Bordeaux is an absolute paradise for shopaholics, history buffs, lovers of fine architecture, and wine aficionados. Easily one of France’s most beautiful and interesting cities, Bordeaux’s pedestrian shopping zone is constantly filled with tourists and locals alike. Here are the top Bordeaux attractions.
1. Bordeaux's Golden Triangle
Visit Bordeaux’s Golden Triangle, which is formed by the roads cours de l’Intendance, cours Georges Clemenceau and allées de Tourny. Within and around this triangle are endless shopping opportunities, including great spots to purchase Bordeaux wines. The rue Sainte Catherine is a lovely place for shopping or a brief break at a café, and it is the longest pedestrianized street in all of Europe. The city’s shopping options are vast, ranging from small malls to tiny locally-owned boutiques. Major chain stores include a string of popular and upscale names, including Christian Lacroix, Mont Blanc, Hugo Boss, Cartier and Hermès.
2. Basilique Saint Seurin
The Basilique Saint Seurin is not Bordeaux's most elegant church, but it is the city’s oldest. This church, with a crypt dating back to the 4th century, appears a bit worn, but it has a tremendous amount of character. It features a delicately-carved throne that was graced by a pope in the past. Its Mariovian crypt, a group that claimed to be the bloodline of Christ, is worth a visit alone.
Le Grand Théâtre is a premier example of neo-classical architecture. Its portico is punctuated by a dozen grandiose Corinthian columns. Built in 1780, it is decked with numerous statues and carvings. Open year-round with hours varying depending on the opera schedule. Call ahead for a reservation.
4. Basilique Saint Michel
Basilique Saint Michel features a spire stretching nearly 400 feet high, the tallest ancient monument in southwest France and the second highest in France. Dating back to the 1400s, it is a wonderful example of medieval religious architecture.
5. Le Palais Rohan
Le Palais Rohan has served as city hall since the 1800s, although it was originally constructed as the home of an archbishop. This attraction is likely one reason Bordeaux has been compared to Versailles. Don’t miss the stunning trompe l’oeil décor in the dining room. Open year-round on Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m.