Top 10 visits to do in Pau

Pau
Top 10 visits to do i ...

Pau is the capital of Béarn. It is a city steeped in history, which has managed to preserve its rich medieval heritage over time. But it is also a dynamic city, Prefecture of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, which offers all kinds of leisure activities. It stretches along the Gave de Pau and has many natural spaces. You can therefore practice very nice nature activities.


Opening photo: Boulevard des Pyrénées in Pau © Jean Michel AdobeStock

1) Visit the historic center of Pau

Pau extends from its medieval castle, built on the banks of the Gave de Pau. The medieval streets lead you to the main monuments of the historic center. Pau is also home to several museums. Here are the essential sites to see during your visit to Pau:

  • The National Museum in the Château de Pau
  • The Mint Tower
  • The Parliament of Navarre
  • The fountain in Parliament Square
  • The Palace and Beaumont Park
  • The Boulevard of the Pyrenees
  • Beaux-arts museum

The good idea: For an exotic moment, treat yourself to a meal in a Japanese restaurant in Pau! Specialities from the rising sun prepared with know-how: sushi, ramen, a la carte or on the menu, an original choice that will please the whole family.

The Boulevard of the Pyrenees @ Photo Lesley Williamson
The Boulevard of the Pyrenees @ Photo Lesley Williamson

2) Admire Pau seen from above, in its funicular

To take the measure of this royal city, appreciate its dominant position on the Gave and admire the landscapes of Béarn, we suggest you take the height thanks to the funicular. Since 1908, the funicular has transported passengers from Boulevard des Pyrénées to Place Royale. The cabins date from the 60s and retain their vintage look. It 's an ephemeral journey in time that awaits you!


At the top of the Pau funicular @ Photo Bernard GIRARDIN
At the top of the Pau funicular @ Photo Bernard GIRARDIN

3) Meet Henri IV at the Château de Pau

The Château de Pau is the birthplace of Henri IV. It is therefore quite naturally that this site was transformed into a museum, in homage to this famous character. The National Museum will tell you the story of Henri, from his birth to his rise to the throne of France and much more… The estate still houses Renaissance-style gardens, where you can stroll.

4) Culture in the museums of Pau

National Museum, Memorial Museum of Parachutists, Museum of Resistance and Deportation, Bernadotte Museum, Museum of Fine Arts... There is no doubt that you will satisfy your curiosity in Pau! And if you haven't had enough yet, we've made a grand tour of the museums of Béarn for you.

5) Walk in the "Saligues" of the Gave de Pau

The “Saligues” are natural spaces typical of the Gave du Béarn. In Bearn, this term designates a wetland. These are marshy meadows, which border the rivers. You will find some at the exit of Pau, towards the East, along the Gave de Pau. This ecosystem is home to characteristic flora and fauna: willows, poplars, pond turtles, otters and a multitude of birds.


Les Saligues Céline © Photo Garcia Adobe Stock
Les Saligues Céline © Photo Garcia Adobe Stock

6) Go tree climbing in the forest of Verts Tiges

North of Pau, we offer you a nature activity in an unusual forest. It is in a hundred-year-old oak grove that the Verts Tiges tree-climbing park is located. The courses adapt to all levels and all your desires for height. After the frenzy of the city, it's a walk in the trees, which will bring you calm and serenity.


7) Taste Béarnaise gastronomy

Chicken in the pot, garbure, salmon from the Pyrenees, sheep's cheese, spit cake... The delights of Béarn have something to satisfy the sweet or savory palates, the greatest gourmands as well as the finest gourmets! There are many good addresses in Pau: gourmet restaurants, bistros, inns and brasseries, in the pure Pau tradition or more unusual...

The Garbure du Béarn © Photo ALF Photo AdobeStock
The Garbure du Béarn © Photo ALF Photo AdobeStock

8) Learn about oenology with the wines of Jurançon, in the vineyards around Pau

Béarn is a land of bon vivants, whose most illustrious representative was Henri IV. The wines of Béarn do honor to this tradition of gluttony. The vineyards around Pau produce sweet white wines: the Jurançon. This is an AOC that enhances this ancestral wine-growing region, already renowned at the time of the good King Henri.

9) Treat yourself to “100% Béarnais” products in Pau

Whether you want to please your loved ones or bring back a souvenir from Béarn, Pau is a city that knows how to highlight its local crafts and quality products. Here you will find artisan workshops, designer boutiques and farmers markets . And if you are lacking inspiration, there are innovative and trendy stores: concept stores.

10) Explore the region on a road trip along the Gave de Pau

The Gave de Pau is a river that has a strong importance in the region, formerly for economic development, today for tourism. In the Middle Ages, the Château de Pau was built on a rocky promontory, near the banks. Its strategic position allowed it to control a ford below. Pau is therefore a good starting point for a road trip along the Gave de Pau and visiting the surrounding area.

You are going to follow the Gave de Pau and pass by the town of Lons, have a typically Basque gastronomic meal near Pau, by going to eat a convivial dish in the Cidrerie Le Txotx. Quality and quantity are the order of the day. Generous portions, meat, tasty dishes and delicate fish... All this accompanied by Sagarno of course.

Photo © Charline Prod'Homme
Photo © Charline Prod'Homme

Here is this Top 10 which ends, hoping that it made you want to visit Pau, the Capital of Béarn!


Did you like our article? Find others on our Blog “Do it your way”. Follow us on the Guide du Béarn-Pyrénées Facebook page and on Instagram @guidebearnpyrenees


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