Leisure activities in Bordeaux

Leisure activities in Bordeaux
Updated 2019-08-15 07:54

In the minds of many travellers, Bordeaux is synonymous with wine. While wine is indeed an essential aspect of this historic city, there is much more on offer when it comes to leisure in Bordeaux. From its ancient cathedrals to the beauty of its architecture, Bordeaux offers a rich tapestry of attractions, with half the city being listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

History and culture in Bordeaux

Bordeaux has experienced a renaissance of sorts in recent years. Thanks to the attention of an energetic mayor, Bordeaux has transformed itself through newly constructed boulevards, restoration and a modern transportation system (see the article about Transportation in Bordeaux). However, the city still preserves its rich past, and these efforts have produced results, with Bordeaux now ranked as the largest urban World Heritage site. For some key attractions, check out the following addresses:

  • The Primatial Saint-André Cathedral, listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1998

  • The Gothic church of La Flèche Saint-Michel

  • The Castles of Hâ, Langoiran, Cadillac, Brède, Malle and Benauges (in Arbis)

  • The Musée des Beaux-Arts, des Arts Décoratifs, d'Aquitaine, the Goupil, the Jean Moulin National Center, the Conservatoire de l'Image Industriel

If you're a cinema buff, or a lover of opera and theatre, you can choose from no less than 22 theatres, around 10 cinemas and various other cultural venues, including the superb National Opera.

Parks and nature in Bordeaux

There are a multitude of parks and gardens in Bordeaux, which is rightly known to be a green and leafy city. The Jardin Public and the Parc de Majolan are two of Bordeaux's finest, and if you are willing to venture further out, make sure to sign up for a bike tour of the region's wineries. This is a popular activity in the summer and involves cycling around the beautiful area of St Emilion, also listed as a World Heritage Site. There you will be able to stop at wineries and indulge in wine tasting - in one of the most illustrious wine-producing regions in the world. There are numerous tours, but you can also arrange your own day in St Emilion by hiring bicycles in Bordeaux and making your way to St Emilion. A guide can be an asset, however, thanks to their knowledge of both the wines and the estates.

La vie à la française in Bordeaux

Markets, fairs and flea markets are a cornerstone of French culture, even in major cities like Paris and Bordeaux. Exploring these markets is a popular pastime in the city, as locals and visitors alike hunt for bargains. It goes without saying that gastronomy plays a central role in the culture of Bordeaux, as it does across France! The city is home to many outdoor restaurants offering wonderful views and a great setting to indulge in excellent wines and superb gastronomy. Make sure to visit La Fourchette as well as the website of the city of the Bordeaux for an overview of what the city has to offer with regards to gastronomy.

Sports in Bordeaux

Those keen to pursue an active life in Bordeaux will not be disappointed. Golf, swimming, football (FC Girondins de Bordeaux) and rugby, (Union Bordeaux Bègles) are all popular pastimes, while the banks of the Garonne offer the perfect place to walk, jog or rollerblade. Youngsters will love the Skate Park des Chartrons, one of France's largest open-air skate parks where you can rollerblade, BMX or skateboard.

Keep an eye out for Bordeaux' programme of festivals, events and celebrations to join in the city's fun side. Make sure to consult the website of the city of Bordeaux in order to keep abreast of what is going on, especially in the summer, when the long days of Southern France become backdrops for social gatherings of all sorts. In short, there is so much to do in Bordeaux that you are not likely to get bored, but if you do, a glass of St Emilion is never too far away!

Useful links:

Jardins de Bordeaux
Bordeaux markets, fairs and flea markets
Bordeaux Tourism Portal ' Heritage & Culture
Bordeaux Tourism Portal ' Swimming pools
Sortir Bordeaux Gironde

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