La Base Sous-Marine

Top choice in Bordeaux

By far the city's eeriest and most menacing sight, this mammoth hulk of a submarine base (1941–43) was one of five built on the Atlantic Coast by the Germans during the WWII. Designed as a bunker to protect German U-boats from aerial attack, it pens base proved impossible to destroy – by British forces during WWII and subsequently by the city, who now use the eyesore reinforced-concrete structure as a seriously cool, underground cultural centre, art gallery and music concert venue.

The submarine base is only open during exhibitions and events. Check its Facebook page for details.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Bordeaux attractions

1. Musée de la Mer et de la Marine

0.28 MILES

Slated to open in early 2019, this landmark new museum by the Basins à Flot comprises three floors of exhibition space devoted to almost everything there…

2. Le Garage Moderne

0.52 MILES

A trio of dedicated mechanics help locals fix their own cars and bicycles at this alternative garage that doubles as experimental cultural space in the…

3. Les Vivres de l’Art

0.59 MILES

Rub shoulders with bohemian Bordeaux at this ramshackle atelier (artist workshop) where Jean-François Buisson, one of several resident artists, welds…

4. La Cité du Vin

0.67 MILES

The complex world of wine is explored in depth at ground-breaking La Cité du Vin, a stunning piece of contemporary architecture resembling a wine decanter…

5. CAP Sciences

0.74 MILES

An imposing concrete hangar on the riverfront is the venue for this cutting-edge science museum, host to various temporary exhibitions focusing on…

6. Pont Jacques Chaban-Delmas

0.78 MILES

Europe's highest lift bridge crosses the River Garonne with grace and aplomb near the entrance to the Bassins à Flot. At night, its four distinctive…

7. Musée du Vin et du Négoce

1.17 MILES

This small Wine and Trade Museum, hidden in one of the city's oldest buildings – an Irish merchant's house dating to 1720 in the ancient trading district…