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On the beach, in the forest, on the riverfront or in the park, no matter where you go in August, there will be music everywhere! We have a big festival in the forest of South Gironde, a reggae festival in Medoc, an Oysters festival in Cap Ferret and more. Like always, all the big summer events such as  dancing and sports on the quai are going to continue throughout most of August. Here’s the list of things to do in Bordeaux in August 2019.

Dance on the Quai

Dansons sur les Quais is a series of dancing classes and events where people gather to dance together and learn a variety of dance genres like Tango, Salsa, Bollywood, Forro, Hip Hop, Street Jazz, Zumba, Country and more. These activities will be guided by professional dancers from different dance schools in Bordeaux and they are completely free, so this is a great opportunity you don’t want to miss. The dancing events will take place on the quai almost daily from mid- July to mid – August. For more details and the full program check out the website of Dansons sur les Quai.

When:  Daily from July 14 to August 18 / Where: Quai Louis XVIII, 33000 Bordeaux

Reggae Sun Ska music festival

The 22nd edition of this fun reggae festival will take place at the Domaine Equestre de Nodri in Vertheuil, which is located in the Medoc area (about an hour drive from Bordeaux) on the first weekend of August (2-4). The impressive long lineup includes tens of performers from the reggae scene. You can check out the full lineup here.  For more info and details check out the facebook page of the festival.

When: August 2-4 /  Where:  1 rue du Maquis, 33180 Vertheuil

If you want to discover other places you can visit in Medoc, check out my article about the Medoc region

Fête de la Presqu’île in Cap Ferret

Every year in August Lege Cap Ferret celebrates its oyster farming with a big event called Fête de la Presqu’île. The three day event includes plenty of oysters, concerts, activities for kids and fireworks on the last night. The event will take place on August 2-4 in Claouey. For more info click here.

When:  August 2-4 / Where: Claouey, Place de Bertic, 33950 Lege – Cap Ferret 

Festival Musicalarue

The Musicalarue is a big music festival taking place in Luxey (about an hour drive from Bordeaux) on August 15-17.  The lineup includes a very long list of artists and bands, including some big names such as Orelsan, Patti Smith and Patrick Bruel – to see the full program click here. For more info and tickets check out the facebook page of the festival.

When:  August 15-17 / Where: Les Cigales – 273 rue des écoles, 40430 Luxey, Aquitaine

Bordeaux Food-truck Festival

If you like the Bordeaux food truck festival events, you’ll be happy to hear that another one is coming up on August 10-11. The food truck festival aims to mix street food with the finesse of the wine world. Visitors can taste the wines of the hosting châteaux and the specialties of food coming from all corners of the world: French, Italian, Brazilian and many more. The program of the festival also includes free concerts, exhibitions, escape games, activities for kids and more. One of the events will take place on August 10-11 at the Maison du Tourisme in Pauillac. The events are free but require prior reservation – you can do it here. For more details click here.

When:  August 10-11 / Where: La Verrerie, 33250 Pauillac

The Fest’Arts Festival

A three day celebration of street art will take place on August 8-9 in Libourne. The Fest’Arts festival was created almost 30 years ago to honor street performing artists. The center of Libourne will be turned into a big promenade and plenty of performances will take place on the pretty streets of the city. Check out the full program here

When: August 8-10 / Where: The center of Libourne

Les Fêtes de la Mer in Arcachon 

It’s that time of the year when sailors and Arcachon lovers gather to celebrate the sea with les Fêtes de la Mer. During two days you can enjoy plenty of activities in the center of Arcachon, from music concerts on the beach to flee markets and a huge picnic. It’s also a religious event so a few big masses will be held on both days. For more info click here

When: August 14-15 / Where: center of Arcachon

Les Odyssées

Les Odyssées is a free stage arts festival taking place every year in Ambès, about 30 minutes from Bordeaux. The festival will take place on August 24 at Parc de Cantefrène. Check out the full program here

When:  August 24 / Where: Parc de Cantefrène, 33810 AMBES

Festival Musical’Ocean 2019

Festival Musical’Ocean is a classical music festival taking place at Lacanau-Ocean, a beautiful coastal town, about an hour drive from Bordeaux. The program of the festival is aiming to combine big names with new talents in classical music. The festival will take place on August 23-28 in Salle l’Escoure. For more info click here

When:  August 23-28 / Where: Avenue de l’Europe, 33680 Lacanau Océan

Bordeaux Open Air

Bordeaux Open Air is a series of free summer electronic music events, all set in different locations and with a great city vibe to them. Every event is dedicated to a different country and hosts its DJ’s for sets of electronic music. After a few successful events in July, the festival continues into August with parties taking place on August 11th, 18th and 25th. The locations haven’t been published yet, so be sure to follow my weekend posts for updates. For more info click here

When:  August 11, 18, 25 / Where: Follow the website for the exact location

Go to the beach

If you’re coming here for the summer I’m sure that going to the beach is on your list. This area is abundant with beautiful sandy beaches on the Atlantic coastline as well as on the many lakes surrounding the city. If you want to discover some new beaches around bordeaux check out my article about the best beaches near Bordeaux

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

The summer pavilion on the right side of the river

Enjoy the summer parties of the Orangeade association at the Quai Deschamps (in the Bastide neighborhood). Like every year their free summer events include concerts, workshops, activities for kids and more. The events take place every Friday (18:00 – 01:00) and Saturday (12:00 to 01:00) from July 5th to August 31. For more details click here.

When:  From July 5 to August 31 / Where: Quai Deschamps, 33100 Bordeaux, France

Bordeaux Metropolitan Summer

Like every year Bordeaux Metropolitan invites you to discover the city and the area around it through a series of cultural events and activities. More than 100 activities of music, dance, public reading, theater, circus and gastronomy will take place between June 20 and August 31. These events are so widely spread across the metropolitan area of Bordeaux that you are guaranteed to discover places (especially parks) that you have never heard of before: Parc d’Observation in Floirac, Parc du Viver in Merignac, Parc Camponac in Pessac and many more. Check out the full program of events here.

When:  Daily from June 20 to August 31 / Where: Bordeaux Metropolitan – check out the exact location of every event in the program.

Quai des Sports

This is the 11th edition of this fun sportive event that takes place every summer (July 13 to August 11) at the Parc des sports Saint Michel. The program includes a variety of sportive activities such as a fitness night, beach volleyball, basketball, BMX, beach wrestling and more. The festival will be accompanied by artistic and music events. Many of the activities are aimed for kids and teenagers and are a perfect solution for entertaining them in the center of Bordeaux during the summer.  Check the full program here.

When: Daily from July 13 to August 11 / Where: Parc des sports Saint Michel, Bordeaux

Puppet Theater for Kids

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

When: Daily during July – August at 16:00 / Where: Parc Bordelais

La Bataille de Castillon

La Bataille de Castillon is a spectacle taking place during more than 10 evenings in the summer, replicating the famous fight from 1453. Castillon-la-Bataille, the town where the show takes place also hosts many activities and events revolving the big show: tours of the city, exhibitions and workshops of medieval art and more. For more info and tickets click here.

When: July 19 – August 24 / Where: Association 1453, Mairie de Castillon, 33350 CASTILLON-LA-BATAILLE

Dance at la guingette chez Alriq

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

When: all summer / Where: ZA Quai des Queyries, Port Bastide, 33100 Bordeaux

Garden Party – on one of the nicest terasses of Bordeaux 

A nice collaboration is taking place this summer between Frida, a restaurant with a beautiful inside garden, and the French Gin producer G’Vine Gin. Every Sunday during the summer a cocktail party takes place at Frida, with a selection of special cocktails and a discount price of 6 euros for Gin and Tonic. For more info click here.

When: every Sunday at 17:00 / Where: 27-29 rue Buhan, 33000 Bordeaux

Learn how to Tango

Every summer the Tango Bordeaux association organizes pubic tango events in Jardin Public,  Place de Quinconces and la Grande Poste. This year public tango events will take place on August 4th, 9th and 18th. See more details as well as a full list of events for this summer here

When:  August 4th ,9th ,18th / Where: Jardin Public,  Place de Quinconces and la Grande Poste

Go see an exhibition

There are some amazing exhibitions presented this summer at various museums in Bordeaux. I gathered the best exhibition you should see this summer in one of my recent articles, read it here.

seth - Institut Bernard Magrez
1.2.3 soleil exhibition by Seth

If you’re reading this article in July be sure to check my guide about the best things to do in Bordeaux in July. Enjoy!!!

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.

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

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

This is the weekend of 14 Juillet (French national day) so many events in and around Bordeaux will be dedicated to that. Two big summer festivals are also starting this weekend, one will make you dance during the summer and the other will keep you and your kids fit. Before we dig into this weekend’s list, I wanted to remind you to take a look at what else is on this month in my July list.
Here’s the list of things to do in Bordeaux this weekend (July 12-14).

Celebrate French National Day

July 14th is the French national day which is celebrated in every city in France. Like every year, Bordeaux will hold a series of popular events and parties, the main ones are:

  • Military parade at Quai des Chartrons –  18:30
  • The traditional dance party at Placette de Munich – Quai Louis XVIII (in front of Quinconces) – 20:30
  • Fireworks show above the Garonne river between Pont de Pierre and Place de la Bourse – 22:45

Most towns around Bordeaux will also hold firework shows (full list):

July 13:

  • Cenon – Parc Palmer –  23 :00
  • Mérignac – Stade Robert Brettes – 23:00
  • Gradignan – Parc de Mandavit – 22:45
  • Bouliac – Parc de Vialle Bété – 22:00
  • Bruges – Esplanade Charles de Gaulle -23:00
  • Blanquefort– Parc de Fongravey- 23:00

July 14

  • Pessac  – Parc de Cazalet –  23 :00
  • Talence – Parc Peixoto – 23 :00
  • Lormont – Place Aristide – 23:00
  • Arcachon – next to the sea – 23:00 

Bal Pompiers

Bal Pompiers are traditional firemen parties that take place in many cities in France on July 13 and 14. Bordeaux’s firemen will also celebrate the national day with a few parties of their own. One of the biggest ones will take place at the Ornano Fire Academy (Meriadeck) on July 13, check more details here. Another big party is Bal de la Benauge that will take place on July 13 at the Benauge fire station, Check more details here

When:  July 13 / Where: see the addresses of the fire stations in the links above

Quai des Sports

This is the 11th edition of this fun sportive event taking place every summer (July 13 to August 11) at the Parc des sports Saint Michel.  The program this month includes a variety of sportive activities such as a fitness night, beach volleyball, basketball, BMX, beach wrestling and more. The festival will be accompanied by artistic and music events. Many of the activities are aimed at kids and teenagers and are a perfect solution for entertaining them in the center of Bordeaux during the summer.  Check the full program here.

When: Daily from July 13 to August 11 / Where: Parc des sports Saint Michel, Bordeaux

Dance on the Quai

Dansons sur les Quais is a series of dancing classes and events where people gather to dance together and learn a variety of dancing genres like Tango, Salsa, Bollywood, Forro, Hip Hop, Street Jazz, Zumba, Country and more. These activities will be guided by professional dancers from different dance schools in Bordeaux and they are completely free, so this is a great opportunity you don’t want to miss. Dansons sur les Quais is finally starting this Sunday (July 14) and will take place on the quai almost daily until August 18. For more details and the full program check out the website of Dansons sur les Quai.

When:  Daily from July 14 to August 18 / Where: Quai Louis XVIII, 33000 Bordeaux

Go to the beach

In case you missed it on my facebook page, a few days ago I published an article about the best beaches near Bordeaux. So if you were planning to discover a new beach this weekend this article will give you some great ideas. I included beaches on lakes, on the ocean and on Bassin d’Arcachon.

Bordeaux Open Air

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

Bordeaux Open Air is a series of free summer electronic music events, all set in different locations and with a great city vibe to them. Every event is dedicated to a different country and hosts its DJ’s for sets of electronic music. The next Open Air event will take place this Sunday (July 14) at Square Dom Bedos. For more details click here.

When:  July 14, starting 15:00 / Where:  Square Dom Bedos, Bordeaux

Raphaëlle Boitel – Horizon

Horizon is a dance and acrobatic artwork by the French choreographer Raphaëlle Boitel. The piece pays tribute to the emblematic architecture in Bordeaux by using the Opera building as its stage. The show will take place on Place de la Comedie on Friday and Saturday (July 12-13) at 20:00. For more details click here

When:  July 12-13 / Where: Place de la comédie, 33000 Bordeaux

The summer pavilion on the right side of the river

Like every summer in the last five years, the Orangeade association opens its summer pavilion on le Quai Deschamps (in the Bastide neighborhood) with live concerts every Friday (18:00 – 01:00) and Saturday (12:00 to 01:00). These events are not just music concerts but rather a place for friends and families to spend the weekend with yoga classes, creative workshops, activities for kids and more. The next event will take place this weekend (July 12-13), for more details click here.

When:  July 12-13 / Where: Quai Deschamps, 33100 Bordeaux, France

Zanzibar – Opening

This weekend Darwin will open their summer bar. This year the bar takes inspiration from East Africa and will pay tribute to Afro-Caribbean and South American music. You can join the opening event on Friday and Saturday (July 12-13) with plenty of cocktails and concerts. See the full program here.

When:  July 12-13 / Where: Quai Deschamps, 33100 Bordeaux, France

Go to see an exhibition

Mika Bordeaux
Mika at Institut Bernard Magrez

There are some amazing exhibitions presented this summer at various museums in Bordeaux. I gathered the best exhibition you should see this summer in one of my recent articles, read it here. It’s a great way to escape the heat 🙂

L’Eté de l’Escale du livre

Plenty of free activities for kids will take place this Thursday and Friday (July 11-12) in front of la Salle Des Fêtes Bordeaux Grand-Parc. Check out the full program here.

When:  July 11-12 / Where: 39 Cours de Luze, 33300 Bordeaux, France

Music O Teich

Music O Teich will take place this weekend (July 12-14) at the port of Le Teich in Bassin d’Arcachon. The event includes a big creators market and free concerts every night. For more info click here

When: July 12-14 / Where: 33470 Le Teich, Aquitaine, France

If you want to receive more tips and updates about things happening all over our region join my newsletter where I share a lot of exclusive info for my readers only – sign up here.

A note for newcomers to Bordeaux 🙂

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

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.

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

Lake beaches near Bordeaux 

Plage du Lac d’Hostens – South of Gironde

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

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

Bordeaux Lac – in Bordeaux city

Bordeaux lac
Bordeaux lac by Lost in Bordeaux

If you’re in Bordeaux and prefer to avoid renting/using a car, this beach is perfect for you. Bordeaux Lac has everything you need, a sandy clean beach and a lot of shade from the nearby trees for those who don’t really like the sun. the beach is open to the public daily from June 1st to August 31 and starting July 1st it offers water and beach activities such as sailing, kayaking, mini-golf and more. Check out the list of daily activities here.

La Plage du Moutchic – Lacanau

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

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

Plage Laouga – Close to Arcachon

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

Beaches on the Arcachon Bay – close to Bordeaux

Le Moulleau beach

Day trip from Bordeaux

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

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

Plage Pereire in Arcachon

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

Andernos les bains

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

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

Plage de la Hume – Gujan Mestras 

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

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

Beaches at the Atlantic coast

Plage du Grand Cohort – Lège Cap-Ferret

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

Lacanau Ocean beaches

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

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

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

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

This year Bordeaux launched a fascinating cultural program named Liberté. As the name suggests, many of the exhibitions inaugurated in the last few weeks have the common theme of Freedom. In this article, I decided to gather a list of the best exhibitions being presented in Bordeaux this summer. The exhibitions are very diverse, from street art to design and contemporary art. I must say that this summer the cultural institutions in Bordeaux have done a great job bringing interesting and diverse exhibitions to the city.  So here we go with the list of the best art exhibitions in Bordeaux this summer (2019).

Institut Bernard Magrez – Two street art exhibitions

May 28 – September 1st and July 5 – October 6

wall paintings in Montreal by SETH
photo by: Seth

Two amazing street art exhibitions are going to be presented at the Institut Bernard Magrez throughout the summer. The first one (from May 28 to September 1st) is called Instincts, an exhibition by Mika which is one of Bordeaux’s most prominent street artists. The other one (July 5 – October 6) is an exhibition by one of the most famous street artists in the world, Seth (Julien Mallard) who also happens to be French. For more details click here.

Address: 16 Rue de Tivoli, 33000 Bordeaux

Galerie des beaux arts – La passion de la liberté. Des Lumières au romantisme

June 20 – October 13

For those looking for classic arts in Bordeaux, there are some exciting news this summer. Le Musée des Beaux-Arts and le musée des Arts décoratifs et du Design are presenting a collection from le Musée du Louvre. This exhibition is marking an unprecedented partnership between Bordeaux and the prestigious art institution. ‘La passion de la liberté – Des Lumières au romantisme’ exhibitions hosting works of art from different departments in the Louvre museum, bringing together more than one hundred works – paintings, sculptures and graphic works – created mainly during the 18th and 19th centuries. The exhibition revolves around the concept of Freedom (liberté) which is the theme of all the cultural events in Bordeaux this summer. The idea is to make the public reflect on philosophical, political, ideological, social and economic aspects of freedom through famous works of art. The exhibition will be presented at the Galerie des Beaux-Arts. For more details click here

Address: Place du Colonel Raynal – 33000 Bordeaux

Muséum de Bordeaux – Rire! 

June 24 – January 26, 2020

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 is their language. The new and 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. If you haven’t visited this museum yet, you definitely should! For more details click here.

Address: 5 Place Bardineau, 33000 Bordeaux (in Jadin public)

Musée d’AquitaineLa déferlante surf

June 19, 2019 – January 5, 2020

The Atlantique coasts of the south-west of France are 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 new exhibition, La déferlante surf, 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. For more details click here

Address: 20 Cours Pasteur, 33000 Bordeaux

Musée des Arts décoratifs et du Design (Madd) – Memphis – Plastic Field 

June 22 – January 5, 2020

Memphis is a movement founded in 1981 by Ettore Sottsass,  an Italian architect and designer, which united many young artists who dreamed of shattering the codes of modernism and rationalism. The works of this movement had a great effect on the European design landscape in the past three decades. It has radically changed the language of shapes and colors, focusing on the presence of the object rather than its functionality. This summer the geometric shapes and bright colors of the movement are being hosted by the Madd museum in Bordeaux. For more details click here

Address: 39 Rue Bouffard, 33000 Bordeaux

le Musée Mer Marine –  Sempé en liberté

May 29 – October 6

For its second exhibition, le Musée Mer Marine is hosting about 300 works of the famous cartoonist, Jean-Jacques Sempé who was born in Pessac. Sempé is mostly known for its illustrations in Frech classical kids book series Petit Nicolas and from publications in big magazines like the New Yorker and Paris Match. The sea museum finally opened its doors on June 21, so now you can go see the permanent exhibition as well. See more details here

Address: 89 Rue des Étrangers, 33300 Bordeaux

Rivages et Vertigo Sea – a new exhibition

June 20 – September 22

The Base sous-marine is hosting a new and intriguing exhibition this summer. It is, in fact, a combination of two exhibitions addressing the themes of sea and shore. Rivages is a photography exhibition by the artist Harry Gruyaert and Vertigo Sea is a video installation by the director John Akomfrah. For more information about the exhibition click here.

Address: Boulevard Alfred Daney, 33000 Bordeaux, France

Frac – Il est une fois dans l’Ouest

June 29 – November 9

Frac Bordeaux
Il est une fois dans l’Ouest exhibition’ (Frac) by Lost in Bordeaux

Frac is a cultural institution with a mission to promote contemporary art in Nouvelle Aquitaine. After almost two years of hiatus, it finally opened its doors to the public in the new MECA building. The new exhibition ‘Il est une fois dans l’Ouest’ hosts 15 artistic projects of artists and art curators who are originally from or operate in Nouvelle Aquitaine. I didn’t find all the art installations very interesting but many of them were very good and it was great to discover the artists of the region and the new exhibition space. For more details click here

Address: 54 Quai de Paludate, 33800 Bordeaux

That’s it my art-loving friends! I’m still exploring the art in the region so with time I’ll add more exhibitions to the list. Meanwhile, you can also check out the list of events taking place in July in Bordeaux. Also if you’re here during the weekend check out my weekend list.

Just to remind you that I often update about events and exhibition on my facebook/Instagram accounts so be sure to follow! Also, join my newsletter where I share a lot of exclusive info about Bordeaux and the region – sign up here.

The Bordeaux wine route is one of the most visited attractions in the south west of France. It’s actually not one but five different wine trails around Bordeaux and one of them is the beautiful Medoc region. “Route des chateaux” is the unofficial name of this magnificent wine trail, which combines nature, history and culture in one beautiful road. If you have more than a day to spend on a wine trip in Bordeaux, you should definitely consider Medoc. In two days, you can see a wealth of beautiful chateaux, taste some of the best wines in the world, go to the beach on the Atlantic Ocean and enjoy the local cuisine. The list of things to do in Medoc is quite long and you can easily turn it into a weeklong vacation if you like. However, as most people go to Medoc for a weekend, I decided to write a two-day itinerary. I tried to cover the most important things to do and places to visit in the Medoc Peninsula, so apart from wine related activities I also included recommendations of beautiful villages to visit, beaches, markets, hotels, restaurants and more. I truly hope this article will help you plan your wine trip in the area and will make you fall in love with the marvelous region of Medoc.

If you’re interested in doing more than just one wine route while in Bordeaux, you should check my list of châteaux to visit in Saint Emilion

The Medoc wine region in numbers

The Medoc wine region consists of eight appellations (AOC) covering 16,500 hectares, which include Médoc, Haut-Médoc, Margaux, Pauillac, Saint Julien, Saint-Estéphe, Moulis and Listrac. The Medoc wine is classified according to the Bordeaux wine official classification of 1855 with five levels of Grand cru classé, Premier cru classé being the highest of the five. There are five chateaux classified as Premier cru classé in the Bordeaux area, four of them being in the Medoc area: Château Margaux, Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Latour and Château Mouton Rothschild. The fifth one is Château Haut-Brion from the Graves wine area. Visiting the Medoc Premier cru chateaux can be complicated as they are usually open only to professionals or by appointment. But you don’t really need these four to make it an unforgettable trip. There are 60 Grand cru classé wineries, craft and cooperative chateaux and many other incredible wine chateaux that you can visit on the Medoc route. Now it’s time to discover them, so let’s dive into the two-day itinerary in the Medoc wine route. 

Day one – Châteaux along the Medoc wine road

Start your day from Bordeaux on the D2 road, which is essentially the famous wine road called “Route des châteaux”. It starts at Blanquefort and continues all the way to the top of the Medoc Peninsula. All along the D2 road, you will pass through tens of km of vineyards and châteaux and through towns like Margaux and Pauillac, names you may know from the labels of Bordeaux’s wine bottles. The Medoc wine route is beautiful and you will enjoy it even if you don’t plan to taste any wine at all. Take your time to admire (and take photos of) the breathtaking châteaux that you will randomly see by the road. Some of them are so magical that you start feeling as if you’re on a movie set.

For the full wine route experience you need to actually visit one or several wineries and taste their wines. However, as you will witness, there are so many of them on the D2 road that choosing one or two to visit is practically impossible without some guidance.

Visiting a château in Medoc – how to go on a wine tour?

Visiting a wine château in Medoc is a marvelous experience providing you with a glimpse into wine-making in one of the most prestigious wine areas in the world. Most guided visits in the wineries will start with a tour of the properties, many of which carry historic value. Often this includes the story of a wine making family over several generations. Some châteaux also hold little art museums with family collections. Others display impressive exhibitions of art in their gardens or even in the cellars themselves. In some cases, the property won’t be very impressive but the warm welcome of the family will make it an unforgettable visit. 

Chateau Siran
Château Siran private collection – by lost in Bordeaux

The second part of the visit deals with the wine itself. You get to visit the vineyards and hear the characteristics of different types of grapes and blends. In most tours, you will continue to the cellars and see some old and new techniques of wine making. And there’s always the fun part, the tastings, where you get to taste two or three different wines of the château. 

There are many wineries who welcome visitors to their wineries but it’s important to know that they usually require prior reservations for the tour. However, if you come spontaneously and ask to have a quick look on the property and taste some wine, many of them will happily welcome you inside (if they’re not in the middle of a tour). If you don’t want to be calling the wineries yourself you can buy tickets to many of the tours through the tourist office in Pauillac.

Don’t try to run and see tens of chateaux, there are just too many of them, just take your time to enjoy a few. I recommend visiting two or three châteaux just for the sake of comparison. 

Coming from Bordeaux, make the first stop at the southern appellations, not far from the Margaux area. As it’s located only about 30 km from Bordeaux city, you can make it early and still have time to visit more chateaux that day. Some of the châteaux I really loved in this area are: Chateau de Taillan which is owned by 5 sisters; Chateau d’Arsac, one of the most beautiful properties in Medoc with an extravagant display of art in its enormous gardens. Closer to Margaux itself you have the charming family-run Chateau Siran and Chateau Kirwan

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

The town of Margeaux

Margaux isn’t very impressive on its own, but there are several reasons for a quick stop there during your trip. First one being Mademoiselle de Margaux, a chocolate shop and factory with chocolates you can find only in the region. The factory was created in Margaux in 1969, and produces delicious chocolates that are inspired by wine. If you’re looking for an original present to bring back home from Medoc, this is one of the best options. Also, Margaux is home to one of the most famous châteaux in the world, Château Margaux. They don’t offer visits to individuals but you can still take a walk around some of their facilities and see the magnificent mansion through the gate. If it’s lunch time, there are a few restaurants in the center. Remember, in France all the restaurants close for a break at 14:00 so try not to miss the lunch slot!

Pauillac

Next on our route du vin is Paulliac, one of the main wine destinations in the Bordeaux area. It’s a very nice town with a charming riverfront where you’ll find plenty of restaurants. If you want to stop for a nice meal of mussels and wine, les Moules du Cabanon on the riverfront is the perfect place. Pauillac is also home to the famous Café Lavinal, one of the most renowned dining institutions in the area. If you wish to discover the traditional food of Medoc, this is the place for you. 

Château cos d'estournel on the Bordeaux wine route
Château cos d’Estournel by Lost in Bordeaux

After lunch, head to the Tourist Office and the Maison du Vin which is located on the riverfront. Contrary to many tourist offices, this one is a very informative resource to all you can do in the area. They have recently launched a new interactive activity for kids and adults where you get to practice your wine smelling skills. They can also advise you on the closest wineries to visit in the afternoon. There are plenty of impressive chateaux to see in the northern area of Medoc, both in Pauillac, Saint Julien and Saint-Estéphe. Some of the most impressive and interesting ones are Château Beychevelle, Château Cos d’Estournel, Château La Tour de By, Château la Tour Carnet, Château Lafon-Rochet and Château Pichon Longueville Baron. As mentioned above, many of the wineries require you to book the visits in advance so go to their sites to see more details.

Château Loudenne for a special experience!

Château Loudenne was one of my favorite experiences in the region. It’s a 17th-century mansion, known as château rose, the pink house, which you get to explore during the visit.  The château is located almost at the end of the wine route and is the only château in Medoc that has a private port, with a beautiful view on the Garonne Estuary. Apart from the impressive property, they have a beautiful garden where you can take a walk after tasting their divine wine. They offer two free tours at 11 am and 2 pm during the touristic period and will welcome you without reservation when it’s less busy.

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

If you arrive for the morning visit (11am) you can spend the whole day at the château. They offer an amazing picnic basket (which you should order ahead) so if the weather is nice you can have a picnic on the river banks. There are boats that pass by the port several times a week, proposing a guided tour of the Gironde estuary. Book the boat tour at the same day as it will depend on the tide. Chateau Loudenne is open from Tuesday to Saturday, check out their contact details on their website.

Have dinner on the Port of Saint Vivien de Medoc 

The northern part of the Medoc peninsula is a magical place most travelers don’t get to see. Starting from Château Loudenne the vineyard landscape starts to change into a completely different scenario of little ports on the Gironde Estuary. Several little port villages lay between the last châteaux and Le Verdon sur Mer, the northernmost point of Medoc. One that I found especially charming was Saint Vivien de Medoc, with a cute little port with several restaurants and bars perched along the river. My favorite one was la Cabane du Port, a charming tapas bar with comfy chairs, great food and a great view of the docking boats. The Kayak Café is also great for a more substantial meal. 

The port of Saint Vivien de Medoc
The port of Saint Vivien de Medoc by Lost in Bordeaux

Visit Phare de Richard and the traditional fishing houses

Phare de Richard is an old lighthouse turned into a nice museum telling the story of the Estuary and the fishing industry around it. If you come during the opening hours you can climb to the top and see a beautiful view of the Estuary. However, the site is worth a visit even without entering the lighthouse just to see the Carrelets, the traditional fishing cabins. The site also has a very nice picnic area with a small playground for kids.

 Carrelets in Medoc
Carrelets in Medoc by Lost in Bordeaux

Second Day – from wine to the ocean – discovering Medoc Atlantic

Soulac Sur Mer – the Arcachon of Medoc

This charming little town is one of the highlights of the Medoc region, located at the very top of the Medoc Atlantique, about 90 km (55 miles) from Bordeaux. Soulac sur mer looks like a little Arcachon, with the city center resembling Ville d’été and the impressive 18th-century villas has a similar architectural style of Ville d’Hiver in Arcachon (For more details about Arcachon click here). Soulac has some of the most beautiful beaches on the Atlantic coast, attracting many French tourists to the area. There are plenty of cute little restaurants both in the center and on the promenade. Seafood is a very important part of the local cuisine and so many restaurants will serve oysters and large shrimps. While there, don’t forget to visit the amazing covered market of the region that sell all the delicacies of the area. Also, if you want to stop for a coffee, Livres Et Cornets is a cute chic cafe on the main pedestrian street. 

Soulac sur mer
Soulac sur mer by Lost in Bordeaux

Sunday Market at Montalivet les Bains

The Montalivet market is not to be missed if you happen to be there on Sunday morning. This is one of the biggest markets in the area, hosting more than 200 merchants all year long. Here you will find all the delicacies of the region, the Medoc wine, oysters from Cap Ferret and Île de Ré, cheese from the Basque country and more. But the real attraction of the market is the oysters stands where plenty of people gather to sip white wine accompanied by this local delicacy. By 11am it gets really crowded so try to make it as early as possible. 

The Montalivet market
The Montalivet market by Lost in Bordeaux

Due to its location on the Atlantic coast, Montalivet les Bains became a popular destination for surfers. The city center, which is located close to the main beach, looks like a typical surf resort town with plenty of surf and water equipment shops. All along the main street, restaurant owners will invite you to have a drink or lunch on their terraces. The highlight for me was the gallery café, located just in front of the market, which is both a very chic coffee place and a vintage shop. They serve delicious fresh food and it’s a perfect spot for a brunch. The address is 49 Avenue Brémontier, 33930 Vendays-Montalivet.  If you’re travelling with kids, this town can be a nice break for lunch but I didn’t find the beach very kids friendly. 

Visit Vertheuil – an old beautiful village

If you’re done with wine and the ocean (if that’s at all possible) there’s one last stop to make on the way back from your Bordeaux wine route. Vertheuil is probably one of the most charming little towns in the Medoc area. It’s located somewhere in the middle of the peninsula so it can be on your way whether you still have some wineries to visit or want to go back straight to Bordeaux.  It’s a very small village surrounding the Abbey of Vertheuil that dates back to the 12th century (and reconstructed in the 18th century). At the back of the Abbey there’s a lovely garden with a terrace cafe and even a little playground for kids. The Abbaye of Vertheuil is open from Tuesday to Sunday in the afternoon on July and August. 

the Abbey of Vertheuil
The Abbey of Vertheuil by Lost in Bordeaux

If you’re hungry there’s a nice little Italian restaurant right in the center of the village called Casa Trogarra.

Where to stay in the Medoc area?

There are plenty of accommodation options in the Medoc area, you just have to decide on the setting and view. You can spend a night in the vineyards and enjoy the calm atmosphere, sleep in a gorgeous chateaux on the Route des chateaux or have a more lively vibe in the center of Soulac sur mer. Here are some good options:

Hotels in Medoc

Château de l’Isle

An exceptional bed and breakfast in a beautiful 18th-century house, located between Margaux and the two lakes of Medoc Lacanau and Hourtin. The breakfast is served outside in the beautiful garden, just next to the pool. They provide their guests with bikes so you can even enjoy a bicycle ride in the vineyards of Medoc. They have only four rooms in the chateau so try and book as early as possible. 
Book it here

Relais de Margaux

A 4 star hotel located in a beautiful 19th century chateau in the heart of the Margaux vineyards in Médoc.  The hotel has beautiful and spacious rooms and offers a spa and an outdoor pool. There’s also a golf course but it’s currently closed for renovation. 
Book it here

Sleeping in a wine Chateau

You’re travelling on the wine road so why not make your hotel part of the journey and stay in one of the wine producing chateaux that also offer accommodations? Here are some options:

Hotel Rollan de By

A beautiful 3 stars hotel located in one of the most gorgeous areas in the Medoc, between the vineyards and the Gironde Estuary. The hotel is quite close to the little ports I’ve mentioned above meaning you have a lot of options for dinner. Rollan de By is an active winery so you can have a wine tour and tastings while staying at the chateau, how great is that?
Book it here

Château du Tertre

chateau-du-Tertre
credit Chateau-du-Tertre

This is a beautiful guesthouse, located in a 19th century mansion. The rooms are elegantly decorated and have a view on the vineyards of the estate. You also get a free tour in the château and the cellars, which are quite remarkable. This is the closest hotel to Bordeaux, so if you want to visit Bordeaux and the Medoc area without changing your accommodation, this is a great option. 
Book it here

Château La Tour Carnet

If you want to feel like you’re staying in a real castle, this is your best option. Château La Tour Carnet is a famous winery located in one of Médoc’s oldest estates, a former medieval fortress. The amazing room decorations and the setting in a 12th century castle is an experience like no other in the Medoc area. There are only two rooms in the chateau so it’s almost private. The stay here is not cheap but its truly exceptional!
Book it here 

Château Pierre de Montignac 

This is a more simple and affordable place if you want to stay in a wine chateau. The rooms are comfortable and clean and you get a nice breakfast in the morning. And you even get a gift bottle as a gift 🙂
Book it here

Soulac sur mer – for a more lively stay

Au cœur de la station et de la plage 

A charming apartment in the center of Soulac sur mer, just a few minutes walk from the main beach.
Book it here

Villa Le Cid 

A guest house in one of Soulac’ most beautiful villas. The rooms are quite simple but the house is incredible and the staff is amazing. It’s located a few minutes walk from the market of Soulac.
Book it here

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

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

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

Enjoy Medoc!!

Now that the French ‘vacances’ are knocking on the door, Bordeaux is officially turning into one big music, dance and art festival. Starting July, plenty of festivals will take place all over the metropole. You can go dancing on the quai, listen to free music concerts on the other side of the Garone or listen to classical music concerts in different locations around Bordeaux. Apart from that, there are street art and food truck festivals and let’s not forget the summer sales!!!  Here’s the list of things to do in Bordeaux in July 2019. For many more events in and around Bordeaux don’t forget to follow the weekend list on the blog. 

Dance on the Quai

Dansons sur les Quais is a series of dancing classes and events where people gather to dance together and learn a variety of dancing genres like Tango, Salsa, Bollywood, Forro, Hip Hop, Street Jazz, Zumba, Country and more. These activities will be guided by professional dancers from different dance schools in Bordeaux and they are completely free, so this is a great opportunity you don’t want to miss. The dancing events will take place on the quai almost daily from mid- July to mid – August. For more details and the full program check out the website of Dansons sur les Quai.

When:  Daily from July 14 to August 18 / Where: Quai Louis XVIII, 33000 Bordeaux

The summer pavilion on the right side of the river

Like every summer in the last five years, the Orangeade association opens its summer pavilion on le Quai Deschamps (in the Bastide neighborhood) with live concerts every Friday (18:00 – 01:00) and Saturday (12:00 to 01:00). These events, however, are not just music concerts but rather a place for friends and families to spend the weekend with yoga classes, creative workshops, activities for kids and more. The events will take place throughout the summer from July 5 to August 31 and are free. For the specific program of each event, follow my weekend posts about what to do in Bordeaux. For more details click here.

When:  From July 5 to August 31 / Where: Quai Deschamps, 33100 Bordeaux, France

Bordeaux Metropolitan Summer

Like every year Bordeaux Metropolitan invites you to discover the city and the area around it through a series of cultural events and activities. More than 100 activities of music, dance, public reading, theater, circus and gastronomy will take place between June 20 and August 31. These events are so widely spread across the metropolitan area of Bordeaux that you are guaranteed to discover places (especially parks) that you have never heard of before: Parc d’Observation in Floirac, Parc du Viver in Merignac, Parc Camponac in Pessac and many more. Check out the full program of events here.

When:  Daily from June 20 to August 31 / Where: Bordeaux Metropolitan – check out the exact location of every event in the program.

Summer Sales

Soldes d’été are six weeks in the summer during which you can find really good deals on clothes, shoes, electric supplies, toys and more. Les soldes d’été will take place from June 26 to August 6.

Zinefest

Zinefest is a festival dedicated to comics, illustrations, photography and poetry. The festival includes several expositions and concerts by both French and international artists and will take place in several venues in the south of Bordeaux. Check out the full program of events here.

When: July 1-7 / Where: Different locations next to Marché des Douves in Bordeaux Sud (check out the program).

Jalles House Rock

Le Jalles House Rock is one of the biggest rock festivals in Gironde that annually proposes a rich program of local and international acts. The goal of the festival is to share the love for rock music with as many people as possible and that’s why the entrance is free (they do however encourage you to donate to the Estran association that organizes the event). This year the festival in Saint-Médard-en-Jalles takes place on July 4-6. For more details check out the website of the festival.

When: July 4-6 / Where: 1, chemin de Cantelaude, 33160 Saint-Médard-en-Jalles

Festival Rues et Vous

This is the 12th edition of Festival Rue et Vous , a performance arts festival that takes place every year in the charming medieval town of Rions. This year the festival will take place on July 5-7 and will include a rich program of theater, dance, circus and music shows for both adults and kids. For tickets and the full program check out the website of the festival.

When: July 5-7 / Where: Rions

Summer of Music in Medoc

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 concerts will take place on July 3-12. See the full program here.

When:  July 3 -12 / Where: Different locations, see program above

Celebrate the French National Day

July 14th is the French national day which is celebrated in every city in France. Like every year, Bordeaux will hold a series of popular events and parties, the main ones are:

14 Juillet Bordeaux
  • Military parade at Quai des Chartrons –  18:30
  • The traditional dance party at Placette de Munich – Quai Louis XVIII (in front of Quinconces) – 20:30
  • Fireworks show above the Garonne river between Pont de Pierre and Place de la Bourse – 22:45

Apart from the traditional national day events, plenty of other parties will take place on July 13-14 to celebrate this day. Follow the blog for updates.

Bordeaux Food-truck Festival

This is the biggest gathering of food trucks in the region of Nouvelle Aquitaine. Tens of different food trucks will be spread around the Gironde department in five events that will take place between June and September. This festival aims to mix street food with the finesse of the wine world. As part of this gastronomic event, visitors can taste the wines of the hosting châteaux and the specialties of food coming from all corners of the world: French, Italian, Brazilian and many more. The program of the festival also includes free concerts, exhibitions, escape games, activities for kids and more. This month two food truck events will take place in the Medoc region.
* Food truck festival at the Festival de Jazz de Lesparre on July 19-20. See more details here. (When: July 19-20 / Where:  Lesparre-Médoc).
* Food truck festival at Chateau Castera on July 21st – see more details here. (When: July 21 / Where:  Rue du Bourg, 33340 Saint-Germain-d’Esteuil)

The events are free but require prior reservation – you can do it here. See all the details about the five weekends of the Bordeaux food truck festival here.

Les Nouvelles Saisons – music festival

Les Nouvelles Saisons is a classic music festival taking place in Bordeaux on July 16-25 in three locations: Cour Mably, Cathédrale de Bordeaux and la Grande Poste. The festival was created by the violoncellist Jeremy Genet and the composer Christian Lauba offering a great variety of musical styles (baroque, romantic, modern and more). For more details and tickets click here.

When: July 16-25 / Where: Different location in Bordeaux

La Bataille de Castillon

La Bataille de Castillon is a spectacle taking place during more than 10 evenings in the summer, replicating the famous fight from 1453. Castillon-la-Bataille, the town where the show takes place also hosts many activities and events revolving the big show: tours of the city, exhibitions and workshops of medieval art and more. For more info and tickets click here.

BATAILLE-de-CASTILLONjpg405
When: July 19 – August 24 / Where: Association 1453, Mairie de Castillon, 33350 CASTILLON-LA-BATAILLE

Braderie d’été

Every summer the main streets of Bordeaux are getting filled with stands of clothes, shoes, toys, house supplies and more – this is the Bordeaux summer 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 July 17-20. For more details click here.

When: July 17-20 / Where: Center of Bordeaux: rue Porte Dijeaux, rue Sainte Catherine and rue des Trois Conils

Arcachon En Scene

Archachon en Scene is a popular music festival that brings big French and international acts to perform in this beautiful town. This year’s program includes Amir and Kimberose (July 29) and GIMS  (August 2). For more info check out the facebook page of the event, for tickets click here.

When: July 28 29, August 2 / Where: Stade Vélodrome d’Arcachon

Bordeaux Open Air

Bordeaux Open Air is a series of free summer electronic music events, all set in different locations and with a great city vibe to them. Every event is dedicated to a different country and hosts its DJ’s for sets of electronic music. The first event this summer will take place on June 30 at Square Dom Bedos and the second one on July 7 at Jardin public. The locations of the following events have not been published yet. For more details click here.

When:  June 30, July 7, July 14. July 28 / Where: Follow the website for the exact location

Quai des Sports

This is the 11th edition of this fun sportive event that takes place every summer (July 13 to August 11) at the Parc des sports Saint Michel.  The program this month includes a variety of sportive activities such as a fitness night, beach volleyball, basketball, BMX, beach wrestling and more. The festival will be accompanied by artistic and music events. Many of the activities are aimed for kids and teenagers and are a perfect solution for entertaining them in the center of Bordeaux during the summer.  Check the full program here.

When: Daily from July 13 to August 11 / Where: Parc des sports Saint Michel, Bordeaux

Puppet Theater for Kids

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

When: Daily during July – August at 16:00 / Where: Parc Bordelais

Two street art exhibitions

Two amazing street art exhibitions are going to presented at the Institut Bernard Magrez throughout the summer. The first one (from May 28 to September 1st) is called Instincts, an exhibition by Mika which is one of Bordeaux’s most prominent street artists. The other one (July 5 – October 6) is an exhibition by one of the most famous street artists in the world, Seth (Julien Mallard) who also happens to be French. For more details click here.

When: All summer  / Where: 16 rue de Tivoli, Bordeaux

Rivages et Vertigo Sea – a new exhibition

The Base sous marine is hosting a new and intriguing exhibition starting June 21. It is, in fact, a combination of two exhibitions addressing the themes of sea and shore. Rivages is a photography exhibition by the artist Harry Gruyaert and VertigoSea is a video installation by the director John Akomfrah. For more information about the exhibition click here.

When:  June 21 – September 22 / Where: Boulevard Alfred Daney, 33000 Bordeaux, France

Dance at la guingette chez Alriq

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

When: all summer / Where: ZA Quai des Queyries, Port Bastide, 33100 Bordeaux

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

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

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

Bordeaux is a very touristic city and as such it’s packed with boutique and budget hotels. However, not all of them offer good value for your money and finding a good hotel can be a hard task. That’s why I gathered this list of hotels to help you out.
This list includes hotels from the city center and from surrounding districts. I included both basic hotels and beautifully designed boutique ones so the price range is quite big and you can easily find a place that fits your budget and needs. If this is your first visit to France, read my short article about things you should know before ordering a hotel in France.

This post includes affiliate links, meaning that if you book a hotel through my links I’ll receive a small commission. It will cost you nothing, and you will be supporting the work I do at Lost in Bordeaux. So thank you 🙂

Hotels in the center of Bordeaux – from budget to luxury

Mama Shelter

A super stylish central hotel with a great atmosphere and an incredibly good value for your money. Mama Shelter is part of a chain of hotels, located in several cities in France. It has 97 colorful and funky rooms designed by Philippe Starck. The hotel is located next to Hotel de Ville and so it’s very close to the historic center of the city. You’re at a walking distance from all the bars, boutiques and monuments the city has to offer. It has a great restaurant and one of the best rooftop bars, with an amazing view of Bordeaux. The price is really affordable, especially if you book in advance.

Address: 19 Rue Poquelin Molière

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Le Boutique hotel

boutique hotel in Bordeuax

The Boutique Hotel is a 4- star luxury hotel which is quite popular among Bordeaux tourists. It’s located in the elegant district of Triangle d’Or, at just a few minutes walk from the Opera. The owners designed the rooms themselves with a lot of charm, combining the historic elements of the building with a more modern design. Each of the 27 rooms and suites reveals a different atmosphere and is named after one of the region’s famous chateaux. If you come with kids there are a few large apartment style rooms available.  The rooms come with a view of Bordeaux’s rooftops or the green courtyard which also has a beautiful wine bar. Parking is not provided but you have a reduced price in the parking lot next to the hotel.

Address: 3 Rue Lafaurie Monbadon

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Hôtel Majestic

hotel majestic bordeaux

Hôtel Majestic is another establishment located close to the Opera of Bordeaux. The 4-star hotel, situated in a beautiful 18th-century building has 47 rooms, each with its own specific decor. The hotel is a few minutes walk from the Miroir d’eau and the historic center. But as it’s in the north part of the center it’s also quite close to Jardin Public which is perfect for sunny days. All the chic wine and chocolate boutiques are located just a few steps away. Private parking is available in the hotel.

Address: 2 Rue de Condé

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Hôtel de sèze

hôtel de sèze bordeaux

Hôtel de sèze is a 4-star hotel, located in the fancy Triangle d’Or district next
to many luxury boutiques and wine and chocolate shops. Situated in a beautiful 18th-century building, the hotel has 55 rooms with 18th-century decor that gives it a very elegant look. It also harbors a spa (not commonly seen in Bordeaux’s hotels), a beautiful library and a golf course (15 minutes by shuttle).

Address: 23 Allées de Tourny

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Best Western Premier Bordeaux Bayonne Etche-Ona

Best Western Premier Bordeaux Bayonne Etche Ona

This is a 4-star hotel with 33 rooms complete with a late 20s art-deco atmosphere. The hotel is made of two beautiful houses dating from the 18th century, the Bayonne and the Etche-Ona, with an interesting story behind each one. A perfect location, just a minute walk from the Opera and next to le Marche des Grands-Hommes where you can buy some delicious souvenirs to bring back home. If you need a good coffee in the morning, Kuro is just a minute away. Parking requires prior reservation.

Address: 4 Rue Martignac

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Quality hotel

quality hotel bordeaux

This hotel is located in the Saint Pierre district of Bordeaux, probably the best location you could think of.  It’s the heart of Bordeaux’s historic center and the best bars and restaurants are just around the corner. The hotel itself is a simple 3-star hotel but it’s very clean and has everything you need for a nice stay. This is a great value considering its location. It’s important to note that the hotel doesn’t have a parking space but they do have a partnership with the parking lot of the Grand Hommes (5 minutes walk) with reduced prices at around 15 euros a day. The parking is closed on Sunday.

Address: 27 Rue Parlement Sainte-Catherine

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Hotel Gambetta

hotel gambeta bordeaux

A very basic 2-star hotel, perfectly located just a few minutes walk from the hotel de Ville and the opera. There’s nothing very special about the decor or its atmosphere but it’s clean and very affordable. And as a bonus, you have one of the best coffee places in Bordeaux, L’alchimiste, just next door. The parking is a six minutes walk from the hotel and requires prior reservation.

Address: 66 Rue de la Porte Dijeaux

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Hôtel Acanthe

acanthe hotel Bordeaux

A 2-star hotel located at the heart of the historic center of Bordeaux. It’s a basic hotel with small but clean rooms. The location is perfect! It’s situated on rue saint Remi, a street full of bars and restaurants, and just two minutes from the Miroir-d’eau, one of Bordeaux’s main attractions.
It’s a great value if you want to stay in the city center.

Address: 12 Rue Saint-Rémi, 33000 Bordeaux

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La Maison du Lierre

la maison du lierre bordeaux

This is a 3-star boutique hotel situated in a beautiful 18th-century house. La Maison du Lierre was named after the 200 years old ivy covering its terrace. It’s located on a quiet street, away from the hustle but just a few minutes walk to the opera of Bordeaux. The rooms are small but very nice and clean and it has a beautiful terrace which is a real upgrade.

Address: 57 Rue Huguerie

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Where to stay in the surrounding districts of Bordeaux center

Villa Victor Louis

hotel victor louis Bordeaux

Villa victor Louis is a charming boutique hotel with beautiful decor that combines 18th-century  furniture with a contemporary style. You have a wonderful outdoor space where you can relax on sunny days. It’s located in the quiet Saint Seurin neighborhood, a few minutes walk from the main park of Bordeaux and the elegant Triangle d’Or district. While you won’t be located in the heart of the historic center (a 15 min walk), you’ll benefit from being a few minutes away from one of the best patisseries in Bordeaux, Maison Lamour.

Address: 42 Rue Rodrigues-Pereire

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Seeko’o Hotel

seekoo hotel bordeaux

A 4-star hotel located in the north of the Chartrons neighborhood. A bit out of the historic center but a good location nonetheless. The Seeko’o hotel has 44 spacious rooms with a chic and urban style, very different from the classic hotels in the city center. Some of the rooms’ windows turn to the bassin-a-flot, an old port with plenty of boats and a very unique architecture. The hotel also offers a sauna and a hammam which is a lovely bonus. The parking requires a reservation as there are only 10 places available.

Personal note: if it’s a short stay and you really want to feel the vibe of the center of Bordeaux, then this hotel is a bit far. If you don’t mind walking 20 minutes to the city center (or taking the tram) then it could be a great option. It’s located at the southern border of the Bacalan neighborhood, which is now one of the coolest neighborhoods in the city, with a beautiful covered market, the wine museum and plenty of street art so you will enjoy your stay nontheless. Discover this funky district with my post about the best things to do in Bacalan.

Address: 54 Quai de Bacalan

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Ibis Styles Bordeaux Centre Mériadeck

ibis styles meriadeck bordeaux

There’s nothing fancy about this one but it’s a decent clean nicely designed hotel. The rooms are air-conditioned which is a big bonus if you’ll be staying in Bordeaux during the summer. It’s located at the Meriadeck district about 15 minutes walk from the historic center of Bordeaux. Not far from the hotel you can find the Meriadeck, the only shopping mall in the city center, and the ice skating rink of Bordeaux.

It’s the administrative district of Bordeaux and it’s not very chic, so if you really have the urge to feel the vibe of the historic center when you go out of the hotel, look at some of the hotels at the begining of this article. If you need a good coffee place, Gusco is perfect and nearby. All-in-all It’s a nice hotel and because the location isn’t perfect the price is usually affordable.

Address: 54 Rue Joseph Abria

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Maison Fredon – Tupina

maison fredon bordeaux

Maison Fredon is a little boutique hotel located in a renovated beautiful 18th-century building. There are only five rooms in this hotel, all uniquely designed to combine modern decor with the classic style of a bourgeois bordelaise house. The rooms are very spacious which is uncommon in French hotels. It’s located in Saint Michel, an old neighborhood just outside the historic center of Bordeaux, a special place by itself. In recent years it gained popularity having plenty of bars and restaurants open up on a monthly basis. In the same property you’ll find a very popular restaurant, Tupina, serving delicious French food.

On a personal note: This is a perfect gourmet location. It’s only 5 minutes walk from the main market of Bordeaux and has five restaurants on the same street. It’s also a few minutes walk from the train station, which can be great from those of you traveling by train. discover the Saint Michel neighborhood check out my post about the best things to do in Saint Michel.

Address: 7 Rue Porte de la Monnaie

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Where to stay next to the train station of Bordeaux

Many people are looking for accommodations next to the train station as they are traveling to the area by train. That’s why I added two affordable hotels just next to gare Saint-Jean, although I’m not a big fan of this area.

Hôtel Mercure de la Gare Saint-Jean

The first one is hôtel Mercure de la gare Saint-Jean, one of the best options in the area. While the hotel is a bit old the rooms are clean and comfortable and the staff is very welcoming. It’s a 4-star hotel but very affordable. It’s located just a few minutes walk from the station but very close to one of the most beautiful churches in Bordeaux, L’église Sainte-Croix.

Address: 28 – 30 Rue de Tauzia

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Ibis gare saint jean

ibis gare saint jean bordeaux

If you’re on a limited budget, Ibis gare saint jean could be a good solution as well. It’s not the most charming hotel but it’s definitely a good value for its price. It’s a 3-star hotel with nice clean rooms and it’s located 300m from the station.

Address: 19 Quai de Paludate

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I hope this post was helpful for finding accommodation on your next trip to Bordeaux! Just remember that Bordeaux is not a huge city so all of these hotels are relatively close to the center. If you found a hotel that interests you, it’d be amazing if you book it through the links on my site. It’ll add absolutely nothing to your cost and will allow me to continue writing more fun and useful articles about things to do in Bordeaux and Southwest France!

One last thing before I go, if it’s your first visit to Bordeaux, check out my ultimate guide to a weekend in Bordeaux.

Thank you my dear readers!

Bordeaux is located in one of the most beautiful areas in France, surrounded by charming villages, impressive chateaux, vineyards and sandy beaches. When visiting the city, many are looking for day trips from Bordeaux that will allow them to discover the area without driving for hours. And you can indeed easily fill your visits here with amazing day trips from the city. However, many of these places are hidden secrets to most tourists and information is not easy to find online. That’s why I decided to make this list of places to visit around Bordeaux. I tried to make it as diverse as I could to help anyone find its perfect spot for a day trip. It’s important to notice that most of these locations are not very accessible by public transport, so renting a car is recommended. For those of you that prefer not to go by car, be sure to check up my article about the best day trips from Bordeaux by train.

Wine related day tips around Bordeaux

Saint Émilion

Saint Émilion is probably the most famous wine related day trip from Bordeaux. Its picturesque center, densely filled with wine shops and fancy restaurants, turns this little town into a prominent attraction for tourists in the area. Saint Émilion is mostly famous for its wines so a visit to one of the châteaux (wineries) is a must. The charming town, however, is worth a visit even if you’re not a wine lover. Important historical monuments can be found in abundance in this medieval town, some of which date back as far as the 11th and 12th centuries. One of the famous monuments is the 11th-century Monolithic church, carved from a limestone cliff, it’s the largest underground church in Europe.

best wineries in Saint Emilion

There is a direct train from Bordeaux to Saint Émilion however if you want to visit some of the distant chateaux in the region, coming by car is recommended. There is just one problem is Saint Émilion, there are just too many beautiful spots to visit and it’s really hard to choose just a few! In my article about the best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion, I cover both the most interesting chateaux and the most welcoming wine producing families in the area so check it out!

The Medoc Wine Route

The Medoc is one of the most famous wine regions in the world, attracting many wine enthusiasts to the Medoc wine route. The famous route is a never-ending road (the D2) leading from the northern part of Bordeaux Metropole (start in Blanquefort) to almost the northernmost point in Gironde. An infinite landscape of vineyards adorned with mesmerizing châteaux. A view that will leave you speechless even if you don’t like wine.

Chateau d'Arsac in the Medoc
Chateau d’Arsac by lost in Bordeaux

There are about 600 châteaux along the Medoc wine trail. You probably won’t have time to visit most of them, but luckily, some of the most beautiful ones can be seen from the road so all you have to do is stop for a quick photo. The most famous wine houses (like Château Margeaux and Château Mouton Rothschild) are open only to professionals but don’t worry, there are plenty of beautiful properties you can visit. Some of the prettiest and more interesting are Château d’Arsac, Château Siran, Château Beychevelle and Château Cos d’Estournelle. If you don’t mind going a little further to the north I highly recommend visiting the last chateau on the trail, Château Loudenne. This charming (it’s pink!) old château has a huge garden and its own port so apart from the wine visit, you can have a lovely picnic or take a boat tour. Make sure you book your visit to the wineries before going there as it can get quite busy in the summer.

Cognac

Tasting Cognac
Tasting Cognac – Lost in Bordeaux

Wine is not the only alcoholic drink the Southwest of France is known for! Bordeaux is located about 120 km (75 miles) from Cognac, an area that produces one of the most luxurious spirits in the world. The town of Cognac, located in the Charente department, is a charming and interesting place that’s worth a visit even if you’re not a big fan of Cognac. The old center of the city is characterized by narrow paved streets with houses dating from the 16th and 17th century. Some of the most famous Cognac houses are located right in the city center, among them, you’ll find Hennessy, Martell and Rémy Martin.  All of them offer tours which normally include a visit to the cellars and Cognac tastings. You can read more about Cognac in my post about the 10 best things to do in Cognac. While it’s possible to get to Cognac by train, it’s quite a long journey so going by car is recommended.

Discover the sandy beaches around Bordeaux

Arcachon

dune du Pilat - one day trips from Bordeaux
Dune du Pilat – Lost in Bordeaux

Arcachon is one of the most popular summer destinations in the southwest of France. A seaside resort town renowned for its beautiful beaches, impressive architecture and vibrant atmosphere. Within an hour drive from Bordeaux you get  to swim in the ocean, eat oysters and see beautiful villas. A day trip from Bordeaux to Arcachon can easily take a whole day but many tend to combine it with a visit to the Dune du Pilat, the tallest sand dune in Europe and one of the most popular destinations in France.

I recently wrote a post about the best things to do and see in and around the town of Arcachon, which is one of the main tourist destinations on the Arcachon Bay. So take a look at it before you head to the area. You can reach Arcachon by train, however coming by car will allow you to easily access the dune and to visit other places on the bay, such as Gujan Mestas and the Teich bird reserve.

Soulac sur mer

This charming little town is one of the highlights of the Medoc region. It’s located on the very top of the Medoc Atlantique, about 90 km (55 miles) from Bordeaux. If this is too far for you, you can combine it with the wine trail in Medoc which I mentioned above.

Soulac sur Mer is a resort town that resembles Arcachon, with the city center looking like Ville d’été and the impressive 18th-century villas that look just like Ville d’Hiver. Soulac has some of the most beautiful beaches on the Atlantic coast, attracting many French tourists to the area. There are plenty of cute little restaurants both in the center and on the promenade. Seafood is a very important part of the local cuisine and so many restaurants will serve oysters and large shrimps.

Villas in Soulac sur Mer
Villas in Soulac sur Mer

When there, take a map in the tourist office and go on a discovery tour of the most interesting villas. I highly recommend coming here at the beginning of June during the festive weekend of Soulac 1900, a really fun Jazz festival.

Cap Ferret

oysters in Cap Ferret

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

Cap Ferret is shaped like a narrow tongue with a long string of beautiful sandy beaches on the Atlantic ocean and a view on the eastern side of the Bassin. It’s also one of the main producers of oysters in France due to its location on the bay that creates perfect conditions for the ostréiculture industry. Dozens of oyster cabins and restaurants with a view on the Bassin give Cap Ferret a unique character that’s worth a visit and a taste.

The Biscarrosse lake

Lac de Biscarrosse
Lac de Biscarrosse – lost in Bordeaux

This one is a great option for a day in nature. If you don’t mind driving a bit longer, the beautiful Biscarrosse lake is located about 70 km (45 miles) from Bordeaux. It is one of the biggest lakes in the area with plenty of amazing beaches and pine forest surrounding it. As it’s so big there are several beaches to choose from, some of which are Plage Navarrose and Plage de Caton. Aquapark, the biggest inflatable water park in France is located on Plage Maguide. If you’re into surfing, head to the beaches on the Atlantic coast. You can also start the day with a biking trail on the canal, connecting the big and little lakes.

A day trip to beautiful villages

Bazas

Bazas is a beautiful town with lovely people and a great heritage embodying the Gascony culture. It’s located at the eastern edge of the Gascon Landes forest, about 65 km (40 miles) from Bordeaux. A stroll in the historic center will allow you to discover the rich history of the city and its past role as an important bishopric. Its beautiful architecture includes the gothic cathedral (recognized as a World Heritage site by UNESCO), old mansions, gardens and historic monuments.

Bazas
Bazas by lost in Bordeaux

Heritage is not the only attraction of this charming town, it’s actually quite famous for its gastronomy, especially its meat. You can enjoy the Bazas meat in one of the restaurants that are perfectly located on the main square. True meat lovers could also buy meat in one of the many butcher shops in the center. If you’re looking for a full gastronomic experience to discover the cuisine of the region, there’s one tour you shouldn’t miss. Anne, an American living is Bazas is an expert on everything related to food in the region. She knows all the farmers and chefs around Bazas and a guided tour with her is an experience you don’t want to miss. Check out her website.

Blaye

Blaye
Blaye – by Lost in Bordeaux

Blaye is one of the most interesting places in the Bordeaux area, located only about 50 km (30 miles) from the center of Bordeaux. This little town has a long military and strategic history and today it’s mostly known for its remarkable Citadel and red wine. The Citadel and the city walls are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and you can easily spend half a day discovering the old city walls. The entrance to the Citadel is free and you can explore the streets and ramparts admiring the view of the Gironde estuary which can be seen from the top.

Blaye is also known for its red wine. You can visit the Maison du Vin on the main street (12 Cours Vauban), where they would gladly introduce you to the wines of the area and the chateaux you can visit around Blaye. The easiest way to get there is by car or by ferry if you’re coming from the other side of the Gironde estuary. The ferry is leaving from Lamarque.

Visit castles in the South of Gironde

South Gironde is a magical area with a landscape colored with history, tradition and character. It’s a rural area, abundant with beautiful medieval villages and ancient castles. One of the most impressive castles is Château de la Brede which is located only 30 minutes from Bordeaux. It is a 14th-century castle that was built in a Gothic style. The house has a historic importance as it was the residence of Montesquieu. The château is open for visits from April to November (consult their opening hours here).

Château de la Brede
Château de la Brede

Another interesting castle to visit is château de Cadillac located in a charming little town that goes by the same name. The chateau is very impressive and is best known for being a women’s prison starting from the French revolution until 1950. Now it serves as a museum that mostly displays the life of the royals who were occupying the estate before it became a prison. However, on the last floor, you can actually still see the cells and an exhibition about the prison.

Bergerac

Bergerac is one of the main cities in the Dordogne area, quite close to the eastern border of the Gironde department. While it’s not as appealing as some of the small beautiful villages in Dordogne, it’s a lively city with a lot of charm to it. In the city center, you will find plenty of restaurants, a great market and long shopping streets. Bergerac is seated on the banks of the Dordogne giving it a beautiful view of the river. You can take a tour on the traditional boats (les gabarres) and discover the history of the city as well as the natural reserve around it.

The area is also known for its wine and you can combine your trip there with a visit to a château. One of the most famous ones is the beautiful Château de Monbazillac, which is located only 15 minutes away. It’s known for its sweet white wine. If you’re going to Bergerac on a Saturday, don’t miss the great market in Saint Foy la Grande which is just on the way from Bordeaux.

Château de Monbazillac
Château de Monbazillac – lost in Bordeaux

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

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

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

Capucins is one of the oldest markets in France and it rightfully carries the title “The belly of Bordeaux”.  Bordeaux’s market has such an importance in the gastronomic scene of Bordeaux that I always spend at least an hour there on my food tours

It’s a big market, abundant with colorful stands of fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese and all the delicacies of the Southwest of France. However, it differs from many other French markets in that it’s a place for much more than just buying groceries. People go there for their morning coffee, for lunch or the sacred combination of wine, oysters, and friends meeting on the weekend.  There are so many restaurants and stands at the Bordeaux market that for a newcomer it can be a bit overwhelming. That’s why I decided to gather a list of all my favorite places at Marché des Capucins. 

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

Eat Fresh Oysters from Arcachon at Chez Jean-Mi

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

When it comes to local food, oysters are one of the highlights of our region. Bordeaux is just one hour away from Arcachon, one of France’s main oyster farming centers. So it’s not a surprise to find good oysters at the main market of Bordeaux. Chez Jean-Mi became one of Bordeaux’s go-to places for fresh oysters. I love that place so much that it quickly became a must on my food tour! On weekends, many locals rush here to meet their friends over a plate of oysters and a glass of white wine. Apart from oysters, the place serves a variety of seafood, delicious soups and more. You can sit inside and soak up the market atmosphere or grab a table outside to enjoy the sun while you sip your wine. The place tends to be very busy during the weekend so be sure to come early (around 11 am) to get a table.

Opening hours: Tuesdays to Saturday from 7:00 to 13:45 and Sunday from 9:00 to 15:15.

Café Laiton – the best coffee in the Bordeaux market

Cafe-Laiton-capucins-market-in-Bordeaux
Café Laiton – Marché des Capucins

Finding good coffee in a French market is not always easy and that’s what makes Café Laiton quite revolutionary. This cozy little coffee place is owned by the lovely Gaëlle who decided to open a quality cafe in Bordeaux after spending several years in Buenos Aires. There she used to work and drink her coffee at the market and came with the idea to replicate the ‘coffee at the market’ experience back home. Moving to Bordeaux, she realized that the Capucins market, where she used to spend a lot of time as a child, is the perfect scenery for her coffee shop. The place is quite small, but the market adds a lot of space to it. You can sit at the bar or grab a table outside. Apart from good coffee, they also serve homemade food and pastries and a delicious brunch on Sundays.

Opening hours: Wednesday to Friday from 8:30 to 13:45 and Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 to 14:45.

If you want to discover other amazing coffee shops in Bordeaux, I wrote an article about five coffee places in Bordeaux you don’t want to miss, so check it out.

Bistro Poulette – Mussels in many flavors

Bistro Poulette
Bistro Poulette – Marché des Capucins

Bistro Poulette is a chic restaurant that can easily fit the stylish food scene in the city center. But being located at the market of Bordeaux gives it a unique twist. Food and drinks are being served quite early in the day and you don’t have to wait for lunch to start your gastronomic celebration. If you come in the morning you can enjoy their breakfast, brunch or take it a bit further with a plate of charcuterie and wine. At lunchtime, you get to enjoy their specialty, which is Mussels, served in casseroles and cooked with a variety of sauces like white wine, curry and more.

Opening hours: Wednesday to Friday from 8:30 to 15:00 and Saturday and Sunday from 7:00 to 15:00.

Tortill’art – a Spanish delight at the Bordeaux market

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

Strolling in the market, you can easily miss this little tortilla bar. But, as it’s one of my favorites at the marché des Capucins, I must spread the word. Juan servers several types of tortillas and delicious Spanish Jambon with wine or a homemade Sangria. Tortillas are his specialty and some of the recipes run in his family for generations. He’s a super nice guy who you can have a fun chat with while sitting at the bar. What makes this place even more attractive are the prices! You can easily have a full lunch here for less than 10 euros.

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

Pata Negra – for the best Pintxos

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

One of the best tapas bars in Bordeaux is located in the Capucins market. In the middle of the week, this place mainly sells Spanish delicacies but on weekends it turns into a fantastic tapas bar with a huge variety of pintxos. Once you’re seated by the hostess and get your plate you can start picking the Pintxos. There is one problem though! there are so many of them that it’s really hard to choose only a few. Just be sure not to throw the long toothpicks holding the pintxos, as that’s how the restaurant knows how much to charge you. This is a very popular place so if you’re in the mood for delicious tapas, be sure to come early.

Opening hours of the bar: Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 to 15:30

Les Jardins – delicious lunch and tapas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hope you enjoyed our virtual market tour! If it opened your appetite to discover more of the local flavors of the South West of France, check out the Lost in Bordeaux food tours where I take you through a journey of tastes and fascinating stories about the cuisine of the Bordeaux region.

Arcachon is the main town on the Bassin d’Arcachon, a bay of the Atlantic ocean that attracts many visitors from  Bordeaux. Less than 60 km separates the capital of the Southwest from Arcachon and its beautiful villas, clear blue beaches and delicious seafood. This is also one of the main osticulture (oysters farming) centers of France so eating oysters is a “must” when coming to the area. I know many of my readers are less enthusiastic about oysters than the French are, but don’t worry, this place is a gem even if you’re not a fan of “huitres“. In this article, I will walk you through the best things you can do in Arcachon, where you should eat and even how to get there.  

I have to warn you though, Arcachon is one of the most popular sea resorts in France and in the summer, it’s flooded with tourists and locals alike. The best time to go there is either May-June or September. To avoid the crowded places you can visit one of the other charming villages on the Bassin d’Arcachon, such as la Teste de buch and Gujan Mestras. There are other amazing towns in the north and west parts of the bay, such as Andernos les Bains and Cap Ferret. However, in my opinion, if it’s your first time in Arcachon, you can by no means miss the incredible Dune du Pilat, south of the bay, and so I’ve focused my recommendations on that area.  

Arcachon is divided into 4 regions: the summer city is the city center with walkways and restaurants; the winter city is adorned with beautiful 19th-century villas; the autumn city includes the fishing area; and the spring city covers the most beautiful beaches in the Southern part of the bay. In most cities, people usually get to visit only the city center, but in Arcachon each part offers something completely different and you have to visit at least three to fully discover it. To help you do just that I’ve made a list of all the places I think you should visit and things you should do while in Arcachon. Hope you enjoy it 🙂

Best things to do in Arcachon

La Ville d’Eté – the main beach and the Arcachon market

The summer city is the touristic center of Arcachon. Typical to most towns in the region it has a nice pedestrian area with plenty of restaurants and boutiques. You can start your visit directly on the waterfront, just stroll along the beautiful promenade next to the main beach (Plage d’Arcachon). Its location on the Arcachon bay protects it from the threatening waves of the Atlantic Ocean and makes it the safest beach for kids. During the summer this beach tends to be very crowded so you might consider searching for a quieter one in Ville de Printemps (see below).

Arcachon Market
Arcachon market

One of the main attractions in Arcachon’s city center is the main market, Marché d’Arcachon. Like many towns in the area, Arcachon too has a fantastic covered market gathering plenty of food stands with local delicacies. The best thing is that the market is open daily from mid-June to mid-September and from Tuesday to Saturday the rest of the year so you can rely on it for great home-cooked meals or just a breakfast snack. In the summer, a night market takes place several days a week, with stands of clothes, accessories, jewelry and more. The night market is open until 23:00 (for the dates click here).

La Ville d’Hiver – Beautiful villas and the main park of Arcachon

The Architecture of La Ville d’Hiver

This neighborhood might not be the city center but La Ville d’Hiver is definitely the most beautiful part of Arcachon. The winter town, built on the hills of the city in the late 19th century, attracts many visitors thanks to its gorgeous architecture. Strolling the calm – green streets you will discover beautiful villas, each designed with different elements, giving the neighborhood an elegant yet eclectic style. Among the 300 villas, there are a few that should not be missed, among them Villa Tolledo, Villa Teresa, Villa Alexandre Dumas, and Villa Bremontier. If you can read some French, here’s a site with a short history of the most famous villas in the winter city.

ville d'hiver Arcachon

Parc Mauresque – a beautiful park with a panoramic view

Overlooking La Ville d’Eté you will find the charming Parc Mauresque, built in 1843. It’s located on a hill which you can spot right from the city center. If you don’t want to climb too many stairs, there’s a lift that will bring you all the way up to the park’s center. That’s also the best way to pass from the summer city to winter city.  The park is equipped with great playgrounds for kids and many cute spots for a picnic. This would be a great time for a picnic before heading to the beach.

Just next to the park, you’ll find the Observatoire de Sainte Cécile, a belvedere built from metal on which you can climb to see an incredible panoramic view of the Arcachon Bay. If it reminds you of the Eiffel Tower, that’s because Gustave Eiffel took part in the project!. The site is open daily and is free.

The beaches of La Ville de Printemps

The best beaches of Arcachon are located in “Spring town”, the western part of the city. The most famous beach is Plage Pereire, which starts right after the pedestrian promenade (bordered by Jetée de la Chapelle). It’s a beautiful three km beach with white sand and a view of the Cap Ferret peninsula on the other side of the bay. This beach is equipped with many sports facilities, a cycle path and green lawns for people to have a picnic on.

If you walk south on the beach line, you’ll get to Plage des Abatilles and des Arbousiers, the last one attracting the windsurfers and kite surfers coming to the area. Most beaches in Arcachon are supervised and well-equipped, so you just have to choose between the calmer beaches on the bay or the big ocean waves.

A visit to Le Moulleau

Day trip from Bordeaux
Le Moulleau beach

Le Moulleau, located in the far west, is officially a part of the city of Arcachon. However, in reality, it feels like a completely separate little resort town with its own center, beaches and restaurants. Le Moulleau is built around the beautiful Notre Dame des Passes square and its pier. There are several restaurants on the main street (Boulevard de la côte d’argent) and the Chemin des Pères promenade. The hotels and some restaurants in Le Moulleau are quite pricey as the area attracts a lot of wealthy French tourists. The resort is located mid-way between the center of Arcachon and the famous Dune du Pilat, so this could be a nice stop on the way there. If you’re coming by public transport, line 1 (Baia company) will take you from the Arcachon train station to the main street of Moulleau.

Take a boat to go eat lunch in Cap Ferret

oysters in arcachon

If you’re around Le Moulleau during lunchtime, you can upgrade your lunch to a fun adventure. Just in front of Le Moulleau beach lies the peninsula of Cap Ferret. It’s one of the most charming villages on the Bassin d’Arcachon and is known particularly for its oyster farming. Many people go there from Arcachon just for a few hours to eat the freshest oysters in one of the restaurants on the beach. The village is located on the other side of the bay so going there by car will take more than an hour. But you can totally skip the long route and go by sea. From April to mid-September there’s a fairy that takes you from le Moulleau to Cap Ferret in just 20 minutes (leaving from Jetée du Moulleau). You can also take the fairy from the center of Arcachon, which takes 30 minutes to reach  Cap Ferret. For the schedule and tickets reservation click here.

A boat trip to Iles aux Oiseaux and the Cabanes Tchanquées

The Arcachon bay is not just another resort town. The biodiversity and natural conditions which helped its famous oyster farming industry also make for fascinating adventures. If you really wish to discover the Bassin d’Arcachon beyond its beautiful beaches visit two of its landmarks, Les Cabanes Tchanquées and L’Ile aux Oiseaux. Les Cabanes Tchanquées, the two wooden huts decorating almost every postcard in Arcachon, are one of the most emblematic symbols of the bay. They were originally used for supervising the oysters farms but are no longer in use and can only be seen from outside. L’Ile aux Oiseaux, the birds’ island, owes its name to the many birds that reside in the Island yearlong.

There are several companies that offer both group and private tours to these and other parts of the bay. You can go by regular boat or by pinasse, which is a traditional boat from Arcachon. The tours are usually in French but many of the guides speak some English and can easily explain the most important details. The tour leaves from Jetée Thiers, located on the main beach of Arcachon. You can also get more information about different tours in the tourist office.

Dune du Pilat – the amazing sand dune

If there’s one thing in this list I consider a “must” it’s definitely this one. The gigantic sand dune is one of the wonders of the area, with its 60 million metric cubes of sand it’s quite astonishing the first time you see it. Dune du Pilat is Europe’s tallest sand dune, rising to an impressive 110 m high.  It’s also 500 meters wide and 2.7 km long so you’ll have plenty of room to wander. You can climb the dune by stairs that are installed from the end of May to early November. If you come during the low season or just feel energetic, you can just climb straight up the sandy slopes.

Dune du Pilat Arcachon
Dune du Pilat

Once you reach the top, a stunning panoramic view will be revealed with the Cap Ferret peninsula on one side a huge pine forest on the other and the magnificent Banc d’Arguin nature reserve just in front.  After working so hard climbing the dune, you can slide to the other side (when the sand is not too hot of course) and go straight to the beach. If you’re not in a rush you can easily spend the day here, have a nice picnic and swim in the crystal clear water. It’s hard to describe the beauty of this site in words, you really must see it yourself.

If you’re coming by public transport, line 1 (Baia company) will take you from the Arcachon train station to Dune to Pilat.  

Discover Arcachon by Bike

There are many bike paths and roads with very little traffic in the Bassin d’Arcachon which makes it a perfect place to discover by bicycle. The bike lanes go along most of the waterfront and lead from one beach to the other quite easily. You can also take the circuit from the center of Arcachon to Dune du Pilat and go through le Moulleau and Pyla sur Mer, the village where Dune du Pilat is located. To follow the path see the map here. There are many bike rental places in Arcachon where you can rent a bike for a few hours or for the whole day, see their details here.

Have a drink at la Co(o)rniche

Credit: Booking

La Co(o)rniche is a 5-star hotel designed by Philippe Starck with the most amazing view of the bassin. The hotel is luxurious and expensive so it’s for special occasions, but you can still enjoy the stunning view with a cocktail in the terrasse. The Co(o)rnice is just a few minutes by car from the Dune du Pilat.

Theater and Casino

If you want to finish your day with an artistic program, go ahead to Theater Olympia. This great theater hosts a variety of shows and concerts almost every night. For more details and tickets click here. If you’re staying the night in Arcachon you can also check out the Casino located in the city center.

Where to eat in Arcachon

There’s quite a few restaurants in Arcachon, but you should know where to go in order to avoid tourist traps. A few good places are located right at the market.

Le Bouchon du marché is located in the heart of the market with plenty of tables outside as well. The restaurant serves excellent local food, is open daily and has a great vibe to it. The market is also a good opportunity to taste some of the best oysters in Arcachon. l’Oyster Bar is an excellent spot to taste the local delicacies as well as other seafood. If you want to enjoy a better view, go to Chez Pierre located on the main beach of Arcachon.

You don’t have to stay in the city center for Lunch, there are some nice spots in Le Moulleau as well, among them is Le Jardin with the magnificent terrace and the Royal Moulleau on the riverfront. For desserts head to the center of Moulleau where you can find plenty of great ice cream on every corner.

For special occasions, there are several fine dining places worth mentioning, among them Thierry Renou’s Le Patio on the port of Arcachon. You can also stop for lunch at the Haaitza hotel which has an amazing restaurant, located just a few minutes by car or bicycle from the Dune du Pilat.   

Ha(a)ïtza Arcachon
Ha(a)ïtza Credit: Booking.com

How to get to Arcachon and where to park?

By public transport

The easiest way to get to Arcachon is by train from the Saint-Jean station in Bordeaux. The train leaves every 30 to 60 minutes depending on the hour (with a break of two hours between 9:00 and 11:00). It takes about 50 minutes to get there and if you want to avoid traffic this is how I recommend getting to Arcachon. However, the train tickets aren’t cheap so if you’re more than two people, renting a car is a better option. It’s a local train without seat reservation and tickets can be bought online or at the station. See the hours of the trains here.

By Car

It can take about an hour to get from Bordeaux to Arcachon, depending on traffic. During the summer, the bay is packed with locals and tourists so the traffic can be a bit heavy. If you’re planning to visit only the town of Arcachon and the dune, getting there by train would be the easiest option.

However, if you also want to visit some of the other magical spots on the bay, a car is a more practical way to get around. Except Dune du Pilat mentioned above, there are plenty of other fascinating places you can visit on the way, such as the oyster capital Gujan-Mestras and the Teich bird reserve.    

By air

The Bordeaux airport in Merignac is less than an hour drive from the Bassin d’Arcachon. You can rent a car at the airport and avoid entering the city if you’re planning to go straight to Arcachon. If you want to do everything by public transport, take bus number 1 from the airport to the train station and a train to Arcachon from there, as explained above. There’s also an airport for private jets if you want to make a classy entrance to the bay 😉

Parking

If you’re coming in low season parking is not a big issue. Between October 1st and March 31, you can park in most of the streets of Ville d’hiver which is only a few minutes walk from the city center. However, during the summer, finding free parking is nearly impossible and you should get familiar with some of the parking spaces the city proposes. On July and August, the cheapest way to park in Arcachon is to leave your car at the Parking Relais, and then take their Navette to the city center and other parts of Arcachon. Some other parking places in the city include the Parking du centre ville, Parking de la gare, Parking place de Verdun, Parking place Peyneau and Parking place Carnot.

The main events

Arcachon is a very lively place with plenty of entertaining events. Besides the local small events taking place throughout the year, there are several big ones you should pay attention to when planning your visit.

Andernos Jazz Festival at the end of July – a jazz festival in one my favorite towns on the bay (Andernos les Bains). This place was not mentioned in the article as it’s located a bit far from the city of Arcachon but if you come during the festival I highly recommend going there.

Music O Teich in July – a world music festival with free concerts every night on the port of Teich.

Fêtes de la mer in August – the city celebrates the sea and its maritime traditions. Festival Arcachon en Scéne at the end of July, beginning of August – a big music festival you should check out

Festival Cadences  in September – a dance festival on the beach and at the Olympia theater.

Cabanes en fete in December – another fun event celebrating oysters, taking place in Andernos les Bains.

To be honest, this area is pretty amazing even without any special events but those definitely add to the fun atmosphere of the Bassin d’Arcachon.

That’s it, that’s my first article about the Bassin d’Arcachon.  As someone who lives close by I know that there’s plenty more to do around the bay. However, some of the other towns deserve a separate article, that’s exactly what I intend to do in the future. For now, I hope you’ve enjoyed this list!

If you’re also visiting Bordeaux be sure to check out my post about the best things to do in the city and the best hotels in Bordeaux. Arcachon is not the only day trip you can do from Bordeaux. The area is full of historic villages and beautiful nature. If you want to discover some of them, I invite you to read my article about the best day trips you can do by train from 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.

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