Victor Hugo once described Bordeaux as a curious, original and unique town. Founded in the 3rd century B.C., it is famous for wine. The 1000 sq km wine-growing area around the city is France’s most important producer of top-quality wines, producing more than 850 million bottles in 1997.
The region produces many varieties – red, rose, sweet, dry and sparkling wine – all according to strict government guidelines.
The city boasts its 18th-century elegance with its neoclassical architecture, wide walkways, and attractive public squares and parks. The city centre is located between the Gambetta and the Geron River.
The fascinating Musee d’Aquitaine on Cours Pasteur chronicles the history and ethnography of the Bordeaux area from 25,000 years ago up until the 19th century.
The Centre d’Art Plastique Contemporain places just as much emphasis on showcasing the work of up and coming artists as it does on the works of established names such as Jackson Pollock. Stroll in the elegantly landscaped Jardin Public along Cours Verdun or in the oasis of calm and flowers that is Place Gambetta.
The city’s major shopping area is located east along the pedestrian Rue Porte Dijeaux. Check out Galerie Bordelez, a 19th-century shopping arcade located at the junction of Rue Porte Dzeko and Rue Santé Catherine.
For a great selection of cafes and restaurants head for the Place de la Victoire, the Place du Parlement or the Rue de Parlement Sainte Catherine.
Sample some of the lively nightlife of Bordeaux on the Quo de Paladette to check out the city’s late-night dance venues. Recover the next day in a sunny open-air cafe along the Garonne.