City of Bordeaux

If you are a new student in Bordeaux, these are the places to go!!

Posted on Posted in Activities, Food & Drink

Places to go in Bordeaux as a student

Bordeaux the capital of Gironde is in demographic dynamism. The city is one of the most attractive regions of France for students. By 2030, nearly a million inhabitants are expected in the city as the city population growth is on average 1.5% per year. ( 32% of the inhabitants have between 15 and 45 years old which makes Bordeaux one of the city with the youngest population in France. (

The commercialization of wine and modernity of the city, helped Bordeaux gain more international notoriety. The city is listed in the World Heritage List, as an outstanding urban ensemble of UNESCO in 2007. These events have raised the foreign students’ interest in moving to Bordeaux for studies or visiting places the city has to offer.

The « Miroir d’eau »

The Bordeaux water mirror is a shallow reflecting the “Place de la Bourse” buildings and the quays of Bordeaux. The mirror has been in operation since 2006. After all, it has an area of 3450 square meters, making it the largest of the world. Which is why locals are very proud of this achievement.

People can refresh themselves in summer because the spot is perfect to relax in or enjoy a walk out with their pets or friends. Students usually use it as a landmark for meetings.

The quays of Bordeaux

The quays of Bordeaux are one of the most magnificent heritage of the world.  Because they were built in the 18th century, the quays facades are classified as historical monuments. Indeed, they are the heart of the Urban Ensemble, inscribed on the world heritage list by UNESCO in 2007.

If you are a fan of sports in general, the quays offer you a 6,7Km course with skateparks, football, basketball courts and fitness parks. Furthermore, the quays also offer you the opportunity to visit Cap science or « la cité du Vin ».

10 tips to enjoy the quays of Bordeaux

Jogging on a Sunday

Shopping at the quays of the Brands

Go for a walk

Visit the « Miroir d’eau »

Have fun at the skateparks

Check out Cap science

Visit « la cité du vin »

Cruise to the right bank


« La cité du vin »

“La cité du vin” was inaugurated in May 2016 in the presence of Mr.Alain Juppé and François Hollande. 

The building is located at the new district of the Bassins a float. The same location of the great maritime port of Bordeaux, on top of the island between the Quay Bacalan, and at the entrance of the locks and the Garonne.

The shape of the building in itself is special. Full of curves on the outside like on the inside. Therefore building looks twisted. The architects of the agency XTU Nicolas Desazière and Anouk Legendre associated with the English agency scenography Casson Mann Limited built this masterpiece.

The structure has a form of the gnarled vine in order to remember both a wine turning in a glass and the swirls of the Garonne, which borders the site. 300 concrete piles down to 30 meters deep support the 9,000 cubic meters concrete building. 918 glass panels of three colors: clear glass, gray (tinted in the mass) and gold, and 2,300 aluminum panels of different sizes cover the structure. Silkscreened glass panels and perforated iridescent lacquered aluminum panels compose its facade. The tower is 55 meters tall.

The ground floor is a rounded 4 meter-high open-access space. So, it houses a cellar-library of 9,752 bottles, representing 88 countries.

Places attached to a souvenir shop, operated by La Cité du Vin allow food tasting in the facility.

More info

On the first floor, there are temporary exhibition spaces, a reading room, discovery workshops (tasting, food, and wine pairing, etc). Most noteworthy is a 250-seat auditorium which hosts events after events throughout the year.

The heart of the visit is on the second floor due to it’s twenty thematic spaces. This floor is an immersive journey through time and space to the discovery of wine as a cultural and living heritage. The twenty thematic spaces constitute a tour of a duration estimated at two hours. Above all, visitors can use the travel companion on this floor. The travel companion is an innovative technological tool that triggers multimedia content and translation in 8 languages with accessibility for all audiences.

On the 7th floor, there is a panoramic restaurant. On the 8th floor, there is Belvedere and panoramic view of the city and the moon at 35 meters high.

The entrance fee is 20 euros as the price includes the visit of the permanent course accompanied by the travel companion and gives the right to taste wines, at the Belvedere. The goal is to attract 450,000 visitors a year.

La place de la Victoire

The “Place de la Victoire” is one of the main public squares in the city of Bordeaux. It’s a place with bourgeois buildings students attend. Over the years it became a landmark for the local population and the foreigners because it’s located between downtown and the university area. On top of that, manifestations, spectacles and concerts occur there. Finally, Victoire is one of the main access to Saint-Catherine street and the Capucins market.

Restaurants and bars surround the spot, which makes it a perfect place to spend time. Victoire also has a rich historical background. Indeed, it has some of the most important buildings in the city. For instance, the former faculty of medicine and pharmacy, a monumental neo-classical construction. The architect Jean-Louis Pascal built the building in 1880. As a result, it now houses the courses of the University of Bordeaux in human science.

Bars in Bordeaux

According to the last study about cocktail Cafés-Hôtels-Restaurants (CHR) by CGA and Nelson, France has more and more bars. Bordeaux’s downtown already contains lots of bars.

Historically, Bordeaux developed a culture around wine. Although Bordeaux is internationally known as the French capital city of wine it has more to offer in term of bars, even if the bar market is currently focused on the wine and delicatessen bars more than the other bars.

According to Createst, a qualitative study online, the average basket of a French bar is around 20€ and 29€.

All in all, the lower the budget for outings, the more people tend to go out to bars which have cards more student-friendly in areas such as the Chartrons or St Pierre district.

Typical card of a bar in Bordeaux :

Typical bar card in Bordeaux


Best bars in Bordeaux

Le Cancan :

Bar lovers should go to the Cancan because it is regarded as one of the best bars in Bordeaux. Almost every Bordeulese list him among the top 3 bars of Bordeaux. In fact, Clients enter the bar via a telephonic booth on the outside on top of the quality cocktails the bar offers. On the downside, the wait can be long. Furthermore, clients cant Stand up in the bar or in the room for a long time. although prices are high people certainly know what to expect.

Mama Shelter : 

The employees make the originality of the bar due to their nice services. The bar has a rooftop and a cool way of receiving clients. Costumers can use tablets, take pictures and share them on the social media and do some networking, as a result, the atmosphere inside is always different. A hotel owns the bars, therefore it favorises the hotel’s clients. Probably the reason why the clients are mostly 30 years old.

The Symbiose : 

Just like the other two bars, Symbiose is a top Bordeaux bar. People find good food at noon and night while enjoying exotic cocktails in the bar. But, the reception is bad and just like Cancan, the wait can be long. Even more, the place is loud due to the noises of the crowd.


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