October is an amazing month to visit the Bordeaux region and enjoy a variety of events and festivals. Some of the main events include a hot air balloon festival, open doors in wineries, a big art festival, and more. This year, October is going to be even happier than usual thanks to the Rugby World Cup.
This article includes a list of all the best things to do this October in the Bordeaux region and beyond. I hope it’ll help you plan the best stay in our beautiful area.
This list includes only the biggest events taking place this month. Throughout the month I also send tons of information about different events and markets taking place on weekends. To get that you need to subscribe to my newsletter. For more cool things to do in Bordeaux check out my list of 50 best things to do in Bordeaux.
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Let’s start with my list of the best things to do in Bordeaux in October 2023!
Best things to do in October in and around Bordeaux (Gironde)
The Rugby World Cup is coming to Bordeaux!
This year Bordeaux is one of the cities hosting the Rugby World Cup which means that the city is going to be extra lively in September and October 2023. Bordeaux is about to host five matches at the Matmut Atlantique stadium on September 9 – 30. You can buy tickets here.
Bordeaux is going to welcome the worldwide fans at the Rugby Village that will be set up at the Parc des Sports de Saint Michel. There you’ll be able to socialize with other fans, enjoy interactive activities, and watch the match together on a 52m² screen.
See more details about the Rugby village here.
FAB – International Art Festival
FAB is the annual International Art Festival of Bordeaux Metropole taking place this year from September 30 to October 15. Two weeks with a rich program of dance and street art performances will be taking place in many locations in Bordeaux. Click here to see the full program of the festival.
When: September 30 – October 15 / Where: Different locations in Bordeaux metropole – check out the program
Vibrations Urbaines Festival in Pessac
Vibration Urbaines is a cool urban festival taking place every year in Pessac (one of Bordeaux’s suburbs). The program includes events like an international BMX contest, a skating contest, a hip-hop dance battle, urban sports, workshops, street art exhibitions, and more.
When: September 7 – October 21 / Where: University Campus area in Pessac
La Grande Transhumance Urbaine
The Grande Transhumance Urbaine is a fun event taking place every October in Villenave d’Ornon (one of Bordeaux’s southern suburbs). The idea of this festival is to connect city people to local agriculture. The main event is a sheep march, passing through different farms.
On the way, you can enjoy concerts and markets with local products. The event will take place on October 1st, and the details about the exact location will be published here.
When: October 1st / Where: Villenave d’Ornon, check out the full program
Animasia is a festival of Asian pop culture bringing together many elements like J-POP music, Yosakoi dance, karaoke, and Cosplay performances. The place will also include thematic areas with martial arts, video games, board games, and more.
This year the events will be taking place on October 7-8 at the Parc des Expositions. For more info and tickets check out the website of the festival.
When: October 7-8 / Where: Parc des Expositions de Bordeaux
Dali and Gaudi – Les Bassins de Lumières
Les Bassins de Lumières is hosting a beautiful immersive exhibition dedicated to Dali and Gaudi. Les Bassins de Lumières is a visual arts space, situated in an old submarine base, that is known for its immersive exhibitions. The Dali exhibition will be presented from February 3 to January 7, get your tickets here.
When: February 3 – January 7, 2024 / Where: Imp. Brown de Colstoun, 33300 Bordeaux
Nuit des Bibliothèques
La Nuit des Bibliothèques, the libraries night, taking place on October 7, is a great opportunity to discover the libraries across the city. 27 libraries in Bordeaux Metropole will participate in this event and will offer such activities as concerts, theater shows, science workshops, games for kids and more. See the full program here.
When: October 7 / Where: The libraries of Bordeaux
Participate in the fun color -run on the University campus in Pessac. If you’re not into running, you can go straight to the village where all the fun activities will take place. The event takes place on October 8, see all the details here.
When: October 8 / Where: The libraries of Bordeaux
Le Pressoir – a festival in Entre deux Mers
Le Pressoir is an annual festival celebrating the end of the harvest season in the Entre Deux Mers wine region with plenty of concerts and fun activities. The event will take place on October 6-7 in Targon, Check out the program here..
When: October 6-8 / Where: Targon
Lire en Poche – books festival
Lire en Poche is a pocketbook festival that will take place in Gradignan on October 6-8. Besides a huge book sale, a wide range of activities are offered to the participants, among them: reading sessions, theater shows, music, games, workshops for kids, and more. For more info click here.
When: October 6-8/ Where: Théâtre des Quatre Saisons et à La Médiathèque Jean Vautrin, 32 route de Léognan – 33170 Gradignan
Festival Les Spiritives : dégustations & cocktails inédits
A spirits festival will take place at the Palais de la Bourse on October 13-15. The program includes spirits tasting, mixology workshops, and a lot of cocktails. For more info click here.
When: October 13-15 / Where: Place de la Bourse, Bordeaux
Open doors in the Chateaux of Graves
On October 14-15, the Graves appellation, one of Bordeaux’s biggest wine areas, will hold an open-door weekend. During the weekend you’ll be able to visit plenty of stunning chateaux and enjoy wine tastings, wine workshops, and activities for kids. See the full program of the event and the list of participating châteaux here.
* Discover all the other open-door events in the Bordeaux wine region in my article.
When: October 14-15 / Where: Graves area – chose your chateau from the program
FIFIB- Bordeaux international festival of independent movies
The Bordeaux Independent Films Festival will take place on October 13 -18 at Rue Mably in the center of Bordeaux. The program includes film screenings, concerts, and meetings with special guests.
Every evening, the festival village will transform into an open cinema theater and a dance floor. The full program will be published soon on the site of the festival.
When: October 13-18 / Where: Le Village du FIFIB, 3 rue Mably, Bordeaux
The third edition of “Fascinant Weekend” is about to take place on October 19-22. Throughout the long weekend, plenty of wineries and wine-related venues and museums are offering concerts, tastings, workshops, yoga classes, and more. Check out the full list of Chateaux and wine-related activities here.
When: October 19-22 / Where: Wineries in the Bordeaux wine region
Montgolfiades de Saint-Emilion
Montgolfiades is an annual festival of hot-air balloon flights organized by Le Ciel est à Toi association. The flights will take place on October 14-16 above Saint Emilion and the vineyards around it, so the sight is promised to be breathtaking. For more info click here.
Before you go be sure to check out my article about the best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion.
When: October 20-22 / Where: in the vineyards of Saint Emilion, just follow the balloons
A huge electronic festival will take place on October 21-22 at the Parc des Expositions in Bordeaux. More than 40 live sets are waiting for you in the rich program of the Madame Loyal festival. See all the details and tickets here.
When: October 21-22/ Where: Parc des Expositions, Bordeaux
The town of Margaux in the Medoc wine region is hosting its annual, Margaux Saveurs, on October 19-22. The idea of the festival is to make you discover the great wines of the Margaux appellation and to get to know the winemakers, merchants, and restaurants of this gourmet region. During the weekend you can enjoy special workshops in the different wine domains and enjoy fun activities. For more details click here.
If you’re attending this event be sure to read about other places to visit in the area in my article about the Medoc region.
When: October 19-22/ Where: different places in Margaux
Fête du Vin nouveau & de la brocante
Every year at the end of October, the lovely neighborhood of Chartrons in Bordeaux celebrates the autumn with the festival of new wine and Brocante. For two days the main street, rue Notre Dame, will be transformed into a brocante (antique market) with wine stands, roasted chestnuts, and a lot of music and dancing. Come and spend a festive weekend on one of the most interesting streets in Bordeaux. All the info will be published in a few weeks on this page.
When: the dates will be published soon / Where: Rue Notre dame, 33000 Bordeaux
Portes ouvertes dans les châteaux
Fronsac & Canon Fronsac wine appellations will hold their annual open-door weekend at the end of October. Tens of wineries will open their doors to the public offering guided tours and wine tastings. The dates and the list of chateaux will be published in a few weeks here.
See more open-door events in the region in my article.
When: The dates will be published soon / Where: Around Fronsac, check out the full program
Le Festival Isulia
The Isulia festival is a cultural event taking place on October 26-28 in a few fun locations in Bordeaux. The goal of the festival is to promote emerging arts through a fun program of concerts, artistic workshops, kids’ activities, and more. See the full program here.
When: October 26-28/ Where: Different locations in Bordeaux
People of Stone exhibition
People of Stone is the first solo exhibition of Denis Monfleur, an artist born in Perigeux, the capital of Dordogne. More than 100 stone sculptures will be presented at the Galerie, at the Musée des Beaux-Arts, and outside in the garden of the Hôtel de Ville until January 7. See more information here.
More events in the Southwest of France
Laruns La Foire Au Fromage / Hera Deu Hromatge
Every first weekend of October Laruns in the Pyrenees celebrates the end of the summer pastures grazing season with a big cheese fair. The event introduces the different cheese producers in the region and has an entertaining program for adults and kids. This year the event will take place on Sep 30 – Oct 1. See more details here.
Festival Toulouse les Orgues
Every year Toulouse hosts the International Organ Festival. During the days of the festival, several churches in Toulouse are hosting daily Organ concerts. This year the event will be taking place on October 4-15. See all the info here.
See all the best events taking place in Toulouse in my article.
Circa – A circus festival
Circa is an international contemporary circus festival taking place every year in Auch (about 1.5 hour’s drive from Toulouse). The shows in this festival are beyond traditional circus and include elements of dance, music, and digital arts. This year the festival is taking place on October 20-27, see more info here.
Armagnac en Fête
Armagnac en Fête is a fun festival celebrating the beginning of the distillation process in the Armagnac region. The event will take place on the main square of LaBastide d’Armagnac on October 28-29. See all the details here.
Labastide d’Armagnac is a beautiful little village in Les Landes, that’s really worth a visit if you’re traveling in the region. See my article about this part of the Les Landes department.
Fête du Piment d’Espelette
Piment d’Espelette is the red pepper that decorates every market in the Basque country and every shop selling Basque products. Like every important ingredient in the French kitchen, this little pepper needs a “fête”.
Fête du Piment d’Espelette is taking place on October 28-29 in the beautiful village of Espelette. The program includes a big parade, a huge market, musical concerts, activities for kids, a mass with the choir of Espelette, and more. For more details click here.
If you’re looking for more ideas for day trips in the Bordeaux region here are a few other articles you might want to read:
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
What to do and eat in Arcachon
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: