Hiring a car in Bordeaux

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Hiring a car in Bordeaux

When you plan your holiday, arrange to collect a rental car in Bordeaux and take yourself on a liberating drive around the beating heart of France's southwest.

60-second guide to Bordeaux

In its own head...

"We are a beautiful port city with excellent architecture and gastronomy. What is not to like?"

...but more realistically

Bordeaux offers visitors an interesting mix of old and new, blending historic architecture and traditions with the new as an extensive regeneration programme has breathed new life into the city.

The vibe

Bordeaux is a vibrant city, one of gothic cathedrals, large airy squares, 18th century mansions and a real joie de vivre.

The natives

The locals are enamoured with their city and expect tourists to visit, you’ll receive a warm welcome.

The weather

During the summer months it sits warmly in the mid-20s, while in winter expect temperatures of around seven degrees.

The local speciality

Seafood is very popular here, but the standout local favourite is the entrecôte marchand de vin, a hearty dish of beef cooked in a rich gravy. Delicious.

The celebrity

King Richard II of England was born in Bordeaux. Some would argue that that made him French.

Did you know?

Bordeaux is the fifth largest city in France

They say

"Everything about modern Bordeaux is imbued with grandeur, like Versailles, and everything about old Bordeaux recounts its history, like Anvers." - poet and novelist Victor Hugo

5 to see in town...

1. Place de la Bourse

As squares go, this one is particularly beautiful, with great examples of late 18th-century architecture. 'La Bourse' in the title refers to the magnificent Stock Exchange building that dominates it.

Where to park:

Use the Place de la Bourse car park, adjacent to the square.

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2. Rue Ste Catherine

This busy high street is the main shopping area, where you can stock up on all of the latest French fashions. At nearly a mile long, you won't be short of choice.

Where to park:

The street itself is pedestrianised, so if you are at the Grand Theatre end use either the Jean Jaures or the Place de la Bourse car park. If you are at the opposite end, then use the Victory car park in Place de la Victoire.

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3. Notre Dame Church

The Notre Dame Church may not be as grand as its namesake in Paris, but it is equally ornate and well worth a visit.

Where to park:

Try the underground car park called Tourney, on the Allees de Tourney.

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4. Baptiste St Jean

Unwind with a meander around the collections and exhibits in this excellent museum and art gallery.

Where to park:

The nearest car park is the Societe Civile Immobiliere Mazarin in Rue Mazarin.

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5. Jardin Botanique de la Bastide

As botanical gardens go, this place has got it all - green houses, a water garden and big impressive fields full of grain.

Where to park:

Use the Jean Jaures or the Place de la Bourse car park.

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and 4 to drive to...

1. Medoc

This town on the Atlantic coast has some pine forests and attractive beaches, such as the pretty resort of Soulac-sur-Mer, that are well worth a visit.

How to get there:

To reach the north-west tip of Medoc take the D1 then the D1215 out of Bordeaux. It should take around an hour and 45 minutes.

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2. Bergerac

This traditional, pretty, market town offers a more sedate experience than Bordeaux, take a drive out to visit its narrow streets and bistros serving up delicious food.

How to get there:

It's about an hour and 20 minutes to Bergerac. Take the N89/A89 east.

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3. La Rochelle

A trip to La Rochelle is like a journey back in time - and we don't mean to your French GCSE lessons. The seaside town has preserved its 17th and 18th century centre to great effect.

How to get there:

Head north out of Bordeaux on the E06/A10. It will take about two hours to get there.

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4. Parc Naturel Regional des Landes de Gascogne

If you fancy a change from sightseeing, why not try cycling, walking, horse-riding or canoeing in the wide open space of this impressive park.

How to get there:

It only takes around 40 minutes to reach the edge of the park. Take the A63 south-west out of Bordeaux.

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