I love discovering the traditions of my new home, Bordeaux. And the latest one just rolled in to town. Foire aux Plaisirs, which basically means fun or pleasure fair, is a tradition that has been happening twice a year on the Place des Quinconces since 1854. Though, I imagine that 160 years ago when the Foire aux Plaisirs began, there weren’t roller coasters and tilt-a-whirls.
The largest and most famous fun fair of the Aquitaine region began over 160 years ago as a massive market and festival to bring foreigners to Bordeaux and boost the economy each spring and fall. Today, it lures over 800,000 people to Bordeaux including both foreigners and the French from right here in the Aquitaine.
With 200 different rides and attractions, there’s truly something for just about any age. Families can enjoy Foire aux Plaisirs with mini sized bumper cars, fun houses and other assorted rides perfect for the little ones. I spotted all my favorite childhood games I remember from the State Fair, like plucking a duck from the pond and always being guaranteed a prize.
Of course, there are plenty of rides for the adults too. You’re never too old for bumper cars – at least I don’t think so! I always love a few spins around the Ferris wheel since you can always get the best views from up top. And if you want to feel your heart drop in to your stomach, there’s definitely no shortage of rides to take care of that sensation – Infinity, Booster M65, Boomerang and No Limits all are sure to make you scream.
All of the best French junk and street foods are there too: beignets the size of your head, freshly fried churros drizzled with chocolate, candied apples in more flavors than you can ever imagine, kebabs, frites, crêpes, hamburgers and even cheesy croque monsieurs. You name it, it was there to stuff your face with!
Know Before You Go