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The Bassin d’Arcachon or the Arcachon Bay has become one of the most popular destinations in France with more than half a million visitors heading there during July and August alone. While some people rent a house close to the beach, most tourists go there for day trips from Bordeaux, which is located about an hour’s drive from the bay.If you look at the map you’ll see that the Arcachon bay is quite a big place with plenty of villages and activities so how do you choose where to go? That’s what I’m here for! In this article I’m going to introduce you to some of the best destinations for a day trip or a weekend on Bassin D’Arcachon. The places with the most unique atmosphere, the best beaches, interesting activities for you and your kids and spots where you can enjoy the famous Arcachon oysters. 

We can roughly divide the bay into two parts, the north and south of the Bassin. When I’m in the mood for a beautiful village or an unspoilt  beach I tend to go to the northern part of Arcachon bay. There, you have the most charming villages on the Arcachon Bay like L’herbe, Le Canon, Andernos les Bains and others. However, if I’m in a more active mood, I’d usually go to the southern part of the bay where you can climb the incredible dune de Pilat, visit the oysters museum, spend a day in a huge birds reserve and kayak on the Eyre river. 

Before we start, here are a few other articles you might want to read when you’re traveling around Bordeaux:
The best beaches around Bordeaux
Day trips around Bordeaux – wine, beaches and villages 
10 day trips from Bordeaux by Public transport
A weekend in Medoc- Bordeaux wine tours
What to do and eat in Saint Emilion

You can also join my Facebook group “Travel in the southwest of France” where many enthusiasts of the region share their recommendations for places to visit and things to do in the southwest of France.

Now let’s start discovering some of the most beautiful and interesting places to visit on the Arcachon Bay!

Andernos les Bains a perfect day trip to the Arcachon Bay

Andernos les Bains is not a prime tourist destination like some of its better-known neighbors on the Bassin d’Arcachon and that, in a way, makes it even more attractive. With an old prehistoric site, 19th-century villas and a long sandy beach overlooking the Bassin, it’s not hard to spend a pleasant day in this seaside resort. Like other towns on the Arcachon bay, Andernos les Bains is also known for oyster farming, and a wealth of restaurants serving delicious oysters and seafood garnish its shores. Most restaurants are located next to the port from which you can take a nice promenade on the longest pier in France. My favorite spot for oysters is Cabane 21 Station des Gus, which is also very kids friendly. But mind you, it’s a spot for real seafood lovers as you won’t find anything else on the menu (except wine of course). Andernos les Bains is also known for its fun events and festivals such as the Festival Cabanes en Fête (an oysters and wine celebration) in December and the  Andernos Jazz Festival in July.

eating oysters at Andernos-les-bains

How to get from Bordeaux to Andernos les Bains: The best way to get there is by car but if you have no other choice you can also take Bus 601 (Trans Gironde) from Bordeaux center.

L’Herbe – the best-hidden gem on the Arcachon bay

L’herbe is a traditional oyster farming village located on the Cap Ferret Peninsula. Here you won’t find the characteristics of a typical French village, there’s no church nor a central square with a bakery and a restaurant. Nonetheless, you can easily say that it is one of the most beautiful villages in the southwest of France. 

L'herbe - a beautiful village on the Arcachon Bay

There’s something raw and authentic about L’herbe. You get to walk between the colorful cabins of oyster farmers and see them in action on their special workboat. If you like oysters, you’re going to love this place. Plenty of oyster restaurants are spread along the beach serving only the freshest oysters, pork paté and white wine. This is a perfect destination for a sunny half-day trip from Bordeaux, or a full day trip if you add a visit to the beach as well. 

How to get from Bordeaux to L’herbe: Same as with Andernos les Bains, a car is the best way to get here as the bus is not a direct one and it takes almost two hours to get to L’herbe. But if you have no choice you can also take Bus 601 (Trans Gironde) from Bordeaux center. 

Cap Ferret – dreamy beaches and the best oysters on the Arcachon bay

Cap Ferret is a little town located on the Western part of Bassin d’Arcachon and has been traditionally known as a summer getaway for the French upper class. Although it’s been recently gaining popularity among tourists visiting the south of France, it has yet to lose its relaxing beach village atmosphere, especially if compared to the more southern towns of Arcachon bay. 

Cap Ferret - one of the best day trips to Arcachon Bay

Cap Ferret is shaped like a narrow tongue with a long string of beautiful sandy beaches on the Atlantic ocean and a view of the eastern side of the Bassin. Apart from its dreamy beaches it’s also known for its ostréiculture industry, which produces some of the best oysters in France. Dozens of oyster cabins and restaurants with a view on the Bassin give Cap-Ferret a unique character that’s worth a visit and a taste.

Another fun thing to do in Cap Ferret is to bike along the beaches and through the pine forest that covers a large part of the Cap Ferret peninsula. There are plenty of bike rentals in Cap Ferret, one of them is Bike rental Cap Gyro (7 Boulevard de la Plage, 33970 Lège-Cap-Ferret).

How to get from Bordeaux to Cap Ferret: The same 601 bus can take you to Cap Ferret but it’ll take you at least two hours to get there, so a car is definitely a better option here. If you’re near Arcachon or le Moulleau, you can see the schedule here

Arcachon – the city 

It’s not my favorite destination on the bay mostly due to it being a town rather than a village. Having said that there are plenty of great things to do in and around the town of Arcachon and if you have the time it’s worth a visit. 

ville d'hiver - something to discover on your day trip to the Arcachon Bay

The town of Arcachon is divided into four districts, named after the seasons of the year. 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 of Arcachon and Ville d’Automne is the beautiful port area packed with great fish restaurants. A visit to Arcachon can easily take the 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. 

le moulleau on Bassin d'arcachon

Another reason to go to Arcachon is the beautiful beaches located on the south part of the bay. Two that I particularly like are petit Nice and La Corniche where you can also grab a drink at the fancy La corniche hotel /restaurant. A fun way to discover that part of the bay is by bike. You can hire one in the center of Arcachon city and just follow the cycling route along the beach. 

In my guide to Arcachon city, you can find all the details about things to do, places to eat, where to hire a bike and what beaches are the best ones to go to in Arcachon. 

How to get from Bordeaux to Arcachon: Arcachon is the easiest one to get to by train directly from Bordeaux. A train leaves almost every hour from the main station in Bordeaux and the station of Pessac centre. Beware that if you come by car, free parking is not easy to find, so taking the train is advisable during the touristic season. You have more details about parking in my article about Arcachon

The Magnificent dune du Pilat in Teste de Buch

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

Dune du Pilat Arcachon

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

Dune du Pilat Arcachon

How to get from Bordeaux to dune du Pilat: If you’re coming by public transport, line 1 (Baia company) will take you from the Arcachon train station to Dune to Pilat.  Otherwise, you can get there by car and park in the paid parking of the site.

Lanton – a beautiful promenade

If you’re looking for a beautiful quiet place for a long walk, Lanton is the perfect spot for you. You can start your walk from plage de Suzette, which is a little port with a few restaurants on it and just follow the trail that starts next to the boats. If you’ve ever been to the Bassin d’Arcachon you know that the view changes a lot depending on the tide. This trail goes along the bay and that’s why, depending on the time you arrive, it may feel like walking along the beach or in an apocalyptic desert. If you want to escape the crowds in the summer head to Lanton as the scenery and tranquility are just magical.

Lanton - take a walk on the Arcachon Bay

The birds’ reserve in Teich

The Teich Ornithological Reserve is a protected nature reserve located some 50km from Bordeaux, where you can watch thousands of wild birds from up-close. 110 hectares of wooded areas, saltmarsh, reed beds and meadows stretch out between the mainland and the Bassin d’Arcachon coastline, offering a perfect habitat for many birds. Some stay here permanently and some just pass by.

The Teich Bird Reserve is explored on foot along a 6 km long circular path (with a shorter route proposed to visitors with young kids). The path goes through a rich diversity of natural habitats, giving a great overall picture of the site and its surrounding areas. I would highly advise taking a binocular with you. Many of the birds stay quite far from the designated Viewpoints and are just too distant to observe. Doing the same route with a binocular made the visit much more interesting in my view. 

The Reserve Ornithologique du Teich is open all year long except on December 25, and can even be reached by train (the Teich train station is located about 15 minutes walk from the reserve). For more info see the website of the reserve: https://www.reserve-ornithologique-duteich.com/en/

Gujan Mestras – the capital of oysters

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

You can also visit 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 coastline, many of which are located at the famous Port de Larros. Gujan-Mestras also has a beautiful beach called Plage de la Hume. Due to its interior position on the Arcachon bay, there are almost no waves and it feels more like a lake than a sea beach, which makes it very kids friendly. 

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

The town hall of Gujan-Mestras is quite active and hosts plenty of nice events for kids and adults in the summer, you can find them all on their site:  https://www.gujanmestras.com

How to get to Gujan Mestras? The same train that goes to Arcachon also stops in Gujan Mestras so you can easily get there by train if you don’t want to drive. 

These are some of my favorite spots on the Arcachon bay, and I hope it will encourage you to get out and spend at least one day in this magical place. 

For more tips about things to do in Bordeaux, day trips from the city, vineyards, markets, brocantes and more check out the Facebook page of Lost in Bordeaux, subscribe to my newsletter and join my Facebook group “Travel in the Southwest on France“. 

Traditionally, December is not a very busy month in Bordeaux. Many people leave the city heading for their Christmas vacations, among them  the organizers of many of Bordeaux’s events, they too need to rest 🙂 On the other hand, the city dresses up for Christmas becoming even more charming than usual. So take some time to discover Bordeaux when it’s decorated with beautiful Christmas lights and sip a glass of hot wine at the main Christmas market. Don’t worry, there are still interesting events in December that are not Christmas related.  Arcachon hosts the annual Geek festival, the Chateaux of Pessac Leognan will open their doors to the public and the city of Pessac is hosting a fantastic kids festival, so there’s a lot to wait for.Here’s the list of things to do in December 2019 in Bordeaux.

Celebrate Christmas 

The Christmas season in Bordeaux has plenty of great markets to attend and buy presents! The official Marché de Noël de Bordeaux with all the traditional stands and a lot of vin chaud (hot wine) will open its gates on November 27. If it’s your first Christmas in France, the traditional Christmas market is a must! However, if you feel that you’ve seen it too many times try one of the smaller markets where all the local artists and craftsmen present their original creations. I have made a whole list of Christmas markets in Bordeaux so check it out.

Marché de Noël de Bordeaux

Open Doors in the Chateaux of Pessac-Léognan

There are plenty of open doors weekends in the wineries of Bordeaux in December. This wine region is really close to Bordeaux and offers some  great wines so I had to put it on my list. On December 7-8 the Pessac-Léognan appellation is holding an open doors weekend with 34 chateaux hosting you for wine tastings, tours, gourmet food and plenty of activities for kids. Some of the participating chateaux are Château de Léognan, Château Pape Clément and Château Haut-Lagrange , for the full list of Chateaux and more info about the open doors weekend click here and here.

When: December 7- 8 / Where: Bordeaux metropole (Check out the link above for the full list of events)

Cabanes en fête

This is one of the most anticipated events in Bassins d’Arcachon. Cabanes en fête is the oysters and wine celebration taking place in Andernos-les-Bains on December 7. Come to the Bassins to discover its oysters and celebrate Christmas with concerts and plenty of activities. The program also includes a music concert, a flash-mob dance, exhibitions, fireworks and more. For more info click here and for the full program here.

When: December 7 / Where: Port Ostreicole, 33510 Andernos-les-Bains

International Animated Films Festival

Les Nuits Magiques is an annual international festival of animated movies taking place at  “Le Festival” cinema in Begles on December 4-15. This is the 29th edition of the festival, which over the years gained a reputation in the animation and special effects world. The rich program includes plenty of events and activities for both kids and adults: premiers of new movies, workshops, meetings with film creators and more. Check out the full program here and all other details you might need here.

When: December 4-15 Where: 151 Boulevard ALBERT 1er, 33130 Bègles

Bassin Geek Festival

If you enjoyed the Bordeaux Geek Festival a few months ago, it’s time for the winter edition with the Bassin Geek Festival. The program includes all the things the geek community loves:  comics, sci-fi, web culture, video games, parallel worlds, creative industries and more. The festival will take place at the Parc des Expositions de La Teste De Buch on December 7-8. Check out the full program and all the details here and ticket prices here.

When: December 7- 8 / Where: 940 Avenue de l’Europe. 33260 La Teste-de-Buch

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. While some items can be pricey, you can still find plenty of affordable pieces at this antiques market. The merchants are very nice and are open to negotiations. The brocante is taking place until December 8. For more info and the list of exhibitors click here.

Brocante in Bordeaux
When: Until December 8 /Where: Place des Quinconces

Christmas Market in Saint Emilion

The traditional marché de Noël (Christmas market) of Saint Emilion is about to take place on the weekend of December 7-8. So if you plan to visit Saint Emilion anytime soon, this would be the perfect weekend for that. For more details click here

When: December 7-8 / Where: Center of Saint Emilion

Les lumières de la ville

Les lumières de la ville is a great chance to discover how Bordeaux’s monuments look at night. It’s an hour and a half biking tour that will start at Place Pey-Berland and will finish with Christmas drinks. On the way you will get to see the most important monuments and all the beautifully decorated little streets of Bordeaux. The event will take place on December 13 at 19:00, it’s free and open to all. For more details click here

When: December 13, at 19:00 / Where: Place Pey-Berland, 33000 Bordeaux

Taste the best French wines

This month you have a chance to taste some of the best French wines in one place at an event called “Bordeaux Tasting”. During two days (December 14-15) more than a hundred wine houses from Bordeaux and other regions in France like Bourgogne, Rhône, Alsace and Loire will be there to present their best wines. The tasting will take place at different sites around Place de la Bourse. For more details click here.

When: December 14-15 / Where: Place de la Bourse, Bordeaux

Casse-Noisette – Opéra National Russe

The Russain National Opera is arriving once again to Bordeaux with the classic Christmas ballet, the Nutcracker, or Casse-Noisette in French. Don’t miss the masterpiece of Tchaikovsky performed by one of the best ballets in the world. The show will take place on December 15  at the Arkea Arena in Floirac. For more details and tickets click here

When: December  15/ Where: 48-50 Avenue Jean Alfonséa, 33270 Floirac

Festival « Sur Un Petit Nuage » de Pessac

The city of Pessac invites you to a fantastic kids festival with plenty of live shows. The festival Sur un Petit Nuage will take place on December 17-22 in different locations in Pessac. You can download the full program here, for tickets go here.

When: December 17-22 / Where: different places in Pessac

Truffles markets in Dordogne

December is the start of the winter truffles season with many truffles markets in the region taking place between December and February. The Dordogne is known as the capital of truffles of the Southwest of France and starting mid December it hosts several truffles markets in its different villages. You can see the full list of truffles markets taking place from December to the end of January here.

MIKA in Bordeaux

Mika, one of the most popular singers in France will give one concert in Bordeaux on December 19th. The concert is taking place at the Arkea Arena in Floirac. For more details and tickets click here

When: December 19 /Where: 48-50 Avenue Jean Alfonséa, 33270 Floirac

Lormont Fête l’Hiver

The town of Lormont, located just a few minutes drive from Bordeaux, invites you to its annual winter celebration. The program includes plenty of workshops, creative activities for Christmas, escape games, video games, trampolines, Afro battle, a big Christmas market and more. The event will take place on December 21-23 at Pôle Brassens Camus. For more info click here

When: December 21-23 / Where: Rue Henri Dunant, 33310 Lormont

IBOAT • Super marché de noël

IBOAT,  invites you to its annual Christmas market that will take place on the weekend of December 21-22. IBOAT’s Christmas market is always a super fun and chic event, with plenty of stylish stands, activities for kids and alcohol :). For more details click here

When: December 21-22 / Where: Bassin à Flot n°1, Cours Henri Brunet, 33300 Bordeaux
IBOAT Christmas market
IBOAT Christmas market

Drôle de Noël in Talence

This year Talence celebrates the 10th edition of their Drôle de Noël, a big Christmas celebration taking place every year at the Peixotto Parc. Drôle de Noël will start with a Christmas market on December 20-22 and will continue until December 29 with different activities for kids.  For more info click here.

When: December 20-29 / Where: Parc Peixotto, 33400 Talence

Go to the Musée du Vin et du Négoce de Bordeaux

Finding things to do in Bordeaux on Christmas day is not a simple task. Most places, including shops, restaurants and museums will be closed. But there’s one museum that is open even on Christmas and it’s a great opportunity to discover it. Musée du Vin et du Négoce is a small museum, located in what used to be the house of an Irish négociant (wine merchant) in the 18th century. During that time Chartons was the neighborhood of Flemish, Irish and German wine merchants who settled close to the Garonne river in order to export wine to their home countries. Throughout your visit, you will learn about the evolution of winemaking in Bordeaux during the last three centuries. You will discover old techniques and equipment that was used at the time and the way wine was stored and shipped. It goes into interesting details like the first use of bottles to age wine, the first wine etiquettes and more. Check out their site for more info. 

The museum is located in the northern part of rue Notre Dame, one of the most interesting streets in Bordeaux. If you want to know what else you can do on that street and generally in the posh Chartrons neighborhood, go to my article about the Chartrons district. Also, check out my article about Museums in Bordeaux to discover other museums that are worth a visit.

Address: The entrance is from 41 Rue Borie, Bordeaux

Go to a Christmas Mass

If you’re staying in Bordeaux on Christmas night (December 24) why not enjoy a mass and a choir concert at the most beautiful church of Bordeaux, the Saint André Cathedral. Two choirs (Le Choeur de Filles de Bordeaux and Les Petits Chanteurs de Bordeaux) will take the stage on this festive night. For more details click here

When: December 24, from 6pm to 9pm / Where: Place Pey-Berland, 33000 Bordeaux

A traditional marionette theater

Guignol Guérin is the oldest family-run marionette theater in France. While their well-known show runs in the summer, the theater’s winter edition is only two years old and plays at the center of Bordeaux. Their traditional spectacle takes place in Théâtre l’Inox between December 26 and January 5. For more details click here.

When: December 26 to January 5 / Where: 13 Rue Fernand Philippart, 33000 Bordeaux

Cinderella at the Opera

The ballet of Bordeaux will perform a special version of Cinderella for kids, with the choreography of the Birmingham Royal Ballet. The show will take place on Friday, December 27 at 15:00. You can purchase the tickets here

When: December 27 / Where:  Place de la Comédie, 33000 Bordeaux

Icones, Spectacle Musical & Réveillon Saint Sylvestre 

If you’re looking for something fun to do on New Year’s eve, Casino Théâtre Barrière is hosting an evening dedicated to pop music, with a lot of glamour, dancers and music. For more info and tickets click here

When: December 31 / Where: Casino Théâtre Barrière, avenue Jean Gabriel Doumergue , 33300 BORDEAUX LAC

Escape the rain

If it’s cold and raining and you’re not in a mood for an event you can always choose one of the cool places on my list of things to do when it’s raining in Bordeaux.

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

Basque food in Bordeaux

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.

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

Plenty of Jazz festivals are taking place this weekend around Bordeaux. If you prefer to stay in town, as usual there are cool summer parties happening all over the city and they are all included in this post. Here’s the list of things to do this weekend in Bordeaux (July 26-28).

Andernos Jazz Festival 

One of the best Jazz festivals in the Gironde region is taking place this weekend (July 26-28) in Andernos les Bains. Nineteen concerts will take place on four different scenes in this beautiful town on the Arcachon Bay.  For more details about the Andernos Jazz Festival click here and the full program here

When: July 26-28 / Where: the center of Andernos les Bains

Talence Estival

A fun event for kids is taking place this weekend (July 26-28) at the Peixotto park in Talence. There will be two separated spaces, one for the very little ones and one for bigger kids. For more info click here.

When: July 26-28, from 14:00 to 19:00 / Where: Peixotto park, Talence

Bordeaux Open Air

Bordeaux Open Air is a series of free summer electronic music events, all set in different locations and with a great city vibe to them. Every event is dedicated to a different country and hosts its DJ’s for sets of electronic music. The next Open Air event will take place this Sunday (July 28) at Parc aux Angéliques. For more details click here.

When:  July 28, starting 15:00 / Where:   Parc aux Angéliques, Bordeaux

Arcachon En Scene

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

If you’re heading to the festival this weekend, check out my article about things to do and eat in Arcachon.

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

Jazz in Marciac

Marciac is a nice little village in the Gers department (about 2 hours drive from Bordeaux) that hosts one of the biggest Jazz festivals in the region. The festival takes place for three weeks (from July 27 to August 15) and has a very impressive lineup of international Jazz artists. The tickets are sold separately to each and every concert. Check out the full program here

When: July 27 to August 15 / Where: Marciac

Banzaï Land – Plein Air

Banzaï Land invites you to a weekend full of concerts at the old Casteja police station (close to Gambetta). The event will take place from Friday to Sunday (July 26-28), check out the full program here

Banzai land Bordeaux
When: July 26-28 / Where:  87 Rue Abbé-de-l’Épée, 33000 Bordeaux

Jazz in Sanguinet

Another cool festival this weekend (July 25-28) will take place in Sanguinet, just next to Biscarrosse lake. This is a fun and free event with plenty of concerts and exhibitions. For more info click here

When: July 25-28 / Where: Espace Gemme, Avenue du Born, 40460 SANGUINET

Relache Festival

Relache Festival, created by the Allez les filles association, is a series of free concerts taking place at different venues and dates during the summer. The next events are taking place this Friday (July 26) at the Salle des fêtes du Grand Parc and Saturday (July 27) at Place du Palais. For the lineup and more details click here and here.

When:  July 26-27 / Where:  Salle des fêtes du Grand Parc and Place du Palais, 33000 Bordeaux 

Go see an exhibition

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

Guided English tour in Musée D’Aquitaine 

The Musée D’Aquitaine is offering English guided tours of the entire permanent collection every Sunday until the end of August. The tour covers pre-history to the modern ages with a focus on the museum’s highlights, including the Laussel Venus, the statue of Hercules, the cenotaph of Michel Montaigne and more. The visits are on Sunday at 11 am, admission is 5€ full price, 3€ reduced, the tour is included with the entry price.

When:  every Sunday at 11:30 / Where:  20 Cours Pasteur, 33000 Bordeaux

Le Verger Grand Format

Les Vivres de l’Art is hosting a fun afternoon party this Saturday (July 27) with a lineup of DJs from all over the world. If you still haven’t visited this beautiful place in Bacalan, it’s time to do just that. For more info click here

When: July 27/ Where: 4 rue Achard, 33300 Bordeaux, France

La Bataille de Castillon

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

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

Dance on the Quai

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

dancing classes on the riverfront
When:  Daily from July 14 to August 18 / Where: Quai Louis XVIII, 33000 Bordeaux

Quai des Sports

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

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

The summer pavilion on the right side of the river

Like every summer in the last five years, the Orangeade association opens its summer pavilion on le Quai Deschamps (in the Bastide neighborhood) with live concerts every Friday (18:00 – 01:00) and Saturday (12:00 to 01:00). These events are not just music concerts but rather a place for friends and family to spend the weekend with yoga classes, creative workshops, activities for kids and more. The next event will take place this weekend (July 26-27), for more details click here.

When:  July 26-27 / Where: Quai Deschamps, 33100 Bordeaux, France

Rétro mobile du Bazadais

This Sunday (July 28) Bazas will host its annual ancient cars salon. The event is taking place next to the city hall of Bazas. For more details click here.  

When: July 28/ Where: Hôtel de ville de Bazas

La Guinguette de L’Hippodrome

La Guinguette de l’Hippodrome is yet another nice spot for summer nights in Bordeaux. The tavern in le Bouscat is inviting you to its weekend parties taking place every Friday and Saturday until October. For more details click here

When: July 26-27/ Where: 8 avenue de l’Hippodrome, 33110 Le Bouscat

Skatopiak Festival

Skatopiak is a reggae festival taking place this weekend (July 27-28) in Saint-Jean-d’Illac. The program includes a lineup of seven concerts. For more details click here

When: July 27-28/ Where: Parc de l’Eglise, Saint-Jean-d’Illac

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This weekend the Christmas celebrations will officially start  in Bordeaux with the inauguration of the Marché de Noël de Bordeaux and a few other alternative markets across the city. If you want to learn about the other markets taking place this month in Bordeaux, check out my top 10 Christmas markets list. But of course we’re not only about Christmas here, there are plenty of other events like the rum festival, the Well being Salon, a circus, the big Brocante of Bordeaux and more.

This is the list of things to do this weekend in and around Bordeaux (November 30 – December 2)

Rum Festival

This festival is the first big event in Bordeaux that is entirely dedicated to rum. While Bordeaux is mostly known for its wine, rum too has a long history in the city. The festival that will take place at La Grande Poste this weekend (December 1-2) celebrates the Bordelaise rum producers and merchants. Different masterclasses will take place during the festival, where you can learn to properly taste rum, match rum with food, mix rum cocktails and more. For more details and tickets click here.

If you want to learn more about the rum history of Bordeaux check out this super interesting post by Bordeaux Expat.

When: December 1-2
Where: 7 rue du palais gallien, 33000 Bordeaux

Marché de Noël de Bordeaux

The traditional Christmas market of Bordeaux will open its gates between November 30 and December 30. This is one of the biggest Christmas markets in the region with 150 pavilions selling all the traditional Christmas merchandise such as clothes, decorations, jewelry, toys and local products. Even if you don’t intend to buy any gifts at the market you can still enjoy the Christmas spirit with some hot wine and roasted chestnuts.  For more info click here.

marche de noel bordeaux

When: November 30 – December 30 from 10:30 to 21:30
Where: Allées de Tourny, 33000 Bordeaux

Cabanes en fête

This is one of the most anticipated events in Bassins d’Arcachon. Cabanes en fête is the oysters and wine celebration taking place in Andernos-les-Bains on December 1-2. Come to the Bassins to discover its oysters and celebrate Christmas with concerts and plenty of activities. The program will also include cooking lessons from six big chefs, a music concert, a flash-mob dance, exhibitions, fireworks and more. For more info click here and for the full program here.

When: December 1-2
Where: Port Ostreicole, 33510 Andernos-les-Bains

The Bassins a Flot Christmas Weekend

If you look for alternatives for the traditional Christmas market head north to the Bassins a flot. This weekend (December 1-2) all the cool places in this neighborhood will host Christmas related events. Among the participating places are: The Garage Moderne, Kfe des Familles, Les Vivres de l’Art, the IBOAT (see more info below), Musée Mer Marine Bordeaux and more. For all the details check out the Facebook page of the event.

bassins a flot

When: December 1-2
Where: Different locations in Bacalan

Iboat – Christmas market on a boat

Le Super Marché de Noël is one of the coolest Christmas markets in Bordeaux. The Iboat is an old ferry that nowadays serves as a concert venue, frequently hosting funky events such as this one. The Iboat Christmas market is hosting 50 French creators and designers of textile, jewelry, kids toys, decorations and more. The market will also include a traditional touch such as food stands, hot wine and photo sessions with Père Noël (Santa Claus). You can see the full list of stands here. The event is free and will take place on December 1-2 from 11:00 to 19:00. For more info click here.

When: December 1-2
Where: quai Armand Lalande, 33300 Bordeaux

International Animation Films Festival

Les Nuits Magiques is an annual international festival of animation movies taking place at  “Le Festival” cinema in Begles from November 28 to December 9. This is the 28th edition of the festival, which over the years gained a reputation in the animation and special effects world. The rich program includes plenty of events and activities for  both kids and adults: premiers of new movies, workshops, meetings with film creators and more. Check out the full program here and all the other details you need here.

When: November 28 – December 9
Where: 151 Boulevard ALBERT 1er, 33130 Bègles

Brocante des Quinconces

The big brocante of Bordeaux is hosted twice a year at place des Quinconces with 200 antique dealers, horticulturists, restaurants and craftsmen. This fall edition of the brocante will take place from November 23 to December 9. Although it’s quite upscale, you can find some fine antiques and vintage pieces at a bargain price. For more info and the list of exhibitors check out the website of the event.

When: November 23- December 9
Where: Place des Quinconces

The Salon Bien-être

The big Well-being Fair of Bordeaux will take place this weekend (November 31- December 2) at the Palais des Congrès. The event has 120 stands and  65 conferences all focused on different ways of improving the quality of life. The exhibitors are varied and come from all aspects of daily life: food, home decor, therapies and beauty. For more info click here.

When: November 31- December 2
Where: Palais des Congrès, Cours J.-G. Domergue.33300 BORDEAUX

Bonjour Sneakers

Great news for  sneakers addicts! This Sunday (December 2) a huge event all dedicated to sneakers will take place in Hangar 14. If you were looking for a special pair of sneakers or some cool accessories that goes with them, this is the event for you! Tickets are 13 euros and you can purchase them here. For more info click here.

When: December 2, 11:00-19:00
Where: 173 Quai des Chartrons, 33300 Bordeaux, France

New children’s book presentation 

If you’re looking for a kids friendly activity in the center of Bordeaux, this is a nice one. Oriana Villalon is a young author who just published a beautiful kids book called “Lulu under the moon”. This Saturday (December 1) the painter Jean-Pierre Beyries will host her and the translator Pamela Ortega Joa (both living in Bordeaux) for a fun afternoon where they will present the book. If you’re looking for a nice Christmas gift, a beautiful book signed by the author could be a nice idea.  See more details here.

When: December 1, at 14:00
Where: 43 Rue Sainte-Colombe, 33000 Bordeaux, France

Open Doors in the Chateaux of Pessac-Léognan

I know I’ve been writing quite a lot about Open doors at different Chateaux lately, but this week it’s really close to Bordeaux and its a great wine so I thought you wouldn’t want to  miss the opportunity. This weekend (December 1-2) l’Appellation Pessac-Léognan is holding an open doors weekend with 34 chateaux hosting you for wine tastings, tours, gourmet food and plenty of activities for kids. Some of the participating chateaux are Château de LéognanChâteau Pape Clément and Château Haut-Lagrange , for the full list of Chateaux and more info about the open doors weekend click here.

When: December 1-2
Where: Bordeaux metropole (Check out the link above for the full list of events).

Free museums Sunday

Like in most cities in France, the first Sunday of the month is a free museums day. You have a free entrance to all the public museums and to most exhibitions. Check out the full list of the museums in Bordeaux that you can visit for free this Sunday.

CAPC Bordeaux
CAPC museum in Bordeaux

L’Arche de Noël – creators market

L’Arche de Noël is a creators market taking place in the Chartrons neighborhood every weekend until Christmas (December 22-23 is the last event). Each week a group of local talented craftsmen and artists will present their original creations. This weekend (December 1-2) the stands will include jewelry, kids clothes, graphic designs, furniture and more.

See more details here.

When: December 1-2
Where: 23 Rue Minvielle, 33000 Bordeaux

Cirque Pardi! is Coming Back

Cirque Pardi! is a modern circus whose shows combine a lot of dance and humor and are very entertaining for both kids and adults. This year they are coming back to Bordeaux for the second time with their show BorderLand, which gained a great success on their last visit here in 2015.  Cirque Pardi! will perform 15 shows from November 30 to December 22. The temporary circus will be located on Quai de queyries, just next to Darwin. For all the dates and tickets click here.

When: November 30- December 22
Where: 86 quai des Queyries, 33 100 BORDEAUX

Cirque de Noël de Bordeaux

If you’re looking for a family activity, the Christmas circus of Bordeaux will take place between December 1 and January 6. This impressive spectacle for kids and adults has more than 30 artists from 15 different countries. The shows will take place at the Hippodrome de Bordeaux in Le Bouscat. For tickets and more info click here

When: December 1-January 6
Where: 8 Avenue de l’Hippodrome, 33110 Le Bouscat

marché du carnet de voyage

A very inspiring event for travelers will take place this weekend (December 1-2) in Marché des Douves. Marché du carnet de voyage is a traveling literature event which allows you to travel through words into different places and cultures. Throughout the weekend interesting meetings with take place with writers, illustrators, cartoonists and travelers who crossed the world and came back with fascinating stories. For more details click here.

When: December 1-2
Where: Halle des Douves, 4 rue des Douves, 33000 BORDEAUX

Le Grand Bazar des Créateurs

The Garage Modere in the Bacalan district will hold a very fun and creative event this weekend (December 1-2) called the Big Creators market. Around 20 local craftsmen and creators of clothing, jewelry, leather goods, accessories, sewing and photography,  will offer their original products for sale. The event is free, for more details click here.

When: December 1-2
Where: 1 rue des Etrangers, 33300 Bordeaux

Union Saint-Jean Xmas Market

Here’s one more Christmas market that didn’t make it to my list. The Union Saint-Jean organizes its own market this year, that will include stands of local creators, a vintage clothing sale, a dj set, a relaxation area (with massages), a workshop to create your own little Christmas tree, a food truck and a bar. The event will take place this Saturday (December 1), for more details click here.

When: December 1
Where: 97, rue Malbec, 33800 Bordeaux, France

That’s it for this week my friends! if I made your weekend happier with some funky and interesting events, help this site thrive and share the post on facebook, tweeter or pinterest 🙂

As I promised, this week my mailing list subscribers will receive a special email with more tips about things to do in Bordeaux. So if you’ve already subscribed there’s something to wait for and if you haven’t, what are you waiting for? Subscribe here 🙂

Have a great weekend!

 

This weekend we have free concerts on the banks of the Garonne, Jardin Public and at the charming port town of Andernos les Bains. Other than that, there are some interesting exhibitions for those of you looking to hide from the sun as well as plenty of ideas to enjoy the Bordelaise summer without spending a dime.

Here is the list of things to do this weekend in and around Bordeaux (August 18-19):

Enjoy a concert at the summer pavilion on the Garonne

The summer pavilion on le Quai Deschamps on the right bank of the Garonne is a great way to enjoy your evenings during the hot Bordelaise summer days. The pavilion, organized by the Orangeade association, is hosting free music and gastronomy events every Friday and Saturday until September 22. Take a look at the program for this Friday (August 17) and for this Saturday (August 18).

When:  August 17-18, from 6pm
Where: Quai Deschamps, 33100 Bordeaux

Open Air Festival

Bordeaux Open Air is a series of free summer electronic music events, all set in different locations and with a great city vibe to them. The next event will take place on August 19 in Jardin Public and will be dedicated to Djs from London.

See more info about the event on their facebook page.

When:  August 19, 15:00
Where: Jardin Public, place du Champ de Mars, 33000 Bordeaux

Dance Tango at the Grande Poste

Like every summer the Tango Bordeaux association organizes public tango dance in different location in the center of Bordeaux.  Join their tango party at the Grande Poste this Sunday (August 19), see more info on the facebook page of the event.

When:  August 18– 16:00
Where: 7 rue du palais gallien, 33000 Bordeaux

Brasilian Funk in charming Andernos les Bains

Bate Funk Brasileiro is a group of 13 musicians playing tribute to Brazilian music from the Rio Black Power of the 70s to the Samba Funk of today. The concert will take place this Saturday (August 18) at the beautiful port town of Andernos les Bains. For more info check out the facebook page of the event.

When:  August 18– 21:30
Where: Esplanade de la jetée andernos

Go to the beach at Bordeaux Lac

The beach is the perfect summer spot and if you’re in Bordeaux you don’t have to go very far for it. The cute beach of Bordeaux Lac has everything you need: a sandy clean beach with beautiful clear water and a lot of shade from the nearby trees for those who don’t really like the sun. the beach is open to the public daily from June 1st to August 31 and starting July 1st it offers water and beach activities such as sailing, kayaking, mini-golf and more. Check out the list of daily activities here.

Bordeaux lac
Bordeaux lac by Lost in Bordeaux

When: June 1- August 31
Where: Boulevard Jacques Chaban Delmas, 33520 BRUGES

Dance on the Quai

This is the last weekend of Dansons sur les Quais, a series of dancing classes and events where people gather to dance together and learn a variety of dancing genres like Tango, Salsa, Bollywood, Forro, Hip Hop, Street Jazz, Zumba, Country and more. These activities are guided by professional dancers from different dance schools in Bordeaux and they are completely free, so this is a great opportunity you don’t want to miss. The dancing events are taking place daily on the quai until August 19. For more details and the full program check out the website of Dansons sur les Quai.

When:  Daily until August 19
Where: Quai Louis XVIII, 33000 Bordeaux

Hide from the sun in the beautiful Parc Bordolais 

Parc Bordelais, the biggest parc in Bordeaux, is located in the northern part of the city in the Cauderan neighborhood. Although a bit far from the city center,  making an effort to get there really pays off.  A lake, beautiful trees, huge green spaces and a lovely terrasse café are only part of what parc Bordolais has to offer. This park is one of the best places for kids in Bordeaux.  Besides two large playgrounds (for younger and older kids), there is a puppet theater and a little train that takes you on a tour around the park. If you want to discover more parks in Bordeaux check out my list of the best picnic locations in the city.

parc Bordelais in Bordeaux
Parc Bordelais by Lost in Bordeaux

Bordeaux Metropolitan Summer

Like every year Bordeaux Metropolitan invites you to discover the city and the area around it through a series of cultural events. More than 100 activities including music, dance, public reading, theater, circus and gastronomy are taking place between July 8 and September 25.  These events are so widely spread across the metropolitan area of Bordeaux that you are guaranteed to discover places (especially parks) that you have never heard of before: Parc d’observation in Floirac, Parc du Viver in Merignac, Parc Camponac in Pessac and many more. Check out the full program of events here.

When:  Daily from July 8 to September 25
Where: Bordeaux Metropolitan – check out the exact location of every event in the program.

Exhibition at the beautiful Espace Saint Rémi

Espace Saint Rémi is a beautiful place to go see exhibitions and cultural events in the center of Bordeaux.  During the next ten days (August 16-26) the place will host an exhibition by three different artists: Léonard Lahoz (porcelain design), Twotom (aquarelle painting), Anne d’Aressy (pastels). A meeting with the artist Léonard Lahoz  will take place this Friday at 18:00.

When:  August 16-26
Where:Espace Saint-Rémi – 4 rue Jouannet – 33000 Bordeaux

Join the guided visit of the Urban Legends Exhibition

Legendes Urbaines, an exhibition that hosts more than 50 street artists, is beeing presented from June 21 to September 16 at La Base Sous Marine, one of the most unique places in Bordeaux. The exhibition follows the evolution of street art from the 80s until today and presents different art styles from graffiti, to video art, vitrage paintings, works on wood, fabric and much more. If you want to learn more about the meaning behind these fascinating pieces of art, join the guided tour that will take place this Saturday (August 18) at 16:00. The tour doesn’t require prior reservation and is limited to 30 people (price is 3 euros). For more details about the tour click here.

When: August 18, 16:00
Where: La Base Sous Marine, Boulevard Alfred Daney, 33300 Bordeaux

Garden Party – in one of the nicest terasses of Bordeaux 

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

When: August 19, 17:00
Where:27-29 rue Buhan, 33000 Bordeaux, France

Hope you enjoyed the list! Now don’t be shy, share it with your friends!

Do you have other events to add to the list? Please share them in the comments so all of us can enjoy them 🙂

If you want to plan ahead check out my general list of things to in Bordeaux in August 2018.

Have a great weekend!