Oct 26th, 2016, 04:10 PM

Why Bordeaux Is Lonely Planet's Number One Place To Visit

By Lillian Wagner
Image credit: Shutterstock/Alexander Demyanenko
There's more than just wine (but there's also lots of wine).

Every year The Lonely Planet – sold worldwide in eight different languages – publishes a guide with the top 10 cities to visit. Thanks to a gastronomical revamp, new high-speed rail, Cité du Vin, and breath-taking riverside development (drum roll), Bordeaux tops the list for 2017. The travel guide explains, "they used to call her the ‘Sleeping Beauty’, but – though she’s hit the snooze button a few times – Bordeaux is now wide awake and ready for action." 

How To Get There 

Until recently, it took about six hours to reach Bordeaux from Paris by train, making the trip somewhat inconvenient for tourists. Luckily, it will be easier to get there in 2017 – a new high-speed rail will take you from the capital to the city of wine in just two hours. TGV trains will be offered around seven times per day and ticket prices start at 70€. In the last few months of 2016 travelers will depart from Montparnasse Station, with trains running five or more times a day making the trip in three and a quarter hours.

Gastronomical Revolution 

Image credit: Shutterstock/Romrodphoto

With Bordeaux sitting along the Garonne river, the gastronomical revolution has fresh local food at its base. For example, many seafood restaurants in Bordeaux, like L'Embarcadère next to L'Eglise Saint-Piere, source their food locally by shucking fresh oysters from the Garonne river. You can also get steaks from farms in the Dordogne region to discover the high quality of local products and the skills of world acclaimed chefs.  

Cité du Vin 

Image credit: Shutterstock/Mandi Keighran

Often referred to as the Disney World for adults, Cité du Vin gives visitors insight how the art of wine has developed through the years through intrigue tours and exhibitions. The mission of this wine hub is "to promote and share the cultural, universal and living heritage that is wine with the broadest possible audience." The architecture of the building enhances the experience as visitors enter the futuristic house which is made to resemble vines of grapes and the production of wine all the way to the finished product, a bottle of Bordeaux.  

Development of Riverside Attractions 

Bordeaux has put time and money into the project of developing the riverside attraction which is the banks. There are two banks along the River Garonne that were transformed into a tourist attraction, the Left Banks and on the right side of the river, Quai des Marques. The Left Banks overlooking the Garonne River attract locals and tourists on a regular basis. This historical boardwalk connects everyone with the city's 2000-year history as a port city and gives a glimpse of beautiful reflections on the water. Bordeaux offers 33 boutiques and 13 restaurant and cafés along the scenic route of the Quai des Marques. Most of the restaurants have sitting lounge chairs to bask in the sun while looking at the reflection of the city along the river, with a drink in hand of course. Shoppers are encouraged to spend some time in the boutiques as the prices are much cheaper than in other places in France. Next to both of the banks there is a plethora of parks and scenic green areas to check out. 

Tourist Attractions 

Image credit: Shutterstock/Melanie Lemahieu

Bordeaux is a hub for tourists who venture to the south of France for a break from the hustle and bustle of Paris. While in Bordeaux be sure to see some of the fascinating tourist's sites such as the Eglise Saint- Pierre, Place de la Bourse, The Water Mirror, and quaint specialty shops such as Moulon et Petitjean. Of course, there are many tours that take travelers outside of the city to Chateaux for wine tasting and cellar visits. Tourists can find information on going to such tours here