Bordeaux, is a relaxed and elegant city, somewhere to stroll along the riverside quays and to peel back many layers of history in the old town: Roman remains, medieval turrets, elegant 18th century mansions, a wartime submarine base, stunning 21st century features like the Miroir d’eau.   

And it’s a city of wine.  Somewhere to tour a vineyard or two, visit a wine shop which stocks several million bottles and linger over a glass or a bottle in any number of pretty squares and side streets.  And, of course, it’s the place to visit the stunning Cité du Vin, the world’s largest wine museum.  

Our 10 Bordeaux episodes will bring you all the background history and culture you need to really understand the city.  In short, here is all the research you’d do yourself if only you had the time!  


Side view of Grand theatre, Bordeaux IJ

Episode 1: Introduction to Bordeaux

Last Updated on January 1, 2024 by Marian Jones Welcome to our introduction to Bordeaux. This relaxed, elegant city has much to enjoy in addition to the wine for which it’s so famous, including delightful … Read more
The Roofs of Bordeaux

Episode 2: A Stroll Around Central Bordeaux

Last Updated on May 1, 2024 by Marian Jones This post takes you on a stroll around central Bordeaux, introducing the city’s highlights and giving a little flavour and background history. This walk, done ‘virtually’ … Read more
Bordeaux Musee d'Aquitaine

Episode 3: Roman and Medieval Bordeaux

Last Updated on August 14, 2023 by Hannah Henderson This post focuses on Bordeaux in Roman and Medieval times, two of the city’s most fascinating eras, giving a little background and explaining where in the … Read more
Bordeaux at night

Episode 4: Bordeaux’s Riverside Heritage

Last Updated on May 1, 2024 by Marian Jones Bordeaux’s riverside heritage is crucial – the River Garonne is by far the most important feature in the history of the city. In this post we’ll … Read more
Occupied Bordeaux 021200

Episode 5: Finding World War II in Bordeaux Today

Last Updated on August 25, 2023 by Ctybr67k Are there still traces of World War II in Bordeaux today? It may be 80 years since the German Occupation of the city ended, but there are … Read more
Bordeaux wine shop

Episode 6: Bordeaux Wine

Last Updated on November 3, 2023 by Marian Jones Bordeaux wine – could two words be more inextricably linked? No, said the author Henry James: ‘Bordeaux is dedicated to the worship of Bacchus’. This post … Read more
Wheat Treading in the Camargue, Rosa Bonheur, Musee des Beaux Arts, Bordeaux

Episode 7: 3 Bordeaux Art Galleries

Last Updated on May 1, 2024 by Marian Jones This post introduces 3 Bordeaux art galleries, each with a very different feel: the long-standing Museum des Beaux Arts (Museum of Fine Arts), the always surprising … Read more
Golden Triangle 011200

Episode 8: Food and Shopping in Bordeaux

Last Updated on April 30, 2024 by Marian Jones Food and Shopping: two of the major reasons for visiting Bordeaux! This guide lists some of top-notch products from Bordeaux’s Atlantic coastline and the rich agricultural … Read more
St Emilion

Episode 9: St Emilion and other Day Trips from Bordeaux

Last Updated on November 1, 2023 by Marian Jones This post gives ideas for day trips from Bordeaux, focussing first on St Émilion, but also covering ways to explore the surrounding countryside and nearby coast. … Read more
Montaigne, literary Bordeaux

Episode 10: Literary Bordeaux : an Anthology

Last Updated on December 6, 2023 by Marian Jones Our introduction to literary Bordeaux begins with a trio of famous Bordeaux authors, the ‘3 Ms’ – philosophers Montaigne and Montesquieu and the novelist François Mauriac. … Read more

BOrdeaux: links and reading

Two useful websites for tourists
Bordeaux Tourist Office
Visit Bordeaux 

2 Guide Books
Lonely Planet Pocket Bordeaux
Bordeaux France by P G Preston

4 History Books
Eleanor of Aquitaine by Sara Cockerill
Eleanor of Aquitaine by Alison Weir
Histoire de Bordeaux by Madeleine Lassière (in French)
Petite Histoire de Bordeaux by Marion Philip and Xavier Lacarce (in French) 

True Stories and Memoirs
Game of Spies by Paddy Ashdown
The Last of the Cockleshell Heroes by William Sparks
The Billionaire’s Vinegar by Benjamin Wallace

Novels set in Bordeaux
The Summer Queen by Elizabeth Chadwick 
Dark Summer in Bordeaux by Allan Massie
The Frontenac Mystery by François Mauriac
Thérèse Desqueyroux by François Mauriac

PODCASTS to get you started