A top destination in France: Bordeaux is much more than wine

bordeaux, france. people at an outdoor restaurant

If you are planning a trip to Bordeaux, you probably have some interest or connection to wine because that’s what made the city famous across the world. And even if you don’t have any interest in wine, Bordeaux is a remarkable destination to visit. Take a look at Bordeaux’s key sights that also show aspects of the city’s culture and history to visitors.

miroir d eau, bordeaux city center.

On a warm summer day, the favorite place for residents and visitors to cool down is the Miroir d’Eau in front of Place de la Bourse.

gate tower to city bordeaux, france.
An ancient gate to the city of Bordeaux.

Bordeaux is a city of 260 000 inhabitants. Bordeaux has been, and still is, a regional center of business and port town for almost 2000 years. Yes, it is the wine that has made the entire region to prosper for hundreds of years. Wine bars, wine shops, restaurants and cafes are plenty along the streets in the city center.

The famous vineyards and chateaus are outside the city along the banks of rivers Garonne and Gironde. That’s the reason you may encounter a large number of visitors, for instance, in the small towns of Saint Emilion, Margaux, or Medoc. Especially, Saint Emilion seems to attract so many tourists that the town can sometimes feel crowded (not to mention problems with finding a parking space).

vineyard in bourg/teuillac near bordeaux
Mist and heavy clouds hanging over vineyards in the morning.

chateau palmer in margaux, bordeaux, france
A chateau in Margaux.

Visits to many chateaus and vineyards are possible, but you have to book in advance. Bordeaux tourist office has a web page where you can book and pay your chateau visit.

For exploring the Bordeaux region, you should plan it as two separate activities. First, it is easy to explore the city of Bordeaux by foot or by bicycle, knowing that a cafe or restaurant for having a break is never far away. Second, exploring the old towns, villages, vineyards and chateaus around the city, you will need a car, or find a tour organizer that takes you to the most famous places.

bordeaux city silhuette on the other side of river.
The city center from the other side of Garonne River.

For tips and extensive information on travel in Nice and the French Riviera, take a look at this.