TRAVEL GUIDE - BORDEAUX, FRANCE
Ahh Bordeaux, our first love and home for nine months when we moved to France just last June. This beautiful city is why I had to write a travel guide for my travel tribe out there! If you never heard of Bordeaux, let alone it being the one of the top wine regions let me be the first to tell you – march your way down to your local wine store and pick up a Saint-Émilion, Pauillac, Marqaux and/or a Medoc... like ASAP! You will not be disappointed. Now that you have your wine by your side, let us get back to the city itself. Bordeaux is in the South-West region of France and has the Garonne River to show its great divide between the east and west bank; it’s breath taking I might add. Besides being known for its top-notch wine, there are a plethora of things to see and do when visiting. One of the many great things about Bordeaux is that it plays no favor when it comes to all five of the human senses. The city has sir past natives and visitors taste buds with their gastronomy on take, has one of the largest shopping streets in France and has plenty of memories to make while traveling through this ravishing city. Here I will talk about the architecture, what to visit and where to eat and drink as well as talk about the areas on where to stay.
One of the hardest parts when moving out of Bordeaux was leaving its astonishing architecture. Excluding Paris, Bordeaux is another city to where this fine country ceases to not only protect its history, but to protect the monumental pieces history left behind. For example, there are cathedrals and buildings being mention and classified on UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will see many examples of the classical and neoclassical architectural unity in the buildings; some even dating back to the 1730s. To all my photographers out there, this is a somewhat euphoria to take so many beautiful pictures. Every where you go and every corner you turn you are surrounded by stunning buildings, landscape and more!
WHAT TO DO
Did you say a wine museum? Yes, I said wine museum with workshops to learn about wine, restaurants and boutiques where you can do tastings and my personal favorite to be able to pick and choose from seventy different countries and take your wine home. A must see is Latitude 20 on the first floor! This right here is a wine lovers dream. Now I want you to close your eyes and picture this, the ultimate wine cellar of the world, with a modern cave like atmosphere that surrounds you 360 degrees, a floor to ceiling wine library consisting of more than 14,000 bottles and 800 references from around the world from over seventy countries. Imagining this in your head will not do you justice, so do me a favor and Do Not miss this or you can fancy the picture of me praising the enormous collection below.
Now I do not think this spot is on any travel guide because this is where all the Bordelais(es) people go, and I can see why. This place is so fun and is only opened from May – September! This is an outdoor backyard dream, with tables that spread out under the glowing light string which hang from the branches of the trees with views of the Garonne river, along with live entertainment starting at 7pm and serving mouthwatering tapas with your choice ranging from different wines and beers. And just so you know the scenery/atmosphere is to die for when the sun is going down!
Tourist Must Sees
Here are the monuments I would recommend putting on your list to check out!
Another one of my favorite places in France, is in the beautiful city St. Emillion. It’s a small city so you can enjoy seeing almost everything by foot. This city is so picturesque, feeling like you were taken back in time with street like hills cover by cobble stone, however being brought back by it leading the way to restaurants and wines galore. And don’t worry, if you’re pressed for time there are plenty of local “caves” within the city to do wine tastings.
Bordeaux Wine Region
Since we were living in Bordeaux we didn’t get the itch to do a traditional wine tour. Instead we had the taste for adventure, and boy did it taste good. We decided to drive around stopping at the different vineyards, tasted their wines and bought a case as we went along. There was however one wine cave we would occasionaly go to on Sundays and buy some wines too. The place was called, L' Avant Garde , and they have employees who are so informative and taught us so much about the different local vineyards and can also ship wines back to the USA for at least a case (6 bottles). Here are the areas, in addition, which would be good to visit if wanting to go to the vineyards and are some of the top wines of the world. With that said, you cannot go wrong with any Bordeauz reds!
where to stay
Location Location Location
Since we rented an Airbnb I will give advice on what areas to focus on staying. If I did have to mention a hotel I would definitely recommend InterContinental Bordeaux – Le Grand Hotel. We had the privilege to live right around the corner from the hotel and WOW! It is located right across the Opéra and a rock throw away to the start of Rue Sainte-Catherine (shopping street). To show you how exquisite it is, well known Chef Gordan Ramsey has one of his restaurant located inside the hotel (which I recommend)! As for areas to stay in, obviously this area is good which is located in hyper center Bordeaux, however here is a continued list of areas that are close to all the action:
Allées de Tourny
Rue Saint Catherine – not really past (Cours d’alsace-et-Lorraine and no further than Cours Victor Hugo
Place de la Bourse
Chartrons (a 10 min walk out however a village like feel – Look for Rue Sicard to see the Pavilion.
WHERE TO EAT
MY TOP PICKS
Wow the list could be longer, however here are my top places to definitely check out.