We all know that France is a land of exceptional food and wine, and without a doubt the country’s most popular wine region is Bordeaux. After all, wine lovers everywhere from China to California are familiar with Bordeaux’s full-bodied red wines, making Bordeaux arguably the most important wine region in the world. But wine isn’t all that Bordeaux has to offer. In addition to its phenomenal wine, Bordeaux also boasts rich history, a beautiful city center and a terrific food scene. And I was lucky enough to explore it all during my recent trip to France.
While spending a couple of weeks in Paris recently, I decided to venture outside of the City of Lights to explore France’s second most popular city–Bordeaux. My decision to visit Bordeaux was rather spur-of-the-moment, so I didn’t have much time to scour the internet for a place to stay. Fortunately, I know I can always rely on HotelTonight when I need to book a great last-minute hotel, and within minutes on HotelTonight’s website I had booked a charming last-minute hotel in Bordeaux.
Located in the heart of Bordeaux is the Triangle d’Or (or the “Golden Triangle”), which is defined by three major boulevards: Cours de l’Intendance, Cours Georges Clemenceau and Allees de Tourny. The historic center of Bordeaux is full of grand, sophisticated 18th century architecture and elegance, and nowhere is it more apparent that in the Triangle d’Or area. The streets within this triangle feature plenty of great shops and restaurants, and this is the perfect place to visit if you want a taste of Bordeaux’s glamorous side.
Like most old European cities, Bordeaux is situated on a beautiful river, the Garonne River. If you want to take a pleasant stroll through Bordeaux and get a great feel for its layout, you should go for a walk along the riverfront. As I meandered along the Garonne, I passed a number of gardens, charming cafes and beautiful bridges. From the river, you can really get a sense of the scope of Bordeaux, which is full of pretty honey-colored buildings and wide boulevards.
Bordeaux has a rich history that dates back to the Middle Ages, which is why so much of the city’s charm comes from its old buildings and heritage. There’s no better place to get a feel for Bordeaux’s history than in the St. Pierre district, which is the heart of Bordeaux’s old town. This area is home to medieval buildings, quaint squares and narrow, cobbled streets. I’m a sucker for old world charm, so I was immediately entranced with St. Pierre. Over the course of my weekend in Bordeaux, I returned to St. Pierre many times to walk through its narrow streets and dine at its charming sidewalk cafes.
Bordeaux’s Chartrons district is located north of the historic city center, and it’s a favorite neighborhood among locals and tourists alike. Like many districts in Bordeaux, the Chartrons area has an interesting history. This neighborhood used to be the center of the wine trade in Europe. Today, though, it’s one of Bordeaux’s trendiest areas, and while you can still find plenty of great wine shops in the Chartrons district, you’ll also come across hip boutiques, cafes, and restaurants.
Since I was in Bordeaux on a warm summer weekend, I decided to head just west of the city to Cap Ferret, a laidback French beach town that is also known as the country’s oyster capital. Since it’s only about an hour outside of Bordeaux, Cap Ferret makes for a great day trip from the city, and it offers an entirely different vibe than Bordeaux. This charming, easygoing beach town boasts a windswept stretch of beach that makes it so easy to relax and forget about all of your worries. Plus, if you want to try some of the best oysters of your life, you’ll definitely want to head out to Cap Ferret if you get the chance.
I have visited Paris on many occasions over the years, but I had never made it to Bordeaux until this last trip. Bordeaux, France’s king of red wine, is a must-visit destination for wine lovers, but you certainly don’t have to like wine to enjoy the beauty, the history and the culture of this beloved French city.
As my weekend in Bordeaux came to an end, I reminisced on my short stay in this charming French town. While you can get a sense of Bordeaux’s beauty by looking at pictures of the city, you can’t get a sense of the romanticism of the town unless you walk its streets yourself. So if you find yourself with a craving to jet off to Bordeaux, let HotelTonight help you book a great last-minute hotel in Bordeaux so that you can spend less time hassling with planning and more time enjoying your adventure in the City of Wine.