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Bordeaux in Seven Steps

Bordeaux can boast of having emerged from a sweet slumber, deservedly earning it the name of “the Sleeping Beauty”, later becoming the “Pearl of Aquitaine”. Here are the keys to enjoying a city that has become an irresistible tourist destination.

1. Taste Its Wines

Why deny it? Wine is the region’s economic driving force and the main reason for Bordeaux being famous all over the world. A trip to this city is clearly the perfect excuse for venturing into its extensive wine realm. The local tourist office has a roster of 60 different circuits for touring the viticultural region’s wineries that have edged their way onto the international scene. Needless to say, you don’t actually have to leave Bordeaux to discover its wines. All you need to do is head for one of the bars or bistros to find them. Here are our recommendations:

- The Bar à Vin du CIVB is a city classic and has an extensive Bordeaux wine list.

- For those who prefer to accompany their wine with some good cheese, Bistrot du Fromager is their best option.

- Those on a tasting tour who also want to take away the odd bottle as a keepsake should drop in on La Conserverie-Converserie.

- And, you can even sign up for a course in wine tasting at L’École du Vin.

2. Be Dazzled by the Largest Water Mirror in the World

The Place de la Bourse (Bourse Square). also known as the Place Royale, is undoubtedly one of the major landmarks in Bordeaux. It was designed by Jacques Ange Gabriel, royal architect to Louis XV, and built from 1730 to 1755.This square heralded the moment when the city broke out of its medieval walls, marking the start of its age of splendour. Rectangular in shape, one side opens onto the river Garonne, while the centre is taken up by the Fountain of The Three Graces. The main attraction, however, is Le Miroir d’Eau (Water Mirror), one of the largest in the world, with a surface area of 3.450 m2. The interplay of reflections is fascinating and highly photogenic – if you’re travelling with children, it is sure to delight them.

3. Enjoy Its Heritage

After Paris, Bordeaux is the city with the largest number of protected monuments in France. One example of this is its harbour, known as the Port of the Moon, which was listed as UNESCO World Heritage in 2007. Set on a meander of the river Garonne, its nickname is derived from its crescent-moon or croissant shape. Most of the buildings in the harbour and environs reflect the ideals of the Enlightenment. Be sure to stroll through its streets and admire their unique beauty.

4. Take a Boat Ride Along the River Garonne

The river Garonne has long been a lynchpin of the city’s development. Indeed, in the 18th century, it was one of the most important ports in Europe. A novel way of viewing the city of Bordeaux is by taking in the different angles of it afforded by the river. All you need to do is turn up at the Port of the Moon and go on one of the available cruises. Of the myriad options to choose from, we recommend one that includes wine tasting and snacks while soaking up the views.

5. Be Inspired by Museum Offerings

Art lovers have a must-visit in the shape of the Museum of Fine Arts, noteworthy for its fine collection of Dutch paintings. If you’re an enthusiast of the latest in art trends, the place to be is the CAPC Musée d’Art Contemporain, located in a former warehouse for colonial goods. The Museum of Decorative Arts, housed in the Hôtel Lalande, is a showcase of bourgeois life in the 18th and 19th century, as seen through their decorative objects – furniture, sculpture, engravings, ceramics, cutlery and glassware.

6. Enjoy Nature in One of the Parks

Bordeaux has many parks where you can get a breather. The best known is the Jardin Public (Public Garden), set in the heart of the city. It was opened in 1755 and styled along the lines of Versailles, but subsequently re-styled as an English garden. It features an old carousel which children will love.

7. Eat Oysters in the Market

If you happen to spend a weekend in Bordeaux, make sure you head for the Marche des Capucines. This magnificent market offers top-notch produce and has a wonderful atmosphere. There, you will find stalls where you can taste oysters, seafood and fresh fish.

Book your Vueling here and see all the hidden charm of Bordeaux for yourself.

 

Text by ISABELYLUIS Comunicación

Images by SuperCar-RoadTrip.fr, Yann Chauvel, Bistro du Fromager