Attractions nearby Bordeaux Mérignac International Airport
Bordeaux Airport is located in the south-western region of France, only 10 km (6 miles) from Bordeaux. Bordeaux is a popular destination for tourists due to its newly restored and beautiful Neo-classical buildings, and is famous for its many enormous wine-related events. Around the city there are gorgeous vineyards and wineries to explore. Many of Bordeaux’s main attractions are within areas of the city where there are no vehicles allowed, only pedestrians, however, transport on the small electric buses which can move in these areas is a wonderful way to enjoy what Bordeaux has to offer.
The Croiseur Colbert is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Bordeaux, and is one of France’s largest battleships. This ship is now docked at Bordeaux’s Quia des Chartons, and is transformed into a fascinating museum whereby visitors can see what life onboard a battleship would be like. Guided tours are available which show everything onboard the boat, from the admiral’s quarters to the engine rooms, and the hospital area to the kitchens. The Croiseur Colbert is open to the public during the months of June, July and August (every day from 10:00 to 19:00), during April, May and September (10:00 to 20:00 – Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays), and from October to March (every day from 10:00 to 18:00).
The Palais de la Bourse and the Palais Rohan are buildings in Bordeaux which are hard to miss. The Palais de la Bourse overlooks the River Garonne, and the grand Palais Rohan is nowadays the location of the town hall. It is a building dating back to the middle ages, when it was built for the Archbishop of Bordeaux. An interesting fact about the Palais Rohan is that both the front and back of the building are exactly the same. It also features a magnificent staircase and a particularly beautifully decorated dining room.
Bordeaux features the last surviving original wooden-framed theatre in Europe, known as the Grand Theatre. The theatre is still in use for many ballet and musical performances, and visitors are amazed at its impressive neo-classical structure, and elegantly decorated interior.
Families with children visiting Bordeaux must pay a visit to the Zoo de Bordeaux Pessac, or the Bordeaux Zoo. It is located on the southern side of the city, and is full of entertainment for the whole family. Hundreds of animals roam the zoo’s parameters of about 5 hectares, featuring those from Asia and Africa, such as monkeys, giraffes, pelicans, hippos, zebras, parrots and lions. The white tiger also never fails to fascinate the children. There is a restaurant area available, and plenty of other fun activities for the kids to enjoy. The Bordeaux Zoo is open during the months of October to March (10:00 to 18:00) and during April to September (10:00 to 19:00).
Tourists in Bordeaux can enjoy a good selection of museums and other similar attractions. There is the Natural History Museum (Musée d’Histoire Naturelle), which is one of the oldest museums in France, and housed in a grand mansion overlooking the Jardin Publique. It has a wonderful collection of animal specimens, and exhibits local wildlife and fossils. The Musée d’Aquitaine highlights local commercial, maritime and rural history, while the Vinorama de Bordeaux is dedicated to Bordeaux’s successful wine exportations. At this museum you can even buy a few bottles of wine to take home with you as souvenirs. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, between 14:00 and 18:00.
Bordeaux is home to many spectacularly beautiful religious buildings, in particular the Cathédrale St. André, located just south of the Place Gambetta. It is an 11th century building and features superb stone carvings and 13th and 14th century sculptures. Other churches of note are the St. Seurin Basilica, St. Michel Basilica and the Flèche St. Michel, which features a stairway of around 200 steps to the top of its tower, where visitors can enjoy splendid views of Bordeaux.
There are many parks and gardens to enjoy a relaxing and peaceful time outdoors. The Jardin Botanique offers lovely paths for walking, and occasional workshops and activities for children. It is a botanical garden which was founded in the early 17th century. Parc Bordelaise covers an area of 28 hectares, and is home to a mixture of plants and wooded areas. For the children there is a small animal park, a puppet theatre and a model train. Other parks include the Place Gambetta and the Jardin Public.
Towns nearby Bordeaux which are wonderful to visit include Cadillac, with an impressive castle, Sauternes, a small village well known for its distinctive golden sweet wine, Blaye, where visitors can take a tour of the citadel’s walls looking out over the estuary and its islands, and St. Emilion, which is declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
With all these wonderful places to visit and many more, passengers arriving at Bordeaux can look forward to a very pleasant stay in Bordeaux. More information can be acquired at the main tourism bureaus along the Rue de Argentiers, Cours du 30 Julliet, nearby the banks on the Cours de l’Intendence and at the train station itself. Information desks are available in both Terminal A and Terminal B, and a Tourist Office is available from 16 June to 13 September.