Bordeaux: A Photo Essay

Pictures from the City on the Garonne


As many of you may know, I was recently fortunate enough to visit Bordeaux. I was, naturally enough, on a visit to learn more about the wines and estates of Bordeaux, as a guest of the CIVB (Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux).  I owe the CIVB thanks for this great opportunity, and will address the wines in future emails, but today I wanted to take this chance to share some images of Bordeaux, the city.

After a long program of improvement, the city of Bordeaux has transformed itself into a simply spectacular place in which to enjoy the French lifestyle. All cleaned up, with a new system of trams and busses replacing darting automobiles, as well as new underground parking facilities freeing up the streets for pedestrian malls, it’s now a great walking city.

About the Author

Gregory Dal Piaz is a proponent and admirer of a broad range of wines and styles. During his decades of collecting and tasting he has discovered that a wine need not cost a fortune to drink well. Feel free to ask him questions at the Snooth Forums where he regularly engages with beginners and experts alike.
Related Imagery

Ancient gates, this one leading to the riverfront - home to ancient ports - are located throughout the city, and once allowed for the collection of goods entering the city. High-relief maps are conveniently located near several historical monuments, allowing one to gain perspective and an historic overview.

No question here, modern Bordeaux is a city full of hustle and bustle, along fabulous pedestrian streets! Love it!

The bell tower of the Cathédrale Saint-André de Bordeaux, topped with a golden angel - just 231 steps to the top!

Luckily, there is a lovely sidewalk cafe around virtually every bend. Some with lovely views that surround you with the history of this amazing city.

The Bordelaise take full advantage of the riverfront as a place to relax as well as picturesque path from north to south through the city. And the cooling breeze blowing in off the river makes for a delightful promenade.

Through the gate and onto the reclaimed riverfront. This strip, home to the port before it was abondoned, is now part of the welcoming park that runs the length of the city, offering a variety of parks, gardens, and activities.

Now, this is a view! The Cathédrale looks almost like a giant ship plowing through the city. Such detail, it really is impressive.

While we love the fact that the city has been cleaned up, some buildings deserve to left just as they are. 2010 or 1910? You make the call!

Much of the city is impressive since it's so clean. A few buildings have yet to be power washed, giving glimpses of what was.

Bordeaux to the east presents a remarkably level vista, with the Garonne river barely visible in the distance. Maybe there's a better view to the west?

Even better than that, it’s a great city in which one can simply enjoy the outdoors, with cafes and restaurants spilling onto almost every sidewalk, allowing you ample opportunity to watch the city pass by while you enjoy a few glasses of their finest wines – which need not be expensive, by the way. But that's fodder for a future story!

If you just want to stroll through the city, the newly renovated waterfront is full of parks and attractions, as well as refreshing breezes, that make it an irresistible lure to young and old at virtually ever hour of the day. Being located far to the west of its time zone, Bordeaux stays light until 10pm this time of year, leaving ample time after visiting wineries all day to soak in some of the sites.

I am looking forward to my next visit to this special little city, and will make sure to leave myself more time to explore its secrets and wonders, but from the few hours of free time I did have I was able to take away many wonderful memories. I hope you enjoy this peek at Bordeaux, city on the Garonne!

Mentioned in this article


  • Snooth User: Hislo
    152358 3

    Bordeaux, mon ville. I spent a semester there, Bordeaux is where I learned to appreciate wine. I hold BX forever in my heart.

    Jun 17, 2010 at 4:57 PM

  • Bordeaux is also for me a special place. I cut my teeth on great wines there back in 1997-1998. Was slated to see the great Jean Marais in La Tempete at Bordeaux's Grand Theatre; he had to pull out for health reasons. A fine bottle of '88 Ch. Pichon Longueville helped to make that particular evening a little less disappointing.

    Jun 17, 2010 at 6:37 PM

  • What a delightful article...the pictures are wonderful. Thanks for sharing your adventure!

    Jun 17, 2010 at 6:38 PM

  • Snooth User: jayz
    263437 6

    You know I had planned on Kauai again, but after seeing these's Bordeaux or Bust!! Thanks for the capturing such great photos(the girl waving is candid:)

    Jun 17, 2010 at 8:27 PM

  • A good little article. It took me back there to my first visit in 1985 and my second in 2004. The only real negative: the traffic was terrible both times. I'd love to see it now, with all those improvements! P.S: It's on the Gironde, not the Garonne (a tributary that joins upstream). Doug @ Canberra, Australia.

    Jun 17, 2010 at 11:17 PM

  • Snooth User: Marian B
    400588 2

    I'm fortunate to live in Bordeaux and be a wine professional ! I'm into old and rare wines but wine tours also.
    Your article is really good, it's a nice place to live. Thanks !

    Jun 18, 2010 at 1:30 AM

  • Snooth User: rdallas
    505272 8

    Timely article. My daughter just returned from a trip to dance in a festival there. She fell in love and plans to go back someday to spend a bit more time. Unfortunately I couldn't get her to bring back a couple of bottles of their wonderful wine as she is a couple of years shy of being the right age. So I'll just have to do with my local Italian wines and the Brunello di' Montalcino in the cellar. That is until I can make it to Bordeaux myself!

    Jun 18, 2010 at 9:44 AM

  • Snooth User: StevenBabb
    Hand of Snooth
    296258 488

    amazing..... thanks Greg!!!!

    Jun 18, 2010 at 2:16 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,749

    Thanks everyone. It really was wonderful to be there and this images just barely capture the beauty of this city!

    Jun 18, 2010 at 2:45 PM

  • Snooth User: dmcker
    Hand of Snooth
    125836 5,302

    Timely in another way, too. Interesting comparison with the NY Times' article on Bordeaux that was just published:

    Jun 19, 2010 at 4:58 PM

  • Snooth User: bigtsur
    380658 94

    There must be a "Bordeaux" vibe going on! We fell in love with the city when we visited VinExpo last June (Launching the Conjure Cognac brand for Birkedal-Hartman and Ludacris). We thoroughly enjoyed walking the streets and finding the most pleasurable shops and dining locations. The Bordeaux was inexpensive, too

    Jun 20, 2010 at 7:08 PM

  • Lovely pictures and a great piece.
    Another beautiful article on Bordeaux recently in the WaPo:

    We are celebrating Bordeaux Fête le Vin this week on the Place des Quinconces and along the Garonne; the month of June is full of events and festivals. Have lived here for 15 years and love it!

    Jun 22, 2010 at 3:37 AM

  • Well, it is a beautiful city for sure...I lived there from the age of 2 to the age of 6, and my sister was born there.
    One piece of information that will explain why Bordeaux is such a beautiful city, is that its mayor was once a certain Baron of Haussman and that he used the gentrification of Bordeaux as the blueprint guessed it:Paris!!!
    For more stories about France, check our website:

    Aug 16, 2010 at 10:02 PM

  • Snooth User: marcpell
    570799 1

    Gregory--thanks for sharing. I did a week with CIVB in June and a hard-drive crash in July claimed ALL of my photos. Loved the city...

    Sep 03, 2010 at 3:29 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,749

    Hi Marc,

    That really sucks. I keep all of my memory cards even after they've been downloaded, and backed up! I couldn't stand loosing them!

    Sep 03, 2010 at 4:00 PM

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