Bordeaux attractions include Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux, Place de la Bourse square, Les Quais district, St. Michel tower, and Sainte-Catherine street.
Of the tourist attractions, Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux theater (opera-bordeaux.com) building, a design by architect Victor Louis, was taken into operation in 1780.
The building was constructed as a temple of arts and light, and highlights within its Neoclassical facade include 12 colossal Corinthian columns, with 12 statues on top, portraying nine muses and three goddesses (Juno, Venus, and Minerva).
Today, the building is home both to…
- Opéra National de Bordeaux, and
- Ballet National de Bordeaux.
You can participate in a tour to the Grand-Théâtre theater, organized by the Office de Tourisme de Bordeaux (www.bordeaux-tourisme.com).
Place de la Bourse square, meanwhile, built from 1730-1755 (by the famous Gabriel family of architects), representing the finest Bordeaux architecture from that period, has a great location next to the Garonne river.
The square is surrounded by two pavilion-style buildings:
- Bourse (Stock Exchange Building), and
- Musée des Douanes (Customs Museum, with exhibitions about the history of Bordeaux port).
In the middle of the square is a picturesque fountain, making the square one of the most breathtaking Bordeaux attractions.
You can get to the square from all over the city using tram connections (www.infotbc.com, to the stop “Station Place de la Bourse“).
Les Quais district of Bordeaux was historically the city’s port district, but today, the area is being developed for tourism.
The district is located north of the main railway station, on both sides of the Garonne river.
You can’t cross all of the Garonne river bridges on foot (including the Aquitaine Bridge), and an alternative way to to cross the river, to the other side of Les Quais district, is to use one of the available ferries.
Of the Les Quais bridges, Aquitaine Bridge is the most famous one, and it is, in fact, France’s largest bridge.
As for the other Bordeaux bridges, you can walk over the river from Pont Neuf bridge, which is the city’s oldest bridge across the Garonne.
Among the highlights in the area is its 180 meter (590 ft) long, old military ship “Colbert”, a museum ship since 1993, and today, open to visitors. The ship contains a restaurant.
Bordeaux attractions also include St. Michel tower, built from 1472-1492, as part of the magnificent Basilica of Saint Michel.
The 114 meter (374 ft) tall Gothic style Saint Michel tower is, in fact, the second highest unsupported tower in France.
You can visit the top of the tower, with the stairs leading up having a total of 243 steps. However, when you get up to the tower, the prize is one of the best panoramic views over Bordeaux.
The city district surrounding the basilica of St Michel is one of the most colorful in Bordeaux, with the place getting even livelier every Monday and Saturday, when a street market is held adjacent to the church.
Rue Sainte-Catherine, on the other hand, is a 1.2 km (0.7 mile) long promenade, and the main shopping street in Bordeaux.
The street is one of two main streets that run through the historic center of Bordeaux, connecting Place de la Comédie square (where Grand Theatre is located) to Place de la Victoire.
Sainte-Catherine is Europe’s longest pedestrian street, and the many shopping possibilities within the walkway include shopping center Galerie Bordelaise, which has been open to visitors since 1834.