Bayonne, France

Guide for the rail traveller


Local languageFrench
Country France


Famous for its cured ham, the capital of the French Basque country is characterised by the narrow houses on the river Nive that are reminiscent of Amsterdam’s fashionable canalside homes. The riverside bars and restaurants make up the liveliest part of the city, something which becomes amplified every August when the Fetes de Bayonne take place, a five day festival of parades, music, food and bull fighting. Grande Bayonne is the district where you’ll find the medieval Chateau-Vieux and the gothic Saint Marie Cathedral, while on the opposite side of the river Petit Bayonne is home to museums devoted to art and local history. Les Halles is a fantastic covered market selling local produce - don’t leave without trying Bayonne ham or chocolate, both of which have been specialities since the Middle Ages.

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