The Romantic City of Bordeaux, France
Bordeaux, the capital of Gironde, is one of the most poetic and romantic cities! Located southwest of France, around 500 km (310 miles) from Paris. The city lies along the Garonne River, and the river divides the city into two parts: the right bank to the east and the left bank to the west.
The city has been famous for high-quality wine production since 2000-years-ago when the first vineyards were planted in Roman times. Bordeaux is not the place to miss if you are a wine lover!
15 Things to See in Bordeaux, France
Ponte de Pierre
Ponte de Pierre is a beautiful bridge that you can’t miss! You can cross by foot, bike, or bus, and the tram stops near both ends. Napoleon built the bridge for military purposes to move his troops quickly towards the south, such as Spain. The 17 arches of the bridge corresponding to the name of Napoleon Bonaparte’s characters.
Walking across these beautiful 17 arches during the day or sunset gives you marvelous views of the City Center. It’s worth spending a bit of your free time here.
Place de la Bourse & Miroir d’eau
The Miroir d’eau is the world’s largest reflecting pool, covering 3,450 square meters. To the front is Place de la Bourse with the backdrop of the Garonne River. It is simple, beautiful, and valuable! With the climate crisis, several cities will start considering building such water mirrors, which could offset air temperature.
Grand Théâtre is a classical-style opera house designed by the architect Victor Louis and inaugurated on April 1780 with a capacity of 1,100. On its façade, the 12 Corinthian columns are topped with 9 muses and 3 goddesses designed by Pierre Berrurer. Its auditorium is renowned for its excellent acoustics experience. You can visit this magnificent building for 10 euros or book a show for a romantic artistic day.
Saint-André Cathedral dates to the 11th Century, but it has been partly rebuilt a few times. It is stunning in size and history. The hundreds of years of history are reflected in architecture: high vaulted ceilings and beautiful stained glass windows. Take your time to explore all the historical sections and admire the details. The square outside the Cathedral was open and airy.
Monument des Girondins
The monument des Girondins is an impressive fountain in the historic center at the Place des Quinconces, right by Quai Louis XVII along the Garonne River. The trams stop right next to the monument with a large area of trees around it. The Monument consists of a huge fountain and a tall column with a statue of Liberty breaking its chains on top.
It’s an impressive sculpture structure dedicated to the local Girondin political revolutionaries killed during the Terror (1793-4). The Monument was completed in 1902 and is 54 meters tall. It is worth a detour to wander around.
The thirty-five meters tall Porte Cailhau is another monumental building you must see from both sides, walk through it and grab a piece of history in 15 minutes. During the day, you can visit this 35 meters high defensive gate. The spiral staircases will take you to the rooftop to admire the spectacular view of the Garonne River and Ponte de Pierre.
Porte de Bourgogne
Porte de Bourgogne was built in the 18th Century to begin as the old Road to Paris. It used to be an official entrance to the city of Bordeaux for most people, as opposed to Porte Cailhau’s entry was used by commerce for goods coming into the city.
The gateway will take you to the historical old town where you can find shops in the first few blocks selling household items, local leather products, bags, the discount fabric shop, and more; The outside of Porte de Bourgogne is directly ahead of Ponte de Pierre to leave the city.
Another remarkable landmark of Bordeaux to visit while strolling through the streets without going too far from the city center. Grosse Cloche is a historic site that dates to the 15th Century, and it was built to be the Bell Tower of the local Town Hall nearby. The bell rings to signal the harvest time, or it could also be a fire warning.
Both facades are attractive, and the tower is extra beautiful when basking in the sunlight under the blue sky. You can also visit the tower for 6 euros per person in 30 minutes.
One of the most audacious architecture courts in the world. One side appeared to be a traditional court with immense statues, while the new side had a futuristic appearance. The concept is daring, original, and out-of-box. The external glass structure represents transparent justice, while the barrel-shaped audience rooms recall the winemaking tradition of Bordeaux.
Jardin Public is a pleasant and peaceful park not far from the river and the city center, where you can stop and relax or enjoy a good stroll. Behind the park is a former palace which forms a beautiful backdrop. There are plenty of grass areas and benches to sit on. There is a pond with bridges in the middle of the park.
Cite Du Vin
Cite Du Vin is an interactive museum if you are interested in wine, its history, and its future. Easy to arrive by tram, very informative, and interesting for both beginner and experienced wine lovers. Multilingual audio guides are included in the tour. Cite Du Vin is a massive wine museum, so give yourself enough time to see what it offers. A complimentary glass of wine (or a non-alcoholic drink) with a panoramic view of Bordeaux to close the tour.
Pont Chaban Delmas
Pont Jacques Chaban-Delmas is a lift bridge inaugurated in 2013. The center section of this modern bridge is designed to be raised 50 meters using huge pulleys built into the towers to allow cruise boats to pass by. You can cross the bridge by car, foot, or bike. This bridge is impressive when viewed from the side of the river but is even more stunning when to sail under it.
This reinvented urban space is situated on Bordeaux’s right bank in the Bastide district. Darwin Ecosystem was a former industrial and military site renovated to attract new entrepreneurs, street artists, skaters, and shoppers. It is a richly creative and dynamic space where you can find food, micro wineries and breweries, drinks, bookshops, concept stores, and other activities. Good music, positive vibes to a nice chat with friends.
Jardin Botanique may not be the prettiest and the most amazing garden, as you can notice while browsing through some online reviews. But it is an interesting site if you have young children or want to explore the variety of plants around the world.
Lion bleu (Blue Lion)
Lion bleu was created in 2005 by the french artist Xavier Veilhan and placed on Place Stalingrad. Made from composite materials such as polystyrene and polyester resin on a metallic frame, it is 8 meters long and 6 meters high with an oversized tail. You can’t miss it after crossing the Pont de Pierre to the right bank of Bordeaux.
Choose a Sustainable Hotel
Being a sustainable traveler is more crucial than ever. Climate change is a serious problem! The article on why responsible travel matters mentioned that we all could take our part to make more sustainable choices while traveling.
Did you know that a 4*hotel uses approximately 800 liters of water per person per night? Did you know that a 5*hotel uses up to 1800 liters of water per person per night? Making choices to stay in hotels or other accommodations with environmental and social policies can help.
All Suites Bordeaux Marne – Gare Saint-Jean is located in the city center. The rooms were clean and spacious, with a comfortable large double bed. A large private bathroom and a small kitchen are included in the room. The hotel is soundproofed to get a quiet good night’s sleep. This property is part of the Travel Sustainable program, which means it’s taken significant steps to make your stay more sustainable
Gare Saint-Jean hotel is a 10-minute walk to the train station, 10 minutes walk to the market, and about 20 minutes walk to the main area of Bordeaux. Tram is also close enough if you prefer not to walk. The airport bus stop is only 5 mins away from the hotel.