Bordeaux is situated in the centre of one of the most important wine regions in France. If you'd like to learn more book a two hour course in English at the Ecole du Vin. If you'd like to spend more time learning about the subject and tasting exceptional wines they also have a two day course.
Centre National de Jean Moulin is situated opposite the cathedral in the central of Bordeaux and gives you an insight into the Second World War and the work of the Resistance. Open every afternoon it is free to enter and has many pieces of memorabilia from the war.
For a family friendly activity you must visit Cap Sciences which will help the whole family enjoy learning about science. This summer there is a special activity for children between the ages of 3 & 6 and they will be able to experience being an archeologist. There are other workshops for older children too so this is a place which is highly recomended.
If you love to shop Bordeaux is a fabulous place for all budgets. Galerie Lafayette is situated on the Rue Sainte Catherine which is a very long pedestrian street with masses of shops. You also have an outlet centre on the quay if you prefer to hunt for bargains. Just head for Quai de Chartrons and you will find a good range of shops and restaurants.
Where to eat
Bordeaux is located at the heart of an area renowned for its culinary excellence. Good restaurants are not too hard to come by, but there are certain areas where you can be sure you'll find a great meal.
If you're looking for traditional French cuisine, the Grand Café is the place for you. A combination of excellent produce and good service make it a sure bet for a good meal out. Especially good during the summer, its location makes it ideal for people watching, you'll end up sitting there for hours without noticing the time go by! The staff are always happy to recommend the plat du jour (dish of the day) but we have to say that the salads are always at the top of our list if we're nearby.
If you are looking for a great atmosphere coupled with good food consider going to Mama Shelter which is a hotel as well as a restaurant. Great for families with a buzzing atmosphere, there is an extensive menu with something for everyone. Sharing platters are available and the childrens menu comes with a colouring in sheet and crayons.
The Grand Hotel serves a magnificent brunch every Sunday between the months of October and April with an incredible selection of foods with lots of things to tempt the younger diners too.
At Les Fils à Maman brunch is available all year round on both Saturday and Sunday and the price is 22€. The menu is extensive and even includes a dessert. They recommend that you book a table which is always a good sign.
Any Teas is worth a visit if you enjoy tea accompanied by one of their homemade cakes. It is hidden in the Passage Sarget which is close the the Grand theatre tram stop.
L'Autre Salon de Thé situated in 11 Rue des Remparts has more of a British vibe if you are looking for a traditional cup of tea and a slice of cake.
Where to stay
Our first recommendation is at the luxury end of the scale. The Grand Hotel de Bordeaux is a 5 star hotel located in what is possibly the best location in the entire city. It's impressive facade and stunningly opulent interior design will ensure that you have an unforgettable stay in the city. There are also 3 restaurants (one of which is under the management of chef Gordon Ramsay), a tea room, spa, bar and club within the hotel to make sure that your stay is as comfortable as possible.
Even if you aren't staying at the hotel, the restaurant and bar facilities are open to the public and are all of an exceptional standard. We would personally recommend getting a taste of the Grand Hotel de Bordeaux experience by popping in for afternoon tea. A far cry from scones and sandwiches, the exquisite pastries on offer make it a truly memorable experience. It's a great way to relax whilst on a busy day out discovering all that Bordeaux has to offer.
Another of our choices, the Hotel de la Presse a charming 3 star hotel which is located just off Bordeaux's main shopping street, Rue Ste Catherine. The hotel was refurbished only a couple of years ago and has a modern, clean feel about it. The rooms are all decorated differently and offer a modern boutique hotel feel. There are three different standards of rooms classic, comfort and prestige and their rooms range from single beds up to quadruple rooms, making it a perfect choice if you're visiting Bordeaux with friends or a bigger family group.
The location of this hotel is what really sells it though, the fact that you can step out of the front door and be inside Bordeaux's best department store within about 15 seconds means you can't really beat it. It's also a 3 minute walk away from a tram station so if you're planning on going further afield you can do so with ease.
If you are looking for a unique insight into one of the classical Bordeaux properties I would highly recommend booking at Hotel Particulier which is ideally placed on the tram route, 2 minutes walk from the Cathedral. With a choice of a luxury double bedroom or an apartment, the property has been renovated to a high standard.
It's also worth mentioning that Bordeaux, like many other cities around the world, is embracing Airbnb's concept and you can find beautiful houses and flats to rent in Bordeaux. Keep your eyes peeled for our guide to Bordeaux Airbnbs in the near future!
Bordeaux is located in the Gironde area of South-West France. It's one of the country's main cities and is an ideal destination for those looking for a city break, although the countryside and beaches aren't too far away so it makes for a great base regardless of what type of holiday you're looking for!
Our Guide to Bordeaux