Published On: Mon, Jul 8th, 2024
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I visited a historic walkable city just one hour from the UK | Travel News | Travel

Bordeaux is a city in southwestern France located on the river Garonne just one hour from the coast.

The port city is the sixth-most populated city in France and is a world capital of wine with chateaux and vineyards on the outskirts of the city and the surrounding areas.

I visited Bordeaux last month during a 30C heatwave and was blown away by the city’s gastronomy, wine and breathtaking architecture. Keen to explore the city on foot, I decided to stay 15 to 20 minutes outside the city centre in the Mériadeck district.

The centre of Bordeaux was a 20-minute walk or a 10-minute bus journey away, however, with the sun shining and Bordeaux being largely flat, I didn’t mind walking into the centre each day.

Unlike other cities in France such as Paris, Bordeaux is incredibly walkable. Being largely flat, compact and bicycle-friendly, it was easy to explore the city’s narrow, cobbled streets and vast shopping areas on foot.

The Grand Theatre on the Place de Comedie in Bordeaux

What to see in Bordeaux

If you are exploring Bordeaux on foot then there’s no better place to start than at Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux. Located right in the centre of the city opposite the InterContinental Bordeaux Hotel, the opera house is a stunning building that was designed by the architect Victor Louis between 1731 and 1800.

The Grand Theatre is famous for its Neo-classical facade which includes 12 Corinthian-style colossal columns. Above the columns are 12 statues which are said to represent nine Muses and the goddesses Juno, Venus and Minerva.

I didn’t enter the building but noticed the incredible piece of architecture was a spot to socialise for Bordeaux locals.

(Image: Getty)

Close-up of canele cakes in a row


There are a plethora of restaurants, bars and cafes in Bordeaux but it’s easy to get sucked into a tourist trap if you’re not careful.

Visitors simply must try the city’s famous canelés. A canelé is a small French pastry that is flavoured with rum and vanilla so it has a decadent, caramel-like flavour.

The sweet pastry has a dark, thick caramelised crust and is made using flour, egg yolks and cane sugar. Canelés can be found in supermarkets but the best ones can be bought from Canelés Baillardran shops and cafés across the city.

(Image: Getty)

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