Bayonne, France’s second best city to live in


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For Geo-France magazine, after Annecy, the capital of the Pays Basque is the French city with the best living conditions. A ranking of 34,837 municipalities was drawn up according to 183 objective criteria published in 2020 by INSEE.

Calles de Bayonne
Streets of Bayonne

What to do in Bayonne

This emblematic town in the Basque Country has seduced visitors with its gastronomy, friendliness and authenticity. When we think of the Pays Basque, in the south-west of France, two towns immediately spring to mind, Biarritz and Bayonne. If the former is considered very chic, the latter has kept its authenticity. Bayonne has no shortage of activities and gourmet delights to discover, which will satisfy adults and children alike. Paying tribute to the culture of the Basque Country, this fortified city is rich in a thousand-year-old heritage and an authentic lifestyle. Follow the guide!

Discover Sainte-Marie Cathedral in Bayonne

Rising above a Romanesque cathedral destroyed by fire in 1258, the cathedral of Sainte-Marie de Bayonne asserts its Gothic style, thanks to its 14th century paintings and Chartres-style stained glass windows. Admission to the cathedral is free and the interior is well worth a visit.

Plaza Louis Pasteur
Louis Pasteur square

Stroll through the heart of Vieux-Bayonne

Entirely pedestrianised, Vieux-Bayonne attracts art and history lovers. You will discover old canals, cellars, traditional Bayonnais houses located on Quai Jaureguiberry and rue de la Plachotte, the ramparts, not to mention the many religious buildings.

Vieux Bayonne
Vieux Bayonne

Relax in the botanical garden

Situated on the heights of the ramparts opposite the cathedral, the botanical garden of Bayonne invites you to relax, but also to discover perennial plants. Water features with marquees, waterfalls and the famous red bridge are some of the added values of this charming park. The botanical garden is open from mid-April to mid-October and admission is free.

Museo Vasco de Bayonne
Basque Museum of Bayonne

Learn at the Basque Museum

When visiting Bayonne, it is essential to learn more about Basque culture. The Basque Museum and History of Bayonne offers a pleasant insight into Basque heritage and culture. Installed since 1924 in the Dagourette house, the museum brings together an important collection of works of art, dating back to the beginning of the 20th century.

Let yourself be tempted by a gourmet tour

The city of Bayonne is known for its flavours. Whether it's ham or chocolates, you can discover the city's best artisans during a gourmet tour. Among the must-see places in this town in the Basque Country are Pierre Ibaialde's artisan cannery and the chocolate workshop.

Marvel at Saint-André church

Located in Petit-Bayonne, the church of Saint-André is one of the city's most remarkable historical monuments. Neo-Gothic in style, this church is more recent than the cathedral of Sainte-Marie, but has an unmissable architecture both inside and out with its colours and its atypical Stations of the Cross.

Hawaiian canoeing on the Adour and the Nive

From April to November, it is possible to rent a traditional Hawaiian canoe and travel along the Adour and Nive. This activity is perfect for families and lovers of gentle water sports. The rental and route formulas vary between 30 and 125 euros.

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The pond of the Euskalduna Palace, the Iberdrola Tower and the Meliá Hotel

Bilbao resumes its promotion in the MICE sector in France

Bilbao City Council and the Bilbao Convention Bureau have organised a four-day trip to publicise the city’s resources for the organisation of meetings, incentive trips, congresses and events.

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