The new millennium was a major turning point for the city long known as La Belle au Bois Dormant (Sleeping Beauty). The mayor, former Prime Minister Alain Juppé, roused Bordeaux, pedestrianising its boulevards, restoring its neoclassical architecture and implementing a high-tech public transport system. His efforts paid off: in mid-2007 half of the entire city (18 sq km, from the outer boulevards to the banks of the Garonne) was Unesco-listed, making it the largest urban World Heritage Site.
Bolstered by its high-spirited university-student population (not to mention 2.5 million tourists annually), La Belle Bordeaux now scarcely seems to sleep at all.
Best places to stay in Bordeaux
Ten of France’s natural wonders
France's smorgasbord of cultural delights could keep even the most avid museum-hopper busy for a lifetime, but don't forget about the great outdoors.
Bordeaux destination guides
Top 10 places to run a marathon
If you've loved London, nailed New York and sailed through Sydney, then it's time to look further afield for your next marathon fix. Best in Travel 2010 has 10 magical marathons that'll have you admiring the view (as you push through the pain barrier). 1.
Paris to Madrid
From the romantic capital of France to magnificent Madrid, this France and Spain combo trip is packed with art, nature, culture and history. See the sparkling Paris city lights, visit the royal chateau at Villandry and hike among the peaks of the Pyrenees. Cross the border into Spain and kick back on a sunny beach in San Sebastian to recharge before a big night out.
Small-Group Saint-Emilion and Pomerol Day Trip from Bordeaux
Join this small-group day trip to the Saint-Emilion and Pomerol wine-making region of France. This full-day guided excursion from Bordeaux offers picturesque scenery, sightseeing and fine wines – the perfect day out from the city! Sample Bordeaux wines in two fascinating chateaux and explore the charming UNESCO World Heritage-listed village of Saint-Emilion.