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The Queen once described Bordeaux as ‘the very essence of elegance’ – but you can travel to experience the rich history and fine wines of this rather aristocratic French city on a surprisingly cheap flight.
You’ll find nearly 400 historic monuments delicately dotted around the gracefully regenerated streets and squares of Bordeaux. Magnificent cathedrals, churches and palaces can be reached over beautiful bridges that span the Garonne and, if all that history leaves you hungry, you’ll also find some of France’s finest restaurants, and a rather distinguished glass or two of wine to wash it all down with.
Bordeaux remains popular throughout the year, meaning you’ll need to book early and search smart to find cheap flights.
It’s the winter season when prices are at their lowest, although the Christmas and New Year holidays see a sharp spike in air fares to Bordeaux. During this time, it’s not unheard of to find a cheap flight to Bordeaux for little more than £20. With so many indoor attractions on offer the cold weather need not put a dampener on your break – but don’t expect to be able to squeeze in a day or two on the slopes, as the nearest skiing opportunities are around 200 miles away.
Using Expedia, you can check to see if cheaper – or more convenient flights – are offered at alternative airports. Simply click ‘Nearby airports’ and we’ll show you a range of prices from different airports near your suggested departure point.
With Bergerac situated just an hour and a half away by car, you may want to check to see if flights to here are cheaper than those to Bordeaux.
If you can be flexible on your dates you can select ‘Show flexible dates’ when your flight results are returned. This allows you to look at nearby dates – and often a day or two’s difference can make a very big difference to the cost of your Bordeaux flight.
Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport is the international airport serving Bordeaux. Located in the commune of Mérignac, eight miles west of Bordeaux, it is only a short hop before you arrive in the heart of the city.
The easiest way to get into the city is by bus: there are no train services from the airport, although if you need a train for travel further afield you can take the bus to the station. Liane 1 services run regularly throughout the day and cost less than €2 for the trip.
Taxis are available at the terminal, as are car hire companies if you wish to explore the wider Bordeaux region during your stay.
Bordeaux is an important French rail hub, meaning that from the station, Gare St-Jean, located a couple of miles from the city centre, you can easily reach many locations within the Bordeaux area and other French cities, such as Paris, Bayonne, Nantes, Poitiers, La Rochelle and Toulouse.
Buses to places all over the Gironde leave from the Halte Routière allèes de Chartres in the northeast corner of Esplanade des Quinconces.
Within the city itself the Bordeaux Découverte card, available at the tourist office, allows unlimited travel for a number of days on buses and trams.
Vieux Bordeaux is filled with historic facades, great dining options and relaxing cafes. Visit the Basilica of St Michel before snooping the stalls at the Capucins flea market and strolling the alleys and boulevards.
Grands-Hommes is where to head for la grande bouffe (the big feast). Among the luxury boutiques are Bordeaux’s most lavish restaurants nestling between beautiful Neoclassical buildings and clustered around elegant open squares.
Hôtel de Ville is a magnificent town hall, built as the Palais Rohan by Archbishop Maximilien de Rohan in 1774, that houses two art galleries and a museum.
Car rental is great for exploring the region but parking in the city can prove difficult and expensive. Places to look for free spaces include the side streets north of the Musée d'Art Contemporain and west of the Jardin Public. Many hotels also provide parking for a set price per night and, if all else fails, there are large parking lots to the north of esplanade des Quinconces and opposite place de la Bourse.