The city's finest people-watching square, place de la Victoire throbs with students lingering over drinks on the vast cafe terraces here. Tray-wielding waitstaff dodge passing pigeons and buses, while children clamber on the bronze mother-and-baby turtles in the centre of the square. The sculpture (2005), by artist Ivan Theimer, stands beneath the Colonne de la Victoire, a marble obelisk by the same artist. Both works feature grapes as a celebration of Bordelais wine culture.
Porte d'Aquitaine, built in 1753 to celebrate the birth of Louis XV's grandson, Duke of Aquitaine, stands tall at the foot of main shopping strip rue Ste-Catherine – Bordeaux's longest pedestrian street that legs it 1.2km north from place de la Victoire to place de la Comédie.