Formerly a strategic region of the Roman Empire for many years, and today the capital of the new Aquitaine, the city of Bordeaux is today one of the most popular tourist destinations in France and even Europe. Its rich tourist, architectural and gastronomic heritage has attracted many visitors. It is with good reason that in 2017, the city will receive the title of the largest urban area in the world listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You have decided, like many other Europeans, to spend your next weekends in Bordeaux and you want to know all the places in the city that are worth a visit and all the activities that will make your stay more enjoyable. Then you’ve come to the right place!
If you live in Nérac, a weekend in Bordeaux is ideal. Indeed Nérac is located 127 kilometres from Bordeaux and the journey from Nérac to Bordeaux is only 1h28 via the A62 motorway, so it will cost you 16.65 euros for the return journey.
A trip to the UNESCO perimeter
On the day of your arrival, what could be better than to take a short stroll to quickly discover the sites to be visited. This stroll will follow a route that will lead you to the works of art and architecture that convinced UNESCO to include the city in its World Heritage List. It will start at the level of the great theatre, and will continue to the Place de la Bourse, the Cailhau Gate and then the big bell. You will make a brief stop to contemplate the famous Saint Andrew’s Cathedral, then continue in front of the Rohan Palace, before finally arriving at Place Gambetta. So you will have understood that all this tourist wealth cannot be visited in two days. That is why this walk has been proposed to you. If you don’t want to discover more, you will have the chance to see these places at least once before leaving. However, there are some sites that you can’t do without.
The Place de la Bourse and the Place des Quinconces squares
These are places that are worth visiting, even if you only have an hour’s time, both because of their history and the role they play in the city’s influence. The Place de la Bourse is a symbol of the city of Bordeaux. It contributes to the city’s reputation and is adored by all. This enticing square is home to the spectacular water mirror, which is a must to discover during a visit to the city, as well as the fontaine des trois grâces, the pavilions of the Palais de la Bourse and the Customs House…
With its 12 hectares, the Place des Quinconces is the largest square in France. Seat of many events during the year, you may have the opportunity to participate in a funfair. Its architecture is simply breathtaking. First of all, it includes a sloping area that opens directly onto the Garonne. The view of the river from here is simply splendid. You will also find statues of the writers Montesquieu and Montaigne, rostral columns and many other works of art.
You are strongly advised to visit the Darwin area in Bordeaux, an ecological site which is one of the most visited places in the city. In addition to its pro-environmental touch, it is a meeting place where many sporting and artistic talents are expressed… You will find habitats built with natural materials, urban artists who paint, groups who discuss innovative and very ambitious projects, in short a “village” that comes alive. So come and discover an area of Bordeaux “that lives”.
Le Grand Théâtre
It is unquestionably the most elegant and world-famous building in Bordeaux. It is also the emblem of the city and one of the oldest theatre halls in Europe. Indeed it is over two hundred years old, it was inaugurated in 1780 and was built by the eminent architect Victor Louis. A true architectural achievement of its time, it continues to inspire modern architects. As you may not know, it was the seat of the French National Assembly in 1871. So as you contemplate it during your visit, you should know that more than two centuries of history stand above your head. On leaving it, make a small diversion to the Place de la Comédie, which opens on its west side.
“La cité du vin”, the City of Wine
The city of Bordeaux is a wine centre par excellence. If you are looking for a place where the role of wine in the Bordeaux culture is perfectly expressed, go to the wine city. Since its creation in 2016, it has already attracted several million visitors, and this number is constantly growing. It is already attracting visitors because of its architecture, which extends over an area of more than 13,000 square metres, and is marked by curves and a spire some 55 metres high. Its most noteworthy aspect is on the second floor: a real journey in the footsteps of wine throughout history according to its cultural, gastronomic and civilizational dimensions.
Take the time to do some shopping and visit the best restaurants in the area before leaving the city.