it’s been a while (as usual, sorry) but i thought it’d be fun to start doing mini travel posts for the day trips i take whilst on my year abroad – i’m planning on doing more of them now since the weather’s getting nicer and bus/ train tickets are so cheap!
first up, bordeaux!
we took a super early bus (5:15am ew) and came back in the late evening so we managed to cram in quite a lot considering we were there for less than 24 hours.
we spent most of our time walking around and exploring as opposed to going to all the museums and art galleries so if you happen to be there for longer, there are definitely a lot more popular tourist attractions you could visit (la cité du vin, la base sous-marine, le musée mer marine, le musée d’aquitaine to name a few) but enough about what we didn’t see, here’s my guide on how to make the most out of one day in the wine capital of france!
we started with a whirlwind tour of the religious landmarks in bordeaux but since we arrived so early, none of them were open yet. it wasn’t entirely a loss though as european architecture is always something to be admired and the weather was lovely so we didn’t mind being outdoors.
(we also went to the place de la victoire but for some reason there was an egg fight going on so the entire square was covered in muck and not looking too great…)
we then stopped off to refuel at black list café. although the menu’s fairly pricey (my coffee and breakfast came to a total of €15), the food was delicious and the vibes were good with light and modern decor and an open kitchen so it was a nice, relaxing way to kickstart our day.
on our way to the musée du vin et du négoce, we stopped by freep’ show, a vintage store where i bought the burgundy shirt in all my following pictures (it was only €5!! what a bargain!!), and we also passed by the monument aux girondins.
the museum itself was admittedly pretty small but it had a good layout with two rooms – one explored the wine trade and one dealt with the physical winemaking process. at the end, we were given a small presentation on the different wine regions in bordeaux before we were offered a taste of two bordeaux wines. and so began my asian glow…
our next port of call was the CAPC musée d’art contemporain. along the way, we were enticed by the delicious smell coming from the pâtisserie micheline et paulette so we grabbed some canelés. although i’ve had them before and they’re probably one of my favourite sweet treats, i never knew that they’re actually a specialty of bordeaux!
since the sun was shining, we decided to take a wander in the jardin public. i imagine it would be especially gorgeous in the spring or summer months when all the trees and flowers are in bloom but it was still a beautiful area nonetheless.
upon our arrival at the CAPC, we realised that the entirety of the ground floor was closed to prepare for their upcoming exhibitions so only the two galleries on the second floor were open. some of the pieces were interesting but i have to say that it doesn’t even come close to the best modern art gallery i’ve been to. perhaps more interesting was the exhibition in the arc en rêve on young architects in latin america – some of their projects were super innovative and exciting.
we also stopped by the COX gallery which mainly displays urban or street art.
i wanted to get food afterwards but by the time we got to KURO espresso bar, they were sold out of their lunch options. i decided to get their matcha latte and a pecan chocolate brownie instead which most definitely didn’t disappoint. it was hands down one of the best lattes i’ve ever had!
we then went to the bar à vin which has an extensive wine list at super affordable prices since it’s run by the bordeaux wine council. i got a glass of rosé for €2! queue asian glow round 2…
our last museum of the day was the musée national des douanes which is the only museum of its kind in france. the exhibits took us through the history of customs and border control and there was an array of uniforms on display too. i have to confess i don’t remember much from this museum since the wine was starting to go to my head and the asian flush was coming out in full force…
we spent the rest of the evening walking around and saw the pont de pierre, the porte cailhau and the grosse cloche before getting dinner. i was looking forward to seeing the miroir d’eau but i think it might only be in operation in summer so unfortunately we didn’t get to see it in action. i’ve heard that it’s supposed to be gorgeous around sunset so if you do get the chance to visit whilst it’s working, make sure to go at that time!
all in all, it was a great lil day trip that let us escape regular uni life for a hot second. although we could have done more were we there longer, we still got a good feel of the city and with the gorgeous weather, i really have no complaints. if a day is all you’ve got to spare, i’d highly recommend bordeaux! you can get a lot done without feeling rushed so it’s definitely the perfect place for a spot of culture as well as r&r.
see you on the flip!