...

    The belfry of the Church of St.-Michel was erected at the end of a church complex at the end of the 15C. The intervening church buildings were destroyed during the Revolution. This is what also befell buildings at the Cathedral leaving the Tour Pey-Berland isolated. This is why there are many free standing belfries like this in France (We have seen...

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  • Where comfy shoes to explore this...

    I would recommend highly that while you are visiting Bordeaux to wear comfortable shoes. It's an easy navigable city and most of the sights you will want to see are within short distances from eachother. Wearing comfortable shoes is a must since some of the streets are cracked or uneven. Even if you wear comfortable shoes beware, as you can take a...

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Explore Deeper into Bordeaux
Basilique Saint Michel
Things to Do
Musee des Beaux Arts
Things to Do
Palais Gallien
Things to Do
Quartier des Chartrons
Things to Do
Pey-Berland
Things to Do
The Quais
Things to Do
Croiseur Colbert
Things to Do
Walking tour
Things to Do
Basilique Saint-Seurin
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La Grosse Cloche
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Porte Cailhau and the other city gates
Things to Do
Esplanade des Quinconces
Things to Do
Palais Gallien
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Quartier Saint Michel
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Basilique Saint Michel
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Basilique and Tower of St-Michel
Things to Do
Watching movies in a former church
Things to Do
Strolling through the Old Quarter
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Girondins Monument and Fountain
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VCUB - The best way to get around in Bordeaux
Transportation
Kebabs
Restaurants
Place de la Victoire
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Gravalier - in Chartrons
Restaurants
Grand Theatre
Things to Do
Musee d'Aquitaine
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Wine tour around Bordeaux
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Homage to Goya
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L'amelodie - Place du Palais
Restaurants
L'Eglise St Louis
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Place du Palais
Things to Do
Musee des Beaux Arts
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Palais Gallien
Things to Do
Wine Tasting
Things to Do
Cathedral St. Andre
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Carre - in Place des Chartrons
Restaurants
A central restaurant with good food
Restaurants
Great Food
Restaurants
Miroir d'Eau
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Museum of Aquitaine
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Saint Bruno, c.1032-1101.
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Map of Bordeaux

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