A day in Bayonne
Bayonne is the little sister of Biarritz, a charming little town with a beautiful historic city center. It’s mainly know for its ham “jambon de Bayonne” and the annual crazy Feria “les fêtes de Bayonne”.
There is a little Venice vibe with the surrounding canals and the traditional atmosphere. It also seems like a student-friendly town with a youthful energy. I love French little towns, still charming and authentic. I will never forget Aix-en-provence south of France and Mulhouse in Alsace few years ago as an example. While I still love Paris, its cultural scene, the Parisian chic vibe and all, I still crush on small towns a bit more.
So here is what to do in Bayonne in a short time as recommended by locals…
“L’amour vaincra toujours” – Love always wins
Lunch at le Bar du marché
Perfect spot to eat “à la bonne franquette” (translate simple informal and convivial meal). Fresh products, traditional dishes and delicous homemade fries. Bonus points for the terrace, the welcoming staff and the bistrot ambiance inside the restaurant with a little something of “Amélie Poulain”. Try the local “piperade” if your diet allows it.
Sainte-Marie de Bayonne cathedral
The entrance is free… You can’t miss the cathedral once you reach Bayonne. Its iconic two spires are visible from afar.The architecture is both from outside and inside. The most interesting part to visit is the Gothic cloister but my favourite part was the courtyard.
Streets of Bayonne
As per usual I would always advise to get lost in the old city center, especially in small towns. Port du neuf street is one of the most popular streets in the city. Filled with cute shops and colours, don’t forget to have an artisanal ice cream at Pariès.
A stylish thrift store
The bridge connects “Le Grand Bayonne” (city center) to “le Petit Bayonne”. Admire the beautiful dock while crossing it. And yes we were very lucky with the weather that day.
We didn’t go, because it only opens till 1.30 PM, but it’s highly recommended by locals. Les halles is a covered outdoors market with all the local goodies. The ideal place to try Basque Pintxos (tapas equivalent) and edible souvenirs such as: ham, cheeses, Cayenne pepper…
To conclude Bayonne definitely worths a visit, whether to visit a beautiful cathedral without hordes of tourists and free of charge or to enjoy the slow life of an authentic French small town. If you like it crazy, schedule your visit during les “fêtes de Bayonne” from July 25th to July 29th 2018.
Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed the article.
xo xo Dalal
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