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Le Marché des Capucins is one of the oldest markets in France and it rightfully carries the title “The Belly of Bordeaux”. It’s probably the most important gastronomic center in Bordeaux which makes it a must-visit for anyone traveling to Bordeaux. 

The impressive market is abundant with colorful stands of fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese, and other delicacies of the Southwest of France. However, Capucins is much more than a place to get your groceries from, which makes it stand out from many other good markets in France. 

Eat at the Capucins market in Bordeaux
Charcuterie tasting at Marche des Capucins – Lost in Bordeaux

Locals go there for their morning coffee, for lunch, or for the sacred combination of oysters and wine. There are so many restaurants and stands at the Bordeaux market that for a newcomer it can be a bit overwhelming. That’s why I decided to gather a list of all my favorite places at Marché des Capucins. 

If you don’t have a lot of time, the best way to discover this huge market is by taking a food tour. You can join the great group food tour of the No Diet club or join a more in-depth private tour with Anne, who’s a chef, and an amazing food tour in Bordeaux. Check Anne’s website for details. 

Before we start, if this is your first time in Bordeaux be sure to check out my detailed guide to things to do in Bordeaux and my recommendation of places to stay in the city center. Also if you like markets, check out my list of the best markets in Bordeaux. Now let’s go and discover one of the best markets in France!

Eat Fresh Oysters from Arcachon at Chez Jean-Mi

When it comes to local food, oysters are one of the highlights of our region. Bordeaux is just one hour away from Arcachon, one of France’s main oyster farming centers. It’s thus not surprising to find good oysters at the main market of Bordeaux.

Chez-jean-mi Bordeaux market
Chez Jean mi – Marché des Capucins

Chez Jean-Mi became one of Bordeaux’s go-to places for fresh oysters. On weekends, many locals rush here to meet their friends over a plate of oysters and a glass of white wine. Apart from oysters, the place serves a variety of seafood, delicious soups, and more. 

You can sit inside and soak up the market atmosphere or grab a table outside to enjoy the sun while you sip your wine. The place tends to be very busy during the weekend so be sure to come early (around 11 am) to get a table.

Opening hours: Tuesdays to Saturdays from 7:00 to 13:45 and Sundays from 9:00 to 15:15.

Bistro Poulette – Mussels in many flavors

Bistro Poulette is a chic restaurant that can easily fit the stylish food scene in the city center. But being located at the market of Bordeaux gives it a unique twist. Food and drinks are being served quite early in the day and you don’t have to wait for lunch to start your gastronomic celebration.

Bistro Poulette
Bistro Poulette – Marché des Capucins

If you come in the morning you can enjoy their breakfast, brunch or take it a bit further with a plate of charcuterie and wine. At lunchtime, you get to enjoy their specialty, which is mussels, served in casseroles and cooked with a variety of sauces like white wine, curry, and more.

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, from early morning to 15:00.

Le Guet À Pan

Le Guet À Pan is one of the newest and most modern restaurants in the market. While it’s not a fancy restaurant by no means, I find that they have a more elaborate menu than other restaurants at the Capucins market. 

Le Guet À Pan – by Lost in Bordeaux

They offer a delicious tapas menu that includes squid, burrata, oysters, and many other dishes from French, Spanish, and Italian cuisines. But also a great lunch menu that with dishes like cod fillet and lamb chops. There’s always a great friendly atmosphere at Le Guet a Pan and the friendly service adds a lot to the good dining experience.

Tortill’art – a Spanish delight at the Bordeaux market

Tortillart-capucins-market-in-Bordeaux
Tortill’art – Marché des Capucins

Strolling in the market, you can easily miss this little tortilla bar. But, as it’s one of my favorites at the marché des Capucins, I must spread the word. Juan servers several types of tortillas and delicious Spanish Jambon with wine or a homemade Sangria. Tortillas are his specialty and some of the recipes run in his family for generations.

He’s a super nice guy who you can have a fun chat with while sitting at the bar. What makes this place even more attractive are the prices! You can easily have a full lunch here for less than 10 euros.

Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday until 13:00 and Saturday and Sunday until 14:30.

Pata Negra – for the best Pintxos

One of the best tapas bars in Bordeaux is located in the Capucins market. In the middle of the week, this place mainly sells Spanish delicacies but on weekends it turns into a fantastic tapas bar with a huge variety of pintxos. Once you’re seated by the hostess and get your plate you can start picking the Pintxos.

Pata-Negra-capucins-Market-in-Bordeaux
Pata Negra – Marché des Capucins

There is one problem though! there are so many of them that it’s really hard to choose only a few. Just be sure not to throw the long toothpicks holding the pintxos, as that’s how the restaurant knows how much to charge you. This is a very popular place so if you’re in the mood for delicious tapas, be sure to come early.

Opening hours of the bar (you can buy their products to take home from Tue to Sun): Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 to 15:30

Les Jardins – delicious lunch and tapas

Les-Jardins-capucins-market-in-Bordeaux
Les Jardins-Marché des Capucins

Another fun place for lunch is Les Jardins. This little restaurant has a great variety of dishes on its daily menu. You can enjoy local meat dishes and many French delicacies like snails, oysters, and shrimp. The service is super friendly, especially when you’re coming in the middle of the week. The owner really tries to give attention to every customer which is refreshing.

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 9:00 to 13:00, Saturday 5:00 to 14:00

Les Puits d’Amour – a magical dessert before you leave the market

les-puits-damour
les Puits d’amour – Marché des Capucins

This beautiful pastry carries the name le Puit d’amour, a well of love. It’s a local pastry, created by Maison Seguin in a little town South to Bordeaux called Captieux. Les Puit d’amour is filled with crème Chiboust (a mix of crème pâtissière and an Italian meringue). It’s a perfect bite-size end to your market journey. Be aware that they arrive every day with only a few trays of les Puits d’Amour and once they finish selling them, puff they’re gone. So be sure to pass by before lunch and buy a box for later.

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 9:00 until the last puit d’amour 🙂

If you liked this article you should also check my article about the best markets in Bordeaux.

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.

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:

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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 🙂 

Toulouse, the capital of Occitanie, is one of the liveliest destinations in the Southwest of France. I’ve got a detailed guide to a weekend in this wonderful city that you can’t miss if you’re visiting – check it out here!

But if you have more than a weekend to spend in the pink city, take the opportunity to discover the extraordinary heritage of Occitanie, a region nestled between the Mediterranean Sea and the Pyrenées mountains near the Spanish border. I can go on and on about places to visit around Toulouse but I’m sure many of you will visit the city without a car, so I decided to create a list of the best day trips from Toulouse to do by train.

A map of all the trains from Toulouse
Credit SNCF

Where can I go by train from Toulouse, you ask? 

Here are my top 10 ideas for day trips from Toulouse reachable by public transport.

Carcassonne – A stunning medieval town

A train journey from Toulouse: between 45 minutes and 1 hour – See tickets here.

The medieval town of Carcassonne is one of France’s magical gems that one can’t ignore when visiting the Southwest. This old citadel is located on the right bank of the Aude River. Early signs of civilizations date back 2500 years, it’s said to be one of the best-preserved medieval towns in the world. 

Access to the citadel is free and you can take the whole day to stroll the narrow medieval streets. It’s considered one of the best day trips from Toulouse for both adults and kids. You can also take a guided tour to discover Carcassonne in a fun way. Led by a guide in a medieval costume, the tour is a living story of Carcassonne in the 13th century. The tour is for adults and kids over 5yo. See all the details here

the citadel of Carcassonne
Carcassonne – Lost in Bordeaux

You do need to purchase tickets if you want to visit the castle and the ramparts, you can buy them online. The place tends to get busy in the summer so be sure to book the tickets ahead. If you’re coming as a group, consider taking a guided tour to make things easier!

If you don’t want the hassle of going there by train, you can also take an organized tour from the center of Toulouse. The price also includes an entry ticket to the chateau so really worth the price. Book your trip here

Albi – Visit the biggest brick cathedral in the world 

A train journey from Toulouse: 1 hour – buy train tickets here.

Another must-see town on a day trip from Toulouse is the city of Albi, home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2010. Nicknamed “La RougeI” or “The Red” because of the red bricks used in much of Albi’s architecture, it’s the perfect distance for a quick day trip from Toulouse by train.

You can’t miss the Cathédrale Sainte-Cécile as part of the cité épiscopale d’Albi, the very well-preserved UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back to the 13th century. Famous artist Toulouse Lautrec was born here and the city has the biggest collection of his works in the Toulouse Lautrec museum, another must-see stop on your visit to Albi.

Day trip from Bordeaux to Albi
Albi – Lost in Bordeaux

Talking the train from Toulouse to Albi is fairly easy but even easier is joining the CityTour Toulouse day trip. The bus takes you from the center of Toulouse to the center of Albi for the whole day. You can book your visit here. If you don’t have a car you can also take a private tour from Toulouse that includes both Albi and the stunning Cordes Sur Ciel, one of the most beautiful villages of France.

Personal recommendation: if you have the option, come here for a weekend and not only a day trip. It’s a chic city with plenty to see and great restaurants for foodies!

Castres

Train journey from Toulouse: 1 hour and 15 minutes – book train tickets here.

Castres, a city in Tarn to the east of Toulouse, is a hidden gem free from crowds. The architecture here is very different from the medieval towns mentioned above. Don’t miss the beautiful, colorful houses that look like they’re almost hanging over the Agout River.

Castres is home to two very interesting and famous museums. The Goya Museum, with its rich collection of Spanish artists including a few works of Goya himself, and the Centre National et Musée Jean-Jaurès, is dedicated to the life of important French politician Jean Jaurès, who was born in Castres. 

Wine tasting in Gaillac

Train journey from Toulouse: 45 minutes – see train tickets here.

If you love wine, you’re in luck! Toulouse is located just next to one of the oldest wine regions in the world, Gaillac. The city itself has a beautiful center with restaurants, cute houses, and stunning architecture, and is very pleasant for strolling around. 

Now onto the wine! If you have a car, make sure you book a visit to Château Lastours, a family-owned stunning estate that produces red, white, rose, and bubbly wines. However, even if you don’t have a car you can still enjoy fabulous Gaillac wines. Head to the chic Maison des Vins de Gaillac located in the Abbaye Saint-Michel in the center of the city. Here you’ll learn about the history of winemaking in the region and get to taste local wines.

wine tasting in Gaillac Château Lastours
Château Lastours in Gaillac – Lost in Bordeaux

Auch – the capital of Gers

Train journey from Toulouse: 1 hour and 30 minutes – Book your train tickets.

The town of Auch is the capital of Gers, a lesser-known part of the Southwest that totally deserves some attention. Auch used to be the historic capital of Gascony; it’s a very vibrant town full of history and great food! 

Auch was the birthplace of the musketeer D’Artagnan. If you’re a fan of the famous Three Musketeers, you can see his statue on the Grand Escaliers.

During your outing to Auch, be sure to visit the Cathedrale Sainte-Marie, the impressive staircase called l’Escalier Monumental with its view over the valley, Rue Dessoles, and try to catch the great market they have on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Cahors – the elegant town of deep red wine

Train journey from Toulouse: 1 hour and 10 minutes- see train tickets here.

The capital of the the Lot department, Cahors is located within an hour’s drive from famous destinations in the region like Sarlat and Rocamadour. The town is known for its regional food delicacies, such as truffles and foie gras. The best place to taste them is the market taking place every Wednesday and Saturday at Place de la Cathédrale. 

Pont Valentre in Cahors - a perfect day trip from Toulouse
Pont Valentre in Cahors – Lost in Bordeaux

I highly recommend a visit to the Pont Valentre which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Another attraction in Cahors is its small secret gardens which are a gem to visit during the warmer seasons. The best way to discover the city is to follow the secret garden map!

Many people may have never visited Cahors but definitely heard of its wonderful wines. Some of Cahors wineries are located just a few minute’s drive from the city center, so be sure to leave some time for a tour and wine tasting. Here are two great wineries to visit in Cahors: Domaine Le Passelys (recommended with kids) and Domaine Rességuier. If you’re traveling by public transport, you’ll have to take a taxi to get there.

Bordeaux – the wine capital of France (and maybe even the world!) 

Train journey from Toulouse: 2 hours and 15 minutes – book your tickets to Bordeaux here.

A short train trip will take Bordeaux, a beautiful, historic, lively city full of history, fun events, food, and – of course – wine. In my opinion, Bordeaux is one of the most elegant and fun cities in all of France – and not just because I live there!

As someone who lives and writes about Bordeaux, I think you need at least a weekend to discover Bordeaux and its surrounding sights. But if all you have is one day, then a day trip to the capital of the southwest is definitely worth it! 

The beautiful town of Bordeaux
The center of Bordeaux – Lost in Bordeaux

In a day you can check out the famous indoor Capucins market, taste some delicious cannelés (local traditional pastries), cool off at the Miroir d’Eau, check out one of the state-of-the-art museums, and eat great food at one of the countless restaurants the city has to offer.

With only a day or two in Bordeaux, I’ve summed up the things you can’t miss in this article. And if you have more time, here are my top 50 things to do in Bordeaux

Moissac and Montauban 

Train journey from Toulouse: 50 minutes and 30 minutes, respectively, located on the same train line

Moissac and Montauban are two towns very close to each other situated along the Tarn River. 

Moissac is a recommended spot to visit if you are interested in history, as it’s an important stop along the famous Santiago de Compostela pilgrim route. The famous, historic abbey and cloisters in the center of the town date back to the 12th century and are renowned as some of the most beautiful in the world.

Place Nationale in Montauban - a great stop between Bordeaux and Toulosue
Place Nationale in Montauban – Lost in Bordeaux

The lively, pleasant town of Montauban is another day trip from Toulouse I really enjoyed. Head to the Place Nationale with its beautiful arches and Place Roosevelt where cute cafés, shops, and people-watching will keep you busy. Montauban is one of the oldest bastide towns in France, founded as early as the 12th century. 

Najac and its chateau

Train journey from Toulouse: 1 hour and 20 minutes – Book your tickets.

The stunning village of Najac is surrounded by lush greenery, making for a very picturesque little place when combined with the old stone architecture. In fact, Najac is on the official list of France’s most beautiful villages.

Be sure to visit the Château Royal de Najac, built in the mid-13th century. The castle is home to the tallest dungeon in all of France, measuring almost 7 meters. From the top, you can stop and take in the magnificent view of the Aveyron River and the surrounding valley.

Castelnaudary

Train journey from Toulouse: 45 minutes

Last but certainly not least is the town of Castelnaudary, known as the birthplace of cassoulet – a famous French dish in the form of a rich, slow-cooked stew with beans and various meats. It’s also an important location on the Canal du Midi – a waterway of over 240 km connecting the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.

Castelnaudary is a very famous tourist route for boat trips and many French and foreigners barge down the canal each year, many of them stopping in Castelnaudary.

Take a walk along the pretty port or harbor and see the famous canal, then stop for a drink on the Place de Verdun.

A very easy day or half-day trip from Toulouse, I highly recommend Castelnaudary!

Is it your first time in Toulouse?

Use my Toulouse guides to prepare for your trip:
A guide to a weekend in Toulouse
Where to stay in Toulouse
Toulouse with kids
Events in Toulouse

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:

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Liked the article? Want to read it again when you’re in Toulouse? Save it on your Pinterest board.

*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 🙂 

There are many ways to discover Bordeaux’s fascinating history and cultural heritage, its gastronomy, and its wine industry. You can plan a great trip to Bordeaux using all my Bordeaux articles, especially if you’re planning day trips from Bordeaux. But I think that the capital of the SW of France is so rich with history and landmarks that taking at least one tour in Bordeaux is almost a must! 

Jumpstarting your Bordeaux adventure with a guided tour isn’t just about finding your way around – it’s like having a local friend with the inside scoop. Whether you want to walk, sail, or pedal in the historic city or focus on other parts of Bordeaux’s culture like cuisine or wine, Bordeaux has a tour to offer. 

In this article, you’ll find the best tours in Bordeaux, anything from walking tours to gourmet tours, cycling, and more. As you’re visiting the world wine capital, you should consider taking a wine tour, which you can also find on this list. However, if you’re mainly interested in wine, I recommend checking my article about the best wine tours from Bordeaux

Best tours in the old center of Bordeaux
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

If you need more ideas of fun stuff to do in Bordeaux after (or before) your tour, you should also check my article about the best 50 things to do in Bordeaux. Now let’s discover the best tours in Bordeaux.

A walking tour of historic Bordeaux 

Bordeaux boasts historic landmarks, impressive gates, and architectural richness that’s almost impossible to absorb in a short visit, without the right guidance. I highly recommend taking a walking tour of the historic part of Bordeaux to get the context of how the city was developed and why it encompasses such different styles in its little center. 

Bordeaux Private walking tour

This excellent private guided walking tour of old Bordeaux will take you to the most popular landmarks such as the Grand Theatre, Porte Cailhau, and the Saint André Cathedral. The tour lasts 2-3 hours which is enough to give you a dipper understanding of Bordeaux’s magic without it getting too havie. 

The great thing about this walking tour is that it has a bit of everything. The historical details about the main monuments of Bordeaux but also local anecdotes and interesting cultural references. So if you want a fascinating and intimate guided tour of Bordeaux, this one is for you. Book the tour here

take a walking tour in Bordeaux
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

Bordeaux group walking tour

If you don’t mind big groups, you can also take the Bordeaux guided walking tour proposed by the Bordeaux Tourist Office. This 2-hour walking tour offers a taste of Bordeaux’s fantastic mix of city urban landmarks and architectural marvels. It’s also a nice opportunity to meet other tourists from all over the world!

As the group can get big, you usually won’t cover as many landmarks and history as you would in a private tour. However, if don’t want to spend much on a tour, this is a great option to start your discovery of Bordeaux. Also, in case you purchase Bordeaux’s City Pass, you can take the tour for free. 

A night walking tour in Bordeaux

As much as Bordeaux is beautiful in daylight, there’s something even more magical about the city at night. The yellow smokie light reflected on the old limestone houses makes it look mysterious. It almost feels like the city is inviting you to discover its night secrets. 

To make your night date with Bordeaux more interesting I recommend taking the Night Walking Tour

Bordeaux by night - one of the best tours to do in Bordeaux
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

The tour is led by a friendly local guide who loves to spread his love for Bordeaux. Discover the city’s key attractions at night and immerse yourself in the enchanting ambiance of this splendid city. On this tour, you also get to taste a canelé, which is Bordeaux’s most famous pastry

You can book the Bordeaux by-night tour here

Discovering Bordeaux by bikes 

Bordeaux is a perfect place for cycling! The city is flat and has many designated cycling paths in the center and the suburbs, which makes locals cycle everywhere around Bordeaux. That’s why a cycling tour in Bordeaux is such a great option!

best bicycle tours in Bordeaux
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

Historic Center & Chartrons District Bicycle Tour

The Monsieur Bacchus Bike Tour company offers a great biking tour of the historic center and the Chartrons district. Casually cycle through the street of Bordeaux while learning about its main monuments, high-class French culture, and modern life. If you love history but don’t love walking too much, a cycling tour is an easy way to explore Bordeaux. 

The three hours tour will bring you to parts of parts of Bordeaux, that you will not see on a regular walking tour. You get to visit the posh Chartrons district as well as the more hip right bank of the Garonne River. The tours are offered from March to November. You can book them here

Food Tours in Bordeaux 

Did you know that apart from its notorious wines Bordeaux is also known for its exceptional culinary scene? Boasting the highest number of restaurants per capita, it’s no wonder the capital of the southwest was crowned the best food city in France.

Some of Bordeaux’s specialties include oysters from Arcachon, duck products and canelés. However, being new to the city, choosing the best spots to taste these delicacies can be tricky. Taking a food tour is a great way to taste Bordeaux while exploring the city. 

Puits d’amour - Bordeaux specialty
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

There are many food tours in Bordeaux however many of them feel more like historic tours with a snack, so it’s important to choose right. There are a few that I particularly like. 

NO DIET CLUB – Unique food tour in Bordeaux

NO DIET CLUB is the best gastronomic group tour for real foodies! It’s a 3.5-hour tasting tour in a warm and friendly atmosphere with a group of 12 people max. You’ll be offered plenty of tasting, ranging from savory snacks like cheese, burgers, and mussels to Bordeaux’s sweet treats. 
You can book the tour here

The best food tours in Bordeaux
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

Bordeaux traditional food tour

Another great option is the Bordeaux Traditional food tour, offered by Do Eat Better Experience. This tour is a great mix of food and history, two important features in Bordeaux. You will be tasting plenty of local bites in Bordeaux’s best spots while learning the secrets of the city along the way.  The tour starts with wine tasting and ends with a delicious lunch in a classic French Bistro. An absolute treat! 

If you’re a foodie visiting Bordeaux in high season, be sure to book the tour in advance as it’s likely to sell out.

A food tour in the center of Bordeaux
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

Bordeaux Gourmet Food Tour

If you’re looking for a more high-end private food tour in Bordeaux, you should check out Aquitaine Travel Guide. The company is run by Anne who is a chef and also a brilliant guide that offers a deeper glimpse into the gastronomic culture of this region. 

If you don’t have time for a proper food tour in Bordeaux, you can also use my articles to build a self-guided food tour:
What to eat at the Capucins market in Bordeaux 
The best markets in Bordeaux 
The best foodie streets in Bordeaux
Bordeaux’s food specialties you have to try

Take a River Cruise in Bordeaux

For centuries, the Garonne River, among the longest rivers in France, has served as a lifeline to the heart of Bordeaux. In the past, it was the main route for trade, helping Bordeaux become a flourishing port and trading center. The Garonne had an immense economic impact on the city and is considered the key factor in the rise of Bordeaux as a global power in the wine business. 

Today, the riverside remains a vibrant and vital part of Bordeaux’s landscape that serves as a space for many social events (especially in summer). Along the riverfront, you can see some of Bordeaux’s most beautiful architecture. So Taking a River Cruise in Bordeaux is a cool way to experience the city!

Best cruises and extortions in Bordeaux
Wine tour to the vineyards of Bordeaux

When traveling to the most famous wine region in the world, a trip to the vineyards is kind of a must. There are thousands of vineyards to visit in the Bordeaux wine region, some of which you can find in my article about wineries in the Medoc, Saint Emilion, and Sauternes regions. So you definitely plan a self-guided tour in one of Bordeaux’s wine appelations. 

However, there’s something about a good wine tour (especially a more intimate one) that can elevate the whole experience. Also, the fact that they drive you, choose the wineries, and do all the scheduling is a big advantage. 

Here are my recommendations for the two best wine tours from Bordeaux. You can read all my other recommendations in my article about Bordeaux’s best wine tours

 A full day to Saint Emilion 
Go on the Saint-Emilion Full-Day Wine Tour from Bordeaux for a comprehensive and enriching wine adventure. This tour takes you through the picturesque vineyards of Saint-Emilion, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its exceptional wines. The 8-hour tour includes a visit  (and wine tasting of course) at 3 Châteaux and also Free time to discover Saint-Emilion.

Throughout the day, you’ll get to witness the artistry behind the production ‘from wine to bottle’, sharing the secrets of the winemaking craft and making the technical details accessible and enjoyable for participants of all levels of wine expertise.

Perfect for wine enthusiasts seeking a comprehensive and immersive experience, this tour provides historical and cultural explanations, tasting, and exploring of the rich culture of Saint-Emilion.

You can book the full-day tour from Bordeaux here

 River Garonne Cruise with Glass of Wine

This relaxed 1,5 hours cruise on a yacht named Luna will help you discover Bordeaux from the river. And, it comes with a bonus—a complimentary glass of wine! Doesn’t it make everything better? 

What sets this cruise apart is the combination of sightseeing and wine sipping, the best way to enjoy Bordeaux. The cruise starts from the city center and passes by iconic landmarks like the Place de la Bourse and the Saint Pierre Stone Bridge. If you’re looking for a laid-back adventure with a light touch of luxury, don’t hesitate to book this Bordeaux-guided cruise

Bordeaux Lunch Cruise

If you’re planning to take the tour around lunchtime, which not take a Bordeaux lunch cruise. A guided cruise where you get to see some of Bordeaux’s fabulous monuments while enjoying a classic French lunch. The 2-hour cruise starts at noon at  Quai des Chartrons. Book your table here

Accompany a professional fisherman on the Garonne river

Organized by a professional fisherman in Bordeaux, this cruise offers a real adventure! During the cruise, you will learn about the Garonne and its Flora and Fauna. The coolest part is that you’ll be a part of the fishing experience with “the last fisherman of Bordeaux”! This tour is not offered very often, but when it does it creates a great experience. You can see the available dates here.

Wine tour to the vineyards of Bordeaux

When traveling to the most famous wine region in the world, a trip to the vineyards is kind of a must. There are thousands of vineyards to visit in the Bordeaux wine region, some of which you can find in my article about wineries in the Medoc, Saint Emilion, and Sauternes regions. So you definitely plan a self-guided tour in one of Bordeaux’s wine appelations. 

Best wine tours to visit Bordeaux wineries
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

However, there’s something about a good wine tour (especially a more intimate one) that can elevate the whole experience. Also, the fact that they drive you, choose the wineries, and do all the scheduling is a big advantage. 

Here are my recommendations for the two best wine tours from Bordeaux. You can read all my other recommendations in my article about Bordeaux’s best wine tours

 A full day to Saint Emilion 

Go on the Saint-Emilion Full-Day Wine Tour from Bordeaux for a comprehensive and enriching wine adventure. This tour takes you through the picturesque vineyards of Saint-Emilion, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its exceptional wines. The 8-hour tour includes a visit  (and wine tasting of course) at 3 Châteaux and also Free time to discover Saint-Emilion.

A wine tour from Bordeaux to discover the wineries of Saint Emilion
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

Throughout the day, you’ll get to witness the artistry behind the production ‘from wine to bottle’, sharing the secrets of the winemaking craft and making the technical details accessible and enjoyable for participants of all levels of wine expertise.

Perfect for wine enthusiasts seeking a comprehensive and immersive experience, this tour provides historical and cultural explanations, tasting, and exploring of the rich culture of Saint-Emilion. You can book the full-day tour from Bordeaux here. 

A half day to Medoc 

The half-day wine trip to Medoc will allow you to visit two wineries from different appellations in Medoc and observe the differences between the more prestigious chateaux and smaller family-owned properties. All the chateaux on the tours are either Grand Cru classé or Cru Bourgeois, so good wine is guaranteed. 
The tour is usually offered in the tourist season in the morning and the afternoon. You can book the tour here.

Best wine tour from Bordeaux to Medoc
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

A street art tour of Bordeaux 

Bordeaux prides itself on a very dynamic street art culture and talented artists that decorate many murals in the city. In the city center, which is a UNESCO site, painting on most of the buildings is strictly forbidden. Nevertheless, the city does a wonderful job of incorporating street art where it’s possible. That’s why you will find the huge animals of AMO, the colorful faces of Alber, and the expressive characters of Nasty on hotel buildings and shutters in the city. 

However, if you want to discover the real richness of Bordeaux’s street art you need to leave the city center and explore other neighborhoods. There you will discover vibrant murals and eye-catching graffiti, showcasing the creativity of local and international artists. 

A Street Art Guided Tour in Bordeaux is the perfect way to dive into this lively street art scene. During this 1,5 hour tour, you’ll see the urban landscape of Bordeaux through its most colorful creative side. The advantage here is that the guide helps you uncover hidden gems of art you might miss on your own.

A street art tour in Bordeaux
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

If you’re curious about street art and want a relaxed and enjoyable way to explore Bordeaux, this tour is for you. No art degree is required—just an open mind and a love for urban expression. Book your tour 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:

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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 🙂 

Gastronomy is a serious business throughout France and les Bordelais make no exception. Nestled between ocean, countryside, and mountains, the Bordeaux region’s prime position produces some of the country’s finest fare. With great importance placed on terroir (the balance of climate, soil, and environment), Bordeaux cuisine celebrates local and seasonal produce from the land and sea. 

Boasting the highest number of restaurants per capita, it’s no wonder the capital of the southwest was crowned the best food city in France. Bordeaux is a veritable haven for food lovers, from refined Michelin-starred establishments to humble family-run bistros.

Whether you’re into hearty stews, delicate fruits de mer, or crave desserts, Bordeaux has the goods. And what better way to uncover the essence of a city than through its food?! If your mouth is already watering, come with me for a degustation of 10 must-try Bordeaux specialties!

Before we start!
One of the best ways to discover local specialties is by taking a food tour. If you’re time-limited,  you can create your own guided tour by following this list and the articles about Bordeaux’s main market and the foodie streets of Bordeaux. All that information will help you build your gastronomic journey in Bordeaux.

Bordeaux specialties you must try

Oysters

Just an hour away from Bordeaux lie the glittering waters of the Bassin d’Arcachon and the Cap Ferret peninsula. This area of the Atlantic Coast is home to hundreds of farms that make up one of France’s major oyster-producing regions.

Oysters are generally enjoyed au naturel throughout France, with maybe just a spritz of fresh lemon to enhance the taste of the ocean. For a great day out, visit one of the many cabanes à huîtres (oysters huts) located in and around the bay. Their menu usually includes not only the famous oysters of Arcachon meaty prawns and squishy whelks too.

Marché des Capucins - the best place to have oysters in Bordeaux
Oysters at the Marché des Capucins

Of course, you can also find oysters in Bordeaux seafood restaurants such as Le Petit Commerce in the Saint-Pierre area or La Cabane Cent Un in Chartrons Square. Or for more rustic vibes, slurp up these briny delights at the Marché des Capucins or the Marché des Quais.

Caviar

Another water-based delicacy produced in the Bordeaux area is caviar. Centuries ago, sturgeon were naturally abundant in the Gironde and were caught widely for their meat. A lack of knowledge on how to prepare caviar meant the eggs were discarded.

This all changed during the 1920s when a Russian princess (says the legend) informed some local fishermen of the error of their ways. This chance encounter led to the boom of caviar production in France.

Caviar is one of Bordeaux food specialties

The demise of the wild sturgeon population due to demand for these black pearls saw France ban the capture of sturgeon in 1982. The rise of aquaculture has since taken off as a result, with some of the biggest names such as Sturia and Caviar d’Aquitaine to be found in the region. Their range of luxury products can be found at many of the épiceries in town.

Some farms welcome visitors; one of these is the beautiful Caviar de Neuvic, where you can experience delicious tastings and a behind-the-scenes tour of caviar production. Or you can head over to their chic caviar bar in town 

White asparagus

Located just 50 kilometers north of Bordeaux, the town of Blaye is renowned for its magnificent UNESCO-listed citadel that overlooks the Gironde estuary. Its other, lesser-known claim to fame, is that of white asparagus, les asperges du Blayais

With its rich black sandy soils and mild humid climate, the Blaye region has been growing asparagus since the 15th century. According to legend, this delicate vegetable was introduced to Louis XIV’s court by the Marquis de Vauban, the man who constructed the town’s medieval citadel.

Synonymous with spring, the appearance of these sweet and tender spears heralds the turning of the season. Only harvested from the end of February until June, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for them at restaurants and markets in Bordeaux and the region. 

White asparagus is one Bordeaux's best produce

Or why not combine a trip to visit the citadel with a whole festival dedicated to this regional specialty, La fête de l’asperges du Blayais, held over the last weekend in April.  

One place that makes the most delicious white asparagus dishes is Tutiac, Le Bistro Vignerons, which happens to be one of the best wine bars in Bordeaux

Cèpes

Cèpes are widely used in French cooking and are the most consumed mushroom throughout the country. With its small cap, large base, and ability to grow up to 40cm, the cèpe de Bordeaux (Boletus edulis) is hailed as the king. Sprouting from the fertile undergrowth of oak, pine, and chestnut forests, these juicy porcini mushrooms are loved for their slightly nutty flavor and fleshy texture.

cèpe de Bordeaux- Bordeaux's famous mushrooms

A seasonal delicacy, the Bordeaux cèpe makes its appearance towards the end of August and usually grows through to November. Throughout the season you’ll find them gracing the tables at restaurants. Commonly found in omelette aux cepes or sauteed simply in butter with parsley, cèpes are often used in wine sauces to complement robust meat dishes.

If you like cooking, in Autumn you’ll find them at every market and you can even join mushroom foraging tours offered in the region. 

Bazas beef

Calling all meat lovers! Some of the region’s finest beef comes from the area around the town of Bazas, about 60 kilometers south of Bordeaux. Bazadaise cows roam free in pastures and are fed on grass and grains. The delicious meat has a subtle hint of hazelnut and is exceptionally tender, thanks to its marbled and aromatic fatty flesh.

boeuf de Bazas - the most famous meat from the Bordeaux region

With its protected geographical status and “Label Rouge” (a sign of quality assurance), boeuf de Bazas is only available to buy from 13 approved butchers. Keep an eye out for the sticker signaling this approval. It can be found on the menus of Bordeaux’s finest steakhouses, including Brasserie Bordelaise

Better still, visit the Fête des Boeufs Gras de Bazas in February, where the prized cattle are paraded through the streets, decorated with flowers and ribbons. Dating back more than 7 centuries the festival is held on the Thursday before Mardi Gras. The event, which attracts visitors from all over the region, celebrates cows, epiphany, regional traditions, and gastronomy in one fell swoop.

Foie Gras / Duck products

Whilst it was the ancient Egyptians who discovered it, Foie Gras is considered an institution in the south-west of France. The Dordogne region, bordering the Bordeaux region, is renowned for being the capital of this gourmet product, which is often served on special occasions.

You can find a huge slelction of duck products in the Bordeaux region

The name foie gras means “fatty liver” which is exactly what it is; the fattened liver from a duck or goose. The production of foie gras in France dates back centuries and is legally protected to ensure the high welfare of the birds. 

It is typically eaten as a starter, with its rich and buttery goodness found in various forms; cut into thick slices and seared, mi-cuit and served on individual toasts or even whipped up in a mousse. 

Luckily for us, It is not just the liver that is revered. Duck is considered a specialty in itself too, with the breasts, legs, and wings all claiming their rightful place at the table. The breasts (magrets de canard) are grilled to perfection whilst the legs and wings are preserved in the fat and served confit-style; both are a staple in Bordeaux bistros.

Grenier Médocain

Little known outside the region, Grenier médocain is a special charcuterie that originates from the Medoc area. Back in the days when wine from the Medoc was not as popular as it is now, families kept a couple of pigs to ensure their supply of meat for the year. In making use of the whole animal, the stomach was used as the main ingredient for Grenier médocain and it became a popular dish often served during the grape harvests.

It is also rumored that General de Gaulle was a huge fan and had it delivered to the Élysée Palace every week!

Grenier Médocain - a traditional charcuterie from Bordeaux
Grenier Médocain and other charcuterie typical to the Bordeaux region

So what is it you ask? Pork stomach is seasoned generously with salt, pepper, garlic, and a blend of spices, then rolled up into a ball, sewn together, and braised in vegetable stock. Once cooked, the dish is thinly sliced and typically served cold as part of an apéro or as a starter. 

I’ll admit it doesn’t look overly appetizing the first time you see it at the butcher or the market (a bit like the inside of a brain!) but if you’re adventurous, give it a try! Your tastebuds will thank you for it.

Canelés

Canelés are petite, cylindrical pastries with a crispy, caramelized shell that give way to a sweet, chewy interior. With a history dating back to the 18th century, canelés are reported to have originally been created by nuns using leftover egg yolks from winemaking. Nowadays, they are often enjoyed as a sweet treat with a cup of coffee or as a sophisticated dessert after a fine French meal.

canele in Bordeaux
Canelé

The secret to their unique flavor lies in the combination of vanilla and rum, infusing each bite with a delicate sweetness and a subtle hint of warmth. Traditionally baked in copper molds to achieve their signature caramelized exteriors, canelés boast a contrast of textures that culminate in a harmonious marriage of crispy and creamy.

Canelés are readily found in boulangeries across Bordeaux and every Bordelais has their favorite place to buy local pastries. But two main producers in Bordeaux specialize solely in these little fluted treats, Canelés Baillardran and La Toque Cuivrée (my personal favorite!). Here you will find them in a variety of sizes, from bite-sized morsels to larger, more indulgent versions. You are also going to get them on any food tour you’ll take in the city.

If you have a sweet tooth you should also check my article about the best sweet specialties in the region

Les Guinettes Bordelaises

Les Guinettes Bordelaises are bite-sized delights combining velvety dark chocolate, tangy cherries, and a dash of alcohol. Whole ripe cherries are immersed in a bath of Kirsch (cherry brandy) for several months before being individually dipped in sugar fondant and then enrobed in a dark chocolate case. After popping one into your mouth, you have two options – either crack the chocolate shell immediately or let it melt slowly – to release the fragrant liqueur and the juicy cherry.

Saunion - the best local chocolate including Les Guinettes Bordelaises
Saunion – the best place to find Les Guinettes Bordelaises

Guinettes can be found in specialty chocolate shops across Bordeaux, especially in the fancy Triangle d’Or part of the city. Two such places are Saunion and Cadiot-Badie.

You can discover other chocolate shops in my article about the best chocolatiers in Bordeaux

Puits d’amour

Puits d’amour translates to “wells of love” in English and the pastries themselves are just as sweet as their name. A small choux pastry shell is filled with chiboust cream, a pastry cream mixed with an Italian meringue. The addition of this meringue creates a light and airy texture which contrasts beautifully with the delicate crackle of caramelised sugar on top. 

Head to Maison Seguin to try these delectable pastries, either at their stall at the Capucins market or at their boutique in Chartrons.

(if the above trio of petites gourmandises have left your sweet tooth wanting more, be sure to check out more goodies here.

Bordeaux Wine

Of course, no Bordelaise feast would be complete without a glass (or two) of the region’s most well-known and loved product… le vin! Whether it’s a bone-dry white to wash down your oysters or a full-bodied red to pair with a rich meat dish, Bordeaux wine has got you covered.

Tasting Bordeaux wine is a must in the region

There are a myriad of places in the city to sample the mighty Bordeaux grape; I have compiled a a list of places that offer wine tasting. If you don’t really need any explanation and simply want to sip some wine, check out my list of the best wine bars in Bordeaux

And if you fancy getting out to see where the magic happens, take a look at my detailed guide on the different regions and how to visit them

Where to try local food in Bordeaux?

So now you’ve read about all these mouthwatering dishes, where can you get your hands on them?! 

Several restaurants in Bordeaux specialize in dishes typical of the region, such as Cochon Volant, Le Noailles, and Big Bistrot Girondin. Other two Bordeaux gastronomic institutes include La Tupina and Brasserie Bordelaise

Brasserie Bordelaise - one of the best restauratns to try Bordeaux's cuisine
Brasserie Bordelaise – by Lost in Bordeaux

If you want to try cooking up a storm yourself, head to one of Bordeaux’s bustling markets to pick up some wonderful produce. 

You can also discover many of these delicacies if you take a food tour in Bordeaux.

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

*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 🙂 

When you live in the world’s wine capital, you can be sure that making a list of the best wine bars is not going to be an easy task. Bordeaux boasts numerous wine bars, the majority of which offer an extensive array of exceptional wines. So how did I end up choosing this particular list of 10 wine bars in Bordeaux you ask? 

My three main criteria: the wine selection, great service/atmosphere, and the food menu. 

Not every bar on my list has a proper dinner menu but all of them offer a great selection of bites and nibbles to complement the wine tasting. 

My article includes bars in five different neighborhoods in Bordeaux, as I love to make you discover other districts surrounding the city center. If you’re looking for a wine-tasting experience, rather than just a wine bar, see my recommendations for wine-tasting in Bordeaux

What are the best wine bars in Bordeaux?

Le Bar à Vin

I’m going to start with one of Bordeaux’s classics, Le Bar à Vin. If you’re looking to explore Bordeaux’s wines, this wine bar is likely the best place to begin your journey. The bar is located in a stunning 18th-century building which is also the residence of Bordeaux’s Wine Council (CIVB).

Le Bar à Vin - one of the classic wine bars of Bordeaux

If you ever had the chance to read about the Bordeaux wine region, you must know that there are tens of appellations under that umbrella. At le Bar à Vin, you can try wine from all the main appelations like Medoc, Saint Emilion, and Sauternes but also from less familiar ones like Blaye or Cadillac. 

On their wine menu, you’ll find a big price range, starting at about 4€ and going up to 10€ per glass. The best part though, is that you can order half a glass for half the price!

Food-wise, le Bar à Vin has quite a limited menu, with classic things like fromage and charcuterie and some local specialties like foie gras and wine salt. Try not to come too hungry as this place will not replace a dinner. 

The bar is open from Monday to Saturday (not many bars are open on Monday so this is a big bonus) from 11 am to 10 pm.
Where: 3 Cr du 30 Juillet, 33000 Bordeaux

Vins Urbains 

This bar is a favorite spot of my friend Julie, who’s one of my best sources for bars and restaurants in Bordeaux. I can confidently say that they have one of the city’s finest wine lists, and every wine they offer is typically excellent. 

Most of the place consists of a long bar with many high chairs where you can sit and chit-chat with the owner about your wine preferences. A lovely guy, who would happily advise you about the wine you’ll likely enjoy most. If you come with a small group of friends there are also a few tables in the back. 

Vins Urbains - a great menu to accompany the wine
Vins Urbains – by Lost in Bordeaux

Vins Urbains is both a wine bar and a wine cellar where you can buy the wine you like to take home with you. And with about 250 bottles from all over the world, you have a huge selection to choose from. 

Vins Urbains is located in the heart of the historic center of Bordeaux on the charming rue des Bahutiers. 

The bar is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 6 pm to 12 AM
Where:  27 Rue des Bahutiers, 33000 Bordeaux

Julo

Let’s move to Saint Michel, another lively neighborhood in the center of Bordeaux. The district of the main market of Bordeaux is known for its many bars and bustling nightlife. However, when it comes to wine bars in Saint Michel, Julo is my top choice. 

A simple wine and tapas bar with a huge selection of French wines accompanied by some of the best charcuterie and cheese from France, Spain, and Italy.

Julo - agreat place for a glass of wine on a teracce table in Bordeaux
Julo wine bar- by Lost in Bordeaux

For the best experience, consider booking a table on the square just behind the Saint Michel Basilique. Here, you can enjoy the sight of people strolling by as the neighborhood transitions into its evening ambiance.

The bar is open from Tuesday to Sunday 

Where: 11 Rue des Faures, 33000 Bordeaux

L’Officine

Moving slightly away from the city center to Fondaudege, a calm neighborhood that many locals have took to heart in the past few years. With many food stores, bakeries, and restaurants, it attracts people from all over the city. 

There are plenty of hidden gems to discover in this neighborhood and one of them is the wine bar L’officine.

The bar boasts a warm and charming design with a piano and plenty of funky furniture and decor that create a relaxed vibe.

L’officine – a wine bar in Bordeaux

The owners are very nice and will be happy to help you choose the wine from their large selection of French wines. What sets this place apart is the extensive snack menu that goes beyond the typical charcuterie boards. So if you’re after a more local experience with a great bar menu, that’s your place.

The bar is open from Tuesday to Saturday.

Where: 48 Rue du Dr Albert Barraud, 33000 Bordeaux

Yarra

Another special place is Yarra, a wine bar located on the main street of the posh Chartrons neighborhood. The bar was opened a few years ago by a French-Australian couple who cultivated a very international ambiance in Yarra. Many expats, locals, and tourists come here to sip wine, watch games, and participate in cultural evenings organized by the owners Aaron and Albane.

Yarra - the wine bar in Bordeaux with the best ambiance
Yarra – by Lost in Bordeaux

The bar is located in a typical Chartron building in what used to be its wine cellar. The interior is an interesting mix of an industrial bar at the front with a more cozy sofa area at the back. So you can choose where you want to sit depending on your mood and energy that evening. 

Yarra offers a great variety of wines from famous wine regions in France as well as smaller and less-known appellations from around the world which they love recommending. When it comes to food, Yarra has one of the best bar menus on this list. You can find anything from antipasti to duck tartare and even some vegan options.  

Yarra is open from Wednsday to Sunday

Where: 18 Rue Notre Dame, 33000 Bordeaux

Wine More time 

Wine More Time is an established wine bar that enjoys popularity among numerous wine enthusiasts in Bordeaux. It’s located on one of the most charming streets of Bordeaux, rue Saint James, leading to the stunning Grosse Cloche. If you choose a table on the terrace this historic monument will be your view. 

The bar offers a selection of more than 400 bottles, sorted by wine appellation and county. Each section offers a nice range of prices allowing you to taste great wines from Saint Emilion or Medoc at affordable prices. The idea is for you to take your time and choose the wine that will suit you best that night. 

Wine more time - one of the best wine bars in Bordeaux
Wine More TIme – by Lost in Bordeaux

All the employees are very knowledgeable and passionate about wine and will gladly guide you if you feel a bit lost. 

Wine More Time has a great menu with many local delicacies like foie gras, cheese from the Pyrenees, and a lot of Gascony specialties. 

The bar is open from Monday to Saturday

Address:  8 Rue Saint-James, 33000 Bordeaux

L’ampélo

L’ampelo in the Quinconces district is one of the newest wine bars in Bordeaux. The modern bar offers a neat concept allowing you to taste a huge variety of wines by glass without the need to open a bottle. Similar to places like Max Bordeaux, L’ampelo uses special machines for the open wine bottles and all you have to do is press a button to get your glass filled.  

L’ampelo  - wine bar in Bordeaux
L’ampelo – by Lost in Bordeaux

The bar has a huge selection of French wines as well as from many other wine regions across the globe.
If you’re in an experimental mood, you can charge the card they give you and try different wines from their machines. They also have a nice tapas menu, which is great for an apéro with friends. 

The bar is open from Tuesday to Saturday. 

Where: 3 Rue Gobineau, 33000 Bordeaux

Tutiac, Le Bistro Vignerons

Tutiac maybe started as a wine bar, but within the years it has transformed into a proper restaurant with amazing wine. 

The wine bar was opened a few years ago by “Les Vignerons de Tutiac”, a group of 500 wine growers from different parts of the Bordeaux wine region. The members represent winegrowers from 15 different Bordeaux appelations and that’s the wine you’ll find in Tutiac. You can say that it’s the only wine bar in Bordeaux where you can buy wine directly from the winemakers.

In 2020, a more gastronomic aspect was added to Tupiac when it became a chef’s restaurant with delicious local cuisine. If you’re looking for a wine bar, a great restaurant, and a wine shop in one place, Tupiac is where you should go. 

Open daily for lunch and dinner and drinks in between. 

Where: 10 Pl. du Palais, 33000 Bordeaux

Les Trois Pinardiers

Les Trois Pinardiers is a chic wine bar and shop located a few steps from Place Gambetta. The bar has a fun terrace on one of the pedestrian streets of Bordeaux, which is perfect for a drink with friends on a sunny day. 

The bar also offers great wine-tasting sessions where you get to taste some of the best Grand Cru Bordeaux wines. This is one of the best wine-tasting experiences for beginners in Bordeaux. See all the details here

Les Trois Pinardiers - A great wine bar in Bordeaux
Les Trois Pinardiers – Lost in Bordeaux

The bar is open daily from 5 pm to midnight.

Where: 2 Rue Georges Bonnac, 33000 Bordeaux

La Manufacture Le Bayon

The last place on the list is not a classic wine bar in Bordeaux, but a place I just love and had to add it to my article. La Manufacture Le Bayon is a combination of a bar, restaurant, deli, and coffee place. 

The place is run by a lovely couple, Clotilde and Loic, two food enthusiasts who decided to open it after leaving their careers as chefs in gastronomic restaurants. 

As you enter, the first thing you’ll see is their deli with amazing delicacies all made by the talented couple. They work with a variety of local producers, insisting on using only the best products in their kitchen. 

They usually offer a lunch menu as well as a brunch on Saturdays. But you can come whenever you want if you want a glass of wine and something from their deli to go with it. 

La Manufacture Le Bayon - a special kind of wine bar in Bordeaux
La Manufacture Le Bayon – by Lost in Bordeaux

I love to go there after work and enjoy their famous pâté en croûte with white wine. The best tables are of course outside, here you get to enjoy the beautiful view of the Pey Berland tower. 

La Manufacture Le Bayon is open from Tuesday to Saturday

Where: 23 rue des Frères Bonie, 33000 Bordeaux 

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:

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Sarlat-la-Canéda is a beautiful medieval town in the Périgord Noir region of France. A perfect base for many day trips and weekend getaways, Sarlat is located in the heart of some of France’s most beautiful sights. In this article, I’ll help you plan the best day trips from Sarlat!

Situated around 200 km from Bordeaux in the famous Dordogne valley North of the Dordogne River, Sarlat-la-Canéda has something for everyone all year long. The town is famous for its culinary delights, ancient architecture, and narrow, cobbled streets. I wrote a complete guide to all the best things to do in Sarlat, but here I’d like to talk only about the amazing day trips you can do in Perigord Noir and beyond.  

A short drive will get you to prehistoric caves, majestic medieval castles, and breathtaking gardens. There is so much to do both for adults and kids, you’ll want to extend your stay in Sarlat!

Beynac - one of the best trips from Sarlat
Beynac – a perfect day trip from Sarlat – Lost in Bordeaux

Most landmarks I mention in this article are easier to get to by car, but a handful can be reached by train. If you’re planning to do several things from this list, see if it’s worth purchasing the Perigord pass. The pass gives you a 20% discount on entrance to different castles, gardens, and caves.

You can also take a semi-private tour which will allow you to visit five different villages around Sarlat. The tour provides detailed explanations so you can get the historical context of the villages and the many castles in Dordogne.  If you’re short in time I highly recommend taking advantage of it. You can book the tour here.

Best day trips from Sarlat 

Beynac-et-Cazenac – one of the most beautiful villages in France

Distance from Sarlat: 12km

Around 20 minutes from Sarlat you’ll find possibly the most famous of all the villages in this area, Beynac-et-Cazenac. This breathtaking village is full of history and is known to be one of France’s most beautiful villages

Home to the famous Château de Beynac, one of the most stunning castles to visit in Dordogne. The castle is so well-preserved and boasts such magnificent views, movie directors often choose it as the backdrop for their films. 

Beynac and its chateau - a  must visit from Sarlat
Beynac-et-Cazenac – Lost in Bordeaux

After you finish wandering the charming cobblestone streets of Beynac head to the top of the village and look for the cross. There you’ll find the best viewpoint for a photo souvenir, with views stretching over at least five different nearby castles!

La Roque Gageac 

Distance from Sarlat: 14km

Situated beneath a sharp cliff on the banks of the Dordogne, La Roque Gageac is one of the prettiest villages you’ll ever see and boasts a panoramic view of the whole valley. This fairytale-like village is built into the limestone cliffs cascading down into the river and goes back as far as the 12th century. Once a bustling river port town for regional trade, this medieval village’s architecture and natural beauty will blow you away.

La Roque Gageac - one of the best day trips from Sarlat
La Roque Gageac – a view from the river – Lost in Bordeaux

One of the best ways to visit La Roque Gageac is a canoe! There are amazing kayaking/ canoeing tours you can do on the Dordogne, where you get to stop at the villages on the way. Here’s one of the best places to rent a Kayak/ Canoe in this part of the Dordogne

If you’ve got a car and a bit of time, you might like to pack a couple more beautiful villages into your day trip from Sarlat. Stop off at the stunning Castelnaud-la-Chapelle, visit Les Jardins de Marqueyssac (more on that below), or head to the beautiful village of Domme.

Kayaking/ Canoeing  on the Dordogne/ Vézère rivers

If you’re looking for a thrilling outdoor activity near Sarlat, kayaking on the Dordogne River is your next destination! With its gentle currents and breathtaking surroundings, the river offers a perfect setting for a family-friendly water escapade. 

Kayaking on the Dordogne river - one of the best day trips in Dordogne
Kayaking / Canoeing near Sarlat – Lost in Bordeaux

Along the banks of the Dordogne River, you’ll find kayaking clubs dotted throughout the villages, offering an array of routes suitable for all ages. From the water, you’ll enjoy magnificent views of the most enchanting villages near Sarlat, such as Castelnaud-la-Chapelle or Beynac.

One of the best clubs is located in Vitrac a few minutes drive from Sarlat. From there you can embark on a breathtaking journey past some of the most beautiful villages in France. If you’re visiting the region in the summer, booking in advance is recommended

There are many more places for kayaking and canoeing experiences in Dordogne – I summarized my favorite places in this article.

Les Jardins de Marqueyssac

Distance from Sarlat: 11km

Jardins de Marqueyssac is one of the most beautiful gardens in Dordogne and one of the most popular attractions in the region. 

The gardens were created in the 19th century by Julien de Cerval, a visionary aristocrat who was so passionate about box tree gardens he planted 150,000 boxwoods in Marqueyssac. These shrubs are still pruned by hand today and are surrounded by waterfalls and panoramic views of the Dordogne. 

Les Jardins de Marqueyssac is especially kid-friendly, and the perfect place for a family outdoor day when traveling in the Dordogne. You can buy drinks and snacks from the crêperie or the sandwich stall on the grounds, or grab a table at the more elegant sit-down restaurant with its wonderful view. 

Les Jardins de Marqueyssac on of the most beautiful gardens in Dordogne
Les Jardins de Marqueyssac – Lost in Bordeaux

If you’re there in July and August, go in the evening for a magical, romantic experience – gardens by candlelight! They light up the narrow walkways between the boxwoods with 2,000 candles for a stunning stroll as it gets dark.
Les Jardins de Marqueyssac are open every day of the year, but be sure to check the website before you go because the opening times differ based on the season. I’d recommend buying your tickets online to avoid lines.

Lascaux – discover prehistoric art in one of the most famous caves in the world 

Distance from Sarlat: 26km

The Lascaux cave is an archaeological treasure unveiling captivating paintings and engravings dating back over 17,000 years.

You should know that the original caves were closed to the public in 1963. This decision was made to protect the delicate and ancient cave paintings from harmful effects such as changes in temperature and humidity. However, the extraordinary replicas are very accurate and worth the visit.

The oldest and most visited part is Lascaux II, which offers a partial replica of the cave. Lascaux II provides a glimpse into the past as you explore sections that closely resemble the original artwork.

Only a limited number of people can enter Lascaux so I highly recommend booking your tickets in advance. There’s usually only one tour in English a day so make sure you choose the right language when booking. Lascaux II is open from April to November. 

You should also visit the International Center for Cave Art. This modern exhibition space offers an immersive experience where you can admire meticulously recreated replicas of the original cave paintings. 

You can buy tickets to Lascaux VI separately, but you get a discount if you buy a combined ticket with Lascaux II – see all the info here. Lascaux IV is open the whole year except the first three weeks of January – see hours here.

You also have the option to take a semi-private tour in English that will take you from Sarlat to the caves of Lascaux and the famous archeological site of Abri Cro-Magnon at Les Eyzies de Tayac. You can book this tour here

Les Eyzies – a day in Prehistoric Dordogne 

Distance from Sarlat: 21km

If you’re interested in the prehistoric part of Dordogne, this is the epicenter. Here you can find the Abri Cro-Magnon at Les Eyzies de Tayac, where 28,000-year-old remains of anatomically modern humans were found. 

If you want to visit another interesting museum while in Les Eyzies, you can continue to the fabulous Musée de Prehistoire where a lot of items from the archeological digs were found.

One of the most popular attractions in Les Eyzies is Grotte de Font de Gaume. Unlike the Lascaux caves, which are a replica, here you can see a beautiful collection of original paintings. It’s very popular and reservation in advance is a must if you want a chance to visit this cave. 

The entrance  to Grotte de Font de Gaume in Les Eyzies
The entrance to la Grotte de Font de Gaume – Lost in Bordeaux

Some other interesting caves nearby include L’abri Pataud, Le Thot, Le Conquil, Grotte de Combarelles, L’Abri du Cap Blanc, La Grotte de Bernifal, Grotte du Grand Roc, Grotte de Bara Bahau, Le gouffre de Proumeyssac, and many more. When I said this is the epicenter of prehistoric Dordogne, I wasn’t joking!

Rocamadour

Distance from Sarlat: 50km

Let’s now escape the Dordogne department to the neighboring Lot region which is full of wonder. One of the most popular places to visit in Lot is Rocamadour, an important pilgrimage destination. Located about an hour from Sarlat, Rocamadour is one of the most beautiful villages in France. 

Rocamadour - one of the most popular day trips from Sarlat
Rocamadour in Lot – Lost in Bordeaux

The village’s history is important for context during your visit. It started in 1166 when the preserved body of Saint Amadour was discovered here. Legend has it Saint Amadour is Zaccheus, the character in the Bible who climbed the tree to see Jesus and whose wife Saint Veronica wiped the face of Jesus with a handkerchief whilst he carried the cross.

Zaccheus had come to Rocamadour as a hermit and built a sanctuary in the rock. Within a few years of the body being found, numerous miraculous healings were attributed to the saintly remains. Pilgrims started arriving – and never stopped!

Today, the village is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is very busy! There’s one main street in the village and it’s extremely touristy with plenty of restaurants and shops of local gastronomy and souvenirs. But in my opinion, it’s so moving and mesmerizing that you can still enjoy it even when it’s very crowded.

Rocamadour can be a full-day trip from Sarlat as there are many things to do nearby. The most famous attraction near Rocamadour is the stunning Gouffre de Padirac, a chasm in the rock taking you deep into the Earth. If you’re traveling with kids, you can also visit the nearby monkey forest in Sarlat, a really fun outing for the whole family!

La Forêt des Singes - a cute monkey forest in Rocamadour
The monkey forest in Rocamadour

There’s quite a lot to do in Rocamadour so if you can turn it into a weekend I highly recommend it. If you want to spend the night there, check out Hôtel Les Esclargies, a comfortable hotel with great breakfast and a pool. Book your stay here.

Le Bournat – a perfect day trip with kids 

Distance from Sarlat: 29 km

Le Bournat is a truly one-of-a-kind amusement park that whisks you away to the golden age of the area. Prepare to be immersed in the rich history and traditions of the region as you step into “Le Village Artisanal”, the craftsmen village. From bread-making to pottery, the park offers a range of engaging and educational workshops where your little ones can unleash their creativity and learn ancient artisanal skills.

Le Bournat - one of the best attractions for kids in the Dordogne region
Discover how walnuts oil is produced- Le Bournat Park

After discovering the wonders of traditional craftsmanship the kids can enjoy a great selection of attractions like a vintage carousel, an old funfair with wooden games, riding in a 19th-century horse carriage, and more. The park is open from early April to the end of September – see the opening schedule here

You can read more about it in my article about the best things to do with kids in Dordogne

Bournat Park also has a fun camping site where you can stay in a mobile home, a tent, or a motorhome. People who stay at Le Bournat camping can get unlimited access to the park at a very low price. You can book your stay here

Le Bournat Park is located in Bugue, a lovely town on the Vezere River where you can stop for one of the best markets in Dordogne and walk along the beautiful river banks.

Wine tasting near Bergerac 

Distance from Sarlat: 77km

Bergerac is one of the main cities in the Dordogne area, close to the eastern border of the Gironde department. While it doesn’t have the magic of a small medieval village, it has enough charm and plenty of stuff to do, for you to put in on your list. The city center is abundant with restaurants, lively shopping streets great markets, and more. 

This part of Drordogne is called the Purple Perigord and is especially known for its wine. Bergerac is mostly specialized in reds and sweet white wines, a winemaking tradition that goes 2000 years back.

Visiting vyneyards in Monbazillac
The vineyards of Monbazillac near Bergerac – Lost in Bordeaux

One of the most famous wineries is the beautiful Château de Monbazillac, which is located only 15 minutes away. It’s known for its sweet white wine and the stunning chateau which is worth a visit. Another great winery to visit is Château Feely, and don’t forget to taste their reds while you’re there!

Château des Milandes 

Distance from Sarlat: 18km

This charming, dainty, Gothic château is the perfect day trip from Sarlat. It was built in 1489 by the Caumont family. In the 1940s, American-born dancer, entertainer, WWll resistance agent, and civil rights activist, Josephine Baker, bought the castle. She lived there with her husband and grew her family, adopting 12 children and working for the French resistance movement during the Second World War. 

Today, you can see incredible displays detailing Joséphine’s life at Milandes, including stage costumes and stories about her life. That’s what makes it one of the most interesting castles to visit in Dordogne

Chateau de Milandes in Dordogne
Chateau de Milandes – Lost in Bordeaux

There is also a magnificent garden, a very pretty chapel, a parakeet aviary, and fantastic birds of prey shows. Children can do falconry workshops and feed exotic birds, play with swords in a musketeer workshop, and feed goats 

There is a restaurant onsite and various shady areas with picnic tables if you want to bring your own lunch. Château de Milandes is open daily from February to December (and the first week of January), see the opening hours here

Visiting farms in the region 

Dordogne is a heavily agricultural region, famous for its wine, walnuts, cheeses, duck dishes and foie gras, caviar, and truffles. If you visit any market in one of Dordogne’s beautiful villages, you’ll find many of the local delicacies for sale.

In recent years, the department has put an emphasis on developing agrotourism and there are many fermes or working farms that open their door for visits, activities for kids, restaurants, and more. 

Visiting a farm or two can be an amazing day trip. One of my favorite visits is the caviar farm in Neuvic. Another good day trip is La Bon’o’Venture, a farm producing goat’s cheese.

You can find many more farms that offer visits, restaurants, or accommodation here

Go to the beach

While Sarlat is far from both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, there’s no lack of opportunities to swim here! There are plenty of little beaches on the Dordogne river where you can go for a swim and they’re situated only a short drive from Sarlat. 

If you visit Sarlat in summer, you’ll likely need a day trip to swim in the river and cool off as it can get very hot.

Go to a river beach in Dordogne
A beach on the Dordogne river – Lost in Bordeaux

Here are some of the best beaches on the Dordogne River that you can visit from Sarlat: Limeuil, La Plage du Port in Creysse, Vitrac, Magali Plage, Meyraguet, Lanzac, Plage du Pont de Vicq.

Go on a day trip to the beautiful Corrèze department

Distance from Sarlat: 53 km

One of the least-known departments in the Southwest of France, Corrèze is a stunning gem off the beaten track. It’s totally worth a visit, even for just a day trip if that’s all the time you have. As you’re traveling from Sarlat, I recommend you head to the southern part of the Corrèze department.

Start your day in Brive, a small town in Corrèze. Brive has one of the best markets in the region and is also a cute little town by itself. After lunch, you can go straight to one of the most stunning villages in the religion, Collonges-la-Rouge. Filled with red turreted buildings, charming lanes, and ancient architecture, it is one of the most beautiful villages in France according to the official listing.

Collonges la Rouge - amazing day trip from Sarlat
Collonges la Rouge – Lost in Bordeaux

Other villages worth a visit are Saint-Robert and Turenne.

Go to an antique or flea market in one of the villages surrounding Sarlat

Visiting a good brocante (antique market) or a vide grenier (garage sale) is one of my favorite pastimes when visiting towns in France. Sarlat is home to many pop-up events and you need to do a little research ahead of time so you don’t miss it. 

visiting brocantes and flea markets are one of the best things to do in Dordogne
A brocante in Dordogne – Lost in Bordeaux

Here is one of the best websites to find information about the upcoming flea and antique markets around Sarlat. You can also check out this website for more information.

Bordeaux – Discover the capital of the Southwest of France 

Distance from Sarlat: 200km or 2.5 hours by car, 3 hours by train

I may be biased because I live in Bordeaux but I think it’s one of the most exciting, beautiful cities in France. There’s so much to see, do, eat, drink, and taste! And it’s a great city to visit with or without kids – there’s something for everyone. 

As someone who lives and writes about Bordeaux, I think you need at least a weekend to discover Bordeaux and its surrounding sights. But if all you have is one day, then a day trip to the capital of the southwest is definitely worth the drive! 

The beautiful town of Bordeaux
The center of Bordeaux – Lost in Bordeaux

In a day you can check out the Capucins market, taste some cannelés (traditional cinnamon pasties), cool off at the Miroir d’Eau, check out one of the state-of-the-art museums, and eat great food at one of the countless restaurants the city has to offer.

With only a day or two in Bordeaux, I’ve summed up the things you can’t miss in this article. And if you have more time, here are my top 50 things to do in Bordeaux

If you’re doing a road trip, you can also stop for half a day in Saint Émilion, famous for its wines, which is located on the way from Sarlat to Bordeaux.

Where to stay in Sarlat

Sarlat is one of the most popular destinations in Dordogne, offering a big selection of apartments, hotels, and B&B in the center as well as the city’s outskirts. If you’re here for just a few days, finding accommodation in the center of Sarlat is highly recommended. Two options I particularly like are Les Cordeliers and Noreli B&B.

I have plenty of other articles about Sarlat and the region you may find useful when planning your trip, so be sure to check them out!

What to do, see and eat in Sarlat
The most beautiful villages to visit in Dordogne 
The best castles (chateaux) to visit in Dordogne
The most beautiful gardens in Dordogne
The best things to do with kids in Dordogne
The most beautiful villages in Purple Perigord
The best places to do Kayaking on the Dordogne River
A day trip to Eymet, a beautiful village in Dordogne.

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

Like the article? Want to read it again when you’re in the Dordogne region? Save it on your Pinterest board.

*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 🙂 

Around November, the southwest of France starts its winter sleep with many places shutting down for the low season. Bordeaux, however, is different! It’s a very lively city where you can always find interesting stuff to do, even on the coldest days. In this article, I’m going to give you a few fun ideas of things to do in Bordeaux in the winter.

I start my article with 10 ideas of places to go to in Bordeaux as well as Cognac and Saint Emilion. The second part of my article is dedicated to fun events taking place in the winter in Bordeaux. If you’re visiting Bordeaux in December, check out my December list

Angoulême - the capital of street art and comics of France
Street art in Angoulême – Lost in Bordeaux

If it’s cold and raining at any other time of the year, you should read my article about the best things to do when it’s raining in Bordeaux and things to do with kids when it’s raining in Bordeaux

If it’s your first time in Bordeaux, you’d also enjoy my article about the 50 best things to do in Bordeaux.

Best things to do in winter in Bordeaux and the region

Visit Bordeaux wineries 

You’d be surprised to know that many wineries are open for visits during January- February, however in a slightly limited version. Many are closed on weekends during the winter season as well as during the week of Christmas and New Year’s. 

Saint Emilion, which is the most visited wine area in the Bordeaux region has many chateaux accepting visitors during the winter. If you need some recommendations, check out my article about the best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion.

best wineries in Saint Emilion

If you don’t have a car, your options are a bit more limited, but there are still a few nice chateaux you can visit by public transport. One of my favorite ones is Chateau Pape Clement, and it happens to be open during the winter too – book your visit here

Go to the Opera

The Grand Theatre de Bordeaux is one of Bordeaux’s most emblematic historic buildings and should not be missed when in Bordeaux. During the winter months, The Opera of Bordeaux offers a long program of classical music concerts for kids and adults. See the full program here.

Visit a distillery in Cognac

Winter is a great time to take a trip to the Cognac region and witness the traditional distillation process. That’s when the Cognac producers transform the wine into eau-de-vie and what will eventually become the famous brandy. 

Many distilleries run tours during the winter and include a detailed explanation of the distillation process. I highly recommend visiting family-owned producers in the winter as you’re more likely to be taken through the whole process.

Cognac Pasquet

Here’s my article about the best distilleries to visit in the Cognac region.

Eat a Raclette 

Raclette is quite popular in Bordeaux in the winter, even though it’s far from being a traditional Southwest cuisine. There are a few restaurants where you can find this wintery treat. One of the best ones is La Petite Savoie, a local institution that now has two restaurants in the center. One on the riverfront and the other one on rue des Argentiers in the Saint Pierre district.

Go to a Spa 

Nothing better than a Spa on a freezing winter day! There are several small and big Spa facilities in Bordeaux. The biggest one is called Caliceo Center and it’s open daily, without any reservation. It has a few pools, saunas, and different types of massages.

If you’re more into a romantic Spa weekend, here are my recommendations for the best Spa hotels in Bordeaux.

Go Ice Skating 

Ice Skating is one of the most popular winter activities and luckily there’s a great place for that in Bordeaux. La Patinoire de Mériadeck is a sports complex with a huge ice skating arena open to the public for a few days a week.

As the Patinoire hosts many different events during the year, its opening hours might change from time to time, so before heading there with your kids, check out the schedule

Check out the covered markets in Bordeaux 

Bordeaux has a few covered markets in Bordeaux, which are perfect for cold days. You can use it as an opportunity to discover local delicacies but also have lunch or a drink in a very local environment.

The best one to start with is Marché des Capucins, the main market of Bordeaux. That’s my go-to place when I want Arcachon oysters without actually going to Arcachon.

Chez-jean-mi Bordeaux market
Chez-jean-mi at the Capucins Market

Two other, more modern markets I highly recommend belong to the Biltoki group and are located in the Talence and the Bacalan neighborhoods. These two markets are perfect for an evening drink and tapas.

Discover all the best markets in Bordeaux in my article.

Discover the foodie streets of Bordeaux 

Staying in a foodie mood, you can also explore some of the foodie streets in Bordeaux. These are the places where you can find the best bakeries, coffee shops, cheese shops, and more. They are not always on the tourist trail and not always easy to find and that’s why I decided to write an article about the foodie streets of Bordeaux.

Go to one of Bordeaux’s museums

Last but not least, if it’s too cold outside, going to a museum is always a good idea! Bordeaux has a great variety of museums, from street art to science and history, just choose one from my list of museums in Bordeaux.

Musee d'Aquitaine Bordeaux
CAPC museum in Bordeaux

Events taking place this winter in the Bordeaux region (2024)

Disney on ice

One of the most popular events for kids in Bordeaux is happening again! All the popular Disney characters reunite for an ice skating spectacle. Disney Sur Glace will take place on January 5-7 at the Arkea Arena.  For tickets and more details click here.

Le lac des Cygnes

Théâtre Fémina is hosting the Ukrainian National Ballet of Odessa which will perform the famous Swan Lake ballet. The spectacle will take place on January 6, See all the info and tickets here.

Winter Sales

Who cares if it’s raining and cold? January is the winter sales month!! Soldes d’hiver are several weeks in the winter during which you can find really good deals on clothes, shoes, appliances, toys, and more. This year Les Soldes d’Hiver will take place from January 10 to February 6.

Trente Trente – Emerging Arts Festival

Trente Trente is an annual festival, created to promote emerging artists in Bordeaux and Nouvelle Aquitaine in general. The festival includes more than twenty performances by artists from all genres, with some experimenting with interdisciplinary arts. 

Check out the full program that includes dance, music, theater, circus, and more. The festival takes place on January 16- February 2 in different theaters and cultural spaces across the Metropole.

International magic festival

The international magic festival will take place in Théâtre Fémina on January 20-21. This year ten world-class artists (magicians and illusionists) will offer you breathtaking spectacles that you wouldn’t want to miss. For more info and tickets click here.

The festival also offers workshops and spectacles for little kids. All the kids’ events will take place at Théâtre Molière. See more info here.

Fête de la truffe in Sarlat

A big truffles market will take place this weekend (January 20-21) in Sarlat. I know that’s a bit far from Bordeaux but it’s one of the biggest truffles markets in the region so worth checking out. For more info click here.

Here are more things to do and see in Sarlat, the capital of Black Perigord. 

Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d’Angoulême

The famous International Comics Festival of Angouleme will take place on January 25-28. Angouleme is the comics capital of France and is famous for its amazing street art. If you decide to go there, prepare yourself with my article about Angouleme so you won’t miss the most beautiful murals in the city

You can purchase tickets here. Find all the details about the events taking place during the festival here.

Jumping International de Bordeaux

Jumping International de Bordeaux is a big riding equestrian event that includes competitions, spectacles, and a fun fair. The event will take place February 1 -4 in Parc des Expositions de Bordeaux. For more details click here.

Ratatam – kids festival

The Ratatam Kids Festival is taking place at the Entrepôt du Haillan until February 13-18. The program includes concerts, animated movies, a painting contest, video games, meetings with cartoonists, a comics workshop, and more. Check out the full program here.

Fête des Bœufs Gras

Bazas in the Southern part of Gironde is a beautiful town that attracts many people with its weekly market. But what Bazas is mostly known for is its Beef. 

Fête des Bœufs Gras in Bazas
Fête des Bœufs Gras

Since 1283, the Thursday before Mardi Gras, the city of Bazas has been hosting the famous “Fête des Bœufs Gras” that celebrates the Bazas Beef. An Oxen parade takes place on the central streets of the town which will be judged by a jury of experts. 

The day ends with a banquet where you can taste the famous meat. The event will take place on February 8. See more details here.

Bordeaux Electronic Week-end

Bordeaux Electronic Week-end 2024 is a fun music festival taking place on Feb 23-25. The long lineup of DJS will perform in many places in Bordeaux such as the IBOAT, Les Vivres de l’art, the Warehouse, and more. You can find the program and tickets here

Festival des Lanternes in Montauban

This year Montauban (about 50 km from Toulouse) is hosting yet another lanterns festival. The event called le Jardin Fantastique will host 40 artists from China that will present their monumental sculptures. This event will take place on Cours Foucault from December 15 to February 11, 2024. See all the info here.

La Flamme de l’Armagnac

Armagnac is one of the best products in the Southwest of France! Its production spreads over three departments in this region: Les Landes, Lot et Garonne, and Gers, all located within a 1-2 hour drive from Bordeaux. From the end of October to the beginning of January, the producers of Armagnac celebrate the distillery period with fun events at the chateaux and in small towns in the regions. see more details here.

Go to Truffles markets in Dordogne

December is the start of the winter truffles season with many truffles markets in the region taking place between December and February. The Dordogne is known as the capital of truffles in the Southwest of France and starting mid-December it hosts several truffles markets in its different villages. You can see the full list of truffle markets taking place from December to the end of January here.

Looking for accommodation in Bordeaux?

These few articles should help you find the best place to stay in the Bordeaux region:

A detailed guide to the districts of Bordeaux
The best hotels in the center of Bordeaux
Best Spa hotels in Bordeaux
Wine hotels in the Bordeaux region
Family-friendly hotels in Bordeaux

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

*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 🙂 

I really love the summer in Bordeaux! And although I have a full guide to the best things to do in Bordeaux as well as a guide for a weekend in Bordeaux, I decided that I must dedicate an article to all the best things to do in Bordeaux in the summer. This list mostly includes my favorite summer places as well as activities that you can do all summer long in Bordeaux and more generally in Gironde. If you want to discover all the best events taking place in the region, you must read my monthly lists and subscribe to my newsletter where I update you about all the best things happening in the city every weekend. 

If it’s your first time on Lost in Bordeaux and you want to get more tips about traveling in Bordeaux and the Southwest of France feel free to join my Travel in the southwest of France group on Facebook or follow me on my Facebook/ Instagram accounts.

So now let’s dive into all the best things to do in Bordeaux in the summer!

Things to do this summer in Bordeaux Metropole

Dance at La Guinguette chez Alriq

The Guinguette is a tavern on the right banks of the Garonne hosting plenty of open-air concerts every summer. The performing bands and artists are coming from all over the world and create a laid-back party atmosphere. The place is open from Wednesday to Sunday with concerts taking place daily. You can see their program here

Dance on the Quai – learn to dance

Dansons sur les Quais is a series of dancing classes and events where people gather to dance together and learn a variety of dance genres like Tango, Salsa, Bollywood, Forro, Hip Hop, Street Jazz, Zumba, Country, and more. These activities will be guided by professional dancers from different dance schools in Bordeaux and they are completely free, so this is a great opportunity you don’t want to miss. The dancing events are taking place for several weeks every summer at Placette de Munich.  For more details and the full program check out the website of Dansons sur les Quai.

Enjoy a fun day in Darwin 

For those new to Bordeaux, Darwin is an old military base turned into an urban space with a huge chic restaurant and a cafe/organic food shop, a skate park for all ages, a second-hand shop, and many other surprises, all with an agenda of ecological awareness. It’s also one of the most extraordinary places for street art and includes some amazing works by a lot of talented artists on each one of its buildings. 

It’s also one of the places I like to go to on rainy weekends and it’s on my list of the things to do when it’s raining in Bordeaux, so take a look. 

Have a drink at the terrace bar of the Bordeaux design Museum 

Musée des Art décoratifs et du Design is located in a beautiful 18th-century mansion and is one of UNESCO’s heritage sites in Bordeaux. It has a large collection of furniture, porcelain, and art objects, dating to the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. This museum is a cute cultural gem but what makes it even more attractive is the new terrace café that has been operating there for the last few years. The little outdoor restaurant is owned by Julie, who’s also the owner of one of my favorite coffee shops in Bordeaux. If you’re dreaming of a glass of wine on a terrace in a beautiful location, this is the place for you! Café Madd by Sip is open from Wed to Sun, see more details here

Musée des arts décoratifs bordeaux
Musée des arts décoratifs bordeaux

Fun beach activities in Bordeaux

You will be surprised to discover that you don’t need to leave the city to go to the beach in Bordeaux, instead just catch a tram to Bordeaux Lac! Plage du Lac is open from June to August and during the summer offers plenty of activities such as kayaking, SUP, and more! The activities are taking place daily from 14:00 to 18:00, see the schedule here

Bordeaux lac
Bordeaux lac by Lost in Bordeaux

Puppet Theater for Kids

Le Guignol Guérin, founded in 1853, is the oldest puppetry show in France with daily spectacles for kids in Parc Bordelais during the summer (July and August). The show usually starts at 16:00 but can be canceled or postponed when it’s raining or getting too hot. Read more about the theater here.

Go to the IBOAT beach 

Well, it’s not really a proper beach where you can swim but it’s definitely one of the coolest places in town. La Plage de L’IBOAT is a fun outdoor space with a bar, comfy sofas, and different outdoor events. The Iboat, mostly known as a concert venue, is a three-level ferry spanning 687m2, anchored to one of the docks of Bassins a flot.

Iboat Bassin a Flot Bordeaux

For more cool places to visit in the Bassin a flot area check out my article about the Bacalan district

Have a drink at Mama Shelter

This is one of the best places for drinks in Bordeaux, a rooftop bar on top of the Mama Shelter hotel in Bordeaux center. In the summer, the rooftop is open daily from 12:00 to midnight, however, hours may change so check out their website before going. This place is very popular and tends to get busy in the late evening, so booking a table is recommended. 

Mama Shelter is only one of the cool rooftops in Bordeaux Metropole, if you want to discover more hip rooftops and fun terrace cafes check out my article about the best summer bars in Bordeaux.

Enjoy the best markets in Bordeaux

Little red strawberries, mouth-watering cheese, and crispy baguettes, you saw them all in market photos uploaded to social media by people visiting France 🙂 Now go have the same fun touristic experience here, in one of Bordeaux’s numerous markets. The most popular market in Bordeaux is of course Marché des Capucins but there are plenty of amazing open-air markets in different neighborhoods in the city. Even if you live here you’ll probably discover a few new markets in my article about the best markets in Bordeaux

Summer sales

Summer sales are a great opportunity to enjoy good deals on clothes, shoes, electronics, toys, and more. This summer the soldes d’été will take place from June 22 to July 19.

Go to the pool

There are several great pools in Bordeaux, two of them are located not very far from the city center. Next to the Meriadeck shopping center, you’ll find the piscine Judaique which is located in a beautiful art deco building. A bit farther from the center is Piscine du Grand Parc. Both are very kids friendly with facilities like a kids pool, water slides, floats, and more. If you have a car you can enjoy other outdoor pools in the region, like the Stade Nautique in Pessac or the new Centre Aquatique “La Calinésie” in Libourne. 

Things to do around Bordeaux – Gironde and Dordogne 

Taste the good life of Arcachon

Bassin d’Arcachon (the Arcachon Bay), located about 50 km from Bordeaux is one of the most popular summer destinations in France, and rightfully so. Tens of amazing beaches, oyster farmers’ villages, natural reserves, beautiful 19th-century architecture, and plenty of attractions for kids are part of what you can enjoy at this destination on the Atlantic ocean. A day trip (or a weekend) to the Bassin d’Arcachon is an absolute must when visiting Bordeaux. To help you decide where to go I wrote an article about the best places to visit on Arcachon Bay.

Arcachon bay - a day trip from Bordeaux

For a perfect summer afternoon gateway, head to Dune du Pilat and finish with a drink in La Corniche. Sounds splendid, isn’t it? Read more about these places in my article about the southern part of Arcachon

Spend your Sunday at Bel Ami 

If you’ve been following me on Instagram you probably know that this is one of my favorite summer places in the region. If you don’t, let me introduce you to Bel-Ami, a summer outdoor restaurant/ bar located in the cute little village of Plassac on the Estuary of Gironde. Now try to imagine, sitting on comfy sofas, eating a delicious meal, and drinking a Lillet cocktail, with the impressive Gironde estuary calmly flowing in front of you. Every Wednesday and Saturday they also have live music in the evening, so be sure to book ahead as the place gets busy. If this tranquility is not enough for you to make an hour’s drive from Bordeaux, you should know that Plassac is also known as the mosaic village so there’s a lot to discover. See more info here

Bel Ami - summer bar in Gironde

Do a weekend in Medoc

Medoc is one of the most interesting and beautiful regions in Southwest France, and luckily it’s located an hour’s drive from the center of Bordeaux. It is, of course, known for its wine, and the Medoc wine route is indeed one of the best ways to discover the Bordeaux wine world. However, the Medoc peninsula is much more than just winery visits! You have amazing beaches on the Atlantic ocean, plenty of markets with fresh local food, little ports on the Gironde estuary where you can go for a drink, and amazing lakes with beaches and water activities. So even a weekend is not enough to enjoy this amazing region. See all the things you can do there in my article about the Medoc region.
If you have time, don’t miss the Saint Emilion wine region as well, here are a few chateaux I recommend visiting in Saint Emilion

Kayaking or Canoeing in the Dordogne river

Bordeaux is surrounded by many big and small rivers, it’s not a surprise then that there are quite a few places for Kayaking and Canoeing in the Bordeaux region. One of the biggest rivers near Bordeaux is the Dordogne, which splits from the Estuary of Gironde some 30 km north of Bordeaux. The low flow in most parts of the river makes it ideal for a kayak or canoe trip as you can easily descend and visit many beautiful villages and impressive chateaux on the way. I wrote an article about some of the best Kayaking clubs on the Dordogne river, some of which are located close to Bordeaux. 

Canoe and kayak on the Dordogne river

Kayak and Canoe on the Dordogne by Lost in Bordeaux

You can also enjoy kayaking on the Leyre river on Arcachon Bay. See more details about that in my guide to what to do with kids in Arcachon

Enjoy the beautiful beaches in Gironde 

Being close to the Atlantic ocean and surrounded by lakes are some of the best things about being in Bordeaux in the summer. We have an incredible amount of beautiful beaches with white fine sand, amazing views, and nice beach facilities. You can surf in the Atlantic ocean, enjoy the kids’ friendly beaches of Arcachon Bay or go to one of the beautiful lakes (and even hike around them!). If you’re here for a short period of time, it’s hard to choose where to go. To help you out I wrote an article about the best beaches around Bordeaux. 

Discover the most charming villages in Gironde

Bordeaux itself is a beautiful and lively city but some of the best architectural treasures are spread around Gironde. The biggest department in France has some of the most charming villages in the Southwest of France. Bastide towns with arched squares, medieval towns with narrow streets, historic chateaux, and citadels are all part of the incredible heritage of this region. In my article about the most beautiful villages in Gironde, I listed all my favorite villages around Bordeaux.  

Castelmoron d'Albret - the smallest village in France

Go hiking and discover Gironde’s nature

Besides impressive heritage and beautiful beaches, the Bordeaux region is also rich with nature reserves, forests, and parks. If hiking is your thing, the options are endless. If you need some ideas for fun and interesting hiking trails, check out my article about hiking in Bordeaux.  

Visit the most beautiful chateaux in Gironde 

Did you know that some of the most beautiful chateaux (castles) in this region are actually located in Gironde? Château Royal de Cazeneuve, Château de Roquetaillade and Chateau Villandraut are all located in the south of Gironde. These three are rich in history and beautiful architecture and are some of the most interesting heritage sites in our region. 

Château de Roquetaillade - chateaux in Gironde
Château de Roquetaillade by lost in Bordeaux

Discover the Labyrinth of the region

Labyrinth is a really fun summer activity for a group of friends with or without kids and there are two cool places to do it close to Bordeaux. The first is Popcorn Labyrinth, a huge Labyrinth in Cestas that is open in July and August and usually also offers night sessions. You can see the hours and prices in this link. 

The other one is Parc Mysterra in Montendre, which is set in a beautiful location but is recommended for slightly older kids (more than 8 yo). See more details here

Taste white wine in Entre deux mers

Bordeaux is the capital of wine and is mostly associated with red wine. The hot summer in Bordeaux, however, is a great opportunity to discover the white wines of Bordeaux. The largest sub-region in Bordeaux is Entre Deux Mers, the area located between the Dordogne and the Garonne river. While both red and white wines are produced in this region, only the white ones can get the AOC label of the Entre Deux Mers appellation. The wine is usually drunk young and is absolutely perfect for the Bordelais summer and a plate of oysters. In this link, you’ll find many of the wineries you can visit in the Entre Deux Mers region. 

If you need more advice about the wines of the region and about the best wineries to visit, you can visit the Maison des Vins which is located at the La Sauve Majeure Abbey, about 30 minutes drive from Bordeaux.

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 best districts in Bordeaux 
Where to stay in Bordeaux
What to do in one day in Bordeaux
Things to do with kids in Bordeaux

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

There are plenty of great articles you can find about the main attractions and monuments to visit in Bordeaux. However, I feel they don’t reveal all the treasures and hidden gems this city has to offer. You need to fully experience Bordeaux to understand why people love it so much. In this article, I summarized my 50 best things to do in Bordeaux. 

The list includes everything from wine, food, chic cafés, shopping, fun neighborhoods, music venues, art, day trips, and more. Hope you’ll enjoy it! And if this article made you feel like you already love Bordeaux, please share it 🙂 

The best things to do in Bordeaux, France
The lively streets of Bordeaux – Lost in Bordeaux

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.

Before we start, if you have only one day in Bordeaux, check out my article about what to do and see on a one-day trip – read it here. Also, check out my Travel in the Southwest of France group on Facebook for many more tips. Now let’s start! 

Let’s go!

Best things to do in Bordeaux and its surroundings 

Admire the stunning gates of 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.  

Grosse Cloche - Bordeaux
Grosse Cloche
Porte d’Aquitaine on Place de la Victiore
Porte d’Aquitaine

Today, five of the gates are still standing, marking the old borders of Bordeaux. La Grosse Cloche and La Porte Cailhau in the city canter, Porte de Bourgogne facing the river, Porte d’Aquitaine on Place de la Victoire, and Porte Dijeaux at the western part of the historic center. 

The first two are the only original gates from the 15th century when Bordeaux was still a fortress. These are real architectural masterpieces that you cannot miss.

The city is rich with history and different architectural styles so if you have time, take a historic tour in the center of Bordeaux. 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. Here are all my tours in Bordeaux recommendations in one place.

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.  

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.

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

If you’re also visiting Toulouse, here are a few of my favorite coffee shops in the pink city.

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.

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 the best exhibitions 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.

musee du vin et du Négoce bordeaux

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.

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. 

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). 

Opera house of Bordeaux
Opera House of Bordeaux

Classic music concert at the auditorium

Getting tickets to the opera at the Grand Théâtre requires buying tickets well in advance.  Going to a classical music concert, on the other hand, is much easier. The Auditorium of the Opera National of Bordeaux is one of the largest music venues in Bordeaux hosting several classical music concerts every week. See the program here.

Every first Sunday of the month there’s a family-friendly concert taking place in the Auditorium. See details here.

Go to the CIBC for Bordeaux wine-tasting

It’s time to sip some wine! If you want to discover the wine variety Bordeaux has to offer there’s no better place for that 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.

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.

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

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 (my personal favorite); 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.

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

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.

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

second hand shops in Bordeaux

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.

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 🙂.

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: David Capy next to Marché des Grands Hommes, Pâtisserie Valantin in the Nansouty district, Pâtisserie S. with a special French-Japanese vibe, 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

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. 

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.

Thousands of hectares of vines surround the medieval village making the landscape an unforgettable scenery. 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

You can get there by train but I recommend renting a car for a better experience – click here to find the best car deal. Here’s a list of the recommended chateaux to visit by public transport in case you still want to go by train. 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

If you want to learn more about the Bordeaux wine – read my guide to the Bordeaux wine region and how to visit it.

what to do in Saint emilion

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.

Do 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

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 are coming 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

See a beautiful view from Parc de L’ermitage

The Parc of Lormont, or by its official name: Parc de l’Ermitage Sainte-Catherine, is a beautiful hilly park located on the east bank of the Garonne River. If you climb on the upper side of the park you can enjoy a stunning view of the Aquitaine bridge covering the Garonne.

If you’re coming with strollers or generally with little kids, beware that it’s not a very easy climb to the top of the park. In that case, I would advise you to spend your time near the lake at the bottom of the park and then re-enter the park again through Haut Lormont (the higher part of Lormont) to visit the hilly part.  

Discover other parks in my article about the best parks in Bordeaux.

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

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

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.

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.

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. 

Visit one of the most beautiful parks in Bordeaux – 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.

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

You can climb the dune by stairs that are installed from the end of April/May to early November. If you come during the low season or just feel energetic, you can just climb straight up the sandy slopes. 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. 

For more things to do close by read my guide about Arcachon city

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. You can rent a car and go on a full relaxing day in this little paradise. Eat oysters directly from the farmers, go on a walk along the bay beaches, take a bike and discover the pine forest, and go surf on the beaches of the Atlantic coast.

Read about many other places to visit on Arcachon bay in my article about a day trip to Bassin d’Arcachon

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 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

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.

In 1984 the city decided to transform this unique space into a museum of contemporary art, an idea that was very innovative at the time. In the permanent collection, there are almost 300 works of art and it regularly hosts temporary exhibitions that are dedicated to the history of art. I’ll admit that I’m not always a fan of their exhibitions, having said that, I think the place in itself is very impressive and worth a visit. 

Taste the delicious dunes blanches

Last yummy thing before I finish my list!  While most outsiders think of the canelé as our regional pastry, there’s another modern contestant that has become very popular amongst locals. The delicious dunes blanches were 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, 33000 Bordeaux

dunes blanches
Dunes Blanches

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

Liked the article? Want to read it again when you’re in Bordeaux? Save it on your Pinterest board.

*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 🙂 

Until just a few months ago I used to publish monthly posts with plenty of suggestions for things to do in Bordeaux every month and then like the rest of the world I had to stop. So I can’t even describe how good it feels to finally write this article. Those who live or have ever visited Bordeaux know that there are plenty of fun events taking place here every summer. This summer most events were obviously postponed to the summer of 2021 but luckily there are still plenty of great summer places that will be open, allowing us to enjoy this lovely season. In this article, I gathered 15 places and things you can do in Bordeaux this summer (2020). For specific events and other ideas for things to do every weekend, I invite you to subscribe to my email list here

If it’s your first time on Lost in Bordeaux and you want to get more tips about traveling in Bordeaux and the Southwest of France feel free to join my Travel in the southwest of France group on Facebook or follow me on my Facebook/ Instagram accounts.

Things to do this summer in Bordeaux Metropole

Go see the amazing Gustave Klimt exhibition – D’or et de couleurs

The long-awaited Gustave Klimt exhibition at the Bassins de Lumières (previously known as the Base sous-marine) was finally opened on June 10th. This is one of the most stunning exhibitions to ever arrive at Bordeaux and a visit there is a must! Whereas previously the quays of the Base sous-marine were used only to access the exhibition, this time all four pools, the quais, and the bridges are all used to screen the animated paintings of Klimt and his friends in the Vienna Secession movement. The result is mesmerizing! Important information: tickets must be bought in advance (here’s the link) and masks are obligatory. 

Dance at La Guinguette chez Alriq

The Guinguette is a tavern on the right banks of the Garonne hosting plenty of open-air concerts every summer. The performing bands and artists are coming from all over the world and create a laid back party atmosphere. You can see their program here. The place is open from Wednesday to Sunday with concerts taking place daily. If you’re a group of people you can book a table – see all the details here

Bordeaux museums are free this summer 

Yes, you heard it right! Five main museums in Bordeaux are going to be free all summer long! This is the list: le Muséum d’histoire naturelle, le CAPC, le Musée d’Aquitaine, le Musée des Arts Décoratifs and le Musée des Beaux-Arts. If you’re coming with kids, the natural history museum of Bordeaux is fantastic! 

kids museums in Bordeaux

Read more about these and other museums of Bordeaux in my article about the museums of art, wine, and history in Bordeaux

The Cité du Vin is free for kids this summer!

la cite du vin in Bordeaux

The Cité du Vin is one of the most popular attractions on the tourist trail in Bordeaux. The extraordinary building, inspired by the movement of wine swirling in a glass, is a one of a kind cultural center, all dedicated to discovering the wine world. Through its interactive exhibition, It offers a journey to both French and global wine history, culture and knowhow. One of the downsides is that the visit is quite expensive, the entry price for an adult is 20 euros and 9 euros for kids, so a family visit there makes it a pricey experience. However, this summer la Cité du Vin is free for kids under 17yo so it’s a great opportunity to take them to one of the most entertaining museums in Bordeaux. You can read my article about my visit to the Cite du Vin to get a good idea of what to expect there. 

Enjoy a fun day in Darwin 

Hipster paradise is finally open again! For those new to Bordeaux, Darwin is an old military base turned into an urban space with a huge chic restaurant and a cafe/organic food shop, a skate park for all ages, a second-hand shop, and many other surprises, all with an agenda of ecological awareness. On Saturdays, you can enjoy an outdoor local produce market. It’s also one of the most extraordinary places for street art and includes some amazing works by a lot of talented artists on each one of its buildings. Since the reopening, they added plenty of tables outdoors in what they call “Darwin Plein Air”, with some nice food stands for snacks. It’s not clear if Darwin Plein Air will continue throughout the summer but Darwin is a fun place to hang out in any case.

darwin graffiti

It’s also one of the places I like to go to on rainy weekends and it’s on my list of the things to do when it’s raining in Bordeaux, so take a look. 

Free beach activities in Bordeaux

This summer (until August 31) Bordeaux Lac will offer FREE activities such as kayaking, SUP, zumba and more! The activities are taking place daily from 14:00 to 18:00 and registration is taking place on the beach starting from 13:30. Please read the content in this link as it includes instructions for some documents you need to present to be able to register as well as the schedule of the daily activities.

Bordeaux lac
Bordeaux lac by Lost in Bordeaux

Puppet Theater for Kids

Le Guignol Guérin, founded in 1853, is the oldest puppetry show in France with daily spectacles for kids in Parc Bordelais during the summer (July and August). The show usually starts at 16:00 but can be canceled or postponed when it’s raining or getting too hot. Read more about the theater here.

Go to the IBOAT beach 

Well, it’s not really a proper beach where you can swim but it’s definitely one of the coolest places in town. La Plage de L’IBOAT is a fun outdoor space with a bar, comfy sofas, and different outdoor events. The Iboat, mostly known as a concert venue, is a three-level ferry spanning 687m2, anchored to one of the docks of Bassins a flot.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CBgFvl0qmFD/

For more cool places to visit in the Bassin a flot area check out my article about the Bacalan district

Have a drink at Mama Shelter

This is one of the best places for drinks in Bordeaux, a rooftop bar on top of the Mama Shelter hotel in Bordeaux center. The rooftop is currently open every day from 12:00 to midnight, however, hours may change so check out their website before going. This place is very popular and tends to get busy in the late evening, so booking a table is recommended. 

Mama Shelter is only one of the cool rooftops in Bordeaux Metropole, if you want to discover more hip rooftops and fun terrace cafes check out my article about the best summer bars in Bordeaux.

Summer sales

Don’t we all need to refresh our closet after this long period of being stuck at home? Summer sales are a great opportunity to enjoy good deals on clothes, shoes, electric supplies, toys and more. This summer the soldes d’été will take place from July 15 to August 11.

Enjoy the best markets in Bordeaux

You know how you always see people uploading beautiful pictures from French markets, with piles of strawberries, mouth-watering cheese, and crispy baguettes? Why not have the same fun touristic experience here, in one of Bordeaux’s numerous markets. The most popular market in Bordeaux is of course Marché des Capucins but there are plenty of amazing open-air markets in different neighborhoods in the city. Even if you live here you’ll probably discover a few new markets in my article about the best markets in Bordeaux

Sunday market in Bordeaux

Things to do around Bordeaux – Gironde and Dordogne 

Taste the good life of Arcachon

If I had to make my top “good life in the Southwest of France” list, oysters, white wine, and beautiful beaches would probably be in my top 5. The Arcachon Bay is located about 50 km from Bordeaux and offers some of the best summer experiences in France. Tens of amazing beaches, oyster farmers villages, natural reserves, beautiful 19th-century architecture, and plenty of attractions for kids. A day trip (at least) to the Bassin d’Arcachon is an absolute must when visiting Bordeaux. To help you decide where to go I wrote an article about the best places to visit on the Arcachon Bay.

oysters arcachon

For a perfect summer afternoon gateway, head to Dune du Pilat and finish with a drink in La Corniche. Sounds splendid, isn’t it? Read more about these places in my article about the southern part of Arcachon

Kayaking or Canoeing in the Dordogne river

Bordeaux is surrounded by many big and small rivers, it’s not a surprise then that there are quite a few places for Kayaking and Canoeing in the Bordeaux region. One of the biggest rivers near Bordeaux is the Dordogne, which splits from the Estuary of Gironde some 30 km north of Bordeaux. The low flow in most parts of the river makes it ideal for a kayak or canoe trip as you can easily descend and visit many beautiful villages and impressive chateaux on the way. I wrote an article about some of the best Kayaking clubs on the Dordogne river, some of which are located close to Bordeaux. You can also enjoy kayaking on the Leyre river on the Arcachon Bay.

Kayak and Canoe on the Dordogne
Kayak and Canoe on the Dordogne by Lost in Bordeaux

See more details about that in my guide to what to do with kids in Arcachon

Enjoy the beautiful beaches in Gironde 

Being close to the Atlantic ocean and surrounded by lakes are some of the best things about being in Bordeaux in the summer. We have an incredible amount of beautiful beaches with white fine sand, amazing views and nice beach facilities. You can surf in the Atlantic ocean, enjoy the kids’ friendly beaches of the Arcachon Bay or go to one of the beautiful lakes (and even hike around them!). If you’re here for a short period of time, it’s hard to choose where to go. To help you out I wrote an article about the best beaches around Bordeaux. 

Cap Ferret - one of the best day trips from Bordeaux to Arcachon

Discover the most charming villages in Gironde

Bordeaux itself is a beautiful and lively city but some of the best architectural treasures are spread around Gironde. The biggest department in France has some of the most charming villages in the Southwest of France. Bastide towns with arched squares, medieval towns with narrow streets, historic chateaux and citadels are all part of the incredible heritage of this region. In my article about the most beautiful villages in Gironde, I listed all my favorite villages around Bordeaux.  

the most beautiful villages in Gironde

Go hiking and discover Gironde’s nature

Besides impressive heritage and beautiful beaches, the Bordeaux region is also rich with nature reserves, forests, and parks. If hiking is your thing, the options are endless. If you need some ideas for fun and interesting hiking trails, check out my article about hiking in Bordeaux.  

Réserve écologique des Barails

Visit the most beautiful chateaux in Gironde 

Dordogne earned its reputation as the queen of Chateaux in the southwest of France, but did you know that some of the most beautiful chateaux (castles) in this region are actually located in Gironde? Château Royal de Cazeneuve, Château de Roquetaillade and Chateau Villandraut are all located in the south of Gironde. These three are rich with history and beautiful architecture and are some of the most interesting heritage sites in our region. This summer the tourist offices of the South of Gironde offer a special chateaux pass giving you a discount if you visit more than one chateau. The pass can be bought in the tourist office in Langon and at the reception desk of all three chateaux. You can see more details here

A new huge Labyrinth in Gironde

Popcorn Labyrinth is a new huge Labyrinth in Cestas that is about to open its doors on July 11th. During the summer the Labyrinthe will be open every day and even has night sessions on Fridays and Saturdays. You can see the hours and prices in this link. 

Taste white wine in Entre deux mers

Bordeaux is the capital of wine and is mostly associated with red wine. However, I think that the hot summer in Bordeaux is a great opportunity to discover the white wines of Bordeaux. The largest sub-region in Bordeaux is Entre Deux Mers, the area located between the Dordogne and the Garonne river. While both red and white wines are produced in this region, only the white ones can get the AOC label of the Entre Deux Mers appellation. The wine is usually drunk young and is absolutely perfect for the Bordelais summer. In this link, you’ll find many of the wineries you can visit in the Entre Deux Mers region. 

If you need more advice about the wines of the region and about the best wineries to visit, you can visit the Maison des Vins that is located at the La Sauve Majeure Abbey, about 30 minutes drive from Bordeaux.

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 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

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