This month is all about Christmas, there’s no way to escape it! Markets, photo shoots with Santa Claus and plenty of creative people trying to sell us original Christmas gifts. I admit that in this list of 10 things you don’t want to miss in December in Bordeaux area, Christmas is included several times. But I did try hard to offer other fun activities and places to visit this month, so that you won’t feel like you’re in a Christmas horror movie 🙂 Now go and check my list of 10 things to do in Bordeaux in December 2018. Hope you’ll find it useful!
The Christmas season is officially on in Bordeaux and you have plenty of great markets to attend this month! The official Marché de Noël de Bordeaux with all the traditional stands and a lot of vin chaud (hot wine) opened its gates a few days ago. If its your first Christmas in France, the traditional Christmas market is a must! However if you feel that you’ve seen it too many times try one of the smaller markets where all the local artists and craftsmen present their stuff. I have made a whole list of Christmas markets in Bordeaux so check it out.
Visit the new covered market in Talence
Finally we have a new place to get drunk on rainy days!! Biltoki, the company that brought us the Halle de Bacalan are opening another market in Bordeaux metropolitan, this time in Talence. In the last few months they have been presenting the merchants that are going to occupy the stands of the market and all of them look very promising. The market will open with a 3 days inauguration party on December 7th. For more info click here.
When: Opening party on December 7
Where: Place Alcala de Henares, Talence 33400
Take your kids to Cirque Pardi!
Cirque Pardi! is a modern circus whose shows combine a lot of dance and humor and are very entertaining for both kids and adults. This year they are coming back to Bordeaux for the second time with their show BorderLand, which gained a great success on their last visit here in 2015. Cirque Pardi! will perform 15 shows from November 30 to December 22. The temporary circus will be located on Quai de queyries, just next to Darwin. For all the dates and tickets click here.
When: November 30- December 22
Where: 86 quai des Queyries, 33 100 BORDEAUX
Taste the best French wines
This month you have the chance to taste all the best French wines in one place at an event called “Bordeaux Tasting”. During two days (December 15-16) more than a hundred wine houses from Bordeaux area and other regions in France like Bourgogne, Rhône, Alsace and Loire will be there to present their best wines. The tasting will take places in six different sites around Place de la Bourse:
– Palais de la Bourse : les grands bordeaux / les cognacs / les grands invités
– Le Gabriel : Pomerol Séduction
– La Bulle : les bordeaux / bordeaux supérieur
– Le Musée national des Douanes : les grands étrangers
– l’Espace Saint-Rémi : les champagnes
– la Maison Darnozan : l’espace des vins bio
Tickets are 23-27€ depending on the day. For more details click here.
When: December 15-16
Where: Place de la Bourse, Bordeaux
Interactive special effects exhibition
Do you ever wonder how the special effects you see in movies are made? A new exhibition for kids (older than 6 yo) by the name of “Effets speciaux” is taking place these days in Cap Science. It’s an interactive exhibition that allows you to see the behind the scenes of the cinema world and experiment with different especial effects like the green screen. Entry range from 6.5€ to 9€ and free for kids under 5 years old. For more info click here.
When: until August 26
Where: Hangar 20 quai Bacalan, 33000 BORDEAUX
Go ice skating
an open air ice skating rink during Christmas time is quite a tradition in many French cities. Until a couple of years ago Bordeaux also used to have one on place Pey Berland. However, after the city decided that setting up the rink only for a few weeks is too expensive and not environmentally friendly, this tradition was canceled. But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy ice skating during Christmas time! La Patinoire de Mériadeck will open its covered ice skating rink in a Christmas spirit with Santa Claus, games, dance and more.
When: until January 1st
Where: 95 cours du Maréchal Juin 33000 Bordeaux
Search for beautiful antiques at the Brocante
The big brocante of Bordeaux is hosted twice a year at place des Quinconces with 200 antique dealers, horticulturists, restaurants and craftsmen. It’s the biggest brocante event in the area and the selection is huge, from vintage home decor, to paintings, antique furniture, garden accessories and more. While some items can be pricey, you can still find plenty of affordable pieces at this antiques market. The merchants are very nice and are open to negotiations. The brocante is taking place until December 9. For more info and the list of exhibitors click here.
When: until December 9
Where: Place des Quinconces
Go to a classical music concert
If you need a more classic vibe on Christmas, attend the special Christmas concert by the National Orchestra of Bordeaux at the Auditorium of Bordeaux. Concert de Noël de Radio Classique, conducted by Paul Daniel will take place during three nights prior to Christmas, on December 20, 21 and 23. For the tickets click here.
When: December 20,21,23
Where: Auditorium de Bordeaux, 9 cours Georges Clemenceau, 33000 BORDEAUX
Discover Christmas markets in Gironde
Christmas is a great opportunity to visit other beautiful towns in Gironde in a more festive atmosphere. Most towns have their own Christmas markets and events, but I’ll just give you the noticeable ones:
Arcachon – The official Christmas market and accompanied activities will take place from December 15 to January 6, with an open ice skating rink on place Thiers. For more info click here.
Saint Emilion – A Christmas market will take place on December 8 at the l’UDP de Saint-Emilion (8 Haut Gravet, 33330 Saint-Émilion). For more info click here.
Cadillac – a Christmas market with creative workshops and activities for kids will take place December 15-16 on place de la République. For more info click here.
Celebrate new years eve on a boat
If you’re staying in Bordeaux on December 31 and looking for a place to celebrate new years eve, here’s an idea for you.. The Iboat in the Bassins à flot neighborhood is one of the coolest venues for concerts and parties in Bordeaux, and its new years celebrations have become a tradition. This year the theme of the electronic party is heaven and the dress code should be inspired by nature (you can take that wherever you want 🙂 ). Tickets are 29€ at the entrance, 25€ on pre sale or 18€ if you come before midnight. For more details click here.
When: December 31
Where: quai Armand Lalande, 33300 Bordeaux
These are my suggestions for things to do in Bordeaux in December 2018. Hope it’ll help you discover this city and to never be bored, even if you don’t love Christmas 🙂 If you like this post it would make me very happy if you share it with your friends on social media 🙂
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Enjoy December in Bordeaux 🙂