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. I receive plenty of messages from tourists wondering about the best way to get from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion. So in this short article, I’m going to cover all the ways you can easily get to Saint Emilion and where you can park in case you come with a car.
Before visiting Saint Emilion you might want to check out my articles about what to do, see and eat in Saint Emilion and the best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion.
How to get to 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 easiest 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 time table here. The price of a one-way ticket is € 9.50 and you can book it online or buy the ticket directly at the station.
I recommend buying a return ticket to Bordeaux as the ticket vending machines at the little station in Saint Emilion are often broken. If you’re not sure about your return time, you can buy an open return ticket at the agent’s desk with no additional cost.
The Saint Emilion station is about a 15 minutes walk from the city center. Alternatively, you can reserve a tuk-tuk shuttle service that will cost you 4 euros per person. Call +33640836260 or email@example.com to book it in advance (only from April to October).
Take a Bus from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion
Taking a bus to Saint Emilion is a much cheaper option than taking a train as the price is only € 2,60. The TransGironde company has a regular line from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion that takes about one hour. However, it operates only during the high season and otherwise stops only in Libourne, which makes the tour too complicated. Bus number 302 leaves from the Quinconces station in Bordeaux and stops just a few minutes’ walk from the center of Saint Emilion. You can check out the timetable 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.
Take a guided tour to Saint Emilion
Another option is taking a guided tour from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion. There are several options for day/ half-day tours to Saint Emilion, both group tours and private ones.
This is one of the most popular half-day tours from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion. Besides the ride to Saint Emilion from Bordeaux the tour also includes several wine tastings and a visit to two wine chateaux which for many people is plenty for one day. The price is €94 per person. You can find all the details of the tour and book directly here.
This is a half-day tour in Saint Emilion with a visit to one winery for € 75 per person. It’s rather intimate as they book small groups meaning you get to actually listen and ask questions. You can check out the details and get your ticket here.
A full day trip from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion, visiting three different chateaux at € 125 per person. This is a great option if you want to see different techniques of winemaking and taste different wines from the same area. You can see all the details and get your ticket here.
One of the cheapest tour options (€ 42 per person) is a half-day trip to Saint Emilion leaving on Wednesdays and Sundays that also includes a visit to a chateau. The downside is that these groups are quite big so don’t expect an intimate experience. See all the details and get your tickets here.
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.
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). 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 (bottom town).
*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂
The information on the train station in Bordeaux for the St. Emilion to is outdated. There is no longer a station office for tickets. You can buy an open return ticket in the machine. However, the machine probably dates to 1992 and is very difficult to use.
Thanks for the update, I wrote this article more than 2 years ago so I need to update this information 🙂