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A port city, aged like a fine wine

It's a little known fact that Paris was modelled on Bordeaux, the port-side city on the Garonne deemed by the great romantic poet Victor Hugo as more lovely than Versailles and Antwerp combined. Discover France's sixth largest city, the Petit Paris in the southwest and a wine lover's paradise, on an unforgettable Bordeaux City break.

Take just a short wander through the UNESCO World Heritage Old Town and you'll be left misty eyed by the beauty of the 18th-century buildings, medieval belfries and town wall fragments. Brought to light in 1775, the Place de la Bourse is the perfect symbol of the city's grand past and contemporary outlook. Next to it is the Water Mirror, a modern interactive installation that reflects the great's building's elaborate details in a fine film of misty water. After such splendid sights, you might need something to settle your nerves. Just as well then that Bordeaux City is the capital of France's most esteemed wine producing region, whose vineyards easily explored on a tour from the city centre. 

Explore our map of Bordeaux

Your Bordeaux City questions, answered...

You can see the majority of Bordeaux's delights on foot, but there's also a public bus and tram system if you don't feel like walking.
Served in a red wine, butter-fried shallot and demi-glace sauce, Bordelaise steak is lip-smacklingly good. Follow with a canelés pastry for a sweet treat.
Bordeaux is an all-year-round city break destination. But, if you want to see it at its best, book your trip for late spring or early summer. Bordeaux in spring is truly glorious. The surrounding countryside is just beginning to bloom, and the pleasant weather creates the perfect conditions for rambling tours and hiking adventures. Summer temperatures peak around 26°C. It's warm and clear enough for idyllic beach days, but you'll rarely have to worry about sunburn or finding shade during the hottest part of the day. September is grape harvest season.
The Bordeaux city pass gives you access to over 20 museums and sites of interest, including the Fine Art Museum, the Bordeaux Museum of Modern Art and the Saint Ahon Chateau. It will also allow you one city or boat tour. Decide between a city tour, a tour of a giant winemaker, or a boating adventure around Bird Island. The Bordeaux city pass lets you travel on all forms of public transport at any time of day. There are one, two, and three-day passes at €29-43 per person.
Shop till you drop at Rue Sainte-Catherine in the heart of the city. This pedestrian-only boulevard boasts more than a kilometre of shops and cafés.
Bordeaux is an ideal city-break destination for couples or friends. Explore the streets of this elegant and romantic city, then enjoy a light afternoon lunch in a bistro followed by an evening of fine dining at one of Bordeaux's world-class eateries. Bordeaux has 27 Michelin restaurants. Given that Bordeaux is home to some of the world's most famous vineyards, the wine is also pretty good. If you’re after culture, you can spend your time wandering through art museums, gothic churches, and stunning country manors.
Bordeaux is famous for wine, restaurants and architecture but it still has lots of fun things to do for parents with younger children. Bordeaux's family-friendly activities include days at the beach, picnics in the beautiful parks, and bike rides around the countryside. You can also spend a day at Bordeaux Zoo., which has playgrounds, a soft play area, and picnic spots. Older kids will have fun at the Arkose Bordeaux indoor climbing centre. There's even a sauna and chill-out area for mum and dad.
Primatial Cathedral of St Andrew of Bordeaux is the official name of the city's iconic cathedral, although it's also called Saint Andre Cathedral. This imposing gothic style church sits right in the middle of the city and is open to the public from Wednesday to Saturday between 2.30 and 5.30. Entry is €2 each. Children under 12 get in free. Bordeaux Cathedral is an official UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's where Eleanor of Aquitaine married the future King Louis VII in 1137, and it still houses important works of art from Europe’s greatest painters, including Rembrandt.
Three days is enough time for a Bordeaux city break. You'll see some of the city's UNESCO Heritage Sites, enjoy nice meals, sample lots of good wine and maybe spend an afternoon at the beach. But this fun-packed destination has enough things to keep you entertained for a five to seven-day break. Wine lovers could easily spend ten days here during the grape harvest season. The grape harvest means daily wine festivals and trips to vineyards, where you might have a chance to pick and stamp on some grapes.