Bordeaux. This beautiful city was a personal favorite of Victor Hugo who once said ”Take Versailles, add Antwerp and you’ve got Bordeaux.” Queen Elizabeth II said, ”Bordeaux is the very essence of elegant.” And how right she was.
It seems untouched by time in a lot of ways, and yet when you enter the gates of this world heritage site, there are modern touches everywhere. This lively city is overflowing with cafés, haute cuisine restaurants and wine bars as well as a fashionable district with the most elegant boutiques.
If you are lucky enough to be passing by, here are 5 things you wouldn’t want to miss.
PLACE DE LA BOURSE & LE MIROIR D'EAU
This square is the perfect example of Bordeaux architecture at the end of the 18th century, with an impressive fountain at the center – a setting made even more beautiful when it lights up at night.
Across the main road you’ll find the Miroir d’eau – the water mirror – a 3400 square meter are covered in a thin layer of water. You can get a perfect reflection of Bordeaux’s buildings so don’t forget your camera.
Every so often jets of fine mist squirt from the pavement, covering the 'miroir' with a meter of fog. Kids (and adults!) love playing in it!
JARDIN PUBLIC (THE PUBLIC GARDEN)
This beautiful, centrally located garden is a must on your visit. Enjoy a lunch at one of the cafes and then bask in the sun and enjoy your surroundings. Make sure to bring a book – either for reading or for trading it for another in the book exchanging area. Enjoy!
BAR A VIN
Along with the public garden, this was my favorite place in Bordeaux. They have a unique service here where you can try wonderful French wines for a fraction of the price you would pay in other bars. Starting at €2 up to €8 for a 15cl measure most guest spend hours trying different wines from the area. I paired it with a fantastic cheese board at €7.50 and then tried the hand made chocolates at €5 for 5. If you understand chocolate making they are well worth the price. The decor is very trendy, comfortable and chic.
CATHEDRAL SAINT ANDRE
The massive Cathedral St. Andre at Place J. Moulin is one of the centerpieces of central Bordeaux. Even with the large square it is almost impossible to get a photo of the entire cathedral. There are regularly scheduled organ concerts featuring the massive organ in the back. It took over 800 years to complete this incredible building.
THE DAY TRIPS
This is something I sadly missed but I hear from reliable sources that this is a definite highlight. There are half or full day trips to the vineyard almost everyday where you can partake in the process, taste the wines and stroll around the beautiful grounds. If you have an extra day, I think this would be a wonderful experience.
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