Biarritz is a popular seaside resort on the French Bay of Biscay. As the hub of Basque culture in France, it has a lot more to offer beyond the beaches for those interested in history, cultural delights and great cuisine! Biarritz is where French charm mixes with the unique Basque way of life. There are two major beaches in the city, making it a great destination if you are visiting France during the summer.
As Biarritz is quite a small city, most areas are well connected. Nevertheless, figuring out the best area to stay in can still be tricky if you have specific needs. Whether you want to experience the beaches, local culture or nightlife will have a big impact on where you want to stay.
That’s where we come in! We have created this guide to the five best areas in Biarritz to help you create the perfect itinerary for your upcoming trip to the French Pays des Basques. We have also categorised them so you know exactly what to expect from each.
So without further adieu, let’s get started!
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Biarritz
- La Grande Plage – Best neighborhood in Biarritz for your first time
- Port Vieux – Where to stay in Biarritz close to everything
- Les Halles – Best neighborhood in Biarritz for nightlife
- Bayonne – Where to stay in Biarritz for families
- Côte des Basques – Best neighborhood in Biarritz for couples
Where to Stay in Biarritz
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Biarritz.
Best Hostel in Biarritz
Surf Hostel is the perfect choice for backpackers that want to experience the beautiful beaches of Biarritz! It’s only a short walk away from the Côte des Basques, and they offer discounted board hire and surfing lessons for all guests. A complimentary breakfast is also included – a rarity for hostels in France.
Best Budget Hotel in Biarritz
Despite only being a two-star hotel, Résidence Parc Mazon has excellent reviews that ensure you are receiving great value for money! The soundproofed rooms come with modern conveniences – including high-speed WiFi and modern sound systems. They also provide an excellent continental breakfast every morning.
Best Splurge Hotel in Biarritz
Hotel du Palais is a landmark in its own right, due to its history as a former palace for French Royalty! This regal vibe continues to this day, and it’s no wonder that the Hotel du Palais is the highest rated five-star hotel in the region. With gorgeous décor, beautiful furnishings and excellent service standards, you can’t go wrong with a stay at this hotel.
Biarritz 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
Let’s take a look, in more detail, at the five best neighbourhoods in Biarritz. Each caters to different interests, so be sure to pick the neighbourhood that’s right for you.
(Best neighbourhood in Biarritz for your first time!)
- COOLEST thing to do in La Grande Plage – try your luck at the luxurious Casino Barriére, right next to the beach
- BEST place to visit in La Grande Plage – bask in the sun on La Grande Plage Beach, one of the two largest beaches in the area
La Grande Plage is the beach neighbourhood located north-east of the city centre. With the coastline being the main attraction in Biarritz, La Grande Plage should absolutely be your first point of call in the city! Of the two beaches, this is the busiest with plenty of excellent facilities, restaurants and water sports activities available along the coast.
La Grande Plage is also well connected to the wider Biarritz-Anglet-Bayonne area, giving you easy access to all of the main attractions waiting to be explored! Whether you want to gamble at the famous casino, shop designer goods or simply take in the unique Basque culture, there’s a little something for everyone in La Grande Plage.
- Phare de Biarritz is a lighthouse on the north end of La Grande Plage where you can enjoy panoramic views across the coast
- Head to Le Colisée performing arts theatre where you can catch intimate performances from national and international acts
- Yogadelique offer yoga sessions right on the beach, as well as some indoor sessions if you want to practice a bit first
- If you’re looking for good nightlife a short walk from the beach, Duplex is one of the most popular nightclubs in the city and has great prices on drinks
- The area around Rue d’Alsace has plenty of small ateliers where you can check out arts and crafts made by local artisans
- La Mateïna is a small local bar where you can pick up typical French and Basque cuisine with well-priced drinks
Best Hostel La Grande Plage
Nami House is the top rated hostel in the city and it’s easy to see why! Inspired by Australian hostels, they have plenty of social activities including surf and yoga classes, as well as equipment rental. Rooms are spacious, allowing you a little more privacy than many other hostels. They also provide a complimentary breakfast.
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Best Budget Hotel in La Grande Plage
Located on the boundary between La Grand Plage and Port Vieux, this hotel is a great budget choice for those looking to explore all the main city centre attractions! A complimentary breakfast buffet is included as part of the rate, and high-speed WiFi can be accessed throughout the property.
Best Splurge Hotel in La Grande Plage
The Hotel du Palais is an attraction in itself as one of the most famous hotels in France! Situated within a converted palace, it comes with two pools, a wellness centre and massage facilities. This five-star gem is the top-rated luxury hotel in the city, and the three on-site restaurants offer Basque, French and international cuisines.
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(Where to stay in Biarritz close to everything!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Port Vieux – sample some excellent Franco-Basque tapas at the Dolce Arena, overlooking the ocean
- BEST place to visit in Port Vieux – Port Vieux beach is much smaller and more secluded than others in the city – perfect if you just want a calm seaside trip
As with many other coastal French cities, the Old Port is the historic centre of Biarritz! Separated by the modern city centre by towering cliffs, Port Vieux has a romantic feel and is the perfect base for getting around the city. It is only a short walk away from the two largest beaches and the modern centre and has great connections to further afield in France and Spain.
Simply wandering around the charming streets of Port Vieux is an entertaining activity in its own right. Despite being so central, Port Vieux has a calm atmosphere that allows you to soak up the sun and dive deep into Biarritz history. As with both of the beaches, Port Vieux is another great option for first-time visitors – and is also very popular with couples!
- Visit Le Musée de la Mer, a large aquarium close to the beach with a vast collection of marine life from across the world
- Eden Rock Café is somewhat of a knockoff of the international restaurant chain with a similar name, but nevertheless has an excellent menu and fantastic cocktails
- Rocher de la Vierge is a popular viewpoint on the very tip of Port Vieux where you can enjoy panoramic views across the city and the Atlantic Ocean
- Enjoy a high-quality cup of coffee at Ventilo Caffé – popular with locals, they are also well priced and have a good breakfast menu
- For nightlife, you can’t go wrong with Le Bar Bu – it has a more casual vibe than the nightclubs of the city centre and a great outdoor seating area
- Le 3éme Oeil is a locally owned photography studio with a small gallery exhibiting street and portrait photography
Best Hotel for Backpackers Port Vieux
Though there aren’t any hostels in Port Vieux, Hotel Anjou is a popular choice with backpackers on a tight budget that want to stay in the centre of Biarritz! They offer private rooms as well as apartments – perfect for larger groups. They also provide breakfast for an additional fee every morning, as well as private parking.
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Best Budget Hotel in Port Vieux
Located on the boundary between Port Vieux and Les Halles, Hôtel Le Saphir is perfect for those on a budget that want to stay close to all of the major attractions! They provide a continental breakfast every morning and have a large patio that overlooks the city and harbour. Rooms come with modern conveniences and WiFi access.
Best Splurge Hotel in Port Vieux
The four-star Hotel de Silhouette elegantly combines old and new to create high quality, luxury accommodation right in the heart of Biarritz! Rooms are fully soundproofed, giving you a quiet space where you can relax and enjoy a good night’s sleep. There is also a terrace with a private garden area and an on-site bar.
(Best neighbourhood in Biarritz for Nightlife!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Les Halles – dance the night away and enjoy excellent drinks from the bars along Rue Gambetta
- BEST place to visit in Les Halles – visit the eponymous market to pick up some local produce and sample Basque delicacies
Les Halles is situated in the heart of Centre Ville – the modern centre of Biarritz! Though nightlife can be found in most of the districts mentioned in this guide, Les Halles is the place to be if you want to party with locals and enjoy great prices on drinks. Rue Gambletta is the central hub of the area, with many bars, clubs and restaurants lining the pavements.
Les Halles is also known as the foodie centre of the French Basque Region, with Les Halles market being the first stop for many visitors to the city! This is where you can pick up fresh local produce, sample Basque cuisine and grab some souvenirs from artisans and creatives. If a vibrant atmosphere is what you’re after, you have to stay in Les Halles.
- Le Bar Jean is one of the most popular bars and nightclubs in the whole city, frequented by locals and visitors alike
- Café Miremont offer innovative modern twists on classic baked goods, including bean brownies and multiple flavours of cream cake
- If you are more into fine dining, Puig & Daro have an excellent menu and wide wine selection
- Tackle the hangover with a visit to Café Mokafina Thés, with over 150 different types of tea and great coffee blends
- Learn about the history of the city, and discover interesting displays of local art, at the Biarritz History Museum
- Médiathèque de Biarritz is another interesting exhibit where you can watch samples of French film and media
Best Hostel Les Halles
Though they only offer private rooms, what sets Hostel Saint Charles apart from the hotels are the excellent rates and the great communal facilities! Located in the heart of Les Halles, it is within easy walking distance of all the main city centre districts. For a small fee, they can also offer a continental breakfast every morning.
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Best Budget Hotel in Les Halles
Though this accommodation may seem pretty basic, they have some excellent additional touches that make it one of the best-rated budget picks in the city! All rooms are fully soundproofed, giving you some peace and quiet to enjoy a full night of rest. They also provide a complimentary breakfast buffet.
Best Splurge Hotel in Les Halles
This modern hotel used contemporary design concepts to add a luxurious atmosphere with a calming effect! Rooms are well equipped with modern conveniences and have access to high-speed WiFi. The en-suite bathrooms come with walk-in showers and bathtubs, and the continental buffet breakfast has gluten-free options available.
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(Where to stay in Biarritz for families!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Bayonne – take a cruise down the river on Le Bayonne – a fun way to get to know the city
- BEST place to visit in Bayonne – the Musée Basque et de l’Histoire de Bayonne is the best museum in France for learning about Basque culture
Though officially a separate city, the wider Biarritz-Anglet-Bayonne area is considered a single metropolitan area. Bayonne is just on the opposite side of the airport, and gives you great access to all parts of the conurbation! For families, Bayonne is a much more peaceful alternative to Biarritz, whilst still retaining the city vibe.
Bayonne is, in general, a little bit less touristy than its coastal neighbour. This allows visitors to discover a more authentic side to French Basque culture! There are numerous museums, shops and restaurants dedicated to Basque culture and cuisine, and the peaceful streets provide a calm setting to get up close and personal with local life. This makes it not just a great choice for families, but also for those seeking something a little more off the beaten path.
- Wander around the Old Town area to admire the gorgeous architecture and picturesque quays surrounded by boutiques, cafés and restaurants
- The Cathedral of St Marie is the most prominent landmark in the city – it is the perfect example of French gothic architecture
- Musée Bonnat-Helleu is a newly reopened art gallery featuring exhibits from local artists in both the classical and contemporary categories
- If you are visiting during July, be sure to take part in the Fêtes de Bayonne celebrations held across the city centre
- Those visiting in May and October can, instead, discover the local chocolate festivals and sample a huge range of artisanal treats
- Both Basque and French cuisines are popular across Bayonne – head to Kaia where you can try both and enjoy their large wine menu
Best Hotel for Backpackers Bayonne
There aren’t any hostels in Bayonne, however, the Hotel Adonis is a good option for backpackers that want to base themselves in the city! A completely brand new hotel, they offer excellent rates on their rooms and great levels of service. The 24-hour front desk has a tourism information section and offers discounts on local attractions.
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Best Budget Hotel in Bayonne
Hôtel des Arceaux is located right in the heart of Bayonne’s Old Town, giving you unbeatable access to the main attractions of the city! Rooms are beautifully decorated in the classic French style with antique furnishings. A continental breakfast is provided every morning with a wide selection of French, Basque and international options available.
Best Splurge Hotel in Bayonne
This ultra-modern hotel is the ultimate in luxury in Bayonne! Rooms are fully air-conditioned and soundproofed, giving you unbeatable comfort throughout your stay. Breakfast is included in the rate, as well as an aperitivo to help you relax after a day of exploring. Private parking can be added for a small additional fee.
(Best neighbourhood in Biarritz for couples!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Côte des Basques – learn to surf, or simply hire a board if you already know what you’re doing, with Surf Hastea
- BEST place to visit in Côte des Basques – Cité de l’Océan is a popular museum dedicated to marine life
Côte des Basques is the other major beach in Biarritz, located south-west of the city centre. Though still very popular with tourists, Côte des Basques has a much more laid back atmosphere than La Grande Plage. This makes it the perfect choice for couples visiting the city that want an easy going vacation on the French coast!
This area is also one of the most upmarket and exclusive districts in the city! As a result, there are plenty of great facilities, restaurants and boutique stores waiting to be explored. Whether you want mesmerising views, delectable cuisine or the opportunity to experience Basque culture, Côte des Basques appeal to a wide variety of travellers.
- Walk to the top of the 100 Steps – stretching from the beach to the city, the area at the top of the stairs is one of the best places to view the sunset in the city
- Etxola Bibi is also located at the top of the 100 Steps – this is a very laid back restaurant and bar where you can grab a casual drink and some great food
- If you are a keen hiker, take the walking trail from Côte des Basques to Bidart where you will discover some more secluded beaches and views across to Spain
- For the perfect date night restaurant, book a table at Côte 57 – this ultra-modern restaurant offers a fantastic cocktail menu
- The International Golf Centre, just south of Côte des Basques, is the largest golf course in the city
- Discover some historical architecture at Villa Natacha – it is located just east of Côte des Basques and guided tours are available
Best Hostel Côte des Basques
Though not actually located on the coast, Surf Hostel is only a 22-minute walk from the beach and has great links with local surf schools where you can enjoy discounted board hire! It’s secluded setting is perfect for unwinding after a long day of exploring or surfing, and there are excellent communal facilities where you can mingle with other guests.
Will you be in Paris a while? Here’s your guide to the top day trips from Paris for exploring the area!
Best Budget Hotel in Côte des Basques
This stylish hotel has some great additional perks that make it the perfect accommodation choice for couples on a budget! Though there aren’t any spa facilities on site, guests are given free access to nearby facilities including a hammam, sauna and seawater pool. Free high-speed WiFi can also be accessed throughout.
Best Splurge Hotel in Côte des Basques
If you really want to splurge on your trip to the Basque coast, the Radisson Blu Hotel Biarritz has more of a typical resort vibe, allowing you to feel like you are enjoying a relaxing getaway in the sun! There is a rooftop pool with views across the coast, and a well-equipped wellness and fitness centre on-site.
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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Biarritz?
With gorgeous beaches, interesting local culture and a fantastic culinary scene, it’s no wonder that Biarritz is one of the most popular holiday destinations in France! Whether you want to sit back and soak up the sun, or explore the city and take in Basque culture, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Biarritz.
For the best area, we’re going to have to go with Port Vieux! It has great coastal views, historic architecture and quaint restaurants that perfectly exemplify the real charm of Biarritz.
That being said, all the areas mentioned in this guide have their own benefits – and as Biarritz is quite a small city, travelling between them takes no time at all.
Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments!
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