Welcome to a new series! In this series, we’ll describe the must-see sights, must-do activities and must-eats if you only have 24 hours in one city. Whether it’s a quick trip or an extra-long layover, all your basics are covered with this 24-hour express city guide. This week, we have 24 hours in Bordeaux, France — what shall we do? 

Bordeaux is one of the most beautiful and lively cities in France! It’s actually been dubbed as the mini Paris and once you’ve been there, you’ll completely understand why. The city has stunning architecture, a vibrant food scene and bonus points for wine lovers — we’re in wine country after all! Of course, as with many other cities, 24 hours is barely enough to scratch the surface of Bordeaux, but we’ll try and include as much as we can! 

Place de la Bourse

One of the city’s most recognizable sights is a massive 18th-century square along the Garonne river, called the “Place de la Bourse”. It was built during King Louis XV’s reign and is a classic example of fine French architecture. If you’ve ever visited Paris and seen Place de la Concorde or Place Vendôme, you’ll definitely see the resemblance! What makes this particular square even more special? The stunning reflecting pool is just a few feet away! Called “Le Miroir d’Eau”, it’s made of blue granite and is the largest reflecting pool in the world. In the summer, it operates on 15-minute cycles and will fill ever so slightly that you can wet your feet and splash around. Whether you’re watching little kids run around in the water or seeing the twin of the “Place de la Bourse”, it’s one of the most breathtaking sights in Bordeaux!

24 hours in Bordeaux, France

Marché des Capucins

“Marché des Capucins” is the biggest daily market in Bordeaux and has everything you could dream of! From fruits and vegetables, sweets, spices and a bunch of cafés, it’s truly not to be missed. It’s also a covered market, so you can even enjoy it on a rainy day! You’ll find some really delicious specialties of the southwest of France here, such as tapenade, aïoli and pissaladière (onion tart). Remember that the market is closed on Mondays and can get very busy on weekends — if you want a table, I’d recommend getting there early as you can! 

24 hours in Bordeaux, France

Les Chartrons

While this neighbourhood isn’t in the city centre, it’s one of the liveliest places in the city. Les Chartrons is in the north part of Bordeaux, easily accessible by tram if you’re staying downtown. It has some of the cutest boutiques, antique stores, coffee shops and restaurants. The main street in this neighbourhood is rue Notre Dame, which you could truly spend hours strolling in! It’s one of the most beautiful streets in Bordeaux with a lot of tiny balconies decorated with plenty of flowers. Finally, Chartrons is home to some of the best bakeries in the city! For all my patisserie lovers out there, don’t miss P’tite Boulangerie or Micheline et Paulette — truly, the best croissant I’ve ever had!

Cité du Vin

The Cité du Vin is one of the most interesting and enjoyable activities for wine lovers. Heck, even if you don’t drink wine, it’s still incredibly interesting! It’s an interactive and sensory experience, where you’ll learn about winemaking, French wine history (as well as global history) and watch interviews with wine producers from all over the world. The best part? Your admission includes a glass of wine at the Belvedere, located on the top floor of the building. Is there anything better than a glass of wine and a beautiful view?

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Written by: Sacha Vincent-Toskin

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