Visit Bordeaux This Month! 

If you have a weekend free, or perhaps a few days available during the Vacances d’hiver (the school holidays in February), consider a trip to Bordeaux, a wonderful city in the south-west of France. Visit Bordeaux this month! 

Bassins Des Lumières

The Bassins des Lumières was installed in Bordeaux’s former submarine base, originally built by the Germans in the Second World War. The city was occupied by German forces from June 1940 until August 1944, chosen for its advantageous port location. 80 years on, the Betasom base is now the world’s largest digital art centre. Four of the wet docks have now become spaces for exhibitions devoted to iconic pieces of art, both historical and contemporary. Paintings are even projected onto the water and spaces have been soundproofed to make the experience all the more immersive. 

Basilique Saint Michel

The Basilique Saint Michel stands on the left bank of Bordeaux, just south of the city centre. The combination of its gothic architecture and 114 metre stature ensures that the building stands out in the skyline of Bordeaux, earning it the nickname ‘la flèche Saint Michel.’ There’s also a market around the basilica on Mondays and Saturdays. 

Visit Bordeaux, France

The Port De La Lune

The Port de la Lune is an iconic feature of the city of Bordeaux. The name itself is related to the moon-like crescent of the river Garonne and dates back to the Middle Ages. Around 1800 hectares of Bordeaux around the Port de la Lune are classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it the largest urban area to be designated as UNESCO. The river itself has been a key part of the city’s history for over 2000 years, bringing trade to the local economy and to France. 

Place De La Bourse

The Place de la Bourse was designed by the architect Jacques Gabriel, King Louis XV’s ‘premier architecte.’ The construction took place in 1749 and over 250 years later the place and the Port of the Moon were made a UNESCO World Heritage site. The place was symbolic of Bordeaux opening up, and also a sign of its prosperity as a city. Interestingly, the square only became ‘Place de la Bourse’ 100 years after its construction; previously, it was ‘Place de la Liberté’ and ‘Place Impériale.’ Since 2006, in front of the Place de la Bourse lies the world’s largest reflecting pool. When the granite slates that form the base of the pool are covered in two centimetres, the Place de la Bourse is reflected in a phenomenon of symmetrical beauty. As the system shuts down over the winter for a period of ‘hivernage’ for cleansing, make sure to time your visit with the reopening of the water mirror. Hopefully, this will be in the next month. 

Basilique Saint Seurin

Another basilica! The Basilique Saint Seurin was founded in the 6th century and is in the heart of the Saint-Seurin neighbourhood of Bordeaux. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Bordeaux has plenty of these!) and it is an important symbol of the history of Christianity in the city. Not to mention, there is also an archeological crypt on the site and the Jardin Public to enjoy in the nearby area (less than 15 minutes away on foot). 

Bordeaux’s Grotte de Pair-non-Pair is one of the world’s oldest painted caves! Since François Daleau’s discovery of the ‘grotte’ in 1881, the prehistoric paintings of the cave have been revealed overtime through archeological excavation. Over the past century and a half, the cave has offered troves of information about the evolution of humans over thousands of years. Tickets start at 11,50€. 

La Cité Du Vin

If you love wine, La Cité du Vin is a must-see during your trip to Bordeaux. Try new types of wine, attend educational workshops, enjoy both the view and the food at the restaurant, and find out more about the vineyards that surround the city of Bordeaux. Even the architecture of the Cité itself is a wonder! 

Across the river from the Place de la Bourse, you will find the Jardin Botanique de Bordeaux. This has been the location of the botanical gardens since 1997, where you can walk among flowers and plants native to Bordeaux, as well as a variety of flora from all over the world. 

When you get the chance, visit Bordeaux for a weekend packed full of wine, impressive architecture, and immersive art! 

Don’t forget Bordeaux is the city in which Babylangues started back in 2008. There are English Language Instructor positions all year round!

Visit Bordeaux this month!