As someone passionate about Bordeaux, my blog has delved into various aspects of this vibrant city, from top tours to hidden gems in charming neighborhoods, bustling markets, and cozy coffee spots. Yet, I felt it was time to compile all my favorite discoveries into one comprehensive guide for my readers. After diving into this article, you’ll uncover where locals indulge in pastries, sip summer cocktails, and unwind on the region’s best beaches. Consider this your ultimate guide to the 50 best experiences in Bordeaux and beyond.

If you still haven’t booked a hotel in Bordeaux check out my article about the best districts in Bordeaux and my article about the best hotels in Bordeaux for every budget. In case you’re looking for a unique experience in the vineyards of Bordeaux, check out my article about the best wine hotels in the region.

Best things to do in the center of Bordeaux

Learn about the history of Bordeaux and admire its stunning architecture

Bordeaux boasts a diverse array of architectural styles, ranging from medieval gates to elegant 18th-century bourgeois houses. However, what truly sets this city apart is its rich history, spanning over 2000 years. For a deeper understanding of its impressive landmarks and buildings, I highly recommend embarking on a guided tour to gain invaluable context and insights.

Here’s a tour that’s offered by the Tourists office in several languages. If you don’t like big groups you can always take a private tour. If you don’t like walking for hours, other fun guided activities include a guided biking tour, a private sidecar tour, and a panoramic bus tour. Here are all my tours in Bordeaux recommendations in one place.

But here are a few facts about Bordeaux’s heritage, in case you’re going on a tour. 

Grosse Cloche - Bordeaux
Grosse Cloche – Lost in Bordeaux

Before becoming a modern 18th-century city with spacious squares and boulevards, Bordeaux was once a little town. The old town was surrounded by ramparts with impressive entrance gates. Today, five of the gates are still standing, marking the old borders of Bordeaux.  La Grosse Cloche, La Porte Cailhau, Porte de Bourgogne, Porte d’Aquitaine, and Porte Dijeaux .

Grosse Cloche and La Porte Cailhau in the historic center of Bordeaux two gates and the breathtaking Place de la Bourse are real architectural masterpieces you cannot miss.

The Famous Water Mirror

Cross the street from Place de la Bourse towards the riverfront to get to one of Bordeaux’s main attractions, Le Miroir d’Eau. The huge water mirror is the most popular monument in Bordeaux attracting many families with kids to splash their feet on hot summer days.

For more activities for kids check out my article about 30 things to do with kids in Bordeaux

Taste Canelé 

Canelé is the national pastry of Bordeaux so tasting one is a must when visiting the city.  If you plan to take a food tour in Bordeaux, Canelé will definitely be on the menu. 

Like many other things in this region, the story of Canelé is related to the wine world. Legend has it that the first canelés were made by nuns at the Couvert de L’Annociade de Bordeaux at the end of the 17th century. Canelé is made out of flour and egg yolks that were given to nuns by winemakers who used egg whites to purify the wine.

Today the little brown striated pastry can be found in many sizes all over the city. My all-time favorite canelé is la Toque Cuivrée whose small boutiques are spread all over the city center. See all their shops here.

canele in Bordeaux
Canelé

Read about all the other sweet specialties of Bordeaux in my article about specialty pastries and chocolate in Bordeaux.

See a concert at the Opera of Bordeaux 

Le Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux is a cultural landmark you should not miss when visiting Bordeaux. It’s Arguably the most beautiful building in the city. 

Opera house of Bordeaux
The Opera House of Bordeaux

The historic monument, built in 1780, is home to the National Opera and Ballet of Bordeaux and its program often includes some of the best ensembles from all over the globe. The demand for tickets is usually very high so book your tickets in advance.

Even if you don’t have the time to see a concert I recommend taking a tour of the opera as the interior design is spectacular. Check out all the details here (currently the tours are in French only). 

Go to the CIBC for Bordeaux wine-tasting

It’s time to sip some wine! If you’re eager to explore Bordeaux’s diverse wine selection, look no further than le Bar à Vin. This classic wine bar is located in the 18th-century residence of the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bordeaux (the Bordeaux Wine Council). The best thing about the Bar à Vin is that they let you taste half glasses so you can discover fantastic local wines at very low prices.

For other great options for wine tasting read my article about wine tasting in Bordeaux. Also, check the other wine bars I recommend visiting when you’re in Bordeaux.

You can, of course, upgrade the experience with wine tasting at a real chateau – here’s my article about the best wineries to visit in Bordeaux.

Wine shop in Bordeaux
Wine shop in Triangle d’Or – by Lost in Bordeaux
Bar à Vin in Bordeaux
Bar à Vin – Lost in Bordeaux

L’intendant – the wine library of Bordeaux

L’intendant is the most beautiful and rich wine store in Bordeaux. The shop holds a collection of more than 15,000 bottles all stacked on its walls, following a 12-meter-high spiral staircase.  

Established almost 30 years ago, L’intendant has become one of the go-to places to shop for the famous wines of the region. It’s often referred to as the Library of Bordeaux wines.

I have quite a lot of articles about visiting the Bordeaux wine region, in case you’re interested in exploring the area beyond.

Stop for a coffee

Bordeaux is a surprising city when it comes to good coffee places. While France doesn’t have a strong reputation for making good coffee, Bordeaux prides itself on its coffee scene, with cute little coffee places popping up on every corner. 

There are quite a few great coffee places in the city center but here are some of my favorites: Kuro, Sip, and l’Alchimiste in the city center and Café Eriu, and Café Gusco within a few minutes walk of the center. Read more about some of the best coffee places in Bordeaux here.

Check out my video about Café Eriu

Go to the Capucins Market 

In my opinion, Capucins is one of the best markets in France, here I said it! 🙂 If you love food or at least want to discover a bit of the rich gastronomic culture of the southwest of France, there’s no better place than the Capucins market.

This is the biggest daily market in Bordeaux and has everything from stands of fruits and vegetables, sweets, spices, and a bunch of lively cafés and restaurants. I have a whole article about the best places to eat at the Capucins market, so be sure to read it before going. You can also take a private tour with Anne, to get you familiar with all the hidden gems of the market.

capucins market in Bordeaux

Don’t miss the little stall with a local pasty called le Puit d’amour, you’ll thank me later. 

You can find quite a few food tour recommendations in my article.

Drink at the Bacalan market

From a traditional market to the newer chic market of Bordeaux -Marché de Bacalan. This impressive hangar is located just in front of the famous Cité du Vin and hosts more than 20 different artisans and merchants who were chosen for the quality of their products.

Halle de Bacalan in Bordeaux - one of the best markets in Bordeaux
Halle de Bacalan – Lost in Bordeaux

Many locals flock to the market on weekends for drinks and tapas and the great vibes. The Bacalan district is one of my favorite places in Bordeaux and I have a whole article about it – check it out here

If you love markets, discover all the best markets to visit in Bordeaux during your stay.

See an amazing exhibition at the Base Sous-Marine

La Base Sous-Marine is one of the most unique art venues in Bordeaux. Built by the Germans during the Second World War, this old submarine base has been converted into a space dedicated to contemporary art.

Bassin des Lumières - bassins a flot in Bordeaux
Monet, Renoir, Chagall and others called “Voyages en Méditerranée”

The exhibitions change every year so go on their website to see what’s up at the moment. You can purchase the tickets to the Bassins des Lumieres here. You also get a free entrance if you have the Bordeaux city pass.

Cité du Vin – the world’s biggest wine museum

This impressive piece of modern architecture is a unique cultural center, all dedicated to the discovery of wine. Through its interactive exhibition, it offers a journey to both French and global wine history. You will learn about winemaking, see movies and interviews with wine producers and then smell and taste wine.

Read about what to expect when visiting the museum in my article about my visit to the Cité du Vin. You can avoid the lines at the entrance by booking the tickets online – book here

Visit Bordeaux’s real wine museum

I know I just talked about the big wine museum in Bordeaux but it’s not really focused on Bordeaux wine, but rather a wine all around the world. The real Bordeaux wine museum is Musée du Vin et du Négoce. This is the best place to help you discover how the Bordeaux wine area has developed over the years.

The museum is situated in what used to be a typical house of a négociant (wine trader) in the 18th century in the Chartrons district. It ends with a very nice wine-tasting session where you get plenty of explanations about the different wine appellations in Bordeaux. 

It’s not as modern and interactive as the Cité du Vin but if you want to learn about the history of the Bordeaux wine region this is the place to go. You can purchase the tickets to the Musee du Vin here. You also get a free entrance if you have the Bordeaux city pass.

Discover other museums in Bordeaux in my article about the best museums to visit in Bordeaux.

Discover one of the most charming streets in Bordeaux

Rue Notre Dame in the Chartrons district is a posh street with plenty of coffee places, trendy boutiques, antique shops, and more. You can spend several hours admiring the beautiful architecture, shopping, and trying great pastries. It’s one of the most beautiful streets in Bordeaux with a lot of tiny balconies decorated with planters full of colorful flowers. The perfect street for Instagram addicts 🙂

See what’s not to miss on rue Notre Dame in my article about the Chartrons district

rue notre dame Bordeaux
rue notre dame
Au Pétrin Moissagais - oldest boulangerie in Bordeaux
Au Pétrin Moissagais in Chartrons

Discover the oldest boulangerie in Bordeaux

Au Pétrin Moissagais on 72 Cours de la Martinique is the oldest bakery in Bordeaux, established in 1765. Serge, the owner is very proud of his Gascognian traditions and still makes the original Gascognian white bread in the 18th-century oven. And yes, it’s the same oven since the opening of the boulangerie (bakery), some 24 years before the French Revolution! 

The bakery has a completely different look compared to a standard French bakery and makes you feel like you’ve gone back in time to the 18th century.

Eat oysters at the Sunday Market

Every Sunday morning dozens of food trucks and stalls are installed at the Marche des Quais, on the Quai des Chartrons. These include the best oysters in the region, fresh fruits, vegetables, cheese, fish, wine, and more.

marche des quais Chartrons

For many visitors, the main attraction is the few stalls with oysters which cost around 6/7 euros per plate and come with a glass of white wine. It kind of embodies the good life atmosphere in this region 🙂.

Discover Bordeaux’s amazing street art

Like many other cities, Bordeaux has street art fever, with plenty of stunning wall paintings decorating its streets. Darwin is one of the places that have the largest concentration of street art by local artists in Bordeaux. Other spots in the city include the Bassin a Flot district, rue Bouffard, Quai des Platitudes, the Mur in Chartrons, rue Bergeret, and more.

In the city center, you can follow the huge animals by the local artist A-mo pained on walls and shatters of many shops (don’t miss the huge gorilla and the fox) – I won’t give you the specific locations, I’m sure it’ll be a lot of fun to find them by yourself. If you speak French, you can also take a street art tour.

Street art in Bordeaux -Amo
Street art in Bordeaux -Amo
Street art Bordeaux - Selor
Bordeaux street art – Selor

Take a boat ride on the Garonne 

Bordeaux is situated on the Garonne River and seeing it from the water is a fun experience you should try. Several companies offer boat tours on the Garonne, but you can sail on the Garonne for at least a few minutes for the price of a tram ticket. As part of its public transport system, the city of Bordeaux provides a ferry (navette fluviale), that has five stops: Stalingrad, Quinconces, Les Hangars, La Cité du Vin, and Lormont (take a look at the ferry timetable here).

You don’t have to do the whole line, you can use it to just cross the river to the other side. You can use it for free if you have the Bordeaux city pass.
If you do choose to take a cruise in the Garonne here’s a good one.

Darwin

Darwin is probably one of the most surprising places in Bordeaux. 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.

Darwin is also an extraordinary place for street art and includes some amazing works by a lot of talented artists on every one of its buildings. They host many cool events so don’t be surprised if suddenly you see an artisan market or a collection of old cars on display.

Darwin is also one of the best places for rainy days in Bordeaux.

Darwin in Bordeaux
Darwin

See a concert at La Guinguette chez Alriq – the best tavern in town

The Guinguette chez Alriq is a big tavern located on the right banks of the Garonne in the Bastide neighborhood (right in front of Darwin), hosting plenty of open-air concerts every summer. The performing bands and artists come from all over the world and create a laid-back party atmosphere.

what to do in the summer in Bordeaux

There’s usually a small price to pay for the concerts taking place on Wed-Sat and Sundays the entry is free. You can see their program here. The place is very popular so expect to see a line at the entrance. 

Read about other outdoor places in my article about the best summer bars in Bordeaux

Bike along the Garonne River

Bordeaux is a very flat and bike-friendly city with many interesting cycling trails you can do around the city. However, the most recommended one in the city center is the bridge-to-bridge trail. The circuit goes from Pont Pierre (the central bridge of Bordeaux) to the new Pont Chaban Delmas, on both sides of the Garonne river.  

Besides the very pleasant ride on the riverfront, you get to see some of the most beautiful and fun places in Bordeaux. These include the stunning 18th-century buildings along the riverfront, the Cité du Vin, Darwin, and more. You can read all about it in my article about the Bridge to Bridge trail

There’s also a really fun biking tour that takes you through all these places and more.

Explore the Saint Michel neighborhood

Saint Michel is one of the most cosmopolitan and lively neighborhoods in Bordeaux. Although It’s not part of the traditional sightseeing tours of Bordeaux, I recommend spending a few hours in this cool district. 

The neighborhood is home to some of the best markets of Bordeaux, numerous places where you can browse for vintage clothes and furniture, and an endless list of lively restaurants and cafes. Read about all the things you can do there in my Saint Michel guide.

Sunday flea market in Saint Michel, Bordeaux
Sunday flea market in Saint Michel – Lost in Bordeaux

Sunday flea and antique market

Every Sunday morning more than 80 dealers gather at the square in front of the Basilica of Saint Michel for the Brocante du Dimanche. This is the weekly flea market of Bordeaux where you can find real bargains and purchase everything from toys for kids to antique frames and electronic devices.

L’entrepôt Saint Germain – the best vintage shop

L’entrepôt Saint Germain is a huge hangar with plenty of vintage furniture, beautiful house decor, antiques, and many creepy, funny, and probably unnecessary items. It’s designed like a little street with different boutiques and cafés (not real ones, unfortunately) where the items are perfectly placed.

The place is open daily and is located a few minutes walk from the train station of Bordeaux on 96 Rue Amédée Saint-Germain.

L'entrepôt Saint Germain in Bordeaux
L’entrepôt Saint Germain

Time for chocolate!

There are quite a few amazing chocolate shops in the center of Bordeaux. Some are owned by young talented chocolatiers (chocolate makers) and others are established places dating centuries back. 

Here are just a few of the best chocolate shops in the center of Bordeaux: David Capi, Cadiot Badie, the oldest chocolate store in Bordeaux; Hasnaa, the rising star of the Bordeaux chocolate world and Saunion, founded in 1893 and considered one of Bordeaux’s classics.

Cadiot Badie - one of the oldest chocolate places in Bordeaux

See all my other favorite chocolatiers in Bordeaux in my article about the best chocolate shops in Bordeaux.

Jet ski tour on the Garonne River

For those seeking a bit more excitement, why not embark on a thrilling jet ski tour along the Garonne River? Complete with commentary, this tour offers a unique perspective of the city and its surroundings from the water. Opt for the extended tour to reach unforgettable sites such as the Citadel of Blaye. Suitable for ages 8 and up, the tour departs from Place Aristide Briand in Lormont, nestled along the banks of the Garonne River at the base of the Pont d’Aquitaine.You can book the ski jet tour here.

Do a picnic in Jardin public

Jardin Public is the largest park in the center of Bordeaux with more than 300 trees and vast green planes – a perfect place for a picnic. Besides being visually stunning, it has a large pond (with ducks and geese!), great facilities for kids, and even a nice coffee place.

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

Discover other perfect picnic spots in Bordeaux as well as the most beautiful parks in Bordeaux.

Freep’show – a funky vintage shop

If you like second-hand shops you’re going to love Freep’show, a little hipster store with an impressive selection of plaid shirts, short jeans, and colorful dresses.

Fpeepshow bordeaux
Fpeep’show the funky second-hand shop in Bordeaux

Once you take your eyes off the big Slash mannequin in the entrance, you can spot plenty of second-hand items from the 80s and 90s that will make you instantly nostalgic. Add to that the vinyl records decor, uplifting music, and stylish employees dancing to its beats and you get one of the best vintage stores in town. You can read my full article about the best second-hand shops in Bordeaux here

Have a delicious meal 

In recent years Bordeaux has gained popularity as a gastronomic city and even holds the record for the number of restaurants per person in France. So trying at least one restaurant in Bordeaux is a must!

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. Here’s a list of a few restaurants I like in the city: l’Atelier des Faures, Au Bistro near the market, Le Bouchon Bordelais, Botanique, Mets Mots, Le Chien de Pavlov, La Belle Saison, and the list goes on and on. 

I post about my foodie experiences in Bordeaux on my Instagram, so be sure to follow.

Shopping of course!

Bordeaux is not Paris when it comes to shopping but it doesn’t mean we don’t have a lot of great boutiques here 🙂

All the main clothing retail stores are located on the main shopping street, rue Sainte Catherine. For the more fancy shops head to the Triangle d’Or district and you’ll find all you need around le Marché des Grands Hommes. However, if you’re interested in small independent boutiques here are a few recommended ones in the center of Bordeaux: Jane de Boy, Blue Madone, Boutique Addict, and several other boutiques on rue Saint James and rue Notre Dame. 

See a concert on the Iboat

The Iboat is a big three-level ferry anchored to one of the docks of Bassins a flot, the port of Bordeaux. Since its opening in 2011, this funky concert venue has been promoting emerging artists, especially in the electronic music scene.

Iboat Bassin a Flot Bordeaux

Over the years it has become a multidisciplinary place with a concert hall and a club hosting more than 250 events a year, a terrace hosting Dj sets and happy hours. During summer you could also enjoy the outdoor area on the deck, with an exceptional view of the basin. Take a look at the program of events.

Read about other outdoor places in my article about the best summer bars in Bordeaux

Buy cheese 

There are a few cute cheese shops in Bordeaux where you can find all the famous French cheese. However, this can be a great opportunity to try out regional cheese from the southwest of France. When going to the shop ask about Ossau- Iraty from the Basque country, the goat cheese Rocamadour, or the excellent Tomme de Bazas.

My two favorite cheese shops in the city center are Fromagerie Beillevaire (8 bis Rue Michel Montaigne) and Fromagerie Deruelle (66 Rue du Pas-Saint-Georges).

Check out other food-related shops and streets in my article about the best foodie streets in Bordeaux

Mi cielo pastry shop in Bordeaux
Mi Cielo pastry shop
cheese shop in Bordeaux
cheese in a form of canele

Try the best patisseries

Can you really visit a French city without tasting at least one pastry? There are several amazing patisseries in the center of Bordeaux. Here are a few that I particularly love: Maison Lamour on rue Judaïque, Micheline Paulette in the Chartrons district,  Pâtisserie Valantin in the Nansouty district, and Mi-Cielo with a sweet creative collection.

Don’t miss the main Cathedral of Bordeaux 

Cathédrale Saint-André de Bordeaux is a Roman Catholic church and the seat of the Archbishop of Bordeaux. Located on the main square of Pey Berland, the cathedral is one of the most impressive monuments of Bordeaux and is labeled 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

Cathédrale Saint-André in Bordeaux - one of the landmarks of Bordeaux
Cathédrale Saint-André – Lost in Bordeaux

A cocktail night 

The Bordelais might love their wine but they sure do appreciate a good cocktail, and the number of great cocktail bars is a testament to that. Here are some of my favorite chic cocktail bars in the center of Bordeaux: Mama Shelter (cocktails with an amazing view of Bordeaux), Madame Pang, la Comtesse, Simone, and the Ayawasca Cocktail Club.

Mama shelter bordeaux
Mama Shelter

Buy French alcohol 

If you want to discover what other spirits France has to offer besides wine, you must go to Émile et Marguerite. This cute little shop on 13 Rue Parlement Saint-Pierre has a huge collection of French alcohol, from Cognac, Armagnac, local gin, craft beer, and many more. They are super nice and offer tastings to those interested to discover more about local liqueurs.  

However, if you have time I advise traveling to Cognac and Armagnac, both located about 1.5 hours from Bordeaux.

Visit the Natural History Museum 

After years of renovations, the Natural History Museum of Bordeaux opened its doors in March 2019. Created in 1971, the museum has one of the biggest collections in France hosting more than a million specimens.

Besides the new design and incredible collection, one of the new features in the renovated museum is the “Early Years Museum” for kids under 6 years old. The museum regularly hosts great temporary exhibitions which are usually very kids friendly. The entrance is free every first Sunday of the month. 

Natural history museum in Bordeaux

For more great museums in Bordeaux check out my Bordeaux museums article

For other kid-friendly activities check out my article about the 30 best things to do in Bordeaux with kids.

Palais Galien

Strolling the city center you’ve probably noticed a lot of impressive monuments dating back to the 13th,14th, and 15th centuries such as the Grosse Cloche or the Saint Michel Basilica. But Bordeaux’s oldest monument is actually located outside of the old city walls.

Palais Galien is the ruins of a Gallo-Roman amphitheater dating back to the second century when Bordeaux was called Burdigala. The site is located a few minutes walk from Jardin public and you can see all of it from the street. There are guided tours to Palais Galien during the summer season. You can book them by calling +33 5 56 00 66 00.

Palais Galien
Palais Galien

Librairie Mollat – one of the oldest bookstores in France

Librairie Mollat, a Bordelais establishment, opened in 1896, is the first independent bookstore in France and is one of the most iconic shops in Bordeaux. It is situated on rue Porte-Dijeaux where the latest house of Montesquieu was once located. 

See contemporary art in a beautiful building 

CAPC is the contemporary art museum of Bordeaux located in the chic Chartrons district. The museum is housed in an impressive former warehouse from the 19th century where commodities, traded down the river, used to be stored. The permanent collection includes almost 300 works of art. The museum regularly hosts temporary exhibitions and artistic events.

See a movie in Utopia

Utopia is an independent cinema theater installed in an ancient church, l’église du Vieux Bordeaux. It’s the cheapest cinema in Bordeaux and the one with the most diverse program, from little independent productions to big-budget movies and old classical ones. Utopia has also a big terrace café which is particularly fun on sunny days. See the program here

It’s also one of my recommendations for places to go to when it’s raining in Bordeaux.

Taste the delicious dunes blanches

Last yummy thing before we move to the list of day trips from Bordeaux. The delicious dune blanche is one of the most popular pastries in Bordeaux. It was created in 2008 by the pastry chef Pascal Lucas in his patisserie in Cap Ferret. The little choux pastry filled with whipped cream became an immediate success with several dedicated shops opening up in Arcachon, Bordeaux,  and Paris. In the center of Bordeaux, you can find them at 7 Rue de la Vieille Tour.

dunes blanches
Dunes Blanches

Must Day trips from Bordeaux

A day trip to Saint Emilion 

Saint Emilion has long gained a reputation as one of the greatest wine regions in the world. It’s no wonder it attracts more than a million tourists every year. For many decades this picturesque town has been an economic and religious center attracting royals, winegrowers, and pilgrims. Every square in the small village center is packed with history and some incredible architecture.

Read about all the things to do there in my article about Saint Emilion. Also, check out my list of recommended wine chateaux to visit. If you’re planning to spend a weekend in Saint Emilion, here are my recommendations for the best places to stay in the Saint Emilion region. Here’s all the info about how to get to Saint Emilion from Bordeaux.

what to do in Saint emilion

Climb the Dune du Pilat for a magnificent view

The gigantic sand dune is one of the wonders of the area, with its 60 million metric cubes of sand it’s quite astonishing the first time you see it. Dune du Pilat is Europe’s tallest sand dune, rising to an impressive 110 m high while also being 500 meters wide and 2.7 km long so you’ll have plenty of room to wander.

Dune du Pilat - one of the must things to do in Bordeaux
Dune du Pilat

Once you reach the top, a stunning panoramic view will be revealed with the Cap Ferret peninsula on one side, a huge pine forest on the other, and the magnificent Banc d’Arguin nature reserve just in front. If you;re short in time and want to combine it to visit to the Arcachon city and oyster tasting, I recommend taking a this tour

One of the most unforgettable experiences you can have when visiting the dune is Tandem Paragliding. Just imagine the view – see all the options here. For more things to do close by read my guide about Arcachon city.

Go to the beach

In Bordeaux you don’t need to travel far to enjoy the beach, you just have to take a 15-minute tram ride from the city center to the lake. 

Bordeaux Lac has a sandy clean beach and a lot of shade from the nearby trees for those who don’t enjoy the sun. The beach is open to the public daily from June 1st to August 31 and starting July 1st it offers water and beach activities such as sailing, kayaking, mini-golf, and more. Check out the list of daily activities here.

begles plage

Discover other beaches in my article about the best beaches near Bordeaux

Visit wineries by tram 

The Bordeaux wine region has thousands of wine châteaux spread all over the Gironde department. Luckily there are several great wineries within the Bordeaux metropole you can visit by tram or by bus and I have a full article about it.

Here are two chateaux on my list that I particularly like:
Château Pape Clément in Pessac
Take line B to Pessac Centre and then continue for 20 minutes by foot or take a direct bus from Place Tourny in Bordeaux (line 4). You can book the tour online – just click here.
Château du Taillan in Le Taillan-Médoc
You can reach it by bus line 5N from Place Tourny in Bordeaux.
For more info click here.

Chateau pape Clement Pessac
Chateau Pape Clement

For more instructions on how to get there and other day trip ideas check out my article about the best day trips from Bordeaux by train. In case you’re looking for a unique experience in the vineyards of Bordeaux, check out my article about the best wine hotels in the region.

Also, check out my article about the best wineries to visit in Bordeaux.

Discover the oyster-farming villages of Cap Ferret

Cap Ferret is a peninsula on the Western part of Bassin d’Arcachon and has been traditionally known as a summer getaway for the French upper class. Although it’s been recently gaining popularity among tourists visiting the south of France, it has yet to lose its relaxing beach village atmosphere.

The peninsula is known for its many oyster-farming ports that are located in small charming villages such as L’herbe and Le Canon. A day trip to Cap Ferret is a heavenly experience. You will eat oysters directly from the farmers, go on a walk along the bay beaches, cycle through the pine forest, and go surf on the beaches of the Atlantic coast (about that later).

Read about many other places to visit on Arcachon Bay in my article about a day trip to Bassin d’Arcachon. If you only have half a day to dedicate to it I highly recommend taking a guided tour. 

Arcachon bay - a day trip from Bordeaux

A day trip to Pessac 

To discover all the treasures of Bordeaux you need to go out of Bordeaux center. Some of the most interesting things in the metropole can be found in Pessac, one of Bordeaux’s biggest suburbs. You can take a bike (or use the tram) and go on a full day of history, nature, wine, and street art in this beautiful historic town. I wrote an extensive guide on all you can see there, read all about it here.

Visit one of the most beautiful parks in Bordeaux Metropole – Parc Majolan

Parc Majolan in Blanquefort is a great example of beautiful landscape design. Following the paths in the park feels like walking through a forest but then you suddenly discover the ruins of an old gate, beautiful flowers, and finally a stunning lake. The best part of the park is the artificial caves created in the 19th century. This park is so rich that it will take you hours to explore it all! 

Parc Majolan
Parc Majolan

Discover other amazing parks in Bordeaux in my article about the most beautiful parks in Bordeaux.

Visit the Blaye Citadel

The historic town of Blaye is located on the banks of the Gironde estuary, about 50 km north of Bordeaux. Blaye is known for its Citadel that is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can easily spend half a day exploring the streets and ramparts, admiring the view of the Gironde estuary which can be seen from the top. Read more about Blaye in my article about the most beautiful villages near Bordeaux

Visit the chateau of Montesquieu

There are several historic castles in Gironde but there is one I particularly love and it’s located only 25 km south of Bordeaux. Château de la Brède was built in a Gothic style during the 13th to 16th centuries and is today surrounded by water-filled moats and an English garden.

The Château is famous for being the place of birth of Montesquieu, the great French political philosopher. The interiors of the castle are only accessible through guided tours which take you through the main room, the guest room, and his beautiful library where he wrote many of his works. See more details here

Château de la Brede
Château de la Brede

Where to stay in Bordeaux 

Before we end I want to help out those who are looking for accommodation in Bordeaux! If you’re looking for a hotel, I have an article with recommendations about the best hotels in Bordeaux for different budgets.  If you’re looking for an Airbnb or just want to understand where you should stay in Bordeaux, you should definitely read my Bordeaux districts guide

Need more ideas for things to do in and around Bordeaux? you should definitely join my newsletter where I share a lot of info about the area – sign up here.

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

If it’s your first time in Bordeaux you may also like to read some of the following “intro to Bordeaux” articles I wrote:
The Ultimate Guide to a weekend Bordeaux 
The best districts in Bordeaux 
Where to stay in Bordeaux 
What to do in one day in Bordeaux
Things to do with kids in Bordeaux

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*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂 

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5 Comments

  1. Lisa Hailwood Reply

    We are looking for somewhere to stay for 1 day & night not to far away from Bordeaux airport before we start a horse riding & wine exploring holiday the following day. Where would you recommend? A small village with nice traditional cafe’s & bars & reasonable rates for a b&b or hotel 1 night stay. I have never been to this area before.

  2. Dear Ira. All being well with the COVID situation, we will be in Bordeaux in March or April next year (coming from Australia). I cannot stress enough how much your excellent articles have helped in planning our visit. Initially I was planning on 2 days in Bordeaux but now it is 5-7 days after reading all the wonderful things there are to see and do. Thank you for sharing your recommendations, insight and observations of this lovely city. We cannot wait to experience it all.

    • Ira Szmuk Reply

      I am so happy to hear that!!! That’s the thing in Bordeaux, there’s too many things to do 🙂

  3. Making a trip to Bordeaux in the fall and will definitely use this guide. So simple and inspiring! Thanks for posting

    • Ira Szmuk Reply

      Thank you so so much Louise!!! Hope you’ll love your stay in Bordeaux!

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