Discovering Bordeaux, France

Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne River, located in Southwest France. Of course, one of the first things that comes to mind when one hears Bordeaux is wine (have no fear, I will extrapolate on this major part of Bordelaise culture a bit further down). The city of Bordeaux, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also home to many historic monuments, gardens, museums and chateaux.

Place de la Bourse Bordeaux

Place de la Bourse Bordeaux

What to see in Bordeaux

Bordeaux pont de PierreThe Esplanade des Quinconces is Bordeaux’s main public square, and considered to be one of the largest in Europe. It overlooks Garonne River and features statues of the French thinkers Montaigne and Montesquieu.

Bordeaux’s impressive Pont de Pierre (bridge) spans the Garonne River. This 19th century construction is almost 500 meters long and has 17 supporting arches.

Jardin Botanique (Botanical Gardens)
Founded at the turn of the 17th century, Bordeaux’s botanical garden has been at its current location since 1855. This large collection of flora is home to the Bastide Garden. Inovatively designed in 2005 by landscape architect Catherine Mosbach, it addresses issues of biodiversity, renewable natural resources and the changing dynamics of landscape architecture.
Rue Gustave Carde
33100 Bordeaux, France
05 56 52 18 77

Founded at the beginning of the 19th century, Bordeaux’s Musée d’Histoire Naturelle (Natural History Museum) is one the oldest in France.  The museum is housed in a large mansion near the Jardin Botanique. Its vast collection of zoological specimens and fossils is sure to impress.
5 place Bardineau
33000 Bordeaux

Tel: 05 56 48 26 37

Places to stay in Bordeaux

La_Terrasse_Apartment_BordeauxWhen visiting Bordeaux, I suggest leaving the hotel behind and staying in one of many apartments, guesthouses or chateaux in the area. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

La Terrasse à Bordeaux, a modern 2-bedroom apartment with gorgeous views of the city.

Chateau Monlot is near St. Emilion. Stay in a comfortable B&B that offers wine tastings of rare vintages. (Website is in French)

Dordogne Holiday Lets This rental site has wonderful listings for home and apartment rentals throughout the Southwest of France.

Bordeaux’s Wines

The Bordeaux region has approximately116,160 hectares (287,000 acres) of vineyards, 57 appellations, 10,000 wine-producing châteaux- some of the most established in France. The region’s annual production ranges from 850-900 million bottles

Bordeaux’s vineyards produce both red and white wines. Bordeaux reds are generally made from a blend of grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, or Malbec.

White Bordeaux is made from Sauvignon blanc, Sémillon, and Muscadelle. Bordeaux also produces several dessert wines. The most famous and common are the Sauternes (a sub-region of Graves), intensely sweet (with hints of honey) white dessert wines.  Nearly all of the chateaux in Bordeaux offer wine tours and tastings. I recommend taking advantage of as many as you can during your time there!

Written By Jen Westmoreland Bouchard for EuropeUpClose.com

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