Visit Bordeaux in 1 day ? I did it the first time I went to Bordeaux and I loved it ! Sure, it’is not enought to visit all Bordeaux…
But, with the itinerary that I followed, I had an overview of the historic center of Bordeaux and its main monuments.
In this article, I will share with you not only my detailed circuit step by step but also my good gourmet addresses that make Bordeaux my favorite city in France !
How to visit Bordeaux in 1 day ?
As I live in Toulouse at 2h30 of Bordeaux, I usually come for weekends in Bordeaux especially in the spring.
And with each new visit, I discover a new nice restaurant, a small market at the corner of a neighborhood or an unusual exhibition…
Bordeaux is a small city but it is full of curiosities and places where we like to stroll and necessarily come back …
To start visiting Bordeaux, I tested the classic walk circuit that takes a full day and allows you to see the best places of the historic center of Bordeaux.
Visit Bordeaux in 1 day – My detailed itinerary
Here is my itinerary to visit Bordeaux on foot in one day.
This circuit is a loop that starts from the Place de la Bourse and returns to the Place de la Bourse (obviously because it’s a loop !).
Visit Bordeaux in 1 day – My circuit details
Start with the Place de la Bourse
With its mirror of water (miroir d’eau), this splendid place is the emblem of Bordeaux ! It dates from the eighteenth century, when Bordeaux opened to the world out of its medieval walls and building a royal square.
Discover the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux
Start my tour by taking Rue Saint-Rémi then take on the right St. Catherine Street.
Continue straight on and on the left take Cours de l’Intendance to join the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux.
Construction strongly influenced by the Franc-Maçons, its facade displays 12 Corinthian columns which correspond to the sum of the ribs of the sacred Triangle of Franc-Maçons.
Built at the end of the 18th century by the architect Victor Louis, the Grand Théâtre, listed as a historical monument, would have inspired the founders of the Opéra Garnier in Paris.
Today, it is the headquarters of the national Opera of Bordeaux, which hosts its opera season and performances of the Opera Ballet.
See the Place des Quinconces and the monument to the Girondins
From the Place de la Comedie, take the Allées de Tourny and left on Cours du 30 Juillet. Then turn left onto Allée de Munich which leads to the Place des Quinconces (the largest square in Europe).
From here, simply continue to the Monument aux Girondins. It is a set of fountains made of bronze and a statue of freedom breaking its chains. It is a posthumous tribute to the Girondins of the Revolution.
For the anecdote : during the 2nd World War, to protect it, the Girondins had the good idea to hide it by burying it.
Place des Grands Hommes
To get there, you will have to turn right on Cours de Tournon then left on Allées de Tourny, right on Rue Condillac, left on Rue Jean Jacques Rousseau and you will arrive Place des Grands Hommes.
The district of Grands Hommes, witness of a new era of urbanism, is revealed by its magnificent glass roof where there is a shopping center.
For the shopping addicts, yhey will find in this district some very chic boutiques and big brands.
This is not where I usually buy my clothes because I can not afford… but this is where I buy usually the famous canelés de Bordeaux. This little cake with a caramelized robe and a soft heart belongs to the culinary heritage of Bordeaux. It is perfumed with vanilla and rum. It takes its name from the fluted copper mold in which it bakes. The house Baillardran manufactures them respecting craftsmanship and has become the reference in Canelés. So I usually go to Baillardran 12 place of great men but there are Baillardran shops everywhere in Bordeaux…
La Porte de Dijeau
To continue my tour, you must go right on the Rue Voltaire then on the Rue de Grassi which leads to the Porte de Dijeau. This door is a pretty typical Bordeaux building.
Finally Saint Andrew’s Cathedral !
Then take the Rue du Temple and turn left on Rue Vital Carles and continue on Place Jean Moulin.
You arrive at St. Andrew’s Cathedral. It dates from the 11th century but has since been renovated. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this Cathedral was associated with the roads to Santiago de Compostela.
Now is the time to have a good lunch break !
My good restaurant in Bordeaux
Opposite the Cathedral, at 37 Place Pey Berland is situated the restaurant Le Bistrot du Musée.
Its setting is nice : interior with exposed stones and pretty terrace in summer.
Here, you can enjoy good traditional and generous french cooking
The plus of my favorite restaurant is its wine list (more than 50 Bordeaux wines) with the possibility to order by the glass!
Take a walk in the small streets of Bordeaux
On the way for a small digestive walk… ok ?
Go left on Place Jean Moulin then right on Rue des Trois-Conils. Continue on Place Saint-Projet and turn right on Rue Sainte-Catherine. Then turn left on Rue des Ayres.
Stop here to taste a good coffee
There, if you like coffee, I advise you to take a short break at VerdeNero.
In a cozy and authentic atmosphere, you can enjoy exceptional coffees that are roasted on site.
For gourmands, their homemade pastries will satisfy more than one.
Discover the typical gates of Bordeaux
After the good coffee, continue straight to arrive at Place Fernand Lafargue.
This pretty place is very nice because it is surrounded by small cafes, restaurants that animate all day.
My tour continues right on Rue Saint-James and Rue Saint-Eloi.
Here is the Big Bell : la Grosse Cloche. It is the symbol of Bordeaux which still appears on the coat of arms of the city. This monument was used mainly as a prison. Later, magistrates of Bordeaux rang this bell to give the signal of the harvest, to announce big events or to alert the population in the event of fires.
Take further left on Cours Victor Hugo which leads to the Porte de Bourgogne. It is not as popular as other gates in Bordeaux and yet it is a listed historical monument and worth seeing.
Continue towards Rue des Pontet and left on Pl. De Bir Hakeim and join the Quai Richelieu.
You will walk along the quay to the street of Porte de Cailhau on the left in which it will be necessary to turn to arrive at the famous Cailhau Gate. I advise you to return in the evening because it is beautiful with its night lighting …
Built at the end of the 15th century, this 35 meter high monument was part of the city walls.
And finish the circuit on the Miroir d’eau (Water Mirror)
From the Cailhau gate, you will take the Quai Richelieu on the left to arrive at the Miroir d’eau Place de la Bourse. And now, the loop is complete !
And if you have not booked a hotel for your stay in Bordeaux,
take a look at : My two favorite hotels in Bordeaux
And if you can stay one more day, look at my post : Two days in Bordeaux – my itinerary