If you love to shop, this French street has great appeal. People watch as you have a drink or meal. The street seems to have a life of its own.
Bordeaux’s Rue Sainte-Catherine (Saint Catherine Street) stretches as far as you can see from one end to the other. It is one of Europe’s longest commercial pedestrian streets, measuring 0.8 miles (1.2 kilometers) long. Walk freely along this street filled with people. It is closed to vehicles, apart from an occasional delivery van. Be sure to explore the many side streets that offer unique and interesting stores and places to eat.
The street runs parallel to and a few blocks from the Garonne River. It forms the dividing line between the city’s north and south districts. You are almost certain to encounter the largest crowds if you venture out onto this street on Saturdays. Twice a year, in February and July, popular stores have sales along the length of Rue Sainte-Catherine, resulting in a very busy time for tourists and locals.
Shop at over 230 businesses located along the street with the luxurious Galeries Lafayette as the district’s anchor department store at about the midway point. Regardless of your requirements or taste, you’re sure to find something of interest along this street. It runs from the Grand Theater of Bordeaux to Place de la Victoire (Victory Square).
Spend some time at the Grand Theater, which is considered one of the most beautiful in the world. Then follow the street to the other end. Observe how the street transitions from a fine arts and professional profile to a trendy, lively atmosphere at the more southerly point. Place de la Victoire is popular among students and is the venue of frequent concerts and special events. Here you’ll find contemporary works of art in recognition of the region’s important wine industry.
Shop for special souvenirs or just do some window-shopping along Rue Sainte-Catherine. For a quieter stroll, wait until mid-evening after stores are closed and restaurants become the focal points.