France is always a good idea in my opinion. Every time I leave France I decide I want to learn French and live there forever. This time was no different.
On this trip to France, we first landed in the small surf town of Hossegor. After a few days of epic waves of epic size we headed northeast to Saint Emilion to do a little wine tasting and exploring. You can read my guide to Saint Emilion here!
And our last stop was back on the coast in the seaside city of Biarritz. This was my favorite stop of all three! There are so many fun things to do in Biarritz. We visited in the Fall and it was perfect temperature to walk around and explore and we even got a few beach days in!
Biarritz began as a small fishing village but made its mark on the map when Napoleon III’s wife, Empress Eugenie, had a palace built right on the beach in the mid 1800’s. The palace, then called Villa Eugenie, is now a 5 star hotel called Hôtel du Palais.
Keep reading if you want to know the 15 fun things to do in Biarritz, France I recommend!
P.s – I realize now how much fun I must have been having because I don’t have nearly enough photos of everything!
16 Fun Things to do in Biarritz
Biarritz is a small coastal city on the southwest coast of France. Biarritz is considered part of the Basque region which spans southwest France and northwest Spain. I loved Biarritz because there was so much to see and so many fun things to do in Biarritz even in the Fall when we were there.
Explore Port Vieux
This is the neighborhood that we chose our Airbnb in and it was the optimal location! We loved the old part of the city and it was in walking distance to everything else that wasn’t in the Port Vieux neighborhood. Port Vieux translates to ‘Old Port’ in English. The buildings are quintessential “French” and the views are stunning! There are numerous shops and restaurants to keep you busy.
There is also an aquarium you can visit called Aquarium de Biarritz.
Swim at Le Plage du Port Vieux
This little cove was the perfect place for a morning dip! (and the locals think so too!). The waters are calm but I wouldn’t swim out far unless you are an experienced swimmer. We also got to enjoy a warm Autumn beach day here under the sun with a ham and cheese baguette.
Walk to the Phare de Biarritz (lighthouse) and take in the view
This was one of my favorite things we did and one of the most fun things to do in Biarrtiz. If you stay in Port Vieux like we did, you will have to walk the entire length of the Grand Plage boardwalk and then up to the lighthouse. The views up here are unforgettable!
Visit Rocher de le Virge
A rock formation in the bay with a Virgin Mary statue. People are welcome to walk out over the water on a bridge to visit the Rocher de le Virge.
Stroll Le Port des Pêcheurs and have a seafood meal
Between the Rocher de la Virge and Le Grand Plage, Le Port des Pêcheurs is one of the oldest parts of the city. The Port was constructed by fisherman who lived here starting in the late 1700’s. Today, Le Port des Pêcheurs is a marina and there are many little restaurants housed in former houses of those fishermen.
Watch the sunset from Le Grand Plage
One evening we took a stroll down the Grand Plage and then had a seat outside on the sidewalk at Dodin to have a few glasses of wine as we watched the sun set perfectly over the Atlantic Ocean. Definitely recommended.
Visit the Hôtel du Palais
Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to visit the famous and historical Hôtel du Palais. You can visit for cocktails or dinner at one of their restaurants. And if you want to splurge on accommodation, Hôtel du Palais is place to do it!
Get a pastry at the famous Miremont
Miremont is famous for a reason! You can dine in or take out. I ordered butter cookies to go – which might sound like a boring choice but it was the best butter cookie I’ve ever had. You must check this off your list in Biarritz!
Go shopping in Les Halles and get a caffe au lait and croissant at Au P’tit Dolmen
Another one of my top favorite things about Biarrtiz was Les Halles! A big Hall with a complete farmers market inside. Breads, cheeses, vegetables, meats, pastas – you name it! We came back multiple days and bought loads of cheese and baguettes.
We also loved coming for a cafe au lait and croissant every morning. There are two different bars inside Les Halles and we went to Au P’tit Dolmen both times. It was so fun to sit there and watch everyone going about their morning at the market.
Dinner @ Bar Jean
My favorite meal in Biarritz! Bar Jean had great energy and an amazing atmosphere. It’s very crowded on the weekends and for good reason! Bar Jean is a classic French Bistro with red tables and chairs on the sidewalk with groups of friends and family out for Saturday night.
I had the Moules Frites (Mussels and French fries) and the mussels were grilled with a seasoning that was so, so good!
There is a full range of shops in Biarritz from luxe department stores, surf shops and boutiques. Rue Gambetta is full of all different shops. My favorite was a local store called Albertine.
Watch a rugby match at Le Petit Coin
The tiniest bar across the street from Les Halles, Le Petit Coin was the perfect spot to immerse ourselves in a little culture while we drank European beers and watched a Rugby match.
Learn to surf on the Cote des Basque
The ocean was pretty stormy while we were in Biarrtiz so I didn’t get the change to surf the Cote des Basque. However, we are told if you want to learn on Frances famed Basque Coast this is the place to do it! There are also casual bars and restaurants with terraces on this side of the city overlooking the beach.
See the Église Sainte-Eugénie de Biarritz
Named for the wife of Napoleon III, Empress Eugénie, this beautiful neo-gothic church is in the Port Vieux area of Biarrtiz. The Église Sainte-Eugénie is not to be overlooked.
Try your luck at Casino Barrière
If you like trying your luck at a little gambling (hi roulette!) than this is one of the fun things to do in Biarritz! Right on Le Grand Plage, we walked out of Casino Barriière a little richer than when we entered 🙂
Have a draught beer from La Tireuse
La Tireuse is in the Port Vieux area. It is a pub with over 20 different craft beers on tap from around Europe! This seemed to be popular with a younger crowd. We had fun here!
- Biarritz is only about 30 minutes from San Sebastian, Spain. If you don’t plan on staying a few days in San Sebastian definitely make sure to do a day trip here! Read my guide to San Sebastian here.
- We stayed in Biarritz for 3 days. I thought this was a good amount of time bu tI could have stayed for 5-7 days!
- If you don’t speak French, please learn some basic French words! You will thank me.
Bonjour – hello
Bonne journée – have a good day
Merci – thank you
S’il vous plaît – please
Au revoir- goodbye
Bonsoir – good evening
Oui – yes
Je ne parle pas francais – I don’t speak french
Heading to the Basque Region? Be sure to visit San Sebastian while you are in the area!
Leave a Comment OR Question Below!
I’d love to respond to your questions or know if you used this blog post to help plan your trip!