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Sweet Dreams Are Made Of Cheese

The new millennium was a major turning point for the city long known as La Belle Au Bois Dormant (Sleeping Beauty), when the mayor, ex-Prime Minister Alain Juppé, roused Bordeaux, pedestrianising its boulevards, restoring its neoclassical architecture, and implementing a high-tech public-transport system. His efforts paid off: in mid-2007 half of the entire city was Unesco-listed, making it the largest urban World Heritage Site. Bolstered by its students and some 2.5 million tourists annually, La Belle Bordeaux now scarcely seems to sleep at all.

Top Tips

  • The city centre lies between the flower-filled place Gambetta and the Garonne River.
  • From place Gambetta, place de Tourny is 500m northeast, from where the tourist office is 400m to the east. Bordeaux’s train station, Gare St-Jean, is about 3km southeast of the city centre.

1. Musee de Beaux Arts

The popular Musee de Beaux Arts contains a fabulous collection of paintings from the Renaissance 15th century right up to the mid-20th century. Some featured artists included Rubens, Marquet and Delacroix

2. Cathedrale St-Andre

The 11th century UNESCO World Heritage listed Cathedral of St Andre is the largest place of worship in town and a fantastic sight to see. You’ll also find the 50m high gargoyle Gothic belfry that was erected in the 15th century and later topped with the statue of Notre Dame de l’Aquitaine. You can scale the tower and its 232 steps for a spectacular panorama of the city.

3. Musee d’Histoire Naturelle

One of France’s oldest Museums, the Musée d'Histoire Naturelle or Natural History Museum dates back to the 19th century. You’ll see animals on display from all over the world, including some that are facing extinction.

4. Cimetiere de la Chartreuse

Heard of the famous Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris? Well Bordeaux has its own version; the Cimetiere de la Chartreuse where you can visit many notable French citizens such as Goya and Lacour.

5. Jardin Public

The 18th century English style public gardens in Bordeaux are definitely a nice place escape the city and wander. There is also a Botanical garden inside which is free that has been a part of the gardens since the 19th century.


1. Le Vieux Bordeaux

This fabulous little restaurant located in the heart of the old town is a great place to try some wonderful French cuisine such as foie gras, roasted sea bass and pigeon dishes. There is a cosy atmosphere inside, but when the weather is nice, you can sit outside and enjoy the sunshine.

2. L’O de l’Ha

L’O de l’Ha serves a range of food from French to international with dishes that will leave you wanting more like the Dover sole and the crabmeat lasagna. From Thursday to Sunday there is a resident DJ who plays music for the restaurant.

3. La Mably

At La Mably you’ll find lots of delicious regional dishes specializing in beef, veal and fresh fish which you can complement with their comprehensive wine list.

4. Le Quai Zaco

The Le Quai Zaco menu is a bit different specializing in French and Spanish dishes with many yummy dishes like gazpacho, foie gras and more. Make sure you leave room and check out the huge selection of desserts.

5. Cassolette Café

Cassolette Café is a fun place that does exactly what is says in the name, serving up delicious cassoulets (casserole dishes) on terracotta plates created from ingredients you have selected yourself on a tick off checklist.


1. Le Nautilus

Le Nautilus is a large and modern club that fills up quickly often playing host to international DJs. It is a very popular place to hear house, techno and trance music but they also have other music nights too.

2. Polux Deluxe

Polux Deluxe is an unusual bar situated down by the quay. Inside you’ll be transported back to the 90’s with its décor of bright vivid colours and the music being played. The bar is extremely popular and perfect for big nights out as lots of clubs surround it.

3. Le Regent

Le Regent is a fabulous bar that has a huge terraced seating area which makes a great place to sit on those warm summer days, soaking up the rays whilst enjoying a cold drink.

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Wine. Cheese. Bread. Sun. Sand. Gorge on the lot!"

Emily, London