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Walking Tour of Bordeaux, France
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Walking Tour of Bordeaux, France

by mccownJuly 18, 2013
This entry is part 3 of 10 in the series France/Italy

Bordeaux was our first stop in our France trip. Roughly three hours away by train, we only had to wait a short while once we arrived at CDG (in first class style!) to board our train straight from the airport.

Jeffrey studied abroad here in the spring of 2009, so he knows this port city like the back of his hand. It was my first time here, and it was so fun for me to explore where he lived. We even got to have dinner at his host family’s restaurant! How cool!

On the Garonne River, the water plays a large part in Bordeaux’s history. And, as the fifth largest city in France (with a population of 1.1 million), Bordeaux is the world’s wine industry center, with the wine economy taking in 14.5 billion Euros per year! Interesting fact: most large cities in Europe have a river, which was once used as the main transportation to get goods to and from town.

In early March, we found the weather to be perfectly warm and sunny – great for walking all around the city and exploring.

Check out our self-guided walking tour below. If you want to hit all of the major sights in just a day or two, this is the best way to start:


View Bordeaux Walking Tour in a larger map

Total distance: appx 3.9 miles
Time: You could power walk it at about 2 hours, but I’d say a minimum of 4-5 hours would be good and even better if you try to use all day.
Day of the week: Avoid Mondays as the following are closed: Marché des Capucins, Tour Pey-Berland, Musée d’Aquitaine

  1. START: Place de la Victoire — Walk down Rue Sainte-Catherine, a 1.2 km pedistrian shopping zone
  2. Arriving at Place de la Comedie, you’ll see see the Grand Hôtel de Bordeaux and Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux (take the guided visit–fills up quickly, so book in advance!), home to the Opera National de Bordeaux
  3. Walk along Les Quais de Bordeaux–the old piers and wharfs
  4. Cruise the Chartrons neighborhood, stopping by Eglise Saint-Louis des Chartrons & CAPC Musée d’Art Contemporain
  5. Visit Place des Quinconces and see Le monument aux Girondins
  6. Walk to tram “Station Grand Théâtre” and board the B line tram–an icon of Bordeaux
  7. Debark at “Hotel de Ville” to see Cathédrale Saint-André de Bordeaux and climb the “Tour Pey-Berland
  8. Back on the tram to “Victoire” and then a short walk to “Marché des Capucins”–try to budget a short stop at any of the dozen Kabob vendors along Cours de la Marne. You can also head to Place de la Victoire on foot and stop by “Musée d’Aquitaine” on the way.
  9. Walk to Basilica of St. Michael/Quartier St-Michel–> this is the Moroccan/immigrant area and one of the major perks is the Moroccan mint tea, don’t miss it!
  10. Walk under “Porte de Bourgogne” built between 1750 & 1755
  11. Crossing back over to “Les Quais,” it’s worth a stop at “La Porte Cailhau” (built in appx 1495) before continuing on to “Place de la Bourse” and the reflecting pond.
  12. You’ll then wind around the surrounding neighborhood, passing by many street corner cafes, Cafe Utopia (a cinema), Cafe Karl and, finally, Place du Parlement
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mccown
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  • notme

    Three years ago, my partner and I had to salvage our vacation. The Icelandic volcano made it impossible to get to Europe. As some activities were only available in the spring, we had to totally redo the itinerary for a Sept. departure. We had French Railpasses and decided to go to Bordeaux. OMG! The weather was fantastic and the people were so nice. We managed to get a car and driver for the day. We toured the Margaux chateaus. I never felt so spoiled in my life. Bordeaux is a beautiful city. The “mirror d’eau” was so beautiful at night. If we could swing it, I’d love to go back to Bordeaux.

    • Sounds like a great trip! I really enjoyed my time in Bordeaux and try to make it back at every opportunity.

  • Linda Huskey

    Hey
    nice post, hope you had a great time. I would like to share my
    experience about spending my vacation at France with
    http://www.traveloffthebeatenpath.com.It was wonderful meeting everyone in the group. Loved our guide, thecooking classes, Chenonceau castle, the day in Blois and of course the hot air ballooning. I had such a fun time. All thanks to
    offtheBeatenpath.

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