September 18, 2018

All Your Questions about Bordeaux Answered

Grab your camera and just get lost in this picturesque, bustling city in France. Put Paris aside, the best of France is found beyond Paris. Bordeaux, will amaze you even more with friendlier people and the best part, everything is less expensive. The Bordeaux lifestyle is very relaxing; nobody is rushing or anxious. Lots of people claim it’s the best place to live in France and everyone will fall in love with it sooner or later. Here’s everything you need to know about Bordeaux:

Where is it and how to get there?

Bordeaux is located in the Aquitaine region, it’s a port city in Southwestern France. It has its own airport and is easy to reach by train. London and Bordeaux are only six hours away by Eurostar. As from Paris, the TGV high-speed train is a sweet option (takes three hours). If you’re not in a rush, rent a car and enjoy seeing more of French towns on the road is a good idea as well.

What’s number one must do in Bordeaux other than tasting wine?

Biking it is!
Like Amsterdam and Copenhagen, Bordeaux is also a perfect city for biking. There are lots of biking tours available online. Being flat and has more than 200 kilometers of cycle paths make biking a popular way to see Bordeaux. Bordeaux is stunning at night when it lights up. Happen to have a match on Tinder and don’t know what to do on the first date? Biking at night should be your number one choice.

Most instagrammable place in Bordeaux?

Place de la Bourse aka Place Royale! Gotta #doitforthegram always! The water mirror reflection makes the place even more picture perfect. You can find Place de la Bourse in the center of the old town with some other 18th century influenced architecture. Great bistros, boutiques and vintage shops can be found everywhere as well. Musée d’Aquitaine is in walking distance from Place de la Bourse, pay a visit if you’re interested in the prehistoric and roman-celtic history. For the admission fee, the reduced rate is € 3 and full rate is € 5. Access to the museum is free for all visitors on the first Sunday of each month (except July and August).

Tips on wine-tasting in the capital of wine?

Tannins, acids, vintage years… …? Wine-tasting is straight up intimidating but to make the most out of a wine-tasting tour, ask questions, take notes and remember to drink water are the way to go. Getting drunk in the wine-tasting is decidedly un-chic. To avoid that, spit out the wine at times to stay clear-minded. Pour out the rest of the sample is okay as well. Don’t worry, it’s pretty common. Wineries can’t expect you to like them all, right? Last but not least, read up “How to Pretend You Have Good Taste in Wine” on WiKihow to have a laugh and moreover, it might boost up our confidence even more if we need it.

Get naked at beaches in Bordeaux?

Topless at beaches in France/Europe is very common. At first, it was super foreign to me, but soon after I can really appreciate how chilled French people are. Funny enough, in France, burkini is banned while nudity is not. There are some beaches people would go full on naked, while some, people just go for topless. Do as the locals do will never go wrong. Remember don’t take pictures nor stare at others. Try your best to act normal and tell your brain it’s not a big deal to see young girls’ boobs. The nearest beach is an hour away from the center of Bordeaux. Carcans Océan (on the left-hand side of France) is well loved by surfers around the world. Along the long stretch of west coast, you get white sand beaches with nice waves. There are also some nudist resorts on the west coast. Exciting!!

What’s on the right banks of the Garonne river?

Bordeaux extends out from each side of the Garonne river. Although the right bank side appears to be very empty compared to the left bank side. You can take the tram system to travel from city center to the left bank side. You’ll find more classic, cozier family chateaux here.
“Darwin Ecosystème” is definitely a must see on the right banks. It was an unused industrial area converted in 2012 and now it’s renovated and has become a very popular place for young people to hang out. Darwin Ecosystème is a “utopian experiment”. The project focus on responsible business to make the world a better place. Super green and artist-friendly!

When’s the best time to visit Bordeaux?

Summer (between June and August) almost applies to all travel plans. But if crowds bother you, do spring or autumn. Sunny autumn months of September and October are perfect as during that time temperatures can remain around 20°C. One thing to keep in mind regarding the best time to visit, wineries can hardly host visitors during harvest time. A harvest can last between days and weeks depending on the size of the vineyard. It usually happens around September, can begin as early as August and end as late as October. While winter is unpleasant to most people, December in Bordeaux can be very dreamy because of Christmas though.

Bordeaux versus Toulouse

People often compare Bordeaux to Toulouse because they both stand out so much and people just seem to love them! Toulouse is the fourth largest city in France by population while Bordeaux being the ninth. They both make you feel like you get that bustling city feel with great night life and lots of great restaurants, but in the same time they have that cute village feel. Toulouse has higher immigrant rates than Bordeaux and the city appears more cosmopolitan in terms of mix of people. It located at the heart of South western France, so it’s not close to the sea or the mountains. Give both of them a go to join the debate, which one is better, Bordeaux or Toulouse?