With 12 columns topped with statues of the Greek muses, the Grand Theatre—designed by celebrated architect Victor Louis—is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. The theatre is home to the Bordeaux National Opera, the Bordeaux National Orchestra, and the Bordeaux National Ballet. The building also hosted the French parliament in 1870, 1914, and 1941, during the Franco-Prussian War, WWI, and WWII, respectively.
Any guided tour of the city of Bordeaux is likely to take you past this majestic landmark. You can also book a tour of the building to see the ornate interior, which is decorated in a palette of blue, white, and gold (the colours of French royalty) and boasts frescoes and a crystal chandelier.
Things to Know Before You Go
Visitors are welcome in the foyer of the theatre, but to see the auditorium, you must buy a ticket for a performance or visit as part of a guided tour.
The theatre is wheelchair accessible.
The theatre’s grand staircase inspired a similar design at the Opéra Garnier in Paris.
You must reserve ahead to take a tour of the building; most tours are in French.
How to Get There
The Grand Theatre is located on Place de la Comédie in central Bordeaux.You can reach the site easily by foot, or take the city tram, like B, to the Grand Theatre stop.
When to Get There
The theatre lobby and box office are open in the afternoons Tuesday–Saturday, except for national holidays, and there are tours offered on many of those same days. The lobby is also open whenever there is a performance. Most performances in the auditorium start early evening, and there are afternoon matinees on select Sundays.
Explore the Place de la Comédie
Home to more than just the Grand Theatre, Place de la Comédie is a destination in its own right. Come to the square to see the famous Grand Hotel—one of Bordeaux’s finest—and enjoy a drink or a meal on one of several café terraces, which are ideally positioned for people watching. The city’s main shopping street, Rue Sainte-Catherine, abuts the square.
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- Rue Sainte-Catherine
- Quinconces Square (Place des Quinconces)
- Girondins Monument (Monument aux Girondins)
- Port of Bordeaux
- Quai Louis XVIII
- Place Gambetta
- Place de la Bourse (Place Royale)
- Port of the Moon (Port de la Lune)
- Bordeaux Hôtel de Ville (Palais Rohan)
- Bordeaux Cathedral (Cathédrale St. André)
- Porte Cailhau
- Bordeaux Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux)
- Museum of Aquitaine (Musée d'Aquitaine)
- Saint-Seurin Basilica (Basilique Saint-Seurin)
- Grosse Cloche