Best & Fun Things To Do + Places To Visit In Bayonne, France. #Top Attractions

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Considering a trip to Bayonne, France? Look at our carefully selected list of top Bayonne, France attractions below on the best thing to do in Bayonne, France, and places to go in Bayonne, France. Wondrous Drifter is a Web 3.0 travel startup with ambitious goals to change the world.

Aquarium de Biarritz

Aquarium de Biarritz, Bayonne, France
Aquarium de Biarritz is one of the best places to go in Bayonne, France

See a showcase of spectacular sea life and learn about what lives along the Atlantic coast!

The Aquarium de Biarritz is home to more than 500 species of marine life, many of which come from the neighboring Bay of Biscay.

Since the 1930s, travelers have been flocking to this location to learn about underwater ecology while exploring 50 aquariums that include species from the Caribbean, the Pacific and Indian seas, and the Indian Ocean itself.

After taking a trip through the museum’s holdings, you’ll meet Alice in the turtle cave, the 100-pound, 120-centimeter-long loggerhead turtle.

Check out the shark tank, which is the largest of its kind in Europe and provides stunning views of these predators, as well as rays and barracudas.

Captivating fish of all kinds and sizes swirl in front of your eyes, and the seafloor is yours for the taking if you want to make new discoveries!

Address: Plateau de l’Atalaye, 64200 Biarritz, France

Bayonne Cathedral

Bayonne Cathedral Bayonne, France
Bayonne Cathedral Bayonne, France / xiquinhosilva / Flickr

Twin towers soar above the city.

France is well-known for its numerous cathedrals, each of which is distinct and beautiful in its own way.

The Cathedral of Sainte-Marie de Bayonne is situated on a hilltop with a panoramic view of the Nive and Adour rivers.

As you tour this attraction, you’ll notice two imposing spires that rise more than 80 meters (262.467 feet) into the sky.

Like most French cathedrals, Bayonne Cathedral has a cloister and a 13th-century Château Vieux fortress portraying Gothic-style architecture.

This site was designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1998, and it is a stop on the French pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela.

The cathedral’s nave and choir are both graced by contemporary stained-glass windows.

This attraction is within walking distance of the train station, and it is easy to find once you get there.

Visit now to catch a glimpse of the city’s iconic cathedral.

Address: 15 Rue des Prébendes, 64100 Bayonne, France

Côte des Basques, Biarritz

Côte des Basques, Biarritz Bayonne, France
Côte des Basques, Biarritz Bayonne, France / Trump White House Archived / Flickr

French surfing was born here.

The Côte des Basques is a classic surfing destination that first opened its doors in 1956.

Peter Viertel was the first person to navigate the Atlantic Ocean’s tubes successfully. He was also the one responsible for popularizing the sport in France. 

Since then, Biarritz has become the surfing destination of choice for the entire continent of Europe.

The beach has a unique atmosphere. To the north of here is the luxurious and famous Villa Belza, which is built into the rock face. Towards the southwestern end of the country’s coastline, surfing with mountains as a backdrop is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

This is a great place to learn to surf at low tide. It becomes challenging to surf at high tide and is only suitable for the most skilled surfers.

Finding a way to get to this particular area is both fun and unexpected. 

You may get there from the Corniche parking lot by taking the “100 steps” stairs with hairpin curves. 

A complimentary shuttle service is available during the busiest times of the year.

Plan your visit now and see the waves washing out the coast!

Address: 64200 Biarritz, France

Fetes de Bayonne

Fetes de Bayonne, France
Fetes de Bayonne, France / Gadjo_Niglo / Flickr

Bullfights, parades, firework displays, and dancing? Come and join the festival!

The Feria de Bayonne serves as a timely reminder that you’re in an area of France where identities are beginning to blend, and traditional Spanish and Basque culture is coming to the fore, as it should be.

The city of Bayonne is well-known for having one of the most famous bullfighting traditions in France.

The Fêtes de Bayonne, which takes place on the five days leading up to the first weekend in August, has grown exponentially in recent years, transforming the city into a sea of white and red.

If it appears to be comparable to Pamplona, this is not by chance; San Fermin inspired the celebration, and in the 1990s, people began to dress in the traditional Navarre attire of white with a red belt and scarf.

It draws more than one million guests each year, making it the largest festival in all of France.

Don’t miss the chance to attend an event that you’ve never been to before!

Address: Northern Basque Country in the town of Bayonne, France

French Basque Country

French Basque Country Bayonne, France
French Basque Country Bayonne, France / William Murphy / Flickr

France has many aspects, as anyone who visits will discover.

Food, culture, language, and architecture all vary from one location to the next.

This is especially true in the Basque Country’s southernmost region, known as the Basque Country of the South.

The Basque area of northern Spain, which includes cities such as Bilbao, has the distinct impression of being in a different nation.

In your journey, you will find numerous hints of this otherness. For example, street signs throughout the area are shown in both French and Basque. 

The presence of the Basque colors of green, red, and white in the city of Bayonne serves as a powerful signal.

The abundance of Basque flags flying from poles, windows, and other places across Bayonne serves as a visual reminder of the city’s deep sense of Basque identity.

It’s also worth noting that the Gascon culture heavily influences Bayonne. 

Since Gascony is a neighboring region of southern France, there are traces of Gascon culture in Bayonne today.

To get a taste of Basque life, visiting Basque Bayonne is an excellent starting point for anyone interested in learning more about Basque society.

Address: West of the French department of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques. 

Grand Bayonne

Grand Bayonne, France
Grand Bayonne is one of the best places to go in Bayonne, France

A great place to visit if you enjoy small villages and cities with a sense of community.

Grand Bayonne is the more commercial portion of town, yet it is also the city’s historic core.

In this area, you will locate the Bayonne Cathedral (Cathédrale Sainte-Marie), which towers over the city and dominates the skyline.

The oldest portion of Bayonne is also where the best shopping can be found, particularly in the area around the cathedral.

You can also take a leisurely stroll down the long pedestrianized Rue d’Espagne, beginning directly next to the Cathedral and the line of cafes, artisan shops such as chocolate shops, and specialty food stores that serve Basque regional specialties.

Château-Vieux is an 11th-century castle built on the site of the ancient Roman castrum, which you may walk around outside but can’t go inside because it’s under the control of the army.

And if you’re here in the morning, you should stop at Les Halles, a great covered market, to do some food or gift buying before heading off.

This is a perfect place for you to go if you are looking for a mix of contemporary yet historical at the same time!

Address: 22 Rue Albert 1er, 64100 Bayonne, France

Jardin Botanique de Bayonne

Jardin Botanique de Bayonne, France
Jardin Botanique de Bayonne is one of the best places to go in Bayonne, France

If you need some food and medicine for your soul, this is what Bayonne can offer you!

The Avenue du 11 Novembre and the Allée de Tarride are the locations of this botanical garden in Bayonne.

There is a pond, a waterfall, a fountain, and a variety of plant life in this Japanese-style garden. It’s a tiny space, but it’s the perfect place to unwind. 

There are 1,000 taxa planted here; however, this isn’t a scientific garden because the plants are ordered according to their species; instead, they have been chosen and placed based on their look and scent.

The Jardin Botanique de Bayonne, which is situated in the heart of the protected region between the fortifications of Bayonne and the Sainte-Marie Cathedral, is a one-of-a-kind botanical park in France.

Children will enjoy this location since they can watch turtles and ducks in the pond. While strolling through the garden, prepare to engage all of your senses.

Don’t forget to bring your cameras on your visit to capture the garden’s stunning beauty on film!

Address: Allée des Tarrides, 64100 Bayonne, France

L’Atelier du Chocolat

L'Atelier du Chocolat, Bayonne, France
L’Atelier du Chocolat is one of the best places to go in Bayonne, France

Discover the Chocolate Capital of France!

You might not immediately think of chocolate when you think of Bayonne, yet the Basque Country was home to the first French cocoa ateliers established in the 18th century.

Many artisans had brought their knowledge from the New World, but they needed to flee Spain during the Spanish Inquisition to avoid persecution.

Due to its proximity to Spain, the city played an essential part in the distribution of Cacao in the old days. The beans were transported from South America by Spanish colonialists.

While you are visiting the chocolate factory, you will get the opportunity to learn about the production process for chocolate.

Prepare to learn about the entire manufacturing process, from mixing through molding, decorating, and packing.

The most enjoyable aspect of the entire experience is the tasting session at the conclusion. 

Yes, you will be able to sample a variety of chocolates, and make sure to ready your sweet tooth on your visit!

Address: 7 Allée de Gibéléou, 64100 Bayonne, France

La Mairie

La Mairie, Bayonne, France
La Mairie is one of the best places to go in Bayonne, France

It will undoubtedly catch your eye as you approach!

Upon arriving by train, you will see a large, impressive building on your right as you approach the city’s main entrance.

Located at the confluence of the Adour and Nive rivers in Bayonne, La Mairie is a historic building with a rich architectural history.

According to the city’s records, it’s actually an old city hall that was built in the neoclassical style in 1843.

Additionally, it used to be the location of the customs office. Currently, it serves as a town hall and is also the location of a café and a theater with a lovely terrace in the square in front of the building.

While you are here, you will observe a large number of tourists snapping photographs in front of the building.

A total of six statues decorate the roof, representing the city’s economic and artistic pursuits.

Bayonne is no exception for having a splendid town hall, so be sure to witness it with your eyes!

Address: 1 Avenue du Maréchal Leclerc, 64100 Bayonne, France

La Rhune

La Rhune, Bayonne, France
La Rhune is one of the best places to go in Bayonne, France

Take in the breathtaking 360-degree views from the Pays Basque top!

Locals describe La Rhune as the “sacred mountain” of the Pays Basque region. 

The peak of La Rhune, a 905-meter-high mountain, is a popular destination, and with good reason.

La Rhune, with its brave little rack railway train, is the most frequented tourist attraction in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, attracting over 350,000 tourists every year to the region.

There are two ways to reach the summit: by foot or taking the famous rack train.

From the Col de Saint-Ignace de Sare, the small train with its wooden carriages travels at an incredible 9 kilometers per hour for 35 minutes! 

This lets you take in the stunning environment, including wild Manech black-headed sheep and Pottok horses and griffon vultures circling above.

On the other hand, it is possible to climb La Rhune via walking. Depending on your pace, the ascent can take one to two hours. 

From Ascain, Sare, and Urrugne, there are marked routes. You will be rightfully proud of your accomplishments when you reach the summit!

You can eat in one of the ‘ventas’ at the top and walk around to see the flora and fauna and cromlechs and dolmens.

Now, won’t you start making your way to the top?

Address: 64310 Ascain, France

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Les Halles

Les Halles, Bayonne, France
Les Halles is one of the best places to go in Bayonne, France

Head to the city’s central market to taste some of the city’s best delicacies!

It is bursting at the seams with Basque products, and you can find practically whatever you need here.

You can quickly locate the market because it is located close to the river.

In Bayonne, Les Halles has become such a vital part of local life, and they have blended in so seamlessly with the reconstruction of the old town that it is difficult to believe that it was just established a few years ago, in 1994.

You’ll find meat, seafood, and a handful of bakeries, where you may sample the delectable gâteau Basque (“Basque cake”) the region is famous for.

Aside from that, there are a few bars in the vicinity where you may have oysters and pintxos (Basque tapas).

The market and its surrounds are especially crowded on Saturday mornings when local producers and clothes merchants congregate for an open-air market.

This is the ideal location for experiencing all that Bayonne offers in fresh, local goods.

Address: 2 Quai du Commandant Roquebert, 64100 Bayonne, France

Musée Basque

Musée Basque, Bayonne, France
Musée Basque is one of the best places to go in Bayonne, France

The home of Basque people, culture, and customs.

The Maison Dagourette is a mansion from the late 16th century situated on the Rive Nive and is designed to house the museum, is where the Bayonne History Museum and the Basque are located.

The townhouse has been designated a historical monument. It serves as a reminder of the marine activity in this part of the city.

This well-preserved building is one-of-a-kind and of significant historical and artistic value to the community.

Moreover, the museum maintains its welcoming demeanor and continues its efforts to become a forum for the exchange of thoughts and opinions, information, and findings from research, cultural practices, and ways of life.

Also, the development of Basque society is depicted through history and into the current period through the use of cultural objects.

Both documents tell the tale of Bayonne’s role as a major port and a cultural crossroads in the late nineteenth century.

Learn more about Bayonne’s history on your visit!

Address: 37 Quai des Corsaires, 64100 Bayonne, France

Musée Bonnat-Helleu

Musée Bonnat-Helleu, Bayonne, France
Musée Bonnat-Helleu is one of the best places to go in Bayonne, France

Add color and inspiration to your life through the arts!

The Musée Bonnat-Helleu is a French art museum located in Bayonne, in the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine.

Bayonne-born painter Léon Bonnat donated his enormous personal art collections – among them an excellent drawing collection – and many of his paintings to the city in 1901, resulting in the establishment of the Bayonne Museum of Art.

Several special gifts from subsequent donors, including those in 1936, 1989, 1997, and 2010, helped establish the Bonnat Museum as one of the most important art collections in southern France.

The name “Helleu” comes from Paul César Helleu. The museum has 181 works by Helleu. 

They were given as gifts in 1989 and 2010 by Helleu’s daughter, Paulette Howard-Johnston, and by Ghislaine de Kermaingant in 1997.

Since April 2011, the Museum has been closed to the public for a significant refurbishment. 

The museum’s expansion is scheduled to begin in early 2018 to reopen the museum by the end of 2019.

A visit to a museum is an opportunity to seek out beauty, truth, and purpose in our lives. Get out and visit museums as much as you can!

Address: 5 Rue Jacques Laffitte, 64100 Bayonne, France

Petit Bayonne

Petit Bayonne, France
Petit Bayonne is one of the best places to go in Bayonne, France

It may appear worn, yet it exudes a more rustic vibe.

A visit to Petite Bayonne will take you to the Basque Museum and the Bonnat Museum of Fine Arts.

Petit Bayonne, located on the right bank of the Nive, is a young and charming neighborhood filled with traditional half-timbered buildings, a wealth of fantastic street art, and a thriving nightlife.

It is especially sought after by young professionals and families with little resources because of the variety of stores, cafes, pubs, and restaurants it offers.

The Château-Neuf, or “new castle,” was built by Charles IV in the 15th century and sat atop Petit Bayonne’s highest point. The university now owns this enormous structure and, as a result, is no longer open to the public.

You can easily access the Nive and the Adour banks to go for a morning jog or to walk or cycle, thanks to its location.

If you’re visiting Bayonne, it’s good to pick up a map at the Tourist Information Bureau and look for the magnificent street paintings strewn around the neighborhood.

Address: 146 route de Bayonne, 31300 Toulouse France

Plage d’Hendaye, Hendaye

Plage d'Hendaye, Hendaye, Bayonne, France
Plage d’Hendaye, Hendaye is one of the best places to go in Bayonne, France

Whether you are on vacation or just looking for a break from the city, Hendaye will surely make you fall in love.

Hendaye, nestled between the sea and the mountains, is home to one of the Basque Coast’s longest stretches of fine sand on the Atlantic Ocean, crowned at one end by the Twins, two mythical boulders.

It is ideally situated on the Basque Coast, between the majestic Pyrenees and the exhilarating waves of the Atlantic, the last coastal village before Spain offers 3.5 kilometers of golden sands that stretch to Irun!

There is plenty of room on the long, gently sloping beach for those who want to play Frisbee or beach volleyball. 

Beginner surfers will like the teasing waves but will never be frightened.

It’s possible to see the coastline from this location and the neo-Basque villa facades built between 1900 and 1930.

Hendaye’s long beach, patrolled during the high season, is ideal for various water activities. 

Everyone can find happiness here, so enjoy the unique view and beach breeze.

Address: Bd de la Mer, 64700 Hendaye, France

Rocher de la Vierge, Biarritz

Rocher de la Vierge, Biarritz, Bayonne, France
Rocher de la Vierge, Biarritz is one of the best places to go in Bayonne, France

Surrounded by water and slamming waves, the statue of the Virgen enjoys a scenic spot.

A metal footbridge connects the beach route with the parking lot, making it easy to get there.

Remember to take in all of the sights, especially the sea views below, where you’ll see a variety of fish and other marine life.

According to history, Napoléon III wanted to use this rocky outcropping as an anchor point for the port of Marseille. 

The metal bridge replaced the wooden footbridge that was in use at the time. Hundreds of people cross this bridge daily, and it is the same bridge built in the 1800s.

When crossing the bridge, maintain a firm grip on your phone to prevent it from falling through the gaps between the boards and into the roaring waters below!

It’s best to go there in the afternoon when the weather is nice because Rocher is a lovely location to watch the sunset.

Address: Rocher de la Vierge, 64200 Biarritz, France

Rue d’Espagne

Rue, d'Espagne, Bayonne, France
Rue d’Espagne is one of the best places to go in Bayonne, France

A busy street carries its title because of the proximity of the Spanish Gate.

Take a stroll down the lengthy pedestrianized Rue d’Espagne and take your time to examine one of Bayonne’s most distinctive features – the tall, narrow buildings with red and green shutters.

The street, located in Grand Bayonne, runs from the Porte d’Espagne to Place Louis Pasteur and is about a mile long.

The Rue d’Espagne is located in the heart of Bayonne’s commerce and entertainment district.

Basque and Gascon influences can be found throughout the street, having a long and colorful history.

Its architectural heritage, the diversity of its museum collections, and its gourmet specialties and traditional events all contribute to the city’s cultural heritage.

There are numerous taverns and restaurants, including classic tapas bodegas, traditional brasseries, and more refined gastronomic options.

This is not your usual street because there are a lot of things to explore and discover, so go and visit now!

Address: 64100 Bayonne, France

Saint-Esprit District

Saint Esprit District, Bayonne, France
Saint-Esprit District is one of the best places to go in Bayonne, France

The cradle of Bayonnaise chocolate factories

The Saint-Esprit area, located around Bayonne train station on the north bank of the Adour and connected to the historic center by the eponymous bridge, is a popular tourist destination.

It is conveniently located close to the city center of Bayonne, the main roads, and shopping areas, and is easily accessible by public transportation and on foot.

Saint-Esprit, a district of the future, keeps a strong identity and a village atmosphere from its past as an autonomous municipality while embracing the future.

The Vauban citadel and the city’s synagogue are two of the most notable attractions to be found there. 

Its main draw is the beautiful view it provides of old Bayonne, located on the other side of the Adour.

Master chocolatiers of Sephardic heritage established up shop in this neighborhood in the 17th century to demonstrate their expertise and the unique flavors of their cocoa drinks.

If you’re looking for affordable finds, you will definitely see them here!

Address64100 Bayonne, France

Spacejunk Art Centers

Spacejunk Art Centers, Bayonne, France
Spacejunk Art Centers is one of the best places to go in Bayonne, France

Spacejunk invites you to discover the significant artists of Street art, Pop Surrealism, and Lowbrow movements!

The Spacejunk community art center, established in 2007 and located in the Saint-Esprit area, is a member of the Spacejunk center network and is a stone’s throw from Bayonne station.

Art centers active in the Basque Country and South Landes Basin show many of their French artists or artists worldwide to encourage public interaction with art.

Lister is now regarded as one of the world’s greatest street artists, and his work is displayed in some of the world’s most prestigious galleries. 

Pharrell Williams, Pink, Paris Hilton, and Hugh Jackman among his admirers and collectors among his admirers and collectors.

Taking cues from popular culture and classical art history, this creative movement grew out of the counterculture at the end of the 1960s. It challenged conventional understandings of the past while also responding to the present.

Raise your awareness in art and creation, where discovery and learning are valued among young people, in particular through school and extra-curricular time interventions.

Address: 35 Rue Sainte-Catherine, 64100 Bayonne, France

Stade Jean Dauger

Stade Jean Dauger, Bayonne, France
Stade Jean Dauger is one of the best places to go in Bayonne, France

Catch some local live sporting action at the Stade Jean Dauger Stadium

The Stade Jean Dauger is a multi-purpose stadium in Bayonne, France, that hosts various events.

The stadium can accommodate 16,934 people, with 10,733 sittings, following a refurbishment project completed in 2009.

Thousands of voices join together in the heart of the city, causing the four covered stands of the Jean-Dauger stadium to quake as the first glimpses of blue sky and white tunics show at the exit of the tunnel.

In its current configuration, it is mostly utilized for rugby union matches, and it serves as the home stadium of Aviron Bayonnais.

The stadium is dedicated to the memory of Jean Dauger, a former rugby union and rugby league player who represented Aviron Bayonnais from 1983 to 1989.

During the 1991 Rugby World Cup, it served as the venue for the match between Canada and Fiji. Canada won the game with a score of 13–3.

Join the crowd as they cheer for their favorite team!

Still wondering if you should visit Bayonne, France? Visit reasons to visit Bayonne, France, at least once in your lifetime here.

Address: 8 Avenue Fernand Forgues, Bayonne, France, 64100

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