Ten Things to Do in Bordeaux

by Ginevra on June 5, 2011

Ten Things to Do in Bordeaux

If you’re coming to Maison d’Alienor, why not begin your trip with a stay in Bordeaux?  Bordeaux is the major city into which flights from all over Europe, land. Bordeaux is about 90 minutes due west of the Dordogne. A brilliant place to begin your trip.

Here are Ten Things to do in Bordeaux:

1. Staying for 3 days or less? The Hotel Majestic is always a great bet, centrally located, beautifully maintained & comfortable 3 star hotel.

2.  Staying for 4 days or more? Why not rent a center city flat and live like a local. Choose from the selection offered by VRBO, Owners Direct or FlipKey. Recent find – €75/night, one bedroom flat with all modern cons, central location, plus very kind French owners.

3.  Take a 2 hour walking tour (in French or English) offered by the Tourist Office. Learn about the city’s Roman, Medieval and 18th century past. Experience the delights of its 21st century present.

4.  Grand Theatre. Take a tour (French only) of this quaint 18th century theatre or see a performance. On a budget?  Restricted view and last minute seats are options. Recent performance – for €8 restricted view seat for Offenbach’s La Belle Helene – what fun!

5.  Musee d’Aquitaine. On three floors, learn the history of the region – from prehistoric cave paintings to Roman monuments; from the medieval Hundred’s Year War to 18th century trade dominance. A display on the 3rd floor traces Bordeaux’s role in the pernicious slave trade.

6.  Grands Hommes. The streets radiating from this upscale emporium are named after France’s great thinkers – Montaigne, Montesque, etc. Amazing cheese shop (and favorite of San Francisco’s own Cowgirl Creamery) is here – Jean d’Alos. Goutez to your heart’s content, then take a slice of perfectly ripened comte and creamy chevre with you. At Saunion, chocolates filled with prunes and pralines compete with perfect pavés!

7.  Rue Ste Catherine. Tired of traffic? The pedestrian rue Ste Catherine is for you. Make your way through the city to the Tourist Office, Grand Theatre, posh hotels and more!

8.  River side walk and Miroir Fontaine. Mandating that all stone buildings be sand blasted clean by their owners, the Mayor of Bordeaux, Alain Juppe began the clean-up with the 18th century buildings along the quai. The fountain in the center is a must. Take off your shoes and stay for the full 15 minute cycle – be misted like a vegetable at Safeway, next feel water bubbling through slits in the pavement and tickling your toes. Finally, watch as the water is sucked away through those same slits and the fountain becomes a shimmering mirror reflecting the spanking clean 18th century buildings across the street.

9. Where to eat? Pick up a quick sandwich for a picnic in the Public Jardin or quai at Mia Caline or Paul’s. Want to linger in luxury? Pick a pink chair and prepare to be pampered at Fauchon. Didn’t get to Entrecote when you were in Paris, or liked it so much that you want to see if it could possibly be as good in Bordeaux? They’re all there and there’s a table waiting for you at each of them!

10.  Take a tram anywhere and silently glide through the city. Be grateful you are here now and don’t ask any native what it was like to live through the construction!


Useful email addresses:

1. Majestic Hotel: www.hotelmajestic.com

2. VRBO: www.vrbo.com

Owners Direct: www.ownersdirect.co.uk

FlipKey: www.flipkey.com

3.  Bordeaux Office of Tourism: www.bordeaux-tourisme.com

4.  Grande Theatre: www.opera-bordeaux.com

5.  Musee d’Aquitaine www.musees-aquitaine.com

6.  Jean d’Alos for cheese: www.jeandalos.com

Saunion for chocolates: www.saunion.com


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