Last week we took a very impromptu trip to Bordeaux. It is the sixth largest metropolitan city in France after the well known and popular cities such as Paris, Lyon and Marsellie. It is located in the southwest region of France. Bordeaux is not well advertised as other French cities but is well known for the famous Bordeaux wine and is world’s major wine industry capital. Similar to Paris, Bordeaux has retained large amount of historical architectural buildings.
We took a very early 6.45 am flight with British airways from London Gatwick airport. Before catching our flight, we stopped over at the no 1 lounge in Gatwick south terminal for a quick breakfast. We used our Priority pass ( free for Amex platinum card holder) which allows unlimited use of any airport lounges worldwide for two person. For more information about this please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
It took us only 1 and half hour to reach Bordeaux. Living in Europe we are very lucky to reach so many different countries by a very short haul flight. We then took a uber ride to our hotel which costed us around €6 and took 10 minutes to reach there. Since this was a very last minute and a overnight break we decided to book a hotel near to the airport rather than on the city centre.
We had a total of 24 hours to explore what Bordeaux had to offer. After a quick refreshment we took a bus ride to the nearby town Merignac. This was a short 15-20 minutes busride costing €1.80 per person one way. We stopped over here for a quick lunch as we were starving by this time. We stumbled across a small Thai restaurant called Pitaya which seemed to be quite busy and popular among the locals so we decided to join the crowd too. We ordered Nua Kai ; (special Fried rice with beef, chicken and sitrfried vegetables) and Pad Thai ( stir fried Thai noodles with prawns and vegetables). Staff were very friendly and the food was very delicious. We enjoyed every bits of it. We highly recommend this restaurant if you want to try simple and authentic Thai food in Merignac town.
After fueling up with our happy tummy , we continued our bus ride towards the Bordeaux centre which took us about 30 minutes to reach the centre. We started off exploring the historical architectures and saw the magnificent Bordeaux Cathedral which was located in the centre of the town.
Porte Calihau commemorates the French victory in the battle of Fornovo in Italy. It stands grandly in the heart of Bordeaux and looks like as if it’s a gate to a Disney fairytales castle. The view is stunning and worth visiting.
From there, we headed towards the old stone bridge called Pont de Pierre crossing the Garonne river in Bordeaux. Here , we sat down by the river bank and had some snacks, people watching and feeding the pigeons ( which I don’t think the locals were pleased about, but oh well). It was quite relaxing and peaceful.
As we walked along the Garonne river, we came across a beautiful sight of a spectacular pool known as Mirroir d’Eau which had a mirror effect and reflection of the historical architecture of Place de la Bourse and the beautiful clouds as well as the sky. The view was magical. Mirroir d’Eau is also listed as a contemporary world heritage site by Unesco.
The Place de la Bourse was built in the 18th century over the period of 20 years. It represents a break with medieval Bordeaux surrounded by walls for centuries and the city was then free to grow. It is now the city’s known symbol and main tourist attractions.
After a full day of discovering beautiful historical architecture and site we were ready to head back to our hotel and get ready for dinner. On our way back we took a stroll around the main shopping area of Rue Ste Catherine and saw lots of beautiful buildings. We also stopped over for one of many desserts breaks. Be it ice cream, macaroons or Bordeaux speciality Canelé.
We stumbled across this magnificent building of Bordeaux Le Grand Hotel. It was too beautiful not to capture and share with you all.
For our dinner , we went to a restaurant/bar near our hotel; Au bureau. Although it wasn’t a French restaurant as there was limited restaurant nearby we thoroughly enjoyed the food, atmosphere and the service here. They catered for international food and there was lot of influence from English pub style restaurant. We highly recommend you giving it a try if you are around the area. Something different that we had here was Egg benedict but instead of the muffin there was a hash brown which was very innovative and different. Portions were humongous and high quality delicious foods.
Overall, we had a very pleasant 24 hours in Bordeaux and I am very glad that we took this spontaneous trip to this beautiful historical city. Although ,we managed to see many sights due to time restraint we were not able to do other things that Bordeaux has on offer. If we visit Bordeaux in the future we will definitely do a wine vineyard tour and also visit the neighbouring cities such as Saint Emilion and Arcachon.
Bordeaux is relatively small city compared to other French cities but has a lot to offer. I highly recommend you to pay a visit here even it be for a day. I hope you have enjoyed reading our experience from our trip to Bordeaux and somehow found it helpful. Thankyou for visiting our blogpost.