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
Bordeaux destination guides
Paris to Madrid
From the romantic capital of France to magnificent Madrid, this adventure is packed with art, nature, culture and history. Enjoy the sparkling lights of Paris, visit the royal Chateau at Villandry and hike among the towering peaks of the Pyrenees. Cross into Spain and kick back on a sunny beach to recharge before perhaps embarking on 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.