Discover our local Gay Bordeaux Guide and insiders’ recommendations, for best gay bars, clubs, restaurants, museums, monuments, shopping …
Bordeaux, the capital of French wine, has long had the reputation of being a magnificent, posh and pretty boring city.
It was then called “Sleeping Beauty.”
However, this image has considerably evolved. The city, now only 3 hours from Paris by speed train, became trendy.
It attracts more and more Parisians who come to settle here and tourists who come to visit the City, attracted by its reputation in terms of oenology (the science of wine, yes it does exist) and gastronomy.
This touristic boom follows the classification of Bordeaux historic center by UNESCO.
The City enjoyed its glory days in the 18th century, and the streets of the old town are dotted with superb and elegant private mansions, elegant façades, now renovated, balconies made of wrought iron, mysterious masks that have smiled at visitors for centuries.
Any visit must start with the Garonne river banks, an alignment of sculpted facades and palaces built by the city’s wealthy merchants.
At their feet, a host of bars, restaurants and great shops, which can keep you busy all day.
The highlight of this walk is undoubtedly Place de la Bourse, a superb classic architectural ensemble that reflects on a modern water mirror.
The Place des Quinconces is one of the largest squares in Europe and is dominated by the emblematic Monument aux Girondins and its superb fountains.
The allegories of Lies, Work, and Vice, in the form of beautiful half-naked guys with big mustaches, Village people type, will not leave you indifferent.
As you walk further down the alleys, you can admire the Grand Theatre de Bordeaux an exquisite classical building, Saint-André Cathedral, and the beautiful Town Hall.
Further on, the redeveloped docks concentrate art galleries, avant-garde venues, and the city’s nightlife.
For example, around the “Bassin à Flot,” you will find the Regional center of contemporary art, but also other exciting spaces such as Le Garage Moderne, a surprising place which is a mix of art gallery, restaurant and a place to repair your bike, car or even your camping car.
The Cité du Vin, a modern building, inaugurated in 2016, offers a 3000 m2 of exhibitions about wine culture.
For trendy shopping, head for the concept stores and design boutiques of Place Fernand-Lafargue and Rue du Pas-Saint-George.
You can end your day by visiting the Musée des arts décoratifs et du design, or the many antique dealers on Rue Notre-Dame who are renowned throughout Europe for the quality of their products.
Gay area in Bordeaux
Bordeaux is not only tasting wine and visiting antique dealers. There is a time when you want to have some more fun.
If the city has regained its beauty in the last ten years, the same did not happen with the gay scene.
Many gay venues have closed recently. However, there’s enough left to spend a good weekend here.
Gay day trip from Bordeaux
Bordeaux is only one hour from the beautiful beaches of the Atlantic, at least when the roads are not congested, which frequently happens on Friday and Sunday evenings.
Arcachon, a beautiful seaside resort, rather family oriented and with old-fashioned charm, is accessible by train from Saint-Jean train station.
If you have a car, you can explore the area of the “Bassin d’Arcachon,” famous for its oyster farms, the very chic Cap-Ferret, or the Dune du Pyla, an impressive desert that dominates the entire region and the bay, offering one of the most beautiful natural spectacles in Europe.
Another option is obviously to go inland to discover the magnificent Bordeaux vineyards and mythical wine villages, such as Saint-Emilion.
Gay beaches near Bordeaux
Beach of the Lagoon, near Dune du Pyla and Porge Lacanau Beach are some popular places pretty close to Bordeaux.