A weekend in Bordeaux
Between its history, gastronomy, the right bank, the left bank, the many neighborhoods with diverse atmospheres, the Garonne, the quays… even without getting started on the vineyards… sometimes it can be difficult to decide what to do during a first weekend trip to Bordeaux. Here’s one idea for an itinerary to help you take full advantage of your two days and make you want to come back!
Day 1 / Morning
What better way to start your weekend in Bordeaux than in the Saint-Michel district, home to one of the warmest and most eclectic atmospheres in the city! In Meynard square on any given Saturday morning you can explore the weekly market at the foot of the Saint-Michel spire, the tallest structure in town.
Next, head towards Maucaillou square and dive into “Bordeaux’s stomach”: the Capucins market! Your senses will be awakened as you wander through this covered market’s many stalls. Stop at one of the seating areas to taste fresh seafood and oysters from the Arcachon basin!
Now head towards the heart of the city for an afternoon of shopping and daydreaming! You’ll pass under the “great bell” before heading up Saint James street where you can make a few purchases in local boutiques. Don’t forget to look up occasionally so as not to miss the little faces engraved into Bordeaux’s stone facades!
Continue onto Loup street to discover Pey Berland square, its cathedral, and Bordeaux’s Hotel de Ville. Don’t be afraid to pass through the gates of the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design in order to enjoy its magnificent courtyard; then plunge into the city’s shopping district via Trois Conils street.
Head towards Camille Julian square where you can take a break on the Utopia’s patio, a bistro-arthouse cinema housed in the ancient Saint-Simeon church.
Day 1 / Afternoon
Now, it’s time to discover Bordeaux’s grand theater, either by way of Pas-Saint-Georges street and Saint-Pierre parliamentary square, or via Sainte-Catherine street which happens to be the longest pedestrian street in Europe.
Here you are in front of the Grand Theater, located next to the prestigious Tourney walkway just a few steps from Quinconces square and the Girondins Monument. Almost time for pre-dinner drinks? Return to the Saint-Pierre neighborhood and taste one of Wine Bar’s many wines, where Giancarlo, the Italian owner, will welcome you with open arms! To end the evening, take your pick of wine bars, cocktail bars, or the theater.
Vous voilà maintenant devant le Grand Théâtre situé à côté des prestigieuses allées de Tourny à deux pas de la place des Quinconces et du Monument aux Girondins. L’heure de l’apéritif approche ? Regagnez le quartier Saint-Pierre et allez goûter l’un des nombreux vins proposés au Wine Bar où Giancarlo, le patron italien des lieux, vous accueillera à bras ouverts ! Pour terminer la soirée, vous avez le choix entre bars à vin, bars à cocktail, ou soirée théatre.
Day 2 / Morning
For your second day in Bordeaux, start with a bowl of fresh morning air at the Chartrons market on the banks of the Garonne, before heading off to discover the neighborhood that was once a stronghold for Bordeaux’s wine traders. At numbers 27 and 29 on the Chartrons quay, admire the Dutch-style building facades and, a little further down, the imposing naval stock exchange. The stock exchange is decorated with its own share of ornamental faces, two of which depict the first presidents of the city’s naval port: Georges Barres and Etienne Huyard.
Continue your stroll by going deeper into the charming streets surrounding the Saint-Louis church, before rejoining the edge of the Garonne and making your way towards the “mirror of water”, facing the Place de la Bourse. This work of art by landscaper Michel Corajoud which varies from a fine mist to a plane of water, has become a popular attraction from April to November.
Day 2 / Afternoon
Continue your day by climbing aboard a Bat3 (cost of a tramway ticket). You can choose between going towards the Cité du Vin (plan on spending a half-day at the museum, ending your visit up at its panoramic viewpoint where you can choose from a large variety of international wines to taste), or head the other way towards La Bastide, at Stalingrad square.
From here, you can walk the length of Angéliques Park and arrive at Darwin, an old military barracks turned ecological hangout spot. Take some time to savor local products from the General Store before crossing the street to taste artisanal beer at Chantiers de la Garonne, with your feet in the sand and looking out across the Garonne. What a way to end the weekend for your eyes and taste buds alike!