To be honest, I did not choose to go to Bordeaux thinking that it would be a beautiful destination for a city trip but to meet some friends living there. However, I must admit that the city is very charming and I will certainly go back!
Arrived on Friday night, my friends took me to a nice lively bar specialised in rum called Le vintage bar downtown in the rue Saint-James (number 45) just next to the Grosse cloche, a medieval door and its towers. Beware: you will be thrown out firmly by the bouncer at 2.00am!
The nightlife is really lively as Bordeaux is a student city hosting lots of students from across France but also across Europe thanks to the Erasmus+ programme.
Your ho(s)tel is not that close? Rent a VCub, the public bicycles (1€50 for 24h) to move around. The roads are made for cyclists and the streets of the center are only accessible to residents. It was actually the first time I rode a bicycle in a city – I’m 100 % I would be run over by a car/truck/tram within 5 minutes!
Saturday in the Bassin
I traveled to Bordeaux at the end of November but I was very lucky. The weather was really nice – around 18° C – and we decided to drive to the Arcachon Bay about 1 hour and a half from Bordeaux.
We drove up to the Cape Ferret separating the Arcachon Bay, famous for its oysters, from the Atlantic Ocean with a beautiful view on the tallest sand dune in Europe called the Dune of Pilat. Our November walk on the beach felt like a spring walk… amazing!
We then headed town to the lighthouse surrounded by incredible and expensive houses and to the village de L’herbe, a very picturesque village plenty of colourful fishermen cabins. Take a break in one of them to taste the famous oysters of the region!
Back in Bordeaux
The center of Bordeaux is beautiful at night. You can just wander around the cobblestone streets in the centre or walk along the quay from the Place de la Bourse to the Pont Saint-Pierre.
For a cheap and filling burger, go to Funky Burger. 8,80 € for a simple burger + chips + a soda! If you’re lucky, the team of the restaurant may choose to celebrate your anti-birthday and you will receive it for free!
For a nice and more expensive meal, go to L’Estacade. I haven’t tested it myself but my friend ensured me the food was delicious and the view on Bordeaux was incredible.
Lazy Sunday in Bordeaux
Walk around the St-Michel area, the last area that has not been completely refurbished yet to reach Le Marché des Capucins, a large and friendly market where you can enjoy food from around the world. Sit down to taste oysters (if you haven’t done it yet) with a nice glass of Bordeaux, to eat Spanish tortillas or specialties from the Reunion.
Our favourite booth was Crep’Mat where you can eat crepes and galettes for a very decent price. The specificity of this place? It is held by Mathieu, an adorable deaf guy that will teach you how to say coffee or thank you in the sign language.
For the afternoon, I have two suggestions:
- A cultural one: visit the CAPC, the modern art Museum
- An alternative one: explore Niel military land on the right bank of the Garonne. The Darwin project aims at giving the opportunity to citizens to reclaim the military barracks by developing for instance a green shop, spaces dedicated to the urban culture (graffs, skateboarding, roller derby), a bar with organic juices and wooden benches and a urban farm.
For tea, I can advise you A la cantine, a nice restaurant decorated with classroom pictures and old reports very close to the église St Louis des Chartrons.
Time to go back home: bye bye Bordeaux, see you soon!