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Bordeaux

Trip Planner Europe  /  France  /  Nouvelle-Aquitaine  /  Gironde  /  Bordeaux
(4.1/5 based on 18,000+ reviews for top 30 attractions)
Things to do: sightseeing, nightlife, parks

The Port of the Moon

With a long history of producing regional wines since the Romans brought grapevines here during the first century, so many people consider Bordeaux to be the wine capital of the world. Touring the vineyards and sampling the world-class wines are among the most popular things to do in the world's second largest wine-producing region.

While fine wine may be the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about Bordeaux, this historic city offers so much more for you to explore. The "City of Art and History" is home to tolerant and laid-back residents who welcome globetrotters like you to their vibrant cultural, musical, and artistic community. Sophisticated shopping in the heart of the city starts with a leisurely stroll along the Rue Sainte-Catherine, a 1.2 km (0.75 mi) pedestrian-only street. Lined with boutiques, restaurants, and cafés, these businesses become increasing more upscale as you go north.

Your trek in any direction of this geographically flat metropolitan area offers diverse historical, cultural, and ecological attractions that are easily accessible on foot or by bicycle. The North's Médoc region produces many famous Bordeaux wines, the South is the Graves region with many of the world's oldest vineyards, and the East has the well-known Saint-Émilion appellation (AOC). To the west lies the Atlantic Ocean with over 250 km (155 mi) of golden sandy beaches, unspoiled pine forests, the largest sand dune in Europe, and the biggest freshwater lake in France called Hourtins' Lake.

Affectionately termed "Little Paris," if you cross paths with a native Bordelaise and a Parisian, you may be lucky enough to witness the vintage rivalry between these two cities. While you will see plenty of traditional stone mansions on your vacation in the area, you won't see any skyscrapers in the city center--the weak subsoil is simply not stable enough for tall structures.

Touring caves and vineyards, attending wine tastings, and exploring the city's 362 historical monuments will keep you busy by day. But the fun doesn't stop at dusk. For a lively nightlife, visit La Place de la Victoire filled with friendly pubs and bars, and paint the town red in the popular Les Quais district filled with live music, dancing, and nightclubs. Use our France tourist route planner to arrange your visit to Bordeaux and other destinations in France.
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Where to stay

Most hotels in Bordeaux sit conveniently located a stone's throw away from the train station. Look to Quinconces Square and Gambetta Square for high-end hotels. Those who prefer more budget-friendly accommodations may want to seek out a youth hostel--a relatively recent addition to the city. To secure a spot here, make sure to book ahead of time. In addition to hotels and hostels, choose from guest rooms in a typical Bordeaux house, or a family-friendly beachside campsite.
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