Almost hidden under a cliff, Port Vieux is a mini-village in the heart of town, close to the sea. Famous for its fishermen’s crampottes (cottages) and small old streets, Port Vieux is the perfect place to wander around, get lost or taking a romantic walk. The locals often come to this undeniably charming neighbourhood to take a dip in the protected beach, or simply to take a walk around the area. Tourists also enjoy this spot, as the Rocher de la Vierge, the most visited attraction in Biarritz, is only few steps away. If you come here in the evening, stop by the Dolce Arena and share some tapas while enjoying the great view over the ocean.
La Grande Plage/Côte des Basques
Also know as ‘Bibi’, this area is the epicenter of the social scene in Biarritz, embodying as it does the cool laidback vibe of the town. Well-known for its amazing surf spots, it’s a great place to spend time after a day at the beach and before you head toward the city center for partying – to experience the vibe, climb the ‘100 marches‘ (100 steps) and have some drinks and tapas at the famous Etxola Bibi bar while witnessing the sunset from the best spot in town. If you’re looking for something more low-key, you could buy some beers and snacks and improvise an early evening picnic on the beach.
Located in the heart of the city, Les Halles is an absolute must while you are in Biarritz. Food is a central element of the French culture and the Basque region is no exception – if you want to taste the delicacies the Basque region has to offer while experiencing the local atmosphere, pay a visit to the market at Les Halles. Highly-frequented by both locals and tourists, this place is a food haven where you get to meet local producers and sample fresh, tasty food. For a visit with a difference, try a food tour with a local who will guide you through the market according to your culinary preferences.
Les Halles is also very close to Rue Gambetta, the main street of Biarritz where you can find many restaurants and bars – Le Bar Jean is a great place where locals and tourists happily party together. If you’re already familiar with Les Halles and want to try something similar in a different place, head to Les Halles des 5 Cantons located a few minutes away in Anglet, which is another great place to buy local products and try exquisite food in a lively and welcoming environment.
Les Halles – Rue des Halles, Biarritz, France
Les Halles des 5 Cantons – Rue Paul Courbin, Anglet, France
And for a touch of historical grandeur…
If you have time, pay a visit to the famous and luxurious Hôtel du Palais – once the summer home of Napoleon – to have a drink (or more if you can afford it) and take in the spectacular sea views. Should you be feeling suitably lucky, stroll down the waterfront and have dinner in the restaurant of the Casino Barrière, before maybe trying your hand in the casino. Who knows – in case of good luck, you may well end up paying a return visit to bed down at the Hôtel du Palais in a suite fit for an emperor.