Feel our top 5 sensory experiences in Bordeaux…

See the Esplanade des Quinconces, the largest downtown city square in Europe, laid out in 1820. It’s a year-round venue for fairs and artistic events and is a multimodal transport hub, too. Dip your feet in the fountain to cool off on a hot summer afternoon.

Hear music at the many festivals. Two popular events are the Bordeaux Quartet in May (a European collaboration of chamber music) and the International Organ Festival in July and August.

Smell mile-high platters of fresh fruit de mer (seafood) and plates of entrecôte marchand de vin, the region’s signature steak dish with a sauce of onions, butter and red wine. Bordeaux boasts an inexhaustible mix of fine dining and rustic bistro fare – there’s something to suit everyone.

Taste the local wines, of course! Bordeaux is home to no less than 60 appellations, including world-famous Pomerol, St-Emilion, Pauillac and Margaux to name a few. Take a tour of a section of the 125,000 hectares of vineyards and you’ll be spoilt for choice. Also not to be missed is the Bordeaux Wine Festival in June, the oldest tourist event devoted to French wine.

Touch luxury items and eclectic antiques in the districts of Chartrons and St-Michel and on Rue St-Catherine. January’s Antiques Fair is the most important event of the year for the region.

Only an hour from Paris by plane or three hours by TGV, vibrant and dynamic Bordeaux (External link) is the capital of south-west France, distinguished by its exceptional 18th-century architecture that earned it the nickname ‘Little Paris’ and its UNESCO World Heritage status. But there’s also a plethora of modern architecture here: don’t miss the striking Herzog & de Meuron stadium, decanter-shaped Cité du Vin (External link) and Jean-Jacques Bosc bridge spanning the River Garonne. Life is good in Bordeaux, with a perfect mix of art, culture, gastronomy, shopping and nightlife – not forgetting the surrounding vineyards (External link) where some of the world’s finest wines start life. Join one of the many gourmet tours to experience the best of Bordeaux’s food and drink, pausing to people-watch at a terrace café en route.

Getting to Bordeaux

By air: Bordeaux International Airport

By train: 3h from Paris by TGV; 5h from Lille by TGV

By road: A10 from Paris, A62 from Spain, A63 from Italy

Further information:
Bordeaux Tourist Office
12, cours du XXX Juillet33080 BordeauxTel. +33 (0)5 56 00 66 00 (External link)