Famous as the wine capital of the world, Bordeaux’s attractions extend much further than the legendary Bordeaux wines. Since the turn of the millennium, the city once known as ‘France’s Sleeping Beauty’ has enjoyed a dazzling revival. Now days a Bordeaux visit, with its rich history, stunning architecture, lively atmosphere and fine food and wine, will be one to remember.
Things to do in Bordeaux, France
Situated in the heart of historic Bordeaux, the Rue Sainte Catherine is a lengthy road filled with some of the city’s best shopping, cafes, restaurants and nightspots. Stretching from around the fabulous Grand Theatre to the Place de la Victoire, the pedestrian-friendly road spans a huge distance. Almost every side street is packed with delightful cafés and patisseries just waiting to quench the thirst of weary travellers.
Originally opened in the late 18th century to display gemstones, the Musée d’Aquitaine (or Aquitaine Museum) displays a wealth of artefacts covering a huge range of eras, dating all the way back to prehistoric times. The earliest items include some of the best preserved stone tools and axes in the world, as well as a wealth of ceramics and statues from Roman times. A must for any history enthusiasts, these stunning exhibitions are comprehensive, informative and compelling.
Built in 1780, the Grand Theatre de Bordeaux was conceived as a temple of arts and light – which is exactly what its grand neo-classical façade resembles. Adorned with twelve huge Corinthian columns and topped with twelve statues representing the goddesses Juno, Venus and Minerva as well as nine muses, enjoy intimate performances after dark by the resident Opéra National de Bordeaux, and the Ballet National de Bordeaux.
Spanning 12 hectares, the majestic 19th century Esplanade des Quinconces is said to be one of the largest squares of its kind in Europe. Completed in 1827, the square is flanked by rows and rows of luscious green trees which frame the paving beautifully. The esplanade was built to commemorate the Hundred Years war, while the towering white monument (standing at one end of the square) remembers the Girondist political activists from Bordeaux who were killed during the first years of the French Revolution. A wonderfully peaceful place to wander and enjoy the French sunshine, walking the Esplanade is like taking a step back to the 18th century when grand parks were the places to take a quiet stroll, see and be seen.