Pont de Pierre Bridge over Gironde River at night, Bordeaux, France (Photodisc)

Wide Angle Fountain in Bordeaux's Place de la Bourse (iStockphoto)

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What to do in Bordeaux

Between the chic charms of the university city itself and the pastoral vineyards at its outskirts, it’s hard to choose how to spend your time in Bordeaux—inside or out. Within Bordeaux, there are spectacular Gothic and neoclassical churches, bohemian cafés, terraced gardens, and art museums, while world-class wineries beckon from the surrounding countryside. A good place to find an introduction to both of Bordeaux’s worlds is at one of the city’s countless wine bars, where you can taste the region’s best varietals and enjoy its urban nightlife, all in one sitting. The Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux—or, simply, the CIVB Wine Bar—has one of the city’s best selections. It also hosts a wine-appreciation school. You can learn how to sip within the city, enjoy the culture, and then head out to the vineyards—problem solved.

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