Bordeaux is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and is popular with tourists. The region is also very famous for the wine they produce, and chances are good that river cruisers will have at least one or two glasses of wine when they take an excursion into the city. There are three different waterways in the area that offer river cruises including the Dordogne River, Gironde Estuary, and the Garonne River.
Over the past couple of years, this area has really started to open up when it comes to river cruisers, and travelers will find a large number of things to see and do when they arrive in the area. Life in Bordeaux is very relaxed, and the people tend to be very friendly.
One of the things you will notice about the city when you arrive is that it is actually very flat and is right on the banks of the Garonne. The flat terrain makes it easy to walk to many of the locations you will want to visit while in the city. The town center is very pedestrian-friendly. However, you could rent a bicycle or take a taxi as well.
Your Cruise Ship Docks …
The cruise ships will generally dock at Quai des Chartons. It’s relatively easy to get into the city center and all of the places that you will want to visit when you take your excursion into Bordeaux.
When in Bordeaux …
Visiting Bordeaux provides you with some fun things to see and do that will help to make your vacation truly memorable. From tasting wines to visiting museums, there is something for everyone. Let’s look at some of the best places to experience while you are in the city.
- Les Quais – This area of the city can provide you with a nice walk along the river, as well as some great views of the bridges and the surrounding landscape.
- Musee D’Art Contemporain – Those who love modern art will want to check out this museum. It has a number of exhibits, many of which change regularly. It’s open Tuesday to Sunday, and is closed on Mondays, so check your itinerary.
- Musee D’Aquitaine – This museum features some amazing artifacts and exhibits including statues that are more 25,000 years old. It is also open from Tuesday to Sunday.
- Saint Michel – Climb up the steps and take in some stunning views of the city and the surrounding area.
- Jardin Botanique – The botanical garden is one of the most popular spots in the city, and it has been since 1855. It has some nice paths for a quiet walk, or you could take one of the guided tours.
- Visit a Vineyard – Bordeaux is famous for its wine, and there are many wineries in the region, which you can visit. Some of the most popular include Chateau Haut Brion, Chateau Latour, Chateau Ausone, Chateau Grand Renouil, and Chateau du Pavilion.
These are only some of the fantastic places you can visit when you are in Bordeaux. It’s a wonderful place to spend a day or more just exploring. Of course, you will probably be getting hungry during your excursion, so let’s look at some of the best eateries, and places to grab a drink, in the area to see what they offer.
- Café du Port – The restaurant has a great view of the Left Bank and Pont de Pierre that pairs nicely with the excellent food.
- Restaurant Solena – This is a relatively new restaurant that features a range of French fare. The menu varies based on the season.
- La Tupina – Those who want to experience some of the best regional fare in the city will love this restaurant.
- Getting a Drink – You will find quite a few places in Bordeaux to go out and have a drink. Some of the most popular locations include Dick Turpin’s, Le Frog and Rosbif, Le Break, Xing-Xing, Shadow Lounge International, and Azuli.
France is known for excellent food and drink, and you will not be disappointed when you visit Bordeaux. You will find some unbelievable gastronomic fare, so make sure you and your taste buds have a great time when you get there.
What Do River Cruisers Need to Know?
When you are in Bordeaux, you will find that while there are a large number of people who speak English, learning some French will go a long ways. The locals will certainly appreciate the effort that you put in with the language.
In France, they use the Euro as their form of currency. You will want to make sure that you exchange your currency to the Euro when you are visiting Bordeaux, as well as any other area of France while on your river cruise. You can generally do this at most banks and other financial institutions in the region.
If you plan to visit the museums in Bordeaux, please be aware that many of the museums are closed on Mondays. Always check the days and hours of operation for the day that you will be arriving and visiting the city.
As mentioned, Bordeaux is a friendly and open city. Crime is not much of a concern, but it is always in your best interest to make sure that you are aware of your surroundings whenever you are traveling.