Bordeaux is a spectacular city and has deservedly won loads of awards as one of the best destinations in Europe. It’s like a self-contained version of the best of Paris, on a manageable scale.

Here’s a taste of what to expect:

The best place to park is underground at Place Camille-Jullian (338 spaces), right in the centre of the tourist area. You can start with lunch in the square just above the car park and watch the world go by.

A real treat is lunch or dinner at the world famous La Tupina, a favourite haunt of Président François Mitterrand and his (not so secret) mistress, Anne Pingeot.

It has also been visited frequently by former presidents Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy, as well as former UK prime minister John Major.

A new attraction from 2016 is La Cité du Vin which is without doubt the best wine museum in the world.

If you like shopping, Bordeaux offers the longest retail street in Europe in the shape of Rue Ste Cathérine (1.2km). All the main names are there but it’s well worth straying from the main run into the side streets for a myriad of bars, restaurants and boutique shops.

Perhaps the main retail feature is the upmarket department store, Galerie Lafayette. Spread over two buildings on both sides of the road, it is a smaller version of the famous main store in the Boulevard Haussmann.

At the top of the street is the main square with the impressive Grand Hotel de Bordeaux, including the two Michelin starred Gordon Ramsay Le Pressoir d’Argent.

In the same place (square) is the even more impressive Opera House (Grand Théatre).

Here are a couple of reviews from July 2017:

Visited this theatre to watch Romeo and Juliet ballet, probably the most impressive theatre I have ever seen. It is truly stunning, so ornate. I loved the box type set up for seating, felt very exclusive even though the ticket prices are actually very reasonable. Visit the beautiful bar area for a glass of champagne in the interval.

We did not attend a performance, here, but just paid a visit to this beautiful building. Just like so many other extravagantly appointed buildings in France, this was no exception. You will love it.

If you are staying at the house for more than a few days, an overnight stay is highly recommended. A good value and well-placed location is the Quality Hotel Bordeaux Centre, located very conveniently at 27 rue du Parlement Sainte Catherine.

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