Best known for its gorgeous beaches, Biarritz is a popular coastal resort in the French section of the Basque Country! Alongside the vibrant beach bars and adrenaline-inducing watersports, Biarritz also offers a great selection of cultural activities. The Basque Country is one of the most unique regions in Europe, and many visitors use Biarritz as a convenient gateway.
Though Biarritz is a fairly small city, it can be tricky navigating around the different areas. Some regions are busier than others – particularly those next to the beach – so where you want to stay depends largely on what kind of trip you want.
That’s where we come in! We’ve consulted travel experts, bloggers and locals to bring you this guide to the four best neighborhoods in Biarritz and categorised them based on what kind of traveller they are best for. Whether you want great nightlife, historic attractions or seaside bliss we have you covered. So let’s jump right into it!
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Biarritz. If you#re travelling on a budget, we’d suggest checking out the awesome hostels in Biarritz. They offer affordable rates, a safe place to rest your head and the chance to meet like-minded travelers from all over the world!
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Best Hostel in Biarritz: Nami House
As the highest-rated hostel in Biarritz, Nami House had to take our top pick for backpacker accommodation in the city! Located in La Grande Plage, it is right in the heart of the action – perfect for backpackers only visiting the city for a short period of time.
Best Hotel in Biarritz: Hotel Edouard VII
This ultra-stylish three-star hotel offers comfort at a price that won’t break the bank! Located right in the centre of Les Halles, it is well placed for getting around all of the main neighborhoods in the city. It also comes with some of the best reviews for hotels in Biarritz.
Best Airbnb in Biarritz: Pied-à-terre
Airbnb Plus properties are apartments and villas that have been handpicked by the Airbnb team for their interesting design, great facilities and fantastic guest reviews! Biarritz has plenty of them, but this small apartment has to be our top pick. Right in the heart of Port Vieux, it is well placed for exploring the city.
Pied-à-terre is one of our favourites in Biarritz but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Looming over the rest of the city, Port Vieux is the historic centre in Biarritz! The region is an attraction in itself, containing some of the most beautiful architecture the city has to offer.
Côte des Basques
Quieter than La Grande Plage, Côte des Basques still benefits from all of the great activities and restaurants of its larger neighbour! This makes it an ideal destination for families visiting the area.
Whilst Biarritz isn’t known for its nightlife, the city still has some great options that could compete with any other city in France! Most of these are located in Les Halles – the modern centre of the city and a major hub for visitors.
La Grande Plage
By far the most famous neighborhood in Biarritz, this is the place to be if you want to spend most of your holiday by the beach! Though it is often packed with tourists in the summer, this is not without good reason.
Biarritz is easily one of the most popular coastal cities in France – and it’s easy to see why! Whilst still not budget-friendly (backpacking France on a budget is never easy) by any means, it is more accessible than the beaches of the south and the beaches are just as beautiful. Alongside the beaches, the town also has an interesting history and unique culture that has visitors coming back time and time again.
Port Vieux, which is French for Old Port, serves as the historic centre of the town and is a great starting point for those wanting to get to know the city better! Surprisingly, it isn’t the busiest area in the city, meaning you can enjoy the attractions without having to worry about the huge tourism numbers. It also has some unique cultural attractions and old fashioned restaurants owned by locals.
Just to the northeast of Port Vieux is La Grande Plage. This is easily the most popular neighborhood in the city – and it’s no wonder! This is the largest expanse of beach, and alongside the gorgeous coastal views, plenty of great facilities are on offer as well as entertainment attractions and water sports activities.
If you want a slightly calmer beach, Côte des Basques is an excellent alternative! This beach still enjoys the same level of facilities as La Grande Plage, but has lower tourist numbers giving you a more laid-back experience. It is also one of the priciest neighborhoods in the city, but totally worth it if you are willing to splurge.
Finally, we recommend Les Halles if you want to take in the modern culture as well as the few nightlife options on offer! Whilst Biarritz is an expensive city overall, Les Halles has some well-priced accommodation options making it the best neighborhood in Biarritz on a budget. It is also the most youthful district, making it a popular destination for backpackers and young groups visiting the city.
Still undecided? No worries, we have some more extensive guides of each neighborhood below!
Biarritz 4 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
Let’s take a look, in more detail, at the four best neighbourhoods in Biarritz. Each caters to different interests, so be sure to pick the neighbourhood that’s right for you.
Looming over the rest of the city, Port Vieux is the historic centre in Biarritz! The region is an attraction in itself, containing some of the most beautiful architecture the city has to offer. It is also perched on top of some cliffs, giving visitors magnificent views of the rest of the city and the Bay of Biscay.
For first time visitors, Port Vieux is centrally located and gives you easy access to both of the major beaches in the area as well as Les Halles! It is also somewhat quieter than the main beach areas, giving you the perfect location to peacefully enjoy the ambient atmosphere of Biarritz.
Best Hostel Port Vieux: Hotel Anjou
Whilst there aren’t any hostels in Port Vieux, this simple hotel is a popular choice with backpackers that want to stay in the heart of the old town! They offer both private rooms and apartments, and there is a large communal kitchen area that comes well equipped. Free WiFi is also included.
Best Hotel in Port Vieux: Hôtel Le Saphir
This quaint hotel is another great pick for those on a budget – and comes with excellent facilities to boot! A complimentary continental breakfast is included with the nightly rate, and free WiFi can be accessed throughout. There’s also a communal patio where you can enjoy the sunrise in the morning.
Best Airbnb in Port Vieux: Pied-à-terre
This gorgeous apartment is not only our top pick for the city, but it also comes with some of the best reviews! Right in the heart of the Old Town, it is also only a short walk away from Les Halles. The apartment sleeps up to four people across two bedrooms.
Pied-à-terre is one of our favourites in Biarritz but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Things to See and Do in Port Vieux
- Clamber down to Port Vieux Beach for one of the most unique views in the city – look up towards the old town, and to either side for the larger beaches
- Another great viewpoint is up at Rocher de la Vierge where you can admire panoramas across the entire area
- Le Musée de la Mer is a unique attraction that acts as both a museum and an aquarium – with both live and preserved exhibits on offer
- Jo Moraiz Surf School is an excellent facility for beginners that want to tackle the wild waves of the North Atlantic
- USB Plongee are great for those interested in learning to scuba dive – and they also offer boat tours for more easy-going guests
- Eden Rock Café is located right on the beach, giving you stunning views along with the high-quality casual dining menu
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Quieter than La Grande Plage, Côte des Basques still benefits from all of the great activities and restaurants of its larger neighbour! This makes it an ideal destination for families visiting the area. Though it is a little more upmarket, there are a few budget-friendly options scattered along the area that make it manageable for all types of traveller.
Aside from the laid back beach atmosphere, Côte des Basques is also known for its artisanal boutiques and upscale restaurants! This is a great area for those that want to splurge – especially for couples that are looking for a romantic getaway. Whether you opt to bring the kids or not, there’s plenty on offer in this chilled-out neighborhood.
Best Airbnb in Côte des Basques: Modern Apartment
Another fantastic Airbnb Plus apartment, this two-bedroom accommodation can sleep up to four guests – ideal for the average family! It comes with ultra-modern design, and is only a short walk away from the beach. The kitchen is spacious and well equipped, and there is also a private study.
Best Hostel Côte des Basques: Surf Hostel
As the name suggests, this is a great hostel for this interested in watersports as it is only a short walk away from the beach and the largest surfing schools! They offer both dorms and privates, with cosy communal spaces where you can mingle with other guests. They also have a free bus service.
Best Hotel in Côte des Basques: Radisson Blu Hotel Biarritz
This four-star hotel is one of the most luxurious in the city – though offers some surprisingly good rates on rooms! The rooftop pool is a highlight, with unbeatable views across the city and the Bay of Biscay. Rooms are fully soundproofed – perfect for families visiting with young children.
Things to See and Do in Côte des Basques
- Most of the great restaurants and retail destinations are located along Rue Gambetta – we recommend heading to La Cabane a Huitres for the excellent seafood
- Biarritz by Locals is a brand new tour company based in Côte des Basques offering independent tours of the city
- The beach itself is packed with great facilities and attractions including a surf school, diving school and windsurfing hire
- The 100 Steps run from Côte des Basques up to Port Vieux, providing a great activity to start the day off and amazing views at the top
- Cité de l’Océan is an excellent museum dedicated to the city’s seafaring past as well as the contemporary marine life off the Biarritz coast
- More experienced hikers should take the route from Côte des Basques to Bidart where you can enjoy views as far as Spain on a clear day
Whilst Biarritz isn’t known for its nightlife, the city still has some great options that could compete with any other city in France! Most of these are located in Les Halles – the modern centre of the city and a major hub for visitors. From laid-back speakeasies to pulsing nightclubs, there’s something to suit all tastes in Les Halles.
Even during the daylight hours there are still plenty of great activities available! Les Halles is home to many of the best museums, tours and cafés in the city – and serves as the main hub for young locals, making it a great spot for backpackers and students visiting the city.
Best Hostel Les Halles: Hostel Saint Charles
This accommodation operates as both a hostel and a hotel – allowing you the option to book a private room if you want a little extra privacy! They are a little pricier than other hostels, but worth it if you want to enjoy some additional comforts – most notably the complimentary continental breakfast.
Best Hotel in Les Halles: Hotel Edouard VII
This deceptively budget-friendly hotel perfectly blends old and new to create an elegant and stylish atmosphere! Rooms are fully air-conditioned and soundproofed, ensuring you enjoy a full night’s sleep. A complimentary breakfast buffet is also arranged every morning for all guests.
Best Airbnb in Les Halles: Historic Luxury
Situated within a building from the 1920s, this historic apartment elegantly blends modern conveniences to create a truly stylish space right in the heart of the city! It can sleep up to seven guests across four bedrooms, making it a perfect choice for larger groups heading to Biarritz.
Historic Luxury is one of our favourites in Biarritz but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Things to See and Do in Les Halles
- Just like Côte des Basques, the heart of this neighborhood lies along its section of Rue Gambetta, with many of the bars based here in the evenings
- Le Copa, in particular, has a reputation as the best nightclub in the city with reasonable drinks prices and a modern music selection
- If you don’t want the party to stop, head along to the casino which has a 24/7 nightclub in the basement level
- Les Halles Market, often considered the epicentre of the entire city, is a great place to mingle with locals, sample delicacies and pick up souvenirs
- Musée Historique de Biarritz is the main museum in the city, covering the history of Biarritz and the French Basque Country
- Bar Jean are known for the large, yet budget-friendly, plates of typical Biscayan cuisine – as well as some great drinks options
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By far the most famous neighborhood in Biarritz, this is the place to be if you want to spend most of your holiday by the beach! Though it is often packed with tourists in the summer, this is not without good reason. It has a huge concentration of water sports facilities, laid back bars and restaurants to suit every taste.
Aside from the beach, the surrounding neighborhood also has some interesting cultural attractions – including numerous art galleries with creatives from across France showcasing and selling their work! It is also well connected to other towns in the region – perfect if you want to explore further afield.
Best Airbnb in La Grande Plage: Le Sunset
This gorgeous one-bedroom apartment comes with gorgeous views of the sunset – perfect for couples looking for a romantic getaway in Biarritz! Housed within a historic building, the interiors perfectly blend tradition and modern comfort to create a stylish getaway in the heart of La Grande Plage.
Best Hostel La Grande Plage: Nami House
This spacious hostel not only offers typical dorm-style accommodation – they also have a Japanese style room where you can have a more unique experience! Inspired by hostels in Australia, Nami House puts socialising first with great communal areas and regular events such as yoga classes.
Best Hotel in La Grande Plage: Hôtel Au Bon Coin
This ultra-modern hotel is one of the newest in the city – and already benefits from some fantastic reviews! Rooms are fully air-conditioned and soundproofed, and a continental breakfast is provided every morning. There is also a spacious bar and terrace area.
Things to See and Do in La Grande Plage
- The huge La Grande Plage beach has some great surf schools, water sports equipment providers and sunbathing areas the entire length of the beach
- Casino Barriére is the largest casino in the city, offering a huge array of gambling activities as well as an extensive drinks menu
- La Colisée is the largest theatre in the city, offering everything from music to theatre to ballet from local and international performers
- If you’re more interested in the visual arts, head to Galerie d’Art Barthelemy where you can check out the latest works from Biscayan creatives
- Eglise Alexandre Newsky is a huge Russian Orthodox church with gorgeous interiors – a true hidden gem in the city
- Le Café de la Grande Plage is easily the most popular café in the neighborhood thanks to its cheap menu and beachfront location
FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Biarritz
Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of Biarritz and where to stay.
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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Biarritz
With gorgeous beaches, unique cultural highlights and innovative restaurants everywhere you turn, it’s no wonder Biarritz is one of the most popular destinations in France! This Biscayan dream has so much to offer tourists – whether you are just in the city for a short trip, or as part of an extended vacation.
In terms of the best area, we are going to go with Les Halles! Not only does it have plenty of great attractions in its own right, it is also within walking distance of all the other neighborhoods in this guide.
That being said, where you choose to stay depends largely on your needs and we hope this guide has helped you plan your upcoming trip to Biarritz.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!
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