On the banks of the River Garonne in south-western France, Bordeaux is a river-port city with a proud history. Probably the world capital of wine, visitors have been flocking here for centuries to enjoy, sample, buy and sell the product of the grape. Today it still retains its strong wine-making links, alongside a reputation as a centre of arts, culture and well-preserved heritage. Sp, grab a glass and let’s go!
Where to go
Large parts of the Old Town are UNESCO-protected as stunning examples of 18th-century urban regeneration, which means you’re guaranteed pretty sights as you stroll through town. Sample the city’s world famous wines in speciality shops across the city before heading over to the Cité du Vin, one of the world’s great speciality museums, and certainly the best devoted to wine. Visit a patisserie and eat it a croissant on the steps of one of the city’s many medieval churches as the bells serenade all and sundry. Shop for the work of the hottest young designers in the area known as the Triangle-d’Or or admire the work of the Old Masters at the Musee de Beaux Arts. Spend the evening at a wine bar, sampling the beautiful wines that continue to be made here millennia after they first started.
Food & Drink
The shellfish and fish caught in the river Garonne constitute a large part of Bordeaux cuisine, Another local speciality is beef - you’ll know the region’s signature dish, ‘entrecôte marchand de vin’, or steak in a red wine sauce. For a really fancy treat while you’re in town, go to Le Chapon Fin (5 Rue Montesquieu), providing top-notch dining since the 19th century, with a truly opulent interior. For something a lot more earthy, the La Brasserie Bordelaise (50 Rue St Rémi) does fantastic shellfish, meat and wine in a bustling, lively environment.
As the wine capital of the world, you can expect that Bordeaux has a thriving nightlife scene. As long as you’re here, why not spending an evening or two working your way through the menu of a wine bar? We recommend Verre o Vin (Rue Borie), in the ancient wine district for its atmosphere and amazing range of wines to try. There’s also a great menu of small snacks, focusing on regional specialities, to wash down. You might also like the Bistro du Fromager (73 Quai des Chartrons) for its similarly large wine selection and stellar cheese plates - part of the establishment is a cheese shop!
Where to stay
Our pick for Bordeaux is Le Relais de Franc Mayne
, a quick 45-minute drive out of town. This boutique hotel in a 16th-century building offers rest and relaxation. Sample some of the nearby chateau’s wines and tour through the wine cellars, included in your room rate. You’ll also love the pool, Light meals and snacks can be ordered at any time with more elaborate meals available by prior request. How to get there
Ryanair, EasyJet and British Airways fly direct to Bordeaux, daily.