Bordeaux may be a relatively small city but it offers something for every taste; from history buffs to gourmands, lovers of music and art. It will soon be a whole lot more accessible with TGV trains from Paris to Bordeaux's St-Jean Station to be introduced in mid 2017. Travel times to be cut to 2 hours 10 minutes.
Take a walk along the quays of the Garonne River and enjoy a leisurely coffee or breakfast at one of the many cafés along the waterfront. Check out the revitalised Chartrons district and the ultra-modern Hangar 14 events and concerts space. If you have time, ride a couple of stops on the tramway system.
Take a 60-minute open-top bus tour of the city taking in the Place de la Bourse, the famous 15th-century bell tower, Saint Andre's Cathedral and cross the Garonne River to get an exceptional view and decide which of the attractions you wish to visit later.
Take a river cruise on the Garonne and check out the city's architecture, discover the ancient Pont de Pierre and the new Pont d'Aquitaine drawbridge. Also check out the Bassens area, still a working port. Lunch and dinner cruises are also offered for those with time to spare.
Time for lunch. Enjoy a meal at one of the city's many restaurants with an outdoor terrace like the Bistro de Quinconces overlooking the square. Bordeaux has myriad eating choices but be aware those in areas popular with tourists will almost certainly be more expensive.
A visit to the new Cité du Vin is almost de rigueur for visitors – and it is easily reached by tram. Seven years in the making this ambitious wine theme park has over 20 areas offering movie presentations, classes and exhibitions, along with tastings. There is also a simulated ride replicating the journey of a wine merchant’s galley.
As you haven't had time to visit one of the vineyard regions, it must be time to visit a wine bar; for learning the Bar a Vin du CIVB is recommended, but if you want to take a vinous journey head for either the hipster Aux Quatre Coins du Vin or for the friendly Wine More Time.
In summer it is light until very late in Bordeaux, so there is plenty of time before dinner for a stroll around the old quarters of the city, taking in the beauty of the architecture and people watching. Each of the quartiers has a very different vibe, from chic 20-somethings hanging out at cafés to Middle Eastern immigrants dreaming of home.
Go where the locals go and enjoy an indulgent dinner at one of the city's traditional restaurants. You can't beat La Tupina for ambiance and traditional food and wines from the south-west. The servers are extremely helpful and most of them speak some English.
Time for a late night drink and maybe some music, so perhaps head for Le Comptoir du Jazz, a jazz club that serves up live music and cocktails each night. Another option is the rooftop bar at Mama Shelter, or perhaps the late-night cocktail bar hangout La Comtesse.