things to do in bordeaux

Last Updated on: 28th May 2024, 05:21 am

Welcome to Bordeaux, a vibrant city in the heart of France known for its rich history, exquisite wines, and captivating charm. If you’re planning a visit to this picturesque destination, you’ll be spoiled for choice with a myriad of things to do and see in Bordeaux. From exploring breathtaking vineyards to immersing yourself in the city’s cultural heritage, Bordeaux offers a wealth of unmissable experiences that will leave you mesmerized.

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Things to Do in Bordeaux

Top Attractions in Bordeaux

Looking for the coolest things to do in Bordeaux? Explore the top attractions that make this vibrant city a must-visit destination. From iconic landmarks to hidden gems, Bordeaux offers a diverse range of experiences for every traveler. Whether you’re searching for non-touristy spots or want to discover the top 10 things to do in Bordeaux, this guide has got you covered.

1. Place de la Bourse

Admire the grandeur of Place de la Bourse, a stunning square that houses the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce. Marvel at the architectural masterpiece and witness the elegance of the reflecting pool, which creates a mesmerizing effect.

2. The Water Mirror

Experience a unique attraction at The Water Mirror, the world’s largest reflecting pool. Take a walk on the water as the pool creates a magical illusion, offering a cool and refreshing retreat on warm days.

3. La Cité du Vin

Immerse yourself in the world of wine at La Cité du Vin. Discover the history, culture, and art of winemaking through interactive exhibitions and wine tasting sessions. It’s a must-visit for wine enthusiasts.

4. St. Andre Cathedral

Step into the rich heritage of Bordeaux at the St. Andre Cathedral. Admire the stunning Gothic architecture and take a moment to appreciate the intricate details of this historic landmark.

5. Musée du Vin et du Négoce

Dive into the fascinating world of wine at the Musée du Vin et du Négoce. Learn about the wine trade history of Bordeaux through exhibits and tastings, and gain a deeper understanding of the region’s winemaking traditions.

6. Grosse Cloche de Bordeaux

Escape the tourist crowds and explore the Grosse Cloche de Bordeaux, a hidden gem that offers a glimpse into the city’s medieval past. This ancient bell tower provides panoramic views of Bordeaux and is a perfect spot for photography enthusiasts.

7. Lively Streets of Bordeaux

Discover the vibrant atmosphere of Bordeaux by strolling through its lively streets. Rue Sainte-Catherine, the longest pedestrian shopping street in Europe, is a shopper’s paradise. Enjoy the local boutiques, cafes, and street performers that line the city’s buzzing streets.

Bordeaux’s Top Attractions

Attraction Description
Place de la Bourse A stunning square with a reflecting pool.
The Water Mirror The world’s largest reflecting pool with a magical illusion.
La Cité du Vin An interactive museum dedicated to wine.
St. Andre Cathedral A historic cathedral with beautiful Gothic architecture.
Musée du Vin et du Négoce A museum showcasing Bordeaux’s wine trade history.
Grosse Cloche de Bordeaux A hidden gem with medieval architecture and panoramic views.
Lively Streets of Bordeaux The bustling streets of Bordeaux with shops, cafes, and street performers.

Explore these top attractions in Bordeaux and create unforgettable memories in this charming French city. Whether you’re seeking cool things to do or want to escape the touristy spots, Bordeaux has something for everyone.

Family-Friendly Activities in Bordeaux

When it comes to a family-friendly getaway, Bordeaux has plenty to offer. From interactive attractions to picturesque spots, there are numerous activities that will keep the whole family entertained. Take a look at some of the must-visit places and experiences that are perfect for families in Bordeaux.

1. The Water Mirror

Located on the Place de la Bourse, The Water Mirror is a unique attraction loved by both locals and tourists. This large reflecting pool creates a stunning mirror effect that is perfect for children to splash in and cool off during the warmer months. Make sure to capture some memorable family photos in this beautiful setting.

2. Jardin Public

Situated in the heart of Bordeaux, Jardin Public is a peaceful oasis that offers a variety of family-friendly activities. Let the kids run wild in the large playground or rent a boat for a leisurely ride on the lake. With vast green spaces and beautiful gardens, this park is the ideal place for a picnic or a relaxed stroll.

3. Capucins Market

The Capucins Market is a vibrant and bustling place that offers a feast for the senses. With its diverse range of food stalls, you can sample delicious local produce and indulge in some mouth-watering treats. From fresh seafood to regional cheeses, there is something for everyone in the family to enjoy.

4. Day Trip to Saint-Emilion

A day trip to the charming village of Saint-Emilion is a must-do for families visiting Bordeaux. Explore the medieval streets, visit the underground monuments, and discover the ancient vineyards. Don’t forget to taste some of the world-renowned wines while you’re there. It’s an unforgettable experience for the whole family.

5. Indulge in Canelé

When in Bordeaux, don’t miss out on trying the local specialty, Canelé. These small pastries with a caramelized crust and a soft custard center are a true delight. Head to one of the many bakeries in the city and let the whole family savor this sweet treat.

With these family-friendly activities, Bordeaux offers an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages. From exploring unique attractions to indulging in local delicacies, there’s something to suit every taste and interest. So, grab your loved ones and create lasting memories in this enchanting city.

Nightlife in Bordeaux

Experience the vibrant nightlife of Bordeaux with its lively bars, clubs, and restaurants. When the sun sets, the city comes alive with an array of exciting options for night owls. Whether you’re looking for a casual evening out or a lively party scene, Bordeaux has something for everyone.

One of the must-visit spots for wine enthusiasts is Bar à Vin, located in the heart of Bordeaux. This charming wine bar offers a wide selection of local wines, allowing you to sample and indulge in the region’s famous vintages. Another popular wine destination is L’Intendant, a unique wine shop housed in a historic building. Browse through their impressive collection and enjoy a glass of wine in their elegant tasting room.

“Bordeaux’s nightlife offers a perfect blend of fine wines and vibrant ambiance.” – Wine and Dine Magazine

During the summer months, Bordeaux hosts the Bordeaux Wine Festival, a lively event celebrating the city’s wine heritage. This festival features tastings, live music, and entertainment, providing the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and enjoy the festive atmosphere.

In winter, Bordeaux transforms into a winter wonderland with its enchanting Christmas markets. These markets offer a magical experience filled with seasonal delights, including traditional crafts, festive decorations, and delicious treats. Stroll through the stalls, sip on mulled wine, and get into the holiday spirit.

Whether you prefer a cozy wine bar, a bustling club, or a festive event, Bordeaux’s nightlife has something to suit every taste. So, when the sun goes down, get ready for an unforgettable evening in this vibrant city.

Recommended Nightlife Spots in Bordeaux:

  • Bar à Vin
  • L’Intendant
  • Bordeaux Wine Festival (summer)
  • Christmas Markets (winter)

Day Trips from Bordeaux

Take advantage of Bordeaux’s location and explore the beautiful region of France. There are plenty of exciting things to do in the Bordeaux region that will make your visit even more memorable. Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in history, indulge in wine tasting, or enjoy the natural beauty of the area, there’s something for everyone.

1. Visit the Stunning Village of Saint-Emilion

Saint-Emilion is a charming medieval village located just a short drive from Bordeaux. This UNESCO World Heritage site is renowned for its picturesque beauty and world-class vineyards. Explore the narrow cobbled streets, visit the monolithic church, and enjoy wine tasting at one of the many chateaux in the area.

2. Explore the Charming Town of Margaux

Enjoy a leisurely day trip to Margaux, a delightful town known for its prestigious wine estates. Take a tour of the famous Château Margaux and learn about the winemaking process. Afterward, stroll through the town center, visit the charming boutiques, and savor a delicious meal at one of the local restaurants.

3. Discover the Medoc Wine Region

The Medoc region is a paradise for wine enthusiasts. Embark on a wine tour and explore the renowned vineyards that produce some of the world’s finest wines. Indulge in wine tastings, stroll through the vineyards, and learn about the art of winemaking from knowledgeable experts.

4. Enjoy the Bacalan Market on a Sunday

On a Sunday, head to the Bacalan Market in Bordeaux to experience a vibrant atmosphere filled with local produce, crafts, and delicious food. Sample regional delicacies, browse through unique handmade goods, and soak up the lively ambiance of this popular market.

5. Visit the Majestic Dune du Pilat

The Dune du Pilat is Europe’s largest sand dune, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding pine forest. Climb to the top and take in the stunning scenery or enjoy a relaxing picnic on the beach below. It’s the perfect destination for a summer day trip from Bordeaux.

things to do in Bordeaux region France

Whether you prefer exploring quaint villages, indulging in wine tasting, or enjoying the local markets, the Bordeaux region has something to offer every traveler. Plan your day trips accordingly and make the most of your visit to this enchanting part of France.

Cultural Experiences in Bordeaux

Immerse yourself in Bordeaux’s rich culture with a range of experiences that showcase the city’s vibrant history and artistic heritage. Whether you’re visiting in March, November, or February, there are plenty of cultural activities to enjoy in Bordeaux.

Attraction Description
Grand Théâtre Discover the opulence of Bordeaux’s iconic opera house, the Grand Théâtre. Marvel at its stunning neoclassical architecture and attend a performance for a truly immersive cultural experience.
La Base Sous-Marine Explore an unconventional venue that combines art and history at La Base Sous-Marine. This former German submarine base now houses contemporary art exhibitions, providing visitors with a unique cultural perspective.
Wine and Trade Museum Dive into Bordeaux’s wine heritage at the Wine and Trade Museum. Learn about the history of winemaking in the region, discover the different appellations, and even participate in wine tastings.

Aside from these attractions, Bordeaux also hosts a variety of cultural events and festivals throughout the year. From music festivals and art exhibitions to historical reenactments and theater performances, there’s always something happening in Bordeaux.

“Bordeaux’s rich cultural scene offers a wealth of experiences for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re a fan of opera, contemporary art, or wine, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city.” – Source

To truly appreciate Bordeaux’s cultural offerings, take the time to explore the city’s historic architecture. Wander through the cobblestone streets of the UNESCO-listed city center, admire the elegant façades of the 18th-century buildings, and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of this culturally rich destination.

Recommended Cultural Events in Bordeaux

  • Bordeaux International Puppet Festival in March
  • Bordeaux Swing Festival in November
  • Fête du Vin Nouveau in February

Experience the best of Bordeaux’s culture during your visit by attending these iconic events that celebrate art, music, and gastronomy.

Outdoor Activities in Bordeaux

Get ready to embrace the great outdoors in Bordeaux and immerse yourself in the city’s natural beauty. With the arrival of spring in April, May, and June, the weather is perfect for exploring the stunning landscapes and gardens that Bordeaux has to offer. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or simply a breath of fresh air, there’s something for everyone in this magnificent city.

1. Cycling along the Bridge-to-Bridge Trail

One of the best ways to experience Bordeaux’s charm is by cycling along the Bridge-to-Bridge Trail. This scenic route takes you along the banks of the Garonne River, offering picturesque views of the city’s historic architecture and tranquil waterfront. Feel the breeze on your face as you pedal through parks, squares, and beautiful gardens, immersing yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Bordeaux.

Things to do in Bordeaux in June

2. Exploring the Parc Bordelaise

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city by visiting the Parc Bordelaise, a peaceful oasis of greenery. Take a leisurely stroll through the park’s winding paths, surrounded by vibrant flowers, towering trees, and tranquil ponds. This idyllic setting is perfect for a picnic with family or friends, or simply for unwinding and enjoying nature’s beauty.

3. Admiring the Architecture along the Riverfront

Bordeaux’s riverfront is a testament to the city’s architectural grandeur. Take a leisurely walk along the charming promenades, marveling at the iconic Place de la Bourse, a stunning example of 18th-century neoclassical architecture. Capture breathtaking photos of the picturesque Water Mirror, a unique reflection pool that adds a touch of magic to the riverfront scenery.

4. Relaxing in Jardin Public

If you’re in search of tranquility, Jardin Public is the perfect place to unwind and soak up the sun. This beautifully landscaped public garden offers a peaceful retreat from the city’s vibrant energy. Take a seat on one of the park’s benches, surrounded by lush greenery and fragrant flowers, and let your worries melt away.

Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in the outdoor wonders of Bordeaux during your visit in April, May, or June. From cycling along the picturesque Bridge-to-Bridge Trail to immersing yourself in the serenity of Parc Bordelaise and Jardin Public, outdoor enthusiasts will find endless delights in this charming city.

Food and Wine Experiences in Bordeaux

Indulge in the culinary delights of Bordeaux while exploring the city’s vibrant food and wine scene. Whether you’re visiting in December, January, or this weekend, there are plenty of delicious experiences to savor.

1. Capucins Market

Start your gastronomic adventure at the renowned Capucins Market. This bustling market offers a wide array of fresh produce, meats, seafood, and local delicacies. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere as you browse through the stalls and sample regional specialties. From artisanal cheeses to freshly baked bread, the market is a food lover’s paradise.

2. Wine Tasting at Château Pape Clément

No trip to Bordeaux is complete without indulging in a wine tasting experience. Head to Château Pape Clément, one of the oldest wineries in the region, to sample their exquisite selection of wines. Embark on a guided tour of the vineyards to learn about the winemaking process, and then enjoy a leisurely tasting session, savoring the rich flavors that Bordeaux wines are renowned for.

3. Dining at Le 7 Restaurant

Treat yourself to a memorable dining experience at Le 7 Restaurant, located in the heart of Bordeaux. This elegant establishment offers a gastronomic journey through innovative French cuisine. From delectable seafood dishes to succulent meats, every plate is a masterpiece. Pair your meal with a fine Bordeaux wine for the perfect culinary combination.

“Bordeaux is a food lover’s paradise, offering a wide range of culinary experiences. From vibrant markets to world-class wineries and fine dining establishments, the city is a treasure trove for gastronomy enthusiasts.”

Month Food and Wine Events
December Bordeaux Wine Festival
January Canelé Festival
This Weekend Food Truck Festival

In addition to the delightful food and wine experiences, Bordeaux hosts several events throughout the year to celebrate the city’s culinary heritage. Don’t miss the Bordeaux Wine Festival in December, where you can sample a wide variety of wines from local producers. If you visit in January, be sure to attend the Canelé Festival, dedicated to the iconic Bordeaux pastry. And if you’re in town this weekend, indulge in the Food Truck Festival, where you can enjoy a diverse range of street food delights.

Experience the vibrant flavors of Bordeaux through its food and wine, and immerse yourself in the city’s gastronomic culture.

Hidden Gems and Unique Experiences in Bordeaux

When exploring Bordeaux, there are plenty of hidden gems and unique experiences waiting to be discovered. Step off the beaten path and uncover the secrets of this charming French city. Here are a few recommendations for fun things to do in Bordeaux France, including some free activities:

1. Porte Cailhau

fun things to do in Bordeaux France

Start your adventure by visiting the Porte Cailhau, an impressive medieval gate that dates back to the 15th century. Marvel at the intricate details of the architecture and enjoy panoramic views of the city from the top of the gate.

2. Marché de Bacalan

Experience the vibrant atmosphere of the Marché de Bacalan, a bustling market filled with fresh produce, local delicacies, and artisanal crafts. Stroll through the stalls, savor regional flavors, and soak up the lively ambiance of this hidden gem.

3. Saint-Pierre District

Explore the chic Saint-Pierre district, known for its narrow streets and charming squares. Discover cozy coffee shops, boutique stores, and unique galleries as you wander through this trendy neighborhood. Immerse yourself in the local culture and enjoy the vibrant energy of the area.

4. Grosse Cloche de Bordeaux

Don’t miss the chance to visit the Grosse Cloche de Bordeaux, a medieval bell tower that serves as a symbol of the city. Admire the intricate stone carvings and learn about the history behind this architectural marvel. Best of all, it’s completely free!

5. Historic Tour of the City Center

Embark on a historic tour of Bordeaux’s city center and uncover its fascinating past. Walk along the charming streets, marvel at the impressive buildings, and learn about the city’s heritage from knowledgeable guides. Take in the sights and stories that make Bordeaux truly unique.

The hidden gems of Bordeaux offer a glimpse into the city’s rich history and vibrant culture. Whether you’re exploring ancient gates or immersing yourself in the local scene, these experiences will give you a taste of the authentic Bordeaux.

So go ahead and venture off the well-trodden tourist path. With these hidden gems and unique experiences, you’ll discover a different side of Bordeaux that will leave you with unforgettable memories.

Conclusion

Whether you’re visiting Bordeaux in summer or winter, you’ll find a host of exciting activities to enjoy. This vibrant city offers a diverse range of experiences that cater to all interests and preferences.

During the summer months, you can explore the city’s historic landmarks and vineyards, immersing yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Bordeaux. Take guided walking tours of the city, visit the stunning La Cité du Vin, or embark on full-day tours to Saint-Emilion and Medoc, where you can indulge in wine tasting and chateaux tours.

In winter, Bordeaux comes alive with its bustling nightlife and festive activities. You can enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of wine bars like Bar à Vin and L’Intendant, or immerse yourself in the Bordeaux Wine Festival. Explore the city’s Christmas markets and experience the joy of the holiday season.

With its family-friendly activities, outdoor adventures, and culinary delights, Bordeaux is a destination that has something for everyone. Whether you’re traveling with family, seeking unique cultural experiences, or simply looking to unwind and enjoy the beautiful surroundings, Bordeaux offers an unforgettable experience all year round.

FAQ

What are some popular attractions in Bordeaux?

Popular attractions in Bordeaux include Place de la Bourse, The Water Mirror, La Cité du Vin, St. Andre Cathedral, and Musée du Vin et du Négoce.

Are there any non-touristy things to do in Bordeaux?

Yes, you can explore the Grosse Cloche de Bordeaux and the lively streets of the city for a less touristy experience.

What family-friendly activities are there in Bordeaux?

Bordeaux offers plenty of family-friendly activities such as visiting the Water Mirror, exploring the Jardin Public, and taking a day trip to Saint-Emilion.

What is the nightlife like in Bordeaux?

Bordeaux has a vibrant nightlife with lively bars, clubs, and restaurants. You can enjoy a night out at wine bars such as Bar à Vin or L’Intendant, or take part in the Bordeaux Wine Festival during the summer.

Are there any day trips from Bordeaux worth exploring?

Yes, you can take day trips to the stunning village of Saint-Emilion, visit the charming town of Margaux, or explore the Medoc wine region.

What cultural experiences can I have in Bordeaux?

Immerse yourself in Bordeaux’s rich culture by visiting the Grand Théâtre, La Base Sous-Marine, and the Wine and Trade Museum. Take part in cultural events and festivals that take place throughout the year.

Are there any outdoor activities in Bordeaux?

Yes, you can cycle along the bridge-to-bridge trail, explore the Parc Bordelaise, and take a stroll along the riverfront. Visit the Jardin Public and relax in the city’s green spaces.

What food and wine experiences can I have in Bordeaux?

Indulge in the culinary delights of Bordeaux by visiting the Capucins market, wine tasting at Château Pape Clément, and dining at local restaurants like Le 7 Restaurant. Don’t forget to try the local pastry, Canelé, and taste the world-renowned Bordeaux wines.

Are there any hidden gems or unique experiences in Bordeaux?

Yes, you can discover hidden gems such as the Porte Cailhau and the Marché de Bacalan. Explore the chic district of Saint-Pierre and visit the cozy coffee shops in the city. Enjoy free activities like visiting the Grosse Cloche de Bordeaux and taking a historic tour of the city center.

What are some other things to do in Bordeaux?

Bordeaux offers a wide range of experiences for visitors, from exploring historic landmarks and vineyards to enjoying the vibrant nightlife and culinary delights of the city. There is something to offer for all, whether you’re traveling with family or seeking unique cultural experiences.