biking in Bordeaux


I truly believe that the best way to discover the center of  Bordeaux is by foot, simply because every building in this city is an architectural work of art worthy of your full attention. One exception is the waterfront of Bordeaux, which is the perfect place for cycling in the city. Surely if you’ve been living here for a while you would think that there are many other interesting trails around the city, but for a newcomer, this cycling route is the best way to discover some of Bordeaux’s most interesting and entertaining spots. In this article, I’m going to introduce you to the “Bridge to Bridge” cycling route in Bordeaux. This trail starts from “la rive gauche”, the western side of Pont Pierre (the central bridge of Bordeaux). It then continues north all along the waterfront until you get to the most modern bridge of Bordeaux, Pont Chaban Delmas. From there you will cross to the Bastide neighborhood, the local’s favorite weekend getaway.

Cycling in Bordeaux

In this article, I’m going to mention all the beautiful monuments and interesting places you should pay attention to as well as recommend places that require a longer stop. I do want to want to warn you that there are quite a lot of stops here, I wrote them all just for you have all the options, but if you really want to feel like you’re cycling you might want to skip some of them 🙂
I am only referring to places located along the waterfront so If you want a deeper introduction to Bordeaux go to my ultimate guide to a weekend in Bordeaux.
There is so much to see on the way and I don’t want you to miss any of it, so tune in and let’s start cycling.
*For information on bike rentals go to the bottom of the article.

What not to miss while cycling in Bordeaux 

The “rive gauche” – the 18th-century charm of Bordeaux 

Start your tour next to the central and oldest bridge of Bordeaux, Pont de Pierre. The first bridge of Bordeaux was commissioned by Napoleon I at the beginning of the 19th century. Prior to the building of this bridge, the only way to get to the other side was by boat. If you’re using the city bikes, there is a station just a minute walk north of Port de Bourgogne, otherwise, look on the map of available bikes here

Pont Pierre in Bordeaux

Now that you have your bike, you can start cycling north, all along the Garonne river. Look at the shape of the river, does that remind you of anything? The Garonne river is shaped like a moon and that’s where Bordeaux got its’ nickname “la Port de la Lune” – the moon port. 

It’s time for some sightseeing! It will be very hard to miss the first monument on our route, the spectacular Porte Cailhau,  one of the two original gates to the old city of Bordeaux. It was built in 1495 to commemorate the glory of king Charles VIII and you can find the statue of the king right in the center of it. 

We are in front of the Miroir d’eau, which is by far the most popular location in Bordeaux during the summer. And although you’ve been cycling for only a couple of minutes this place demands a stop. This modern monument, built in 2006, is the world’s largest reflecting pool. The surface is made from blue granite covered in water, reflecting the 18th century Place de la Bourse. During the summer months, the system of le Miroir d’eau operates in cycles of 15 minutes creating a shallow pool where you can wet your feet and a fog at the end of the cycle when the water is coming down. 

Place de la Bourse in Bordeaux

I would highly recommend crossing the road to Place de la Bourse and take a look at this masterpiece of classic French architecture from the 18th century. Don’t miss the famous mascarons of Bordeaux, these are the little faces looking on you from the arches of the buildings. There are more than 3000 mascarons decorating the buildings and monuments of Bordeaux, taking inspiration from Greek mythology, wild animals, religion and the economical development of Bordeaux. To learn a bit more about the architecture of Bordeaux go to the Bordeaux Patrimoine Mondial, an architectural and heritage interpretation center. The center hosts a modern exhibition presenting various stages in the development of Bordeaux and the factors that have influenced its construction.

You can now pop on your bikes and continue to our next stop, but before we get there, here are a few places I don’t want you to miss. 

Place des Quinconces
Place des Quinconces is the largest city square in France! On one of the sides of this enormous square, you will find the beautiful monument dedicated to the Girondins (members of a political faction) who were killed during the French Revolution. Throughout the year the square hosts many different events, festivals and fairs such as the Brocante de Quinconces. I tend to write a lot about the events that take place on Place des Quinconces so be sure to check out my monthly and weekly updates about things to do in Bordeaux for up to date recommendations.

Remembring the slave trade in Bordeaux
In the last few years, Bordeaux has become more engaged in trying to acknowledge its dark past of slave trade that took place from the 17th to the 19th century. A decade ago you could barely find any remanence of Bordeaux’s role as the second biggest slave trade port in France. Today, however, several statues of slaves can be found in the city and Bordeaux’s triangular slave trade voyages carrying more than 150,000 slaves are documented in the Musee d’Aquitaine.

Quais des Bordeaux

One of the most beautiful statues was created by a Haitian sculptor named Filipo and is located right here on the waterfront, just in front of the Bourse Maritime. The statue depicts a young slave named Modeste Testas who was bought when she was only 15 years old by two Bordelaise brothers. She worked on their plantation in  Saint-Domingue and was set free after the death of her owner. You can read about her story on the panel explaining the statue.

You can read more about the acknowledgment of the slave trade by Bordeaux in this very interesting article by Invisible Bordeaux

Stop 2  – CAPC

If you’re in an artistic mood our second stop is for you! CAPC is the contemporary art museum of Bordeaux located between the Quinconces and Chartrons districts. The museum is housed in an impressive former warehouse from the 19th century where commodities, traded down the river, used to be stored. 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. I have visited the place several times and while the exhibitions are not always the best, the building itself is very impressive. On top of the building you can find a very chic restaurant, a nice place to stop for lunch or a drink. 

If you want to see what other museums Bordeaux has to offer, check out my article about the Museums of Bordeaux

Stop 3 – lunch on the Quai des Chartrons 

If you’re feeling peckish, Quai des Chartrons is the perfect location for a good lunch. You have many good restaurants along the waterfront to choose from, two of my favorite ones are Symbiose and Pastel. 

If you’re doing the cycling tour on Sunday, don’t miss one of the best markets taking place every Sunday morning on Quai des Chartrons. This market hosts dozens of food stalls selling everything from fresh fruits, cheese, pastries and oysters. Besides the fresh local products you can buy at the market it’s simply a very nice spot to have an early lunch or a plate of oysters with white wine if you want to feel like a local. 

Sunday market in Bordeaux

If you are not time constrained take an hour or two to discover the super chic Chartrons district. You can simply follow my article about the best things to do in Chartrons

Stop 4 – Cap Sciences

If you’re doing this bike tour with kids here’s another cool place to keep in mind. Cap Science is a nice science museum that proposes interactive exhibitions and activities all dedicated to different aspects of science. The museum is located at Hangar 20, Quai de Bacalan. For other activities for kids check out my list of 30 things to do with kids in Bordeaux

Hermoine in Bordeaux
See the ship parade in Bordeaux

Just next to it don’t miss Pont Chaban Delmas, a modern bridge that was inaugurated in 2013 and named after one of the mayors of the city. It’s the longest vertical-lift bridge in Europe and seeing it elevating to let the tall ships pass is a very impressive sight.

Before you cross the bridge to the other side let’s discover another hip neighborhood in Bordeaux 

The Bacalan neighborhood – the cool kid on the block 

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.

things to do in Bacalan Bordeaux

You can spend a few hours discovering this cool place, using my guide to the Bacalan district. But as we’re in the midst of our “Bridge to Bridge” cycling trail, I’ll point out two of the places close to the river that I think you should visit. 

Stop 5 – La cité du Vin

La Cité du Vin is Bordeaux’s famous wine museum. This impressive piece of modern architecture is 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 winemaking, see movies and interviews with wine producers and then pass on to smell and taste wine. The Cité 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. You can think of it as a kind of wine amusement park that can be very enjoyable to both wine lovers and people who don’t drink at all. 

cite du vin
Learn everything about wine making

Read more about visiting the world’s best wine museum in my article about the Cité du Vin.

Stop 6 – the Bacalan Market 

It’s time for a little break from sightseeing to go for a drink in one of Bordeaux’s chic markets – les Halles de Bacalan, located just in front of the wine museum. This impressive 950m2 hangar hosts more than 20 artisans that were chosen for the quality of their products (85% of which are produced in the South-West region of France).

Marché de Bacalan
Marché de Bacalan – a new covered market

The “rive droite” – the hipster hub

You can now go back to the modern bridge and cross it to the eastern side – la rive droite. The Bastide neighborhood represents another side of Bordeaux’s charm. Instead of the classic monuments, it has a much more tranquil and funky spirit that attracts many local families and young hipsters of Bordeaux on weekends. This district is especially charming from May to October when you can enjoy all its green areas and all the summer bars and restaurants on the riverfront.

Let me walk you over some of the best places to stop by at the Bastide neighborhood.

Stop 7 – Fabrique Pola

Our next stop is definitely not a must, but it can be a nice place to discover for art lovers. La Fabrique Pola is an artistic hub that brings together associations related to the visual arts. They always have different (usually free) exhibitions running and sometimes on weekends, they have live music on the banks of the Garonne. For the program take a look at their site

Stop 8 – Darwin 

Darwin is probably the main reason to cross the river to the east part of the city. It’s an old military base turned into an urban space with a huge chic restaurant and a cafe/organic food shop, a skate park for all ages, a second-hand shop and many other surprises, all with an agenda of ecological awareness. Whether alone or with kids you can spend hours in Darwin. It is also one of the most extraordinary places for street art and includes some amazing works by a lot of talented artists on every one of its buildings.

Darwin in Bordeaux
Darwin by Lost in Bordeaux

If you’re interested in plants or just love beautiful gardens, don’t miss the neighboring Jardin Botanique. This little park was created to allow the wide public to discover the world of plants, biodiversity and sustainability.

Stop 9 – finish your day with a fabulous picnic

Your cycling route along Quai des Queyries (the waterfront of “rive droite”) goes through one of the best green corners of Bordeaux. That part of the Bastide district is called Parc aux Angéliques, a wide green space with a stunning view on some of the most stunning monuments in the center of Bordeaux. Closer to Darwin, the vibe gets more hipstery.. further away and it’s more of an extended family kind of atmosphere 😉

The Bastide district
The Bastide district by Lost in Bordeaux

On summer days it’s one of the best places for a picnic in the city. If you don’t have any food with you, just go over to Magasin Général in Darwin and buy some cheese and wine (the perfect set for a French picnic). For a larger selection go to the Carrefour supermarket on Allée Serr. For other beautiful green spots in the city, check out my article about the best places for picnics in Bordeaux

Before you go back to the center of Bordeaux through Pont Pierre, stop by one of the most famous statues of “rive droite”, Le Lion. The blue lion on Place Stalingrad is created by a famous French artist Xavier Veilhan as a tribute to the victory of the Soviet army during the Second World War.

Le Lion Bastide Bordeaux

That’s it, our cycling route in Bordeaux has come to its end.  But that doesn’t mean you have to stop! Bordeaux is a super friendly city for cycling and you can continue discovering other neighborhoods and parks. You might get some ideas from the article about the Five alternative ways to discover Bordeaux

Where to rent bikes in Bordeaux 

There are plenty of places to rent bikes in Bordeaux, one of them is located just next to our starting point, next to Pont Pierre. The shop is called Bordeaux Velo and the address is 46 Quai Richelieu.

However, if you’re on a budget or just don’t want to commit to a bike for several hours you can use city bikes that are spread all over the city. The price is only 1.7 euros for 24 hours if you return them to the station every 30 minutes (you can take another bike right away). If you rather not spend your time looking for a station in the middle of your trip you can return them after you finish your ride and pay 2 euros for every additional hour.  

If you live in Bordeaux you also have the possibility to rent a free bike for several months. The organization is called la Maison métropolitaine des mobilités alternatives (MAMMA) and it’s located at 69 cours Pasteur – 33000 Bordeaux. You can check out all the details here

I hope you enjoyed this beautiful city and if you have a few more days in the area don’t forget to check out my article about the best day trips from Bordeaux. If you want more tips on restaurants, concerts and exhibitions follow me on facebook/Instagram. Or better yet, join my newsletter where I share a lot of exclusive info about Bordeaux and the region – sign up here.

If you have a passion for wine, food, and exquisite architecture, a day trip to Bordeaux is an absolute must when exploring the region. While one day may seem short to fully indulge in all its attractions and culinary delights, with a well-crafted itinerary, you can experience the essence of Bordeaux on a perfect day. 

Wondering how to make the most of your one day in Bordeaux? This guide covers everything from stunning architecture and Bordeaux’s bustling market to cycling along the riverfront, wine tasting, and beyond. By the day’s end, you’ll be exhilarated and utterly captivated by Bordeaux’s charm! I also recommend getting my Bordeaux audio tour to help you discover the main landmarks and foodie spots in the city.

If you’re coming for a weekend, be sure to read my check out my Weekend in Bordeaux guide as well as my articles about the best neighborhoods to stay in Bordeaux and the best hotels in the city center.

A perfect day trip to Bordeaux
The beautiful streets in Bordeaux – Lost in Bordeaux

Marché des Capucins – Visit the main market of Bordeaux

If you’re a foodie or just like discovering new markets, I highly recommend starting your one day in Bordeaux in Marché des Capucins. This is the biggest daily market in Bordeaux and has everything from stands of fruits, vegetables, sweets, and spices to a bunch of lively cafés and restaurants. 

Marché des Capucins - Visit the main market of Bordeaux
Marché des Capucins – Lost in Bordeaux

If you don’t have a lot of time, the best way to discover this huge market is by taking a food tour. You can take a private tour with Anne, who is a chef and an amazing food tour guide. Or join the group food tour of the No Diet Club.

If you like oysters there’s one restaurant in the market you simply cannot miss! Chez Jean-Mi has become an institution in Bordeaux, attracting many locals for a plate of oysters with white dry wine. Before you go, be sure to check out my article about the best places to eat at the Marché des Capucins.

Chez Jean Me - the best oysters in Bordeaux
Chez Jean Me – taste oysters at the market – Lost in Bordeaux

The market is open from Tuesday to Sunday, however, be aware that not all the restaurants and stands are open on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Stroll the narrow streets of old Bordeaux

I have yet to meet someone who wasn’t captivated by the beauty of “Vieux Bordeaux,” the city’s historic heart. Its narrow, cobbled streets wind past stunning 17th and 18th-century houses, inviting hours of exploration. 

Bordeaux, the capital of the Southwest, boasts 362 preserved buildings designated as historic monuments, second only to Paris. Recognized by UNESCO for its exceptional urban and architectural harmony from the 18th century, this area and its surrounding streets are truly a marvel.

The beautiful town of Bordeaux
The center of Bordeaux – Lost in Bordeaux

Give yourself at least a few hours to wander the picturesque streets of Bordeaux. The city is rich with history and different architectural styles so if you have time, take a historic tour in the center of Bordeaux. Here’s a tour that’s offered by the Tourists office in several languages. If you don’t like big groups you can always take a private tour.

Main sites in the city center

The center of Bordeaux
Saint James Street – by Lost in Bordeaux

There’s a photographer in Bordeaux who does amazing photography tours with photoshoots of these and other Bordeaux highlights, so that could be a really special experience. Here’s a shortlist of the sites you should not miss on your visit:

Grosse Cloche – the 15th-century gate to the old city, located on one end of rue Saint James, one of the liveliest streets of Bordeaux. This stunning bell tower is part of a whole structure that was previously a part of the city hall of Bordeaux and at some point served as a prison for misbehaved juveniles (!). 

Porte Cailhau – another magnificent 15th-century gate to the historic center of Bordeaux. This glamourous monument was built to commemorate the glory of King Charles VIII and opens up to one of Bordeaux’s nicest squares, Place du Palais. 

The Grand Theatre -The beautiful 18th-century building on Place de la Comedie will be hard to miss. This is one of the most impressive buildings in the city and is home to the National Opera and the National Ballet of Bordeaux. You can also book tickets to one of the concerts the Opera or the national ballet. 

Continue from there to Place des Quinconces, the largest city square in France and one of the biggest in Europe. There you’ll also find the beautiful monument dedicated to the Girondins (members of a political faction) who were killed during the French Revolution. 

Have a drink on the lively squares of Bordeaux

There’s a very special atmosphere in Bordeaux. It’s a very touristy and lively city that somehow succeeds in maintaining its tranquility. What contributes to that are the lively squares in the city center, linked by pleasant pedestrian streets. Almost every square in Bordeaux is adorned with terrasse restaurants and wine bars. As you can imagine, the city of wine has plenty of amazing wine bars and wine tasting places for you to taste some Bordeaux wine.

Some of the liveliest squares in the city center include the Place du Parlement, Place du Palais with a magnificent view of Porte Cailhau, Place Pierre with the Saint Pierre church right in the middle, and Place Camille Julian with the Utopia bistrot (an old church converted into an independent cinema and restaurant). 

Discover the beautiful squares of Bordeaux - Place du Parlement
Place du Parlement – Lost in Bordeaux

Lift your eyes to see the mascarons

Mascaron in Bordeaux
Mascaron in Place de la Bourse

As you explore Bordeaux’s 18th-century rebuilt areas, be sure to notice the exquisite sculptures adorning the buildings. These sculpted faces, known as mascarons, are located between the ground and first floors, derived from the Italian word for masks. 

Bordeaux boasts over 3,000 mascarons adorning its buildings and monuments, inspired by Greek mythology, wildlife, religion, and the city’s economic development. Examples include Neptune, symbolizing the importance of the river, and African faces, reflecting Bordeaux’s historical connection to the slave trade. Most mascarons are prominently featured on buildings along the riverfront, Place de la Bourse, and Place du Parlement.”

You can read in more detail about all the main monuments in Bordeaux in my ultimate guide to a weekend in Bordeaux.

Dine in one of Bordeaux’s delicious restaurants

After the long walk, a proper lunch is in order! In recent years Bordeaux has gained popularity as a gastronomic city and even holds the record for the number of restaurants per person in France. If you have only one day in the city, trying one of Bordeaux’s restaurants should be on your list. 

Bo tanique -one of the best restaurants in Bordeaux

There are a lot of excellent restaurants in the city center and choosing one won’t be easy, but let me suggest just a few: Bo Tanique, Lauza, Symbiose,  Cent 33, Frida, Au Bistro and the list goes on and on. 

It’s important to notice that restaurants in Bordeaux tend to be closed on Sundays or Mondays (or both) so check out their websites when planning your trip. Also, it’s always recommended to book a table ahead of time, even if you do it on the same day.

Visit the main church in Bordeaux -Saint-André 

The big Cathedral on the main square of Pey Berland is a Roman Catholic church and the seat of the Archbishop of Bordeaux. This cathedral has an important part in the history of Bordeaux. Here, the 13-year-old Eleanor d’Aquitaine, married the future king of France Louis VII, therefore making her the queen of France (for a very short period of time).

Cathédrale Saint-André de Bordeaux
Cathédrale Saint-André de Bordeaux – Lost in Bordeaux

Like many other churches and basilicas in Bordeaux, Saint-André is classified as a national monument of France. In the evening the Cathedral often hosts concerts of classical music, choirs and an organ festival during the summer. You can check out more info about the concerts here

Chill at the Miroir d’eau

Now it’s time to visit Bordeaux’s most famous attraction and one you have probably seen in any guide or video about Bordeaux – Le Miroir d’eau. This modern monument, built in 2006, is the world’s largest reflecting pool. The surface is made from blue granite covered in water, reflecting the 18th-century Place de la Bourse. It’s a perfect place to chill on a hot sunny day in Bordeaux. 

miroir d'eau in Bordeaux

If you’re traveling with kids you can easily spend more than an hour here as it’s going to be quite hard to get them out of it. Kids seem to really love it! (don’t forget to bring change clothes for the kids, they tend to get soaked!)

Take a bike ride on the banks of the Garonne – or a cruise if you’re tired 🙂

The promenade on the left bank of the Garonne River is one of Bordeaux’s highlights. Since the massive overhaul project in the early 2000s, the quais (docks) of Bordeaux has become one of Bordeaux’s most popular spots, hosting many events and festivals during the summer. 

The 4.5 km promenade is also perfect for a walk or a bicycle tour. The most interesting part of it is between the two bridges of Bordeaux – Pont Saint Pierre in the center and Pont Chaban Delmas in the north of the city, which includes the Miroir d’eau as well as playgrounds for kids and restaurants with a view of the river.

Cycling in Bordeaux
Cycling in Bordeaux – Lost in Bordeaux

A few companies are offering a biking tour that covers all the parts of town and more, Monsieur Bacchus is one of the best ones.  But you can also do a self-guided tour using my bridge-to-bridge route article.

Want to cruise instead of cycling?

if you only have one day in Bordeaux and that’s taking a cruise. There are plenty of nice afternoon cruises on the Garonne, but I believe that to experience the good life of Bordeaux you should take the Cruise with a glass of wine.

Discover the hipster side of Bordeaux

After spending several hours on the classic left side of the river, it’s time to discover the more hipster right bank of the Garonne. Crossing the river to the other side you’ll get to the Bastide neighborhood. If you’re going on the biking tour from the previous item, you’re going to get there on your way.  

Here, the main attraction is Darwin, an old military base turned into an urban space with plenty of cool stuff to do. Among these, you’ll find a restaurant, a bakery, a winery, a huge skate park, and many hipster shops. 

Darwin in Bordeaux
Darwin by Lost in Bordeaux

Darwin is one of the most extraordinary places for street art and includes some amazing works by a lot of talented regional artists on every one of its buildings. If you visit the Bastide district on the weekend (during the summer) don’t miss one of Bordeaux’s hidden gems, La Guinguette chez Alriq. The Guinguette is a tavern on the banks of the river that hosts plenty of open-air concerts.

what to do in the summer in Bordeaux

How to get there? 

If you follow my advice about doing the bridge-to-bridge circuit, you’re going to pass through everything I mentioned on your way. Otherwise, you can do a nice walk, crossing Pont de Pierre or taking tram A to the other side. Another fun way to get there is by taking the river shuttle

Have a picnic in Jardin Public, Bordeaux’s main park

If you prefer leaving the dining experience for the evening you can replace a fancy lunch with a picnic in the beautiful park of Bordeaux, Jardin Public. Make yourself a basket of regional products and join the other Bordelais on the vast green planes. Don’t forget to add a bottle of Bordeaux wine you can get in most supermarkets or in dedicated wine shops. 

Jardin Public in Bordeaux
Jardin Public in Bordeaux – by Lost in Bordeaux

Jardin Public is a beautiful park and by far one of the most kid-friendly places in the city. However, it’s not the only good spot for a picnic or a little break. Bordeaux has many gardens and parks that you can enjoy on a sunny day. To discover them check out my post about the best places for a picnic in Bordeaux.

Visit the fancy district of Bordeaux 

It’s time for a little dessert and there’s no better place for it than the Triangle d’Or neighborhood, the fancy district of Bordeaux. You’ll notice that the architecture and landscape of this district are different from the narrow streets of the historic center of Bordeaux. The wide boulevards and decorated 18th-century houses reflect the economic boom that the city was undergoing at the time. Today it’s considered a gourmet district with plenty of wine and cheese boutiques.

Like every French city, Bordeaux has its chocolatiers, many of which are located in and around Triangle d’Or. On rue Michel Montaigne you will discover the most famous local patissier and chocolatier, David Capy. On Allée de Tourny you will visit the oldest chocolatier in Bordeaux, Cadiot Badie. It’s a very prestigious place that feels more like a jewelry shop than a chocolate boutique. Other amazing chocolate shops are la Maison Darricau and Hasnaa Chocolat Grand Cru.

Cadiot Badie - one of the oldest chocolate places in Bordeaux

If you also want to take the opportunity to stop for a coffee. Bordeaux has some amazing coffee shops. You can read about my favorite ones in my article about the five coffee places in Bordeaux you don’t want to miss

Shop on the Longest street in France

Sainte Catherine is the longest pedestrian street in France, full of clothing boutiques, and one of the only places in the center where you can find all the main fashion retail stores. If you prefer smaller boutiques, you won’t find them on the main streets but rather on the small narrow streets of Saint Paul and Saint Pierre districts, as well as on rue Notre Dame in Chartrons.

Shopping in Bordeaux
Shopping in Bordeaux – by Lost in Bordeaux

If you’re into second-hand clothing be sure to check my guide to second-hand and vintage shops in the center of Bordeaux

Have a drink in one of Bordeaux’s wine bars 

A great place to finish your day in the wine city is one of its great wine bars! And as you can imagine, there are plenty of wine bars to choose from in the city center, here are some of my favorite ones: le Bar a Vin for the beautiful decor and professional waiters, Wine More Time for its huge selection, and Les doux secrets d’Hélène for the design and the tasty tapas. 

Some bars offer wine-tasting experiences that allow you to better understand the wines of the region. To discover the best places for wine tasting check out my article about wine tasting in Bordeaux

Wine more Time - one of the best wine bars in Bordeaux
Wine More Time – Lost in Bordeaux

If you’re interested in wine don’t miss a trip to Saint Emilion where you can visit some of the best wineries in the region. You can take a guided wine tour or plan the trip by yourself using my post about the best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion

What is the best time to visit Saint Emilion

Not less interesting and beautiful is the Medoc wine area where you can see some of the most impressive chateaux in the region. Follow my post about the Medoc wine route when planning your trip there.

I hope you enjoyed this beautiful city and if you have a few more days in the area don’t forget to check out my article about the best day trips from Bordeaux.

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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:

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*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 🙂 

This weekend the European Patrimony days will take place and some of you might take this opportunity to discover the city through its beautiful buildings and institutions. If you are not into that, there are still plenty of events taking place this weekend in and around Bordeaux. A street art festival, an open air electronic music party, swing dancing on the streets, a biking tour and much more.

Here is the list of things to do this weekend in and around Bordeaux:

Journées Européennes du Patrimoine

The European Patrimony days are a great opportunity to discover some of the most beautiful and interesting places in Bordeaux that are usually hidden from the public. During the weekend of September 15-16 many public and private buildings will open their doors to the and allow you a taste of the city’s history. Some of the most interesting places to visit during the weekend are: the Opera of Bordeaux, Grosse Cloche, Hôtel de Nairac, Tribunal de grande instance de Bordeaux and many more. If you haven’t planned anything yet and want to avoid standing in line, check out my post about the 10 places to visit on Journées Européennes du Patrimoine.

You can see the full list of places open to visits here.

Base sous marine Bordeaux

When: September 15-16
Where: Many places across the city, check out the program above.

Shake Well Festival

Shake Well Festival is an international graffiti festival taking place in the university campus of Pessac on September 14-16. This is a free event that gathers more than one hundred graffiti artists and gives them a huge space of 2000 m2 to express themselves during the weekend of the festival. The event will be accompanied by a lineup of different electronic music artists taking the scene from  10:00 to 21:00. For more info check out the website of the festival.

When: September 14-16
Where: Domaine Universitaire, BORDEAUX MONTAIGNE, 19 esplanade des Antilles, 33607 Pessac

Swing on the streets

Swing In Kiosque is a series of improvised dance events that are taking place in Jardin Public two times a month. This weekend the event will take place on September 16. Take a look at the full program of events on their facebook page.

When: September 16  at 15:00
Where: Jardin Public, 33000 Bordeaux

Festival L’Effet Papillon

The third edition of the Effet Paillon Festival will take place in Martignas-sur-jalle on September 14-15. The festive weekend will be packed with music, street art shows, a designers market, workshops and an outdoor food area. For more details and the lineup click here, to purchase tickets click here.

When: September 14-15
Where: 14 avenue de Verdun, 33127 Martignas-Sur-Jalle

Last Chance to see the street art expo in Base Sous Marine

Legendes Urbaines, the beautiful street art exhibition presented at the Base Sous Marine during the last 2 months is coming to an end on September 16 so this is your last chance to go and see it.  The exhibition, hosting more than 50 street artists, follows the evolution of street art from the 80’s until today and presents different art styles from graffiti, to video art, vitrage paintings, works on wood, fabric and much more. The entrance to the Base Sous Marine will be free on the weekend of September 15-16.

For more details check out the facebook page of la Base Sous-marine.

When: until September 16
Where: La Base Sous Marine, Boulevard Alfred Daney, 33300 Bordeaux

The Pavillon d’été of L’Orangeade

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 (Sep 14) and for this Saturday (Sep 15).

When: September 7-8, starting 6pm
Where: Quai Deschamps, 33100 Bordeaux

Relache Festival

A free concert of JJ. Thames and BearCatz will take place this Friday at the Place Fernand Lafargue as part of the Relache festival. The free music festival is promoting local music, and is taking place in different locations during the  summer months. For more info click here

When: September 14 starting 18:00
Where: Place Fernand Lafargue, 33000 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 September 16 in Jardin Public and will be dedicated to Djs from New Delhi .

See more info about the event on their facebook page.

When:  September 16, 14:00
Where: Jardin Public, place du Champ de Mars, 33000 Bordeaux

La Guinguette des Enfants

One of the best summer places in Bordeaux la Guinguette Chez Alriq dedicate this Saturday to families with kids. Plenty of games, workshops and a picnics will take place on the bank of the Garonne. For more info click here, the price is 5€ for adults.

When: September 15, 11:00 to 17:00
Where: ZA Quai des Queyries, Port Bastide, 33100 Bordeaux

The big scooter race

The Nire Laguna Thomas association organised a wonderful event to help raise funds for research on pediatric cancer.
A kids scooter race will take place this Saturday on the Quai of Bordeaux, starting from la Maison Eco-citoyenne. More than 300 kids, ages 5 to 10 will take place in the event. If you want your kids to participate in the race, register here.

When:  September 15 10:30 to 16:30
Where: la Maison Eco-citoyenne , 33000 Bordeaux

Summer Rock in Bouliac

This Saturday (September 15) a fun event will take place in Bouliac called “Bouliac on the Rock”. The program includes an American cars exhibition, a rock concert, a raffle, vinyl discs and food stands. The festival is free, see more info here.

When:  September 15, starting 11:00
Where: Parking du stade, Bouliac,

Exhibition and a painting atelier for kids in Le Garage Moderne

An exhibition of three painters will take place on September 13-25 in one of the most unique places in the north of Bordeaux, Le Garage Moderne. This Saturday (September 15), the Garage Moderne will also hold a painting workshop for kids so you can enjoy some art while your kids are busy creating one.

When:  September 15, 14:00- 18:00. The exhibition will be presented September 13-25.
Where: 1 Rue des Étrangers, 33300 Bordeaux

Vélotour Bordeaux

Did you ever ride a bike in a museum or a hotel? Discover Bordeaux by bike through places where usually bicycles are not allowed: museums, sport centers, cultural and historic places and more. More than ten places have opened their doors for this unusual experience. The tour will take place this Saturday (September 16) and will start at the Maison Écocitoyenne Bordeaux. For tickets click here and for more info about the event click here.

When:  September 16
Where: Quai Richelieu, 33000 Bordeaux

Open doors in Climb Up 

Climb Up Bordeaux will hold an open door weekend (September 15-16) to allow you discover one of the newest climbing centers in Bordeaux. For details check out the website and the facebook page of the event.

When:  September 15-16 (9:00- 18:00)
Where:17 Avenue Pythagore, 33700 Mérignac

Vegan Market in the Bastide Neighborhood 

A vegan and vegetarian market will take place this Saturday (September 15) at la Place Stalingrad. The stands will include food, drinks, oils, accessories, flowers and different objects, all with the agenda to promote a vegan and vegetarian lifestyle. For more info click here.

When:  September 15, 10:00- 18:00
Where: Place Stalingrad, 33100 Bordeaux

Monuments of Cinema

The Monuments of Cinema festival allows you to see great movies at remarkable monuments in the Gironde. During the whole week (September 8-15) movies such as Lumière, l’aventure continueMonty Python and Everybody wants some! will be screened in places like Château de Cadillac,  Parc Chavat in Podensac and the Sauve-Majeure Abbey. See the full program here.

When:  September 8-15
Where: Different locations in Gironde, check out the program


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

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

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Have a great weekend!


Whether you are into cycling or not, it is plain to see from the sheer number of cycling citizens that Bordeaux is a bike friendly city. Well actually, it’s a fact! Bordeaux is ranked the 6th most bicycle friendly city in the world by Copehagenize. So, whether you are already a cyclist or keen to give it a go Bordeaux is the place to be.

Bordeaux offers so many bicycle related activities, tours and places: dedicated bike paths that go through vineyards to the beach, English speaking bike tour companies and the Musette bicycle café where you can get your bike repaired or just have a delicious coffee, there’s something for everyone.

Today, our guest author Christopher, the owner of Musette bicycle café  and a cycling addict, gives us his take on the cycling scene in Bordeaux.

Bicycles and Coffee

Musette is a coffee shop and bicycle shop rolled into one, combining the best bits of both. Opened in 2017 by two Anglophone expats, it is the first bicycle café in Bordeaux. You can simply stop in to have some great coffee and home-made cake even if you don’t have a bike. They also do light lunches, beer and wine and they even have a cute little garden terrace. If you have a bike and need to get a quick repair, they do almost everything for you, from flat tire repairs to full revisions. If you don’t already have a bike and are looking to buy a gravel bike in Bordeaux then you should stop in and check out their stylish Genesis bikes that they display on the walls.

musette coffee shop bordeaux.
photo by: Christopher GJ Cooley

You’ll find Musette bicycle & coffee at 72 Cours de la Somme 33800 Bordeaux. 200 meters from the Victoire with the nearest tram-stop being Saint-Nicolas on the B line.

More information can be found on their website.

Bike Tours and Wine

If you are new in town and looking to discover the city one of the best ways to do it is by bike. Rustic Vines is an English speaking guided bike tour operator. Their Bordeaux by bike tour combines some of the best sights in Bordeaux brought to life with the stories behind them and of course a little drop of wine. If you would like to take it one-step further they also operate electric bike tours in Saint-Emilion, where they take you through the vineyards to explore different wine châteaux and provide a picnic lunch.

rustic vines birdeaux
photo by rustic vines

They can be found in person at 26 Rue de la Devise 33000 Bordeaux in the historic center or you can book directly on their website

Cycle Paths

If you have your own bicycle and want to enjoy a day in the open air, there are a few great options heading out of town. First, there is a dedicated cycle path that runs all the way to the beach at Lacanau. The path is all flat and mostly straight running through the pine forests. It will take you about 60km to get to the lake and Lacanau town and then another 10km to get to the actual beach but it makes for a great little adventure. To make a round trip there and back in one day requires a fairly high level of fitness, so it’s recommended to go back by bus ( if there’s a space for your bike in the boot of the bus of course).


Another bike path that is definitely worth riding is the Roger Lapebie Voie Verte. It runs from Bordeaux all the way to Sauveterre-de-Guyenne but a recommended day trip would be to the little Medieval village of Creon and back. You’ll see vineyards, forests and little lakes all the while being almost completely out of the way of motor traffic.

bike path Roger Lapebie Voie Verte
photo by: Christopher GJ Cooley

So now you can hop on your ‘bicyclette’ and ride, fix and drink in the biking scene in Bordeaux!

The author, Christopher GJ Cooley, is one of the owners of Mussette bycicle café in Bordeaux.