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Best things to do in Bordeaux

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Where in the world: Europe  /  France  /  Nouvelle-Aquitaine  /  Gironde  /  Bordeaux

Top 15 things to do in Bordeaux

1. Place de la Bourse

The reflection of the palace on the grounds of Place de la Bourse creates the largest water mirror effect in the world. This is a public square, but the palace called Palais de la Bourse on the grounds showcases French classical architecture and the art of the 18th century. On either side of the central pavilion, you'll see Hôtel des Fermes and Hôtel de la Bourse. The famous "Three Graces Fountain,” representing Aglaia, Euphrosyne, and Thalia, the daughters of Zeus, stands at the center of the square.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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2. Room Escape Games

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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3. The Water Mirror

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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4. La Grande Dune du Pilat, Pyla-sur-Mer

When you visit La Grande Dune du Pilat, you'll immediately realize why this immense, tall dune is one of the most visited natural sites in the entire country. Officially called the Dune of Pilat, this unique land mass located in Arcachon Bay is the tallest sand dune in Europe and a favorite site for hikers and windsurfers. Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and an enormous pine forest, this dune on a peninsula is one of the most unique landscapes in all of France. Locals call it a "Sand Monster" or a "Menacing Sand Wall." Thanks to recent developments, you can reach the dune easily by car.
Suggested duration: 6 hours
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5. La Cite du Vin

The Cité du Vin is a museum as well as a place of exhibitions, shows, movie projections and academic seminars on the theme of wine located in Bordeaux, France.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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6. St. Andre Cathedral

St. Andre Cathedral, a French national monument, hosted the 1137 marriage of 13-year-old Eleanor of Aquitaine to the future King Louis VII. It is also a Roman Catholic church that serves as the seat of the Archbishop of Bordeaux-Bazas. The original cathedral was consecrated by Pope Urban II in 1096, though most of what visitors see today is from the 14th and 15th centuries. Of the original Romanesque edifice, only a wall in the nave remains. However, you can still view many historical treasures, including the Royal Gate from the early 13th century.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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7. Food Tours

Suggested duration: 4h 30 min
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8. Aquarium La Rochelle, La Rochelle

Take a trip across the seas of the world at Aquarium La Rochelle. The largest aquarium in the country, this private center features 75 aquariums set in the diverse waters of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. It’s home to over 12,000 marine creatures, which live in 3 million L (1.5 million gal) of seawater. From all three floors of the indoor space, you can view massive sharks in the gigantic central tank. Surround yourself with 1,000 jellyfish by walking through the 360° tunnel, and explore the colorful coastal area that reveals the mysteries just off land. The Center for Sea Turtles is an absolute must during your visit. Several children's activities promote ocean conservation and fun for all age groups, while interactive kiosks throughout the center provide information about each environment.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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9. Zoo de La Palmyre, La Palmyre-Les Mathes

Seek out the popular scimitar oryx, white rhino, polar bear, or golden lion tamarin at Zoo de La Palmyre in the forest of Les Mathes. Covering close to 20 hectares (49 acres), the zoo houses over 1,600 animals from 130 different species, including many exotic and endangered animals. Stroll through 14 gardens. Claude Caille established the zoo in 1966.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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10. Wine Tours & Tastings

Delve into the long history of winemaking that goes back to the Roman times by joining a wine tour from Bordeaux. Follow your friendly and knowledgeable guide to charming chateaux and historic castles parched upon vineyard-covered hills. Learn how to tell between different flavors in the wine, proper tasting techniques, and how to pair food with fine reds and whites. You can even join a wine-blending workshop and mix your own bottle to take home as a souvenir. Some excursions focus on activities beyond wine tasting--like cruising down the Garonne River or taking a scenic trip to the Bay of Arcachon. The duration of the tours spans from a couple of hours to a full day.
Suggested duration: 5 hours
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11. Vieux Port, La Rochelle

A port since the 13th century, Vieux Port is world famous for its guard towers. In its prime in the 17th and 18th centuries, the port handled close to half of France's colonial trade. Today it attracts tourists from all over the globe. The well-structured port has three public pools.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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12. Tour Pey-Berland

Built by one of the great archbishops of Bordeaux in the 1440s, Tour Pey-Berland was supposed to house the bells for St. Andre's cathedral to protect the building from vibrations. However, the bells never came. The tower ended up being used for housing and later was a shotgun pellet factory. In 1851, it was restored, and three bells that are controlled from the cathedral were installed. Today, you can tour the tower, visit its collection of bells, and take in the view of the city from the top of the tower.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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13. Pont de Pierre

The first bridge over the Garonne River at Bordeaux, Pont de Pierre was planned and designed under the orders of Napoléon Bonaparte, though its construction took place during the Bourbon Restoration between 1819 and 1822. Notice that the bridge stands on 17 arches (coincidently the same number of letters in the name Napoléon Bonaparte). White medallions cap each side in honor of the emperor, alongside the city's coat of arms (three intertwined crescents). This was the only bridge in the area until the construction of Pont Saint-Jean in 1965.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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14. Room Escape Games, Bayonne

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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15. Chateau Cantenac, Saint-Emilion

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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