On the Left Bank of the River Garonne, 4km of riverside quays incorporate flower beds, playgrounds, cycling paths and the astonishing Mirroir d'Eau, aka the world's largest reflecting pool that hot and sticky young Bordelaise frolic in throughout summer.

Pretty place Gambetta, a central open area ringed by shaded benches, also has its share of history – during the Reign of Terror that followed the Revolution, a guillotine placed here severed the heads of 300 alleged counter-revolutionaries.