The beautiful city of Bayonne is situated along the river banks of the Adour and Nive. This waterside city is among the prettiest in southwest France. Additionally, it has been a strategic town since the medieval times. Today, it is a lively city with shady cobbled streets, magnificent half-timbered buildings, and riverside restaurants. Apart from that, this city is also home to many chocolate artisans, and a famous type of ham.
1. L'atelier du Chocolat
When Bayonne come across your mind, you might not think of chocolate at first, but the first French cocoa ateliers were based in Basque Country. The reason is that many artisans had brought their knowledge from the New World, but needed to escape Spain during the Spanish Inquisition.
While you are at the chocolate factory, you will get to learn the process involved in making chocolates. Get ready to learn its process from mixing, to moulding, decorating, and packaging. The chocolate learning process is actually part of the Andrieu workshop. The best part of all is the tasting session at the end. Yes, you get to taste different types of chocolates!
L'atelier du Chocolat
Address: 7 Allée de Gibéléou, 64100 Bayonne, France
Price: Adult, about 6 EUR (6.70 USD); Children, around 3 EUR (3.35 USD)
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday (10 am to 12.30 pm, 2 pm to 6pm), Closed on Sunday
Contact: +33 5 59 55 70 23
Website: L'atelier du chocolat (in French)
2. Les Halles (Bayonne Market)
Les Halles is a covered market located in the heart of the city of Bayonne. It is brimming with Basque Country goods and you can buy almost everything here. The market is just next to the river and you will not have a hard time finding it. Besides, you can tuck into oysters and also try some pintxos (Basque tapas) as there a few bars near the market. There is indeed so much to see and eat around the market. What are you waiting for? Head over there and indulge in local delicacies!
Les Halles (Bayonne Market)
Address: 2 Quai du Commandant Roquebert, 64100 Bayonne, France
Price: Depends on what you buy
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday (7 am to 1.30 pm), Saturday (6 am to 1.30 pm), Sunday (8 am to 1.30 pm)
Website: Les Halles
3. La Mairie (Bayonne Town Hall)
Located at the intersection between the Adour and Nive Rivers, La Mairie is a heritage building in Bayonne. It is actually an old city hall and was constructed in 1843 in the neoclassical style. Additionally, it was formerly the home for the customs office. Today, it functions as a town hall as well as houses a café and theatre. You will notice many tourists taking pictures in front of the building while you are here.
La Mairie (Bayonne Town Hall)
Address: 1 Avenue du Maréchal Leclerc, 64100 Bayonne, France
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday (9 am to 12 pm, 1.30 pm to 5 pm), Closed on Saturday and Sunday
Contact: +33 5 59 46 60 60
Website: La Mairie (Bayonne Town Hall)
4. Chateau Vieux Bayonne
Chateau Vieux Bayonne was constructed by the Viscounts of Labourd in the 12th century. It was formerly the official residence of the governors of the city (including Edward, the Black Prince). Tourists and visitors are not permitted to enter this attraction, as it is not open to public. Today it is still belongs to the military. But do not worry as you can still snap some photos from outside.
Chateau Vieux Bayonne
Address: Rue des Gouverneurs - Allée de la Poterne, 64100 Bayonne, France
Contact: +33 5 59 46 09 00
Website: Chateau Vieux Bayonne
5. Cathedral Sainte-Marie de Bayonne
France is well known for its many cathedrals, but each of them are different and unique. Cathedral Sainte-Marie de Bayonne sits on a hill overlooking the Nive and Adour Rivers. The cathedral was built in 1213 and was not completed until the 17th century. It was constructed using locally sourced red and white stone on the former site of a Romanesque cathedral, which was destroyed by fire.
While touring this attraction, you will notice two majestic spires that climb over 80 meters (262.467 feet) tall. Apart from that, the cloister is another unique thing to see. It dates back to 1240 and features a flamboyant gothic style. In addition, it is among the largest cloisters in France. Until today, this iconic cathedral still dominates the city skyline and has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998. This attraction is within walking distance from the train station and you can easily find it.
Cathedral Sainte-Marie de Bayonne
Address: 15 Rue des Prébendes, 64100 Bayonne, France
Price: Free admission
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday (10 am to 11.45 am, 3 pm to 5.45 pm), Sunday (3.30 pm to 6 pm)
Contact: +33 5 59 59 17 82
Website: Cathedral Sainte-Marie de Bayonne
6. Basque Museum Bayonne
Basque Museum Bayonne is located in a 16th century town house on the banks of the Nive River. This attraction is a good place to learn about history, culture, and tradition of the city and the country. The museum houses about 3,000 exhibits in 20 rooms. There are displays and exhibits about Bayonne port as well as the many people who settled here, which include Jewish, Basque, Gascony, and French people. Here, you will get a chance to watch archived footage of traditional dancing, learn about petola (an unusual sport played in this region), and see different types of fishing gear, typical furniture, and kitchen utensils.
Basque Museum Bayonne
Address: 37 Quai des Corsaires, 64100 Bayonne, France
Price: Adult about 6.50 EUR (7.25 USD), Visitors below 26 years (free entry)
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday (10 am to 6.30 pm), Closed on Monday
Contact: +33 5 59 59 08 98
Website: Basque Museum Bayonne (in French)
7. La Luna Negra Music (live music)
L'équipe administrative de la LUNA NEGRA compte parmi ses membres quelques artistes :-) aujourd'hui focus sur le jeune...Posted by LUNA NEGRA Bayonne on Wednesday, 19 June 2013
While you are in Bayonne, walk down an alley in the old town, and you will see a distinguished late night cabaret venue. It is not an ordinary cabaret that you’d normally see in other places. Here you will be entertained with live jazz music, comedy shows, salsa music, and world music. La Luna Negra has been operating for 17 years and is a gathering and meeting place for music lovers from different walks of life. Apart from that, it also debuts young local talents to the public and encourages more of them to showcase their music. There is a café, where you can enjoy good coffee while watching the live music.
La Luna Negra Music (live music)
Address: 7 Rue des Augustins, 64100 Bayonne, France
Opening Hours: Wednesday to Saturday (7 pm to 2 am), Closed from Sunday to Tuesday.
Contact: +33 5 59 25 78 05
Facebook: La Luna Negra Music
8. Jardin Botanique de Bayonne
Located in the middle of the protected area between the ramparts of Bayonne and Sainte-Marie Cathedral, the Jardin Botanique de Bayonne is a unique botanical garden. This Japanese inspired garden features over a thousand species of plants. Besides, there is a waterfall, small pond, and walkway in this garden. Kids will also love this place as they can see the turtles and ducks swimming in the pond. Get ready to use your five senses while walking around the garden.
Take your camera along if you plan a trip here and snap photos of its beautiful scenery. Discover the agapanthus, Japanese maples, bananas, the collection of bamboos and grasses, geraniums, cycads, and more while you are here.
Jardin Botanique de Bayonne is also a place for you to learn about plants, rest, and stroll around. There is more, you will see a house in the middle of the garden, which functions as an exhibition area annually.
Jardin Botanique de Bayonne
Address: Allée des Tarrides, 64100 Bayonne, France
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday (9.30 am to 12 pm, 2 pm to 6 pm), Closed on Sunday and Monday
Contact: +33 5 59 46 60 93
9. Tarte Julie
Tarte Julie is one of the most visited cafés in Bayonne. If you like pies, this is the right place for you. Tartes’ salees (savoury tarts and quiches) and lunchtime salads are among the popular delicacies at this café. While you are here, you need to try the lemon pie as well as the chocolate pear pie. They are super yummy and satisfying.
Everything here is so delicious and so irresistible. From the salads, savoury tarts, hot toast, or sweet pies, you will feel like you are eating in paradise. Besides, you can also order different types of cakes. If you plan to come during lunchtime, it will be packed with local shop workers from nearby. So, you need to plan ahead and book in advance. Do not forget to visit Tarte Julie if you are around Bayonne.
Address: 18 Rue Thiers, 64100 Bayonne, France
Price: Depends on what you order. Reservation required
Contact: +33 5 59 59 74 87
Facebook: Tarte Julie
A land of contrast
Bayonne is indeed a land of contrast as this corner of France is where happiness blooms. While tourists and visitors are here, they need to enjoy the local specialities such as the famous chocolate and pies. There are various renowned restaurants that definitely make Bayonne one of the most prominent cities of Basque Country.
Get Trip101 in your inbox