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Bordeaux is booming

With its culinary fireworks and mouth-watering wines, not to mention an edgy graffiti paradise and art gallery in a former submarine base – and all of it with the beach and Atlantic Ocean a stone’s throw away – Bordeaux can rightfully be called one of France’s best destinations.

On y va!

La Belle Endormie, or Sleeping Beauty, is Bordeaux’s nickname. But this city in Southern France is anything but sleepy. Bordeaux is developing at breakneck speed into one of the most dynamic cities in the country. And the high-speed train from Paris takes only two hours.

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Darwin

Hipster hotspot

What do you do with barracks that have fallen into disuse? They have just the answer in Bordeaux. In 2000, the Niel barracks were re-dubbed Darwin and given a new lease of life. They are now home to an indoor skate park, an organic supermarket, breweries, trendy restaurants and an impressive collection of street art, making Darwin a cultural meeting place and the city’s number one hotspot. Sustainability is the focus here, where artists and business professionals meet to share ideas for a better future.

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Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo
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FORGET Patrick / Alamy Stock Photo
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Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo

Cité du Vin

Ten floors of wine culture

Nothing says Bordeaux more than the famous wine of the same name. So it’s not surprising that the city has a museum devoted entirely to this. And talk about an architectural eye-catcher! Inside the walls of this futuristic structure, you will find a feast for the senses, where you can taste, smell and admire the 14,000 bottle collection in the wine cellar. In addition to the permanent exhibition, the Cité du Vin also has numerous changing exhibitions.

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    BETASOM

    Sinister art centre

    BETASOM may very well be the most unusual cultural centre you’ve ever visited. Why? Well, to start, it’s housed in a former submarine base. This enormous concrete bunker was used by the Germans during World War II as a garage for their submarine fleet.

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      Daniel Morgan / 500px / Getty Images

      The shed was abandoned for decades, but is now a massive complex for the visual arts. Under the impressive nine metre-thick and indestructible concrete roof, visitors can enjoy exhibitions, digital projections, concerts and theatre performances. Even if you’re not much of an art fan, this unique and somewhat sinister location is worth putting on your list.

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      BEAUMONT Frédéric / Alamy Stock Photo
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      FORGET Patrick / Alamy Stock Photo

      La Rue Gourmande

      A street of culinary delights

      The original name of Rue Gourmande is Rue Porte de la Monnaie but, thanks to entrepreneur Jean-Pierre Xiradakis, it’s now known as one of the best culinary streets in Bordeaux. This Frenchman of Greek origin opened his restaurant La Tupina on this street in 1968. It has since become a household name for local residents. Over the years, Xiradakis has added a fantastic wine bar (Le Bar Cave de la Monnaie), a shop where you can buy and eat La Tupina specialities (Le Comestible) and a boutique hotel (Maison Fredon) to the same street.

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      Saint-Emilion

      Vineyards and castles

      Bordeaux is surrounded by vast vineyards, so it goes without saying that a visit to this city should include a visit to the wine region of Saint-Emilion. This prestigious wine area is located around 40 km from Bordeaux and is a paradise for those who love good wine, French landscapes and romantic castles.

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        Anton Petrus / Getty Images

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