Biarritz is a town with 2 sides, famous on one hand for its laid-back surfer vibe and, on the other, for its luxurious and glitzy reputation. It’s a peaceful and relaxing place to visit in winter, but summertime is when the golden coastline is peppered with tourists in search of the best spot for soaking up the French Basque Country’s warm rays.

    This is a town popular with couples, families and groups of friends, with first-class surfing beaches, extravagant spas and traditional charm all forming part of its appeal. If you’re looking to plan some time away in France’s southwestern corner, check out our list of the best things to do in Biarritz.

    What are the best things to do in Biarritz?


    Place Bellevue

    The square that lives up to its name

    • Budget
    • Photo

    Poised high above sea level, Place Bellevue – as the name suggests – boasts beautiful views out to the mighty Atlantic Ocean and across the golden sands of La Grande Plage. With such a good vantage point to find your bearings, it makes for the ideal spot to start exploring this popular seaside town.

    Place Bellevue can be reached by foot, either from Passage Bellevue or from the winding path that climbs up from La Grand Plage. Make the most of the views by enjoying a coffee sat outside Le Café de Paris while you’re there.

    Location: Place Bellevue, 64200 Biarritz, France


    photo by José Sáez (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Port Vieux

    Explore the charming former heart of Biarritz

    • Families
    • Budget
    • Photo

    Once the focal point of Biarritz, Port Vieux (or the Old Port) is now a charming mini-village, frequented by locals and visitors alike. Take a wander around its quaint and narrow streets and discover the fishermen’s old crampottes, the name given to the small cottages that they once lived in.

    If you’re visiting Biarritz with the family, head down to the quiet and secluded Port Vieux Beach. This little cove is sheltered by the rocks, providing the ideal spot to paddle in the calm waters. If you want to grab a bite to eat, you’re then only a stone’s throw away from the bustling Rue du Port-Vieux.

    Location: Port Vieux, Biarritz, France


    photo by Gordito1869 (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Rocher de la Vierge

    The guardian of fishermen

    • History
    • Photo

    Otherwise known as the ‘Rock of the Virgin’, this rugged rock formation is one of Biarritz’s must-see attractions. Local fishermen decided to erect the white Virgin statue back in 1865 after a mysterious bright light guided a ship to safety during a storm.

    To get to Rocher de la Vierge, you must cross the Eiffel Bridge, a footbridge over the water designed by – you’ve guessed it – Gustave Eiffel, the same man behind Paris’ iconic tower. You might get a little spray from the ocean while you’re over there, but it’s worth it for the views back across to Biarritz and as far as the mountains of the Spanish Basque Country.

    Location: Rocher de la Vierge, Espl. De la Vierge, 64200 Biarritz, France

    Open: 24/7

    Phone: +33 (0)5 59 22 37 10


    photo by Magdus Laszló Hunga… (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Phare de Biarritz

    Climb to the top for panoramic views of the coast

    • Photo

    Head to the town’s northernmost point and visit the towering Phare de Biarritz. This 74-metre-tall lighthouse is in a prime position on a clifftop, boasting unrivalled views in every direction, from out to sea, to across Biarritz, Anglet and the never-ending coastline.

    Built in 1834, the lighthouse is still functioning today and is open to the public, so all can experience the privileged vistas. Just bear in mind that if you want to get to the top, the only way you can do so is by climbing all 248 steps yourself. Time your visit for sunset to really enhance the whole experience.

    Location: Phare de Biarritz, 60 B Esp, Espl. Elisabeth II, 64200 Biarritz, France

    Open: Hours vary by season

    Phone: +33 (0)5 59 22 37 10


    photo by François de Dijon (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Eglise Sainte-Eugénie

    A neo-Gothic church overlooking Port Vieux

    • History
    • Photo

    Just as impressive on the inside as it is on the outside, the Eglise Sainte-Eugénie is a beautiful, Romanesque-Byzantine church that started and ended its construction in 1898 and 1903, respectively. The big appeal that draws crowds to this neo-Gothic structure is its prominent coastal location, overlooking Port des Pêcheurs in the picturesque Port Vieux area of town.

    Soak up the sights from the outside, then step inside and admire the kaleidoscope of colours that form the breathtaking stained glass windows. There are often many concerts that take place in the church during the summer, along with regular exhibitions held in the crypt.

    Location: Eglise Sainte-Eugénie, Place Sainte-Eugénie, 64200 Biarritz, France

    Open: Daily (hours vary depending on services)

    Phone: +33 (0)5 59 24 07 43


    photo by  Daniel VILLAFRUELA (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    La Grande Plage

    Soak up the sun on the best beach in town

    • Budget
    • Photo

    Translated as 'The Big Beach', it'll come as no surprise that this vast stretch of golden sand is the largest and most popular beach in Biarritz. Despite its size, it still always gets packed in the summer months, when travellers are locals are itching to cool off beneath the breaking waves of the Atlantic.

    Hire your own board for the day and join the rest of those who come from far and wide to experience La Grande Plage’s magnificent surf. Or, if you prefer to keep your feet firmly on dry sand, you can pay to hire one of the traditional, yet quirky-looking, striped beach tents.

    Location: Quai de la Grande Plage, 64200 Biarritz, France


    photo by Mairie de Fos (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Enjoy traditional Basque cuisine

    Delicious local delicacies

    When visiting Biarritz – a town in the heart of the Basque Country – it’s only right to indulge in some of the best local food you can get your hands on. Basque food typically consists of succulent meat and freshly-caught fish cooked over hot coals, as well as meaty skewers, Tolosa bean specialities, and the perfect-for-sharing pintxos – the country’s answer to tapas.

    For some of the best Basque food in Biarritz, during the day head to the spectacular Les Halles food market and sample various picnic-style foods from the stalls. Then at night, seek out some of the top restaurants in town, such as LTB-La Table Basque or La Humade.

    photo by Harrieta171 (CC BY 2.5) modified


    Casino Barrière de Basque Biarritz

    Try your luck and enjoy non-stop fun, games and entertainment

    • Nightlife
    • Luxury

    No trip to this seaside town would be complete without a visit to the remarkable Casino Barrière. It's one of Biarritz’s examples of standout Art Deco architecture. Whether you fancy a flutter on one of the roulette tables or you’re happy just watching the experts (and the daring) place their bets, you’ll love experiencing the glitz, glam and neon lights of this fun-filled casino that dominates the town’s shoreline.

    If you’d rather not risk losing any of your hard-earned cash, there’s more to Casino Barrière than just slot machines and poker. The venue has a restaurant and bar, as well as live concerts that often take place on special occasions.

    Location: Casino Barrière, 1 Avenue Edouard VII, 64200 Biarritz, France

    Open: Hours vary by season

    Phone: +33 (0)5 59 22 77 77


    photo by Fred Romero (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Barhop around the Old Port

    Experience the best bars along Rue Gambetta and Place Georges Clemenceau

    • Nightlife

    Biarritz has a vibrant and varied nightlife scene, though you can find one of the highest concentration of bars in and around the lively streets of Port Vieux. Le Bar Jean, La Tireuse and Ventilo Caffé are definitely worth checking out when you’re in this part of town.

    If you want to explore the wider area, there’s a great selection of bars around Rue Gambetta and Place Georges Clemenceau. For those of you who want to carry the party on into the early hours, some of Biarritz’s top nightclubs can be found along the waterfront – just follow the beat!

    Location: Port Vieux, Biarritz, France


    photo by Didier Descouens (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    Sadie Geoghegan-Dann | Contributing Writer

    Start planning your trip

    COVID-19 Travel Alert

    Attractions and experiences recommended in our guides may be affected. Please check local guidance before you travel.

    Back to top