Bordeaux has always been a dynamic, cosmopolitan city, which never ceases to amaze its tourists with new interesting facets of its personality.
This city has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2007 due to its bold modernism, being a key destination for all those interested in French culture, the French lifestyle, and well-made wine.
Bordeaux is the center of a legendary wine region, but also a vibrant, sophisticated city and a top destination for those who love quality food. Synonymous with fine wines, Bordeaux is one of the most elegant cities in France.
This city is located on the river Garonne, being, moreover, an important port for more than a few centuries. In addition, the Basque Country and Spain are only 2 hours away, and in just 3 hours’ walk from Bordeaux, you can reach the famous part of the Pyrenees, excellent for winter sports lovers. And if this is not enough to convince you already, here are 5 more reasons to visit Bordeaux this summer:
1. The Water Mirror
Located opposite Place de la Bourse, between Quai de la Douane and Quai Louis XVIII, this spectacular pool, designed by artist Michel Corajoud offers a magnificent show through rhythmic changes in 2 centimeters of water on a giant granite slab. The figures show that it is the largest water mirror in the world, with an area of 3450 square meters.
Anyone can take off their shoes and cool off in this water, even to dance rhythms, because in the evening there is a festival where groups of interprets gather to sing and dance, creating a real show on the face of the water.
2. Jardin Public, Bordeaux
The Jardin Public merges the distinguished honey-colored stone of stately 18th century buildings with a relaxed setting in which a pond is surrounded by centuries-old trees. The garden is much appreciated by people who enjoy a leisurely walk, joggers, children, and grandparents, who coexist with swans and ducks in complete harmony.
This public garden of Bordeaux was originally designed “a la Francaise” – with styled trees, right angles, and a terrace from which you can see from a distance how man’s mastery dominated nature. Slowly, however, it turned into an “a l’anglaise” garden in which from wherever you are, you have a different point of view and a different landscape of nature surprised as if it were a painting.
3. Porte Cailhau
Fragment of the ancient walls, Porte Cailhau is an absolutely magnificent tourist attraction.
With a project of transition between Gothic and Renaissance, it dates from 1495 and was built to celebrate the victory of King Charles VIII against the League of Venice at the Battle of Fornovo.
Because of that, it had the dual purpose of being a triumphal arch as well as a defense wall of the city.
There is a white statuette of the king in one of the niches, as well as a note telling you to keep your attention on the heat, as Charles VIII died at the age of 27 after entering Amboise alone.
For a small fee, you can enter the building and go to the photogenic view of the city of Garonne.
4. La Cité du Vin
This extremely contemporary cultural center is a celebration of all wines and is one of those enterprising and futuristic ideas that are really hard to summarize in words.
For the usual tourist, it is a high-tech museum that teaches you about the history of wine and where and how it is made around the world.
There are ten hours of audiovisual material to watch, so if you are an oenophile, you could easily kill a day here, satisfying your curiosity.
The architecture of this 3,000-square-meter building, with its 55-meter tower, is dazzling and the tour culminates with a visit to the Belvedere Bar, where you can pair a glass of wine with equally impressive views of Bordeaux and Garonne.
5. Wine Tours
Another thing you can do while you are at La Cité du Vin is to gather advantageous intel on where to continue your wine journey because the choices you are presented with can be quite overwhelming. You are, after all, in the world capital of wine and the second largest wine region on the globe.
Typically, a guided tour involves transporting a group of people around Saint-Émilion, Médoc, Canon Fronsac, Sauternes, and Graves.
While there, you will be presented with specific and traditional rooms and cellars and you will find out how the wine is created and stored, then having the chance to try them personally through a tasting event.