Discover Bordeaux's Most Iconic, From Water Mirrors to Shopping Extravaganzas

Photo of Jennifer Migan
5 December 2017

Every city has its hidden gems and local secrets worth discovering. However sometimes, a city’s most iconic places are hidden in plain view or skipped due to the tourist hustle and bustle. To ensure you don’t miss out on any of the attractions, here’s the la crème de la crème of sights in Bordeaux. Get your camera ready!

Le Miroir d’Eau

The Miroir d’Eau is the most visited attraction in Bordeaux and its popularity is well deserved. Facing the stunning Place de la Bourse, the Miroir d’Eau is the world’s largest reflecting mirror. In the summer, make sure to come with your camera to capture the water spurts as they go off. Indeed, many locals (especially kids) and tourists like to walk through the water for a fun break from the summer heat.

Le Miroir d’Eau, Place de la Bourse, Bordeaux, France

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Place des Quinconces

After stopping by the Miroir d’Eau, continue your walk up to the iconic Place des Quinconces. With a surface area of about 21 acres (8.5 hectares), it is France’s biggest square and one of the largest in Europe. No matter the time of year, it’s an action-packed place, as fairs, concerts and other cultural events are regularly organized. The towering Monument aux Girondins is astonishing, as is the impressive water fountain beneath it.

Place des Quinconces, 2792 Place des Quinconces, Bordeaux, France, +33 5 56 00 66 00

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Pont de Pierre

It’s near impossible to conduct a Google search about Bordeaux without coming across pictures of the Pont de Pierre – the famous bridge that connects the two banks of the Garonne River. Taking a walk across is a must, as you get to admire the breathtaking panorama the city has to offer.

Pont de Pierre, Bordeaux, France

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Grand Théâtre

If you’re visiting Bordeaux, you’re sure to come across the majestic Grand Théâtre, one of the most emblematic examples of the city’s lavish 18th-century architecture. Even if you’re not attending an opera or ballet performance, head to this architectural beauty to walk around inside and enjoy an afternoon tea, or to dine at the excellent Le Quatrième Mur restaurant.

Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux, Place de la Comédie, Bordeaux, France, +33 5 56 00 85 95

Porte de Bourgogne

The Porte de Bourgogne is like a smaller version of Paris’ Arc de Triomphe. Apart for resembling the renowned Parisian monument, the Porte de Bourgogne is an entryway into the historical Vieux Bordeaux (Old Bordeaux). After you pass the splendid arch, walk up to the Cours Victor Hugo until you get to the Grosse Cloche (the Big Bell) on your right. This impressive bell is one of Bordeaux’s oldest monuments and will lead you to Rue Saint-James – the coolest street in Bordeaux to shop.

Porte de Bourgogne, Place Bir Hakeim, Bordeaux, France, +33 5 56 10 20 30

Rue Sainte-Catherine

Walking up and down the Rue Sainte-Catherine is more than a shopping experience. You probably won’t visit all the boutiques (unless you’re very dedicated) but will surely appreciate the stroll along Europe’s longest shopping street. After your shopping (this is an ideal place to find souvenirs) take a break at La Promenade Sainte-Catherine to enjoy a cup of coffee and a spot of people-watching.

Rue Sainte-Catherine, Bordeaux, France

Aglomeración de muchedumbre a lo largo de la Rue Sainte-Catherine (Bordeaux)

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Palais Gallien

Loaded with years of history, the Palais Gallien is an incredible vestige of the Roman Empire’s influence on Bordeaux. Located slightly apart from the city center, come and see this ancient beauty with your own eyes. The tranquility of the sight will make you feel like a gladiator about to face the crowd – and fate.

Palais Gallien, 126 Rue du Docteur Albert Barraud, Bordeaux, France, +33 5 56 00 66 00

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