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

La Grande Transhumance Urbaine

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

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

FAB – International art festival

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

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

Space month 

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

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

Nuit des Bibliothèques

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

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

Festival Animasia

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

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

Village des Sciences

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

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

Lire en Poche – books festival 

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

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

Montgolfiades de Saint-Emilion

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

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

Fête du Vin nouveau et de la Brocante

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

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

Bordeaux Swing Festival

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

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

FIFIB- Bordeaux international festival of independent movies

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

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

Open doors in the Chateaux of Graves

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

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

Foire aux Plaisirs

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

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

Les Rendez-vous des Polichineuses – a vintage sale

polichineuses

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

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

Les Campulsations

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

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

Tauzia Fête les Jardins

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

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

BLIB – the beer festival of Bordeaux 

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

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

Fête du Piment d’Espelette

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

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

Argentina, Terres de contrastesexhibition

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bordeaux fête ses vendanges

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

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

Vign’ en Ville

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

When: September 14-15 / Where: Jardin Public

Fête Des Vendanges at La Sauve-majeure

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

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

Vélotour Bordeaux

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

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

Bordeaux Open Air

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

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

Les Talençaises

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

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

Festival des Coteaux Bordelais

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

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

Summer Rock in Bouliac

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

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

24 Heures D’Inauguration de la Fabrique Pola

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

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

Festival Love Tattoo Urban Street

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

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

The big scooter race

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

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

Grand Marché BIO du Bourgailh

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

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

Les Noctambules de Septembre 

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

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

Fête de la navigation

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

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

That’s it for this busy weekend!

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

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

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

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

Marché des Capucins – Visit the main market of Bordeaux

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

Marche des capucins
Marche des Capucins – by Lost in Bordeaux

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

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

Stroll the narrow streets of old Bordeaux

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

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

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

Main sites in the city center

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

Porte Cailhau
Porte Cailhau by Lost in Bordeaux

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

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

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

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

Have a drink on the lively squares of Bordeaux

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

place du parlement bordeaux

Lift your eyes to see the mascarons

Mascaron in Bordeaux
Mascaron in Place de la Bourse

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

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

Dine in one of Bordeaux’s delicious restaurants

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

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

Le quatrieme mur
Le Quatrieme mur – by Lost in Bordeaux

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

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

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

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

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

Shop on the Longest street in France

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

Shopping in Bordeaux
Shopping in Bordeaux – by Lost in Bordeaux

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

Visit the main church in Bordeaux -Saint-André 

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

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

Eat chocolate in the fancy district of Bordeaux 

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

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

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

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

Chill at the Miroir d’eau

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

miroir d'eau in Bordeaux

Take a bike ride on the banks of the Garonne

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

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

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

Discover the hipster side of Bordeaux

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

The Bastide district
The Bastide district by Lost in Bordeaux

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

Darwin in Bordeaux
Darwin by Lost in Bordeaux

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

Have a drink in one of Bordeaux’s wine bars 

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

un chateau en ville Bordeaux
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grapes harvest in Bordeaux – other activities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This summer was all about music festivals, Autumn however brings a variety of events to Bordeaux. The big climax festival in Darwin, the European patrimony days, a Latin music festival and the Velotour are only some of the things to do this month in Bordeaux.

If it’s your first time in the city, you should definitely check out my ultimate guide to Bordeaux to get familiar with all the must-see places. To help you choose a hotel I’ve gathered a list of the best hotels in the center of Bordeaux . Here’s the list of things to do  in Bordeaux in September 2019 🙂

Climax Festival 

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

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

Medoc Marathon

Running 42km is only a small part of the Medoc Marathon experience. It’s mostly about enjoying great wine, food and the great scenery. No wonder that it’s considered the longest marathon in the world. This year the marathon will take place in the vineyards of the Médoc region on September 7 and will include plenty of activities such as: musical breaks, wine tasting stops and eating a steak at the 39th km!! You don’t have to run to enjoy this event, many activities will take place on the day of the marathon and the day before, follow the program here.  For more info check out the website of the marathon.

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

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

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

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

Bordeaux Food-truck Festival

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

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

Ouvre La Voix Festival

Ouvre La Voix Festival gives you the opportunity to discover the beautiful Entre-Deux-Mers region in Gironde in a special way. The three-day program of the festival (September 7-8) combines concerts, wine, and gastronomy with biking routes taking you to places like Créon, Frontenac, Sauveterre de Guyenne and more. Concerts and gastronomy events will take place in the towns on the bike trail. Most of the concerts are free, some activities (including the shuttle from Bordeaux to Créon) require a reservation. Check out the full program here.

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

Vélotour Bordeaux

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

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

Vign’ en Ville

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

When: September 14-15 / Where: Jardin Public

Vélotour Bordeaux

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

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

Festival Love Tattoo Urban Street

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

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

The big scooter race

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

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

Journées Européennes du Patrimoine

The European Heritage Days are a great opportunity to discover some of Bordeaux’s most beautiful and interesting buildings. During the weekend of September 21-22 many public and private edifices will open their doors to the public and allow you to peak into parts of this city’s history otherwise hidden from our daily view. Some of the most interesting places to visit during the weekend are: the Opera of Bordeaux, Grosse Cloche, Tribunal de grande instance de Bordeaux and many more. You can see the full list of the places that will be open to visits here.

Abbaye de La Sauve-Majeure
Abbaye de La Sauve-Majeure
When: September 21-22 / Where: Many places across the city, check out the program above.

Festival Arts Mêlés

Arts Mêlés is a festival of magic and supernatural experiences organized by the town of Eysines. As always the program is full of magic shows, illusionists, acrobats and more making it super fun for kids. The event is free and will take place on the weekend of September 21-22 . Check out the full program here. Read more about the festival and the performing artists here.

When: September 21-22/ Where: 10 Rue de l’Église, 33320 Eysines

Latin Music Festival 

Corazon Latino, a Latin Music and dance festival will take place this weekend (September 20-22) in Rocher de Palmer in Cenon. The Program includes music concerts, dance shows, three Latin parties and international dancers that came especially to teach you some moves. And of course plenty of Salsa , Bachata, Kizomba, Chacha, Semba, Tango, Lady Styling and Forró. For more info and tickets to some of the concerts check out the website of the event.

When: September 20-22 / Where: 1 rue Aristide Briand, 33150 Bordeaux, France

Festival Cadences d’Arcachon

Festival Cadence is a famous dance festival taking place every year in Arcachon. The program of the festival is known for its diversity including classic, contemporary, hip-hop, flamenco and more. The festival will take place on September 19-22, for the full program click here, for tickets click here

When: September 19-22 / Where: Arcachon

Open Air Festival

Bordeaux Open Air continues into September with more cool electronic music parties at different locations in the city center. The next events of the Open Air Festival will take place on September 8, September 15 and September 29. The exact locations have not been published yet. They will be announced here together with lineups and other details.

When:  September 8, 15, 29 / Where: the locations haven’t been published yet

Les Campulsations

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

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

Salon ABC Kidz

A big event dedicated to future parents and young families will take place on September 28 – 29 in Hangar 14. Salon ABC kids is the annual gathering of all the important companies and organizations related to babies and little kids from clothing to room decoration, toys and different services like childcare companies and health providers. The event allows young parents to meet all the relevant products and services in one place. Many activities will take place at the Salon to make it more entertaining, among them a massage space, workshops for kids, soft play for toddlers and more. For tickets and more info click here.

When: September 28-29 / Where: 115 Quai des Chartrons, 33000 Bordeaux

Classical music in the Cathedral 

During the month of September,  Saint-André, the main Cathedral of Bordeaux will host more than 10 classical music concerts. You can see the full program here

When:  see dates in the program / Where: Place Pey Berland, 33000 Bordeaux

Dance at la guingette chez Alriq

La Guinguette chez Alriq is a tavern at the Bastide neighborhood, on the rive droite of the Garonne. During the summer the place is full with locals who escape the more touristy rive gauche and come to enjoy live concerts on the river bank. The Guinguette is open from Thursday to Sunday. For the concerts program of September click here.

When: every weekend during September / Where: ZA Quai des Queyries, Port Bastide, 33100 Bordeaux

Go see an exhibition

If you’re in a mood for some art there are plenty of good exhibitions in Bordeaux. you can read about some of the best ones here.

Bordeaux natural history museum
Bordeaux natural history museum

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

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

The Dordogne river is one of the most popular destinations in France. 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. The enchanting scenery on the banks of the river includes picturesque villages like Beynac, La Roque Gageac and Domme as well as local flora and fauna near Bergerac. In this article I gathered the best places from which to start your kayaking and canoeing experience on the Dordogne river. There are of course many other good kayaking clubs on this immense river but I chose a few that are nicely spread around and offer good tours at reasonable prices. Enjoy and leave a comment if you have any other kayak and canoe clubs to add.

Visit the most beautiful villages in the Dordogne on a canoe

There’s a beautiful scenery along most parts of the Dordogne river, but there’s one region that will leave you truly speechless. The Perigord noir region is located in the south east of the Dordogne department and has one segment of the river that passes right through it. The area is known for its marvellous villages, labeled among the most beautiful in France, with several of them located on the river banks. If you have only one day to discover the villages and castles of Dordogne, canoeing in Perigord Noir is your best choice.

The most beautiful villages in France - by lost in Bordeaux
The most beautiful villages in France – by lost in Bordeaux

River canoe kayak

River canoe kayak is located at Saint Vincent de Cosse, just next to Beynac, which many consider as the most beautiful village in France. The company’s minibus will take you to your preferred starting point on the Dordogne, from which you’ll start discovering the amazing villages and chateaux on both sides of the river. They offer three different tours: a half day tour, a 4-5 hours tour and full day tours. The bus will bring you to different starting points according to the tour you choose. Departure times are 9h15 – 10h15 – 11h15 – 12h15 – 14h15 – 15h15 – 16h15. Open from April to September

During the summer it’s recommended to make reservations by email [email protected] or by phone : 05.53.29.41.01 or 06.87.13.58.41
For prices check out their website.
Address: Le Bourg, 24220 Saint-Vincent-de-Cosse

Canoe Dordogne

If you’re visiting the beautiful village of La Roque Gageac, you should definitely consider experiencing it from the river side. Canoe Dordogne proposes a one hour trip near La Roque-Gageac, which was chosen as one of the most beautiful villages in France. You can also take longer tours, from 9 to 25 km and the company bus will take you to the appropriate starting point depending on the trip you choose to take. If you come with kids, they offer different canoes for 2 to 4 people, meaning that it could fit the whole family. Unlike many kayak operators who are open only during the summer season, this one is open all year long. 
Details for contact and reservation: [email protected] or by phone at : 05 53 29 58 50. For prices check out their website.
Address: Le Bourg, 24250 La Roque-Gageac

Canoe sans Frontiere

Canoe sans frontiere offers you a special trail they call the ‘Circuit des Châteaux’. It’s a 19km route (about 4 hours on a canoe) in which you discover five beautiful castles located on the Dordogne river. You start your journey in front of Château de Grolejac, followed by Château de Montfort, Castelnaud-La-Chapelle, Château de Fayrac and finally the famous Château de Beynac. If 19 km is a bit too much for you, this club also offers shorter trips with plenty of beautiful scenery on the way. Open from April to the end of October.

Reservations by phone at 06 31 70 40 08. For more details and prices check out the website 
Address: Pont de, Grolejac, 24200 Carsac-Aillac

Canoeing on the Dordogne river
Canoeing on the Dordogne river by Lost in Bordeaux

Canoe Soleil Plage

If you want to combine canoeing on the Dordogne river with a beach day, this is the place to go. Canoe Sun Plage is located on the Caudon beach, about 6 km from Sarlat and Domme (two of France’s most beautiful villages). There are three itineraries to choose from, one covers the castles of Dordogne, the second emphasises nature and the third combines both. On the long tour you’ll get to see the châteaux of Castelnaud and Montfort and the beautiful villages of Domme and La Roque Gageac. They operate from April to October.

Contact details: [email protected] or Phone : +33 (0)5 53 28 77 61 and +33 (0) 6 58 08 99 34
For more details check out their website.
Address: Plage de Caudon, 24200 Vitrac

Canoeing in the Dordogne around Bergerac

Another great location for water activities on the Dordogne river is the Pays de Bergerac, the western part of the Dordogne department. It’s a region full of beautiful bastide towns and vineyards. A canoe or a kayak can be a great way to discover the particular nature and architecture of this area. 

Limeuil
Limeuil by Lost in Bordeaux

Aquafun Canoes Dordogne

Aquafun Canoes Dordogne is located next to the  beautiful village of Limeuil situated on the confluence of the Dordogne and the Vezere rivers. They offer several trips on both rivers that can start at different locations, depending on how long you want to paddle. On the Dordogne river, you can make short tours (starting from 5km) from places like le buisson or whole day routes from La roque gageac (32km). You have plenty of options in between which makes this place very flexible and adaptable for families. You can also discover the Vezere river from locations like Le Bugue and La Roque St. Christophe (another amazing place to visit in Dordogne). You start the tours at the port of Limeuil, from which you are bussed to your location of choice, with all the trips ending back at the same port in Limeuil.  

Contact details: [email protected] or phone : 06 77 18 66 46
Open from May 1st to September 20th. For more details and prices check out their  website.
Address: Port de, 24510 Limeuil

Canoë Kayak Port Ste Foy

This small water sports club is located next to Sainte Foy la Grande, yet another charming town along the Dordogne river. The town is located right in between Bordeaux and Bergerac, making it a great option if you’re staying in Bordeaux (less than an hour drive). Every Saturday Sainte Foy la Grande hosts one of the biggest markets in the region, so this is the best day to visit. The club has a very friendly staff and offers Canoës, Kayaks and Stand Up Paddles. 

Contact details: [email protected] or Phone : 05 53 24 86 12

Open the whole year, prior reservations are required (apart from July – August when you can come anytime).  For more details go to their facebook page or their website (currently under construction). 
Address: Base nautique du Cléret, Allée Paul Ducou 33220 PORT-SAINTE-FOY

Pessac sur Dordogne 

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

Another Canoeing club between Bordeaux and Bergerac is located on the riverfront of Pessac sur Dordogne. The town is not very interesting on its own but the club has a nice restaurant with an amazing view on the river. They offer two tours, one from Riberon (8km) and one from Eynesse (15km). The 8km tour is a good distance to do with kids, but it’s important to know that it doesn’t have a stop spot for a picnic. So if you want a more relaxed trail with a break, take the longer tour. Both trails start at Pessac sur Dordogne from which you are bussed to the chosen starting point.

Reservations by phone  06 63 82 34 53 / Open from mid June to mid September. For more details and prices check out their website 
Address: Les Quais, 33890 Pessac-sur-Dordogne

If you want more ideas for amazing day trips from Bordeaux you should check out my article about day trips which includes plenty of beautiful villages, history and nature. If wine is your things, check out my article about the best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion and about the Bordeaux wine route in Medoc. Enjoy your stay!

In Bordeaux, you don’t really have to leave the city in order to taste some of the best wines in the world. Several bars and wine shops offer wine tasting experiences that will allow you to discover different wine appellations and learn about the growing and production processes. In this article, I gathered several bars and wine shops in Bordeaux that offer great wine tasting experiences. They vary in the reputation of the wines served, the depth of the explanations and the prices of course, and yes, you can enjoy a wine tasting experience even on a budget! All the places on my list offer guidance in English and some also offer other languages such as Spanish. Let’s dive into the world of wine tastings in Bordeaux!

Best bars for wine tastings in Bordeaux

Un Château en Ville 

Château Lestrille was the first wine producer in the Bordeaux area to come up with the brilliant idea to open a bar in the city center and offer their wine directly to the public. The winery is located in the Entre Deux Mers wine region, producing white, red and special rosé that you can only taste here in Bordeaux. If you want to feel like you’ve visited a wine château without actually leaving the city this is a great option. The bar offers wine tastings that include 3 glasses of wine (white, red and rosé) all from Château Lestrille.

un chateau en ville Bordeaux
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

The super friendly and knowledgeable staff accompany you during the tastings with interesting explanations about the production process, the soil, the Entre Deux Mers wine region and more. They also have a great food menu that is perfectly paired with their wine, such as cheese, tapas, duck sausages, oysters on weekends and more. The price is 6 euros per person. Un Chateau en Ville is open Wednesday to Sunday. This is one of my favorite bars in Bordeaux and I often stop there during my afternoon food tours so it’s a warm personal recommendation 🙂 
Contact for reservations: [email protected]  +33 9 53 04 48 93
Address:  25 Rue Saint-James, 33000 Bordeaux

Wine more time

On the same lovely street, you have another great wine bar carrying the amusing name, Wine more time :). While the first bar on our list focuses exclusively on wine produced in one château, this one is the opposite. The idea is to offer a huge selection of wines and let the customer decide on the theme. The themes can be varied, you can choose to taste only red or white wines from different areas in Bordeaux, focus on certain years, taste wines only from Medoc, or from Saint Emilion, or try only wines made from a certain grape type. You get the picture. They have a selection of 400 bottles so there’s an endless amount of combinations you can think of.

wine more time Bordeaux
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

The only downside is that you can’t do that if you’re alone or a couple. As they are opening the bottles especially for the occasion, the wine tastings in Wine More Time are open to groups of at least 5 people. The price is 20 euros per person which includes on average 3-4 bottles, the exact number varying according to the wines you choose. During the evening you will get a detailed explanation of the wines and winemaking process, which will be adapted to the customer’s knowledge level. So if you’re a newbie wine taster, you’ll get the “wine for dummies” session:). It is recommended to book at least a week in advance. 
Contact for reservations: [email protected]  +33 5 56 52 85 61
Address:  8 Rue Saint-James, 33000 Bordeaux

Bar à Vin

wine tastings in Bordeaux
photo by lost in Bordeaux

Bar à Vin is one of Bordeaux’s wine institutions, located in the 18th-century residence of the Bordeaux Wine Council. This place is quite surprising I must say. The fancy decor can be a bit intimidating if you’re on a tight budget and want to be able to taste more than one glass of wine. But in reality, it is the cheapest place in the center of Bordeaux for wine tastings! Bar à Vin offers two half glasses of Bordeaux wine for only 3 euros! The tastings are not accompanied by extended explanations, like in other bars on this list, but as all the people working there are sommeliers, you can freely ask them as many questions as you want and get thorough explanations to anything you ever wanted to know about wine. This is one of my favorite stops in Bordeaux due to the chic decor and friendly atmosphere. Bar a Vin is open daily except for Sundays. 
Contact for reservations: https://baravin.bordeaux.com/en/  +33 5 56 00 43 47 
Address:  3 Cours du 30 Juillet, 33000 Bordeaux

Le Boutique Hotel Bordeaux wine bar

Hotel boutique bordeaux
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

The Boutique Hotel is a popular 4-star luxury hotel with a very nice wine bar on its ground floor. The bar offers daily wine tastings taking place from 17:15 to 18:15. The tastings include five different Bordeaux wines (usually reds) and a cheese and charcuterie plate for 35 euros per person. During the tastings, you will learn about the different Bordeaux appellations, wine production, tasting techniques and more. After the workshop, you can take your wine glass and move to their beautiful terrace to enjoy the rest of the evening. The tastings must be booked in advance. 
Contact for reservations: www.hotelbordeauxcentre.com +33 5 56 48 80 40
Address:  3 Rue Lafaurie de Monbadon, 33000 Bordeaux

La Conserverie

La conserverie bordeaux
photo by lost in Bordeaux

La Conserverie is one of those places you pass by unaware of the magical world hiding behind the door. It’s a wine and gourmet food store but also a restaurant with a cozy design and a cute little courtyard that is perfect for sunny days. If you want to discover local food they are a great place for lunch. The service is amazing and they love interacting with the clients, happily giving you detailed explanations about any wine you drink. For the tasting part, they offer a deal of four glasses and a charcuterie plate for 15 euros per person. The place is open from Tuesday to Saturday. 
Contact for reservations: [email protected]  +33 5 56 81 49 17
Address: 18 Rue Notre Dame, 33000 Bordeaux

Wine shops that offer wine tastings in Bordeaux

Cousin et Compagnie

Cousin et Compagnie is a beautiful wine shop located just next to Place du Parlement offering a large selection of Bordeaux wines. They offer three different wine tasting experiences. The basic tour can be done daily and includes three to five glasses of wine (from 10 to 15 euros per person). The tasting lasts about 20 minutes and includes an explanation of the wines and tasting techniques. On Saturdays you can enjoy a more fancy experience (79 euros per person), tasting four Grands crus wines, accompanied by a professional from one of the châteaux. Here, you get a 1.5-hour training on wine classification, the Bordeaux vineyards and more.

cousin & companie bordeaux
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

Last but not least is their wine tasting on a boat experience that you can do during the summer season on Mondays and Tuesdays. This experience, priced at 49 euros per person, includes 3 glasses of wine with a plate of cheese and charcuterie and a romantic scenery of the Garonne river. It’s limited to 12 people so book in advance to be sure to have a spot. 
Contact for reservations: the two more expensive tastings require prior registrations:  [email protected] +33 5 56 01 20 23
Address:  2 Rue du Pas-Saint-Georges, 33000 Bordeaux

Max Bordeaux 

Max Bordeaux wine tastings
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

Max Bordeaux is a wine shop with a neat concept allowing you to taste a lot of prestigious Bordeaux wines without paying for the whole bottle. Entering the bar you’ll discover huge wine columns with built-in wine machines containing many different Bordeaux wines. There are 3 different sizes (25, 50 and 75 ml) you can choose from ranging in price from 1 euro (for the cheaper 25ml servings) to 10 euros for the more luxurious wines. While this is not a guided tasting experience it does allow you to discover the Bordeaux wine area at your own pace and budget.
The other option proposed by Max Bordeaux is their wine tasting atelier, a more traditional experience where you taste three Grands crus wines for 35 euros. The tastings are guided by a wine professional and last about an hour. The guided tastings must be reserved in advance. Max Bordeaux is open from Monday to Saturday. 
Contact for reservations: [email protected] +33 5 57 29 23 81
Address:  14 Cours de l’Intendance, 33000 Bordeaux

Emile & Marguerite

Emile & Marguerite Bordeaux
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

This article is about wine tastings in Bordeaux but I had to add one place where you can taste other spirits that this region is famous for. Emile & Marguerite is a charming shop in the heart of the center of Bordeaux specializing in made in France alcohol. They have everything from Whisky to Gin, vodka and a huge selection of local beers. But what’s more interesting is their large selection of Cognac and Armagnac brandies originating from the Southwest of France. The shop offers spirit tastings that include 3 different spirits (10 euros) and if you buy a bottle (for more than 40 euros) the tastings are on the house. If you don’t have an extra day to go to Cognac or Armagnac this can be a very nice way to taste and gain more knowledge about these two exceptional French spirits. You don’t have to make reservations, just pass by and you’ll be welcomed anytime. The shop is open daily, check out their facebook page for more info. 
Address:  13 Rue Parlement Saint-Pierre, 33000 Bordeaux

That’s it for today!  Hope it gave you plenty of ideas for wine tastings in Bordeaux!

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

If you’re visiting Bordeaux for the first time, be sure to check out my ultimate guide to Bordeaux to get familiar with all the must-see places in the city. To help you choose a hotel in Bordeaux I’ve gathered a list of the best hotels in the center of Bordeaux as well as a guide to the districts of Bordeaux to help you find your preferred location.

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

Bordeaux may not be France’s fashion capital but the Bordelais are actually quite stylish. And just like everybody else, they also love to buy some of their items in second hand shops. However, these are not so easy to spot without some guidance. That’s why I decided to gather a list of the best vintage and second-hand shops in Bordeaux. The guide includes both trendy boutiques with special items from the 80s as well as more day to day shops where you can find cheap and beutiful items. Second-hand shops are chic and environmentally friendly so I’m totally for it! Let’s start with our list!

Second-Hand shops in Bordeaux city center

Freep’show

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

This is one of the funkiest shops in Bordeaux. Once you take your eyes off the big Slash mannequin in the entrance, you can spot plenty of second-hand items from the 80s and 90s that will make you instantly nostalgic. The shop is not big but the selection of plaid shirts, short jeans, and colorful dresses is really impressive. Freep’show has a hipster vibe to it. Stylish employees moving to the beat of the music played in the shop decorated with vinyl records (you get the picture..). The prices are very low, you can find plenty of items for 10 euros or less. 

Address: 80 Rue du Loup, 33000 Bordeaux

Chamade

Chamade second hand Bordeaux
Chamade – here you can also sell your clothes

Chamade looks like a fancy boutique from outside but it’s actually another beautiful vintage shop on rue du Loup. They have an impressive collection of women’s wear, a lot of stylish skirts and button-down shirts. They also have a big collection of beautiful jewelry, which is not second-hand but complements their vintage clothes perfectly. This store also buys second-hand clothes so if you have some stylish items to get rid off you may make some money on the way. 

Address: 76 Rue du Loup, 33000 Bordeaux

Jolie Mome

Jolie Mome
Jolie Mome – chic store in Bordeaux center

Jolie Mome is a super stylish second-hand boutique with a very young vibe to it. They have a big selection of trendy outfits and the store has a very similar design to other fashion boutiques in the city center, so it’s hard to tell from the outside that it’s a second-hand shop. They sell only women wear, offering a lot of beautiful dresses you could wear on events as well as nice accessories like bags and scarves. The prices are really good with a lot of items at around 20 euros. 

Address: 22 Rue du Pas-Saint-Georges, 33000 Bordeaux

Madame plus 

Madame Plus Bordeaux
Madame Plus – a good store for women and kids

Another good second-hand shop is Madame Plus, which has a big selection of women wear but also a nice section dedicated to kids and babies. It’s very well organized and you can find plenty of casual items from dresses to jeans and bags. I found the shopping experience there very pleasant. 

Address: 22 Rue Castillon, 33000 Bordeaux

Backstage

backstage
Backstage – luxury second hand shop

This is the most high-end vintage store in Bordeaux. From first glance, it looks more like a luxury bridal shop than a second hand one. There are lots of special vintage items like designer dresses, bags and beautiful hats. The prices are quite high but if you’re on a hunt for a special item for an event, this is a good store to stop by. 

Address: 14 Rue Maucoudinat, 33000 Bordeaux

Vintage Paradise

Vintage Paradise Bordeaux
Vintage Paradise – plenty of colorful shirts

A very colorful shop with a huge selection of shorts and jeans for both men and women.  You won’t find elegant dresses or bags in this shop but rather plenty of casual wear. The items are very fashionable with a lot of reference to the 90s. The prices in the shop are really affordable with most of the items ranging between 10 and 20 euros. 

Address: rue 33000, 2 Rue Tustal, 33000 Bordeaux

Amos

Amos - solidarity shop
Amos – a solidarity shop with chic

Amos is an association that employs people going through reintegration into society and all of the clothes you’ll see in their stores are coming from donations. They have several stores in Bordeaux with the most central and stylish being the one on rue Sainte Catherine. All the shops have women, men and kids wear, with some offering also toys and books. The prices are very low and it’s nice to be able to take part in a social project. If you have clothes that you don’t use anymore, you can donate them to Amos. Their containers marked AMOS, are spread all over the city (click here to see where the containers are located). 

Address: 146 Rue Sainte-Catherine, 33000 Bordeaux

Mad Vintage

Mad vintage second hand Bordeaux
Mad Vintage – a good selection for men

Mad Vintage is a big second-hand store on rue Sainte Catharine that looks like a regular clothes store rather than a thrift shop. The shop is very well organized with a big selection of basic t-shirts and jeans and a section of 90s jackets, with some looking like they have been taken from the set of the Fresh Prince of Bel-air. This store has one of the best collections for men in Bordeaux, as opposed to many other second-hand shops that sell only women clothes. 

Address: 142 Rue Sainte-Catherine, 33000 Bordeaux

Platine Vintage

Platine Bordeaux
Platine – 90’s chic

Platine is a small store in one of the chicest areas in Bordeaux, located just next to the Grosse Cloche. It has a very strong 90’s vibe, offering a big selection of jeans jackets, belt pouches, polaroid cameras, and more. While I did find some nice 90’s accessories in the shop, I believe that in the clothing section it has a better selection for men than for women.

Address: 4 Rue Bouquière, 33000 Bordeaux

Help

This is not one of those chic shops you go to for the second-hand shopping experience but rather a big shop where you go to dig in piles of clothes to find that one special item. It’s an outlet store and next to some second-hand items you can find plenty of clothes from retail stores and designers such as Tommy Hilfiger, Prada and more. The prices are very low and you can find anything from coats to women lingerie, kids wear and ties for men. The store doesn’t look big from outside but it’s actually huge once you go inside. 

Address: 187 Rue Sainte-Catherine, 33000 Bordeaux

Second-hand shops in Saint Michel and Victoire, Bordeaux

Declic

Declic Bordeaux
Declic – my favorite style

Declic is one of the most stylish vintage shops in Bordeaux. The boutique, located next to the Victoire square, is beautifully designed, offering a great shopping experience. If you’re looking for something to wear to an event that would be the best shop to start with. On the display, you can find plenty of beautiful dresses, stylish bags, belts and hats. The owner has already made the work for you by creating some beautiful combinations that you can see on the store’s walls. The prices here are a bit more elevated as its a vintage shop with very carefully selected items, but you can still find a lot of items at around 20 euros. 

Address: 17 rue des Augustins, 33000 Bordeaux

Steack-Fripes

Steack- Fripes is one of the most popular second-hand shops in Bordeaux. It offers a very eclectic style from vintage dresses from the 20s to old costumes and hats, all organized by color code. The owners are pretty good at selecting a lot of special items so if you want to add a twist to your look, you should definitely check out this store. 

Address:  62 Rue du Mirail, 33000 Bordeaux

Boutique Marcelle

Boutique Marcelle, located in the Victoire neighborhood is more of a thrift store, meaning that you’ll have to work a bit to find the more stylish items. It’s packed with clothes, bags and shoes for both women and men. It’s not a very fashionable shop but it offers plenty of items with very eclectic styles. So if you have the time for some digging you might find great bargains here.

Address: 55 Rue du Mirail, 33000 Bordeaux

Le Fil a Retordre

Le Fil a Retordre in Saint Michel
Le Fil a Retordre – a small shop with everything you need

Le Fil a Retordre is a cozy little second-hand shop in the Saint Michel neighborhood. It looks small but has everything you need, clothes, shoes, books, toys, house decor and even some original designs of clothes and bags recycled from old items, all in very good condition. It’s owned by a nice lady who has owned several second-hand shops in Saint Michel in the last 35 years.

Address: 9 rue des Faures, 33000 Bordeaux

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

If you’re visiting Bordeaux for the first time, be sure to check out my ultimate guide to Bordeaux to get familiar with all the must-see places in 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 location.

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

Bordeaux isn’t one of France’s cheapest cities but there are quite a lot of things you can enjoy here for free (or at a very low price). In this article, I gathered plenty of ideas for you to enjoy the city and the area around Bordeaux without spending a dime. Following my list, you will learn how to dance, discover amazing art, visit beautiful beaches and do most of it completely free. If you’re coming with kids, this post will give you some nice ideas for entertaining them without breaking the bank. Many of the offered attractions in this article are available during the summer season but some things you can do during winter as well. So let’s start with the list of free things to do in Bordeaux!

Free things you can do all year long in Bordeaux 

Stroll the historic city

girondins-monument-in-Bordeaux
The Girondins monument

You don’t need much to enjoy this amazing city. The exceptional architecture is present on almost every street. The old gates to the city, the romantic streets leading to lively squares, the wide beautiful promenade on the river banks will all leave a great impression on you. After Paris, Bordeaux has the highest number of preserved historical buildings in France. No wonder that its historic part was declared as an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble by UNESCO. If it’s your first time in Bordeaux you can read about the most important monuments in my guide to a weekend in Bordeaux

Darwin – hipster paradise

Darwin Bordeaux
Darwin Bordeaux

If you want to take the off-beaten track go to where the locals love to hang out. Darwin is an old military base on the right bank of the river converted into an urban space with a very cool vibe to it. It has a very chic restaurant and several shops but you don’t really need to spend money to enjoy it. You can stroll around the hangars, check out the charity shop, see plenty of street art and just embrace the hipster vibes :). Darwin and the associations it hosts are very active and offer plenty of free events. I tend to write quite a lot about it, so check out my weekend posts.  You can also have a picnic at the Parc aux Angéliques located just in front of Darwin.  

Address:  87 Quai des Queyries, 33100 Bordeaux

Free museums Sunday

Musee des beaux arts in Bordeaux
Musee des beaux arts in Bordeaux

Like in most cities in France, the first Sunday of the month is a free museums day. You have a free entrance to all the public museums and to most exhibitions. Check out the full list of museums in Bordeaux that you can visit for free this Sunday.

Free galleries in Bordeaux 

Discover the local art in the many galleries spread in the city, many of them you can visit without a reservation. Here are some of the best galleries in Bordeaux: Galerie D.X., Bouillon d’art, A deux pas d’ici (photography), Cox gallery (street art). For contemporary art, head to FRAC which is located at the new MECA, an interesting architectural attraction by itself. 

For more exhibitions check out my list of exhibitions to see this summer in Bordeaux

Take a city bike

biking-in-Bordeaux

One of the best ways to discover the city is by bike and you don’t even have to pay much to do that in Bordeaux. There are city bikes (V³) stations spread all over the city and they cost only 1.7 euros for 24 hours. You have to return it to the station every 30 minutes and you can immediately take another one to continue your journey. You can also pay 2 euros per hour and return it later if you want to make a longer ride to areas without city bikes stations. See the location of the stations here.

See Bordeaux’s most ancient monument

Palais Galien
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 and 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 calling this number +33 5 56 00 66 00.

Bordeaux churches

Bordeaux Metropole is rich with many basilicas and churches, decorating almost every big square in the city. Its history is blended with religion and the churches are a testament to the development of the city. One of the best things about them is that they are always free and open every day. Bordeaux is an old city so you get to explore religious temples from various periods in time, carrying very different styles. Some examples are the amazing Saint Andres on Place Pey Berland that is built in a Gothic Style or the church of Notre Dame with its Baroque style. Other impressive and interesting churches and Basilicas include Saint Croix, Saint Michel and Saint Bruno. 

Free events

Carnival-in-Bordeaux
The Carnival of Bordeaux

There are free events taking place every weekend, from concerts on the street to huge brocantes, street art events, dance lessons and more. All you need to do is follow my weekend list to be updated on what’s happening in the city at the moment. 

Drink at the Capucins Market

One of the main attractions in Bordeaux is Marché des Capucins, Bordeaux’s main market. Eating at the market definitely isn’t free (although very affordable) but you don’t have to eat there to feel the vibe. You can just sip a glass of cold white wine at Chez Jean Me (only 2 euros a glass) and absorb the sounds and smells of the market. If you need more recommendations check out my post about the best restaurants at the Capucins market

Discover the street art

Like many other cities, Bordeaux too has the street art fever, with numerous talented local artists. One of the best things about street art is that it’s usually free, you just need to put some effort to find it. 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 du Loup with a beautiful work by Nasty, rue Bourrard, quai des platitudes, the Mur in Chartrons, rue Bergeret. One of the most beautiful works, in my opinion, is located just next to Pessac’s train station. The street art scene is always evolving so again you’ll have to get back here for updates 😉

Brocante in Saint Michel

Antiques and flea markets are a popular attraction in many cities. Some people go there to hunt for special bargains to take home and others see it as a way to discover more about the place through the pieces on display. Bordeaux is quite rich with Brocantes and Vide Greniers (a local version of a garage sale) and you can find many of them both in the center and the villages around it. The most famous one is located in Passage Saint Michel, a hangar that gathers about twenty brocanteurs (second-hand goods dealer) together. Just in front of it, on the main square in Saint Michel, you will find the Sunday Brocante with much cheaper items for sale. Another neighborhood to visit is Chartrons, with plenty of more expensive Antique boutiques. If you want to experience a local and cheaper “flea market” you should attend a Vide Grenier in one of the suburbs or the villages next to Bordeaux. To discover when are the next vide greniers taking place check out this site.

Take a free tour in Bordeaux

If reading about the history of Bordeaux feels like a daunting task to you, you can just take a tour and let a professional guide tell you all about it. Free walking tours offer free tours in the city center and you can tip them at the end as you want. 

What to do for free in Bordeaux during the summer

Go to a free music concert

Bordeaux open air festival in Jardin Public
Bordeaux open air festival by Lost in Bordeaux

The summer in Bordeaux is one big music festival with plenty of free concerts and parties scattered all over the city. There are several associations that organize free concerts from June to the end of September in many different styles and locations. Bordeaux Open Air offers amazing electronic festivals in the parks of Bordeaux almost every summer. Relache will make you rock with free rock concerts on different squares of Bordeaux. Banzai lab has amazing parties on the weekend of July and the Pavillon d’été welcomes you to enjoy free music concerts on the right bank of the river. For more information follow my post about things to do in July and August as well as my what to do this weekend post that I publish every Wednesday/ Thursday.  

Learn how to dance 

Dansons sur les quais
learn how to dance with Dansons sur les quais

If dance classes are too expensive for you, in Bordeaux you can learn it for free! The main dance festival in the summer is Dansons sur les quais, with free dancing lessons on the promenade. The lessons are taught by professional teachers and it’s quite an amazing experience for both kids and adults. However, this is not the only place to take free dance classes in Bordeaux during the summer season. You can also learn how to dance Tango with Tango Bordeaux association and Swing with the Swing In Kiosque at Jardin Public.

Have a picnic at the Park

chateau peixotto
chateau peixotto in Talence

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy a proper French meal or snack. Just buy some cheese and wine, add to it a crispy baguette from the boulangerie and head to one of Bordeaux magical picnic spots. Many of you probably heard about the beautiful Jardin Public, but this is far from being the only park in Bordeaux. Check out my list of the best picnic places in Bordeaux where I also included information about playgrounds for kids and the closest supermarkets. 

Listen to music and dance at la Guingette chez Alriq

La Guinguette chez Alriq is one of the best summer places in Bordeaux with plenty of concerts in the open air. During the summer they host amazing bands from Thursday to Sunday. While on most evenings the concerts cost 6 euros on Sunday afternoon the concerts are free! 

Adress: ZA Quai des Queyries, Port Bastide, 33100 Bordeaux

Go to one of the beaches in the city

One of the best free attractions to do during the Bordelaise summer is going to a beach. There are many lakes in the area and two of them happen to be in the city and you can even reach them by public transport. Bordeaux Lac is a fantastic little beach in the north of the city. Unfortunately, the direct line to the beach (line c) from the city center is going through some works until September so going to the beach will take more time than usual. The second city beach is located in the southern suburb of Bordeaux, Bègles. Bègles plage can be reached by line c within 25 minutes from the train station.  

Fun stuff to do (almost) for free with kids in Bordeaux

Chill at the Miroir d’eau 

mirior-deau-bordeaux-with-kids

The best free attraction for kids (and adults) in Bordeaux is definitely Mirroir d’eau. Kids absolutely love splashing in the water, especially on hot summer days. When tired you can have a picnic at the little garden right next to it. 

Go to the pool

Going to the pool is not really free in Bordeaux but it’s very affordable and you can spend the whole day there. There are several kids friendly pools in Bordeaux metropole, two of them are not very far from the city center. Next to the Meriadeck, you’ll find the piscine Judaique 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 kids’ pool, water slides, floats and more. 

Skateboarding on the quai

If your kids love skating be sure to bring the skateboard with you when coming to Bordeaux. One of the best skateparks in the city is located on Quai des Chartrons and it’s free. For those heading to the Sunday market on the quai, that would be a great break for the kids.

For more activities with kids in Bordeaux check out my list of the best 30 things to do with kids in Bordeaux

Enjoy the free scenery of the South of Gironde

There are plenty of amazing day trips you can go to when visiting the Bordeaux area. It’s not entirely free of course as you have to rent a car but it gives you the chance to discover plenty of amazing places around Bordeaux without paying a dime. Also, If you make sure to rent it a few months before your arrival rental prices are fairly low. If you prefer to go by train, check out my list of the 10 day trips you can do by train from Bordeaux

Discover the beautiful châteaux of the Medoc region

Chateau d'Arsac
Château d’Arsac by Lost in Bordeaux

Even if you don’t want to spend money on a wine tour I highly recommend doing the route du Vin, just for the beautiful châteaux all along the way. If you don’t want to rent a car you can do most of the trip by bike. While in many wineries you’d have to pay for a guided tour, some will offer you to taste their wine for free. For more information check out my article about the wine road in Medoc

Go to one of Bordeaux’s beautiful beaches

Plage de la Hume
Plage de la Hume on the Bassin d’Arcachon

Above I’ve mentioned two beaches that are located within the city but with a car, Gironde is a paradise for beach lovers. Plenty of beautiful sandy beaches surround the Bordeaux Metropole. The more kids friendly ones are located on the lakes, such as lac Lacanau or lac Cazaux and on the Bassin d’Arcachon. Surfers will definitely fall in love with the beaches on the Atlantic coast. If you need help in choosing the best beaches, I just recently released a post about the best beaches near Bordeaux.

Visit medieval villages 

Rions
Rions

To its south and east, Bordeaux is surrounded by amazing medieval villages which you can reach within less than an hour drive. One of the most famous villages in our area is Saint Emilion, but it’s not the only charming village in the area, others include, Bazas, Saint Macaire, La Reole, Rions and more. For more information about some of these destinations check out my article about day trips from Bordeaux.

I hope I convinced you that a trip to Bordeaux can be quite cheap when you have so many incredible free things to do. Hope you enjoyed the list! 

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Apart from luxurious wine, the Bordeaux area is also known for its beautiful beaches. On sunny days many tourists rush to the coast of Arcachon without knowing that there is actually a great deal of amazing beaches near Bordeaux. In this article, I want to share ten beaches in the area that I find absolutely stunning. The list includes both lake beaches, ocean beaches and of course the best beaches on the Bassin d’Arcachon. There are many more gorgeous beaches in the Southwest of France but I made sure to include only those that are located within a reasonable distance from the center of Bordeaux. Hope you’ll enjoy the article and the beaches around Bordeaux 🙂

Lake beaches near Bordeaux 

Plage du Lac d’Hostens – South of Gironde

Plage du Lac d'Hostens
Plage du Lac d’Hostens – by lost in Bordeaux

Hostens lac is one of the highlights of the South Gironde region. Domaine des Lacs d’Hostens is located at the heart of the Landes de Gascogne forest (50km from Bordeaux) and has one of the most beautiful beaches in our area. This place is much more than just a nice place to swim. Hostens offers plenty of water activities such as kayaks and pedaling as well as hiking trails, mountain bike trails and more. There are actually 5 lakes at the domain but the beach is located on the shores of lake of Lamothe. There’s also a restaurant and a snack bar next to the beach so no worries if you didn’t come prepared. You can get more information about the activities at the tourist information point which is located next to the parking at the entrance to the Domain or read some of it here.

Bordeaux Lac – in Bordeaux city

Bordeaux lac
Bordeaux lac by Lost in Bordeaux

If you’re in Bordeaux and prefer to avoid renting/using a car, this beach is perfect for you. Bordeaux Lac has everything you need, a sandy clean beach and a lot of shade from the nearby trees for those who don’t really like 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.

La Plage du Moutchic – Lacanau

La Plage du Moutchic - a fun beach near Bordeaux
La Plage du Moutchic by lost in Bordeaux

Plage du Moutchic is located on the banks of Lacanau lake, about 50 km from Bordeaux. This beach has a nice supervised swimming area, a shaded picnic area and sports facilities like boat rentals, windsurfing, canoes and paddle boats which makes it very popular with families from the region. In case you forgot to bring food (god forbid), there’s a snack bar and two restaurants with a beautiful view on the lake.  For those who don’t like sand (my hubby including 🙂 ), part of the beach is covered with soft green grass. There’s big free parking behind the beach.

Plage Laouga – Close to Arcachon

Plage Laouga on Lac Cazaux is a fine sandy beach located about 400 m from the main beach of this beautiful lake (Plage Cazaux). Its calm warm water makes it one of the best places for families. This part of the lake is sheltered by the pine forest of Landes de Gascogne, which creates a lot of shaded spots on the beach (a must in the South-west summer). The beach is supervised during the summer season (mid June- mid September) and has free parking just next to it. Plage Laouga is located about 70 km from Bordeaux.

Beaches on the Arcachon Bay – close to Bordeaux

Le Moulleau beach

Day trip from Bordeaux

Le Moulleau, while officially a part of the city of Arcachon, feels like a completely separate little resort town with its own center, beaches and restaurants. It’s a very popular beach that attracts both families and many young people. The Moulleau is located midway between the center of Arcachon and the famous Dune du Pilat which is always a great spot to finish your day. There are a few bars and restaurants very close to the beach so you can easily spend the whole day in this resort. You can also take a ferry and check the beaches on the other side of the Bassin at Cap ferret. The beach can be reached by car, bike or a bus from the train station of Arcachon.

If you’re going to Arcachon for the day check out my guide to the best things to do and eat in Arcachon.

Plage Pereire in Arcachon

Plage Pereire, one of the most popular beaches in Arcachon, is located in Ville de Printemps (the winter city of Arcachon) about 67 km from Bordeaux. It’s a beautiful three km long beach with white sand and an amazing view of the Cap Ferret peninsula on the other side of the bay. This beach is equipped with many sports facilities, a cycle path and green lawns for people to have a picnic on. When coming from Arcachon center, one of the best ways to get there is cycling. A flat cycle path, stretched from the central beach to the Dune du Pyla, passes through Plage Pereire and other Arcachon beaches. On a hot summer day, you can enjoy a cold rosé at the bar-restaurant du soleil located on the beach. 

Andernos les bains

A  more isolated beach in Andernos les bains
A more isolated beach in Andernos les bains

Andernos les bains at the north of the Bassin d’Arcachon is one of the most attractive towns in the area, especially during the summer season. It has a cute little center leading to the main beach that is abundant with restaurants, ice cream shops and beach clothing boutiques. While the main beach is really nice, if you want a more isolated and relaxed atmosphere you should continue in the direction of the oysters port and go the remarkable nature reserve of les Quinconces. After a short walk from the port into the reserve, you’ll discover a beautiful beach with the forest as your background. This beach is quite isolated so there are no facilities here and it’s not supervised. Andernos les bains is located about 50 km from Bordeaux. 

Plage de la Hume – Gujan Mestras 

Plage de la Hume
Plage de la Hume on the Bassin d’Arcachon

Plage de la Hume is a family friendly beach located at the touristic part of Gujan Mestras, a little town known as the capital of oyster farming on the Bassin d’Arcachon. Its location on the bay makes the water very calm and easy to swim in. However, if you’ve come for more than the beach itself and really want to swim, check the tide hours first. They are changing daily and in some hours of the day, you can barely see any water. Click here for the daily hours. The beach is supervised in July and August (from 10:00 to 19:00), which makes it a very safe place for kids. Plage de la Hume is located just next to the ports that Gujan Mestras is famous for, so if you’re getting hungry you can always stop in one of the cabanes on the port for fresh oysters. 

Beaches at the Atlantic coast

Plage du Grand Cohort – Lège Cap-Ferret

Grand Cohort beach is located on the Ocean side of the Cap Ferret peninsula. As opposed to the more calm water on the side of the Bassin d’Arcachon, on the ocean side, the waves are strong which makes it a surfing paradise. This beautiful white sand beach attracts both kite surfers and families that love to swim in the ocean.  In the summer the beach tends to be quite busy and sometimes parking can be an issue so try to come early. If you’re coming with kids, this beach is supervised during the summer. This beach is located about 60 km from the center of Bordeaux.

Lacanau Ocean beaches

Lacanau-Ocean - surfing beach near Bordeaux
Lacanau-Ocean main beach

If your idea for a beach day is a more active one, this is the beach for you. The Lacanau Ocean beach begins right at the end of Boulevard de la Plage at the Lacanau Ocean town, which is located about 55km from Bordeaux. It is one of the longest beaches in the Aquitaine area, spreading to 15 km of white sand. The beach is considered a perfect place for surfing and windsurfing and it has become known for surfing competition and events. This long beach is also a great place for bathing in the sea with your family and has all the facilities you need, including many restaurants and shops in its little center. 

There are plenty of other amazing beaches near Bordeaux but I think that these ten beaches will give you a sense of how beautiful and magical the Gironde region is! 

For more places to visit around Bordeaux check out my guides about day trips from Bordeaux by car and by train.