Bordeaux Travel Guide

by Natalie Becci
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

Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion

20 Rue des Carmes

You can’t journey to the land of wine without visiting the local wine châteaux. Just a few train stops away from the city center lies the spectacular Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion. Their personalized tours are informative and fascinating; you’ll learn about the estate’s history, the surrounding area, and the process of wine-making, and end with a private tasting. Be sure to request a visit ahead of time on their website.

La Boca Food Court

Euratlantique, Quai de Paludate

A wonderful selection of creative food and drink in an energetic, shared atmosphere. A group of passionate, independent, and local restaurateurs form La Boca, an elevated food court offering various cuisines. Family-friendly and delicious, there’s something there for everyone. The concept is cashless – we recommend downloading their app for easy payment at any of the 13 vendors.

Cite du Vin

Esplanade de Pontac, 134 Quai de Bacalan

Visit the world’s first cultural center dedicated to all things vin (“wine”). Heralded as the city’s newest attraction, Housed in an eye-catching, open exhibition space that spans a whopping 32,000 square feet, it presents a wine cellar, an auditorium, a library, and 20 different themed areas to take you on an interactive journey through the history of wine. End your visit with a glass at their restaurant, which offers an incredible 360-degree view of the city.

Photo: Alban Gilbert


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.

The Submarine Base Art Museum

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

L'Hôtel Particulier

44 Rue Vital Carles

More than just a hotel, L’Hotel Particulier is the ideal solution if you desire your own pied-à-terre in Bordeaux. Perfectly positioned for discovering the town, the property offers typical rooms as well as “hotel apartments,” wonderful for families or longer stays.

le grand hotel

2-5 Place de la Comédie

A hospitality legend. Part of the renowned InterContinental chain, the 200-year-old Le Grand was recently renovated under the masterful eye of French designer Jacques Garcia. It features two restaurants (one of which is helmed by Gordon Ramsay and has secured a Michelin star) and a luxurious spa. Don’t miss the roof terrace with its breathtaking, panoramic views of Bordeaux.

Le Palais Gallien

144 Rue Abbé de l’Épée

This petite luxury five-star hotel in the city center was formerly a private residence for Bordeaux’s most well-known families. Comfortable, beautifully-decorated, and complete with a gourmet restaurant and cocktail bar, it’s as popular a spot for the local Bordelais as it is for tourists.

Where To Eat


29 Rue Buhan

Serving up colorful tapas, wine, and cocktails, this charming restaurant in the heart of old Bordeaux is the place to be on a sunny evening. Settle into the Art Deco-style dining room, the Hemingway lounge, the exotic indoor garden, or the terrace for an evening to remember (we recommend making a reservation).

La Brasserie Bordelaise

50 Rue Saint-Rémi

Excellent food and charming service in a beautiful bistro setting. Gourmands flock to this Bordeaux institution for its South Western specialties, traditional Gascon dishes and, in particular, its impressive regional meats. Don’t overlook the list of over 700 wines from the area.

le bouchon bordelais

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.

magasin general

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.

chez dupont

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

marche des capucins

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

les halles bacalan

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.

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