Bacalan – raw Bordeaux
Leave the classic picturesque center of Bordeaux behind for a change in atmosphere that’s well worth a visit. Bacalan, the northern part of the city, is built around the port and has a grungy look to it. Until recently this district wasn’t the most interesting and largely avoided by both tourists and locals. However, due to smart urban planning, the neighborhood has been transformed into one of the most interesting parts of the city. The port characteristics, featuring boats and huge hangars, have been turned into venues hosting emerging arts, music and restaurants.
Bassins a Flot
The focal point of the neighborhood is the Bassins a flot. Here you’ll find plenty of restaurants and bars lining two huge pools. One relatively new place, built to attract tourists to the neighbourhood, is La cité du vin. This impressive building is a cultural center dedicated to wine. It’s filled with interactive exhibitions, art, events, a beautiful wine store and an amazing view of Bordeaux. And if you made it all the way to Bacalan, don’t miss the new covered market, Les Halles de Bacalan, just in front of the wine museum.
Local’s tip: La Base sous marine. The old submarine base was built by the Germans during WWII. It has been converted into a very special contemporary art space. Exhibitions of digital, street and visual arts are hosted here, perfectly complemented by the dark and heavy structure of the base. This is one of the most unique art spaces you will ever have a chance to visit.
By Ira Szmuk, a Bordeaux based blogger in love with the city. Her blog is about up-to-date events and places to visit in Bordeaux and the South-West of France: www.lostinbordeaux.com
More on Bordeaux
Discover the St Pierre district, the historic centre of Bordeaux
Quinconces and the Triangle d’Or district in Bordeaux city
Chartrons, the posh area of Bordeaux