A few months ago, I went on a European cruise. What a delight it was! I had to explore many ports I never thought I would. One of the cities I very much appreciated was Bordeaux. It remains synonymous with the wine trade and wine shippers. What I noticed, Bordeaux is a less exuberant city than many others in France. Conservative and refined, the city rewards visitors with museums, shopping and restaurants. If you are coming ashore like I did, you may want to read below or skip to the next paragraph. Cruise ship dock directly on the city waterfront within walking distance of all major city attractions. Bordeaux is a compact city, and there will be no need to rent a vehicle unless you want to tour the many vineyards. If you do, here are a few prices I manage to gather: cost of rental is about 70 euros per day. Taxis are plentiful and can provide tourist itineraries. For single journey, the rates start from 2.30 euros.

Exploring Bordeaux

Maison du Vin is a must, headquarters of the Bordeaux Wine trade (the city tourist office is just across the street from here). It is situated right in the heart of the city. Before you set out to explore the regional wine country, stop at the Maison to gain tips from person at the Tourisme de Viticole desk. She had very helpful guides on all the various wine regions. Pont de Pierre, for a view of the picturesque quayside, stroll across the Garonne on this bridge that built on the orders of Napoléon. The best bit is to open a bottle of a fine win while touring the vineyards. Not only is it wonderful to watch the grapes maturing on the wines, but to tour the historic chateaux and their extensive cellars to understand the understated essence of this small region of France.

Where to Eat

If you are looking for just a small bite to eat or a refreshment stop, the trendy Museum Café is a must. It offers a good choice of beverages and snacks, and fine views over the Bordeaux skyline. Another great place to eat is Café Français. It is situated in the heart of the Vieille Ville by the Cathédrale St-André. The interior is superb! There are larges mirrors and plush curtains. The food is extraordinary, solidly based on fresh regional ingredients for a reasonable price also. Try for a table on the terrace, the view over Place Pey-Berland is never less diverting.

Shopping

Between the cathedral and the Grand Théatre are numerous little streets where you will find stylish little boutiques. Jean D’Alos Fromager-Affineur is the place to go if you like fine French cheese. La Maison des Millésimes is a wine store with a wide range of great wines and the best part is they deliver to anywhere in the world! With all these tips, you will definitely have a great time in the heart of the French wine city. If you’d like more destination guides, head to http://www.cruisesdot.com