The name of Bordeaux is famous worldwide for the reputation of its wine. For 2000 years, wine has been part of Bordeaux’s history and the city has become one of the first producers world wide. Many of its wines are classed amongst the finest (and most expensive) in the world.
Bordeaux is also the largest urban complex listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, with 350 buildings covering a zone of 1810 hectares! Bordeaux’s architectural style is based on unity, since the style of the buildings has been preserved for about 300 years (the 18th century being the golden age of the wine trade in Bordeaux).
Ideally located on the bend of the Garonne, and close to the Atlantic Ocean, Bordeaux remains a great maritime harbour and an active trading city. Bordeaux has been the residence of great philosophers and politicians like Etienne de la Boétie, Montaigne or Montesquieu.
In this classified “City of Art and History”, you will enjoy visiting the old city, admiring Bordeaux’ highlights; walking along the beautiful Garonne banks to see the luxurious Place de la Bourse and discovering the very wealthy “golden triangle” in the heart of this bourgeois city.
Our pages on BORDEAUX
Get around in Bordeaux by tram
Since 2003, the three Bordeaux tramway lines pass through the city and its suburbs, totaling 44km, and stops at 90 different stations. This permits the inhabitants and tourists to get around more quickly, avoiding all the congestion which existed before its construction.
It is Alain Juppé, mayor of Bordeaux in 1995 (today Foreign Minister) who decided to promote the construction of a tram for Bordeaux, as a solution to traffic congestion. The proposal of a tramway, which is more environmentally friendly and cheaper than the Metro, was approved in 1997, and was linked with a larger plan for the restoration of Historical Monuments, and the demolition of the roads within Bordeaux. The goal is to make Bordeaux a pedestrian city.
Since being opened to the public in 2003, it has been extended through till 2008 to reach the suburbs. A third extension is in the planning stage, and should add 35km to the tramway network.
Nowadays, the three lines (A, B and C) that go through Bordeaux cover the following areas:
- Line A: Merignac Centre and La Gardette/Floirac Dravemont. With 20km, it is the longest line. Going all over town from West to East, it passes in front of the Bordeaux Town Hall and Place Stalingrad, and then crosses the Garonne by the Stone Bridge.
- Line B: Claveau and Pessac Centre. Going between North-East and South-West, this line is the busiest one, because it is fundamental for the Bordeaux students who want to go to the campus of Pessac/Talence/Gradignan. Moreover, it stops at the place Quinconces and goes along the Bordeaux banks. It also goes to the famous “Place de la Victoire”.
- Line C: Les Aubiers and Bègles Terres Neuves. Going between North-West and South-East, this line is the shortest one. However, it is very helpul if you want to travel from/to the Bordeaux station “Gare Saint-Jean”. Moreover this tram is the only one to stop at the beautiful “Place de la Bourse”, even if there isn’t any tram shelter or vending machine, to preserve the beauty of the place.
In 2010, the Tramway transported an average of 350,000 travellers per day (According to the Website of Bordeaux Tramway).
How to get to Bordeaux
There are approximately 20 daily TGV trains from Paris itself to Bordeaux, taking between 3 and 4 hours. If you arrive in Bordeaux by train, you’ll be able to reach the city centre by the Tramway, line C.
You can also drive to Bordeaux from Paris by the Autoroute (motorway) A10, but it will take about 5.30 hours to drive the 590 km!
If you are travelling from Australia, the best way to reach Bordeaux is to take a flight to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport and take either a TGV train, or a domestic flight from there.
Tourist information office: http://www.bordeaux-tourisme.com