Photography by Teddy Verneuil - Text by Ally Redmond
Bordeaux is a region synonymous with wine – both growing and producing – this picturesque port city in southwestern France offers that and much more.
Known for its beautiful and harmonious architecture, Bordeaux boasts the second-highest number of preserved neoclassical buildings after Paris. With an enticing blend of urban innovation and 18th-century savoir-faire, visitors flock to this Nouvelle-Aquitaine capital for its wealth of cultural, artistic, gastronomic, and unique local experiences.
Bordeaux is a city with something for everyone. A jaunt through the Triangle-d’Or (“Golden Triangle”) – a luxury shopping area in a beautiful setting – and you’ll understand why it’s renowned for style. There are plenty of places to stroll and people-watch, including the terraces of the famous Place du Palais and the dreamlike miroir d’eau (“water mirror”) – the largest reflecting pool in the world – at Place de la Bourse. Likened to a “mini Paris,” this cosmopolitan city is also a hub of fine arts and culture; don’t skip the Beaux Arts Museum housed in the beautiful Palais Rohan. Easy to get around in despite its size, walk or bike along the River Garonne for stunning views, or book a river cruise and see the city from the water.
Effortlessly elegant, rich in history, and bursting with culture, a trip to Bordeaux is unforgettable.
Things To Do
87 Quai des Queyries
A playground for urban innovation. Five acres of former military barracks on the River Garonne has been transformed into an alternative, green, cultural “ecosystem” that features an open-air gallery, a skate park, a co-working space, a wellness center, an urban farm, and more. It’s also home to the aforementioned organic hotspot Magasin Général. Take a guided tour, or stroll through at your leisure.
Alfred Daney Boulevard
A giant bunker organized into 11 units linked by an interior street, Bordeaux’s Submarine Base was one of five bases built by the Germans on the Atlantic coast during WWII. The immense concrete structure has since been converted into a phenomenal venue to showcase the best of the city’s arts; it offers concerts, workshops, exhibitions, jazz, opera, theater, and many more cultural activities year-round.
Where To Stay
Where To Eat
2 Rue Courbin
A self-proclaimed “imaginative bistro,” local chef Frederic Vigouroux mixes tradition with innovation to serve up outstanding meals in an ambiance to match. With regularly updated seasonal menus, it is a popular destination among both true Bordeaux dwellers and visitors.
87 Quai de Queyries
An organic restaurant-grocery-drugstore hybrid, Magasin Général is a hotspot in a trendy neighborhood for its fresh fare and eclectic atmosphere. With a menu of fun homemade meals and snacks offered up on communal lumberjack tables – it’s the perfect place to enjoy and meet others in a laid-back setting.
45 Rue Notre Dame
An elegant bistrot with a gorgeous, revolving menu attached to the charming Chez Dupont hotel. The ideal spot for lunch after shopping for antiques along Rue Notre Dame, sit on the beautiful, sunny terrace for a lively view of the neighborhood while you dine.
Where To Eat
Place des Capucins
“The Belly of Bordeaux.” Don’t skip the Marché des Capucins, a beautiful, long-established indoor market named after the capucins (or “hoods”) of the 18th-century Capucin monks. Here you can eat or take away local food, cheese, produce, wine, and more. Authentic and delicious, it is a true French market experience.
Photo: Vincent Bengold
10 Esplanade de Pontac
Bordeaux’s beloved and bustling food hall. The city’s best food merchants offer their local fares and decadent specialties (think foie gras, oyster, and truffle vendors) in this modern, covered market every day except Monday. Located opposite Cité du Vin, it’s an outstanding place to unwind with some fun after a douse of learning and culture. Do some research before you go – the site hosts over 100 events a year.