Bordeaux is a small city with a worldwide reach, thanks to the wine business it has dominated since at least the 13th century. Grape cultivation actually goes back as far as the 8th century. Vinexpo, the largest wine fair on the planet, is held there each June.
Local wines with international fame include the First Growths of Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Margaux, Château Latour, Château Haut-Brion, Château Mouton-Rothschild.
How pretty is Bordeaux? When Napoleon III commissioned Baron Haussmann to spruce up the squalid streets of Paris, Haussmann looked to the grandly-scaled avenues and elegant buildings of Bordeaux as his inspiration.
Though there is no subway, the city offers a picturesque water taxi from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m., along the city's Garonne River and a easy to use tram system.
Bordeaux - Places to See
- Esplanade des Quinconces, the biggest city-center esplanade in Europe
- The Cathedral and the two basilicas, Unesco World Heritage Sites
- The squares of old Bordeaux, with their craft shops and cafe terraces.
With almost as many museums as Paris, local must-sees include:
- Musée des Beaux Arts (Fine arts museum), one of the finest painting galleries in France with paintings by painter such as Tiziano, Veronese, Rubens, Van Dyck, Frans Hals, Claude, Chardin, Delacroix, Renoir, Seurat, Matisse and Picasso.
- Musée d'Aquitaine (archeological and history museum)
- Musée du Vin et du Négoce (museum of the wine trade)
- Musée des Arts Décoratifs (museum of decorative arts)
- Musée d'Histoire Naturelle (natural history museum)
- Centre d'arts plastiques contemporains (CAPC) (contemporary art museum)
- Musée National des Douanes