They all used to come here, from Napoleon III to Frank Sinatra – Biarritz used to be the Monte Carlo of the Atlantic coast but with the time, the glamour faded. Thanks to windsurfing and other water sports, however, the city has rejuvenated. It now is the perfect destination for a relaxing weekend break, completed by some of the best food around. And there is no need to rush: the city is fairly small and you can easily see everything around, even during a short visit. One thing worth to set aside time for is the morning market in Les Halles: try the city’s own mamia, fresh curd sheep’s milk.

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Hôtel du Palais

Eugénie, wife of Napoleon III, created Hôtel du Palais at the end of the 19th century and it still towers over the northern end of Grand Plage. A visit is well worth the time, in fact, it is essentially a must see – the interiors and the atmosphere are reminiscent of a bygone era.

Avenue de l’Impératrice, Biarritz
Plateau de l’Atalaye

The views of the Atlantic waves crashing over the cliffs below are dramatic. This is where the whale watchers would have been on the lookout, at a small building called cloche d'Alarme. A statue of the Virgin Mary, raised in 1865, perches on one of the cliffs that can be reached via a bridge. Nearby is also the quaint Place Sainte-Eugénie and the old fishing port Port des Pêcheurs. Talk a casual walk around and do not forget to pass the park Esplanade de la vierge or the local aquarium close by.

Place Sainte-Eugénie, Biarritz
Chez Albert

Locals love to frequent bistro Chez Albert in the old fishing port. This seafood restaurant serves portions of oysters, clams and crabs large enough to fill up anyone. From the outdoor patio, you get a nice view of the harbour.

51 Bis all Port des Pêcheur , Biarritz
Le Pim'pi

Le Pim'pi offers a well-selected menu and the traditional French dishes are homemade without exception. The variety of local wines is impressive and the service staff is warm and friendly.

14 Avenue de Verdun, Biarritz
Central Market

Enjoy Basque flavours at this authentic market, as a great offer of fresh fruit and vegetables plus a friendly atmosphere make this place a favourite spot for locals. If you want to find a great variety of offers, make sure to come early, the market usually closes around noon.

1 Rue des Halles, Biarritz
Les Halles food market

Stock up on sausage, cheese, Serrano ham, and other delicacies and treats at the indoor food market of Les Halles.

11 Rue Les halles, Biarritz

Passport / Visa

France can be visited visa-free for up to 90 days by citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Israel, UAE and most countries in America. If you are unsure whether or not you need to apply for a visa, we recommend contacting the embassy or consulate in your country. International (non-Schengen) travelers need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their intended trip in order to enter the Schengen zone. Citizens of Schengen countries can travel without a passport, but must have a valid ID with them during their stay.

Best Time to Visit

Although the ocean in Biarritz never freezes, the best time to visit is during spring and summer: roughly from May until September, the city itself and tourism reach their peak, whereas from November until February rain and colder temperatures dominate, inviting visitors to drinking hot chocolate in cosy cafes.