What to do in Bayonne in one day?? During our last vacations we did a family trip to the north of Spain and the south of France. We really recommend you this area. During winter it´s perfect to run away from the cold weather, and in summer is great to enjoy the beach.
Although it´s not a huge city there are many things to see in Bayonne and it´s surroundings. If you are staying one day in Bayonne, you will have enough time to see everything, and if you stay longer there are other beautiful places in the surroundings of Bayonne. Next you will find not just the top things to do in Bayonne, France in one day:
Best things to do in Bayonne France
In our case, we visited Bayonne during Christmas, of course the atmosphere is way better, but don´t worry if you go at a different time because there are a lot of things to see and do in Bayonne:
Visit Bayonne Cathedral
It´s probably the most popular attraction in Bayonne. Visiting the cathedral of Bayonne, also known as the cathedral of Ste Marie, is a must. You should see it from outside and from inside as it´s beautiful from both perspectives.
Many people compare the Bayonne cathedral to the Notre Dame one in Paris. What we like the most about it, is that although it´s the most famous monument in the city, it never got crowded (and it was high season). We were able to take pictures of it from everywhere we wanted, but we recommend you going through the streets around the cathedral to find better spots.
There is a free entrance to the cathedral of Bayonne. The best part ones you are inside is the courtyard, where you can find very nice photo opportunities.
The streets of Bayonne and its colourful houses
If we have to highlight one thing from our one day in Bayonne is seeing the colourful houses all over the city. In general, in the Basque country (both, Spanish and French part) you will see colourful houses all over.
Getting lost through the streets of Bayonne is a must. We are not even going to tell you about the names of the streets, as we recommend you walking without any knowledge (don´t worry is not a huge city, you won’t get lost)
What we can tell you is that the houses near the river were our favourite!
Visit Bayonne old town and its covered market
After visiting the cathedral, if you go down the hill, you will see the main square. There is an incredible atmosphere in this area. There are many restaurants, plus it just feels like the perfect place to relax and go for a walk.
Other than that, here is where the covered market of Bayonne is located. As it happens in most French towns there is a covered market, also known as “Les Halles”.
Bayonne covered market was inaugurated in 1994, and it´s an amazing place to find out about the local life and to live a more authentic atmosphere. If you can, you should go in the weekends.
Bayonne: Adour and Nive River
One of the best things to do in Bayonne is visiting their rivers. If you are already in the old town, you are very close to the river.
The best is that in Bayonne you will be able to see the confrontation of two different rivers: The Adour River and the Nive River (the longest river in the Basque country).
The area in general is really nice, on one side of the river you have the old town and the other one, colourful houses. Could it be any better??
Try some seafood in Bayonne
After walking the whole day, you are probably hungry. Trying the specialities of the places you visit it´s a must, and in this case, Bayonne is famous for their seafood. Being more concrete, Bayonne most popular food are their oysters.
After walking near the river, we recommend you looking for a good place to sit down and enjoy the oysters with a good whine while seeing the great atmosphere.
We have to advice you that although it is a good plan, be ready to spend some money, because France is not cheap at all, but oysters and whine are even more expensive!
Chateau Vieux Bayonne
The Chateau Vieux Bayonne also known as the old castle is one of the best places to visit in Bayonne. This castle was built in the 12th century and it was the official residence of the governors of Bayonne.
Nowadays the old Chateau Vieux is a military building and its entrance is not allowed to the public, but you are still able to take some pictures from outside.
Bayonne botanical garden
You may need to have more than one day to go, but if you have time, another of the things to see in Bayonne is the botanical garden. In this Japanese style garden, you will find over a thousand types of plants. It´s a great place to spend a more relaxing day with the family.
Bayonne chocolate factory:
L’Atelier du Chocolat
Although we are not the biggest fans of museums, no one can say no to a chocolate factory, right? Chocolate is one of the things France is famous for, and in this area is very popular!!
In the Chocolate museum of Bayonne, you will be able to learn the process of making it and decorating it. The best of all, is that at the end they will let you try the different types of chocolate.
Other facts about Bayonne, France
Now that you know all about What to see in Bayonne, France, it´s time to learn all important facts that will make your trip much easier:
Day trips from Bayonne France
One thing we enjoyed a lot is that there are many places to visit near Bayonne. We were staying in Saint Jean de Luz, which is a charming town about 20 minutes from Bayonne.
It was a 4-day trip and other than visiting Bayonne we were able to visit other cities around like Biarritz in France and Hondarribia in Spain.
All the places around are very nice, mostly known for their beaches and colourful houses!
Weather in Bayonne, France
One of the reasons why so many people visit Bayonne is because of its weather. As we said at the beginning, it´s one of the few places where you can have a “warm” weather during winter in France. Just so you can have an idea, we visited Bayonne during the days of Christmas and the temperature was around 15-20 degrees, and sunny every day!
Plus, during summer is not extremely hot and the temperatures are more or less calm.
Bayonne population and tourism
Lately is very hard to find an empty place during vacations. It´s even harder if you are visiting countries like France or Spain, which are normally packed. Although Bayonne was not empty, it was very comfortable to walk around the streets or even to take pictures as there were not so many people visiting the city.
Plus, there are only about 65.000 people living in the city, so we are sure that if you go to Bayonne during low season you will have it all for yourself.
Where is Bayonne?
Hope everyone knows about it already…but where is Bayonne?? There is actually a city called Bayonne in New Jersey, but hopefully all of you know that we are no talking about that one. The Bayonne we are talking about is the one located in the south of France.
It takes about three hours by car from Toulouse or almost 8 hours from Paris. Other options are to take a plane and fly to Biarritz where the nearest airport is located.
Hope you enjoyed
our Bayonne Travel Guide
That´s all about our Bayonne tour, hope now you are more than ready to visit the city!! Enjoy the best things to do in Bayonne and if you have any other question or suggestion , let us know in the comments!