What’s happening in Bordeaux in May? Our charming city feels very lively in May. All the outdoor places around Bordeaux are starting to open up with locals occupying every terrace café in town. The summer season in Bordeaux is officially on!
In this article, I made a list of all the best events and ideas for things to do in Bordeaux in May 2023. If it’s your first time here don’t forget to check my article about the 50 best things to do in Bordeaux as well as my Bordeaux district guide (especially helpful for those looking for accommodation in Bordeaux).
Now let’s see what’s waiting for us in Bordeaux and the Southwest of France in May 2023!
The best events in Bordeaux (and Gironde) in May 2023
Open doors in Saint-Emilion
An open-door weekend will take place on April 29 – May 1st in Saint Emilion where tens of wine producers will open their chateaux to the public.
The weekend will include many activities such as wine tastings, visits to the chateaux, games for kids, and bike rides. Check out the full program for the participating châteaux, the activities, and the wine tasting proposed for that weekend – here. You can also plan your trip to this wine region with my detailed guide to Saint Emilion.
When: April 29- May 1st / Where: different locations around Saint Emilion
The opening of La Guinguette chez Alriq
The best place for sunny weekends in Bordeaux is about to reopen for its summer season. La Guinguette chez Alriq is a tavern in the Bastide neighborhood, on the rive droite of the Garonne. On a sunny day, you can enjoy a cold beer, nice food, and daily concerts with a magnificent view of the Garonne. The first concert will take place on May 4, see the full program for the month here.
Discover other summer bars in Bordeaux in my article.
When: Starting May 4 / Where: ZA Quai des Queyries, Port Bastide, 33100 Bordeaux
Tous À L’opéra
The Opera of Bordeaux invites you to its annual event on May 5-7. The program includes public rehearsals, performances, workshops for kids, and more. Some of the activities require prior reservation.
You can find all the info here.
When: May 5-7 / Where: Opere de Bordeaux
Search for beautiful antiques at the Brocante
The big brocante of Bordeaux is hosted twice a year at Place des Quinconces with 200 antique dealers, horticulturists, restaurants, and craftsmen. It’s the biggest brocante event in the area and the selection is huge, from vintage home decor to paintings, antique furniture, garden accessories, and more.
The market is taking place from April 21 to May 8. For more info and the list of exhibitors click here.
When: April 21 – May 8 / Where: Place des Quinconces, Bordeaux
Go on a wine trip in Medoc
May is probably one of the best months to do the Route des Chateaux in Medoc, a magnificent wine trail, that combines nature, history, and culture on one beautiful road.
You can do it as a day trip from Bordeaux and visit wineries located not far from the city. Here are a few I can recommend: Chateau d’Arsac, (book a visit here), the charming family-run Chateau Siran (book a visit here) and Chateau Kirwan (book a visit here).
If you prefer to go on a tour with a guide, here’s a great wine tour company that will take you on a half-day tour, with two winery visits – click here for all the details. However, if you have the time I recommend going there for at least 2 days and discovering the north part of Medoc. Read about my weekend in Medoc in this article.
Les Cogitations is a mocking art festival taking place in the L’entrepot in Lehaillan on May 9-14. Check out the full list of performers here.
When: May 9-14 / Where: 13 rue Georges Clémenceau – Le Haillan
The Cathedral of Saint André in Bordeaux invites you to the Cathedral Nights events that will include two nights of musical concerts (May 12-13). The beautiful lighting of the Cathedral at night will make this an unforgettable event. For more information click here.
When: May 12-13/ Where: Place Pey-Berland, 33000 Bordeaux
Open doors in the Côtes de Bourg appellation
Ô Chais is the annual open doors event taking place at the Côtes de Bourg appellation. It’s less known than the renowned Saint Emilion or Medoc appellations but it’s an excellent wine you should try when visiting the Bordeaux wine region.
This year the event is taking place on May 13-14. See more details here.
For other open doors events, check out my article about all the Portes Ouvertes in the wineries of Bordeaux.
When: May 13-14 / Where: wineries in Bourg
Sideral is an electronic music festival that is about to take place in Bordeaux on May 12-13. The concerts will be hosted by three very cool music venues in Bordeaux: Les Vivres de l’Art, Iboat, and the Salle du Grand Parc. To see the full program and for the tickets, click here.
When: May 12-13/ Where: Different locations in Bordeaux
European Museums Night
On May 13 some of the best museums and cultural establishments in Bordeaux will open their doors to the public with free exhibitions and activities. Besides exhibitions, the museums will host lots of kid-friendly activities, concerts, and more. See the full list of museums and events here.
Discover the best museums to visit in Bordeaux in my article.
When: May 13 – 6 pm until midnight / Where: Different museums around the Metropole
Foire internationale de Bordeaux
The big fair of Bordeaux is about to take place on May 13-21 at the Parc des Expositions. The 100th edition of the fair will host many events and exhibitions related to gastronomy and art de vivre. See more details here.
When: May 13-21 / Where: Parc des Expositions, 33000 Bordeaux
Bordeaux Geek Festival
Comics, science fiction, video games, parallel worlds, creative industries – you’ll find all of these at the next Bordeaux Geek Festival (BGF), taking place May 19-21 at Parc des Expositions.
The goal of this festival is to experience geek culture and share knowledge on topics that are at the heart of the Geek community. The BGF brings together different players from these industries, among them: video artists, gamers, illustrators, designers, scientists, authors, comedians, and more. For more details and tickets click here.
When: May 19-21 / Where: Hall 3 and 1 – Parc des Expositions, 33000 Bordeaux
Bordeaux Tango Festival
The 7th edition of the Bordeaux Tango Festival will take place on May 16-21. This hot festival connects Bordeaux and the place where Tango was born, Buenos Aires. A variety of activities will be offered to celebrate the link between these two cities, such as dance, music, art, literature, and even food. See the program of the festival.
When: May 16-21 / Where: Different locations in Bordeaux
Visit the smallest village in France
Did you know that the smallest village in France is located in the Entre Deux Mers sub-region of Gironde, less than an hour’s drive from Bordeaux? Castermoron d’Albret has only a few streets but each one of them is so beautiful, you can spend half a day just wandering in and around the village. Read more about Castermoron d’Albret in my article. If you go there on a Saturday, pass by the great market of La Reole and buy some stuff for a picnic 🙂
Open doors at the châteaux of Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux
The open door of Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux will take place on May 27-28. Cadillac is a small and less-known appellation in the Bordeaux wine region but is worth visiting if you’re here during that weekend.
See the list of participating Chateaux.
When there, don’t miss the beautiful Château de Cadillac, one of the most important historic monuments in Gironde. Check out other beautiful towns you can visit in that part of Gironde in my article about the most beautiful villages around Bordeaux.
When: May 27-28 / Where: Different locations around Cadillac (see the website)
Picnic in the vineyards
People in this region really love visiting wineries and doing picnics, so why not combine the two activities? Usually, the vineyards can only be visited as part of a guided tour at the Chateaux, but one weekend a year you’re invited to enjoy many of them for free. Just bring you picnic to the vineyards and enjoy a fun day with your family and friends surrounded by this majestic scenery. The chateaux will provide wine and entertainment 🙂
The event is called Pique nique chez les vignerons and more than 100 domais are participating in it around France (and Bordeaux obviously). This year the event will be taking place on May 27-29. The places are limited so reserving a spot is recommended. Take a look at the map.
When: May 27-29/ Where: Different locations in France (see map)
Millesime Electronic music festival
Festival Millesime will take place on May 26-27 in La Réole (about an hour’s drive from Bordeaux).This is a great event for electronic music lovers who want to enjoy a good linup without leaving the region.
La Reole is a charming village located on the banks of the Garonne river, which is where the festival will take place. See more info here.
If you’re looking for something to do in the region, visit Castelmoron d’Albret, the smallest village in France, see more details in my article.
When: May 26-27 / Where: Hippodrome de La Réole, lieu dit Mijéma, 33190 La Réole
Fête de la Nature
Terres d’Oiseaux, the beautiful nature reserve, located on the board of the Gironde estuary invites you to a weekend of nature celebration. The event will take place on May 27-28, see more details here.
When: May 27-28 / Where: La Terre Promise, 33820 Braud-et-Saint-Louis
Saint Macaire Sort Le Grand Jeu
A big game festival will take place on May 27-28 in the charming village of Saint Macaire. The program includes plenty of different activities, escape games and workshops. For more info click here.
When: May 27 – 28 / Where: the center of Saint Macaire
Let your kids discover the art of circus at the Jubil’à Jongle festival
The 14th edition of the festival will start with an inauguration evening on May 26, which will include magic and fire shows and different activities for kids. On the second day of the festival (May 27), you will discover the art of circus and street entertainment through shows of Juggling, magic, games, and introductory workshops. The festival will take place at the Parc de Fongravey in Blanquefort. For more info click here.
When: May 26-27 / Where: 4 Parc de Fongravey in Blanquefort
Big events in other parts of the SW of France
Fête de la Fraise
The annual celebration of strawberries is going to take place on May 14 in the village of Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne. This region of France is known for amazing strawberries so they are right to celebrate it 🙂 For more details click here.
Les Floralies – Flowers weekend
On the weekend of May 13-14, you can also visit Saint-Jean-de-Cole, one of France’s most beautiful villages where a big flowers fair is about to take place. See more details here.
Année Du Dessin En Dordogne
This year the Dordogne is celebrating the Drawing year with an impressive amount of art exhibitions all over the department. The exhibitions and different art-related events will take place in famous chateaux, churches, libraries, and other art venues. See all the dates and locations in the program of the event.
When: February – December 2023 / Where: different towns in Dordogne
Exhibitions and concerts not to miss this month in Bordeaux
La Cité du Vin
La Cité du Vin has renovated its permanent exhibition and added plenty of cool and immersive sections for you to learn about wine. You can buy tickets here.
If you’re not sure if it’s worth the price, you can check out my article about the Cite du Vin to see what to expect during your visit there. Visiting wineries is always a good option in the Bordeaux wine region. Check out my new article about the best wine tours in Bordeaux.
Dali and Gaudi – Les Bassins de Lumières
Les Bassins de Lumières is hosting a new amazing exhibition! This time the immersive exhibition is dedicated to Dali and Gaudi. Les Bassins de Lumières is a visual arts space, situated in an old submarine base, that is known for its immersive exhibitions.
You can see a video I took in their previous exhibitions just to get the vibe.
The new exhibition will be presented from February 3 to January 7, get your tickets here.
When: February 3 – January 7, 2024 / Where: Imp. Brown de Colstoun, 33300 Bordeaux
Street are at L’institue Bernard Magrez
L’institue Bernard Magrez is a beautiful chateau in Bordeaux that regularly host street art exhibitions and events. Currently, there are three different street art exhibitions presented at the gallery. You can visit the chateau only on weekends. Buy tickets here.
Is it your first time in Bordeaux? If it is you should definitely check out my ultimate guide to Bordeaux to get familiar with all the must-see places in the city. To help you choose a hotel I’ve gathered a list of the best hotels in the center of Bordeaux as well as a guide to the districts of Bordeaux to help you find your preferred AirBnB location.
If you need more tips for things to do in the SW of France I invite you to join my Facebook group ” Travel in the South West of France“. Also, every Friday I send a newsletter with plenty of additional events you can enjoy during the weekend, so hurry up and subscribe to my email list now 🙂
You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here: