A must add to your European city hopping list
Getting to Europe from most parts of the world is painstakingly long often involving transits and stay overs. Therefore once here, tourists make best use of their time and money by visiting as many destinations as possible, provided they are on a Schengen tourist visa or their passports have free travel access. A trend that has been growing in recent years is city hopping. This is when you spend just a couple of days max in a city, usually engaging in cultural and culinary pleasures! City hopping is the best way to explore Europe or at least its greatest cities. Bordeaux is undoubtedly a jewel of Europe and with its rich wine making heritage, it would be a shame not to add it to your next European city hopping adventure! So here are some advice for you to enjoy the best of Bordeaux in a weekend.
Your itinerary for Bordeaux in a weekend
Here’s what we feel would maximize the Bordeaux experience for you!
Day 1 – Starting your weekend in Bordeaux
- Start the first day with a light breakfast of croissant and a ‘café’ very à la francaise or NOT! If you are like me a foodie, enjoy salty too! Try ‘La parenthese creperie’ located downtown which has great selection of breakfast and brunch. A tip? Try their crepes! They open at 8 in the morning.
- Get the breakfast digested while strolling down the famous Rue Sainte Catherine which is THE longest shopping street in Europe, about 1.2 kilometers long. Resist from doing a lot of shopping otherwise you’ll be going back to the hotel to store the bags. The street has 2 landmarks on 2 ends, one being the Place de la Victoire and the other being Place de la Comédie. I love the latter. Just go there, take a moment and look around, you’ll know why!
- From the Place de la Comédie you can walk up to the Girondins Monuments. A must see up close for retrophiles!
- Then cross the park in the direction of the river Garonne (use Google map, wink). Once you are upon the riverbank, walk in the rightwards direction. It will be a fabulous promenade covering much of the historic row of French architecture Bordeaux is famous for. It will bring you to the famous Place de la Bourse with the Mirroir d’eau for your Instagram selfie (wink)!
Eating in Bordeaux
- You should be quite hungry by now if not famished. Thus next on our list is the ‘Marché des Capucins’. This is the oldest market in Bordeaux where you can have lunch on site having chosen fresh local produce from oysters and prawns to anything yourgastronomic heart can desire! One thing is for sure, after lunch you will end up with a good burp and a phrase in your mind ‘So fresh! So yum!’. Then, walking time from Place de la Bourse is 19 minutes but an excuse to ride the tram is now. Although it’s just 2 tram stops, hop on to the tram at Place de la Bourse and get down at the stop Saint Michel.
- A little ‘Sieste’? No, a good café would suffice along with a big sized ‘Canelé’. Canelé is a local delicacy for the sweet tooth. Once energized, we suggest you take an hour’s stroll at Jardin Public, which is a beautiful quaint park. The bus 15 will bring you straight to the park from the market.
Your evening in Bordeaux
- It’ll be time for l’apéro (quintessential French lifestyle experience) by the time you finish your stroll. We absolutely suggest you enjoy this at Le Vertige. This bar à vin or wine bar in English is a space with great energy and hospitality. They serve you platters of scrumptious cheese, charcuterie with wonderful wines to pair with. This is downtown as well and walkable from the Jardin Public.
- Having worked up your appetite, it’s time for dinner. Atelier des Faures is a eating bar with an eclectic gastronomy and a great local ambience! Most importantly, they serve to all tastes and have vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options!
- Finally, get back to the hotel, jump into a Jacuzzi and unwind.
Day 2- Dedicate this to wine and wine only!
An absolute immersion into ‘Wine and Bordeaux’ is through this simple formula:
- A wine tour in the morning and museum visit in the afternoon or vice versa. Whichever you choose depending on whether you are a morning person or not, we can be with you for either of the wine tours. With vineyards all around Metropolitan Bordeaux, it would be a shame to miss out on a wine tour. Even if you are here just for 2 days, a half-day tour to the vineyards of Saint-Emilion should be your priority. We have made them sensorial too by including artisanal local chocolates, cheese and cured meat!
- Based on which ever tour you choose, the other half is a must do which is La Cité du Vin. The visit will certainly tap into all your senses, using digital technology, art and creativity, and make you understand wine just like an expert. Finally, end the tiring yet exhilarating visit with their tastings on the top floor with a panoramic view of Bordeaux.
With Bordeaux being just 2 hours away from Paris, thanks to high speed rail, you should take advantage of this wine pilgrimage plus city hop in a weekend, and not miss out from having some fun making your friends and colleagues envious!