South of the historic centre, a twinset of landmark churches – Gothic Basilique St-Michel and Romanesque Église Ste-Croix – tether the vibrant neighbourhoods of Saint-Michel and Sainte-Criox, most known for their antique shopping. A colourful pot-pourri of street markets provide a melting pot for the diverse ethnic population here, while Bordeaux's sizeable student population gravitates to cafe pavement terraces on place de la Victoire and around the city's premier food market, Marché des Capucins.

Southeast by the river, next to Gare St-Jean train station, a dazzling new business district is rising from the ashes around derelict abattoirs on quai de Paludate: enter Euratlantique, the exciting face of contemporary Bordeaux.