Saint Emilion is one of the most popular day trip destinations from Bordeaux. It’s a beautiful medieval town, abundant with historical monuments and surrounded by its famous vineyards. In this article, you find all the ways to get from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion as well as parking options (if you come by car).
I’ll start by saying that my favorite way of visiting the Bordeaux wine region is by car just because the route is stunning! But Saint Emilion happens to be one of the villages around Bordeaux that is easily accessible by public transport as well.
How to get from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion without a car
How to get from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion by train
If you don’t have a car, the fastest way to get to Saint Emilion is by train! There’s a direct train from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion leaving from the Saint-Jean train station in Bordeaux.
The 40 km ride takes approximately 35 minutes by train. The first train leaves at around 6 am and then every one/two hours until 10 pm. You can check the timetable here. You can buy tickets online or at the train station in Bordeaux.
I recommend buying a return ticket to Bordeaux as the ticket vending machines at the little station in Saint Emilion are often broken. The price of a one-way ticket is approximately 10 euros. If you’re not sure about your return time, you can buy an open return ticket at the agent’s desk at no additional cost.
The Saint Emilion station is about a 20-minute walk from the city center. It’s a lovely easy walk, that you can easily do with kids.
Take a Bus from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion
Taking a bus to Saint Emilion is a much cheaper option than taking a train, with a ticket price of only € 2,60. The TransGironde company has a regular line from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion that takes about one hour. Line 304 goes from Place des Quinconces in the center of Bordeaux right to the center of Saint Emilion. You can buy the tickets on the bus.
The bus to Saint Emilion operates only during the tourist season (from April to the beginning of November). For the rest of the year, the train is your only option for getting there by public transport.
Take a guided tour from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion
Another option is taking a guided tour from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion. There are several options for full-day/ half-day tours to Saint Emilion, both group tours and private ones. That’s a great way to enjoy your wine trip without worrying about drinking and driving or choosing the wineries.
One of the most popular guided tours to Saint Emilion is offered by Bordovino. The half-day tour starts in Bordeaux and takes you to visit two wineries in Saint Emilion and the village itself. You can find all the details of the tour and book directly here.
If you prefer a full-day trip your best option is the tour offered by Ophorus. The semi-private tour includes a visit to three different chateaux in Saint Emilion. This is a great option if you want to see different techniques of winemaking and taste different wines from the same area. You can see all the details and get your ticket here.
You can also take the tour offered by the tourist office, which is the cheaper option. The downside is that these groups are quite big so don’t expect an intimate experience. See all the details and get your tickets here.
By Bike – an adventurous way to get from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion
If you’re in shape, making a bike trip to Saint Emilion can be a pretty amazing experience. You begin your trip cycling along the Garonne river, then continue on the Roger Lapebie cycle path where you can stop for lunch at one of the charming villages on the way.
After you cross the Dordogne river you start the famous route through the vineyards of Saint Emilion. The route is quite long and will take at least three hours without stops.
You can see the exact cycling road map here.
Alternatively, you can also take an electric bike guided tour in Saint Emilion. Bordovino, who runs these tours will take you from the center of Bordeaux and equip you with great e-bikes for the day. See all the details here.
By car – the best way to go to Saint Emilion
If you just want to visit the city and a winery next to the city center, a train will do just fine. However, the Saint Emilion wine area is quite big and if you want to discover more distant beautiful chateaux, you must rent a car.
Also, if you’re more than two people traveling, renting a car might be a much cheaper option. There are plenty of rental companies both at the airport and Gare Saint-Jean, the main train station, so renting a car is very easy. However, if you’re coming during the tourist season, be sure to book the car in advance. Here’s a website that will help you to find the best deals.
To get to Saint Emilion by car take the N89 (Bordeaux – Libourne) route.
Where to park in Saint Emilion
There’s a free parking lot at the Gendarmerie (police station) called Espace Guadet. However, this parking is often full so on busy days you can leave your car at the free parking next to the train station. There are several paid parking lots (about 2euros/ hour): around the collegiate church (the upper town) and Place Bouqueyre (the bottom town).
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:
*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region.