Golden Triangle: Take a stroll around Le Triangle-d'Or or the Golden Triangle, the elegant district that sits in the heart of 18th-century Bordeaux. Bordered by three broad and imposing boulevards -- Cours Clemenceau, Cours de l'Intendance and Allees de Tourny -- and filled with magnificent neoclassical buildings and impressive squares, this area is the most stylish part of the city. It's also home to Bordeaux's most exclusive shops and -- for nature lovers -- the 69-acre Parc Bordelais, a delightfully verdant retreat from city life with a large lake, play areas and petting farm.

Le Miroir d'Eau: Residents like to splash in the vast Le Miroir d'Eau water feature, designed to reflect the magnificent facade of the Palais de la Bourse, which sits on the riverfront, a short walk from the cruise ship quay. Le Miroir d'Eau actually is a kind of gigantic puddle, perfect for cooling off in the summer months (or just for fun, anytime). If your ship or boat is in late enough, try to see this at night when the Palais is floodlit and the mirror effect at its most striking.

The Riverfront: The Bordelais are rightly proud of what has been achieved at the riverfront, and the Palais de la Bourse is not the only impressive sight. In less than two decades, derelict warehouses have been transformed into trendy shops, funky bars and interesting restaurants, and the once-depressing boon docks are now full of greenery, life and style.

Saint-Pierre: Bordeaux's medieval Saint-Pierre district lies just inland from the Palais de la Bourse. Just south sit two impressive churches, the 12th-century Sainte-Croix and the tall-spired Saint-Michel. And rue Sainte-Catherine -- Europe's longest pedestrianized street, famed for its varied shops -- runs through it. Plus, there are lots of bars, restaurants and cafes, so this is a good place to spend some time.

Wine Tours: The tourist office offers wine tours daily in the peak season from March to November and three times weekly in winter. The vineyards of Saint-Emilion and Medoc will be on the menu and are well worth sampling.

Musee d'Aquitaine: Explore Bordeaux's history, from the Romans to the slave trade, at Musee d'Aquitaine. (20 Cours Pasteur, 33000 Bordeaux; +33 05 56 01 51 00; open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day except Mondays)

Musee des Beaux Arts and Gallerie des Beaux Artes: There, you'll find permanent exhibitions of works from the 15th to the 20th centuries. The nearby Gallerie des Beaux Artes, features temporary exhibitions. (20 Cours d'Albret; +33 05 56 10 20 56; open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day but Tuesday)

Le Marche des Capucins: This is the place to shop for all things foodie, and while it's not pretty to look at, it's a wonderful source of goodies like fine French cheeses. (Place des Capucins; open 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays and 5:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. weekends)