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Bordeaux Travel Information

Beautiful and sophisticated, Bordeaux is a truly cultured city.  The city boasts magnificent 18th century architecture and a network of narrow streets with fabulous boutiques and cafes in the Old Town.


Bordeaux
France


Rue Ste Catherine and adjacent streets are a shoppers paradise while those with a taste for fine wines will be delighted to venture out into the famous vineyards.

Bordeaux Travel and Flight Information

An elegant, cosmopolitan city of vast, tree-lined squares and broad avenues, Bordeaux is divided into 12 "quarters" over an area of 12½ miles by 10½ miles. Most of tourist interest is found in the city centre, which hugs the West bank on a loop in the river and boasts a wealth of historical buildings and monuments, including those found in the medieval religious quarter of St Michel and some of France's finest 18th-century architecture (with over 5,000 examples); some of the most picturesque buildings can be found along the river, near the Quai de la Douane (Customs House Quay).

The city of Bordeaux was once a major European centre for trade with the Indies, both East and West, and is still a busy port, with important shipyards and related industries. Today, the production of fine wines and spirits is a major commercial activity, and the existence of a university contributes to the city's reputation as a intellectual and cultural melting pot.

Area
Concentrated on the W bank of the River Garonne. Surrounded by gentle countryside dotted with some of the world's most famous vineyards. Commercial pine plantations in the outlying areas.

In South West France, 40 miles East of the Atlantic coast. 360 miles South West of Paris. 140 miles North of the Spanish border. 8 miles East of Merignac airport.

Where to Stay
A wide choice, mainly in 3 areas: the centre of town, close to the airport and by the Exhibition and Congress centres.

What to Do
Daytime: a wealth of buildings and monuments including the 18th-century Grand Theatre; various museums including the Musee d'Aquitaine, the impressive Museum of Contemporary Art (CAPC) and wine museums; handsome, historical churches, including 3 on UNESCO's world-heritage list (St Andrew's Cathedral, St Seurin Basilica and St Michel Basilica); stone bridge of Pont de Pierre with its sweeping view along the river side; 2 botanical gardens.

Guided tours (including wine tours) are available, either by foot, bus or horse-drawn carriage.

Nightlife: what you would expect to find in a large city; opera, ballet and classical concerts; cinemas.

Must See
The impressive Esplanade des Quinconces with its splendid fountains and the nearby Classical Grand Theatre, renowned for its extraordinary acoustics.
Visit the lively Golden Triangle, a compact area of chic boutiques and famous cafes.

Must Do
Climb the tower of the gothic St Andre Cathedral for impressive views over the city.
Take an excursion from the Office du Tourisme to the famous vineyards and taste some of the world's finest wines.
Collect a FREE Bordeaux card from the Tourist Office offering reductions to many sites.
Visit the interesting Aquitaine and Beaux Arts Museums.


St Andre Cathedral, Bordeaux

Restaurants
A wide range of different options offering mainly French and local cuisine and including a handful of restaurants with Michelin stars. Specialities: numerous sauces based on the glorious local wines (described as "bordelaise"), oysters, caviar from local sturgeon, eels and small moulded cakes called "caneles".

Shops
Upmarket stores and designer boutiques in the "Triangle" which is the area bounded by cours de L'Intendance, cours Georges Clemenceau and allees de Tourny. Good quality comestibles, beverages and clothing shops available.

Leading French department stores. Tempting wine-tasting shops. Antiques along rue Notre-Dame in the Chartrons district.

Excursions
Take a boat trip on the river; a visit to a permanently docked modern warship; a tour of the great wine-growing areas, with tastings; Gironde estuary tour.

Getting Around
There is a regular efficient local bus service around the city although it is recommended to explore the Old Town on foot. Good, easy-to-understand bus system radiates out from near the Grand Theatre and includes an electric bus (navette electrique), which plies a route around the Old Town. A tramway system opened in 2004 covering the city area.

Who is it for?
Not exorbitantly expensive, but not for anyone on a tight budget either.

Getting There
Flights to Bordeaux can be booked with direct flights from London.  The flight time to Bordeaux is approx 1 1/2 hours.  From the airport you can get a shuttle bus to the train station in the centre of Bordeaux which takes approx 30 mins.

To Relax
Walk out along the Quais by the Garonne river taking in the elegant Classical facades of the waterfront.
Enjoy a delicious meal in one of the many fine restaurants and watch the world pass you by.

Weather
Daily average temperatures (Approx) 'C

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