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After a warm and sunny weekend, it looks like this one is going to be a bit rainy and colder. Luckily, this weekend is very lively with plenty of things to do for kids and adults. This week we have a gastronomic festival, an artistic event at Les Vivres de l’Art, a dinosaur exhibition, music concerts and more. I also added details about the big truffles festival taking place this weekend in Sarlat, in case you’re in a mood to travel to the region. If you do, check out my new Facebook group, Travel in the Southwest of France, for more tips on what to do in the region. This week I released my February list, so you can see all the fun events taking place here next month. If you’re visiting Bordeaux in the last two weeks of January, you should also read my January list

Le monde des Dinosaures

If your kids love dinosaurs they will be happy to hear that this weekend the exhibition “The world of Dinosaurs” is coming to Bordeaux. The exhibition will present 25 species of dinosaurs, among them a huge T-REX measuring 13.5 m long and 4.5 m tall. The exhibition will take place on January 18-19 at the Parc des Expositions de Bordeaux. For more info click here

When: January 18 -19 / Where:  Parc des Expositions de Bordeaux, Cours Charles Bricaud, 33000 Bordeaux

Festival Bouche à Bouche – Bordeaux

Following its success in Paris, the Bouche à Bouche festival is arriving this year to Bordeaux for the first time. During the two nights of the event you will discover the signature dishes of five Bordeaux chefs like Jérôme Billot from Madame Pang and Julien Camdeborde of L’avant Comptoir du Palais. The event will take place on January 17-18 and includes a lot of music, shows and street art. For more info click here.

When: January 17-18 / Where:  7 Rue du Palais-Gallien, 33000 Bordeaux, France

Tremplin de 2 Rives

This is the 7th edition of the Tremplin de 2 rives festival which aims to promote the musical talents of Bordeaux. The festival includes eight evenings from January 10 to February 8 in different districts of Bordeaux. This weekend is dedicated to the Bastide neighborhood with a night of concerts taking place this Friday (January 17) at the centre d’animation Queyries. For more details click here.

When: January 17 / Where:  13 Allée Jean Giono, 33100 Bordeaux

Le Salon du Livre Ancien de Bordeaux

Le Salon du Livre Ancien de Bordeaux brings together more than 40 French exhibitors for the biggest ancient books event in the Southwest of France. Every year more than 3000 people attend this event to look for rare pieces of literature and discover old books from every genre: fiction, kids’ books, old magazines and more. The event will take place this weekend (January 18-19) at Cours Mably. Read more about the book fair here

When: January 18 -19 / Where:  Cours Mably, 33000 Bordeaux

Salon du Mariage de Bordeaux

Salon du Mariage, the biggest wedding fair of the region will take place this weekend (January 17-19) at the Palais des Congrès. The fair will host more than 150 professionals from the wedding industry in France. Fore more details click here

When: January 17 -19 / Where:  Palais Des Congrès Bordeaux, Bordeaux Lac, Bordeaux, France

Bulles & Elles – Soirées femmes chez Calicéo Bordeaux

Girls this one is for you!! This Friday (January 17) Calicéo Bordeaux one of the biggest Spa complexes in Bordeaux is hosting a women’s night! The entry is free and no prior reservation is required. For more details click here

When: January 17 at 20:30 / Where:  8 rue Jean Pommiès, 33520 Bruges, Aquitaine, France

Mama Bordeaux / DJ SET & LIVE

This weekend Mama Shelter expands its Sunday DJ set & Live line to a Dj set weekend. Every evening from January 16-19 one DJ is invited for a live set and a fun party. For more info click here

When: January 16-19 / Where: 19 Rue Poquelin Molière, 33000 Bordeaux

Fête de la truffe à Sarlat

A big truffles market will take place this weekend (January 18-19) in Sarlat. I know that’s a bit far from Bordeaux but it’s one of the biggest truffles markets in the region so worth checking out. For more info click here.

When: January 18-19 / Where: Sarlat-la-Canéda

Carnal X Maracuja

A fun day of skating, music and fun will take place this Saturday (January 18) in Darwin. For more info about the event click here

When: January 18, starting 14:00 / Where: 87 quai de Queyries, 33100 Bordeaux, France

Coulisse – Le décor de l’envers

Coulisse is an immersive experience presenting the work of young artists that mix different art genres like fashion, music and plastic arts. The event will take place this Saturday (January 18) in Les Vivres de l’Art. For more details and tickets click here. For more things to do in this cool neighborhood go to my article about things to do in Bacalan

When: January 18, starting at 18:00 / Where: 4 rue Achard, 33300 Bordeaux

Passages Festival – Hypno5e ciné-concert Acoustique

This Friday (January 17) a fun evening will take on Place du Palais with some of the bars and shops there hosting live music events. For more details click here.

Porte Cailhau on Place de Palais
Porte Cailhau on Place de Palais
When: January 17, starting at 19:30 / Where: Place du Palais , 33300 Bordeaux

IBOAT • Roller Disco Dancing

A Roller Disco party will take place this Saturday (Saturday 18) evening on the docks of the Iboat. The entry is free. For more details click here

When: January 18, starting at 19:00 / Where: Bassin à flot n°1, 33300 Bordeaux

Berlioz and Rimski-Korsakov – concert

This January the Opera of Bordeaux invites everyone to come and enjoy a big variety of concerts from dance, to Jazz and Classical music. This Sunday (January 19) a concert of classical music (Harold en Italie by Berlioz and Schéhérazade by Rimski-Korsakov) will take place at the Auditorium de Bordeaux. For tickets click here

When: January 19, at 15:00/ Where:  8 – 13 Cours Georges Clemenceau, 33000 Bordeaux

Winter Sales

The Soldes d’hiver are the winter sales lasting several weeks during which you can find really good deals on clothes, shoes, appliances, toys and more. This year the winter sales were shortened to 4 weeks from the previous six weeks period. But from my experience even if you come to Bordeaux a week or two after the sales many shops will still have a lot of items on discount. Les soldes d’hiver will take place from January 8 to February 4

Mama’s Brunch

Another fun event this Sunday is Mama’s Brunch. Mama Shelter invites you to its big buffet brunch which is a bit pricey (39 euros per person) but includes almost four hours of activities and artistic workshops for kids, so it’s like brunch with a babysitter :). For more details and the menu click here.

When: January 19 / Where: 19, rue Poquelin Moliere, 33000 Bordeaux

Is it your first time in Bordeaux? If it is you should definitely check out my ultimate guide to Bordeaux to get familiar with all the must-see places in the city. To help you choose a hotel 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. Also don’t forget to join my newsletter where I share a lot of exclusive info about Bordeaux and the region – sign up here.

After a slightly sleepy January, Bordeaux is waking up to a stream of fun events taking place in February. We have the Spa Salon, a dance festival, a kids’ festival, shopping, concerts and more.
I know that it’s the middle of the winter, but last year we had a week in February when the temperatures went up to 25°C, so in case it happens again here’s an article about the best beaches around Bordeaux. If you’re reading this post in January and want to see what else is on before February comes knocking, check out my January list. And Finally, if you missed it on the Lost in Bordeaux Facebook page, this month I opened a group called Travel in the Southwest of France where me and other people living and traveling in the region share their recommendations and beautiful photos – it’s a super fun group so you should join and invite your friends of course 🙂 
Here’s the list of things to do in Bordeaux in February 2020!

Hors Piste – ski in the city

Hors Piste is a cool winter event in Darwin where they transform one of the Hangars into a ski station with fun free activities. The event will take place on February 1st. For more details and the full program click here.

When: February 1 / Where: 87 quai des Queyries, 33100 Bordeaux

Last days of winter Sales

Soldes d’hiver are several weeks in the winter during which you can find really good deals on clothes, shoes, electric supplies, toys and more. Les soldes d’hiver will take place until February 4 so you still have a few days to shop in February.

Disney on ice

One of the most popular events for kids in Bordeaux is happening again! All the popular Disney characters reunite for an ice skating spectacle. Disney Sur Glace includes three shows during this weekend (February 7-9) at the Arkea Arena.  For tickets and more details click here.

When: February 7-9 / Where: 48-50 Avenue Jean Alfonséa, 33270 Floirac

Salon Spa

A spa salon with representatives from 70 establishments will take place on February 7-8 in Hangar 14. The program includes different conferences on health and thermal medicine. For the full program click here.

When: February 7-8 / Where:  Hangar 14, Quai des Chartrons, 33000 Bordeaux

Braderie d’Hiver

Every winter the main streets of Bordeaux are getting filled with stands of clothes, shoes, toys, house supplies and more – this is the Bordeaux winter Braderie. If you’re in town for winter sales take the opportunity to check out the stands of more than 250 merchants on rue Porte Dijeaux, rue Sainte Catherine and rue des Trois Conils. The Braderie will take place on February 6-8.

braderie bordeaux
When: February 6-8 / Where: Center of Bordeaux: rue Porte Dijeaux, rue Sainte Catherine and rue des Trois Conils

Jumping International de Bordeaux

Jumping International de Bordeaux is a big riding equestrian event that includes competitions, spectacles and a fun fair. The event will take place on February 6-9 in Parc des Expositions de Bordeaux. More than 250 exhibitors will present their horses at the event which will include activities such as: Jumping world cup, amateurs competition, Equine Health Forum, a show of Iberian horses and more. For more details click here.

When: February 6-9 / Where:  Cours Jules Ladoumegue, 33300 Bordeaux

Villenave Trail Urbain

Villenave Trail Urbain is a sportive weekend taking place in Villenave d’Ornon on February 8-9. The weekend includes four different running/ hiking trails in the landscape of Villenave d’Ornon, starting with a Nordic night walking trail on February 8 and three other trails ranging from 5 to 21km. On February 9, there will also be two hiking trails tracks for kids: the Cross du CAV for kids from 11 to 14 years old and the Pouss’cross for ages 6 to 10. The tracks will start from Espace D’Ornon and will go through several chateaux in the area. You can see all the details and the inscription forms here

When: February 8-9 / Where: 147, route de Léognan 33140 Villenave d’ornon, 33140 Villenave-d’Ornon

Green Market au Château des Tours, Bouscat

A green market will take place on  February 9 in Château des Tours in le Bouscat. The market will host local producers of organic fruit and vegetables, patisserie, natural cosmetics and more. Check out the full list of merchants here. The entry is free.

When: February 9, from 10:30  / Where:  246 Avenue de la Libération Charles de Gaulle, 33110 Le Bouscat

Festival Pouce Bordeaux

Pouce is the annual kids’ dance festival taking place around Bordeaux metropole. During the festival, many dance shows will take place in Bordeaux, Pessac, Floirac, Bruges and other towns around the metropole. This year the festival will take place on February 11-21. The program also includes a dance workshop for parents and kids on January 26. Check out the full program here

When: February 11-21 / Where:  different locations around Bordeaux (check out the program)

One Night of Queen – Tribute

If you enjoy tribute concerts you may really like this one. Garry Mullen and The Works will pay tribute to Freddy Mercury and Queen at a special concert in Arkea Arena that will take place on February 12. For tickets and more details click here. 

When: February 12 / Where: 48-50 Avenue Jean Alfonséa, 33270 Floirac

Lara Fabian in Bordeaux 

Lara Fabian will take the stage of the Arkea Arena on February 13. For the tickets click here

When: February 13 / Where: 48-50 Avenue Jean Alfonséa, 33270 Floirac

Game In Jeux Vidéo

Union Saint Jean invites you to a weekend dedicated to video games on February 15-16. This year the event has a  “games from the 80s” theme. The program for kids includes a family space with kids makeup, paper toys, arcade games, big puzzles and more. The adults can enjoy a game museum, board games and more. Check out the long program on the facebook page of the event.

When: February 15-16 / Where: 97 Rue Malbec, 33800 Bordeaux

Chocolate Festival in Jardin Botanique

This tasty chocolate fair, organized by Fédération Autonome des Métiers Gourmands, is taking place at the Jardin Botanique on February 14-16. This year the theme is “Fruit time” and you’ll discover the beautiful sculptures made by the chocolatiers for the national chocolate competition of Bordeaux. Some of the best Bordeaux chocolatiers will present and sell their works at the fair. For the full program click here.

When: February 14-16 / Where:  Jardin Botanique Bordeaux-Bastide, Esplanade Linné, 33100 Bordeaux

Ratatam – kids festival

The fourth edition of the Ratatam kids festival will take place at the Entrepôt du Haillan on February 18-23. The program includes concerts, animated movies, a painting contest, video games, meetings with cartoonists, a comics workshop and more. Check out the full program here.

When: February 18-23 / Where:  Entrepôt du Haillan, Rue Georges Clemenceau, 33185 Le Haillan

Fête des Bœufs Gras 

Bazas in the Southern part of Gironde is a beautiful town that attracts many people with its weekly market. But what Bazas is mostly known for is its Beef. Since 1283, on the Thursday before Mardi Gras, the city of Bazas hosts the famous “Fête des Bœufs Gras” that celebrates the Bazas Beef. An Oxen parade takes place on the central streets of the town with the Oxen judged by a jury of experts. The day ends with a banquet where you can taste the famous meat. The event will take place on February 20.

Fête des Bœufs Gras in Bazas
When: February 20 / Where:  Place de la Cathédrale, Bazas, Gironde

Cirque du Soleil – Corteo

The amazing Cirque du Soleil is coming back to Bordeaux once again with its new spectacle Corteo. Three shows will be performed on February 21-23 at the Arkea Arena. For tickets and more info about the show click here

When: February 21-23 / Where: 48-50 Avenue Jean Alfonséa, 33270 Floirac

Black History Month in Bordeaux

The third edition of the Black History Month in Bordeaux is taking place from January 9 to February 18. It is a month of reflection on the dark history of slavery that Bordeaux was part of as well as a celebration of black culture in France and around the world. The program of the Black History month includes conferences, music concerts, exhibitions and more. This time the main two themes are the one hundred years mark to the sinking of the “French Titanic” with 192 Senegalese workers onboard and the role Boxing played in the Black liberation.  For more info and the full program click here.

Foire aux Plaisirs

This is the spring edition of the traditional Bordelaise Fair that is taking place at Place des Quinconces from February 21 to March 23. 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, barbes à papa 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.

Foire aux Plaisirs Bordeaux
Foire aux Plaisirs in Bordeaux
When: February 21 to March 23 / Where: Place des Quinconces , 33000 Bordeaux

Truffles market in Saint Emilion 

Truffles are one of the most identified products of the Southwest of France. Usually, Dordogne is the one to take most of the credit when it comes to truffle markets, but Gironde is giving a fight. Every Saturday morning in February a truffles farmers market will take place at Logis de Malet in Saint Emilion. See more info here.

Check out my article about what to do and see in Saint Emilion if you decide to go. 

When: February 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 / Where: rue des anciennes écoles, in front of la maison du vin), Saint-Émilion

Plenty of concerts at the IBOAT

If you’re looking for a cool music venue in Bordeaux, Iboat is your place. Tens of concerts are planned to take place in this chic boat in Bassin a Flot. For the full program click here.

When: February / Where: Bassin à Flot n°1, Cours Henri Brunet, 33300 Bordeaux

Carnaval de Bayonne

If you’re in a mood for traveling a bit in February, Bayonne is a good option as on February 22  the city will celebrate its annual carnival. This is a very traditional Basque festival with music and beautiful costumes. The program of the Carnaval has not been updated yet, I will update it here once it goes online.

When: February 22 / Where: Ville de Bayonne

Escape the rain

If it’s cold and raining and you’re not in a mood for an event, you can always choose one of the cool places on my list of things to do when it’s raining in Bordeaux.

Discover the foodie streets of Bordeaux 

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

cafe chartrons bordeaux

Go to one of Bordeaux’s museums

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

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 the city. To help you choose a hotel 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.

When you think about festivals in Bordeaux, the first thing that comes to mind is wine and gastronomy. But let’s not forget that Bordeaux is the capital of the Southwest of France and one of France’s cultural hubs. So it’s not a surprise that there are quite a few big music festivals in Bordeaux. In this post, I gathered the biggest music festivals in Bordeaux and a few other attractive locations in Gironde. The list is very varied and I deliberately included many music genres like Jazz, Rock, electronic music and even Reggae. I added the dates of the festivals in 2020 (if published). For more information about the time and place follow my monthly and weekly lists, or subscribe to my newsletter

Music Festivals in Bordeaux Metropole

Bordeaux Rock Festival 

The Bordeaux rock festival takes place every January in the best music venues around the city, among them places like the Iboat, Quartier libre, L’avant scène, Void, La Tencha, La Voute, L’imperio, L’Antidote, and Salle des fêtes du grand parc. This festival was founded in 2004 by Bordeaux Rock, an association created to promote emerging music through cultural events. This festival is considered the main rock festival of Bordeaux, with tens of local and international acts performing here every year. In 2020 the festival will take place on January 22-26.

Bordeaux Open Air

The Bordeaux Open Air festival is a series of music events taking place in different locations during the summer. These are all electronic music concerts, hosting djs from all over the world. They have a very young urban vibe to them and they are completely free! Some of the events are taking place in Jardin Public, right in the center of Bordeaux and in other parks around Bordeaux metropole. With this festival your summer Sundays are covered. The dates of the Bordeaux Open Air event are published closer to the end of the spring and will be updated here. 

Bordeaux relache festival

Another “all summer” festival is the Relache Festival. This one was created by the Allez les filles association in 2015 with the goal of providing free quality concerts to everyone. The festival lasts around three months (from June to August), with one or two concerts taking place on one of the squares of Bordeaux during each weekend. The program usually includes concerts of both local and international bands in many genres of music. The dates of the concerts will be updated here as summer approaches.

Fête de la musique

La Fête de la Musique is a French national day, dedicated to the celebration of music, with free concerts and street parties happening on the same day (June 21) all over France. This is an extraordinary day where you have the chance to walk around the city and enjoy an endless amount of small and big concerts from many genres of music. Like every other city in France, Bordeaux too celebrates La Fête de la musique with its own street concerts and activities.

Climax Festival 

Climax Festival is an annual electronic festival taking place in Darwin, one of the coolest places in Bordeaux. Besides the electronic live concerts, the festival includes many conferences, debates and cultural events related to climate change and other environmental issues. The festival takes place every year at the beginning of September. For more info about the festival click here

 Piano Festival

Here’s a festival that’s slightly different from other events on this list – the Piano festival of Bordeaux. Festival L’esprit du Piano takes place every year in the Auditorium of Bordeaux, usually mid November – beginning of December. Every year this festival hosts worldwide known pianists like Abdullah Ibrahim, Chick Corea, Yefim Bronfman and more. Read more about the festival here

Music festivals close to Bordeaux (the Southwest of France)

Millesime festival

This is a great event for all electronic music lovers who want to enjoy the unique atmosphere of an electronic music festival and still stay in the region of Bordeaux. Festival Millesime takes place in the early summer days in a beautiful town, La Réole, located about 40 minutes drive from Bordeaux. The festival hosts more than 30 electronic artists on three stages that are located on the banks of the Garonne river. Live electronic music with a beautiful view, sounds like a perfect summer festival to me.  

This year (2020) the festival will take place on May 29-30– click here for more details. 

Jazz Festival in Saint Emilion

Saint Emilion with its romantic scenery is the perfect place to host this elegant event. The Saint Emilion Jazz festival was founded in 2012 and since then has been taking place every year in June / July. It has become one of the most popular music events in the South West of France, attracting around 10k visitors every year. During the three days of the festival Saint Emilion offers a great mix of jazz concerts, wine tasting and tasty food. In the festival area you will find a wine bar with the wines of Saint Emilion and a gourmand market with local products and food trucks. In 2020 the festival is taking place on June 26-27

Festival Garorock

One of the biggest music festivals in our region is about to take place in June in Marmande (about an hour drive from Bordeaux). Garorock is an international festival with 5 big stages that usually hosts more than 50 French and international artists. In 2020 the festival is going to take place on June 25-28. For more info and tickets click here.

Arcachon en Scene

Arcachon en Scene is a popular music festival that brings big French and international acts to perform in this beautiful beach resort town. The festival usually takes place at the end of July/ beginning of August. 

Les Estivales de Musique

Les Estivales de Musique en Medoc is the only music festival in France dedicated exclusively to young laureates of international competitions.  The festival was created in 2003 to discover new talents in classical music. The concerts are hosted in some of the most prestigious châteaux in the Medoc area and are followed by wine tastings. The dates of 2020 will be updated closer to the event. See more info about the festival here.

Festival Musicalarue

One of the biggest music festivals in the Bordeaux area actually takes place in a small village in the Landes department, named Luxey. The Musicalarue music festival usually takes place in mid August in the forest, just next to the village. The lineup includes a very long list of artists and bands, which in previous years included some big names such as Shaka Ponk, Gaël Faure and Matmatah, Patti Smith, Orelsan and more. In 2020 the festival will take place on July 31- August 2 – click here for more info. 

Reggae Sun Ska music festival

Sun Ska is a huge Reggae festival taking place every August in Vertheuil, between the vineyards of the Medoc area. The lineup includes tens of artists with some big names like Ziggy Marley and the French Dub Inc. The festival was created in 1998 and besides music, it has a strong environmental agenda. During the days of the festival, many activities are taking place to raise environmental awareness among the participants. 

In 2020 the festival is taking place on August 7-9 – for more details click here.

 

In this list, I included only the main music events taking place in and around Bordeaux. These, however, represent only a fraction of the cultural life in the region. There are tens of music, gastronomic and other cultural events taking place during the year. If you want to be up to date on all other events taking place in Bordeaux you can read my monthly lists or follow the Lost in Bordeaux Facebook page where I regularly post about activities in the region. If you want to know more about events taking place in other parts of the Southwest of France join the Travel in Southwest of France Facebook group.

A happy new year to all my wonderful readers! It’s the first month of the year, a moment for new resolutions and some fresh energy!. And what better way to do it than a good shopping session and a lot of music ;). The winter sales are taking place this month together with several music events and beautiful spectacles. If you want to go to one of the shows mentioned on my list, be sure to book now! If you’re looking for more recommendations of things to do in the Southwest of France region, you can join my new and very active Facebook group, Travel in the Southwest of France – join here. Here’s what you can do in Bordeaux in January 2020. Enjoy!!!

Winter Sales

Who cares if it’s raining and cold? January is the winter sales month!!
Soldes d’hiver are several weeks in the winter during which you can find really good deals on clothes, shoes, appliances, toys and more. This year the winter sales were shortened to 4 weeks from the previous six weeks period. But from my experience even if you come to Bordeaux a week or two after the sales many shops will still have a lot of items on discount. Les soldes d’hiver will take place from January 8 to February 4.

winter sales in Bordeaux

Arcachon still celebrated Christmas

If you’re moody about Christmas being over there is one place that continues the Christmas spirit just a little bit longer. The Christmas market in Arcachon will be open until January 5th and it even has an ice skating rink, so it’s a great place to go to with kids. For more details click here

When: December 14 – December 5 / Where: Place Thiers, Arcachon

Trial Indoor International de Bordeaux

This is a great show for motorbike and action lovers. Trial Indoor International de Bordeaux will take the stage of Arkéa Arena this Saturday (January 10). The show will include plenty of acrobatic stunts and amazing urban decorations. For tickets and more details click here.

When: January 10, 20:30 / Where:  Arkéa Arena, 48-50 avenue Jean Alfonséa, 33270 Floirac 

Tremplin de 2 Rives

This is the 7th edition of the Tremplin de 2 rives festival which aims to promote the musical talents of Bordeaux. The festival includes eight evenings from January 10 to February 8 in different districts of Bordeaux. For more details click here.

When: January 10- February 8 / Where:  See location in the program of the festival

Le Salon du Livre Ancien de Bordeaux

Le Salon du Livre Ancien de Bordeaux brings together more than 40 French exhibitors for the biggest ancient books event in the Southwest of France. Every year more than 3000 people attend this event to look for rare pieces of literature and discover old books from every genre: fiction, kids’ books, old magazines and more. The event will take place at Cours Mably on January 18-19. Read more about the book fair here

When: January 18 -19 / Where:  Cours Mably, 33000 Bordeaux

Le monde des dinosaures au parc des expositions de bordeaux

If your kids love dinosaurs they will be happy to hear that this month the exhibition “The world of Dinosaurs” is coming to Bordeaux. The exhibition will present 25 species of dinosaurs, among them the huge T-REX measuring 13/5 m long and 4.5 m tall. The exhibition will take place on January 18-19 at the Parc des Expositions de Bordeaux. For more info click here

When: January 18 -19 / Where:  Parc des Expositions de Bordeaux, Cours Charles Bricaud, 33000 Bordeaux

Trente Trente – Emerging arts Festival

Trente Trente is an annual festival, created to promote emerging artists in Bordeaux and Nouvelle Aquitaine in general. The festival includes more than twenty performances by artists from all genres, with some experimenting with interdisciplinary arts. Check out the full program that includes dance, music, theater, circus and more. The festival takes place on January 21-February 1st in different theaters and cultural spaces across the metropole (see the full list here).

When: January 21 – February 1st / Where: Different venues in the Bordeaux area (check out the full program)

Bordeaux rock Festival

Bordeaux Rock festival is the big gathering of independent and alternative bands that takes place every year in Bordeaux. This year it will take place on January 22-26 in different music venues in Bordeaux like the Iboat and Salle des fêtes du grand parc. For the full program and tickets click here. Some of the events are free.

When: January 22-26 / Where:  Different venues in the Bordeaux area (check out the full program)

International magic festival

The international magic festival will take place in Théâtre Fémina on January 25-26. This year seven world-class artists (magicians and illusionists) will offer you breathtaking spectacles that you wouldn’t want to miss. For more info and tickets click here.

When: January 25-26 / Where:  10 Rue de Grassi, 33000 Bordeaux

Hostens Trails 2020

Every year the Gironde department organizes plenty of sporting events that are open to the public. The first one in 2020 will take place on the weekend of January 25-26 in Hostens. The event offers several trails for both runners, walkers and Nordic walkers. The price varies according to the trail and prior registration is mandatory. For more info click here.

When: January 25-26 / Where: Secteur de la Base Nautique Hostens

La nuit des conservatoires

This Friday (January 31) le Conservatoire de Bordeaux invites you to a special night with concerts and performances from all the disciplines taught at the conservatory. Besides concerts, the night includes workshops and lectures. The concert is free and open to all. For more info click here

When: January 31 / Where:  Jacques Thibaud 22 quai Sainte-Croix, Bordeaux

Coulisses des Sciences 

Coulisses des Sciences is a week dedicated to different scientific themes, organized by Dealers de Science. The program of the event includes debates, conferences, a movie and debate night and more. As usual, the event will end with the Marché des Connaissances, a special fair taking place at Cour Mably that will reunite different scientific associations and players in the cultural scientific scene in Bordeaux. The event will take place on January 21-25. For more details click here

When: January 21-25 / Where:  Different locations in Bordeaux

Truffles markets in Dordogne

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

Festival Bouche à Bouche – Bordeaux

Following the success of the event in Paris, the Bouche à Bouche festival is arriving this year to Bordeaux for the first time. During the two nights of the event you will discover the signature dishes of five Bordeaux chefs like Jérôme Billot from Madame Pang and Julien Camdeborde of L’avant comptoir du palais. The event that will take place on January 17-18 also includes a lot of music, shows and street art. For more info click here.

When: January 17-18 / Where:  See the program of the event

Go to the Opera

This January the Opera of Bordeaux invites everyone to come and enjoy a big variety of concerts from dance, to Jazz and Classical music. See the full list of January concerts and shows here

When: January / Where:  Place de la Comédie, 33000 Bordeaux

Black History Month in Bordeaux

The third edition of the Black History Month in Bordeaux will take place from January 9 to February 18. It is a month of reflection on the dark history of slavery that Bordeaux was part of as well as a celebration of black culture in France and around the world. The program of the Black History month includes conferences, music concerts, exhibitions and more. This time the main two themes are the one hundred years mark to the sinking of the “French Titanic” with 192 Senegalese workers onboard and the role Boxing played in the Black liberation.  For more info and the full program click here.

EXHIBITIONS:

La déferlante surf – last chance to see it

The Atlantic coast of the south-west of France is a popular destination for surfers these days and it looks like this sport has always been here. But did you know that surfing was actually introduced to Europe through our region in the 50s? Thus it only makes sense that Musée d’Aquitaine, which explores the history of the region, will also explore the surfing culture in Aquitaine. The déferlante surf exhibition deals with different aspects of surfing from the sport itself to its economic and environmental influences. Among others, the items presented include videos, sounds, different traditional objects, images from different beaches and more. The exhibition will be presented until January 5th. If you go to the museum on January 5th the entry will be free. For more details click here

surf musee daquitaine

When: Until January 5th / Where:  20 Cours Pasteur, 33000 Bordeaux

Muséum de Bordeaux – Rire! 

According to scientific research, we laugh 18 times a day on average. Laughter, however, is not unique to us human beings, different animal species also have different expressions of laughter in their language. The super fun exhibition at the natural history museum in Bordeaux offers different activities that provoke laughter. It’s a very interactive and kids friendly exhibition that includes videos, sounds, games, and painting. This is your last chance to see the exhibition as it ends on January 26! For more details click here.

When: until January 26 / Where:  5 Place Bardineau, 33000 Bordeaux (in Jadin public)

Robots in Cap Science

Robots is a cool exhibition for kids presented these days at the Cap Science, the children science museum in Bordeaux. The exhibition is dedicated to robots and their functions in our lives. It will be presented until May 3, 2020. For more details and tickets click here.

Cap Sciences
by Lost in Bordeaux
When:  Until May 3, 2020 / Where: Cap Sciences Hangar 20

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.

Basque food in Bordeaux

Is it your first time in Bordeaux? If it is you should definitely check out my ultimate guide to Bordeaux to get familiar with all the must-see places in the city. To help you choose a hotel 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.

Bordeaux is so rich and beautiful that you can spend several days here without visiting even one museum. But actually, to the surprise of many tourists, Bordeaux has quite a variety of interesting museums. In this small city you can see permanent exhibitions of classic art, modern design, street art, architecture, archeology and more. In this article, I gathered a list of the most interesting museums to visit in Bordeaux. So if you’re in a cultural mood, this article is for you. If you found this article while desperately looking for something to do on a rainy day, check out more ideas in my article about the best things to do when it’s raining in Bordeaux

Just before we start I need to mention a few important bits of information. 

Discounts for Bordeaux’s museums 

The fees that I mention next to every museum represent the full ticket price. But that doesn’t mean you will have to pay that price as there are plenty of discounts in France. The price is usually reduced (or even free in some cases) for students, people under 25 yo, seniors, people with disabilities, unemployed, and people holding the Bordeaux city pass. So it’s always good to check the site of the museum to see if you can get a reduced price. 

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

Bordeaux city pass – This pass is a card you can buy online or at the tourist office that allows you to freely use the public transport, visit plenty of museums and enjoy some attractions for a reduced price. This pass is available for 24, 48 or 72 consecutive hours (the prices are 29€, 39€ and 43€ euros respectively). Even the expensive wine museum is there so it’s really worth checking out if you plan to visit a few places and use public transport a lot. You can see all the details and purchase the Bordeaux city pass here
Bordeaux museums pass – this pass is more interesting for people who live here or visit the city on a regular basis. The pass gives you unlimited entry for a year to seven museums in the city. You can see the list of museums and all the details here. The price is 25 € for a single pass and 37,50 € for a couple pass. You can purchase it in any of the museums mentioned in the link above. 
Free Sunday – many of the museums in the city are free on the first Sunday of the month, which includes permanent and temporary exhibitions. 

Now that we’re done with all that let’s get into our artistic mood and start discovering the museums of Bordeaux. 

Wine museums in Bordeaux 

Cité du Vin

The Cité du Vin is one of the most popular attractions on the tourist trail in Bordeaux. In the last couple of years, it has become one of Bordeaux’s most iconic institutions even though it opened its doors only in 2016. The extraordinary building, inspired by the movement of wine swirling in a glass, is a one of a kind cultural center, all dedicated to discovering the wine world. Through its interactive exhibition, It offers a journey to both French and global wine history, culture and knowhow. You will learn about winemaking, see movies and interviews with wine producers and then smell and taste wine. The Cite du Vin allows you to discover a selection of wines from all over the world in its spectacular wine shop and to see the best panoramic view of Bordeaux. The fee of the museum is quite high (20 euros) so if you want to decide if it’s worth the money, you can read my article about my visit to the cite du vin to get a good idea of what to expect.

You can also skip the line and buy the tickets online- click here to purchase the tickets. 

Cite du vin - colors of wine
A fun place even if you don’t like wine
Address: Esplanade de Pontac, 134 Quai de Bacalan, 33300 Bordeaux
Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm and Saturday – Sunday and bank and school holidays from 10am to 7pm
Fee: 20€ for adults and 9€ for kids and free for kids under 6 years old. 
The site of the museum: https://www.laciteduvin.com/en

Musée du Vin et du Négoce de Bordeaux

Apart from the Cité du vin, Bordeaux also has another wine museum that is dedicated to Bordeaux’s wine history. Musée du Vin et du Négoce is a small museum, located in what used to be the house of an Irish négociant (wine merchant) in the 18th century. During that time Chartons was the neighborhood of Flemish, Irish and German wine merchants who settled close to the Garonne river in order to export wine to their home countries. Thanks to this museum you can go back in time and see how a typical house of a négociant used to look like. The ground floor was used to store wine and meet the winemakers and potential customers and the top floor was the residence of the family. Throughout your visit you will learn about the evolution of winemaking in Bordeaux during the last three centuries. You will discover old techniques and equipment that were used at the time and the way wine was stored and shipped. It goes into interesting details like the first use of bottles to age wine, the first wine etiquettes and more.

musee du vin et du Négoce bordeaux

This museum is small and not as modern and interactive as the Cité du vin but if you want to learn about the history of the Bordeaux wine region this is the place to go. It ends with a very nice wine tasting session where you get plenty of explanations about the different wine appellations in Bordeaux.
The museum is located in the northern part of rue Notre Dame, one of the most interesting streets in Bordeaux. If you want to know what else you can do on that street and generally in the posh Chartrons neighborhood, go to my article about the Chartrons district

Address: The entrance is from 41 Rue Borie, Bordeaux
Opening hours: Open every day 10:00-18:00
Fee: 10€ (visit and two glasses of wine)
The site of the museum: https://www.museeduvinbordeaux.com/

Art Museums in Bordeaux

Le musée des beaux-arts – fine arts

Le musée des beaux-arts is the main art museum of Bordeaux, known for its large collection of sculptures and paintings from the 16th to the 20th century. The museum owns a huge collection of more than 6000 paintings, 600 sculptures and 3000 drawings. Nevertheless, the museum is quite small and so most of these artworks are not displayed to the public. It’s a very nice museum but it’s quite modest so don’t expect a second Louvre here :). The museum is located in a beautiful house built in 1801 and has one of the most beautiful gardens in Bordeaux. The permanent collection includes a lot of famous works by artists like Pérugin, Rubens, Chardin, Delacroix, and Matisse alongside Bordelaise artists such as Odilon Redon and Albert Marquet. The museum often hosts temporary exhibitions as well as concerts and art events. 

Museums in bordeaux
Address: 20 Cours d’Albret, 33000 Bordeaux
Opening hours: Open every day except Tuesday 11:00-18:00
Fee: 5€ , free entry every first Sunday of the month (except July and August)
The site of the museum: http://www.musba-bordeaux.fr/

Le CAPC – musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux

CAPC is the contemporary art museum of Bordeaux located in the chic Chartrons district. The museum is housed in an impressive former warehouse from the 19th century where commodities, traded down the river, used to be stored. It was planned to be demolished in the 20th century but was saved thanks to a new law protecting houses with historic importance. In 1984 the city decided to transform this unique space into a museum of contemporary art, an idea which was very innovative at the time. In the permanent collection, there are almost 300 works of art and it regularly hosts temporary exhibitions that are dedicated to the history of art. I’ll admit that I’m not always a fan of their exhibitions, having said that, I think the place in itself is very impressive and worth a visit. 

CAPC Bordeaux
CAPC museum in Bordeaux

The museum is also home to the Architecture center “Arc en rêve”, which hosts temporary exhibitions related to urban planning, design, landscaping and more. I usually find their exhibitions super interesting and recommend visiting it when you are at the museum. The center is located on the first floor and is sometimes hard to find, so just ask for help from one of the employees. The entry is free every first Sunday of the month (except July and August).

Address: 7 Rue Ferrere, 33000 Bordeaux
Opening hours: Open from Tuesday to Sunday 11:00-18:00. Every second Wednesday of the month the museum in open until 20:00. 
Fee: 7€, free entry every first Sunday of the month (except July and August)
The site of the museum: http://www.capc-bordeaux.fr/capc

Musée des Art décoratifs et du Design

The museum of decorative art and design is located in a beautiful 18th-century mansion and is one of UNESCO’s heritage sites in Bordeaux. It has a large collection of furniture, porcelain and art objects, dating to the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The building itself, named Hotel de Lalande, was built by Pierre- Raymond de Lalande, a counselor of the Parliament of Bordeaux and is an architectural piece of art by itself. Through the museum’s backyard, you pass to a separate building (former stables) where the temporary exhibitions are presented. These are usually very good and attract many locals. If you’re hesitating on whether to spend your time in this museum check out their website for the temporary exhibitions as these alone can be worth the visit. The museum is free every first Sunday of the month, except for July and August. 

Musée des arts décoratifs bordeaux
Musée des arts décoratifs bordeaux
Address: 39 rue Bouffard 33000 Bordeaux
Opening hours: Open every day except Tuesday 11:00-18:00
Fee: 5€, free entry every first Sunday of the month (except July and August)
The site of the museum: https://madd-bordeaux.fr/

La Base Sous Marine

This is one of the most unique places in Bordeaux. Built by the Germans during the Second World War, this old submarine base has been converted into a space dedicated to contemporary art, allowing you to enjoy the space itself no less than the art presented. It can be a bit tricky to find the entrance, so if you come from the la Cité du Vin tram station be sure to walk on rue Lucien Faure before turning right to Boulevard Alfred Daney. Also, if you come with kids, it’s important to know that strollers are not allowed in the exhibition as it’s dark and has a lot of stairs (you will have to leave the stroller next to the entrance). 

Base sous marine - entrance
La Base sous-marine museum in Bordeaux

Starting from April 17, 2020 the museum will go through a huge transformation and the Base Sous-Marine will become the Bassin des Lumières! It currently belongs to the city of Bordeaux and only part of it is occupied by the art exhibitions. However, starting April from next year, it will be run by a private company that is upgrading it to another level. Four big pools (where previously the submarines used to dock) will be used for a spectacular light installation, taking you over the bridges and along the quays of Bassins a flot (the current port of Bordeaux). The downside is that the price is going to be much higher, from its current fee of 5 euros it’s supposed to go to 15 euros per person.

La Base sous-marine is located in the Bacalan neighborhood which is yet another cool place to discover in Bordeaux and I have a whole article about the best things to do there, you can read it here

Address: Boulevard Alfred Daney, 33300 Bordeaux
Opening hours (until April 17. 2020): Open from Tuesday to Sunday 13:30 to 19:00 (only during exhibitions).
Fee: currently 5€ but will change soon, free entry every first Sunday of the month (except July and August).
The site of the museum: https://www.facebook.com/BasesousmarinedeBordeaux/

Institut Bernard Magrez 

If you’re in for some street art, you’re in the right city! Bordeaux has plenty of amazing local street art to offer. Surprisingly enough, one of the best places to see street art in Bordeaux is located in a beautiful 18th-century mansion called Chateau Labottiere. A cool contrast, isn’t it? The place is called the Institut Bernard Magrez and it regularly hosts exhibitions by the best local and international street artists. The art is beautifully integrated with the classical features of the chateau and is being alternated every couple of months so there is always something interesting to see there. Next to the château, there are two smaller exhibition spaces where amazing exhibitions of paintings, sculpture and photography are hosted on a regular basis so you actually get to see three exhibitions during one visit. The cultural institute also hosts plenty of creative workshops for kids and concerts for adults so check their events list on their site.

Mika Bordeaux
Mika at Institut Bernard Magrez
Address: 16 rue de Tivoli, Bordeaux
Opening hours: Open from Friday to Sunday 13:00 to 18:00 (the museum is often closed for events so it’s always better to call and ask them if they are open before going).
Fee: 8 €, free every first Sunday of the month
The site of the museum: https://www.institut-bernard-magrez.com/

FRAC – local contemporary art 

If you crossed Pont Saint-Jean in the last year or so you must have noticed the new, very modern building that reminds a bit the Arc of La Defense in Paris. This is MECA the Regional Pole of Culture and Creative Economy. It houses many offices that don’t mean much to most people, but there is one place inside that is worth going to if you’re looking to discover new art. FRAC, that sits in MECA is a cultural institution with a mission to promote contemporary art in Nouvelle Aquitaine, hosting several exhibitions of local artists. It has reopened its doors after being closed for two years. The exhibitions are varied and include many genres from photography to painting and sculpture. The works are not always my style but it’s big and you can always find a lot of interesting artists there. 

Address: Corto Maltese, La MÉCA 5 parvis, 33800 Bordeaux
Opening hours: Open Tuesday to Saturday and the first Sunday of the month from  13:o0 to 18:30. Every third Thursday of the month the museum is open until 21:00
Fee: It’s an organization that works on contributions so you can pay 1 euro minimum or more if you wish. 
The site of the museum: https://fracnouvelleaquitaine-meca.fr/

Kids Museums in Bordeaux

The Natural History museum 

After years of renovations, the natural history museum of Bordeaux has finally opened its doors in March 2019. Created in 1971, the museum has one of the biggest collections in France with more than a million specimens. Besides the new design and the incredible collection, one of the new features in the renovated museum is the “Early Years Museum” for kids under 6 years old. 

kids museums in Bordeaux

I’m not sure that I should’ve put it under the category of kids museums as it’s a fascinating place for everyone. But it’s extremely kids friendly and it has become a go-to place for Bordelais parents, especially when it’s cold or raining outside. If you need more ideas for activities for kids check out my article about 30 things to do with kids in Bordeaux

Address:  5 Place Bardineau, 33000 Bordeaux
Opening hours: Open from Tuesday to Sunday. From April to September from 10:30 to 18:00 and from October to March from 10:30 to 17:30. 
Fee: 5€ (7€ when there are temporary exhibitions). Free entry every first Sunday of the month (except July and August).
The site of the museum: https://www.museum-bordeaux.fr/en/accueil

Cap Sciences

Cap Sciences is a kids science museum and one of the most fun and educative places in Bordeaux. The museum proposes interactive exhibitions and activities all dedicated to different aspects of science. It touches upon topics of light, space, time, robots and more and everything is presented in an interactive and approachable way for kids to understand. They normally also have an exhibition that is dedicated to little kids, up to 6 yo, so it’s really great for all ages. All the descriptions are also translated to English so it’s a welcoming place for tourists and locals alike. Another interesting feature of the museum is the kids’ workshops arranged by different age groups. Among them, you can find photography, molecular cooking, eco-citizens and more. 

Cap Sciences
by Lost in Bordeaux
Address:  Hangar 20, Quai de Bacalan, 33300 Bordeaux
Opening hours: Open from Tuesday to Friday from 14:00 to 18:00 and Saturday – Sunday from 14:00 to 19:00. The hours change during school break so check their exact hours on the site. 
Fee: The fee changes according to the exhibitions presented in the museum so check their site for current prices. 
The site of the museum: http://www.cap-sciences.net/

History, culture and others 

Musee d’Aquitaine 

Musée d’Aquitaine is the largest museum in Bordeaux, dedicated to archaeological findings and regional history and ethnology. The museum’s permanent collections span two floors. The first floor is largely dedicated to archaeological findings including tools from the Old Stone and Bronze ages. The other big collection covers the Gallo- Roman period of Bordeaux, with old statues and parts from the original wall that surrounded the city from the 3rd to the 18th centuries. The second floor is dedicated to the 18th century and the modern era of Bordeaux. A big part of the exhibition touches upon the importance of the port and the slave trade that Bordeaux was part of. The exhibition finished with some inspiring videos presenting the big (chances?) of Bordeaux in the last decade and leaves you with a taste to discover more of the city and region. The museum is very rich with information but the first floor is a bit outdated with almost no explanations in English. The second floor somewhat makes up for it with a more modern style of display and many more explanations in English. It also has many videos giving you an idea of how the city looked like in the 18th century, one of the most important centuries in Bordeaux’s history. 

Musee d'Aquitaine Bordeaux

The museum also runs good temporary exhibitions on specific topics related to the Nouvelle Aquitaine region. They often have guided tours in English but their schedule is always changing so it’s better to send them a message on facebook and ask when’s the next one. 

Address:  20 Cours Pasteur, 33000 Bordeaux
Opening hours: Open every day except Tuesday 11:00-18:00
Fee:  5€ , free entry every first Sunday of the month (except July and August)
The site of the museum: http://www.musee-aquitaine-bordeaux.fr/

Musée national des Douanes

This small museum is the national museum of the history of French customs. It’s located in one of the most beautiful buildings in Bordeaux, called the Hôtel des Fermes du Roi on Place de la Bourse, just in front of the water mirror. The exhibition of the museum presents the evolution of the customs administration from ancient to modern times. In the 18th century, it was the local headquarters of the French customs administration in the region, collecting taxes for the king. Through paintings, uniforms, maps and musical instruments the museum allows you to discover the works of one of France’s oldest administrations and their different challenges.

The Musée national des Douanes is a great place for people who are interested in history, especially French one. The fee is only 3 euros so it is worth a visit. 

Address:  1 Place de la Bourse, 33000 Bordeaux
Opening hours: Open every day except Tuesday 10:00-18:00
Fee:  3€ , free entry every first Sunday of the month (except July and August)
The site of the museum: http://www.musee-douanes.fr/

Musée Mer marine

The sea and marine museum is one of the newest museums of Bordeaux, located on the Bassin a flot, the port of Bordeaux in the Bacalan district. As the name suggests the museum is dedicated to the sea world with a remarkable exhibition of boats, sculptures and objects. The permanent exhibition has more than 10,000 sea and marine related objects like navigation instruments, maps and many pieces of art as well. The idea behind it was to create a bridge between the marine and art worlds. Even the building itself is interesting if you like modern architecture. The museum regularly hosts temporary themed exhibitions such as different illustrations by a specific artist, photography and more. The museum is certainly a good place to visit if you’re interested in boats. The entry fee is 14 so I’d also check their website for the temporary exhibitions to see if it’s worth going.

Address: 89 rue des Étrangers, 33300 Bordeaux
Opening hours: Wednesday to Friday  10:30-18:00 and Saturday to Sunday 10:30-19:00
Fee:  14€ 
The site of the museum: https://www.mmmbordeaux.com/en/home/

La Maison de l’Huître

This cute little museum is actually located on the Arcachon bay, but I decided to add it to the list because many people go to Arcachon for a day trip. The museum sits in Port de Larros in Gujan Mestras, the oysters capital of the Arcachon bay. It’s no wonder then that they have decided to dedicate a whole museum to oysters. The permanent exhibition includes a beautiful movie and plenty of items and information about all the techniques of oyster farming and the history of the oyster in our region. The museum is very interactive and fun to visit with kids. They even have a special oyster farming boat made for kids where they can play. If you’re heading to the Bassin d’Arcachon anytime soon, I highly recommend visiting there. 

La Maison de l'Huître arcachon
Address: Rue du Port de Larros, 33470 Gujan-Mestras
Opening hours: September to June from Monday to Saturday 10:00 to 12:30 and from 14:30 to 18:00. July and August, open everyday from 10:00 to 13:00 and from 14:30 to 18:30. 
Fee: 5.9€ for adults and 3.9 for kids (5-14 yo)
The site of the museum: http://www.maison-huitre.fr/

If it’s your first visit to Bordeaux don’t miss my full guide to a weekend in Bordeaux and my article about the most interesting districts in Bordeaux. And if you’re in for a foodie experience check out my foodies tours in Bordeaux 🙂 

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.

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

Chartrons is a super chic neighborhood, located in the north part of the city right after Place des Quinconces. It developed in the 17th century when Flemish, Irish and German wine traders (négociants) have settled beyond the walls of old Bordeaux to export wines to their home countries. So it was basically the “expats” neighborhood of the time. They have built beautiful houses along the riverfront with long warehouses on the first floor where they would store the barrels and bottles of wine before sending them by ship to other countries in Europe.
By the time Chartrons became officially part of Bordeaux in the 19th century, it had already become a flourishing and lively neighborhood. It was a hip bourgeois neighborhood attracting many artists, craftsmen and sailors, the “place to be” of the 19th century if you want 🙂 And while it has lost some of its glory during the 20th century, in the last two decades it was revived into a chic neighborhood with plenty of boutiques, coffee shops, restaurants and museums giving new life to the old warehouses. Today it’s one of the more posh and cool neighborhoods of Bordeaux and you can easily spend a day here when visiting the city. To help you discover it like a local I wrote a list of all the places you should visit and things you can do in the Chartrons district. 

If you want to learn about other neighborhoods in Bordeaux you can also check my guide to the Saint Michel district and my article about things to do in the Bacalan neighborhood. Now let’s discover the chic district of Bordeaux, Chartrons!

Stroll rue des Notre dame – the main street of Chartrons

what to do in Chartrons Bordeaux

Chartrons is one of the biggest districts of Bordeaux, but there’s only one street that’s really the heart and soul of this neighborhood, a street that is one of the “musts” when visiting Bordeaux. Rue Notre Dame is a posh street with plenty of coffee places, trendy boutiques, antique shops and more. You can spend several hours here admiring the beautiful architecture, shopping and trying great pastries. It’s one of the most beautiful streets in Bordeaux with a lot of tiny balconies decorated with planters full of colorful flowers. The perfect street for Instagram addicts 🙂 If you want to discover the foodie side of this street check out my article about the foodie streets of Bordeaux

Discover some of the best pastries in Chartrons

boulangerie rue notre dame bordeaux

Chartrons is home to some of the best boulangeries and patisseries in the city. On rue Notre dame you can find P’tite Boulangerie (Notre-Dame62 Rue Notre Dame), one of the best bakeries in Bordeaux. Continue South on the main street and you’ll find the cutest pastry shop of Chartrons, Micheline et Paulette (21 Rue Notre Dame). If you’re lucky, you may catch their one and only table available so you can stop for a coffee and one of their brilliant cakes or pastries. In other parts of Chartrons, you can find Maison Boileau (11 Rue Camille Godard), which has won the Meilleure boulangerie de France award (best bakery in France) in 2019 in a very popular TV show. Chartron even has the oldest bakery in the city (but more about that later).

Stop for a good cup of coffee

If you’re a coffee lover, another place you’d want to discover is la Pelle Café (29 Rue Notre Dame). The place is owned by Carlos who roasts his coffee on the spot and is a real advocate for quality coffee. It’s a very chic and popular place where both locals and tourists like to stop for a cup of coffee and homemade cakes. Before you enter, take a moment to look at the beautiful building, which used to be an oriental bath in the 19th century. Another good coffee shop that’s worth a visit is the 4e Vague Café (92 Rue Notre Dame) that makes Hawaiian coffee. You can also stop for a cup of tea (or coffee) at Juliena, a cozy Salon de thé with a nice selection of cakes (15 Rue Notre Dame).  

If you want to discover other good coffee places in Bordeaux check out my article about the five coffee places in Bordeaux you don’t want to miss

One of the best spots for shopping in Bordeaux 

shopping in Bordeaux

Bordeaux can be a fun place for shopping but If you’re looking for something more than big retail stores like Zara or H&M, I highly recommend going to the Chartrons district. Here you can find plenty of chic clothing boutiques, beautiful babywear and the coolest accessories. Most of the stores are located on rue Notre dame, here are just a few examples: Do you speak français? (a chic clothing store with a funky name), Nos Minis (the cutest baby wear ever), Coutume store (for anything stylish for your home). 

Look for antiques 

Antiques chartrons Bordeaux

Remember that I’ve told you that many of the houses on the east side of Chartron (the ones that are close to the river ) were originally warehouses where wine was stored? Well, today many of those warehouses are used as big antique shops. More than ten antique and vintage shops can be found on rue Notre dame alone and if you take some time to stroll the little streets around it you’ll find plenty of others. The biggest antique shop is Village Notre Dame (61 rue de Notre dame) which is settled in an old printing bureau. It’s the first antique shop of Aquitaine and it gathers several professional dealers in one huge store. Most of the antique shops on the main street are quite pricey but there are a few places in Chartrons where you can find some bargains. One example is the big hangar named Broc Alain (58 cours de la martinique).  

Every October Chartrons celebrates wine and antiquities with the lively Fête du Vin nouveau & de la Brocante. If you’re in town I highly recommend going to this event.

Learn about the history of Bordeaux wine at the musée du Vin et du Négoce

musee du vin et du Négoce bordeaux

The Cité du Vin is Bordeaux’s famous wine museum but in the Chartrons district, there’s another museum dedicated to the wine of Bordeaux. Musée du Vin et du Négoce is a small museum, located in what used to be a typical house of a négociant (wine trader) in the 18th century. This is the best way to learn how the Bordeaux wine area has developed over the years. It’s not as modern and interactive as the Cité du Vin but if you want to learn about the history of the Bordeaux wine region this is the place to go. It ends with a very nice wine tasting session where you get plenty of explanations about the different wine appellations in Bordeaux. The museum is located in the northern part of rue Notre dame (the entrance is from 41 Rue Borie).  If you also want to continue to the Cité du Vin which is located close to Chartrons, read my article about my visit there

Have a picnic in the central park of Bordeaux

Jardin Public Bordeaux

Jardin Public, the central park of Bordeaux, is technically not a part of the Chartrons district but one of the entrances is on Course de Verdun, one of the main streets of Chartrons. It’s a beautiful park with vast green planes, a lake with ducks and geese and plenty of different facilities for kids. On a hot day, it’s a perfect spot for a picnic, just don’t forget to buy a bottle of wine before heading there 🙂 

If you want to discover other perfect spots for picnics go to my article about the best picnic places in Bordeaux

Discover one of the foodie streets of Bordeaux – Cours Portal

Cours Portal is not a very charming street but it definitely deserves a visit if you’re interested in food. It’s a long street with most of the good boutiques located close to Place du Marché des Chartrons. Here you have several good cheese shops and specialty shops for local products. If you like to make quality coffee at home, check out Café refuge, a coffee specialty shop. The coffee roaster machinery there is really impressive! Like every foodie street, Cours Portal has its own little patissier, named Taupy (19 Cours Portal). If you’re a foodie, don’t miss this street. 

Have a delicious meal in one of the restaurants in Chartrons

Chartrons is one of the most gastronomic spots in the city with dozens of restaurants to try. Many of the good ones are located in the center, on rue Notre dame, place du marché des Chartrons or the little streets surrounding it. If you want an even nicer scenery go to the quai (river banks), where you can find plenty of good restaurants with tables facing the Garonne river. Two of my favorite restaurants in Chartron are located exactly there: Pastel on 2 Quai des Chartrons and Symbiose on 4 Quai des Chartrons.

Discover the oldest boulangerie in Bordeaux

Au Pétrin Moissagais the oldest bakery in Bordeaux

Au Pétrin Moissagais on 72 Cours de la Martinique is the oldest bakery in Bordeaux, established in 1765. Serge, the baker and owner of the place, is very proud of his Gascognian traditions and still makes the original Gascognian white bread in the 18th-century oven. And yes, it’s the same oven since the opening of the boulangerie (bakery), some 24 years before the French revolution!. Don’t be shy if you want to take photos of the oven, Serge will happily show you around. The bakery has a completely different look and feel compared to a standard French bakery, it really feels like you’ve gone back in time to the 18th century. Don’t miss a visit there when in the neighborhood. 

Visit the local market

marche des quais Chartrons

There are several food markets taking place in Chartrons at different days of the week. The biggest and most famous market takes place every Sunday morning on Quai des Chartrons. It’s a very popular market with dozens of food stalls selling everything from fresh fruits, cheese, pastries and oysters. The market is usually quite busy with both locals and tourists, especially if you come towards noon, but it’s still worth the visit. Besides the fresh local products you can buy at the market it’s simply a very nice spot to have an early lunch or a plate of oysters with white wine if you want to feel like a local. A much smaller version of that market takes place at the same spot every Thursday morning. During the week you can also go to the covered market on Place des Chartrons, which is open every morning from Tuesday to Saturday. 

Visit Church Saint Louis

Eglise Saint Louis Chartrons Bordeaux

Eglise Saint Louis is the main church of Chartrons, a gothic-revival church built in the 19th century on the remains of the former chapel of the Chartreux (a religious brotherhood, Chartrons is named after). This church is largely ignored by tourists in Bordeaux as it’s located outside of the city center, but it’s worth a visit especially thanks to its beautiful stained-glass windows. It’s located on rue Notre dame, so it’ll be hard to miss. 

Go to the contemporary art museum

The contemporary art museum of Bordeaux (CAPC) is located right on the southern edge of the neighborhood. TheCAPC is worth visiting even if you are not a big fan of contemporary arts. The museum is housed in an old wool warehouse where commodities, traded down the river, used to be stored. What makes it special is the combination of modern art with the old architecture of the building. In the permanent collection, there are almost 300 works of art and it regularly hosts temporary exhibitions. I admit that I’m not always a fan of their exhibitions but I think the place in itself is very impressive.  Open from Tuesday to Sunday 11:00-18:00.

Explore the street art 

le MUR - street art Bordeaux

The street art scene in Bordeaux is blooming. You can find quite a few extraordinary works of local artists on many of Bordeaux’s buildings. One of the most interesting spots for street art is actually located here in Chartrons. Le M.U.R (the wall) of Bordeaux (located on 2 Place Paul) is a 35m2 wall where local street artists can express their art. Every month or so a different artist is invited to paint on the wall and you can come and watch them do it live. This event is usually published on their Facebook page, you can check it out here. The works are always usually amazing and worth the walk.

Discover the kids Science museum of Bordeaux

Cap Sciences Bordeaux

If you’re looking to occupy your kids in Bordeaux, Cap Science is a great option and it’s located here in Chartrons, on the promenade at the northern part of the district. This cool kids science museum proposes interactive exhibitions and activities all dedicated to different aspects of science. The museum is located at Hangar 20, Quai de Bacalan.

For other stuff to do with kids in Bordeaux check out my list of 30 things to do with kids in Bordeaux

Wave Surf Café

Another cool place in Bordeaux for both kids and adults is the Wave Surf Café, the first coffee shop where you can also surf! The Big artificial wave in the middle of the coffee shop imitates the ocean waves and allows you to feel like a professional surfer in the city center. If you’re in Bordeaux for just a few days and have no time to go to the ocean, this can replace your surfing experience  (although real surfers will probably disagree with me here 🙂 ). For more details click here.

Sing Karaoke

For all of you wannabe singers, Chartrons has recently welcomed the biggest Karaoke bar in town, called BAM Karaoke Box. The bar offers private Karaoke rooms for 6 to 15 people for blocks of two hours. The place is designed in a central American style with every room having a different theme. If you’re a group of friends this could be a fun way to finish your day in the Chartrons neighborhood. For more details click here. 

Shop in the Hangars – Quai des Marques

quai of Bordeaux

If you’re really craving more shopping there’s another place in Chartrons you can go to. Les Hangars on the promenade are old warehouses converted into a shopping center with plenty of shops and restaurants. It’s not my favorite spot to eat but sometimes when the weather is really good I do sit there for lunch as the view on the river is just stunning. You have a decent amount of shops to visit but it’s mainly different chains rather than small boutiques. The center is called Quai des Marques and it’s located on 15-19 Quai des Chartrons. 

Check out what’s happening in Hangar 14

To the north of the shopping center, you will find Hangar 14 – a venue that frequently hosts different events like wine fairs, creators’ markets and more. I usually publish these events in my weekend posts but if you’re passing by, don’t hesitate to take a sneak peek to see if there’s anything interesting going on.

There are plenty of cool bars and boutiques in Chartrons so I could continue talking about it all day long but I think I’ve intrigued you enough to make you go and visit this chic neighborhood. Hope I helped you discover some hidden spots in Bordeaux that you didn’t know about :). 

If it’s your first visit to Bordeaux don’t miss my full guide to a weekend in Bordeaux and my article about the most interesting districts in Bordeaux. And if you’re in for a foodie experience check out my foodies tours in Bordeaux 🙂 

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.

Wine enthusiasts don’t need an introduction to Saint Emilion. The small wine appellation (comprising only 6% of the vineyards in the Bordeaux denomination ) has long gained a reputation as one of the greatest wine regions in the world. It’s no wonder it attracts more than a million tourists every year. However, when many visitor plan their day trip to Saint Emilion they don’t realize it’s also one of the most beautiful and fascinating villages in the Southwest of France, registered as a heritage site by UNESCO. 

For many decades this picturesque town has been an economic and religious center attracting royals, winegrowers and pilgrims. Every square in the small village center is packed with history and some incredible architecture. Thousands of hectares of vines surround the medieval village making the landscape an unforgettable scenery. And so, many tourists arriving to Bordeaux become overwhelmed when trying to construct their own trip. In this article, my goal is to tell you about all there’s to do and see in Saint Emilion, where to eat and how to get there. While you can still take guided tours, I hope this complete guide to Saint Emilion will make you want to do it by yourself and at your own pace. If you still prefer to take a guided tour, I have a few to recommend, so you can continue reading or go directly to my article on how to get to Saint Emilion (with or without a tour).

day trip to Saint Emilion
Saint Emilion from above by lost in Bordeaux

I previously published an article about the best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion so you can skip all my explanations about the city center and jump straight to wine tasting if you wish, simply click here

What to do and see in Saint Emilion

A little touch of history

Saint Emilion has an integral part in the history of Bordeaux and the region. The history of wine in Saint Emilion (or Ascumbas as it was called back then) can be traced to the 3rd century BC, when the Romans planted the first vines in the region. It originally had a mere 200 hectares dedicated to vineyards, clearly not the wine empire it is today. 

In the 8th century, a monk named Emilian arrived to the little village in search of a quiet simple life and decided to make it his home. He lived in a little cave, receiving the many followers who traveled all the way to Saint Emilion to get his blessing. That’s actually how the village received its name, Saint Emilion. In the following decades, many religious orders would follow the steps of the monk and move to Saint Emilion to build their churches and convents, which explains the abundance of religious buildings in such a small village. The city became an important landmark for many of the pilgrims following the Camino de Santiago pilgrim way to Spain. The cave of Saint Emilion inspired the construction of the most impressive monument of Saint Emilion, the monolithic church. 

In the middle ages, during the 300 years of British rule, Saint Emilion was an autonomous city with a lot of financial and governmental power. In 1199 the British king established the Jurade, a group of magistrates governing the city. In return for the economic and political autonomy, the British received in return the best wines of Saint Emilion. That’s how the wine of Saint Emilion become so popular in England. 

The rich history of this little town left many traces in the city center. Many books have been written about its historic monuments, but here I want to share with you a few places that are in my opinion a must on your day trip to Saint Emilion. 

Take a tour to discover the underground of Saint Emilion 

Probably the most famous monument of Saint Emilion is the 12th-century Monolithic church that as its name suggests is carved from one stone. It’s the largest Monolithic church in Europe and it’s construction required the extraction of 15 000 mof stone. When looking at its modest front, it’s hard to imagine how big it is from the inside. I saw many pictures of the Monolithic church before going to Saint Emilion for the first time but I was still amazed when I saw this masterpiece firsthand. 

As it’s a preserved site, to visit the church you will need to take the tour proposed by the tourist office. I know that many people are not big fans of guided tours but this one is really worth it. During the tour, you get to also visit other underground sites which tell some of the history of the city. Apart from the church itself, you will visit the catacombs, where the important people of Saint Emilion used to be buried in the middle ages. You will get to sit on a fertility chair in the original cave of Saint Emilion (according to the tourist office many babies have been born following this ritual) and to see the impressive paintings on the 14th century Chapelle de la Trinité.

Two English tours are offered two times a day. At 11:00 you can take a general tour in Saint Emilion which ends with the underground tour. While the 14:00 tour is dedicated only to the underground sites. Times may change according to the season. See more details on the official tourist office page. 

The bell tower of the Monolithic church. 

While the church itself is well hidden in the rock, its bell tower is standing tall and can be seen from every spot in the city. If you’re interested in architecture, the tower is a fascinating monument by itself, built in both Romanesque and gothic styles. You can climb the bell tower and see a magnificent view of Saint Emilion from the highest point in the city.

The Collegiate church

The Collegiate church is a beautiful monument built between the 12th and 15th centuries and you can visit it all by yourself, without taking a tour. Here again, you can see an interesting mix of Romanesque and Gothic styles, reflecting the long period of its construction. The west door of the church was built in a pure Romanesque style during the 12th century while the north door is a Gothic one from the 14th century. It’s located behind the tourist office and you can enter it through one of the two doors or through its beautiful cloister. If you pay close attention to the walls of the cloister you will see quite a lot of interesting items such as graves, statues and even a little dragon. 

La tour du Roy

The 13th century King’s Keep is one of the most famous military architecture monuments in Gironde. There’s still a debate between historians on who ordered its constructions but one thing is sure, it’s a beautiful monument well worth a visit. It’s also a great spot to see the view of the vineyards of Saint Emilion. The tower is open daily for visits, consult the opening hours and prices here

Les Cordeliers – drink sparkling wine in an old cloister

Red wine is not the only famous product of Saint Emilion, you can surprisingly find also one sparkling wine as well, called Cremant de Bordeaux. The producer of the sparkling wine sits in a beautiful old cloister that is worth a visit even if you’re not a fan of bubbly wine. The Cordeliers cloister was established in the 14th century by the Franciscan brothers. For several centuries that’s where they used to live, pray and grow vegetables in their beautiful garden. Most of the building was destroyed during the French Revolution and was later sold to private owners. In the 19th century, the new owners of the place decided to use the enormous underground galleries to produce and store sparkling wine.

Today the production has moved to a remote location but they still store their bottles in the caves underneath the cloister and they offer daily tours where you get to visit the caves and taste the sparkling wine of Saint Emilion. Although the tour is nice, it’s not a must unless you really want to see the underground galleries. 

They also have a nice bar outdoors where you can grab a glass of Cremant de Bordeaux (the sparkling white or rosé) together with a picnic basket and sit in the beautiful garden. For more details about the tours and the history of the place click here
Address: 2 Bis Rue de la Porte Brunet, 33330 Saint-Émilion

Enjoy the vibes of the Local markets

The markets in the Southwest of France are a treat so visiting at least one should always be on your list. The market in Saint Emilion takes place every Wednesday and Sunday between 8 am and 1 pm in the city center. It’s a nice small market that can give you a little taste of how a typical French village market looks like. However, if you want to experience a real big regional market with tens of stands of local cheese, wine, charcuterie, oysters and more you must visit the Libourne market that takes place every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. Libourne is located just a few minutes drive from Saint Emilion so it’s really in the neighborhood. 

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One thing I really love to do in France is discovering new markets. That's why I was really intrigued when I heard that the market in Libourne is among the biggest in the region. When I visited there, I was really happy to find this vibrant market in the city center with tens of stands and people from all over the area coming to the "big city" for their friday shopping. Although Libourne is a lovely and interesting city, something about the market atmosphere really upgrades the visit there. If you're planning to visit Libourne definitely do it on the market day (Friday and Sunday) #libourne #market #marchéfrançais #marche #southoffrance #suddefrance #sudouest #gironde #libournais #nouvelleaquitaine #igergironde #igbordeaux #bordeauxfrance #bordeauxmaville🇫🇷 #bordeauxmaville #bordeauxmylove #lostinbordeaux #lovebordeaux #bordeauxregion #bordeauxguide #bordeauxcityguide #bordeauxcity #libournetourisme #bordeauxtourisme @tourismelibournais

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If you’re about to visit Bordeaux on your trip, don’t miss a chance to visit Bordeaux’s main market, Marché des Capucins. It’s truly one of the liveliest markets in France and a great place to try local food. There are plenty of restaurants at the market and you can read about the best ones in my article about where to eat at the Capucins market. 

Night market

Like many small villages in the area, Saint Emilion holds a weekly night market during the summer months. The market takes place at Parc Guadet and has a very fun local vibe to it. Every year it attracts many tourists and locals to enjoy the best local food and concerts. If you arrive to Saint Emilion in July-August you can get all the details about the night market in the tourist office. 

Try regional sweets 

macarons of Saint Emilion

If you’re tired of wandering around soaking history and sipping wine it’s time to stop for some local sweets! Yes, the Bordeaux region has special sweets that you can’t find anywhere else in France and one of them is coming straight from Saint Emilion. Did you know that the original Macaron was actually born in Saint Emilion? The macaroons of Saint Emilion are produced there since 1620 when the Ursulines sisters established their convent in the village. The recipe is being passed from generation to generation and hasn’t been changed ever since. You can get a box of macarons at the little sweets shop “Fabrique de macarons” ( Address: 9 rue Guadet). Or have a cup of tea with a great variety of local sweets and pastries at Au Parvis des Thés, a nice coffee shop, located behind the tourist office. Address: 1 Place Pioceau, 33330 Saint-Émilion

If you want to learn more about the macarons and other Bordeaux sweet specialties go to my article about the sweets of Bordeaux

The Saint Emilion wine route – visiting wineries 

How to visit wineries in Saint Emilion 

We’re finally getting to the topic most visitors come for – how to visit the wine chateaux of Saint Emilion. If you just want to drive around the Saint Emilion area and taste and buy some wine directly from the wineries, it’s quite straightforward. Many of them will happily welcome you to the chateau and will happily let you taste their wine. However, if you’re interested in a tour (even a basic one), you usually have to either make and appointment or book online. So it will require some communication on your part, but I highly recommend visiting at least one chateau when in the region. 

best wineries in Saint Emilion

Here’s a good tip for those of you who don’t like to plan and would just love to visit a few properties. The tourist office in Saint Emilion publishes a list of two to four chateaux on a daily basis that are open for a visit without prior reservation. It allows you to be both spontaneous and to discover some wine chateaux you may have never heard of. You can see the daily list of wine chateaux here

Having said that, I know that most people traveling such a long distance to the southwest of France would love to know ahead what chateaux are the best ones to visit. There are more than 130 wine producers in the great Saint Emilion area, many of which are open to visitors. So obviously choosing only one or two is not easy. But as I had the chance to visit many chateaux in Saint Emilion in the last two years, I’ve gathered a list of some of the best wineries to visits in Saint Emilion. This list is very limited and surely there are many other excellent wineries in the region but I found those to be particularly friendly and interesting to visitors. At least half of my list is dedicated to small family estates rather than big wineries owned by big companies. I personally prefer this kind of visits as they feel more personal and allow you to discover the passion and history stretching several generations of winegrowers in one family. 

Château Cantenac in Saint Emilion
Château Cantenac by lost in Bordeaux

Most of the winery owners and their employees speak English so contacting them should not be a problem. However, If you don’t want the hassle of contacting the chateaux you can always book a visit through Rue des Vignerons

Discover the Pomerol Appellation 

If you’re really passionate about wine I would also recommend discovering the luxurious neighbor of Saint Emilion, the Pomerol Appellation. It’s located very close to Saint Emilion but is considered a separate wine area and while it’s one the most prestigious appellations in the area, it’s not included in the official classification from 1855. It’s the smallest wine appellation in the Bordeaux wine region, covering roughly 800 hectares of vines.
Chateau Petrus is the most famous one in Pomerol. Unfortunately, most of us cannot visit this chateau as they are open only to wine professionals and honestly, most people can’t afford it either. But there are several Pomerol wineries who will be more than happy to welcome you to their estate. The most impressive one, in my opinion, is Chateau Beauregard with the most impressive wine tanks I’ve ever seen. Another one I really like is the smaller family-owned Chateau Bel Air.

Visit wineries in Bordeaux Chateau Beauregard in Pomerol
Chateau Beauregard in Pomerol

Even if you don’t have the time to visit a winery in Pomerol you can still taste it in one of the wine shops in Saint Emilion. It’s really a great wine so I strongly recommend it. Many call it a ladies wine because it’s easier to drink than a Saint Emilion, but don’t say that to a Pomerol producer, they don’t like that label 🙂 

Taking a guided tour to Saint Emilion 

While I believe that Saint Emilion is a great trip to do on your own, I know that many visitors love to take guided tours. So for those of you who would rather not drive in France or just don’t want to spend time planning their visit, here are a few recommended tours that will take you from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion. 

  • This is one of the most popular half-day tours from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion. Besides the ride to Saint Emilion from Bordeaux the tour also includes several wine tastings and a visit to two wine chateaux which for many people is plenty for one day. The price is €94 per person. You can find all the details of the tour and book directly here.
  • This is a half-day tour in Saint Emilion with a visit to one winery for € 75 per person. It’s rather intimate as they book small groups meaning you get to actually listen and ask questions. You can check out the details and get your ticket here.
  • A full day trip from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion, visiting three different chateaux at € 125 per person. This is a great option if you want to see different techniques of winemaking and taste different wines from the same area. You can see all the details and get your ticket here.
  • One of the cheapest tour options (€ 42 per person) is a half-day trip to Saint Emilion leaving on Wednesdays and Sundays that also includes a visit to a chateau. The downside is that these groups are quite big so don’t expect an intimate experience. See all the details and get your tickets here.

What to eat in Saint Emilion 

The village of wine must take itself seriously when it comes to gastronomy and indeed there are dozens of great restaurants in Saint Emilion. Nevertheless, as I already mentioned, Saint Emilion is a very popular tourist destination which means that there are plenty of tourist traps to watch out from. Also, it’s crucial to make reservations in advance! Most of the good restaurants are booked so avoid trying to enjoy a spontaneous meal there. I gathered a shortlist of good restaurants in Saint Emilion, which includes both high-end gastronomic institutions and more simple but very good restaurants.

Logis de la Cadene – I dare say that this one Michelin star restaurant is the most praised restaurant in Saint Emilion. If you’re celebrating a special event or just want to have a culinary treat, this is the place for you.
Address: 3 Place du Marché au Bois, 33330 Saint-Émilion

L’Envers du Décor – It’s the first wine bar in Saint Emilion that became one of the best restaurants in town. The place is a bit pricey but the food and the overhaul experience are worth it. Plus, they have a nice little garden which is super fun when it gets warm. It’s currently owned by the Perse family, the owner of the famous Château Pavie so perfect wine matching won’t be a problem. The restaurant is open daily. The address is 11 Rue du Clocher, 33330 Saint-Émilion

Delices du Roy – a delicious menu of local cuisine with a more relaxed atmosphere than many of the other restaurants in Saint Emilion. One of their trademark dishes is the duck burger. Address:1 Rue de la Porte Bouqueyre, 33330 Saint-Émilion

L’huitrier-pie – a creative restaurant with great food. It feels very fancy but the prices are not too high compared to the more expensive restaurants in Saint Emilion. Address: 11 Rue de la Porte Bouqueyre, 33330 Saint-Émilion

Comptoir des Arts – If you don’t want to spend a lot of money or just prefer a light lunch head to Comptoir des Arts. This small little restaurant serves nice quiches and salads at very reasonable prices. The restaurant is located at the very pleasant Cour des Arts in the center of Saint Emilion. 

Chateau de Candale – If you want to take full advantage of the wine region you can have lunch between the vineyards. Chateau de Candale has a nice gastronomic restaurant in their wine chateau and you can even combine it with a great wine tour. 

Attend some of the best events in Saint Emilion 

Saint Emilion is a small but very lively town with plenty of events taking place throughout the year. This wine region celebrates everything from wine to gastronomy to Jazz music so check out if there’s an event lining up with your planned trip. I write monthly and weekly posts about the events taking place in and around Bordeaux (including Saint Emilion) so all the events will eventually appear on my blog. But here are just a few of the major ones:

The open doors in Saint Emilion – a weekend at the beginning of May when tens of wineries open their chateaux and welcome the public for free tours, wine tastings, exhibitions, concerts and more. 

Saint Emilion Jazz festival – The Saint Emilion Jazz festival is one of the biggest music festivals in the region taking place at the end of July. Plenty of local and international Jazz bands arrive to Saint Emilion to celebrate music and good wine. 

Montgolfiades de Saint-Emilion – a hot air balloon festival taking place every year in October above the vineyards of Saint Emilion. This event is absolutely stunning!

saint emilion hot air balloon
Saint Emilion hot air balloon festival

Ban des Vendanges – a ceremony taking place on the King’s Keep in September, officially starting the harvest season in Saint Emilion. 

What’s the best time to come to Saint Emilion 

Let’s start with when not to come to Saint Emilion! try to avoid coming at the beginning of April as it’s the primeur week. The En Primeur way of buying wine is very common in Bordeaux thus most wineries are busy with hosting wine traders and won’t have time to offer you a tour. Also, once in two years in June, Bordeaux hosts one of the biggest wine events in the world – Vinexpo, meaning that many wineries will send their staff to the expo and will welcome only a minimal amount of tourists. The next one is about to take place in June 2021. Also, avoid coming to Saint Emilion in the last week of December and the first week of January. While many wineries stay open for visits even during the winter, in those two weeks you will have a hard time finding an open chateau. Don’t forget that many of the wine estates employ only a small number of people and these usually leave for their Christmas vacation. 

day trip to Saint Emilion
cute little shops in Saint Emilion

Is Summer a good time to visit Saint Emilion?

Generally, summer is a good time to visit the Southwest of France and the Bordeaux area in particular. It’s the official tourist season and most places are open and offering you a world of activities and adventures in this lovely area. On the other hand, arriving in August, the most touristic month, can also be a disadvantage. Saint Emilion is one of the most popular destinations meaning that during the summer it gets packed with tourists flooding its narrow streets. Even getting a simple lunch in the city center can become a real hassle. And while the big chateaux are all open for daily tours some of the small family-owned chateaux can close their wineries for a few weeks in August. I’m not discouraging you from coming in August of course but I want you to be prepared. If there’s a particular winery you’d like to visit, contact them in advance. And most importantly, book your lunch and dinner in advance as well or else a homemade sandwich might be your only friend in August 🙂 

When is the best time to come to Saint Emilion?

In my opinion, the best time to come is from Mid April to July and then in September through October. May and June are excellent months for a visit as all the tourist attractions are open for the summer season but it’s not too crowded yet. September and October are the magical harvest season and if you’re interested in wine it’s something you wouldn’t want to miss. 

harvest time in Saint Emilion
harvest time in Saint Emilion

How to get to Saint Emilion

My directions here mostly focused on people coming from Bordeaux for a day trip. I will just mention that the two closest airports to Saint Emilion are the Bordeaux airport in Merignac and the little airport in Bergerac. 

How do you get from the center of Bordeaux to Saint Emilion

Saint Emilion is one of the easiest destinations to get to from Bordeaux as there’s a direct train from Gare Saint-Jean (Bordeaux’s main train station) to Saint Emilion. The station in Saint Emilion is located about 15-20 minutes walk from the city center. If you want to know in detail about the train’s time schedule, where to buy tickets and how to get a transport from the station to the city center, read my article about how to get from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion

Nonetheless, if your day trip to Saint Emilion includes a visit to more distant wineries I do recommend coming with a car. 

Where to park in Saint Emilion?

There’s the free parking lot of the Gendarmerie (police station). However, this parking is often full on busy days in which case you can leave your car at the free parking next to the train station. There are also several paid parking lots (about 2 euros/hour): around the collegiate church (the upper town) and Place Bouqueyre (bottom town). 

Where to stay in Saint Emilion

I know that many visitors go to Saint Emilion only for a day trip but consider staying a night in the medieval beautiful city as it can really be a beautiful experience. Here are a few recommended hotels for those who decide to stay in Saint Emilion.

Logis de la Cadene

This is one of the most recommended hotels in the center of Saint Emilion. The hotel, with an amazing view of the historic center, has a warm and elegant design to it. And as I mentioned above it also has one of the best restaurants in town. Book it here

Hostellerie de Plaisance 

One of the most luxurious and beautiful hotels in the center of Saint Emilion. The hotel is located just next to the Monolithic Church of Saint Emilion and offers a magical panoramic view of the medieval village and the vineyards. Book it here.

Les Chambres d’Ovaline

Les Chambres d’Ovaline is a cozy and beautiful B&B located a few minutes walk from the center of Saint Emilion. The rooms are beautifully designed and you can enjoy your breakfast in their cute garden. It’s also much more affordable than the other options in Saint Emilion. Book a room here

Château Hôtel Grand Barrail

where to stay in saint emilion

A luxury hotel located in the middle of the vineyards a few km from the center of Saint Emilion. The hotel has a pool and a SPA facility as well as a gastronomic restaurant. This is a great place if you’re looking for a more isolated vacation. Book it here

Le Relais de Franc Mayne Saint Emilion

A magical B&B with the most beautiful view on the vineyards of Saint Emilion. The rooms are quite spacious and beautifully decorated. To book a room click here.

Bleu Raisin

If you don’t mind driving a bit, this cute B&B is located in an old wine farm, about 14 km from the center of Saint Emilion. Their price is really great and the setting is quite amazing. Book a room here

I know that this article was very long so if you got to the end, “Bravo” as the French say. Here are a few other articles you’ll find useful when traveling to the area.

If you’re planning to visit Bordeaux you can follow my guide to a weekend in Bordeaux or my post about what to do in one day in Bordeaux.

If you want to discover other wine areas in the Bordeaux region read my article about two days in the Medoc region. Also, check out my article about day trips from Bordeaux

Hope you find this article helpful! If you do, please share it with your friends!

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

With the highest number of restaurants per person in France, Bordeaux is heaven for foodies. If you find youreself hungry in this city, finding a place to eat will be an easy task 🙂 However, food specialty boutiques selling cheese, chocolate or products from the southwest of France are not as easy to find as one might think. I receive many messages from both tourists and locals asking me about the best streets for foodies, and hidden places where they could find specialty products that aren’t available at the supermarket.

Luckily that is exactly the research I had to do when I was building my food tours. I spend several days simply strolling the streets of Bordeaux, looking for those special places I can take my tourists to. Today I want to share some of these foodie secrets with you! In this article, I gathered a list of my favorite foodie streets in Bordeaux. Here you will find the best patisseries, specialty chocolate places, quality coffee, cute little cheese shops and more. So if you’re in a discovery mode, join me for a foodie ride in the streets of Bordeaux! 

Foodie streets at the historic center of Bordeaux

rue des Remparts

Rue des remparts
Stop for cheese and wine – Rue des Remparts

Let’s start with one of my favorite foodie streets in Bordeaux center- rue des Remparts, located just next to the city hall of Bordeaux. At first glance, it looks like many other streets in this district full of fashionable boutiques and art galleries, but it’s actually one of the richest gastronomical streets in Bordeaux. As you climb the street heading north you’ll pass by plenty of specialty shops, many of which are focused on a specific local product. There are two great chocolate shops on this street. The first one is Mademoiselle de Margaux which sells specialty chocolates from Margaux located in the Medoc wine region and the other is a famous chocolate shop from Bayonne – l’Atelier de Bayonne. You’ll also find a fancy cheese shop (Chez Delphine) where you can stop for some wine and cheese (the best thing to do when in Bordeaux). Besides that, there are quite a few interesting shops you should keep an eye on, among them Pierre Oteiza with their Basque charcuterie and Noisettines du Médoc with their nut products from Medoc as well as Oliviers & Co, an olive oil shop. 

Rue de la Vieille Tour

Once you finish rue des Remparts you’ll see the beautiful Porte Dijeaux on your left. Continue straight into another magical street that you might have missed when strolling the city – rue de la Vieille Tour. Until a few years ago rue de la Vieille Tour was just a quiet back street in the Hotel de Ville neighborhood. Today many people know it thanks to the presence of one of the best coffee shops in Bordeaux – l’Alchimiste. Just in front of the coffee place sits the second star of this street, the dunes blanches. This pastry was born a few years ago in Cap Ferret and was since embraced by the locals as a proper Bordelais pastry. I often stop there on my food tours and peoples’ reaction to the yummy cream-filled pastries never disappoints :).  On the same little street, you can find two of the best chocolate shops in Bordeaux, Hasnaa Chocolat grand cru and La Maison Darricau. If you’re in the mood for a good homemade cake and tea don’t miss the cozy Mona cafe. 

Mona Cafe Bordeaux
Mona Cafe by Lost in Bordeaux

If you want to discover other great coffee shops in Bordeaux, check out my article about the five coffee places you don’t want to miss

Rue des Trois Conils

The next street on my list is still in the Hotel de Ville neighborhood but this time we’re heading towards the river on Rue des Trois Conils. I find this street a bit less charming than rue des Remparts but it’s no less interesting when it comes to food. In just two minutes’ walk, you’ll find two great chocolate shops (Yves Thuriès and Jeff de Bruges), a delicious Spanish ham place (Viandas de Salamanca), a chic canned products shop (Conserverie la belle-iloise) and more. It’s even more attractive if you love cooking or baking as there are two big cooking shops in the middle of the street, my favorite is Alice Delice. One of the most interesting boutiques on this street is La Trinitaine Biscuiterie. Here you can find plenty of traditional local sweet specialties like cookies and chocolate that are not easy to find in the center of Bordeaux. One such example is the Bouchon de Bordeaux, you can read more about this and other local desserts in my article about the sweets of Bordeaux

foodie street in Bordeaux
a chocolate shop on rue trois conils

Le marché des Grands Hommes

The triangle d’Or district in the center of Bordeaux is probably one of the most attractive areas in the city when it comes to foodie boutiques. Here you can find some of the best wine shops and a number of lucrative chocolate boutiques. For example, just next to the Opera, on allee de Tourny, you will find l’Intendant, a shop that earned the name “the wine library of Bordeaux” due to its wide selection of local wine. Just a few steps from there, don’t miss the oldest chocolate shop in Bordeaux, Cadiot Badie. 

In my opinion, however, the best foodie places are located on one of the narrow streets surrounding the marché des Grands Hommes, notably, rue Michel Montaigne. If you’re a patisserie snob, you’re likely to find one of the best patissiers on this street. David Capy is one of the best chocolatiers- patissiers in Bordeaux, and a visit there should not be missed. That is also the street I take people who join my food tours for cheese tastings. The shop is called Beillevaire and I especially like it as it’s both a shop and a cheese producer. 

More foodie spots around Bordeaux

Rue Fondaudège

Rue Fondaudège
Rue Fondaudège by lost in Bordeaux

I bet that most of you visiting Bordeaux for a short period of time have never heard of rue Fondaudège but it’s actually one of the rising stars in Bordeaux. After several years of tram works this street finally got the spotlight it deserves. It’s a long busy street, very different from the cozy streets of the center of Bordeaux, and it’s quite easy to miss all the interesting food shops on it. But if food is your thing, it’s worth taking a few minutes to walk from the city center just to discover this street. Here’s just a short list of some of the specialty shops on this street: Chocolaterie Lalère, if you want a hot chocolate; Aux dix vin, a great little cheese shop; Perrin, a very good bakery and Original US, a shop of American products (a lot of candies 🙂 ). One of my favorite secret spots on this street is a little coffee place named Eriu. Apparently, other expats love it as well as you can often spot some English speakers ordering their scones there. 

Rue Notre Dame

If you’ve been to Bordeaux for more than two days, most chances are that you have visited this street. Rue Notre Dame in the Chartron district is a stylish street full of boutiques, antique shops and restaurants but it’s especially attractive for foodies. La P’tite Boulangerie Notre-Dame, one of Bordeaux’s best bakeries is located just in front of the church, you will easily spot it by the long queue. A little pastry shop I especially love is Micheline et Paulette – they have a very small selection of cakes but they are all excellent and the place is super cute. If you want to stop for a cup of coffee don’t miss la Pelle cafe. Check also la Conserverie which will introduce you to a variety of local products and wines. The atmosphere in this place is great and they’re not closing after lunch which is unusual for Bordeaux. 

Notre dame street and the central square next to it are full of specialty boutiques and good restaurants so one paragraph will not be enough to cover all of them. You have two choices, go and discover it for yourself or wait for my article about the Chartrons district coming up soon 🙂

Cours Portal

Cours Portal is not a very charming street but it definitely deserves a visit if you’re interested in food. It’s a long street but most of the good boutiques are located close to Place du Marché des Chartrons. Remember Beillevaire, the cheese shop I’ve mentioned before? Here you can find their second boutique in Bordeaux. Another good cheese shop is La Fromagerie de Pierre, visit both for the variety.  If you like to make quality coffee at home, check out Café refuge, a coffee specialty shop. The coffee roaster machinery there is really impressive! Like every foodie street, Cours Portal has its own little patissier, named Taupy. One of the more interesting places on rue Portal is Gastronomie Des Pyrénées, a specialty shop offering products from the southwest of France. 

foodie street in Bordeaux
Café refuge on Cours Portal

Marché des Capucins

Although my list includes only streets and not markets in Bordeaux, I had to add the place all foodies in Bordeaux fall for. Marché des Capucins is the ultimate place to go to if you want to explore the food of the Southwest of France. At the market, you have three-cheese shops where you can buy a variety of French cheeses. If you’re looking for a place to taste oysters while in Bordeaux, Chez Jean Me is definitely the place to go to. While on weekdays the atmosphere at the Capucins market is very chill, on weekends many more merchands are coming to sell their produce at the market. The central part gets completely covered with little stands of basque cheese, locally grown fruits and vegetables and plenty of local pastries such as the famous canelés and basque cakes in many flavors. There’s one local pastry in the market you shouldn’t miss called Puits d’amour by Maison Seguin. This little ‘well of love’ will keep you happy all morning 🙂 If you want to read more about sweet local specialties I invite you to read this article about my favorite sweets in Bordeaux. If you want to learn more about the market, check out my article about the best places to eat at Marché des Capucins

Marche des Capucins Bordeaux
Marche des Capucins by Lost in Bordeaux

I’m sure that many of you are familiar with other boutiques in Bordeaux where you can find fine cheese and delicious pastries. In this article, I focused on streets with a high concentration of shops selling products that will allow you to discover the gastronomic side of Bordeaux. If you know other streets and interesting specialty shops in Bordeaux, please share them with us in the comments below. 

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.

The Cité du Vin is one of the most popular attractions on the tourist trail in Bordeaux. In the last couple of years, it has become one of Bordeaux’s most iconic institutions even though it’s quite new. The Cité du Vin was inaugurated in 2016 with the goal of celebrating wine and educating people about its production and history. The spectacular building can be seen from afar and uplifts the grungy port of Bassin a Flot, where the museum is located. Its shape is inspired by the movement of wine swirling in a glass. What’s inside the 55m giant and why do so many people rush to visit it? In this article, I’ll offer you a glimpse into what is considered to be the best wine center in the world. I’ll explain what you’ll experience in the main exhibition, what other attractions are offered and why it’s worth visiting even if you’re not a wine lover. Step with me into Bordeaux’s fascinating wine world.

What will you find in Cité du Vin in Bordeaux 

My good friend Julie calls the Cite du Vin an amusement park for wine lovers, and that in my opinion, describes it the best. It’s an interactive journey into the wine world offering anything from videos, touch screens, sensory tables and more. On your journey you will discover all the important wine regions in the world, learn about the different types of grapes, the fermentation process and on the history of wine in different areas across the globe.

The permanent exhibition includes 19 sections divided into six areas. The first area is dedicated to the wine regions of the world and welcomes you with huge screens portraying breathtaking images from the world’s most famous wine regions. It’s a beautiful video getting you into the mood to learn everything you can about wine. 

cite du vin - wine of the world
The most beautiful wine regions in the world – all photos by lost in Bordeaux

The second part is much more technical and will teach you about the whole process of how grapes turn into wine. Although there are quite a lot of technical explanations involved, the Cité du Vin made it interactive and entertaining enough to intrigue even those not obsessed with wine. One of the best sections in this area is the wine portraits. Flat touch screens, surrounded by gigantic wooden bottle shaped statues, help you explore the major wine types, from red to sweet whites and onto the sparkling ones. 

cite du vin - different types of wine
An interactive way to learn about different types of wine at the Cité du Vin

The third area is about wine and civilization. Here you’ll learn the history of wine routes and how the sea voyages of wine transportation used to look like. The fourth part is dedicated to imagination and has a magnificent space where you can lay down, listen to music, close your eyes and think of wine. 

cite du vin - aromas of wine
The buffet of the five senses

The fifth area is called “wine and you”, and includes my favorite part in the museum, the “buffet of the five senses”. Plenty of different food items from fruits to honey and cookies are presented in front of you on two big tables, allowing you to explore different wine aromas. The sixth and last area is dedicated to the hosting city, Bordeaux. Here you will learn about the wine history of the biggest wine region in France and the tale of the city itself. 

When you finish exploring the exhibition, you will move to one of the best parts of the visit – the wine tasting. For that, you need to go back to the ground floor and take another elevator to the 8th and last floor of Bordeaux’s wine museum. The floor is called the Belvedere and offers a breathtaking panoramic view of Bordeaux. You can choose one wine from one of the regions the exhibition is currently focusing on and take your glass to the balcony to admire the view. A perfect ending to this enriching experience. 

wine tasting cite du vin
wine tasting at the end of the tour

How to explore Bordeaux’s wine museum?

The permanent exhibition is so big that you need at least half a day to cover it all and let’s face it, some people don’t have the time nor the patience for that. If you have only two-three hours to visit the cite du vin you have four trails you can follow. The museum offers four self-guided theme tours that focus on different aspects of the wine world. 

The Essentials tour

This tour is supposed to take up to an hour and a half (If you follow their recommendations) and will get you familiar with some of the most famous wine regions in the world. You will meet winegrowers (virtually of course) that will tell you about their traditions, the grapes they use and the volumes of their production. Just touch the screen on one of the tables dedicated to Argentina, Georgia, Italy, France and more. You will then explore the design aspect of wine with videos of beautiful wine cellars and trendy wine bars. The trail also includes the senses table and wine portraits that allow you to acquire a lot of new knowledge about the different types of wines. Their guide instructs you on how much time to spend on every station so you can actually end the tour on time.

cite du vin - wine makers
Meet the winemakers of the world

The Making wine tour

Besides the “wine of the world” area, this trail includes the “E-Vigne” section that is dedicated to the grapes and their selection by winegrowers. This is a very interactive station with some kids’ trivia questions about winemaking. Most of this route focuses on the “metamorphoses of wine” section, which will teach you all about the vats, fermentation and aging in barrels. The tour takes about an hour.

cite du vin
Learn everything about winemaking

Feast your eyes tour

Another shorter visit can be done with the “Feast your eyes” trail which leads you through some of the more colorful sections with screens and music. This one is particularly recommended to those who are not very interested in wine and just came for the flashy experience. 

Cite du vin - colors of wine
A fun place even if you don’t like wine

Did you know that a visit to the Cité du Vin can be kids friendly?

Last but not least is the Juniors tour for kids ages 7-12 years old. This trail will help your kids discover the wine world. It includes all the sections where they can touch, smell, look, feel and play. They will smell the aromas on the senses table, answer trivia questions about grapes, watch an amazing cartoon about the wine journey in the sea and discover the history of Bordeaux through an interactive game. 

What else is there to do at the wine museum? 

When you finish the permanent exhibition don’t be in a rush to leave the Cité du Vin, you still have a lot of things to do there. First of all the ticket includes access to the temporary exhibition as well. The Museum regularly hosts great exhibitions that focus on different aspects of the wine world. At the time of writing this article, the temporary exhibition was dedicated to the wine of Argentina while previously there was a beautiful exhibition that portrayed the relationship of wine and glass. The temporary exhibition is located on the first floor where you will also find a beautiful library of wine-related books. 

glass expo in cite du vin
Great temporary exhibitions at the cite du vin – glass and wine

The first floor is also where the wine tasting workshops are taking place. Several modern rooms dedicated to daily wine workshops in French, English and Spanish (mostly during the high season). The English workshop is mainly dedicated to Bordeaux wines while those in French are varied. You can choose workshops about specific wine regions or learn how to match wine with cheese or chocolate. 

If you’re looking for other places in Bordeaux to taste and learn about the wines of the region, you should check my article about wine tasting in Bordeaux.

Wine tasting workshop at the cite du vin
Wine tasting workshop at the cite du vin

On the first floor, you will also find the amazing wine shop that includes around 800 bottles, with 600 of them representing non-French wines. The seventh floor is the fancy Le 7 Restaurant that offers a beautiful view of Bordeaux.

All the practical details you need to know before going to Cite du Vin

Tickets and prices

The ticket are a bit pricey but definitely worth the one-time experience. A regular ticket that includes the permanent and temporary exhibition and one glass of wine costs 20 euros for an adult, 9 euros for kids and free for kids under 6 years old (you have to present something to prove it). A family pack is 50 euros and worth buying if you are two adults and two kids. 

The museum is very popular and sometimes the lines to buy tickets can be quite long. To avoid that you can purchase the tickets online in advance and head straight to the entrance door when you arrive. Click here to reserve your tickets in advance. 

Opening hours

The opening hours of Cité du Vin are Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm and Saturday – Sunday and bank and school holidays from 10am to 7pm. The hours change in the high season so check them out on the site of the museum before going. 

How to get to the wine museum

The easiest way to get to Cité du Vin is by tram B that passes through the center of Bordeaux. The station is called “Cité du Vin” and it’s located just next to the museum. If you come from the other side of the Garonne river you can also take the public transport boat (BAT 3). It accepts the same ticket as a tram but you get there in a more stylish way 🙂 For more information about the hours and stations of the BAT3 – click here.

Another option is taking the city bikes from one of the V3 stations that are spread all over the city. The ride from the city center to the wine museum is one of the best things to do when visiting Bordeaux. I’ve even included it in my article about the best things to do in Bordeaux in one day

What else is there to do next to the wine museum

If you don’t have anything planned after your visit to the museum don’t rush to leave this cool neighborhood. As you will see, Bassin a Flot, the port of Bordeaux has a totally different feel and look than the elegant center of Bordeaux. This is one of the rising districts of Bordeaux with plenty of street art, bars, music venues and even a chic market. If you want to learn more about the neighborhood around the museum check out my article about the north district of Bordeaux

things to do in Bacalan Bordeaux
The Bacalan district in Bordeaux

If you want to explore the Bordeaux wine region more in-depth check out my articles about the best wineries in Saint Emilion and about traveling in the Medoc wine region.

If it’s your first time in Bordeaux check out my ultimate guide to Bordeaux to get familiar with all the must-see places in the city. To help you choose a place to stay 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.

The Croissant, Saint Honoré and Éclair are familiar names when it comes to French patisserie and desserts. But did you ever hear of canelé or puits d’amour? It’s time for you to meet the local sweet specialties of Bordeaux. Bordeaux harbors a unique pastry scene with delicacies that can’t be found anywhere else in France. So if you’re a foodie like me you wouldn’t want to miss it when visiting the region. In this article, I’m going to tell you about the best local desserts, pastries and chocolates you can find in Bordeaux and where to buy them. If you want me to personally take you to my favorite places in Bordeaux (sweets and others) you should check out my food tours :). Now let’s go and discover the sweet world of Bordeaux :). 

Canelé

canele in Bordeaux
Canelé

We cannot talk about Bordeaux’s specialties without mentioning the most famous local dessert, the Canelé. The little brown striated pastry became one of Bordeaux’s symbols and can be found in many sizes all over the city. Like many other things in Bordeaux, the story of Canelé is related to the wine world. Legend has it that the first canelés were made by nuns at the Couvert de L’Annociade de Bordeaux at the end of the 17th century. The original canelé didn’t have the sweet flavor it has today and was made out of flours and egg yolks that were given to nuns by winemakers who used egg whites to purify the wine. It wasn’t until the 20th century that Canelés reappeared as a dessert when an unknown pastry chef decided to upgrade the recipe with rhum and vanilla. Traditionally the canelé’s mold was waxed with bee’s wax to make the pastry crispy from the outside and soft from the inside. Today, however, many use butter instead. You can usually find them in three different sizes and in some places they are even filled with different sweet or savory flavors. In Bordeaux, you have many places specialized in Canelé and almost every bakery will offer them. While the biggest and most famous canelé producer is Baillardan, I think the best one is offered by La toque cuivrée. You can find two of their boutiques on rue Sainte Catherine and many others in different districts of Bordeaux. 

Puits d’Amour

Le Puit d’amour, or “well of love” in English, is a local little pastry that you can’t find anywhere outside the Bordeaux region. The pastry was created in 1952 by Maison Seguin in a little town South of Bordeaux called Captieux. It is made out of pâte à choux (light pastry dough) topped with crème Chiboust (a mix of crème pâtissière and an Italian meringue). You can enjoy the perfect bite-size pastry at the Capucins market or in Maison Seguin in the Cauderan district (address: 160 Avenue Charles de Gaulle, 33200 Bordeaux).

les-puits-damour-capucins-market-in-Bordeaux
les Puits d’amour

discover more places to eat at the market check out my article about the Marche des Capucins

Les dunes blanches

Les dunes blanches
Les dunes blanches

One of Bordeaux’s most popular pastries actually comes from Cap Ferret. The delicious dunes blanches were created in 2008 by the pastry chef Pascal Lucas, or should I say by his son. One night, 12 years ago the young man came back home from a party very early in the morning and was really hungry. Knowing that by that time his dad would already be at the bakery he headed there to find something sweet to satisfy his appetite. At the bakery, he found a chouquette (Choux pastry sprinkled with pearl sugar) and a cream his father had prepared for another dessert and simply mixed the two. The result became an immediate success and Pascal opened dedicated shops for the dunes blanches in Arcachon, Bordeaux and now even Paris. In the center of Bordeaux, you can find them at 7 Rue de la Vieille Tour, 33000 Bordeaux

The macarons of Saint Emilion

If you ever visited Paris you probably tasted the famous macaroons of Ladauree or the fancy ones of Pierre Herme. But did you know that the original macaron actually comes from Saint Emilion? The macaroons of Saint Emilion are produced since 1620 when the Ursulines sisters established their convent in Saint Emilion. The recipe is being passed from generation to generation and hasn’t been changed ever since. As opposed to the colorful two-cookies macarons you can find in the rest of France these have only one cookie that is made from almonds, egg whites and sugar. After wine, it’s the second most famous produce of Saint Emilion. You can find them at the little “Fabruque de macarons” shop in the center of Saint Emilion. Address: 9 rue Guadet, 33330 Saint-Emilion, France

Le Jésuite

Le Jésuite
Le Jésuite

This yummy triangle pastry is rare to find anywhere outside of the Bordeaux region. It’s a puff pastry (just like mille-feuille) stuffed with frangipane cream and shaved almonds on top. Some chefs add a bit of creme patissiere to it, in order to lighten the heavy frangipane texture. The strange name comes from its shape. Originally the jésuites were covered with pralines or chocolate icing which created a look of a hat with raised edges, just like those of the Jésuites. The original Jésuites are a catholic order of the Catholic Church founded by Saint Ignatius of Loyola from the Spanish Pyrenees. When in Bordeaux, don’t waste your calories on a simple croissant, instead try the local Jesuit in one of the bakeries in the city. I buy my Jesuits at the bakery in Saint Michel.
Address: 51 Rue des Faures, 33000 Bordeaux

Les Guinettes de Chocolats

When you stroll the streets of Triangle d’Or, the fancy district of Bordeaux you will come across a handful of chocolate shops. However, there’s only one chocolate that’s truly identified with Bordeaux and it’s called les guinettes. The guinette is a cherry macerated in alcohol and then encased in dark chocolate. In Bordeaux you can find them in two tastes, Kirsh which is a cherry liqueur or in Armagnac which is an excellent local Brandy from the South West of France. 

Bouchon du Bordeaux

Bouchon de Bordeaux is a traditional dessert, much less known than others on this list. It was created in 1965 by the patissier- chocolatier Jacque Ponquet who wanted to create a pastry that would highlight the wine specialty of the region. In 1976, a discovery of almond trees in Saint Emilion inspired him to use almonds with raisins to create an alcoholic dessert. The dessert is created in his factory in Bruges and sold in several shops in Bordeaux specializing in products of the Southwest. 

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.