La Cité du Vin
It is a unique cultural centre dedicated to the universal, living heritage of wine. It offers a spectacular journey around the world, throughout the ages, across countless cultures and civilisations.
THE WATER MIRROR
Located across from Place de la Bourse, between Quai de la Douane and Quai Louis XVIII, this spectacular pool, designed by landscape artist Michel Corajoud, alternates a mirror effect and artificial misting in an extraordinary way. The rhythmic changes in 2 cm of water on a gigantic slab of granite make this location truly magical. Children adore playing here and it is a meeting place for lovers as well as people who enjoy putting their feet into the cool water in summer! Located between the Garonne and beautiful 18th century façades, the Mirroir d'Eau is the most-photographed site in Bordeaux and is listed as a contemporary World Heritage Site by Unesco. You can immortalise the pool too, and send the photos to your friends around the world.
THE LEFT BANK QUAYS
The quayside in Bordeaux is one of the most magnificent waterfronts in the world thanks to beautiful 18th century façades lining the river and numerous listed historic buildings. They are the heart of an outstanding urban ensemble designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2007.
THE RIVER GARONNE BY BOAT
Just to board a cruise ship on a pier in the heart of the city, down the river towards the estuary.
You will follow the sublime façade docks of Bordeaux, pass under the new Jacques Chaban-Delmas’s brige and will head straight for the north bridge, where the Garonne becomes Gironde, where the city gives way to nature and vineyards of Blaye and Medoc, comfortably settled in the fertile river silt.
THE BORDEAUX WINE COUNTRY
The Bordeaux vineyards are so vast (112,000 hectares) that there is not one, but 6 wine roads! The Médoc, with its famous châteaux, is located northeast of the city, whereas the Graves (the birthplace of Bordeaux wine) and Sauternes regions are to the southeast. The beautiful medieval town of Saint-Emilion is situated to the north and east of Bordeaux and, further west, the towns of Blaye and Bourg, linked by a corniche, overlook the estuary.
BORDEAUX'S MONUMENTAL ARCHITECTURE
This circuit takes a little over two hours on foot (not including museum visits).
It starts out from the main Tourist Office in the centre of Bordeaux, housed in a building that is an interesting example of neo-classic architecture. A stone's throw away, the Place des Quinconces is on the site of the former Château Trompette reconstructed by Louis XIV after the Fronde. This is overlooked by the Girondins Monument (1), a unique example of 19th century French civil architecture.
Along with the Grand Théâtre (3), the Cours du Chapeau-Rouge (3) is undoubtedly the most "royal" street on this circuit, epitomised by buildings in a textbook neo-classic style. Opening onto the river, 18th century Place de la Bourse (15) was Bordeaux's first major urban project. Built in 1730, it was the first of many far-reaching transformations and became the centre of a new district. Continuing along the quays, one comes to the Porte Cailhau (12), a Renaissance triumphal arch constructed in 1494 in honour of King Charles VIII. Memories of the Middle Ages are kept alive in the Saint-Pierre district, where the street names reflect their Anglo-Gascon origin. The culmination of this tour, the Grosse Cloche (10), symbolises municipal authority and features the city's medieval coat of arms.
Located in a pedestrian precinct since the tramway was introduced, Saint- André cathedral and Pey-Berland Tower (8) are two complex and attractive monuments. Going towards Place Gambetta (6), the Palais Rohan (7) on your left was the former archbishop's residence and became the Town Hall in 1835. The courtyard and garden are very attractive. Along the way, sumptuous town houses and imposing residences with monumental doors and harmonious facades show the scale of the urban renewal project undertaken by royal intendant Tourny and his successors. Bordeaux had changed so much by 1757 that a Swede, Hallman, wrote to Linnaeus: "Anyone who has not seen this city for a few years would now find it unrecognisable". This transformation continues today, but with utmost respect for the past.
Bordeaux's city centre features a marvellously elegant monument. The Grand Théâtre has delighted visitors and been the pride and joy of Bordeaux for over two centuries Along with the operas of Versailles and Turin, the Grand-Théâtre has one of the most beautiful 18th century concert halls in the world!
CAPC MODERN ART MUSEUM
Bordeaux has one of the richest collections of modern and contemporary art in France
Created 40 years ago in a former colonial warehouse (Entrepôts Lainé), the CAPC focuses on emerging art forms. With a permanent exhibition of some 1,300 works by 190 artists (Robert Combas, Annette Messager, Mario Merz, Richard Long, etc.) the CAPC offers an in-depth look at a half-century of culture and features new forms of contemporary art that link this museum with a strong international movement.
The CAPC also schedules fascinating temporary exhibitions, lectures and discussions on art history, guided tours, and learning experiences for children. House in a building imbued with history, the modern art museum offers a choice venue for the works it displays.
Whether you are a modern art enthusiast or simply someone who likes to admire all beautiful things, the CAPC is a must during your stay in Bordeaux!
CATHEDRAL & PEY-BERLAND TOWER
Located near the City Hall, this is the most beautiful religious monument in Bordeaux
ALL BORDEAUX IN A GARDEN
The Jardin Public combines the famous honey-coloured stone of stately 18th century buildings with a relaxed setting in which a pond is surrounded by centuries-old trees. The garden is much appreciated by people who enjoy a leisurely walk, joggers, children, and grandparents, who coexist with swans and ducks in complete harmony.
The Jardin Public has been dear to the hearts of the Bordelais since its creation in 1746. A veritable "green lung" in the city centre, the 11 hectares of grass, trees, flowers, and plants also include a children's playground and the famous "Guignol Guérin", puppet show.
THE MUSÉE D’AQUITAINE, HISTORY OF A CONCENTRATE
The sculptures of famous people on the pediment welcome visitors to a place where the most famous Bordelais of all is buried. Michel de Montaigne nevertheless wrote "when all is said and done, the only glory I have found in my life is to have lived it peaceably". The tomb of the famous author and philosopher is one of the main attractions of the room devoted to 16th century Bordeaux.
Prior to becoming a museum, the building housed the Bordeaux University faculty of arts and humanities for many years. Opened in 1987, the museum depicts occupations representing the diversity and wealth of the Aquitaine region: from shepherds in the Pyrenees to winegrowers in the Médoc, and from oyster farmers in Arcachon Bay to resin tappers in the Landes. This 3,000 m² museum encompasses prehistoric times, Eleanor of Aquitaine, the Black Prince, Montaigne, Tourny, etc.
SAINT PIERRE, THE BIRTHPLACE OF BORDEAUX
After the Roman town of Burdigala ceased to exist, the inhabitants moved away from the river, and the new city centre became what is now the Saint-Pierre district. The entrance to the inland port was located here centuries ago. Ships full of goods dropped anchor before sailing to other provinces and countries, and a number of merchants grew rich.
BORDEAUX BY BIKE
On your bikes! Discover Bordeaux, the 4th most bicycle-friendly city in the world
With more than 200 kilometres of cycle paths, the Bordeaux urban area has become a paradise for cyclists.