Bordeaux Landmarks Walk, Bordeaux

As one of the most appreciated cities in France, Bordeaux is loaded with beautiful attractions. The city is great for any day or night walk. A tour of some of the most renowned landmarks in the city will create lasting impressions and wonderful memories. Don't miss this opportunity.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Bordeaux Landmarks Walk Map

Guide Name: Bordeaux Landmarks Walk
Guide Location: France » Bordeaux (See other walking tours in Bordeaux)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 km
Author: alexander
Jardin Botanique de Bordeaux

1) Jardin Botanique de Bordeaux (must see)

The Jardin Botanique de Bordeaux (0.5 hectares) is a municipal botanical garden located at Place Bardineau; it is open daily without charge. This historic garden has been recently supplemented by the Jardin Botanique de la Bastide, located across the river.

Although the garden's origins extend back to 1629 AD, with the creation of Bordeaux's first medicinal garden, today's botanical garden dates to 1858. It currently contains more than 3,000 plant species, both those indigenous to Aquitaine and exotic plants from North America, China and Japan. It is organized as a systematic collection. The garden's seed collection contains 2,000 taxa, and its herbarium contains about 85,000 specimens.

Why You Should Visit:
Perfect place for a chill moment in nature, with grass to sit everywhere.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 11am-6pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Monument aux Girondins

2) Monument aux Girondins (must see)

The Monument aux Girondins is one of Bordeaux’s most distinctive landmarks. A statue atop a 43-metre high column, it is completed at the base by an ornate fountain, cast in bronze. It can be found on the Esplanade de Quinconces, a wide promenade next to the River Garonne. The monument is a tribute to the Girondins, a political group that has roots in the Gironde department, of which Bordeaux is the capital. An affiliation of radical intellectuals, they were intrinsic to the wave of anti-royal feeling which swept France in the 18th century. Eventually, the movement swept beyond their control, with the outbreak of the revolution.

The monarchy was overthrown, and divisions grew between Paris and provincial France. The Girondins’ rival political group, the Montagnards, assumed power and called for the execution of the group’s ringleaders. They famously sang “rather death than slavery”, when facing the guillotine, and became martyrs for the cause of free and peaceful France. The statue at the top of the column represents Freedom breaking out of his shackles. The Girondins, a source of great local pride, share this public space with statues of Charles Louis de Montesquieu and Michel de Montaigne, two other popular local figures.

Why You Should Visit:
Huge, impressive, massive water fountain. At the base of the monument's central column, there is a massive, elaborate and heroic landscape of statuary – horses, cherubs, sea creatures and human figures – each one sculpted in a vigorous and strikingly realistic motion. The whole thing is just bursting with energy and the water playing and spraying in and around it adds to this feeling of a captured moment in a tumult of motion. It is a similar effect to the bombastic marble fountain at Trevi in Rome but possibly even better executed.

Looks awesome when it turns dark and lights turn on.
Be sure and climb up behind the fountains to get a better view of the statues.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Esplanade des Quinconces

3) Esplanade des Quinconces (must see)

Built in the early 19th century on the bank of Garonne River, Esplanade des Quinconces is famous for the various monuments located here, such as the two rostra columns, the Girondins monument, and a magnificent fountain. Being the biggest European square, it is visited by a multitude of tourists daily.

Why You Should Visit:
Feels like something between a park and a town square.
At one end, it abuts the riverfront area and has a couple of gleaming marble columns.
At the other end, it's close to the very heart of the city and is home to the truly spectacular Monument aux Girondins, which is what makes a visit to Quinconces a must.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Place de la Bourse

4) Place de la Bourse (must see)

Place de la Bourse and the magnificent building standing here are situated near the Garonne River. The design of the edifice, of its arched facade and the gorgeous fountain in front represents a perfect combination of several architectural ideas making this place one of the city's main attractions. Today, Place de la Bourse houses the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Why You Should Visit:
The pavement here opens out into an expansive horseshoe shape flanked on three sides by perhaps the most elegant of the city's limestone buildings and centered by an impressive sculpted fountain. Views from the square are of the unusual Miroir d'Eau and, beyond that, the river. A lovely spot, not to be missed.

Go early morning when there's no wind, or late at night to get the best reflections, when there are no 'intruders' enjoying the mist and shallow water to spoil the artistic effect.
Also, wear shoes that are okay to go in water – it isn't deep, but your feet will get wet if not in boots or good walking shoes and you'll walk all day with squelchy feet.
Alternatively, strip off shoes and socks and enjoy the cooling water.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Cathédrale Saint-André

5) Cathédrale Saint-André (must see)

The Saint-André Cathedral, often known simply as Bordeaux Cathedral, is located at Place Bey Berland in the heart of Bordeaux city center. The Roman Catholic Cathedral of Saint-André was consecrated in 1096 by Pope Urban II; however, only a wall within the nave remains of the original Romanesque structure. The majority of the building has survived from the 14th & 15th centuries. The cathedral’s famous Royal Gate dates to the early 13th century. The entire building, including the separate bell tower, the Tour Pey Berland, is listed as a French national monument.

The cathedral has played its part in the history of Bordeaux. In 1137, Eleanor of Aquitaine, one of the region’s most famous historical figures, married Prince Louis VII. Within a few months, they became King & Queen of France, but their marriage was annulled in 1152. Eleanor went on to marry Henry Plantagenet, a future king of England. The cathedral boasts two Gothic towers above the main entrance, in addition to the vertiginous bell tower directly adjacent to the main building. Still an active place of worship, it holds mass each Sunday and is still the seat of the Archbishop of Bordeaux-Bazas – a position once held by Pey Berland, after whom the bell tower and surrounding square are named.

Why You Should Visit:
French cathedrals have grandeur & splendour in abundance, and this one is top of the pile, with well-preserved interior decoration and design.
The bell tower, which stands separate from the cathedral, is also worth pointing out as the views from the top are worth the effort of the climb up.

There is no entry fee, but they do take donations.
If you walk in, make sure you look to the right, to the back and admire the giant organ pipes.
To appreciate the cathedral from a different perspective, climb the Pey Berland tower nearby.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 10am-1pm / 3-7:30pm; Sun: 9:30am-1pm / 3-7:30pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Tour Pey Berland

6) Tour Pey Berland (must see)

The Tour Pey Berland, which translates as Pey Berland Tower, is a church bell tower belonging to the city’s Cathedral Saint-André. Like the tower at the Basilica of Saint-Michel, it is completely separated from the rest of the cathedral. Officially the Saint-André tower, it is locally named after Pey Berland, the former Archbishop of Bordeaux, who funded and designed it.

The Pey Berland Tower stands on its namesake Place Pey Berland in the center of the historic city center, on the west bank of the Garonne. The tower was commissioned in 1440, but took sixty years to complete, opening in 1500. The intervening years marked a major change within the city, as it began the period a loyal English city, but returned to France in 1851. Berland abdicated his position and died shortly afterward.

One of the city’s most recognizable landmarks, the Tour Pey Berland was completed in the 15th century and built in the Gothic style. Visitors are able to climb the tower and enjoy views across the city center and the Garonne to the East. Admission is free for EU residents under 26 years old.

Why You Should Visit:
More exciting and fun than a roller coaster! If you've got a good head for heights and a tolerance for steep/narrow winding staircases, this is it!
Even just seeing a cathedral from above is architecturally illuminating, nevermind the amazing 360-degree views of the city.

Note that at busy times, you may have to wait as there are limits to the numbers that can go up at one time.
It's a strenuous 15-minute ascent, so if you're in any doubt it's better not to try.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-12:30pm / 2pm-5:30pm (Jan-May, Oct-Dec); 10am-6pm (Jun-Sep)
Sight description based on wikipedia
Pont de Pierre

7) Pont de Pierre (must see)

Pont de Pierre is a road and tram bridge across the River Garonne, in the center of Bordeaux. It connects Cours Victor Hugo, on the left bank, with Avenue Thiers on the right side of the river. Pont de Pierre translates to ‘stone bridge’ in English. It was planned and designed under orders from former Emperor of France, Napoleon Bonaparte. It was not constructed until 1819, four years after Napoleon’s defeat at the Battle of Waterloo, as the Bourbon monarchy returned to power in France.

One of the city’s most recognizable structures, it featured on a French postage stamp in 2004. Designed by Claude Andréotto, the stamp shows the Pont de Pierre with one of the city’s distinctive trams crossing over it. The bridge is half a kilometer long and has 17 arches – allegedly one for each letter in Napoleon’s full name. Each column on either side of the bridge is capped with a white medallion, in honor of the Emperor, who died in exile during the bridge’s construction.

The construction of the Pont de Pierre, the first bridge in the city to span across the Garonne, proved a challenge for the era’s engineers. The width and strong current of the river meant a diving bell had to be used to repeatedly stabilize the bridge. Opened in 1822, it was the only bridge connecting the two sides of the city until 1965.

Why You Should Visit:
Iconic view of Bordeaux, from the bridge or the water.
A constant temptation to photographers!

While most of Bordeaux's big attractions are on the left bank of the Garonne, if you only get over to the right bank once, do make it a point to stroll across this wonderful bridge as far as Stalingrad square on the opposite side, where you can see the very striking Blue Lion sculpture, maybe have a coffee in one of the cozy cafés on the square, then stroll back again.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Bordeaux, France

Create Your Own Walk in Bordeaux

Create Your Own Walk in Bordeaux

Creating your own self-guided walk in Bordeaux is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Christian Sanctuaries Tour in Bordeaux

Christian Sanctuaries Tour in Bordeaux

You can find a good concentration of various religious buildings in Bordeaux: churches, cathedrals and temples. Do not hesitate to take a tour through the famous Christian places of worship in town. The guide below may help you have this enriching experience.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 km
Museum Walking Tour in Bordeaux

Museum Walking Tour in Bordeaux

As you take a short walk around Bordeaux you'll notice that several places here express real English influence, and that is because Bordeaux was managed by Englishmen for quite a long time. For a better understanding of the history and culture of this town you may visit some of its most popular and informative museums which are listed in the following guide.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.7 km
Bordeaux Famous Architecture Walk

Bordeaux Famous Architecture Walk

Bordeaux is classified as a "City of Art and History". The city has been included in UNESCO World Heritage List as "a great urban and architectural ensemble". Bordeaux is one of Europe's largest and most original 18th century architectural center. Don't miss the opportunity to tour the most famous architecture in Bordeaux.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 km
Contemporary Landmarks Tour

Contemporary Landmarks Tour

Bordeaux is rich in old historical landmarks, yet it features many edifices of different contemporary architectural ideas, which represent the new and modern life of the city. Get familiarized with this side of the city's architecture and have fun visiting contemporary landmarks of Bordeaux.

Tour Duration: 4 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 9.4 km
Bordeaux Cultural Tour

Bordeaux Cultural Tour

As a cultural center, Bordeaux plays an important role not only in France alone. The city abounds in history, culture and traditions. Everyone who comes to Bordeaux has lots of new things to see and discover. If you’re an art lover and want to see the most important cultural places in the city, you may use the tour below, which will help you find them easier.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.6 km
Cabarets and Comedy Club Tour in Bordeaux

Cabarets and Comedy Club Tour in Bordeaux

There are many places in Bordeaux where you can spend a good time in a comfortable and friendly atmosphere. Originated in France and best performed here, the cabarets and comedy clubs are important night spots in the city today. In order to learn more about these entertaining venues you just have to follow the tour suggested below.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Bordeaux for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Bordeaux has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Bordeaux, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.