Bordeaux’s main shopping street stretches 1.2 km (0.7 miles through the city center and is one of the longest pedestrianized shopping streets in Europe. Rue Sainte-Catherine is book-ended by the Place de la Comédie in the north, which is home to the city’s Neo-Classical Grand Theater, and the Place de la Victoire to the south.
Narrow and lined with majestic four-story townhouses, Rue Sainte-Catherine is home to high street brands such as Zara and H&M, but the biggest draw is the branch of Paris’s glamorous Galleries Lafayette, which sells everything from high-end designer fashion to gourmet olive oils. Don’t miss the elegant glass-roofed Galerie Bordelaise, with its chic cafés and small, independent boutiques. It’s best explored on foot, either independently or as part of a Bordeaux sightseeing tour.
Things to know before you go
- Rue Sainte-Catherine is a must-visit for shopping enthusiasts.
- Some shops close on Sundays; check ahead to avoid disappointment.
- The street is wheelchair accessible, though some shops may have small steps up.
How to get there
Rue Sainte-Catherine is located in the heart of Bordeaux, a few minutes’ walk from the main Saint-Andre Cathedral in the center of town. Tram line A stops here (at the aptly named Sainte-Catherine stop). The port at Quai Richelieu is about a five-minute walk away.
When to get there
Visiting during the annual sales (usually lasting through January and February) may well turn up some real bargains in the 250 stores along Rue Sainte-Catherine and the network of little streets that extend off it. It’s also great to visit at night throughout the year, when the street hums with the sound of happy diners enjoying late suppers in the many restaurants scattered along its length.
While wine is the most obvious souvenir to bring back from Bordeaux, there’s plenty more to pick up here, from chic French fashion items to locally produced cheeses. If you have a sweet tooth, the regional pastry specialty here is the canelé, a small, eggy pastry flavored with rum and vanilla syrup.
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- Grand Theatre
- Port of Bordeaux
- Place de la Bourse (Place Royale)
- Girondins Monument (Monument aux Girondins)
- Quai Louis XVIII
- Quinconces Square (Place des Quinconces)
- Place Gambetta
- Bordeaux Hôtel de Ville (Palais Rohan)
- Bordeaux Cathedral (Cathédrale St. André)
- Porte Cailhau
- Port of the Moon (Port de la Lune)
- Museum of Aquitaine (Musée d'Aquitaine)
- Bordeaux Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux)
- Grosse Cloche
- Porte de Bourgogne