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September 2019

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Although summer is officially over I was happy to see that many of the events taking place in October in Bordeaux are still outdoors. One of the most beautiful ones is definitely the hot air balloon festival in Saint Emilion. Other interesting events include the international art festival, a swing festival, Space month and more. 
If you want to check out events in September check out my Septmber list. Now here’s the list of things to do in Bordeaux in October 2019.

La Grande Transhumance Urbaine

Don’t be surprised if on the first weekend of October you’ll suddenly see plenty of sheep crossing your street, that’s the Grande Transhumance Urbaine. The idea behind the event that will take place on October 6th is to connect city people to agriculture. Seven breeders and their sheep will lead the 9 km march passing through different locations in Villenave d’Ornon. You can enjoy the festival even if you don’t want to make the walk, just attend the events at one of the points on the way. See the full program of events related to this festival here and the map of the march here.

When: October 6
Where: Villenave d’Ornon (see exact locations in the program and map)

FAB – International art festival

FAB is the annual International art festival of Bordeaux Metropole taking place this year on October 4-20. As one of Europe’s biggest art festivals, it attracts some known names from the international contemporary art scene. During the three weeks of the festival, more than 30 shows will take place in more than 20 different locations in Bordeaux, from the TnBA theater to the Opera of Bordeaux and the CAPC. Click here to see the full program of the festival.

When: October 4-20 / Where: Different locations in Bordeaux – check out the program

Space month 

The city of Mérignac will host a whole month dedicated to space discovery with workshops, exhibitions, conferences, parties and more. Here’s a sneak peek at the rich program they offer in October:
ASTRALALA exhibition – a fun exhibition for kids that will allow them to learn a lot about astronomy through a journey in the solar system – October 2-23  at the Médiathèque de Mérignac.
A visit at the planetarium – October 7 at MJC Mérignac Centre
L’Espace en fête – an afternoon space party with plenty of activities for kids – October 5 at Côté sciences Air&Espace.
This is only a small part of what is planned for you by the townhall of Merignac and Cap Sciences. For the full program and registration details click here. For more details and updates check out the facebook page of the event.

When: October 2-23 / Where: Different locations in Merignac – see the program

Nuit des Bibliothèques

La Nuit des Bibliothèques will take place on October 12, and it’s the best opportunity to discover the libraries across the city. 24 libraries in 20 different towns in Bordeaux Metropole will participate in this event and will offer such activities as concerts, theater shows, science workshops, games for kids and more. See the full programs here.

When: October 12 – evening / Where: Bordeaux, Merignac, Pessac and more – check out the full program

Festival Animasia

Animasia is a festival of Asian pop culture bringing together many elements like J-POP music, Yosakoi dance, karaoke and Cosplay performances. The place will also include thematic areas with martial arts, video games, board games and more. The festival will take place on the weekend of October 12-13 at the Parc des Expositions. For more info and tickets check out the website of the festival or the facebook page of the event.

When: October 12-13 / Where: Parc des Expositions, 33000 Bordeaux

Village des Sciences

As part of the Fête de la Science events this month, Cap Sciences invites you this weekend (October 12-13) to the Science village. This year the village will be all about robots and the place they take in our day to day life. The program includes two exhibitions, several competitions, demonstrations of different robots, workshops, conferences and more. See the full program here and for more details here. The event is free.

When: September 12-13, 14:00 to 19:00 / Where: Hangar 20, Quai de Bacalan, 33300 Bordeaux

Lire en Poche – books festival 

Lire en Poche is a pocketbooks festival that will take place in Gradignan on October 11-13. Besides a huge book sale, a wide range of activities are offered to the participants, among them: reading sessions, theater shows, music, games, workshops for kids and more. The entrance to the festival is free, however, some activities are paid and/or require prior reservation, which will start on October 5 at 8:00 – click here to register.  For more info click here.

When: October 11-13 / Where: Théâtre des Quatre Saisons et à La Médiathèque Jean Vautrin, 32 route de Léognan – 33170 GRADIGNAN

Montgolfiades de Saint-Emilion

Montgolfiades is an annual festival of balloon flights organized by Le Ciel est à Toi association. The flights will take place on October 18-20 above Saint Emilion and the vineyards around it, so the sight is promised to be breathtaking. For more info click here.
Before you go be sure to check out my article about the best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion.

When: October 18-20 / Where: in the vineyards of Saint Emilion, just follow the balloons

Fête du Vin nouveau et de la Brocante

On the last weekend of this month (October 19-20) the Chartrons neighborhood invites you to celebrate Autumn with a new wine festival and a brocante. During these two days, the main street in Chartrons, rue Notre-Dame , will be transformed into a brocante with wine stands and roasted chestnuts. Come and spend a festive weekend on one of the most interesting streets in Bordeaux. For more info click here.

Brocant Chartrons Bordeaux
When: October 19-20 / Where: Rue Notre Dame, 33000 Bordeaux

Bordeaux Swing Festival

The international festival of Lindy hop (part of the Swing family) will take place on October 18-20 in the Bordeaux region and this year their main guests are Jonathan Stout and his campus five and Hot Swing Sextet. Two swing parties will take place at the beautiful le Rocher de Palmer in Cenon, with a battle between the two bands. The program of the festival also includes 7 hours of classes with 11 international teachers. For more details check out the website of the festival.

When: October 18-20 / Where: Different locations in Bordeaux – check out the full program

FIFIB- Bordeaux international festival of independent movies

Bordeaux Independent Films Festival will take place on October 15-21 at Rue Malby in the center of Bordeaux. The program includes film screenings, concerts and meeting with special guests. Every evening, the festival village will transform into an open cinema theater and a dance floor. The event is free and open for all. See the full program on the site of the festival and more details on the facebook page.

When: October 15-21 / Where: Le Village du FIFIB, 3 rue Mably, 30000 Bordeaux

Open doors in the Chateaux of Graves

Graves, one of the wine regions in the Bordeaux wine area, invites you to an open doors weekend, allowing you to discover its wines and châteaux. During the weekend (October 19-20) 67 châteaux will open their doors to visits, wine tastings, wine workshops and different activities for kids and adults. See the full program of the event and the list of the participating châteaux here.

When: October 19-20 / Where: Graves area – chose your chateau from the program

Foire aux Plaisirs

This is the spring edition of the traditional Bordelais Fair that is taking place at Place des Quinconces from October 11 to November 3. It’s a perfect activity for kids and for those who are young in spirit as La Foire aux Plaisirs de Bordeaux has it all: a big wheel, roller coasters, ghost trains, bumper cars, donuts, crèpes, candyfloss and more. The fair is open daily from 14:00, you are not required to pay any entry fee, only for some of the attractions. See more info about the fair here.

When: October 11 – November 3 / Where: Place des Quinconces , 33000 Bordeaux

Les Rendez-vous des Polichineuses – a vintage sale

polichineuses

“Les Rendez-vous des Polichineuses” is coming back for yet another edition of second-hand chic. The big vintage sale will take place in Chartrons on October 1-26 hosting many vintage merchants with furniture, toys, art and plenty of accessories. For more details click here.

When: October 1-26
Where: 8 rue cornac 33000 Bordeaux Quartier des Chartrons

Les Campulsations

Les Campulsations is a students festival taking place from September 26 to October 5, celebrating the beginning of the new academic year in different locations in the Aquitaine region: Bordeaux, Talence, Pessac, Gradignan, Bayonne, Périgueux, Agen and Pau. In Bordeaux Metropole, the events will take place in many different locations from university campuses to museums and theaters. The program is varied and includes such events as a brocante party, music concerts, theater shows, exhibitions and more. Check out the full program and find an event near you.

When: September 26 to October 5 / Where: Different locations, consult the program.

Tauzia Fête les Jardins

Tauzia fête les Jardins is one of the most beautiful plant celebrations in the south of France. The fifth edition of this fantastic event in Gradignan will take place on October 25-27. A three-day event that gathers plants growers, professional gardeners, landscape architects and artists. The rich program of the festival includes plenty of workshops, conferences, activities for kids such as painting and music in the garden, creating a bamboo palisade, creating a herbarium, plastic art in the garden for kids and more. For more info check out the facebook page of the event.

When: October 25-27 / Where: 216 cours du général de Gaulle, 33170 Gradignan

BLIB – the beer festival of Bordeaux 

This is the 5th edition of Bordeaux’s beer festival taking place from October 29 to November 2. During the five days of the festival, you can attend and participate in plenty of activities around craft beer in cellars, bars, restaurants and breweries. The grand finale of the festival (November 2) will gather all the brewers in one event. Check out the facebook page of the event for more info. 

When: October 29 to November 2 / Where: Different places in Bordeaux

Fête du Piment d’Espelette

Piment d’Espelette is the red pepper that decorates every market in the Basque country and every shop selling Basque products. Like every important ingredient in the French kitchen, this little pepper needs a “fête”. Fête du Piment d’Espelette is taking place on October 26-27 in the beautiful village of Espelette. The program includes a big parade, a huge market with more than 200 stands of basque products, musical concerts, activities for kids, a mass with the choir of Espelette and more.
I know it’s technically not in the region but I love everything about the Basque country and it’s just two hours away so consider going anyway 🙂 For more details click here

When: October 26-27  / Where: Espelette, 64250

Argentina, Terres de contrastesexhibition

Several times a year the Cite du Vin puts one country on the spot and dedicates an exhibition to honor its wine and gastronomic heritage. This time the chosen country is Argentina, to which Cite du Vin dedicated its current temporary exhibition, Argentina, Terres de Contrastes. The exhibition takes you through a journey in six wine regions in Argentina, exploring their history, gastronomy and culture in an interactive way. The exhibition will be presented until November 17. For more info click here

When: Until November 17 / Where: Esplanade de Pontac, 134 Quai de Bacalan, 33300 Bordeaux

Finally, if you are looking for a fun and delicious activity in Bordeaux, check out my food tours in which I’ll take you through a three hours journey in the culinary scene of the Southwest of France.

Is it your first time in Bordeaux? If it is you should definitely check out my ultimate guide to Bordeaux to get familiar with all the must-see places in Bordeaux. To help you choose a hotel in Bordeaux I’ve gathered a list of the best hotels in the center of Bordeaux as well as a guide to the districts of Bordeaux to help you find your preferred AirBnB location.

Lost in Bordeaux helps you enjoy the city and region in many ways so be sure to follow us on facebook/Instagram for more daily updates on things to do and see. Or better yet, join my newsletter where I share a lot of exclusive info about Bordeaux and the region – sign up here.

A week ago I published an article about the harvest season in the region and this weekend we can finally see the first harvest related events in Bordeaux. Also, there are a few nice family-friendly events such as the big scooter race and the Talençaises. And we are definitely still in summer mode with the Bordeaux air festival! If you want to see what other events are taking place this month in Bordeaux check out my post about the best things to do in September in Bordeaux. Here’s the list of things to do this weekend in Bordeaux (September 13-15). 

Bordeaux fête ses vendanges

Bordeaux will host the big “Bordeaux fête ses vendanges” event on the weekend of September 12-15. On September 13-14 the bars and restaurants of Bordeaux will open their terraces and will help you discover the different wines of Bordeaux. For more info about “Bordeaux fête ses vendanges” click here.

When: September 12-15 / Where: the center of Bordeaux

Vign’ en Ville

This is the 4th edition of Vign’ en Ville, an event dedicated to the know-how of winemaking. On September 14-15, winemakers from the Bienvenue à la ferme network will teach you all about wine production through a series of workshops and activities. The event will take place in Jardin Public and is free. For more info check out the facebook page of the event.

When: September 14-15 / Where: Jardin Public

Fête Des Vendanges at La Sauve-majeure

Another great harvest event will take place at the Sauve-Majeure, the ruins of the 11th-century Benedictine monastery.  The site also hosts the Maison des Vins de l’Entre-deux-Mers, one of Bordeaux’s wine regions known for its white wines. This is a very kids friendly event with pony and tractor rides, collecting grapes and a musical aperitif. The Fête des Vendanges will take place on September 14 at Place Saint-Jean in La Sauve Majeure, starting at 14:00. Click here for more info and reservation details.

Sauve-Majeure
Sauve-Majeure
When: September 14 / Where: la Sauve Majeure

Vélotour Bordeaux

Did you ever ride a bike in a museum or a hotel? Discover Bordeaux by bike through places where usually bicycles are not allowed: museums, sports centers, cultural and historic places and more. More than ten places have opened their doors for this unusual experience. The tour will take place this Saturday (September 15) and will start at the Maison Écocitoyenne Bordeaux. For tickets click here and for more info about the event click here.

When: September 15 / Where: Quai Richelieu, 33000 Bordeaux

Bordeaux Open Air

Bordeaux Open Air is a series of free summer electronic music events, all set in different locations and with a great city vibe to them. Every event is dedicated to a different country and hosts its DJ’s for sets of electronic music. The next Open Air event will take place this Sunday (September 15) at Square Dom Bedos. For more details click here.

When:  September 15, starting 15:00 / Where:  Square Dom Bedos, Bordeaux

Les Talençaises

This weekend (Sep 13-14), Peixotto park in Talence is getting festive for the annual event of Les Talençaises. In the program: DJ sets, concerts, interactive dance, a lot of food and a beautiful park to spend a fun afternoon with friends and family. The event is free, for more info click here.

When: September 13-14 / Where: Parc de Peixotto, 33400 Talence

Festival des Coteaux Bordelais

Festival des Coteaux Bordelais is the annual music festival of Fargues Saint-Hilaire (a small town located just a few minutes by car from Bordeaux). The festival will take place this Saturday (Sept 14) at la Plaine de Fargues Saint-Hilaire. Check out the lineup of the performing artists here.

When: September 14 at 18:00 / Where: Plaine de Fargues Saint-Hilaire (behind the salle du Carré des Forges)

Summer Rock in Bouliac

This Saturday (September 14) a fun event will take place in Bouliac called “Bouliac on the Rock”. The program includes an American cars exhibition, a rock concert, a raffle, vinyl discs, and food stands. The festival is free, see more info here.

When:  September 14, starting 11:00 / Where: Parking du stade, Bouliac

24 Heures D’Inauguration de la Fabrique Pola

La Fabrique Pola is an artistic hub that brings together associations related to the visual arts. Last summer it moved to a new and very cool structure in the Bastide neighborhood (a few minutes walk from Darwin). This weekend (September 13-15) Fabrique Pola is celebrating its official opening with original performances by the resident artists, concerts and exhibitions. For the full program click here

When: September 13-14 / Where: 10 quai de Brazza, 33100 Bordeaux

Festival Love Tattoo Urban Street

The Love Tattoo Urban Street festival will take place on September 14-15 at the Parc des Expositions in Bassin d’Arcachon. In the program tattoos, creative market, concerts, fashion, workshops for kids and more. For more info click here

When: September 14-15 / Where: 940 Avenue de l’Europe, 33260 La Teste-de-Buch

The big scooter race

The Nire Laguna Thomas association organized a wonderful event to help raise funds for research on pediatric cancer. A kids scooter race will take place on September 14 on the Quai of Bordeaux, starting from la Maison Eco-citoyenne. More than 300 kids, ages 5 to 10 will take place in the event. If you want your kids to participate in the race, register here.

When:  September 14 10:30 to 16:30 / Where: la Maison Eco-citoyenne , 33000 Bordeaux

Grand Marché BIO du Bourgailh

A big organic market will take place this Sunday (September 15) in the Bourgailh park in Pessac. This is a great park with one of the most beautiful playgrounds in Bordeaux so this can be a fun event for kids as well. For more info click here

When: September 15 / Where: 179 Avenue de Beutre , 33600 Pessac

Les Noctambules de Septembre 

Every Friday during the month of September you have a chance to discover one of the most beautiful castles in Gironde. However these are not just regular visits, but rather special night tours accompanied by a short wine tasting in the end 🙂 This Friday (September 13) it’s time to discover Chateau Hamel in Castets-en-Dorthe. For more info and reservation details click here

When: September 13 / Where: Château du Hamel à Castets-en-Dorthe

Fête de la navigation

This weekend (September 14-15) is the annual navigation celebration in Lacanau and this year the theme is navigating into the future. The program includes navigation-related workshops, guided tours, workshops for kids and more. For more info click here

When: September 14-15 / Where: Voile Lacanau Guyenne, 24 Allée du Club de Voile, 33680 Lacanau

That’s it for this busy weekend!

Don’t miss my post about the best things to do in Bordeaux if you have only one day.
If you want more tips on restaurants, concerts and exhibitions follow me on facebook/Instagram. Or better yet, join my newsletter where I share a lot of exclusive info about Bordeaux and the region – sign up here.

If you love wine, food and beautiful architecture you simply cannot miss a visit to Bordeaux when visiting the region. One day in this vibrant city may not be enough to discover all the attractions and gastronomic experiences it has to offer, but with the right plan, you’ll be able to explore the main sites and to appreciate its tranquil atmosphere. So for those of you wondering how to spend only one day in Bordeaux, in this article, I offer a plan to help you taste most of the amazing things this city has to offer. You will discover the remarkable architecture in the city center, visit the main market, taste Bordelais cuisine, ride a bike on the riverfront, eat delicious chocolate and taste amazing wine. By the end of this day, you’ll be exhausted and totally in love with Bordeaux!

If you’re coming for a weekend, you should check out my Ultimate Guide to a weekend in Bordeaux. Also, don’t miss my articles about the best neighborhoods to stay in Bordeaux and the best hotels in the city center if you’re looking for accommodation in Bordeaux.

Now let’s start discovering the beautiful capital of the Southwest of France.

Marché des Capucins – Visit the main market of Bordeaux

If you’re a foodie or just like discovering new markets, I highly recommend starting your one day in Bordeaux in Marché des Capucins. This is the biggest daily market in Bordeaux and has everything from stands of fruits, vegetables, sweets and spices to a bunch of lively cafés and restaurants. It’s a covered market so you can enjoy it on the city’s numerous rainy days. Most cafes and restaurants also have tables outside where you can have a coffee or an early lunch. While the market is pretty calm during the week it becomes very busy on the weekend when the Bordelaise rush to the market for their weekly shopping and a glass of wine.  

Marche des capucins
Marche des Capucins – by Lost in Bordeaux

If you like oysters there’s one restaurant in the market you simply cannot miss! Chez Jean-Mi has become an institution in Bordeaux, attracting many locals for a plate of oysters with white dry wine. Before you go, be sure to check out my article about the best places to eat at the Marché des Capucins. The market is open from Tuesday to Sunday, however, be aware that not all the restaurants and stands are open on Tuesday and Wednesday.

If you need help in discovering the market, I offer a market tour where you will taste and get familiar with the flavors of the southwest of France. So if you’re into starting your day with a foodie experience check out my food tours page

Stroll the narrow streets of old Bordeaux

I have yet met one person who was not stunned by the beauty of the “Vieux Bordeaux”, the historic part of the city. You can spend hours getting lost among the16th and 17th-century houses on the narrow paved streets of old Bordeaux. The historic center is also home to some of the city’s most emblematic monuments, which you shouldn’t miss on your one day in Bordeaux. The southwest capital has 362 preserved buildings labeled as historic monuments, second only to Paris. The historic part of the city (and several streets around it) is recognized by UNESCO as an “outstanding urban and architectural ensemble” of 18th-century architecture. Let yourself get lost for a few hours in the narrow streets of Bordeaux, that will give you the best introduction to the city. 

The center of Bordeaux
The center of Bordeaux – by Lost in Bordeaux

Here’s a shortlist of the sites you should not miss on your visit:

Main sites in the city center

Grosse Cloche – the 15th-century gate to the old city. This stunning bell tower is part of a whole structure that was previously a part of the city hall of Bordeaux and at some point served as a prison to misbehaved juveniles (!). It’s one of Bordeaux’s most emblematic monuments and appears on the coat of arms of Bordeaux. The Gross Cloche is located on one end of rue Saint James, one of the liveliest streets of Bordeaux, with stylish boutiques and wine bars. 

Porte Cailhau
Porte Cailhau by Lost in Bordeaux

Porte Cailhau – another magnificent 15th-century gate to the historic center of Bordeaux. This glamourous monument was built to commemorate the glory of king Charles VIII and opens up to one of Bordeaux’s nicest squares, Place du Palais. 

Two other important monuments are located on the border between the historic part and the fancy triangle d’Or neighborhood. 

The Grand Theatre -The beautiful 18th-century building on Place de la Comedie will be hard to miss. This is one of the most impressive buildings in the city and is home to the National Opera and the national ballet of Bordeaux. If you have the chance, try to book tickets to one of the concerts of the Opera or the national ballet. Continue from there to Place des Quinconces, the largest city square in France and one of the biggest in Europe. On one of the sides of this enormous square, you will find the beautiful monument dedicated to the Girondins (members of a political faction) who were killed during the French Revolution. Throughout the year the square hosts many different events, festivals and fairs such as the Brocante de Quinconces. Check out the weekend [psts on this blog to see what’s currently on at Quinconces.

one day in Bordeaux - discover the monuments
Discover the monuments of Bordeaux

Have a drink on the lively squares of Bordeaux

There’s a very special atmosphere in Bordeaux. It’s a very touristy and lively city that somehow is able to maintain its tranquility (except on the shopping street, Sainte Catherine). What contributes to that are the lively squares in the city center, linked by pleasant pedestrian streets. On every square, you can find terrasse restaurants and coffee places with someone sipping a glass of Bordelais wine anytime during the day. Some of the liveliest squares in the city center include the Place du Palais with a magnificent view of Porte Cailhau, Place Pierre with the Saint Pierre church right in the middle of it and Camille Julian with the nice Utopia bistrot (an old church converted into an independent cinema and restaurant). The biggest square in the old center is Place du Parlement, which was built in the 18th century in an Italian style. Its facades are very richly decorated and resemble the facades of the buildings on the riverfront of Bordeaux and the magnificent Place de la Bourse. 

place du parlement bordeaux

Lift your eyes to see the mascarons

Mascaron in Bordeaux
Mascaron in Place de la Bourse

If you’re following my advice and on your way to Place du Parlement don’t miss the beautiful little sculptures that decorate the buildings. Just lift your eyes and look at the buildings of this beautiful square as well as Place de la Bourse and most of the buildings on the riverfront of Bordeaux. The sculpted faces between the ground and first floor are called mascarons, a variation on the word masks in Italian. There are more than 3000 mascarons decorating the buildings and the monuments of Bordeaux, taking inspiration from Greek mythology, wild animals, religion and the economical development of Bordeaux. Some examples are Neptune who represents the importance of the river and African faces, a memory of the slave trade Bordeaux was part of.  

You can read in more detail about all the main monuments in Bordeaux in my ultimate guide to a weekend in Bordeaux

Dine in one of Bordeaux’s delicious restaurants

After the long walk, a proper lunch is in order! In recent years Bordeaux is gaining popularity as a gastronomic city and even holds the record for the number of restaurants per person in France. If you have only one day in the city, trying one of Bordeaux’s restaurants should be on your list. There are a lot of excellent restaurants in the city center and choosing one won’t be easy, but let me suggest just a few. 

If you want to enjoy an elegant lunch by one of France’s celebrity chefs, Philippe Etchebest, go to Le Quatrieme Mur, a beautiful restaurant located inside the Opera building. To taste the specialties of the area go to Les Noailles or le Mably. These are not cheap restaurants but they offer a traditional Bordelais cuisine which is not as easy to find as you might think. For meat lovers, Le bar du Boucher and Le Grill Bordelais are great restaurants. You also have L’entrecote with its famous steak sauce, however, prepare yourself for a long queue if you decide to go there. Other great restaurants include Le Bouchon Bordelais, Le M restaurant, Miles and Frida. For a great view, you can also pass the river to the other side and enjoy lunch at L’Estacade. The list can go on and on but I won’t confuse you with too many options. 

Le quatrieme mur
Le Quatrieme mur – by Lost in Bordeaux

It’s important to notice that restaurants in Bordeaux tend to be closed on Sundays or Mondays (or both) so check out their websites when planning your trip. Also, it’s always recommended to book a table ahead of time, even if you do it on the same day. 

Have a picnic in Jardin Public, Bordeaux’s main park

Jardin Public in Bordeaux
Jardin Public in Bordeaux – by Lost in Bordeaux

If you prefer leaving the dining experience for the evening you can replace a fancy lunch with a picnic in the beautiful park of Bordeaux, Jardin Public. Make yourself a basket of regional products and join the other Bordelais on the vast green planes. Don’t forget to add a bottle of Bordeaux wine you can get in most supermarkets or in dedicated wine shops. One of the most interesting wine shops is called l’Intendant, which holds the nickname “the wine library” due to its 15,000 bottle collection. 

Jardin public is beautiful and by far one of the most kid-friendly places in the city. However, it’s not the only good spot for a picnic or a little break. Bordeaux has many gardens and parks that you can enjoy on a sunny day. To discover them check out my post about the best places for a picnic in Bordeaux.

Shop on the Longest street in France

Sainte Catherine is the longest pedestrian street in France, full of clothing boutiques and one of the only places in the center where you can find all the main fashion retail stores. If you prefer smaller boutiques, you won’t find them on the main streets but rather on the small narrow streets of Saint Paul and Saint Pier districts, as well as on rue Notre Dame in Chartrons. 

Shopping in Bordeaux
Shopping in Bordeaux – by Lost in Bordeaux

If you’re into second-hand clothing be sure to check my guide to second hand and vintage shops in the center of Bordeaux

Visit the main church in Bordeaux -Saint-André 

cathédrale saint-andré de bordeaux
Cathédrale Saint-André de Bordeaux

The big Cathedral on the main square of Pey Berland is a Roman Catholic church and the seat of the Archbishop of Bordeaux. This cathedral has an important part in the history of Bordeaux. Here, the 13 years old Eleanor d’Aquitaine, married the future king of France Louis VII, therefore making her the queen of France (for a very short period of time). Like many other churches and basilicas in Bordeaux, Saint-André is classified as a national monument of France. In the evening the Cathedral often hosts concerts of classical music, choirs and an organ festival during the summer. You can check out more info about the concerts here

Eat chocolate in the fancy district of Bordeaux 

It’s time for a little dessert and there’s no better place for it than the Triangle d’Or neighborhood, the fancy district of Bordeaux. You will immediately notice that the architecture and landscape of this district are different from the narrow streets of the historic center of Bordeaux. The wide boulevards and decorated 18th-century houses reflect the economic boom that the city was undergoing at the time. Today it’s considered as the gourmet district with plenty of wine and cheese boutiques. 

Like every French city, Bordeaux too has its chocolatiers and many of them are located in and around Triangle d’Or. On rue Michel Montaigne you will discover the most famous local patissier and chocolatier, David Capy. On Allée de Tourny you will visit the oldest chocolatier in Bordeaux, Cadiot Badie. It’s a very prestigious place that feels more like a jewelry shop than a chocolate boutique. Other amazing chocolate shops are la Maison Darricau and Hasnaa Chocolat grand cru.

David Capy- chocolat in Bordeaux
Taste chocolate and delicious pastry at David Capy

If you also want to take the opportunity to stop for a coffee. Bordeaux has some amazing coffee shops. You can read about my favorite ones in my article about the five coffee places in Bordeaux you don’t want to miss

Chill at the Miroir d’eau

Now it’s time to visit Bordeaux’s most famous attraction and one you have probably seen in any guide or video about Bordeaux – Le Miroir d’eau. This modern monument, built in 2006, is the world’s largest reflecting pool. The surface is made from blue granite covered in water, reflecting the 18th century Place de la Bourse. It’s a perfect place to chill on a hot sunny day in Bordeaux. If you’re coming with kids you can easily spend more than an hour here as it’s going to be quite hard to get them out of it. Kids seem to really love it! (don’t forget to bring replacement clothes for the kids, they tend to get soaked!)

miroir d'eau in Bordeaux

Take a bike ride on the banks of the Garonne

The promenade on the left bank of the Garonne river is one of Bordeaux’s highlights. Since the massive overhaul project in the early 2000s the quais (docks) of Bordeaux have become one of Bordeaux’s most popular spots, hosting many events and festivals during the summer. The 4.5 km promenade is also perfect for a walk or a bicycle tour. The most interesting part of it is between the two bridges of Bordeaux – Pont Saint Pierre in the center and Pont Chaban Delmas in the north of the city, which includes the Miroir d’eau as well as playgrounds for kids and restaurants with a view on the river.

the riverfront of Bordeaux
take a ride on the riverfront of Bordeaux

You can use city bikes that are spread all over the city. The price is only 1.7 euros for 24 hours if you return them to the station every 30 minutes (you can take another bike right away). If you rather not spend your time looking for a station in the middle of your trip you can return them after you finish your ride and pay 2 euros for every additional hour. 

Discover the hipster side of Bordeaux

After spending several hours in the classic left side of the river, it’s time to discover the more hipster right bank of the Garonne. If you take my advice and go on a ride on the riverfront you can continue with the bike to the other side, there are V3 stations (the Bordeaux city bikes) there as well. When you cross Pont de Pierre to the Bastide neighborhood you’ll discover a very pleasant park along the riverbank. There are a few great restaurants with a great view of the old part of Bordeaux that operate from May to October. 

The Bastide district
The Bastide district by Lost in Bordeaux

But the main attraction of the Bastide neighborhood is Darwin. An old military base turned into an urban space with a workspace/incubator for startups, a skate park for all ages, a restaurant and many other surprises, all with an agenda of ecological awareness. One of the buildings hosts the restaurant and the Darwin products store with a huge selection of different organic products from pastries to beer and even soap. Darwin is one of the most extraordinary places for street art and includes some amazing works by a lot of talented regional artists on every one of its buildings. 

Darwin in Bordeaux
Darwin by Lost in Bordeaux

If you visit the Bastide district on the weekend (during the summer) don’t miss one of Bordeaux’s hidden gems, La Guinguette chez Alriq. The Guinguette is a tavern on the banks of the river hosting plenty of open-air concerts from May to the end of September. The performing bands and artists are coming from all over the world and create an atmosphere of a laid back world music party. 

Have a drink in one of Bordeaux’s wine bars 

Wine bars are springing up like mushrooms in the center of Bordeaux. It’s not a big surprise considering it’s the capital of the biggest wine area in France. A great way to finish your one day in Bordeaux is by tasting some of the best wines of the region in one of Bordeaux’s wine bars. There are plenty of bars to choose from in the city center, here are some of my favorite ones: Un Chateau en Ville for a cozy family feeling, Wine more time for their huge selection, and le Bar a Vin for the beautiful decor and professional waiters. Other great bars with knowledgeable staff include Le wine bar, La ligne rouge, Le Flacon and Vins Urbains

un chateau en ville Bordeaux
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

Some bars offer wine tasting experiences that allow you to better understand the wines of the region. To discover the best places for wine tasting check out my article about wine tasting in Bordeaux

If you’re interested in wine don’t miss a trip to Saint Emilion where you can visit some of the best wineries in the region. You can easily plan the trip by yourself using my post about the best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion. Not less interesting and beautiful is the Medoc wine area where you can see some of the most impressive chateaux in the region. Follow my post about the Medoc wine route when planning your trip there. 

I hope you enjoyed this beautiful city and if you have a few more days in the area don’t forget to check out my article about the best day trips from Bordeaux.

If you want more tips on restaurants, concerts and exhibitions follow me on facebook/Instagram. Or better yet, join my newsletter where I share a lot of exclusive info about Bordeaux and the region – sign up here.

The harvest season in Saint Emilion or the ”vendange” as the French call it, is an old tradition that attracts many locals and foreigners to the area. While the prestigious wine region enjoys a steady stream of visitors starting from early Spring, Saint Emilion’s harvest season in September seems to be the busiest time of the year. It’s hard labor no doubt, but it doesn’t stop the flock of mostly young locals and foreigners taking part in this beautiful tradition. These days, the wineries are reluctant to take volunteers because of strict working regulations and their desire to control the quality of the harvest. That doesn’t mean however that you cannot take part in events related to the harvest in Saint Emilion and Bordeaux. In this article, I want to help you explore all the harvest related activities and make the best out of the harvest season of Bordeaux wines. 
Some Cheateaux I’ve been talking to are still planning their activities so I’ll update here with more events as they become available.

The ceremony of the harvest in Saint Emilion – Ban des Vendanges

The ceremony that kicks off the annual harvest in Saint Emilion is called Ban des Vendanges, meaning ‘the harvest ban’. The exact term is actually lifting the ban of the grape harvest, which historically allowed the winegrowers to start collecting the grapes from the vineyards. The ceremony is held in front of the beautiful front collegiate church of Saint Emilion by the Jurade, winegrowers dressed in red caps and robes. The Jurade is a brotherhood of 140 Jurats (members) founded 800 years ago with the mission to supervise the production and making of fine wines. Today they have a more symbolic role of maintaining the traditions of the Saint Emilion wine area. 

This year the events of the “Ban des Vendanges” will take place on the weekend of September 21-22, as part of the European heritage days. The first ceremony of the Jurade will take place on the evening of September 21st (Starting at 22:15) at the Tour du Roy and will end up with a sound and light show. The second day of the ceremonies (September 22) is a celebration of the new vintage. 

The day includes the Jurade ceremony which will be followed by a lunch reserved for wine professionals, many of whom attend the event only for this great networking event. Learn more about the Jurades ceremony here

If you want to see how the harvest process is actually done you can join the Journée Vendanges at Château Mangot (September 28). It’s a half-day activity where you get to visit the vineyards accompanied by in-depth explanations about the “vendanges” and the tradition and history of the château. You will also visit the cellars and taste the 2018 wines from the barrels. The day includes lunch at the park of the chateau. The price is 39 euros per person and you can book it here

As it’s the patrimony days, it a good opportunity to discover some of Saint Emilion’s most emblematic sites. On September 21-22 you are offered free visits to fascinating places like the Monolith Church and the collégiale of Saint-Émilion, guided free tours in the city, tours for kids, light shows and more. You can see the full program for the weekend here

Chateau La Croizzille in Saint Emilion
Chateau La Croizzille – by lost in Bordeaux

If you’re going to spend the weekend in Saint emilion it is highly recommended to try and book a visit to one of the wineries in the area. Some of them will probably be busy with the harvest season but others have enough personnel to welcome you in their domain. To chose a chateau, go to my article about the best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion

Grapes harvest in Bordeaux – other activities

The harvest season celebrations in Bordeaux are not limited to Saint Emilion. Bordeaux will host the big “Bordeaux fête ses vendanges” event on the weekend of September 12-15. On September 12, the Triangle d’Or district will host a jazz concert to celebrate the new harvest. On September 13-14 the city center will transform into a huge terrace with plenty of restaurants that will help you discover the different wines of Bordeaux. For more info about “Bordeaux fête ses vendanges” click here

The grape harvest celebration will end with the Vign’en ville festival, hosting winemakers in Jardin Public that will teach you all about wine production through a series of workshops and activities. You can read more about the Vign’en ville event in my post about things to do in Bordeaux in September

Another great harvest event will take place at the Sauve-Majeure, the ruins of the 11th-century Benedictine monastery.  The site also hosts the Maison des Vins de l’Entre-deux-Mers, one of Bordeaux’s wine regions known for its white wines. 

This is a very kids friendly event with pony and tractor rides, collecting grapes and a musical aperitif. The Fête des Vendanges will take place on September 14 at Place Saint-Jean in La Sauve Majeure, starting at 14:00. Click here for more info and reservation details. 

Chateau loudenne on the Medoc wine route
The pink house – Château Loudenne by Lost in Bordeaux

If you’re a wine enthusiast and you want to discover more than just Saint Emilion, check out my guide to the wine trip in the Medoc wine region. It is a beautiful region with some of the most impressive chateaux in the area and I highly recommend it to anyone visiting Bordeaux (even if you don’t like wine). If you don’t have enough time to discover all the wine regions of Bordeaux you can simply taste many of the wines at wine bars in Bordeaux. For that, you just have to read my article about wine tasting in Bordeaux

If you are looking for another fun and delicious activity in Bordeaux, check out my food tours in which I’ll take you through a three-hour journey in the culinary scene of the Southwest of France.

If you’re visiting Bordeaux for the first time, be sure to check out my ultimate guide to Bordeaux to get familiar with all the must-see places in the city. To help you choose a hotel in Bordeaux I’ve gathered a list of the best hotels in the center of Bordeaux as well as a guide to the districts of Bordeaux to help you find your preferred location.Want more updates about things to do in Bordeaux and the area? All you have to do is follow me on facebook/Instagram ! Or better yet, join my newsletter where I share a lot of exclusive info about Bordeaux and the region – sign up here.

I love events!! Music festivals, medieval days, street theater you name it. The problem is though that there are so many events in Bordeaux recently that I’m getting into a serious FOMO mood. Look at this weekend’s plan!! You have a medieval festival in Bouliac, a dance festival in la teste, a food truck festival in Sautern and of course the famous Climax festival in Darwin. So hard to decide where to go!

If you’re interested in wine, check out my recent article about the harvest season in Saint Emilion and Bordeaux. You should also check out my article about the best things to do in Bordeaux in September.  This is also your last chance to win a super cool kit offered by the Fine art museum of Bordeaux. One winner will receive a gift packet including a Liberty! themed tote bag, sunglasses, lanyard, and flip flops – as well as a chic umbrella to fully equip you for your new Bordelaise summer lifestyle! Follow this post to participate
Here’s the list of things to do this weekend in Bordeaux (September 6-8).

Climax Festival 

The Climax festival taking place in Darwin focuses on environmental issues and climate change. Conferences and debates will take place throughout the four-day festival (September 5-8) and will be accompanied by art and cultural events. Every night, a rich lineup of electronic music will make the festival more attractive and dynamic. This is one of the biggest festivals in the center of Bordeaux located in one of the hippest places in the city. Take a look at the site of the festival for the full program.

When: September 5-8 / Where: 87 Quai des Queyries, 33100 Bordeaux

Medoc Marathon

Running 42km is only a small part of the Medoc Marathon experience. It’s mostly about enjoying great wine, food and the great scenery. No wonder that it’s considered the longest marathon in the world. This year the marathon will take place in the vineyards of the Médoc region on September 7 and will include plenty of activities such as musical breaks and wine tasting stops. You don’t have to run to enjoy this event, many activities will take place on the day of the marathon and the day before, follow the program here.  For more info check out the website of the marathon.

When: September 7 / Where: the Marathon will start in Pauillac

Get to know your neighbors at the Pique-nique des Quartiers 

Do you ever feel like you have no idea who is living around you? Then this is your chance to socialize a bit with your neighbors. On September 6, Pique-nique des quartiers will take place all around Bordeaux. The picnics are organized by the local associations operating in the neighborhoods. Find the event near you in the list published by the town hall.

When: September 6 at 19:00 / Where: Different locations in Bordeaux, check out the program

The Medieval Festival in Bouliac

The 21th edition of the Medieval Festival will take place this weekend (September 6-8) in Bouliac. The festival will kick off with a medieval night on Friday evening, an event that requires prior reservation (price is 25 euros). The festival, which is free to the public, will continue with two days of fun activities such as a knight’s camp, street theater, medieval games, a fire show, a market and more. For more details click here.

When: September 6-8 / Where: Place Chevelaure, 33270 Bouliac

Bordeaux Open Air

Bordeaux Open Air is a series of free summer electronic music events, all set in different locations and with a great city vibe to them. Every event is dedicated to a different country and hosts its DJ’s for sets of electronic music. The next Open Air event will take place this Sunday (September 8) in Jardin public. For more details click here.

Bordeaux open air festival in Jardin Public
Bordeaux open air festival by Lost in Bordeaux
When:  September 8, starting 15:00 / Where: Jardin Public, Bordeaux

Bordeaux Food-truck Festival

The food truck festival aims to mix street food with the finesse of the wine world. The program of the festival also includes free concerts, exhibitions, escape games, activities for kids and more. The next event will take place on September 7-8 at the Château de Rayne-Vigneau in the Sauternes appellation. The events are free but require a reservation – you can do it here. For more details click here.

When:  September 7-8 / Where: 4 Le Vigneau, 33210 Bommes

Ouvre La Voix Festival

Ouvre La Voix Festival gives you the opportunity to discover the beautiful Entre-Deux-Mers region in Gironde in a special way. The three-day program of the festival (September 7-8) combines concerts, wine, and gastronomy with biking routes taking you to places like Créon, Frontenac, Sauveterre de Guyenne and more. All the hosting towns will hold concerts and gastronomic activities to welcome the riders and visitors. Most of the concerts are free, some activities require a reservation. Check out the full program here.

When: September 7-8 / Where: Different places at the Entre-Deux-Mers region (check out the program)

Portes Ouvertes de l’Appellation Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux

This weekend (September 7-8) the Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux appellation will host its annual open doors event. The chateaux of this small appellation welcome you to a weekend of guided tours, tastings and wine-related activities. For the full list of chateaux click here and for more details about the event go here

When: September 7-8 / Where: chateaux of Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux

Festival des Gueilles de Bonde in Macau

This is the 17th edition of the Festival des Gueilles de Bonde that will take place on Friday and Saturday (Sept 6-7) in Macau, Médoc. The program of this free festival varies from music concerts to a street theater and a big gastronomic market. Check out the program of the festival here.

When: September 6-7 / Where: place de la Mairie, Macau, 33460

Festival Teste à Têtes

Teste à Têtes festival, organized by the circus school Komonò Circus, will take place this weekend (Sept 6-8) in La Teste de Buch. For three days you can enjoy plenty of activities dedicated to street arts and music concerts. For more details click here here.

When: September 6-8 / Where: Different locations in La Teste de Buch, see the program.

The Vino Voce festival

The vino festival is a celebration of voices in all forms, from singing voices to the voice on the radio, voices of actors and more. The festival, taking place in Saint Emilion this weekend (September 6-8) has a very rich program that includes music concerts, movie screenings, singing masterclasses and other platforms where voice plays an important role.  For more info about the festival click here

When: September 6-8 / Where: Different locations in Saint Emilion

Wanted Café’s birthday

You are probably familiar with Bordeaux’s biggest facebook group, Wanted Community Bordeaux. Well, the founders of this huge group also have a coffee place next to the Capucins Market and it’s celebrating its first year. This weekend (September 6-8) they will celebrate their anniversary with three days of music, fun activities, and food! Check out more details here

When: September 6-8 / Where: 2 rue des douves, 33800 Bordeaux

Inauguration de la place Nansouty

After many months of work Place Nansouty will be finally inaugurated this Saturday (September 7). The event includes the inauguration ceremony, guided tours, an exhibition and food of course :). For more details click here.

 When: September 7 / Where: 250 rue Malbec, 33800 Bordeaux

Moule frite & bière

Every few weeks the Halles de Talence hosts different themed evenings which are always fun and delicious. This week is the fried Mussels and beer evening that will be as usual accompanied by music and good vibes. For more info click here

When: September 6 / Where: Place Alcala de Henares, 33400 Talence

Classical music in the Cathedral 

This weekend (September 6-7) Saint-André, the main Cathedral of Bordeaux will host two classical music concerts. You can see the full program here

When: September 6-7 / Where: Place Pey Berland, 33000 Bordeaux

Journées Portes Ouvertes – Arkose Bordeaux

Arkose, Bordeaux’s wall-climbing center will hold an open weekend on September 7-8. This is a fun event for both adults and kids (from 3 years old). For more details click here.

When: September 7-8 / Where: Galerie Tatry, 170 cours du médoc, 33300 Bordeaux

Liquidation totale – Friperie Cam

The second-hand shop Friperie Cam is about to close its doors soon. For the occasion, they are inviting you this Saturday (September 7) to a big sale where all the items will be sold at 1-5 euros.  For more details click here

When: September 7 / Where: 85 Rue Paul-Louis Lande, 33000 Bordeaux

Brunch des Producteurs au Château Pape Clément

The famous Château Pape Clément invites you this Sunday (September 8) to their farmers’ market. The event is free but reservation is required (write an email to [email protected]). For more details click here.

When: September 8 / Where: 216 Avenue du Docteur Nancel Penard, 33600 Pessac

That’s it for this busy weekend!
If you want more tips on restaurants, concerts and exhibitions follow me on facebook/Instagram. Or better yet, join my newsletter where I share a lot of exclusive info about Bordeaux and the region – sign up here.