5 Must-See Sites in Pau

5 Must-See Sites in Pau

Active sorts, sports fans, history buffs and galloping gourmets alike will find Pau has plenty to offer. Here’s our pick of what not to miss…

Château de Pau

This huge château has been a royal seat, a fortified castle, a holiday home for Napoleon, a prison and a presidential residence. Now it’s a popular museum. Don’t miss the impressive tapestries and the 18m dining table that can accommodate 100 guests. Anyone care to pass the salt?

L'Atelier d'Hervé

Parc Aquasports. Photo courtesy of
L’Atelier d’Hervé

Parc Aquasports

As well as staging professional competitions, this whitewater park is open to amateur paddlers of all skill levels. There are 5,000 sqm of water, including a beginner’s area. On offer are kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding and something called hydrospeed.

Halles de Pau

Halles de Pau. Photo © Cyril Garrabos

Le Halles de Pau

Open every day except Monday, this huge covered market in the Place de la République is home to more than 40 merchant stalls, selling everything from fresh meats, charcuterie, fish, fruit and vegetables to spices, wine, liqueurs, coffee and confectionery.

Hippodrome du Pont-Long

Photo courtesy of Hippodrom Pau

Hippodrome du Pont-Long

Completed in 1842, this 40-hectare facility comes into its own over the winter season. There are several courses and many races staged, but the most famous is the Grand Prix Hippique de Pau in late January. Even if horse racing isn’t your thing, there are plenty of peripheral activities on offer.

Grand Prix de Pau

Photo © Grand Prix de Pau, Facebook

Motor Sport

Since 1933, the streets of Pau have been blasted by the roar of racing cars thanks to the Grand Prix de Pau each May. Drivers must negotiate tight laps around a street circuit on the town centre roads. The following weekend there are vintage races at the Grand Prix Historique.

Want to learn more about the Belle-Epoque playground known as Pau? Get reading here.

From France Today magazine

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