The best areas to stay in Bordeaux are concentrated in the historic centre and its surroundings such as the districts of Chartrons, Bastide or Saint-Michele.
Bordeaux is a city with a historic river port on the river Garonne with access to the sea which is located in the southwest of France and close to the Atlantic.Its historical centre and the old port area of the Port of the Moon, with its crescent-shaped river meander, are Unesco World Heritage Site .
It is a quiet and safe city , which, despite its size, still feels like a provincial capital in many ways.Everything is within walking distance
The best places to stay in Bordeaux
There are many areas where you can sleep in Bordeaux , but the key areas for value added stays are undoubtedly the historic centre, the Chartrons area, the Gare Saint-Jean area, Bastide, Bordeaux-Lac, Bassin a Flot and also Saint-Michel.
Let’s go by parts, we will see each of these places in more detail and why they are a good choice to stay in Bordeaux.
The historic centre of Bordeaux is a magnificent place to enjoy the ancient architecture and the most interesting tourist sites of the city.
A personal tour can start by visiting St. Andrew’s Cathedral , from the 12th century, which has been declared Unesco World Heritage Site .
In front of the cathedral, is the Town Hall built in the 1770s, in neoclassical style, and not far away, parade along the Garonne River a series of palaces , also from the eighteenth century .
However, the most elegant ensemble is to be found in , the Place de la Bourse In the centre of the square is the Fountain of the Three Graces, which is surrounded by buildings such as the Palais de la Bourse and the Customs Museum.In front of the Place de la Bourse, between the Quai de la Douane and the Quai Louis XVIII, is the Miroir d’Eau (Water Mirror) a water pond that reflects the monumentality of the nearby buildings.
Another World Heritage site in the centre of Bordeaux is the Basilique Saint-Seurin , a religious Romanesque building from the 11th century.Its crypt, in which dozens of reliquaries and sarcophagi from the 7th and 7th centuries are buried, is the oldest part.
The Museum of Fine Arts occupies part of the town hall building.Its art collection covers the period from the 15th to the 20th century and includes works by painters such as Titian, Veronese, Rubens, Delacroix and Renoir, grouped by period and country.
Another permanent exhibition that can be seen in the historic centre of Bordeaux is the Museum of Aquitaine which has collections that illustrate the historical development of the region since time, 25,000 years ago.
The Esplanade des Quinconces in Bordeaux, one of the largest in Europe is another point not to be missed.South of Place des Quinconces is Rue Sainte-Catherine , the busiest shopping street in the city, and the oldest public street in Bordeaux, because it was originally a Roman road.
And since we are talking about the time of Rome, the only remaining vestige in the capital of that era is Palazzo di Galieno , an amphitheatre where gladiatorial combats took place.
The amphitheatre was built at the end of the 2nd century and was located on the outskirts of Burdigala, as it was called at that time. La Tour Pey Berland is a beautifully decorated tower that belongs to the cathedral of St. Andrew’s.It is gothic, from the 15th century, but its crowning glory, the Lady of Aquitaine, is quite late, from the 19th century.the views from its top are impressive.the tower is located on Place Pey-Berland.
Another place to visit in the historic centre of Bordeaux is the Museum of Decorative Arts .The museum is located in the charming Hôtel de Lalande (Rue Bouffard, 39), an elegant mansion built between 1775 and 1779.
As you may have guessed, the historic center is ideal for staying in Bordeaux if you want to be close to the historical sites you want to visit.There is also a bus stop nearby to take the bus to Bordeaux-Merignac Airport (12 kms.)
– Accommodation in the historical centre
Chartrons is located immediately north of the historical centre and is also an excellent option to stay in Bordeaux.It is a commercial and residential district where it is possible to find a great variety of accommodation.it is an area where you can find hotels at average prices quite easily.
In the past, Chartrons was a centre of commerce that exported wine to England, Germany, Ireland and places as far away as Scandinavia.It was also the area in which the city’s port workers lived, but from 1920 the district declined and gradually became a slum.
However, a new revival has changed the face of the district, making it unrecognisable to older Bordeaux residents.On rue Notre-Dame, for example, you will find fashion boutiques, interior design shops, markedly vintage shops, gourmet shops and charming cafés and restaurants.
In the neighbourhood, you should visit the area of the restored market built in 1869 with iron, stone and glass that is now a cultural centre.It is easy to find and is in line with the street that passes by the side of the church of Notre Dame and reaches the Place du Marché des Chartrons , a walk to the center through interesting cafes and restaurants.
More.the Cours Xavier Arnozan is one of the most aristocratic streets in the area and one of the most important for the incredible architecture of its mansions of the 18th century which include elaborate wrought iron balconies.
Further along the river is Quai des Chartrons Another public space where the warehouses were converted into shops for reference brands, but also into more cafes and restaurants.The wide and open walks along the river are also popular for those who want to walk, ride a bike or skate.
In this place, you can also enjoy a Sunday market , the Marché des Quais market, on the river bank. In their stalls, you can find – the list is not exactly short: fruits, vegetables, meat, breads and cheeses of great quality, as well as honeys, salads, sandwiches, empanadas and oysters.
And for those who are more curious, on the floor of the street, there is a plaque that reminds us of Bordeaux’s role in the slave trade.between 1672 and 1837, more than half a thousand consignments of black slaves left the quays of Quai des Chartrons.more than 150,000 people sold into slavery.
They left Bordeaux loaded with wine, weapons, cloth or luxury goods and, on arriving in Africa, they loaded slaves that they left in American ports where they reloaded other goods, preferably cotton and tobacco, to Bordeaux.
In the same area, but on the opposite side of the river, there is a statue of François-Dominique Toussaint , better known as Toussaint Louverture, a self-taught slave who led a Haitian revolution against slavery and the French government.The statue was given to Bordeaux by the Republic of Haiti in 2005.
In Place Picard is a replica of the Statue of Liberty which was created by the French sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi who designed the original statue that can be seen in New York.
This statue was inaugurated in 1888 and has had a turbulent history. During the Second World War it was eliminated by the Germans who planned to melt it down. On the way to Germany by train, the piece never arrived. In the end, it was redesigned and placed in the place in 2012.
The Chartrons district is also home to three museums. The Museum of Contemporary Art is located in a former warehouse and its permanent collection presents 1300 works by 190 artists, as well as various temporary exhibitions.
The Musée du Vin et du Négoce à Bordeaux is an excellent museum that explains the history of wine and wine merchants in Bordeaux and its port. Cap Sciences is the largest museum of science and industry in the region and offers exhibitions and workshops for children.
In short, given what the neighbourhood has to offer and the fact that you can reach the historic centre of Bordeaux in a matter of minutes by tram, or even on foot , is an option to keep in mind when sleeping in Bordeaux.
– Accommodation in Chartrons
The district of Gare Saint-Jean where accommodates the historic Bordeaux train station is a short distance from the historic centre, next to the Garonne and to the south.It is a perfect place to stay in Bordeaux if you are interested in being close to transport connections that allow you to combine a visit to the city with other nearby cities, the whole region and beyond.
Thus, the French TGV high-speed trains, the intercity trains and the trains of the local service TER regional stop at the railway station.
The surroundings of the Saint-Jean railway station welcome places of interest that should not be overlooked in a visit to Bordeaux.The station itself, built in 1855 and built in an eclectic historicist style, is well worth a visit.
Not far away is the Church of Sainte-Croix (Place P. Renaudel) with its sublime Romanesque façade.You must take your time to observe every detail, every sculpture, with all its symbolism.
Staying in Bordeaux in this area has advantages because in the surroundings of the station you can find hotels of lower categories that will allow you save on accommodation .
– Accommodation in Gare Saint-Jean
Are you going to visit other French cities besides Bordeaux? then you might be interested in reading these posts: Where to sleep in Paris, where to sleep in Lyon, where to sleep in Marseille
The Bastide district is on the other side of the river Garonne, opposite the historical center .La Bastide is a prosperous neighborhood with lots to do and see.These are our best tips for spending the day on the other side of the river.
Speaking of the river, a building in the area that you must see – and use to move around in Bordeaux – is Pierre’s bridge which was built in the 19th century in stone and is easily recognizable by its succession of 13 low-profile arches.
This bridge contrasts with the Jacques Chaban-Delmas bridge, which is contemporary, avant-garde and mobile to allow the passage of boats, both of which are, from a structural point of view, antithetical to each other.
On the Bastide side, you can also see the Botanical Garden , an ideal place to rest from the hustle and bustle of the city.
La Bastide has many restaurants and cafeterias where you can taste what the Aquitaine table has to offer (Bayonne ham, cheeses, foie gras, sturgeon eggs, lamprey, very exquisite cheeses and breads).A recommended restaurant is that of L’Estacade which is set on a pile structure directly on the river bed. Views of the river and old Bordeaux are guaranteed.
Two places of interest, the church of Saint Marie de la Bastide and the Place Stalingrad.The church was built in the 19th century by the architect Paul Abadie in a neoclassical style and is characterized by its long and narrow bell tower and its white-washed vaulted ceiling.
Piazza Stalingrad is a square surrounded by small cafés that offer the possibility of seeing the citizens of Bordeaux and their daily routine live.
For the little ones , the Darwin Center , an indoor park that offers all the options to enjoy bicycles, scooters, skates next to an ecological farm.
Its location, just across the river from the historic center, its atmosphere, and everything it offers to the visitor make this neighborhood one of our favorite alternatives to stay in Bordeaux.
– Accommodation in Bastide
Bordeaux-Lac is the Lake of Bordeaux and is located very close to the historic centre, to the north.It is a recreational area and a bathing area especially indicated for families with children.
The lake is the location of an old swamp that used to supply the city and was drained in the 1960s.It has 160 hectares of surface and it is surrounded by a forest area that adds another 87 hectares.
You can practice sailing, rowing, there are sport courts, there are paths for walking, routes for running and for marching in bicycle.your sand beach can be used between the months of June and December.the place is ideal to make picnics in family.to arrive, buses 7, 15, 32, 33 and 35.
– Accommodation in Bordeaux-Lac
The Saint-Michel area is located immediately south of the historic centre of Bordeaux .The Basilica of St Michel (Place Meynard) gives its name to the district and its profile dominates the area. The complex was completed in a very peculiar French Gothic style and from the heights of the bell tower you have an impressive view of the city of Bordeaux.
The promenade around the basilica is another perfect place to walk. in front of the temple, there is a weekly market of fruits and vegetables the famous market des Capucins . for those who prefer to go on a flea market, there is Les Puces de Saint-Michel , a very interesting bead market.
In the area, where you can breathe a very multicultural atmosphere , you can enjoy kitchens from different places in the world like the Arab food, from many parts of Africa or enjoy the Hindu delights in very little space.
The area has its nightlife, is safe, more fun than the historic center , and there is offer cheap accommodation If you are young or you like dynamic and multicultural areas this can be your ideal choice to sleep in Bordeaux.
– Accommodation in Saint-Michel
7.Bassin a Flot
Bassin a Flot is a port area that has been completely renovated into a new residential area , with a very modern profile and green extensions along the river.
The area has some urban hotels of international chains where it is possible to stay in Bordeaux at an affordable price without renouncing to the basic comforts (for couple, business or family trips).
The area has seen the appearance of a number of very striking artistic ensembles such as the iconic flying saucer from Bassin to Flot .
– Accommodation in Bassin a Flot
A place to lose your steps and enliven your senses, Bordeaux, the pearl of the Garonne