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This article was very fun to make. I, together with the super talented photographer Laura Macias , went out to check five coffee shops in Bordeaux. There are plenty of nice coffee places in Bordeaux, with quality coffee, beautiful design and a great atmosphere so choosing this list wasn’t an easy task. So how did I choose these five? First, all of them have amazing coffee and a cozy atmosphere. But I also wanted them to be spread out around the city so every coffee in this article is located in a different district of Bordeaux. And last but not least, as most of my readers are English speakers I chose coffee places that are English friendly. In all of them, the owners and most of the staff speak English and you don’t have to break your tongue when ordering a coffee. So let’s start discovering the best coffee places in Bordeaux!

Café Piha

This place, I must admit, is my coffee place of choice when I hang out with my girlfriends, I discovered it through my Kiwi friend Julie and it’s on our list ever since. The place is owned by Pierre Guerin, one of the nicest and most welcoming people in coffee land. The name Piha combines two of his big loves: kite surfing and coffee. Piha is the name of a surfing village in New Zealand, where Pierre used to live and surf for quite a while and where he learned the barista craft. Coming back to France, knowing that he wanted to continue his journey in the coffee industry, he started working as a Barista in the KB Cafeshop in Paris and then in Loomi cafe where he learned to roast coffee. Several years ago he and his wife Carole moved to Bordeaux, her hometown. After a stint in Arcachon, where he created the MaxiCoffee, two years ago he and his wife decided to open their own coffee place in the center of Bordeaux.

Piha cafe

Piha was opened in February 2017 in what was previously a print shop. With the help of his interior designer friend they designed this elegant coffee shop, with mostly sofas instead of chairs to make you feel comfortable when you meet your friends for a coffee.  

Pierre really loves his staff, you can see that he genuinely appreciates their contribution to the success of this place. From Pauline, the manager and tea expert to Joslin the Barista and Angele, the chef, who’s also responsible for the delicious desserts on the bar (you must try the homemade chocolate cookies). Most of Piha’s clients are people from the neighborhood and while Pierre loves Bordeaux his real dream is to move closer to the sea where he can roast his coffee and surf everyday.

What else?
They offer a brunch every Saturday and the first Sunday of every month. On Saturdays, Pierre hosts coffee workshops and from the little course we received while making this article, I can assure you that it’s worth your time. Pierre has plenty of interesting collaborations with other places in the city. Other cafes use his roasted coffee and he sells other craft products in Piha (a local beer for example). These days he and Carole are developing their online shop selling freshly ground coffee roasted in the shop in Bordeaux, check it out here.

Address: 69 Rue des Ayres, 33000, Bordeaux
Opening hours: Monday 10:00 – 18:30, Tuesday to Friday 8:30 to 18:30, Saturday 10:00 to 18:30. Find them on: Website, Facebook, Instagram

L’Alchimiste Café Boutique

We now move to the fancy district of Quinconces and to one of the most popular coffee addicts places, L’Alchimiste Café. Arthur Audibert is a pioneer in specialty coffee roasting in Bordeaux. After working for a decade in consulting in Paris, he came back to his home area to open the first roastery in Bordeaux. He was influenced by his many travels abroad where he tasted quality coffee and decided to contribute his part in developing the coffee culture in France. Five years ago he opened a roastery, L’Alchimiste torréfacteur de cafés d’exception, in Darwin. In the first year, he was roasting coffee for other establishments in Bordeaux, mostly serving fancy restaurants and hotels.

alchimiste bordeaux

After a year he was joined by Yohan Caunegre, another caffe enthusiast who wanted to learn from the master and open the coffee scene to the wider public. After living in Australia and working in a coffee shop, Yohan wanted to bring the rising culture of coffee shops with a quality cafe to Bordeaux. In 2016, in addition to their roastery in Darwin they opened their coffee shop on a cute paved street not far from hotel de ville, Rue de la Vieille Tour. Albeit the central location, opening the cafe on that street was a gamble as at that time it wasn’t such a popular spot. Today, when you see this popular street with all the beautifully designed boutiques and pastries on the way to the coffee shop it’s easy to see the gamble paid off.

This cozy little place is divided into three areas: the bar, the sitting room with a few little tables surrounded by forest themed wall decorations and a small gallery with changing works of art, chosen by Virginie, Arthur’s wife. The name, L’alchimiste comes for the idea of transformation – the fact that the product starts from a fruit and transforms into a coffee.
This place is all about coffee, they don’t serve food, and the only snacks you can get are the cakes on the bar. Their coffee mostly comes from Central America and Eastern Africa (Ethiopia and Kenya).

What else?
The first Saturday of every month they hold a 2 hours workshop of tasting and brewing coffee. The price is 10 euros and you can register on their website. Next Autumn is going to be big for the guys! They will open a new coffee shop in Darwin, where apart from their amazing coffee they will make their own pastry and natural juices.

Address: 12 Rue de la Vieille Tour, 33000, Bordeaux /Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday 8:30 to 18:00, Saturday 10:00 to 18:00 /Find them on: Website, Facebook, Instagram

Café Gusco

We finally get to the female representative on the list and for that, I will make you leave the center of Bordeaux. Gusco is run by Pauline Savin and is located in the Meriadeck district, distant from the buzz of Bordeaux center. Just a few minutes walk from Hotel de Ville you’ll get to a tiny square with turquoise tables from where you can spot the beautiful welcoming smile of Pauline.

Gusco Bordeaux

Pauline started her career in the wine industry and learned to appreciate good coffee through her husband, a distributor of coffee beans. He used to bring home samples of green coffee which they would taste together. After many exhausting years in the wine industry and after becoming a mom, Pauline decided to open her own business. It took a trip to New-York, which included a marathon of visiting coffee places, for her to decide to open a coffee place back home. She wanted to prove that good coffee culture can exist in France. Another brave decision was to roast her own coffee in order to own its taste. As someone who didn’t come from the coffee word, she had to learn everything from scratch and this girl definitely owns it!

In June 2017 she opened her specialty coffee place, Gusco. The name is a combination of the names of her kids Gustav and Colombe. The place is small but beautifully designed. It is a combination of many ideas she saw in other coffee shops as well as Portuguese touches as its a country she really loves. I especially loved the sofa with the hanging tables. They cook their own food and many customers actually come to Gusco for lunch. Pauline is super funny and charming and makes you feel at home in a second, and if you combine that with her great coffee, it’s really worth the walk.

Address: 2 Rue Ligier, 33000, Bordeaux /Opening hours: Monday 8:30 – 14:30, Tuesday to Friday 8:30 to 18:00, Saturday 9:00 to 12:00/ Find them on: Facebook, Instagram

La Pelle Café

We are moving from the historic center of Bordeaux to the northern chic neighborhood of Chartrons. A charming street like notre dame, deserves a beautiful place like La Pelle Cafe. The founders of the place is Carlos Pereira and his wife Paula.

pelle cafe bordeaux

Carlos, originally from Brazil, was surrounded by coffee from an early age and says he was always the one making coffee for his family so it’s no surprise he chose it as his profession. He left Brazil at the age of 26 and moved to Italy where he started his career in the coffee world. His first city in France was Paris, where he was one of the associates in a specialty coffee place, called Coutume Cafe.

In the end of 2015, he and his wife Paula have decided to move to Bordeaux and open their own little coffee place. While searching for the perfect place for their new “baby” they fell in love with the Chartrons neighborhood, and I can definitely see why. They are located on one of the most pleasant streets of Bordeaux, and they perfectly fit there with their chic design. The idea behind it is to make the bar the main scene with the baristas being the main actors in the play. The name Pelle comes from the Italian and Portuguese word for skin and it’s also the name of a coffee shovel in French.

He’s a real advocate for quality coffee and if you are interested in expanding your knowledge about different types of coffee and roasting he’s your guy.  Pelle cafe usually has coffee from 10 different origins, from countries like Costa rica, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Brazil, Colombia, Salvador and Guatemala. They try to educate people about the coffee they drink and enrich their experience beyond just drinking coffee.Left to the bar you’ll notice coffee related equipment on sale that will help you make your own quality coffee at home, with some guidance from Carlos himself of course.

What else: From time to time Carlos runs coffee tasting workshops, you can see more details on their facebook page.

Address: 29 rue Notre Dame, 33000, Bordeaux/ Opening hours: Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9:00 to 18:00, Thursday 9:00 – 22:00, Saturday and Sunday 10:00 to 18:00/ Find them on: Website, Facebook, Instagram

Cofete B

Coming back to the heart of the historic center we are heading to Cofete B in the saint Pierre district. Although it’s located in one of the most touristic areas in Bordeaux, it’s not very easy to spot and I discovered it through a friend who lives in the area. The owner is Lizbel Lombardi. Born in Peru, raised in Germany, studied in England and moved to France following her French boyfriend who she met in Spain. Quite an international gal.

cofete b bordeaux

Lizbel’s story is about not giving up and having a lot of patience and optimism to follow your dreams. Her studies and career in England looked very different from what she does now. After several years in the hospitality industry she arrived to Bordeaux with no prior knowledge of French and had to find work and reinvent herself. During her student years in London she had worked as a Barista is a coffee shop, where she got equipped with the techniques and with a dream to have her own place. Finding the right place wasn’t easy and took a very long time. But with her ambition and the support of her boyfriend and his family she opened Cofete B, less  than a year ago. She chose this location because she wanted something central but on a small street for it to feel cozy and something that would draw the neighbors in. The name has a special meaning to her. Cofete is a beach in fuerteventura in Spain where she and her boyfriend met (yes, very romantic I know) and B stands for Bordeaux, barista and bio food.

While her coffee is amazing, it’s the food that gets her excited and she made it the focus of the place.The food is mainly vegetarian and there are always vegan options so for all of my vegan readers, here’s a great place for you. Saturday and Sunday are the brunch days and they have become very popular. On Sundays the place gets so busy that you have to book in advance.

Most of the clients are locals who come for a coffee in the middle of the week and then come back with their kids for a brunch on the weekend. You can see that people really love her, they come in and give her a bissou and tell her personal stuff about their lives. Others just come by to say hello on their way home. I can see why, she’s a really loveable person. Her vision for the place is a neighborhood coffee shop where people come to talk and be with friends.

What else?
One of the spaces in the cafe is quite isolated from the bar and that allows for hosting different events, which is something Lizbel really loves. As she’s busy with making the food and coffee, the events are not coffee related. It can be anything from a language exchange to yoga.

Address: 22 Rue Chai des Farines 33000, Bordeaux/ Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday 9:00 to 18:30, Sunday 11:00 to 16:00/ Find them on: Facebook, Instagram

All these beautiful photos were taken by Laura, you can see her other amazing photos from Bordeaux and other places on her website and instagram.

Hope you enjoyed our list!!! I would love to read about your favorite coffee places in Bordeaux in the comments below!



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!

When staying for more than a weekend in the area, many tourists are looking for day trips from Bordeaux. And rightly so, as Gironde (Bordeaux’s department) is one of the most fascinating areas in France, rich with beaches, beautiful villages, nature and heritage. There are plenty of beautiful locations around Bordeaux and some are even accessible by public transport. Thus, in order to help those who don’t want to rent a car, I gathered a list of the 10 best day trips from Bordeaux you can do by train.

* If you do rent a car you have much more options for day trips around Bordeaux – check out my article about day trips with a car.

All the tickets to the suggested destinations can be bought directly at the Gare Saint Jean train station in Bordeaux. The only one I would recommend ordering ahead of time is Angouleme, only because it’s on the direct line to Paris and the tickets might be expensive if you buy them last minute at the train station. So let’s start discovering the Bordeaux area by train with this list of the 10 best day trips around Bordeaux.

Arcachon and Dune du Pilat

Dune du Pilat
Dune du Pilat by: 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. The town is divided into four districts, named after the four seasons. Ville d’Été, covering the touristic center, main beach, restaurants and boutiques. Ville d’Hiver – the historic center adorned with glamorous 19th century villas. Ville de Printemps in the west is closer to the most beautiful and less crowded beaches and Ville d’Automne is the amazing port area of Arcachon packed with great sea food restaurants. 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. Words can’t describe how impressive this sand monster is, you’ll have to climb it to fully appreciate its beauty.
For more info: www.arcachon.com
*If you want to learn more about Arcachon check out my guide to what to do and eat in the Arcachon.

How to get there by train? There is a direct train to the center of Arcachon from the Gare Saint Jean train station (or Pessac train station). To continue to Dune du Pilat, take bus number 1 from the train station in Arcachon. The train leaves Bordeaux every 30 minutes from 6 am to 11:30 pm.

Saint Émilion

Day trip from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion
Saint Emilion by lost in Bordeaux

Saint Émilion is probably the most famous wine related day trip out of 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 Emilion is mostly famous for its wines, with four appellations d’origine controlee (AOC) – Saint Émilion, Saint Émilion Grand Cru, Lussac Saint Émilion and Puisseguin Saint Émilion. A visit to one of the châteaux and participating in some wine tasting is a “must” when coming to the area. If you’re having a hard time choosing a wine château for a visit, check out my article about the best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion.

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. Check out the tourist office’s website for all the information about châteaux in the Saint Émilion area – http://www.saint-emilion-tourisme.com/

How to get there by train? You can get to Saint Emilion by train from the Saint Jean station in Bordeaux. There’s a 15 minutes walk from the station to the city center.

Another option is to take a guided tour that picks you up from Bordeaux and brings you to Saint-Emilion and back. Here are some of the best guided tours from Bordeaux to Saint-Emilion:

La Réole

day tip from Bordeaux to La Reole
La Réole – by Lost in Bordeaux

La Réole is a small hilly town situated on the banks of the Garonne river about 50 km from Bordeaux. Although the town developed around a monastery founded in the 7th or 8th century, it’s golden era was in medieval times when it became the second largest city in the region after Bordeaux. Still today, it’s one of the biggest towns in the south of the Gironde department with plenty of interesting events and a very lively weekly market on Saturdays. Get lost in the narrow charming streets of the historic center of La Réole and let the beautiful architecture take you back in time.
For more info: http://www.lareole.fr/

How to get there by train? It takes about 40 minutes to get from Bordeaux to La Réole train station. The train leaves from Gare Saint Jean every two hours.

Wine tasting in Margaux

Visiting châteaux in the Médoc area is definitely easier by car, but if you prefer going by train that’s totally doable. You can always do this day trip the DIY way. A train from Bordeaux will bring you to the center of Margaux in the Haut Médoc wine making region. Margaux is also the name of one of the most famous wine appellation d’origine which includes châteaux in the village itself and several villages around it. Some of the wine châteaux are within a walking distance from the train station allowing you to have the route du vin experience without renting a car.

Here are the names of several recommended wine châteaux which are close to the train station (all require prior reservation):

  • Château Lascombes: 1 Cours de Verdun, 33460 Margaux
  • Château Marquis de Terme: 3 Route de Rauzan, 33460 Margaux
  • Château Ferriere: 33bis Rue de la Tremoille, 33460 Margaux
  • Château Les Barraillots: 4 Rue Corneillan, 33460 Margaux

The beautiful Château Margaux is only a 25 minutes walk from the train station. Unfortunately their tours are only open to professionals but you can walk around the winery, see the beautiful vines and take photos of the famous chateau.

For more info: https://www.margaux-tourisme.com/

How to get there by public transport: There’s a train leaving Bordeaux to Margaux every couple of hours.

Saint Macaire

This is not a familiar destination to most people visiting Bordeaux, but it’s definitely worth a day trip. Saint Macaire is a medieval city located some 50 km from Bordeaux on the banks of the Garonne river. In the 13th and 14th centuries Saint Macaire was one of the most prosperous cities in Aquitaine due to its significant agricultural and trade activities. This charming town with its narrow streets and beautiful old houses is a great place for those looking to get a sense of the region’s heritage.

Saint Macaire is also well known for its white wine. Guided tours are organized by the tourist office, including tastings of the Côtes de Bordeaux Saint-Macaire wines. It’s really worth visiting Saint Macaire at the end of August when the Fêtes médiévales takes place and the little town is getting very lively with amazing costumes, music, medieval games and more.
For more info: https://www.tourisme-sud-gironde.com/patrimoine/notre-territoire/saint-macaire/

How to get there by public transport? You can get to Saint Macaire by train from the Saint Jean station in Bordeaux. In the middle of the week, however, the train leaves very early in the morning and the next one leaves only in the evening. Several trains are running between Bordeaux and Saint Macaire on Saturdays so this is the recommended day to go if you want to get there by public transport. A more flexible option would be to get to Langon, from which there are more frequent trains from Bordeaux and then take a taxi (it’s a 10 minutes ride from Langon). Or if you have a bike you can take it with you on the train to Langon and then ride about 15 minutes to Saint Macaire.

Libourne

day trip to libourne
Libourne by Lost in Bordeaux

Libourne is a beautiful town located at the confluence of the Isle and Dordogne rivers. The city was founded as a Bastide town in the 13th century and has been for many years an important port city central to the wine and wood trade done on the river. Surrounded by some of the world’s most renowned wine labels such as Saint Emilion, Pomerol and Fronsac, it used to play an important role in the economy of the region. While it’s not as attractive as Bordeaux, it’s the main city in northern Gironde and it’s rich with history and beautiful architecture.

Due to its location, many people see it as a wine destination from which you can visit the numerous chateaux in the area. But this city has more to offer and is worth a separate visit. You can start your visits at Place Abel-Surchamp, the main square of the city hosting the outdoor market every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. This is one of the main markets in the area, attracting people from all the little towns around Libourne. It’s recommended to visit the city on one of the market days as it really lifts the atmosphere. You can see a lot of interesting buildings on the little streets leading to the main square, some worth mentioning are Rue Victor Hugo and Rue Fonneuve. Don’t forget to take a walk on the beautiful quais of the Isle river.
For more info: http://www.tourisme-libournais.com/

How to get there by train? There’s a train from Bordeaux to Libourne every 20-30 minutes.

Sainte Foy la Grande

Sainte-Foy-la-Grande
Sainte-Foy-la-Grande by Lost in Bordeaux

This beautiful bastide town, situated in the north east of Gironde, is one of the most charming towns in the Libournais area. The Dordogne river runs through the town, unusual for bastides which are typically situated on hilltops. Many of the buildings in the center of this medieval town date back to the 15th century and give St. Foy la Grande it’s charming look. It’s a small lively town with little cafés on the main central Place du Marché square. Although it’s not a very touristy destination it does get quite busy during Saturday’s market. The market is one of the biggest in the area and it’s the recommended day to visit Sainte Foy la Grande. If you want to spend the whole day there you can cross the river to the other side and visit a small river beach called Plage des Bardoulets.
For more info: http://www.tourisme-dordogne-paysfoyen.com/

How to get there by train? It takes about an hour by train from Saint Jean station to Sainte Foy la Grande.

Gujan-Mestras

Gujan-Mestras is a little town known as the capital of oyster farming on the Bassin d’Arcachon. It has seven oyster ports which you can visit and watch oyster farmers work. You can even join one of the farmers and take part in their work for a few hours. Find the list of farmers providing that experience on the tourist office website. One “must” stop is the “Maison de Huitre”, an interactive museum where you discover everything about oyster farming. And finally, don’t forget to taste the freshest oysters in one of the cabanes along the coast line, many of which are located at the famous Port de Larros. If you’re planning to spend the whole day there, check out the Plage de la Hume. For more info on what to do in
Gujan-Mestras check out: https://www.gujanmestras.com

How to get there by train? Gujan-Mestras is one of the stations on the way from Bordeaux to Arcachon. The train leaves every 30 minutes from Bordeaux Saint Jean or Pessac Centre stations.

Visit Châteaux in Bordeaux by tram or bus

Many people are looking for châteaux in the Médoc region or next to Saint Emilion, but actually there are some famous châteaux in Bordeaux metropole and you can easily reach them by tram or by bus.

Some of the more familiar ones are:
Château Pape Clément in Pessac
Take line B to Pessac Centre and then continue 20 minutes by foot or take a direct bus from Place Tourny in Bordeaux (line 4). For more info click here. Château Haut brion in Pessac
You can reach it by bus 4 from Place Tourny in Bordeaux.
For more info click here.
Château du Taillan in Le Taillan-Médoc
You can reach it by bus 5N from Place Tourny in Bordeaux.
For more info click here.
Château Saint Ahon In Blanquefort
Take line C to the Blanquefort train station and then continue 20 minutes by foot or take bus 29 from the Blanquefort train station.
For more info click ere.
All of them have amazing wine and are beautiful destinations, be sure to make reservations before you go.

Angoulême

One of the biggest cities in the south west region is Angoulme. The town is located on a plateau overlooking the Charente river, attracting many tourists thanks to its beautiful historic center and vibrant cultural life. Stroll the streets to explore the historic part of the city and the beautiful boulevards with their view on the original ramparts. It’s a vibrant city with plenty of cafes and restaurants, a big market, museums and historic monuments worth visiting. It’s also famous for its comics festival taking places in January and its interesting comics museum. You can admire the comics art by just strolling the streets. There are 20 murals of comics and illustrations on buildings in almost every neighborhood around the city.
For more info: http://www.angouleme-tourisme.com/

How to get there by train? The TGV train to Paris stops in Angouleme, so even though it’s located 130 km from Bordeaux, you can still get there from Bordeaux in about 35 minutes.

If you are have more time and you’re looking for a weekend destination to go to by train check out my two posts about things to do in Biarritz and in Cognac.

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.


Having a picnic with your bottle of rosé and some fromage on a sunny day is one of the most French things you can do. If you ever tried to find a green spot in Bordeaux you’ve probably noticed that it’s not an easy task as there aren’t many parks in the center of town, especially comparing to Paris. But what many people don’t know is that there are actually quite a lot of green, magical islands between all these historical buildings, you just have to find them- and that’s what we’re here for.

I gathered the top places where you can join other Bordolaise for a picnic with family, friends or just on your own with a good book. Just in case you don’t come prepared, I added the location of nearby places to get some snacks and drinks. Also for those coming with kids, I give you my review on  the playgrounds in place.

So here is my list of places to picnic in Bordeaux (see the full map at the end of the article):

Center of Bordeaux

Miroir d’eau

This is one of the most photographed places in Bordeaux, and rightly so. The reflection of Place de la Bourse on one side and the view of the Garrone on the other, turns it into one of Bordeaux’s must seen spots. On a hot day, one of the most pleasant things to do is to splash your feet in the water and then catch a spot in the gardens surrounding the miroir d’eau. The place is usually very crowded and there’s no shade, so it is recommended to get there in the morning, before it gets too hot and busy. So spread your blanket between the rows of flowers and bon appetite.

Where to buy snacks: The closest supermarket to get your fruits or a bottle of rosé on a hot day is the Monop’ at  Promenade St Catherine – cross the road to Place de la Bourse, continue strait on rue Saint-Rémi until you reach  Promenade St Catherine on your right. 

What’s for kids: While there is no playground next to the Mirior d’eau, the monument itself is probably one of the most enjoyable places for kids in Bordeaux. As part of its operating cycle, the level of the water goes up for several minutes creating a shallow pool, letting kids splash in the water.

picnic next to Miroir d'eau in Bordeaux
Le Miroir d’eau – one of the most photographed places in Bordeaux

Parc des Sports Saint-Michel

Parc des Sports is located just in front of quartier Saint Michel which is one of the most hip places in Bordeaux nowadays. Many people don’t pay much attention to this huge green spot in the city center,  which leaves the whole area for the locals to enjoy. The lawns of the park are wide enough to forget that you are actually one step away from the the road. Also the view of the Garonne is quite impressive so try to find a spot closer to the river.   

Where to buy snacks: if you need a big supermarket,  take a few minutes walk to the carrefour on 13 Rue de Saget in the saint croix neighborhood. However, if you need just a few snacks head to the little superette on rue des allamandiers,  just next to place saint Michel. If you happen to arrive there on Saturday or Monday, go ahead to the market at saint Michel to get some fruits for your picnic.

What’s for kids: As its name indicates, this place is very sport oriented. Besides a nice playground for kids, there are other sports facilities such as ping pong tables and a skate park.

Parc des sports saint michel-
Parc des Sports – two steps from the hip Saint-Michel neighborhood

Jardin Public de Bordeaux

The largest park in the center of Bordeaux needs no introduction. Jardin Public invites you to spread your arms (and body) on its vast green planes. It attracts most of the picnickers wandering around the center of town. Besides  being visually stunning, it has a large lake (with ducks and geese!) and a chic caffee you can visit when not in the mood for sitting on grass.

What’s for kids: There is a very impressive playground in the park as well as a puppet theater and a lot of ducks in the lake (for little animal lovers).

Where to buy snacks: There are two supermarkets from both sides of the park, one is located in the Chartrons neighborhood (8 Rue Notre Dame) and a small casino on 76 Rue Lagrange.

 

jardin public in Bordeaux
Jardin public – beauty in the middle of the city

Parc Rivière

A green sprawling paradise in the midst of a residential neighborhood.
The vibe here is more wild and freestyle compared to the meticulously planned jardin publique.
You can find a lot of sweet spots to picnic beneath the trees. While strolling along you can visit the tiny cute castle and the Maison du jardinier et de la nature en ville, which holds gardening activities.

where to buy snacks : There’s a small Casino market between park Rivière and Jardin Publique on 76 Rue Lagrange or you can take a walk to Auchan market in the Centre Commercial de l’Europe, 19 Place de l’Europe.

what’s for kids: This is the main downside of this park. The playground is very small and older kids will be bored with it.

Parc Rivière in Bordeaux
Parc Rivière- green paradise in the midst of a residential neighborhood

Place des Martyrs de la Résistance

A small local garden which draws its atmosphere from the beautiful Basilique Saint-Seurin. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city center but still stay close, this is a good spot. The green pasture is quite big and usually not very crowded.

where to buy snacks : to buy fruits for a picnic go ahead to Charlotte Clementine on 14 Place des Martyrs de la Résistance, if you need to add some wine, there’s a carrefour city on rue Judaique, next to Place Gambetta.

what’s for kids: This little garden has a a very small playground, mostly for the younger ones.

Place des Martyrs de la Résistance
Place des Martyrs de la Résistance- when you need a quiet spot close to the city center

le Jardin de ta Soeur

Winner of the funniest public garden name of all time, this hidden spot in Chartrons, usually frequented by the local neighbors, has a very communal and cozy feel to it.
The designed playground and sitting areas give it a special artistic vibe.

where to buy snacks : for snacks go to the nearest intermarche on 67 Cours Edouard Vaillant.

what’s for kids: This garden is mostly used by the local community and hence is very kids friendly. As part of the overall original design of the park, the playground too has an artistic vibe to it.

 

le Jardin de ta Soeur
le Jardin de ta Soeur – original landscape design

Quai des Chartrons

Why get dirty with grass when you can just get drunk on a cozy wooden deck?
If you fancy to get wasted on a Sunday or Thursday afternoon, this is the spot for you as it hosts the weekly Quai des Chartrons market full with wine, oysters, shrimps and local products.

where to buy snacks : At the market! Otherwise go to the Carrefour city at 8 Rue Notre Dame.

what’s for kids: This place is a heaven for kids! Right next to the market you’ll find both a playground and a big skate park.

drinking wine on quai des chartrons
yours truly doing what you should

La Place Gambetta

Yes, it’s a roundabout.. but a really really beautiful one, complete with a small pond and several really great spots to hang out with friends or alone reading a book.
Due to it’s central location, it gets full quickly.. so get there early.

where to buy snacks : The carrefour city on rue Judaique is just around the corner.

what’s for kids: nothing really… It’s a small place in the the city center and is more suitable for friends to get together rather than for a family picnic.

Place Gambetta Bordeaux
Place Gambetta – a green island in the middle of the city

The green spaces of Rive droite

Parc aux Angéliques

The Rive Droite of Bordeaux is usually the calmer part of the city, far from the busy touristic east side of the Garonne, which makes it a perfect spot for a quiet afternoon picnic or nap.
Parc aux Angéliques on quai des Queyries offers a wide green space with a view of the most beautiful monuments in the center of Bordeaux.  Closer to Darwin, the vibe gets more hipstery.. farther away and it’s more of an extended family kind of atmosphere 😉

What’s for kids: Place des Droits de l’enfant, a large playground both for little ones and for older kids is located In front of the park, just next to Jardin Botanique.

Where to buy snacks: Magasin Général in Darwin would be the closest place to get some bio fruits, cheese and wine. For a larger selection go to the Carrefour supermarket on Allée Serr.

Parc aux angeliques bordeaux
Parc aux Angeliques – quiet green space with a beautiful view of Bordeaux

Jardin Botanique de Bordeaux

Jardin Botanique de Bordeaux is a magical place of biodiversity and sustainable development, located in front of Quai des Queyries, in the middle of the Bastide neighborhood. There’s a big lawn in the middle of the park but if you are looking for a more intimate picnic, check out the western section where you can find cozy little green corners between the plant pools.

What’s for kids:  Place des Droits de l’enfant is a large playground  located just next to the park. Also, Jardin Botanique is a place where kids can explore rare and exotic plants and flowers, which can turn your outdoor activity into an educational one.

Where to buy snacks: The big  Carrefour supermarket is located just next to the park in zone d’activité commerciale Coeur De Bastide-Allée Serr

Jardin Botanique bordeaux
Jardin Botanique – cozy little green corners for a more intimate picnic

 

The big Parks

Parc Bordelais

Parc Bordelais, the biggest parc in Bordeaux, is located in the northern part of the city in the Cauderan neighborhood. Although quite far from the city center,  making an effort to get there really pays off.  A lake, beautiful trees, huge green spaces and a lovely terasse cafe are only part of what parc Bordolais has to offer.

What’s for kids:  This is probably the most kids oriented place in this list. Besides two large playgrounds (for younger and older kids), there is a puppet theater and a little train that takes you on a tour of the park.

Where to buy snacks: The little superette on avenue Charles de Gaulle is located just one minute walk from the park. if you need a better selection you can walk a few minutes to Carrefour city on 10 Rue de Marseille.

park bordelaise, Bordeaux
Parc Bordelaise- the biggest park in Bordeaux

Parc de Bourran

Parc de Bourran in Merignac is not officially in Bordeaux but is located along the tram’s A line making it a short ride from the city center. This park has a more foresty feeling to it. Besides picnicking on the big green lawn at the center of the park, you can also take lovely strolls along the many paths encircling this beautiful park and maybe find your own secret spot.

What’s for kids:  There are two separate playgrounds in the park for different age ranges.

Where to buy snacks: If you enter the park from rue Alfred de Musset, the big Auchan super market on 19 Avenue du Maréchal Gallieni, 33700  is not very far.

parc de Bourran bordeaux
Parc de Bourran – feels like a forest

Parc Peixotto

Another off Brodway candidate that you can reach with a short Tram B ride.
A very lovely park with a pretty little chateaux, a pond and lots of ducks.
A relatively big picnic area where you can mingle with the many students living and drooling around the park.

What’s for kids:  Peixotto is very well eqiped for kids. It has a playground, a carousel and a little lake where you can feed the ducks.

Where to buy snacks: There is a big Casino market just next to the park at  412 Cours de la Libération, 33400 Talence.

Parc de Peixotto
Parc de Peixotto in Talence

Are you familiar with any other green spots in the city where you like to spend time with your friends? Please share your ideas in the comments below 🙂

And if you like the article, please share it with your friends!

 

The full map of top picnic places in Bordeaux

 

 

BIARRITZ the ultimate guide by lost in bordeaux

Biarritz, a resort town on the Atlantic ocean, was once the summer home of Napoleon III and his wife the Empress Eugénie de Montijo in the 1850s and later became the first surfing beach in Europe in the 1950s. While for a time people lost interest in this beautiful beach city, it eventually regained popularity and is now considered a hot vacation destination for many French. Many still visit Biarritz for its beaches but in recent years it has been developed into much more than just another resort town. Biarritz has one of the coolest food scenes, many nice little boutiques, a long promenade from where you can see the most beautiful sunsets and a proximity to many other great destinations in the Pays de Basques in the South of France.

I believe three days is ideal to properly enjoy all Biarritz has to offer, unless you’re coming to learn how to surf.  But don’t worry, even if you only have a day or two, it’s enough to get the vibe of the town.

In this article I have gathered all the info you need before going to Biarritz, from what to do and see to where to eat and shop. I don’t have a specific hotel to recommend but I do think that the market area is the best place to stay in Biarritz, as it’s close to all the bars and restaurants and at a walking distance from the beach.  Now that we cleared that out, let’s get started because the list is quite long 🙂

Here are the 25 things you should do, see and eat in Biarritz!

Along the coastline of Biarritz – the best beaches and spots

1. Take a long walk on the promenade

along the coast line of Biarrtz
Sand artist on the coastline of Biarritz

if you don’t have a lot of time to spend in Biarritz but still want to see its best parts, you can follow the beautiful promenade all along the beaches of Biarritz and see most of the main sites (which I’ll be mentioning in this article). A large part of the promenade is located on several cliffs from which you have a beautiful view on Biarritz’s beaches. Take some time at these viewpoints to observe the coastline and to look for pretty moments such as the sand artist who’s making beautiful sketches on wet sand.

Booking.com

2. See the view from the Lighthouse (Le Phare)

The view from Biarritz's lighthouse
The view from Biarritz’s lighthouse

if you don’t have a lot of time to spend in Biarritz but still want to see its best parts, you can follow the beautiful promenade all along the beaches of Biarritz and see most of the main sites (which I’ll be mentioning in this article). A large part of the promenade is located on several cliffs from which you have a beautiful view on Biarritz’s beaches. Take some time at these view points to observe the coastline and to look for pretty moments such as the sand artist who’s making beautiful sketches on wet sand.

3. Go to the beach at the Grand Plage

Grande Plage in Biarritz
Grande Plage in Biarritz

Le Grand Plage is the main beach in Biarritz. It’s wide, close to most hotels and is comfortable for bathing. That’s also what makes it the most crowded beach during high season. If you want to enjoy the city beach vibe and you’re not into surfing this is a great place to spend your time while in Biarritz. If you fancy a new beach towel or a bathing suite, there’s a really nice shop on the beach called Aux Guides Baigneurs, that’s open everyday until 20:00.

Address: Aux Guides Baigneurs, Quai de la Grande Plage, 64200 Biarritz

4. Port des Pêcheurs

port des pecheurs biarritz
Port des pecheurs – a very romantic place for a dinner

A few minutes walk from the Grand Plage will bring you to one of the most romantic places in Biarritz. Port des Pêcheurs is a little harbor that was built by Napoleon III in the 1800s and previously served the fishermen of the city. You can still find the fishermen little colorful houses, some of which serve as restaurants with a beautiful view on the boats docking at the port.

If it’s seafood and fish you’re after then this is the place for you. The restaurants in the port will serve you fresh off the boat fish, a variety of seafood such as oysters and crabs and other classic dishes from the Basque cuisine. My favorite restaurant is Casa Juan Pedro, who offers delicious local dishes for affordable prices.

Address: 48 Allée Port des Pêcheurs, 64200 Biarritz

5. Sunset and wine

view from the Olatua bar
See the sun go down from the Ulatua bar in Biarritz

During your discovery of the coastline you will see a few exquisite little bars located on the headlands with the perfect ambiance for an early evening drink. These are the best places to see the sunset and accompany it with a glass of wine and slices of amazing Jamón. The place I found most charming was OLATUA, with a very chill atmosphere of friends meeting at the end of a working day. You can order some great snacks, such as the Charcuterie plate and you might have to wait a bit for a table with a good view, but it’s worth it.

Address: Olatua, Jardins de l’Atalaye, 64200 Biarritz

6. Rocher de la Vierge

rocher de la vierge
Rocher de la vierge – one of the hallmarks of Biarritz

Within a few minutes walk from the Ulatua bar you will find one of the most beautiful spots in Biarritz. Previously used as a platform for whale watching, today it’s one of the main viewpoints in the city from which you can see the Bay of Biarritz and the Côte des Basques (the surfing beach). You will recognize the Rocher de la Vierge by the metallic statue of the Virgin standing on the top of the rock.

7. The Aquarium of Biarritz

Another very popular attraction in Biarritz is the Musée de la Mer (the Aquarium) which is located in an art-deco building next to Rocher de la Vierge. The museum includes huge aquariums with fish, sharks and seals. You can also learn about the history of whales in Biarritz through a series of exhibits. This place is very popular with kids and can be a great escape for a rainy day.

Address:  Musée de la Mer, Plateau de l’Atalaye, 64200 Biarritz

8. Plage Port Vieux for a safe swim with kids

plage port vieux
Plage port vieux – for a safe swim

After you leave the aquarium or finish taking beautiful pictures from the Rocher de la Vierge,  continue walking along the coastline until you see a beautiful tiny beach from the top. Plage Port Vieux is perfect for those who come to Biarritz with little kids. It’s located on a tiny bay between two cliffs creating a very sheltered beach which makes it the safest place for kids and adults to swim. However, due to its nature it tends to be packed with families during the summer, so if you’re looking for a quiet beach continue down the road to the southern part of Biarritz.

9. Villa Belza

Villa Belza

Another charming spot on the coastline comes right after the Port Vieux beach. Villa Belza is a beautiful 19th century mansion located between the Rocher de la Vierge and the Côte des Basques. This mysterious house was used in the past as a setting for films and for cabaret evenings. Next to Villa Belza there’s a nice little cafe/bar, named the Eden Rock cafe with a beautiful view of the little Post Vieux beach. They have a DJ playing live music and it’s a great place for early evening cocktails.

Address: Eden rock café, 2-4 Espl. du Port Vieux, 64200 Biarritz

10. Surf at the the Côte des Basques

The Biarritz surfing scene is the main attraction for many European tourists. And while you will see many surfers all along the coastline, most of the surfers tend to come to Plage de la Cote des Basque which is actually the first surfing beach in Europe.

plage de la cote des basques
Cote des Basques – the beach that surfers like

If you need a break from surfing or tired from your long walk along the coastline, climb the stairs of the Square Jean Baptiste Lassalle to the very cool beach bar the Etxola Bibi. This open- air bar, located on the cliff with a beautiful view on the Côte des Basques beach, is a perfect spot for a beer on a sunny day or a game of pétanque with the locals. If you stay after sunset you get to enjoy live music shows as well.

Address: Etxola Bibi, Square Jean Baptiste Lassalle, 64200 Biarritz
Etxola Bibi
Etxola Bibi- great place for a beer with a view on the Côte des Basques beach

11. Plage Marbella

Another much more isolated beach is the Marbella beach in the South of Biarritz.  With its high waves it has a more wild feel to it and is especially loved by experienced surfers.

plage mirbella
Plage Marbella

Have you noticed the pattern here? Every beach in Biarritz is accompanied by a cool little bar/cafe and Marbella is no different. On the cliff, before going down to the beach you will find the cute little open bar called, Debololo . This place has a fresh and local feel to it and besides very cold beers it serves some food as well (quiches, sandwiches etc. )

a bar on plage Marbella
a bar on plage Marbella
Address: Debololo, impasse Marbella, Biarritz, France 64200

12. Learn to surf

As you’ve already understood, surfing is one of Biarritz’s most important attractions. If you have never surfed before you can take surfing lessons in one of the many schools scattered around the city. Many of them are located on the promenade of the Plage de la Cote des Basques which is the most popular surfing beach in Biarritz.

surfing schools
Surfing schools at Cote des Basques

THE FOOD

The food was by far my favorite part in Biarritz! The rich basque cuisine and the proximity to Spain makes this place a paradise for foodies. Seafood restaurants, an amazing market, great burgers and awesome tapas bars, Biarritiz’s got everything and it’s all delicious.

13. Les Halles de Biarritz

Halles de Biarritz
Halles de Biarritz

This is one of the biggest surprises of Biarritz. This stylish type of markets became very popular in France and in recent years you can see them popping up in many cities around the county. Marché aux Halles de Biarritz, built in 1885, is not only the main local market but also a place to have a drink and meet friends. You can find everything you need there, fruits and vegetables organized and treated like diamonds, the best local products,meat, cheese, bakeries and a few nice places to eat.  The second and smaller part of the market is dedicated to fish and seafood where you can buy a plate of fresh oysters for 6 euros. You should know however that the market isn’t very cheap so don’t count on staying on budget when visiting there. The market tends to be very busy, especially on weekends, so try to come as early as you can. The market is open daily from 7:30 to 14:00 and also from 18:00 to 21:00 from mid July to the end of August.

Address: les Halles de Biarritz, Rue des Halles, 64200 Biarritz
Eat oysters in les halles de Biarritz
Eat oysters in les halles de Biarritz

14. Basque food and tapas places

You can feel the Spanish influence on the French Basque cuisine in many of Biarritz’s restaurants. The city is full of excellent tapas bars and plates with colorful pinchos is part of the Biarritz landscape. In general, I found that the market area is the food hub of the city and harbors the best tapas bars of Biarritz.

Bar Jean in Biarritz
Bar Jean – one of the food institutions of Biarritz

One of the oldest and busiest tapas places in Biarritz is Bar jean. Located just in front of the market, it’s usually full with both tourists and trendy locals gathering around the red bar with drinks and an impressive variety of dishes. They offer all the traditional Basque dishes as well as self severed pinchos from the bar (2 euros for one pincho). The food is indeed delicious, but the speed with which the waiters move makes for a slightly cold and impersonal service. Having said that I highly recommend spending at least one evening there.

Address: Bar Jean, 5 Rue des Halles, 64200 Biarritz
Le Comptoir du Foie Gras in Biarritz
Le Comptoir du Foie Gras

Another great tapas bar is Le Comptoir de fois gras, a perfect place to finish your market visit with. They offer a foie gras pincho as well as a great selection of Charcuterie that you can accompany with a bottle of wine or champagne while watching the people rush in and out of the market.

Address: Le Comptoir du Foie Gras, 1 Rue du Ctre, 64200 Biarritz

15. Burgers

Les CAB Biarritz
Les CAB – great place for a burger

Burgers became popular in Biarritz and you can find several american style places with good burgers in the city. My favorite was Le Comptoir à Burger, also known as Le CAB, located on rue Gambetta, which is yet another street full of great restaurants. Their super tasty burgers come with a variety of special toppings such as mozzarella, dry tomatoes and  homemade fries, very thinly sliced.

Address: Le CAB, 62 Rue Gambetta, 64200 Biarritz

16. Basque Patisserie

patisserie Adam
Taste amazing Basque patisserie in Adam

I find it amazing that every region you visit in France has its own local patisserie and the one thing in common is how beautifully they are presented (French aesthetics at its best). In Biarritz it’s the Gâteaux Basques (Basque cakes) that come in many flavours such as nougat, cream and pistachio. Another specialty is the local macaroon which is less pretty than the Parisian  one but loses no points on taste and texture. The basque patisserie is very much based on ground almonds, resembling a bit the taste of croissant aux amandes. My favorite patisserie place was definitely Patiserrie Adam, for its huge variety of basque cakes, the beautiful presentation of every pastry and chocolate and the very lovely service (they gave us a lot of chocolate to taste 🙂 ).

Address: Patisserie Adam, 27 Place Georges Clemenceau, 64200 Biarritz

Another much more famous one is Miremont, which is not just a patisserie place but rather a fancy tea house with beautiful desserts and chocolates and high prices accordingly.

Address: Miremont, 1B Place Georges Clemenceau, 64200 Biarritz

17. Buy local products

basque products
Buy local products

Biarritz is rich with typical and delicious Basque products, most of which you will try in the local restaurants. If you want to take some of the French basque flavors and specialties home with you, visit one of the many local products boutiques around the city. Some of the highlights of the Basque gastronomy are the Espellette peppers, the Basque cheese, Bayonne Ham, Basque cakes and chocolate and the Irouleguy wines (with a strong flavor). Most of the products can be found in the market as well as in one of the shops in front of the market, Etxe Peio. Another beautiful shop for Basque products is Les Gourmandises d’Amatxi Biarritz.

Addresses:
Etxe Peio, 10 Rue des Halles, 64200 Biarritz
Les Gourmandises d’Amatxi Biarritz, 22 Rue Mazagran, 64200 Biarritz

18. Good restaurants

I can go on and on about the amazing Basque cuisine and the endless list of great local restaurants in Biarritz. But for those of you who need some variety, here is a little list of other recommended restaurants in Biarritz.

Le B2 in Biarritz
Le B2 – Great French cuisine

Ragazzi da Peppone – amazing homemade Italian food.

Address: 10 Avenue Victor Hugo, 64200 Biarritz

Le B2 – for French cuisine – good food, great prices and a lovely atmosphere

Address: 5 Rue du Ctre, 64200 Biarritz

Bistro Le Pim’pi – For a good old-fashioned style French Bistro – French classic dishes with an innovative touch.

Address: 4 Avenue de Verdun, 64200 Biarritz

THE SHOPPING

Given to the relatively small size of the city, Biarritz offers a great shopping experience with a variety of famous French retail chains and local boutiques with an emphasis on beach wear and Biarritz related products.

19. Buy clothes

In general there are two main areas for shopping in the center of Biarritz. If you are looking for the big boutiques like Zadig et Voltaire and Morgan go to Avenue Edouard VII, a home to some of the biggest French and international boutiques. You can also head to Galerie la Fayette and find there all the biggest clothing and cosmetics brands.

Shopping street in Biarritz
Avenue Edouard VII – Shopping street in Biarritz

If you’re interested in smaller more local boutiques you can find some of them around the market (Les Halles de Biarritz), like rue Gambetta or rue Victor Hugo. You can also head to the very charming streets rue mazagran and rue du port vieux  – two little pedestrian streets full of boutiques, cafes, bars and galleries. One shop I particularly liked was Tentation, a clothing boutique with a very colorful style.

Address: Tentation, 35 Rue Mazagran, 64200 Biarritz

20. Buy Presents

presents from Biarritz
Some of the presents you can bring back home

If you are looking for a present or a memorabilia to bring from Biarritz, there are few special items that can be great presents. One of the most popular merchandise in Biarritz are the espadrilles, made in France slippers that come in all colors and can be a great present for the summer. They are sold in many shops around Biarritz, but if you want a huge selection go to the very chic Art of Soule shoe store or the more traditional Les Sandales d’Eugénie.

Les espadrilles
Espadrilles – a nice present to bring from Biarritz

Another very popular items are Biarritz’s aprons or the colorful little surfboards with cool graffiti or Biarritz’s scenery on them. One store that has a great selection of presents is Colibri.

Address: Colibri, 16 Rue Mazagran, 64200 Biarritz

Other things to do

21. Museums

There are a few interesting museums in Biarritz and although most people come here for the beaches, it’s good to have some interesting indoor places in case it rains.

Apart from the Aquarium mentioned above, there’s an entertaining museum called Cite de l’ocean, full of interactive activities and multimedia exhibits that allows you to learn about the relationship of Biarritz with the ocean in a very fun way. If you don’t feel like surfing in the real ocean, you can try the virtual reality surf experience in the museum. You can purchase tickets combining the museum with the Aquarium.

Address: Cite de l’ocean, 1 Avenue de la Plage, 64200 Biarritz

Another good museum is the Musée Asiatica, with several collections from China, Nepal and Tibet as well as a large gallery of Indian subcontinent art.

Address: Musée Asiatica, 1 Rue Guy Petit, 64200 Biarritz

22. Casino

Casino Barrière in Biarritz
Casino Barrière

Ever felt inadequate in a casino? well not in this one :). The Casino of Biarritz is located in an art deco building on the main beach, Le grande plage. It’s probably not the most extravagant casino you’ve ever been to, but maybe the relaxed feeling is what makes it nice. There is no real dress code to get inside, except that men need to wear long pants.

Address: Casino Barrière, 1 Avenue Edouard VII, 64200 Biarritz

23. See the architecture

Architecture in Biarritz
Architecture in Biarritz

One of the best ways to discover the city is by strolling on the streets and observing its architecture. When you visit Biarritz try to go beyond the few touristic streets and look for the unique houses and mansions. There are two noticeable places that you should pay attention to in your tour. First is the Hotel du Palais which was the summer palace of Eugénie (the last French empress) and is located between the Grande plage and Plage Miramar. And the other one is the Chapelle Imperiale which was Eugénie’s private chapel. If you have time, visit the chapel to see its beautiful interior. During the tourist season the opening hours are Thursday and Saturday (14-18).

24. Night life

Biarritz is not a party town and you won’t see streets full of clubs with people dancing till morning. The atmosphere here is relaxed and people just love to go out for a drink and eat well. Some of the bars/restaurants can be open quite late if you want to continue drinking after dinner. Two of them are located on one of the main streets in the center,  Rue de port vieux: the Ventillo caffe with live music in the evenings and the Basque bar with a younger vibe. Both are open after midnight which is not obvious in Biarritz.

night life around the market in Biarritz
night life around the market in Biarritz

The market area is another place that becomes alive in the evening. Locals love to have an apero in one of the many bars and you will see the places getting busy with groups of friends as the evening carries on.

25. Go to a day trip from Biarritz 

The Basque region is so rich with places to see that you’ll need a lot of time to visit its main destinations and I have many articles to write about all there is to do in the region. But if you have an extra day or two in Biarritz and you want to profit from the proximity of the town to other attractive destinations, it’s quite easy to do. The main popular places you can go to by train or bus from Biarritz are: San Sebastian, a resort town on the Spanish side of the border (50 km from Biarritz); Saint Jean de Luz, a beautiful little fishing town (20 km from Biarritz) and Bayonne, one of the biggest cities in the area known for its chocolate and ham (10 km from Biarritz).

I hope this long list of things to do and see and where to eat and shop was useful for those planning to visit Biarritz. If Biarritz is not on your travel destinations list, you should definitely add it as you don’t want to miss the beautiful beaches, the delicious Basque food and the chill ambiance of this place!

If you have more recommendations for restaurants, bars, shops or other gems in Biarritz please share them in the comments below. And please share this post with your friends and on social media, otherwise how can your friends discover one of France’s most fun and beautiful destinations? 🙂

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Cognac is a beautiful town in the South West of France that is mostly known for its luxurious spirits. I’ve been living in France for years but somehow visiting Cognac has never crossed my mind until we moved to Bordeaux. I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of the spirit itself, and I drink it only on special occasions. So prior to my visit there I was wondering what’s there to do in Cognac beyond the cellar tours? Luckily there’s plenty of things to do in Cognac! This little town will surprise you with its impressive architecture, delicious restaurants and remarkably nice people. In this article I gathered the top 10 things to do, see and eat in Cognac.

1. Discover the Old City of Cognac

Stroll the narrow paved streets of the city center to absorb the charm of Vieux Cognac (the old Cognac). The architecture will take you back in time to the early days of the salt trade that started the economic growth of the city. Many of the old houses date back to the 16th and 17h centuries, displaying the eclectic architectural style of the city. Most buildings have large windows, an indication of the wealth of the traders living in this area at that period of time. The “newer” part of the old city unveils the vibrant economic and cultural development of Cognac in the 19th century. That trail called the “Belle epoque” starts at Place Francois I and ends at the Jardin de l’hotel de ville. While the center is relatively small, there are plenty of charming streets and nice boutiques so give yourself some time to get lost.

Booking.com

2. Take a tour in a Cognac distillery

With almost 200 Cognac producers in the area, this is definitely the main attraction of Cognac. The cognac houses include big names like Hennessy, Martell, Rémy Martin and Courvoisier. These four produce most of the Cognac exported to the world. Other known brands include Otard, Camus, Meukov and Delamain (located in the neighboring town of Jarnac). Many distilleries offer tours in French and English. However, if you need an English speaking tour, be sure to book in advance. Martell and Hennessy are very popular tours as well those by Otard where you get to visit the old Chateau de Cognac (place of birth of King François I). You should know, however, that many distilleries are closing for winter so consult their tours schedules before heading to Cognac.

We took the Hennessy tour and had a fabulous time. The company’s boat took us to the other side of the river to visit the cellars. Then we learned all about the processes of creating this luxurious spirit, from the terroir to the maturing and assembling processes. At the end of the tour you get to taste two different Cognacs and a Cognac-based liqueur (which to be honest, I loved the most). The price of the tour is 18 euros per person, you can book it here.

If you’re looking for a more authentic / boutique experience check out the “in the Terroir of Cognac” tour. This half day trip includes a visit to several artisan distilleries and a cognac co-operative. You will get to taste some of the best craft cognacs in the region and get a more diverse and full experience of Cognac.

Book this Tour

3. Walk along the Quai of the Charente river

Charente river - Cognac
The promenade by the Charente river in Cognac

For many years the river banks of the Charente river were the prime business center of the city. King François initiated the salt trade in Cognac, making the river an important economic player. Later, all the big Cognac houses would establish their main buildings on the riverfront. Walking on the elegant promenade you’ll pass by the port of Cognac, the Hennessy house, the Chateau de Cognac (now the Otard Cognac house) and the impressive Tours Saint Jacques, one of the only remainings left from medieval times. The promenade itself is very pleasant and makes for a nice tour on both sides of the Charente river.

4. Eat great local food

Do you really think that a place with such a reputation for its luxury alcohol wouldn’t master the gastronomic side as well? There are plenty of great restaurants in Cognac, both in the old city and on the other side of the river (in quartier Saint Jacques). The one we particularly liked was L’atelier des quais, where the delicious food was accompanied by an incredible view of the old part of Cognac. Their big terrace in front of the riverbanks makes it a perfect place for sunny days. Other recommended restaurants are: La Courtine, La Poulpette, L’arty show

5. Taste Pineau des Charentes

Although Cognac is the main star here, there’s another spirit you must taste if you’re in the Charente department. Pineau des Charentes is a fortified wine, created from the mix of grape juice and Cognac eau-de-vie, which then goes through a maturing process. This is a very popular aperitif in Charente but not very known in other parts of France. It’s really good so don’t miss the chance to taste it!

6. Visit the local market

the market in Cognac
The covered market in Cognac

I absolutely adore French markets so I was very happy to discover that there’s a covered market in Cognac. This market is not on my top 10 French markets list but it’s a nice place to buy some local products. One of the stands sells great local alcohol and cheese and you can even order a cheese plate and take it to the picnic area in the middle of the market.

7. Learn about Cognac in the Musée des Arts du Cognac

If you’re interested in learning more about the production of the spirit head to the Musée des Arts du Cognac. This great museum located in a 16th-century mansion, next to the quai, holds an impressive amount of articles, documents and an audio-visual exhibition that will help you learn everything you need to know about Cognac. The price is 5 euros and it’s open daily between 14:00 to 18:00. The address is: Les Remparts, Place de la Salle Verte, 16100 Cognac

8. Drink a Cognac cocktail

As Cognac became an international success it took a life of its own. A fair amount of Cognac-based cocktails have been developed outside of France, in particular in the US. Some cocktails can be ordered in bars and restaurants in Cognac and they are really worth a try. Some of the most popular ones are Classico, Sidecar, French75 and Le Cognac Summit (the tourist information even gives you the recipe, click here to learn how to make it).

9. Visit the villages around Cognac

Although Cognac is the main town of the region, it’s not the only place where the spirit is produced and definitely not the only one worth visiting. If you want to visit more distilleries go to Jarnac, the second distilling town in the area. There you can find Cognac houses like Courvoisier, Louis Royer, Hine and Delamain. And it’s also the place of birth of the former French president François Mitterrand. You can visit a nice museum with all the presents he received during his presidency. Other pretty villages in the area are Bassac and Bourg Charente.

10. A city of festivals

Although it’s a small sized city, there are plenty of cultural events and festivals taking place in the Cognac area throughout the year. In the summer the city hosts one of the biggest music festival in the region, the Cognac Blues Passion. The festival, taking place in July, attracts some of the biggest names in the Blues world. Another big summer festival is Fête du Cognac. The Cognac festival celebrates the spirits of the region, the Cognac, Pineau des Charentes and wines of the region. Another cool festival is Distillerie en fête which takes place during the winter. From December to February plenty of activities are put in place by the Cognac distilleries to help you discover the behind the scenes of Cognac production. For more info check out the tourist info website.

Get into the atmosphere with more photos from Cognac

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cognac for pinterest

Looking for more destinations in the South of France? Check out my guide to a weekend in Bordeaux and the 25 best things to do in Biarritz.

When you think about festivals in Bordeaux, the first things that come in mind are wine and gastronomy. But let’s not forget that Bordeaux is the capital of the Southwest of France and one of France’s cultural hubs. So it’s not a surprise that there are quite a few big music festivals in Bordeaux. In this post, I gathered ten music festivals in Bordeaux and a few other attractive locations in Gironde. The list is very varied and I deliberately included many music genres like Jazz, Rock, electronic music and even Reggae. I added the dates of the festivals in 2019 (if published). For more information about the time and place follow my monthly and weekly lists, or subscribe to my newsletter.

Bordeaux Rock Festival

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

Bordeaux Open air

The Bordeaux Open Air festival is a series of music events taking place in different locations during the summer. These are all electronic music concerts, hosting djs from all over the world. They have a very young urban vibe to them and they are completely free! Some of the events are taking place in Jardin Public, right in the center of Bordeaux. With this festival your summer Sundays are covered.

Bordeaux relache festival

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

Fête de la musique

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

Millesime festival

This is a great event for all electronic music lovers who want to enjoy the unique atmosphere of an electronic music festival and still stay in the region of Bordeaux. Festival Millesime takes place in the early summer days in a beautiful town, La Réole, located about 40 minutes drive from Bordeaux. The festival hosts more than 30 electronic artists on three stages that are located on the banks of the Garonne river. Live electronic music with a beautiful view, sounds like a perfect summer festival to me. In 2019 the dates are May 31- June 1- click here for more details.

Jazz Festival in Saint Emilion

Saint Emilion with its romantic scenery is the perfect place to host this elegant event. The Saint Emilion Jazz festival was founded in 2012 and since than has been taking place every year in July. In its seven years of existence, it has seen more than 15k visitors. If you’re headed to the area in July, this one is really recommended. During the three days of the festival Saint Emilion offers a great mix of jazz concerts, wine tasting and tasty food. In the festival area you will find a wine bar with the wines of Saint Emilion and a gourmand market with local products and food trucks.

Arcachon en Scene

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

Festival Musicalarue

One of the biggest music festivals in Bordeaux area actually takes place in a small village in the landes department, named Luxey. The Musicalarue music festival usually takes places in mid August in the forest, just next to the village. The lineup includes a very long list of artists and bands, which in previous years included some big names such as Shaka Ponk, Gaël Faure and Matmatah and in 2019 will include Patti Smith, Orelsan and more. In 2019 the festival will take place on August 15-17 – click here for more info.

Reggae Sun Ska music festival

Sun Ska is a huge Reggae festival taking place every August in Vertheuil, between the vineyards of the medoc area. The lineup includes tens of artists with some big names like Ziggy Marley and the French Dub Inc. The festival was created in 1998 and besides music it has a strong environmental agenda. During the days of the festival many activities are taking place to raise the environmental awareness among the participants. In 2019 the festival is taking place on August 2-3 – for more details click here.

Piano Festival

I’m closing the list with a slightly different type of festival – the Piano festival of Bordeaux. Festival L’esprit du Piano takes place every year in the Auditorium of Bordeaux, usually mid-November. Every year this festival hosts worldwide known pianists like Abdullah Ibrahim, Chick Corea, Yefim Bronfman and more. Read more about the festival here.

piano

Other festivals that didn’t get into the list but are still worth mentioning are the Climax festival in Darwin in September, the Organ festival that is taking places in some of the churches of Bordeaux during the summer and the ODP music festival in Talence in May.

Hope you enjoyed my list! Do you want to know more about other type of events in Bordeaux and the area? Just comment below and I might write a post about that too 🙂

Bacalan is a northern district of Bordeaux, an area that, until recently, has largely been avoided by tourists and locals.  The grungy landscapes of the port and its distance from the city center aren’t as appealing as the beautiful architecture and lovely squares of the historic center of Bordeaux. In the last few years, however, the Bacalan district has been changing its face, emerging to be one of the most interesting places in Bordeaux, with plenty of new neighborhoods and places to explore.

Smart planning transformed the otherwise unsavory port characteristics of the neighborhood into pleasant features. The gigantic hangars, the boats and the unusual infrastructure turned into places of emerging arts, music, food and leisure, transforming the neighborhood into one of the most intriguing places in Bordeaux. So if you haven’t yet had the chance to visit this amazing neighborhood or you feel there’s not much there for you to do, let me prove you wrong. From street art, to wine, whiskey and live music, here is the list of the best things you can do and see in Bacalan:

La Cité du Vin

la cite du vin in Bordeaux

La cité du vin is a “must” place for any wine lover but can be very interesting and enjoyable for people who don’t drink at all. This impressive piece of modern architecture is a one of a kind cultural center, all dedicated to discovering the wine world. Through its interactive exhibition, It offers a journey to both French and global wine history. You will learn about wine making, see movies and interviews with wine producers and then pass on to smell and taste wine. The cite du vin allows you to discover a selection of wines from all over the world and offers one of the best panoramic views of Bordeaux.

Address: 134 – 150 Quai de Bacalan, 33300 Bordeaux
Opening hours: weekdays from 10am to 6pm, weekends and holidays 10am to 7pm
For more info check out the website of cite du Vin

Have a drink or a snack at les Halles des Bacalan

marche de bacalan in Bordeaux

This fancy food market opened its gates on November 2017 and has been visited by more than 60,000 people in the first month. It’s no surprise, as Bordeaux is well known for its gourmand population. This impressive 950m2 hangar is located just in front of the famous Cité du vin and hosts 23 different artisans and traders that were chosen for the quality of their products (85% of which are produced in the South-West region of France). Now, when all of this food is accompanied by several bars, you are guaranteed to have a good time.

Opening hours:  from Tuesday to Friday 8:00 – 14:30 and 16:30-20:30, Saturday 8:00- 22:00 and Sunday 8:00-17:00
Address: 149 Quai de Bacalan, 33300 Bordeaux

Les Vivre de l’art – emerging arts and impressive sculptures 

les vivres d'art - art and music events

Les vivres de l’art is one of the most fascinating arts projects in Bordeaux. Located just a few steps from the cité du vin, in an architectural historic monument called les Vivres de la Marine. Iron sculptures made by the artist Jean-François Buisson (which works there since 2003) adorn the place and give it its creative characteristic. Since 2008 it has become an artistic association, holding cultural events, workshops, vintage sales, music festivals, exhibitions, and more. This is one place in the neighborhood you don’t want to miss, even just for a sneak peak of the beautiful and creative sculptures which can be seen from the road.

Opening hours: open daily from Monday to Friday 10:00 to 12:30 and from 14:00 to 18:00, and usually hosts different events during the weekend (consult the program on their site).
Address: Les Vivres de l’Art – Place Victor Raulin – 1 rue Achard – 33300 Bordeaux
For more info check out the website of Les Vivres de l’art

Le Garage moderne – a social garage

la garage moderne - social garage

Le Garage Moderne is a social garage, a brilliant gem of a place where you can come to fix your own car and bicycle while experiencing art and culture, workshops and social meetings. If you’re fed up with being clueless about your car or bike every time they break, then it’s time to join a social garage and acquire some skills. The mechanics in the garage moderne can accompany the reparation process  with explanations adapted to your level of mechanical ability. This incredible space is far more than just a garage. There’s a restaurant where you can eat lunch, an outdoor café and a cultural space where weekly expos and concerts take place.

Address: 1 rue des Etrangers, 33000 BORDEAUX
Opening hours: The garage itself is open Monday to Friday (9:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 18:00, closed Tuesday morning), the restaurant is open from Tuesday to Saturday 11:00- 18:00
For more info check out the website of le garage moderne

Street art all over 

graffiti bacalan

As seen in many dynamic cities around the world, the street art scene has a tendency to bloom in emerging neighborhoods. It brings both new and established artists to portray their art on the walls of their neighborhood and in some cases it’s the city who invites these artists the use the urban space and get creative. This is exactly the case of Bacalan and the results are nothing but astounding. No matter where you go, you’ll cross by some of the most impressive paintings on building walls, warehouses, and different urban structures. Even if you don’t enter any of the places I mentioned in this list, Bacalan is worth a visit only for the art.

La Base sous marine – a German bunker turned into a museum

base sous marine

Built by the Germans during the second World War, this old submarine base has been converted into a space dedicated to contemporary arts, which allows you to enjoy the space itself no less than the art presented there. The fact that the expositions are usually of the digital, street and visual arts kind, allows the artist to leverage this unusual space to its full potential. There aren’t any permanent exhibitions in La Base Sous Marine so the place is open only when an exhibition is being presented. It is located on one of the most interesting parts of the Bacalan area  – the Bassins a flot, which are worth a visit even if the museum is closed. Finding the entrance can be quite tricky. So if you come from the” la cité du vin“ tram station be sure to walk on rue Lucien Faure before turning right to Boulevard Alfred Daney. Also, if you come with kids, it’s important to know that strollers are not allowed in the structure as it’s dark and has a lot of stairs (you can leave the stroller at the entrance).

Open from Tuesday to Sunday 13:30 to 19:00 (only during exhibitions). Check out the facebook page of la Base Sous Marine for more details.
Address: Boulevard Alfred Daney, 33300 Bordeaux

Go to a concert on the I.boat

Iboat in Bordeaux

The Iboat, mostly known as a concert venue, is a three level ferry spanning 687m2, anchored to one of the docks of Bassins a flot. Since its opening in 2011 the I.boat has dedicated itself to promoting emerging artists, especially in the electronic music scene. Within the years it has become a multidisciplinary place with a concert hall and a club hosting more than 250 events a year, a terrace hosting Dj sets and happy hours and a restaurant. One of the special features of the place is the Upper deck where they host events and exhibitions during the evenings and then transform it into a chill out area after midnight. During summer you could also enjoy the outdoor area on the deck, with an exceptional view of the basin. Take a look at the program of events.
The opening hours:
Concert from 7pm to 23pm | Club from 11.30pm to 6am  from Tuesday to Saturday
Restaurant: Lunch from Monday to Saturday from 12am to 2pm and Dinner from Tuesday to Saturday from 7pm to 23pm
Address: bassin a flot n°1 – Quai Armand Lalande

Have a lunch or a drink at one of the restaurants next to the basins 

standby coffee shop
Standby coffee shop

If you’re hungry or need a coffee break, I’ve got you covered. Although there are some bars and restaurants all over the Bacalan neighborhood, many of the cool places are concentrated on the southern side of the first basin (Bassin à Flot n°1). On the long dock (which you can approach from rue Lucien Faure), you’ll find restaurants, coffee shops and plenty of bars on the dock, on the roof and on boats.
Some places worth mentioning are:
  • The Wallace Bar – the rooftop bar of the Radisson Blu hotel (Bassin à flot n°1, Quai Armand Lalande).
  • Café Maritime – a very classical French restaurant with a beautiful decor (Bassin à flot n°1, Quai Armand Lalande)
  • The standby cafe– on the main street – just in front of the Bassins – a cool place to grab a cup of coffee (80 rue Lucien Faure).
  • Loft 33 – a wine bar and a restaurant with live music – Hangar G4, 51 rue Lucien Faure.

Visit the Bordeaux Whiskey Distillery

Did you know that there’s a whiskey distillery in Bordeaux? While many activities and tours in Bordeaux revolve around wine, it’s actually the local whisky producer who is housed in one of the most special places in Bordeaux. The Moon Harbour Whiskey, opened in 2014, is 100% Bordelaise, from the grains that are growing in Saint Jean d’Illac to the barrels used to age the Whiskey that are coming from some of the most famous wine chateaux in the region (such as Sauternes). The barrel room is located inside a bunker built by the Germans during the Second World War as part of the constructions of the Submarine Base (mentioned above). Apart from  tasting the local whiskey and gin, the location of the barrel room is what makes the visit there so special. The tour (which is offered in French and English) is followed by explanations on malting and the production of whiskey as well as tastings of the three products of the distillery. The visit requires prior reservation by phone ( 05 56 29 86 60) or email ([email protected]). The price is 10€/pers for the visit and tasting.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday from 11:00 to 18:00 and Saturdays from 11:00 to 15:00 and from 16:30 to 18:00.
For more info check out the site of Moon Harbour.
Address: 492 Boulevard Adfred Daney, 33300 BORDEAUX

Find the UFO on the water

bassins a flot

Le “soucoupe volante”, a UFO shaped sculpture, the work of the artist Suzanne Triester, made quite a buzz in Bordeaux when it appeared in the middle of the basins last May. This piece of art was purchased by the Bordeaux Metropole as part of their vast investment in contemporary art in the city. Now all you have to do is take a walk on the docks of the basin to find it. As the area is quite packed with boats, buildings and a lot of construction machinery, the sculpture is not that easy to find. So to give you a little hint, try to look for it when you are searching for a bar/ restaurant on the docks :).

Hope you enjoyed the list and that it will help you to discover new places in this surprising city.
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If it’s your first time in Bordeaux and you want to get to know the other parts of this beautiful city – check out my general guide to Bordeaux.
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Saint Michel is one of the most cosmopolitan and lively neighborhoods in Bordeaux, a home to a mixed population of students, immigrants, artists and people attracted to the hip vibe of the neighborhood. While it’s usually not part of the traditional sights seeing tours of Bordeaux, it’s worth much more than a short visit to the Basilica of Saint Michel and its tower. Saint Michel is located next to some of the most posh areas of Bordeaux and yet it has a completely different feeling to it, at times it feels as if Victor Hugo cuts Bordeaux into two different cities. The neighborhood is home to some of the best markets of Bordeaux, numerous places where you can browse for vintage clothes and furniture and an endless list of lively restaurants and cafes.

This guide to Saint Michel offers you a great variety of things to Do and See in Saint Michel. We’ll go through the most important monuments in the neighborhood and recommend where to eat, drink, shop and have a picnic. This neighborhood is constantly evolving and new places are opening all the time so even if you live in Bordeaux for a while now, I invite you to take a look and re-discover one the happiest places in town.

Basilique Saint Michel

The Saint Michel Basilica, classified as a world heritage of UNESCO in 1998 stands at the heart of this lively neighborhood. This church, built between the 14th and 16th century in a Flamboyant Gothic style, is the biggest parish church in Bordeaux. The Basilica is 75 meters long and is divided into 3 distinct parts. Start your tour from rue Canteloup and go towards Place Meynard in order to have the basilica fully reveal herself. 

Basilique Saint Michel in Bordeaux
Basilica of Saint Michel

See Bordeaux from la Flèche Saint-Michel

Just next to the basilica you’ll find the Saint Michel bell tower or “la flèche” as the Bordelaises like to call it. This is one of the main monuments of the city and one of the sights you will often find on postcards of Bordeaux. Built in the 15th century, the bell tower of the basilica is 114 meters high and is the highest bell tower in the south of France. La flèche is a standalone building alongside the basilica, rather than on top of it.  During the tourist season the tower is open to visitors and due to its height, offers a magnificent view of the city. 

In 1881 a cemetery and catacombs were discovered under the town bell. Several mummies, that were also part of that discovery were shown to the public in the late 18th century. You can learn more about one the biggest mysteries of the city in the film presented in the cellar of the tower. The “Fleche” is located on Place Canteloup and can be visited daily from April to October, the ticket price is 5 euros. 

View of Bordeaux from the bell tower of Saint Michel
The view of Bordeaux from the bell tower of Saint Michel

The Saint Michel Market

Marché Royal, one of the biggest open-air markets in Bordeaux, takes place every Saturday morning at Place Meynard. The surroundings of the church and bell tower is filled with more than 100 merchants, selling everything from fruits and vegetables to kitchen supplies, clothes and even pillows :). From my experience, this is the cheapest market in Bordeaux. However, if you are into bio produce, this one is probably not for you. On sunny Saturday mornings, the market attracts both locals, doing their weekly shopping and outsiders that come for the noisy market atmosphere and chic cafés.

On Monday mornings a different market is taking place in front of the church. You will find very diversified merchandise displayed on the stands of Marché Neuf, including books, house supplies, clothing, toys and more, however it’s not a food market and doesn’t have the vibe of Marché Royal. This market is composed of hundreds of stands but has a more local vibe to it.

Saturday morning market of Saint Michel
The Saturday market of Saint Michel

When: Marché Royal: Saturdays 7am to 1pm; Marché Neuf:Mondays 7am to 1pm
Place Canteloup et Meynard – 33800 Bordeaux

Browsing for Antiques

A French Brocante  (secondhand goods market) is a nice way to discover the history, culture and different fashion trends of a city through the interesting stories of the objects you find. It usually doesn’t have a feeling of a flea market but rather a more antiques and vintage vibe to it.  In Bordeaux , the brocantes have an important place and besides many local vide greniers (kind of a garage sale), the city hosts a huge brocante twice a year in Place de Quinconces. But if your visit is not planned during this time of the year,  Saint Michel proposes a smaller scale brocante all year long.

Les Brocanteurs du Passage

Passage Saint Michel, located just in front of the church is home to 18 stands of antiques dealers and artists, with a variety of art and design items from different periods and styles. The prices are quite high but it can definitely inspire if you are into vintage stuff.  The passage is open daily except Monday , see more details here. 

Passage Saint Michel in Bordeaux
Le Passage – a lot of different styles, very vintage oriented

Address: 15 place Canteloup, 33800 Bordeaux

Les Hangars

Les Hangars is a new space of antiques and vintage pieces of art and furniture. It has a very posh and spacious look to it and is quite pricey but it has a significant selection of antiques.

les hangars saint michel - antiques shop
Les Hangars – very posh with a nice selection

Address: 18 – 22 Rue des Allamandiers, 33800 Bordeaux

Sunday flea market

Every Sunday morning more than 80 dealers gather at the square in front of the Basilica of Saint Michel for the Brocante du Dimanche. This is the weekly flea market of Bordeaux where you can find real bargains and purchase everything from toys for kids to antique frames and electronic devices. The quality of most of the items is not the highest but as with any flea market, you’ll have to work to find what you’re looking for.   

When: Sundays 7am to 2pm
Place Canteloup et Meynard – 33800 Bordeaux

Eat and shop at La Mère Michel

La Mére Michel is the essence of what the main square of the quartier is all about, a combination of a brocante with good food, a great location and a hip atmosphere. It has a beautiful view of the bell tower of Saint Michel, but distant enough from the hustle of the market. On the menu it says “Crêperie-Bistrot-Brocante” and that’s what it is. The house specialty are crepes and the menu is mostly composed of many different types of crepes and galettes, with some traditional plates as well. The interior is decorated with many vintage items and they are all for sale for very affordable prices. Even if you don’t plan on buying anything, I’d still recommend you take a look on the unique design they’ve put in place. On a sunny day, it’s a perfect place for an outside brunch, with tables  right on Place Meynard, facing the bell tower and the church.  The restaurant is open the whole day on weekends and closes for a break between lunch and dinner on week days. 

la mere michel
La Mère Michel – perfect for a sunny day and you can buy anything you see on the walls

Address: 22 Place Meynard, 33000 Bordeaux

Drink mint tea

Saint Michel is full of chic cafes and it’s hard to chose one when you want to take a break from antiques browsing. If you stay in the church area you will see that a lot of locals are actually drinking mint tea and not coffee. Until recently Saint Michel was mostly an immigrant neighborhood and many shops and cafés are owned by families who emigrated to Bordeaux from the Maghreb or the Middle East. Glasses stuffed with spearmint is something your’re going to see a lot on Saturday mornings there. My favorite place is Café de la Fraternité which is located on place Meynard right in front of the church.

café de la fraternité
Drink mint tea at Café de la Fraternité

Address: 27 Place Meynard, 33000 Bordeaux

Buy pastries at la Boulangerie

If you see a long line of people coming from a boulangerie, especially on Saturday morning, you’re at the right place. La Boulangerie (la boutique) on  51 rue des Faures, is a very popular bakery frequented by both locals and tourists. It’s located next to the Bell tower of Saint Michel. The design is very simple and modern with a nice vintage touch. They offer great baguettes and a nice selection of pastry that you can take with you to one of the cafés on Place Meynard.

la boulangrie saint michel
La boulangrie – great baguettes and a nice selection of pastries.

Address: 251 rue des Faures, 33000 Bordeaux

Buy Mediterranean spices

Alongside the many cafes and restaurants, you will find plenty of shops specializing in mediterranean food, most of them located in Rue des Faures.  From outside they may seem as just small supermarkets but if you go inside you’ll discover a paradise of spices such as Sumak, Bahar, Tahini and more. Bordeaux doesn’t have a big immigrant population and specific ingredients are not always easy to find, that’s why this place is a treasure for everyone who is looking to cook an Arabic or Persian dish. My favorite one is Bazar Istanbul on 84 Rue des Faures, where I’ve always been able to find anything I need. 

If you’re planning on a mint tea break, as was suggested before, combine it with some beautiful oriental pastry. France is the Queen of Patisserie, there’s no dispute about that, but if you need a break from the traditional French patisserie, A la rose de Tunis on 70 Rue des Faures, with its huge selection of Tunisian pastry is the place for you. 

Bazar Istanbul Saint Michel
Bazar Istanbul- one of the best places for oriental spices

 

The cafés:

Saint Michel is a rising area in Bordeaux and a wave of new  hip coffee places have established themselves in the neighborhood. Besides the many restaurants next to the main square and all around the area, there are also plenty of relatively new cafés with a hipster vibe to them. Two of my favorite ones are:

Michel ma belle: a small cozy coffee place on 33 Rue Gaspard Philipp,  with a great selection of cakes, beautiful interior design and a distant view of the bell tower from the few tables outside. 

Michel ma belle - cafe in Bordeaux

Excuse my French: Located right in front of Bazar Istanbul on 87 Rue des Faures.  There are a few tables on the busy street outside giving it a very lively atmosphere.

excuse my French cafe in Bordeaux

 

Visit the Capucins market

Le Marche des Capucins is a true Bordelaise institution. It’s located a few minutes walk from the main area of Saint Michel and can be seen from the Basilica. This is the biggest daily market and has everything that a good market should have. Stands of Fruits, vegetables, sweets, spices and fish all mixed with lively cafes and restaurants. Most of it is covered so you can enjoy it on the city’s numerous rainy days. Most cafes and restaurants also have tables outside, which makes it a perfect place to hang out with friends and family for an early snack or a proper lunch. In the weekend, the market is packed with locals, who gather to dine oysters accompanied by white wine. Be sure to come early to be able to catch a table.  Marché des Capucins is open daily except Monday.

Marché des Capucins SainMichel bordeaux
Oysters and wine at Marché des Capucins

Have a picnic in Parc des Sports

Parc de Sports is a large green area with different sport facilities, located on the bank of the Garonne just in front of the Saint Michel neighborhood. If you walked too much and need to rest, buy some goodies at the market and head to the “Quai” for a picnic. This parc is less known than other picnic spots in the city and is mostly used by the locals, which makes it less crowded on Sunny days.  Also, the view of the Garonne is quite impressive so try to find a spot closer to the river.

If you are looking for more places for a picnic, check out my list of best places for picnics in Bordeaux.

Parc des sports saint michel-
Take a little pause at Parc des sports

See an expo in the Silicon gallery

Silicon is a space of contemporary art with an agenda to promote young local artists. The gallery is located in one of the quieter streets in Saint Michel and is not that easy to spot, but definitely worth a visit if you’re around.  See up to date info about the running exhibitions here. The gallery is located on 33 rue Leyteire. 

silicon art gallery Saint Michel
Silicon art gallery – discover new local talent

Address: 33 rue Leyteire, 33000

Shop for second hand clothing

There are several second hand clothing shops in the area including Amos, a big chain of solidarity shops in France. One of my favorites is the little boutique on 9 rue des Faures, called Le Fil a Retordre. It looks small but has everything you need, clothes, shoes, books, toys, house decor and even some original designs of clothes and bags recycled from old items, all in very good condition. It’s owned by a nice lady who has owned several second hand shops in Saint Michel in the last 35 years. You can feel she’s a real local with an agenda to make clothes accessible to everyone and has not raised prices despite the rising popularity of the neighborhood.

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

Address: 9 rue des Faures, 33000

Dinner and concert at Quartier libre

Although it doesn’t look very impressive from the outside, this is one of the best places in town for a nice dinner with a live concert. The menu is usually quite limited but has great value. Most nights a concert is taking place at the bar, with a variety of local bands playing. Wednesday evening is jazz night, and you even have a place to dance if you feel like swinging. Quartier Libre is located on 30 Rue des Vignes.

quartier libre Saint Michel
Quartier Libre – good food and live music

Address: 30 Rue des Vignes, 33000

Discover rue Camille Sauvageau

There are so many beautiful boutiques, trendy cafes and bars on this street that it requires a separated article.
I invite you to take a walk on this charming street that starts from the Basilica of Saint Michel and goes all the way to the Saint Croix neighborhood. Everything feels very stylish, vintage clothing shops, a nice little flower shop, the old buildings and the paved road all add to the charm of this narrow street. Take a long walk to discover the gems on rue Camille Sauvageau.

Rue Camille Sauvageau - Saint Michel
Rue Camille Sauvageau – one of the most charming street in Saint Michel

 

As this is one of the most growing neighborhoods in Bordeaux there are new cafes, restaurants and boutiques popping up almost weekly so to be really up to date you should visit there frequently. In this list I tried to give you the places that are particularly loved by the locals so you could try and experience your visit through their eyes.

If you go visit and find something new, don’t be shy and comment with your update below.

Share it with friends who are planning to visit Bordeaux this summer. Thanks!!

A few weeks ago I published the guide of “things to do in Bordeaux with kids when it’s raining“. Some of the suggestions in that list are also valid without kids, and in this post I’d like to suggest additional fun things to do when it’s raining outside and you don’t have kids to entertain. So for all the people without kids, tourists with grown up kids or the lucky ones whose parents are babysitting, this article is for you.

When you look at local guides to Bordeaux you mostly see outdoor places such as the Miroir d’eau, Place de la comedie and so on. But the truth is that Bordeaux is a very active city and there are many things you could do outside your house even when it’s pouring.  I’ve come up with a list of fun activities in Bordeaux, and you’d be surprised how many cool stuff you can experience indoors. So if it’s your first time in Bordeaux, don’t be discouraged by the wet weather and follow my list of special things to do in rainy Bordeaux.

Food and wine with friends at Halles des Bacalan

This fancy food market opened its gates on November 2017 and has been visited by more than 60,000 people in the first month. No surprises there , as Bordeaux is well known for its gourmand population. This impressive 950m2 hangar is located just in front of the famous Cité du vin and hosts 23 different artisans and traders that were chosen for the quality of their products (85% of which are produced in the South-West region of France). Now, when all of this food is accompanied by several bars, you are guaranteed to have a good time.

Les halles des bacalan is open from Tuesday to Friday from 8:00- 14:30 and 16:30-20:30, Saturday 8:00- 22:00 and Sunday 8:00-17:00

Les halles des bacalan

Address: 149 Quai de Bacalan, 33300 Bordeaux

Darwin

Darwin is probably one of the most surprising places in Bordeaux. An old military base  turned into an urban space with a work space/incubator for startups, a skate park for all ages, a restaurant and many other surprises, all with an agenda of ecological awareness. If you feel  you need to get out of the center to a refreshing place, go a head to Darwin where you can eat at their designed restaurant, buy bio products in their shop, do shopping in Emmaus and enjoy a unique street art.

Darwin ecosystem Bordeaux

Address: 87 Quai de Queyries – 33100 Bordeaux

Visit art museums

If you are in the mood for some art on a rainy day, there are a few museums in the center of Bordeaux that are dedicated to art and design, the most important ones are:

Le musée des beaux-arts

This museum is famous for its sculptures and paintings from the 16th to  20st century, among them the works of Pérugin, Rubens, Chardin, Delacroix, Matisse alongside Bordelaise artists such as Odilon Redon and Albert Marquet. The museum regularly hosts temporary exhibitions as well as concerts and art events. Open everyday except Tuesday 11:00-18:00

Address: 20 Cours d’Albret, 33000 Bordeaux

Musée des Art décoratifs et du Design

The museum of decorative art and design is located in a beautiful 18th century mansion and is one of UNESCO’s heritage sites in Bordeaux. Many of the furniture and pieces of art you will see in this museum are dated to the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.  Not less impressive is the original woodwork and wooden floor of the museum. Open everyday except Tuesday 11:00-18:00

Address: 39 rue Bouffard 33000 Bordeaux

Le CAPC – musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux

Le CAPC is worth visiting even if you are not a big fan of contemporary arts. The museum is housed in an old wool warehouse where commodities, traded down the river, used to be stored. What makes it special is the combination of modern art with the old architecture of the building. In the permanent collection there are almost 300 works of art and it regularly hosts temporary exhibitions that are dedicated to the history of art.  Open from Tuesday to Sunday 11:00-18:00.

Address: 7 Rue Ferrere, 33000 Bordeaux

CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux
CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux

*All museums mentioned above are free every first Sunday of the month.  

 

Play game boards in Jeux barjo

Jeux Barjo is the most central game bar in Bordeaux which includes several spaces: mezzanine, cellar and large libraries. Anyone can enjoy this bar as it holds a very impressive board game collection, and even if you are not familiar with the games, the friendly staff are there to explain the rules. The bar offers different menus of games, drinks, and tapas. Jeux barjo is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 14:00.

Address: 12 Rue Saint-James, 33000 Borde

Make a tour in the Opera of Bordeaux

The Grand Theatre de Bordeaux was built at the end of the 18th century by the architect Victor Louis. It is  one of the most beautiful 18th century theaters in the world and is one of France’s preserved historical buildings. Previously a seat of the French parliament, today it serves as a home to the Opera National de Bordeaux and the Ballet National de Bordeaux. Excluding  the summer period, the Grand Theatre offers guided tours in the building. The tours take place on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 14h30, 16h00 and 17h30. The price is 6 euros and free to people under 26. For reservations (obligatory).  

Address: Place de la Comédie, 33000 Bordeaux

See modern art in la Base sous marine

This is one of the most unique places you can find in Bordeaux. Built by the Germans during the second World War, this old submarine base has been converted into a space dedicated to contemporary arts, which allows you to enjoy the space itself no less than the art presented there. The fact that the type of the expositions are usually digital ,street and visual arts allows the artist to use this unusual space to its full potential. Base sous marine is  located in the Bacalan neighborhood, so it can be combined with a drink in the Bacalan market mentioned above.

It can be a bit tricky to find the entrance, so if you come from the la cité du vin tram station be sure to walk on rue lucien faure before turning right to Boulevard Alfred Daney. Also, if you come with kids, it is important to know that strollers are not allowed in the exhibition as it’s dark and has a lot of stairs.

Open from Tuesday to Sunday 13:30 to 19:00 (only during exhibitions).

la base sous marine bordeaux

Address: Boulevard Alfred Daney, 33300 Bordeaux

Try to get out of an escape room in Espace Hunt

Escape rooms have become  popular around the world and it definitely didn’t skip Bordeaux. There are a few escape rooms in Bordeaux and Espace Hunt, located next to Gare Saint-Jean is one of them. The concept is that for one day you become a group of detectives and you have 60 minutes to collect clues and solve a series of questions in order to exit the room before time runs out. The place offers 3 different games: “ The Mystery of St-Emilion”, “Murder in the Harbour” and “Jack the Ripper “. The bigger your group is the easier it will be to get out, and in general the Hunt is not recommended if you’re only 2 players unless you have a previous experience in escape rooms.

After the game you can enjoy a coffee in a 100m2 Victorian salon and take photos in special detective costumes. Speaking French is not necessary as Espace Hunt provide a dedicated multi-lingual game master that will be your personal guide throughout the game. Reservations must be made online and the price varies with the amount of players (2 players: 72€ , 3 players: 87€ , 4 players: 100€ , 5 players: 105€ – total for the room). Espace Hunt Bordeaux is open daily from 10:00 to 23:00.

Age: the place in not recommended for kids under 12 and all kids under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. One of the rooms is forbidden for kids under 16.

Adresse: 5 rue Pierre Loti, 33800 Bordeaux 

See a movie in Utopia

Utopia is an independent cinema theater that offers a unique experience as it is installed in an ancient church, l’église du Vieux Bordeaux. The program is very divers, from little independant productions to big budget movies and old classical ones. Utopia is much more than just a cinema, there are regular meetings with directors and debates on social  issues that are being addressed in movies. At the entrance to this beautiful building you will also find a restaurant and for sunny days there are a lot of tables outside watching Place Camille Jullian . An old movie and a lunch in an old church with a friend, sounds like the most comforting plan for a rainy day.

The price is 7 euros, see the program.

Utopia cinema Bordeaux
Photo by: Ramon Szmuk

Address: 5 Place Camille Jullian, 33000 Bordeaux

Centre Aquatique Caliceo

What’s better than to pamper yourself in a spa when it’s raining outside? The Caliceo center offers you just that. A spa with pools, aquatraining, hammam, different saunas and massage to relax and forget about work and city life.

The place is open daily from 10:00 to 21:00. See prices here.

Address: Quartier du Tasta, 8 Rue Jean Pommies, 33520 Bruges

Axe Throwing in Pessac

If you feel like doing something extraordinary that you probably haven’t done before – consider axe throwing. Apparently it’s a thing and Les Freres Jacks is the place for it in the Bordeaux area. You have to reserve a target for one hour (up to 3 people for 1 target) and the price is 48€ for a target. Open from Tuesday to Sunday.

Address: 152 Avenue Jean Jaurès, 33600 Pessac

Le garage moderne

Le Garage Moderne is a special combination of a garage for cars and bicycles and a place of art and culture, workshops and social meetings. If you have a problem with your car or your bicycle, it’s a good opportunity to learn how to fix them from the mechanics in garage moderne as they accompany the reparation with explications adapted to your level of mechanic knowledge. Apart from that you can just drop by to have a drink, make friends and see interesting art expos. Le garage moderne is open from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 18:00.

Address: 1 Rue des Étrangers, 33300 Bordeaux

La cité du vin

The cité du vin is a “must” place for any wine lover but can be very interesting and enjoyable for people who don’t drink at all. This impressive piece of modern architecture is a one of a kind cultural center, all dedicated to discovering the wine world. Through its interactive exhibition, It offers a journey to both French and global wine history. You will learn about wine making, see movies and interviews with wine producers and then smell and taste wine. The cite du vin allows you to discover a selection of wines from all over the world and to see the best panoramic view of Bordeaux.

However, before going you should know that it is quite expensive (20€ per ticket) and many people are quite disappointed that the wine tasting include only one glass of wine. Having said that it is an interactive full sensor activity that you are most likely to enjoy and is a great thing to do on a rainy day in Bordeaux. The Cite du vin is open daily from 10am to 7pm.

cite du vin Bordeaux
photo by: ramonszmuk

Address: 134 – 150 Quai de Bacalan, 33300 Bordeaux

 


I hope this list gave you a lot of ideas for the upcoming rainy weather! If I missed any indoor places that you know about please let us know in the comments below.

Thank you for reading and share if you liked it 🙂