Three decades ago, a night out in Bordeaux would have consisted of a glass of wine or perhaps a traditional digestif, followed by a polite kiss on the cheek and then bed. Ok, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but not by much. Today’s Bordeaux nightlife scene, however, is a bit more…21st century. Ripe with a variety of titillating possibilities for late night entertainment, you’ll undoubtedly be able to find something to suit your style. You just have to know where to start.
Why not try the squares? Place de la Victorie, Place Saint-Pierre, Place du Parlement and Place Gambetta are 4 of the most well recognized hotspots for evening entertainment around the city center. Not terribly far away from one another (especially Saint-Pierre and Parlement), they make for an ideal counterclockwise “loop” of downtown Bordeaux , full of lively bars and restaurants that are frequented by locals, students and foreigners alike. Care for something a bit more intense? Then herd your posse towards quai de Paludate, located on the west bank of the Garonne between rue Guyart and rue de Saigon. Here you’ll find a host of late night bars and clubs that specialize in blurring the line between a really late night and a really early morning.
Since 2010, trendier Bordelaise have begun frequenting an area of the northern city center known as the Bassins a Flot, or the “wet docks.” Replete with hip establishments like the moored Le Dame de Shanghai (dancing below deck), this formerly abandoned section of the city is alive and well, adding some style to Bordeaux’s late night goings on. It all adds up to a night worth talking about in a city taking steps to rebrand itself as something more enticing than your parents' wine tour hub.