Bordeaux voted European Best Destination19.02.2016
Bordeaux has just been voted the European Best Destination 2015 ahead of Rome, London and Barcelona by 244,696 participants taking part in an online survey. This result comes as very little surprise, as Bordeaux truly has something for all tastes. A river cruise on the Garonne, a trip to the wine regions around the city, an inspiring stroll around the old city centre or a visit to one of the impressive museums – you can spend unforgettable days in Bordeaux. And this summer there’s even the added attraction that some of the matches of the UEFA European Championship will be taking place in the city.
Bordeaux is a city of gourmet delights
The city with just over 240,000 inhabitants in southwest France is the heart of the Bordeaux wine-growing region. Here, around 3,000 vineyards produce the coveted vintages, including some of the most expensive wines in the world. The Bordeaux wine region is so varied that there is not just one, but an astonishing six wine roads. With more than 60 tours and sampling sessions, there truly is something for every taste (the tours can be booked in the city at the tourist office or in advance online at:
Bordeaux is located on the Garonne River, which only a short distance from the city flows into the Dordogne to form the 70-km long, up to 15-km wide Gironde which, in turn, flows into the Atlantic Ocean. The effect of the tides can be seen all the way into the port of Bordeaux. The river arches around the city in a long crescent shape, which inspired the city’s nickname Port de la lune (Port of the Moon). The old centre of Bordeaux was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 2007 under this name.
The historic centre – the old city – is situated on the left bank of the Garonne and has been preserved almost in its entirety. During the 1990s, the city’s administration came to appreciate the significance of this heritage and carefully restored and cleaned the historic buildings. As a result, the city presents an intact appearance that has remained unchanged for two centuries. The facades of the old bourgeois houses along the banks of the river are a world-famous ensemble.
A river cruise on the Garonne is a great way to see the city and the surrounding wine fields, which stretch all along to the mouth of the Gironde.
A walk around Bordeaux
The best way to get a feel for Bordeaux on your first day is to take a long walk around the city and let the magic of the buildings and the atmosphere sink in.
The city has so many highlights to see. Here is a small selection:
The symbol and landmark of Bordeaux is the Place de la Bourse, which was built in the 18th century over a period of 20 years. Directly opposite, is the Miroir d’eau reflecting pool, also called the Jewel of Bordeaux: the gigantic pool has an impressive number of reflection and fog effects, and is a favourite playground and place for refreshment for people of all ages on hot summer days.
The Grand Théâtre is an 18th century masterpiece. Following extensive renovation work in the past few years, the building again shines in its original glory. World-class performances are staged here all year round.
If you are looking for other cultural highlights or if the weather is less than perfect, then the city’s many museums and collections are the perfect place to go. The Musée des Beaux Artes or the Musée des Arts Décoratifs are particularly worth visiting.
Treat yourself to a break and wander around the Jardin Public. Ever since it opened in 1746, this park has been a much-frequented place for recreation and relaxation, the city’s green lung and a very popular place for children, who love the numerous playgrounds.
Naturally, Bordeaux also offers a wide choice of shops: stroll around the vieux Bordeaux, the old city, or down Rue Sainte-Catherine, where you’ll find everything from artisan products crafts to exclusive luxury items.
UEFA 2016 in Bordeaux
From 10 June until 10 July 2016, the UEFA European Championships will be taking place in France. Up to five matches, including a quarter final, will be played in Bordeaux. The matches will be played at the brand-new Matmut-Atlantique-Stadion with over 43,000 seats. But even if you don’t have a ticket you can still enjoy the sporting excitement: one of the largest fan zones of the tournament will be set up here. The matches will be broadcasted on a 116 square meter screen, and a great programme of events and concerts will be making the fan zone a fun place to following the sporting action.
Bordeaux International Airport is roughly ten kilometres to the west of Bordeaux and is easily reached from the city with the Jet Bus. As from 27 March 2016, the low-cost airline easyJet will be flying four times a week – on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays – to Bordeaux.