ibis Bordeaux Centre Gare Saint Jean Euratlantique
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Paris may get all the glory as being the tourism centre of France, but there are many other cities worth visiting, Bordeaux being one of them. While the city used to be known as Belle au Bois Dormant or Sleeping Beauty, it is now a very lively city full of markets, museums, cafes, and other sites you will love. From a hotel at the airport or one of the many hotels near the city centre, you can see the UNESCO World Heritage site using the city’s excellent transportation system or you can take a relaxing walk along the Garonne.
For many people, Bordeaux is synonymous with fine wine. For this reason, once you are here you might want to take some time and find out just how great the wine is here. A good first step could be the Cité du Vin. There you can find interactive exhibits about wines from all over the world, as well as special events, exhibitions, shows and tours. Everything you ever wanted to know about wine, you can find it here. For some local Bordeaux wine, you can visit places like La Tupina, Chateau Pape Clement, and Chateau Saint Ahon. All these places have beautiful vineyards and some amazing wines. You might not want to go back to your hotel, but if you do, don’t forget your bottle of wine.
As Sleeping Beauty awakens, she is showing off the best she has to offer in the form of her architecture. There are many sights to be seen walking around Bordeaux. The Cathedral of Saint Andrew offers beauty that rivals that of Notre Dame in Paris. It is a national monument of France and still has some of the original Romanesque architecture from the 8th century and the Royal Gate from the 13th century. Close by is the Hotel de Ville, which provides a lovely contrast to the Cathedral as it was built in the 1770s. Another stop is The Grand Theatre, decorated in the Classical style, featuring columns and various statues of Roman goddesses. If you are looking for real Roman architecture, you can visit Palais Gallien. This amphitheatre was built in the 2nd century and is the only remaining Roman structure in Bordeaux. A walk along the Garonne river will take you past the Place de la Bourse. Here you can admire many beautiful examples of 18th-century architecture. For an added treat, this is also the place where the Water Mirror was built. It is an art installation with water so still, it reflects the beautiful buildings of Place de la Bourse like a mirror, making it the world’s largest reflecting pool. And while you are so close to the river, you can also visit Pont du Pierre. This beautiful bridge built in 1821 was the first to cross the river. After a long day, you can head back to your hotel and get some much-needed rest.
During your travels around Bordeaux, there are many wonderful museums to explore. The Musée des Beaux-Arts lets you explore European Art from the 15th to the 20th centuries. It is one of the largest art galleries in France outside of Paris. For something a bit more modern, you can visit CAPC, the museum of modern art in Bordeaux. And for a little history, you can head to the Musée d'Aquitaine to learn about Bordeaux’s history from the prehistoric times to the present day. The Centre National Jean Moulin is a centre for World War II history where you can learn about the role of France and its people during the war. There are various films, events, and documents that you can explore if you want to learn more about the Resistance and the French Free forces.
When you need some time away from your hotel or other form of accommodation and you need a place to relax, there are quite a few places to visit. The Esplanade des Quinconces is thought to be the largest square in Europe. With a huge fountain and views of the river, the area offers some peace for anyone needing a break. Close by is the Jardin Public, where you can visit the botanical gardens and the natural history museum. It is an oasis in the middle of the city and many people feel that is a taste of the forest. The Museum of Natural History holds multiple floors of exhibits on various plants, animals, and dinosaurs. The botanical gardens contain over 3,000 plant species from all over the world. Other parks to visit that each have their charm are Parc de Majolan, Place du Parlement, and Parc Floral.