Bordeaux is the regional capital of New Aquitaine, internationally famous for its vineyards – but if you enjoy shopping, shows and museums, it’s also the place to be. Stroll around its attractive streets and take in the Capucins market, boutiques in rue Sainte-Catherine, numerous excellent wine bars and café terraces, and collection of architectural treasures that have contributed to the city centre’s UNESCO World Heritage Site status.
Limoges is home to the famous porcelain and has been its top producer in France for over two centuries. Visit dedicated museums in the city and shop for antique and contemporary pieces in the boutiques. The centre is compact and easy to explore on foot, split between the medieval Cité quarter and part-pedestrianised Château quarter.
Angoulême is capital of the comic strip or bande-dessinée, with an international festival and a museum that will interest comic geeks. You can learn about the town’s heritage on three themed walking tours, stopping off at the magnificent Romanesque cathedral and taking in the views from the ramparts along the way.
Périgueux has a stunning Gothic cathedral and medieval old town, originally founded by Gallic tribes and today the busiest town in Dordogne. Soak up its lively foodie scene and indulge in a spot of shopping. You can also visit a ruined garden-filled amphitheatre and triumphal tower, as well as a grand villa at the town’s excellent Gallo-Roman museum.