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Where to stay in Bordeaux – a guide to the city’s districts

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Bordeaux is a sprawling city with the Historic Center at its heart and distinctive neighborhoods sprawling outwards like a web. Most of the places of interest can be found on the left bank of the Garonne River, segueing from historical significance to bohemian chic. Accommodation is similarly varied, from 5-star luxury to budget guesthouses, even rural retreats. Whatever your tastes and interests, amongst Bordeaux’s eclectic mix of districts, you’ll find one that’s perfect for you.

Hugo Idler

My Destination local expert on

Bordeaux

Golden Triangle

 

Staying in the Golden Triangle means that you can step out into Bordeaux’s most elegant district, which contains most of the main sights. It’s also the physical center of the city, so all the other districts are easy to get to. It’s the area where the luxury shops populate the streets between the Place des Quinconces and the Place de la Comedie, and the Historic District is a few minutes’ walk away. You’ll inhabit a grand, champagne-colored stone building, so whether you choose a 5-star hotel or a boutique guesthouse, it will make you feel like royalty.

 

Saint-Michel

 

For a flavor of multicultural Bordeaux, stay in the Saint-Michel district, just to the south of the Historic Center. Constructed around the Saint-Michel Basilica, a highly decorative gothic cathedral with free-standing spire, Saint-Michel is a historic district of immigrants. You’ll have the weekend flea market and the excellent Capucins food market to explore, plus the vibrant Latin and North African culture which influences the cuisine and nightlife. The Historic Center more or less extends to Saint Michel but this is a more lively and fun district to stay in, with budget accommodation available.

 

Chartrons

 

The former merchant district of Bordeaux, a cool and creative spirit imbues modern-day Chartrons, whilst it maintains its old glamor. You’ll stay in a building with a grand façade, but with a little more edge than the Historic District. It’s still the center for the wine trade, so for an introduction to Bordeaux wines, this is a good place to be based. It’s also the ideal location for contemporary art lovers, as Bordeaux’s premier modern art museum, the CAPC, is located here. The Historic Center lies just to the south, accessible on foot or by tram.

 

Lac

 

For a quieter retreat which is still convenient for the center, Bordeaux’s Lac district is the ideal location. As the name suggests, the district is dominated by a beautiful lake set in a verdant landscape.  Situated just north of the city, it borders the Bois de Bordeaux, a forest full of nature trails and clear streams. With more rustic lodging available and plenty of boating and woodland activities on offer, you’ll feel miles away from the urban rush, yet a ten-minute tram ride or a more leisurely river ferry will transport you back into the heart of the city.