Top French Cities - Bordeaux at a glance

Press release

For more information, visit Bordeaux Tourism at

City region: Aquitaine / Nouvelle-Aquitaine

Population & what they are called: 250,776 municipality inhabitants (2016 census), called Bordelais

Access from Paris:

  • by road: about 5 h 40 min (363 miles) via the A10 autoroute called L'Aquitaine

  • by train: about 2 hours by TGV from the Gare Montparnasse

  • by plane: about 1 h 15 min from Paris

Famous native daughters & sons:

  • François Mauriac, writer and Nobel laureate

  • Michel de Montaigne, philosopher and essayist

  • Jean-Jacques Sempé, cartoonist

Most distinctive and/or unique fact or trait (or little known fact):

  • Bordeaux is the most extensive urban environment in the world to be honored as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

  • 22 bottles of wine from Bordeaux are sold every second all over the world.

Notable sites:

  • Vieille ville – Old Bordeaux, its historic sites (the big bell tower, Place Pey-Berland, Opera House), elegant architecture and numerous wine bars

  • Cité du Vin – a unique immersive journey into the discovery of wine cultures (

  • Miroir d'eau – world's largest water mirror, located on the Place de la Bourse

Top annual events:

  • Bordeaux Fête le Vin – a large biennial four-day wine festival that celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2018 (June 14 to 18) with the arrival of the Tall Ships Regatta (

  • Bordeaux S.O Good – a three-day festival of epicurean and gourmet food, 7,000 gourmet dishes cooked by a collective of chefs (

  • International Festival of Arts of Bordeaux Métropole – nicknamed the FAB, it's three weeks of “artistic effervescence” (

Most notable museums:

  • Musée des Beaux Arts – one of France's best painting galleries with artwork by masters from many eras – Rubens to Delacroix to Picasso (

  • Musée d'Aquitaine – archeological and history museum (

  • Bernard Magrez Institut Culturel – cultural institute with temporary exhibitions of modern art (

Culinary specialties:

  • oysters – straight from the sea at Arcachon

  • canelé – a rum- and vanilla-flavored pastry with a thick caramelized crust and soft custard center

  • entrecôte bordelaise – a quality cut of beef grilled over a wood fire

Local wines & spirits:

  • Bordeaux wine – famous reds and dry, sweet and even sparkling whites, well worth visiting at the wineries and learning about through a tasting class

  • Lillet – made near Bordeaux with wine and fruit liqueur as a great prelude to any meal


  • Rue Sainte-Catherine – the main shopping street in town, often acclaimed as the longest pedestrian street in Europe (0.75 miles long)

  • Marché des Capucins – Bordeaux’s principal market hall, one of the best and biggest cupboards in the southwest of France

  • wine marmalade – all the delicious taste without the alcohol

Most popular night spots:

  • La Plage – the largest open-air dance floor in a city in France

  • I.BOAT – a concert hall, club and restaurant on a boat moored in a tidal basin

  • Mama Shelter – a rooftop bar with amazing city views

Local population’s favorite activities (or hangouts):

  • Quays of the Garonne River – run, bike or stroll from the Jacques Chaban-Delmas Bridge to the Pont de pierre (Stone Bridge)

  • Marché des Chartrons – an outdoor Sunday market and perfect place for a glass of wine with oysters, or a canelé

  • Darwin Ecosystem – a green hub and alternative place dedicated to sustainable economic development and featuring an organic restaurant, urban farm, skate parks etc. (

Local industries:

  • wine – with the largest AOC vineyards of France, Bordeaux is one of the world's most important wine producers and exporters

  • laser and plasma technologies – the Bordeaux area has the most important concentration of optical and laser expertise in Europe

In Pop Culture:

  • The Mummy – a 2016 movie with Tom Cruise with a scene made in Mérignac, near Bordeaux

  • The Flower of Evil (La fleur du mal) – a 2003 movie by Claude Chabrol about a seemingly perfect bourgeois family in Bordeaux

  • Les Misérables – a Robert Hossein adaptation of the famous novel, released in 1982

Major 2020 developments:

  • The trendy and rejuvenated neighborhood of Bacalan welcomes in spring 2020 the Bassin des Lumières, a grand digital exhibition space housed in the former WWII submarine base. It will also neighbor the Cité du Vin and the new Musée Mer Marine, all a 15mn tram ride from the city’s central Place de la Comédie.

About Top French Cities -

Top French Cities is an association of 29 cities, from regional capitals like Bordeaux to important towns like Avignon and Versailles. They are perfect for young travelers, families and anyone else looking for fun and authentic French experiences that will fit their budget. Most of these cities are university towns with a youthful atmosphere, but all of them reflect the heritage and distinctive flavors of the regions to which they belong. Many are forward-looking too, with historic buildings repurposed to house contemporary art and activity centers like Les Docks in Marseille. Many have created or integrated new, modern museums to contrast with their classical, architectural heritage, like in Nimes, where the cutting-edge Museum of Roman Civilization (Musée de la Romanité) is located across from the historic Roman amphitheater, or in Nantes, where whimsical mechanical creatures are being created, or in the UNESCO World Heritage Site concrete city of Le Havre.


Marion Fourestier
Atout France-The France Tourism Development Agency