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BIARRITZ the ultimate guide by lost in bordeaux

Biarritz, a renowned surfing destination on the Atlantic Ocean, is celebrated for its pristine beaches, captivating architecture, and vibrant ambiance. In the 1850s, it was the favored summer retreat of Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie de Montijo. The 1950s marked a pivotal moment as Biarritz evolved into Europe’s pioneering surfing haven. Although its allure waned for a time, the town has experienced a resurgence in popularity, now standing as a coveted vacation destination for many French. 

The beaches are still what attracts many tourists to Biarrtiz, however, in recent years it developed into much more than just another coastal resort. The Basque town has one of the best gastronomic scenes in the region, plenty of little bars with a stunning beach view, and a variety of indoor and outdoor activities. Its proximity to many other great destinations in the Basque country makes it a perfect base to explore the region. 

In this article, I will help you discover all the best things to do in Biarritz. My list includes recommendations about the best restaurants, beaches, surfing schools, fun tours, and more. If you’re looking for a hotel in Biarritz you can go straight to the end of the article and read about the best places to stay in Biarritz. Now let’s get started with the 25 things you should do, see and eat in Biarritz!

Surfing – one of the best attractions in Biarritz

1. Surf (or take surfing lessons) at the Côte des Basques

The Biarritz surfing scene is the main attraction for many European tourists. Most of the surfers tend to come to Plage de la Cote des Basque which is actually the first surfing beach in Europe! If you’re already a surfer, there are several places here where you can rent surf equipment. 

But this place is also a gem for beginners as there are quite a few surfing schools here offering classes to surfing newbies. One of the best surfing schools in Biarrtiz is La Vague Basque. There you can join a group course, take a private lesson or even do a five-day intensive surfing course. You see all the options and book your surfing lessons here

Surfing in Biarritz
surfing schools in Biarritz- Lost in Bordeaux

If you wish to discover another charming location nearby, you can take your surfing course in Birdard, the official surfing paradise, just a few minutes drive from Biarritz. A great surfing school in Bidard is Aquality School and Taiba Surf Club, both do their lessons at Plage de l’Uhabia. 

If you need a break from surfing climb the stairs of the Square Jean Baptiste Lassalle to the very cool beach bar the Etxola Bibi. This open-air bar is located on the cliff with a beautiful view of the Côte des Basques beach, It’s a perfect spot for a beer on a sunny day or a game of pétanque with the locals. If you stay after sunset you get to enjoy live music shows as well.

Etxola Bibi- great place for a beer with a view of the Côte des Basques beach in Biarritz
Etxola Bibi- great place for a beer with a view of the Côte des Basques beach

Along the coastline of Biarritz –the best places to visit in Biarritz

2. Take a long walk on the promenade

along the coast line of Biarrtz
A sand artist on the coastline of Biarritz

if you don’t have a lot of time to spend in Biarritz but still want to see its best parts, you can follow the beautiful promenade all along the beaches of Biarritz and see most of the main sites (which I’ll be mentioning in this article). 

A large part of the promenade is located on several cliffs from which you have a beautiful view of Biarritz’s beaches. Don’t miss Sam, the sand artist who’s making beautiful sketches on wet sand.If you want to have photogenic memories of this walk, you can also take this Private Photographic tour of Biarritz.

3. See the view from the Lighthouse (Le Phare)

The view from Biarritz's lighthouse
The view from Biarritz’s lighthouse

The lighthouse is located in the northern part of the coast of Biarritz, right on the border of Landes and rising to a height of 73 meters above sea level. You have to climb 248 steps to get to the top but I promise you, it’s worth it! 

The view from the lighthouse is mesmerizing, especially on a sunny day. The panoramic scenery provides a sweeping view that encompasses both the entire coastline and the city center. This is a great place to start your walk along the coast or alternatively to see the sunset if you visit Biarritz when the sun goes down before 6 pm, as that’s when the lighthouse closes in the evening.  See the opening hours here.

A more exciting way to see the view of Biscay Bay with its stunning beaches and villages is the  Atlantic coast helicopter trip from Biarritz.

4. Explore the architecture

One of the best ways to discover the city is by strolling on the streets and observing its architecture. When you visit Biarritz try to go beyond the few tourist streets and look for the unique houses and mansions. The best way to discover the architectural treasures of Biarrtiz is by taking a guided walking tour (this one starts from the lighthouse). 

Architecture in Biarritz
Architecture in Biarritz

But if you’re not taking a tour, here are two noticeable places that you should pay attention to on your stroll. First is the Hotel du Palais which was the summer palace of Eugénie (the last French empress) and is located between the Grande Plage and Plage Miramar. The second is the Chapelle Imperiale which was Eugénie’s private chapel. If you have time, visit the chapel to see its beautiful interior. During the tourist season, the opening hours are Thursday and Saturday (14-18).

5. Go to the beach at the Grand Plage

Le Grand Plage is the main beach in Biarritz. It’s wide, close to most hotels, and is comfortable for bathing. That also makes it the most crowded beach during high season. For those seeking the city beach ambiance and not particularly inclined towards surfing, this spot is an ideal place to relax during your stay in Biarritz. 

Le Grand Plage is the main beach in Biarritz
Grand Plage in Biarritz – by Lost in Bordeaux

For surfers, the go-to place is Plage de la Côte Basque, where you can choose to rent surfing equipment or take a surf lesson from an allee of surfing schools. 

if you don’t mind walking or cycling farther from the city center, there’s a nicer and less crowded beach I highly recommend. For that, you need to get to the south of Biarritz to Plage de la Milady or Plage Marbella which I’ll talk about later.

6. Port des Pêcheurs

A few minutes walk from the Grand Plage will bring you to one of the most romantic places in Biarritz. Port des Pêcheurs is a little harbor that was built by Napoleon III in the 1800s and previously served the fishermen of the city. You can still find the fishermen’s little colorful houses, some of which serve as restaurants with a beautiful view of the boats docking at the port.

port des pecheurs biarritz
Port des Pecheurs in Biarritz

If it’s seafood and fish you’re after then this is the place for you. The restaurants in the port will serve you fresh-off-the-boat fish, a variety of seafood such as oysters and crabs, and other classic dishes from Basque cuisine. My favorite restaurant is Casa Juan Pedro, which offers delicious local dishes for affordable prices.

7. A boat trip 

From Port des Pêcheurs you can also go on a cruise Bay of Biscay and discover the Basque coast by boat. Excursion Bateau Biarritz is run by a professional skipper, Jerome, who will take you on a magical day trip that includes Swimming and snorkeling in the creeks of Biarritz, lunch on the beach, a visit to the bay of Saint Jean de Luz and more. 

The minimum age for this activity is 2yo and you must book it in advance – see all the details here.

8. Sunset and wine

During your discovery of the coastline, you will see a few exquisite little bars located on the headlands with the perfect ambiance for an early evening drink. These are the best places to see the sunset while sipping a glass of wine and snacking on a charcuterie plate.

view from the Olatua bar
See the sun go down from the Olatua bar in Biarritz

The place I found most charming was OLATUA, with a very chill atmosphere of friends meeting at the end of a working day. You might have to wait a bit for a table with a good view, but it’s worth it.

Address: Olatua, Jardins de l’Atalaye, 64200 Biarritz

9. Rocher de la Vierge

Perched on the dramatic cliffs of Biarritz, the Rocher de la Vierge emerges as a mesmerizing natural landmark and cultural symbol. Previously used as a platform for whale-watching it is now one of Biarrtiz’s more recognizable spots. Translated as the “Rock of the Virgin,” this site owes its name to the statue of the Virgin Mary standing on the top of the rock.

rocher de la vierge
Rocher de la Vierge – one of the hallmarks of Biarritz

Accessible by a scenic footbridge, the Rocher de la Vierge offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Bay of Biscay and Côte des Basques (the surfing coastline). The sound of crashing waves against the rocks adds a symphonic backdrop to the sensory experience. The view gets particularly stunning around sunset time, but it’s a magnificent spot to visit any time of the day.

7. The Aquarium of Biarritz

Another very popular attraction in Biarritz is the Biarritz Aquarium (also known as the Musée de la Mer) which is located in an art-deco building next to Rocher de la Vierge. The museum includes huge aquariums with fish, sharks, and seals. You can also learn about the history of whales in Biarritz through a series of exhibits. This place is very popular with kids and can be a great escape for a rainy day.

You can buy the tickets online and if you’re also planning to visit the Cité de l’Océan I recommend purchasing the combined ticket.

Address:  Musée de la Mer, Plateau de l’Atalaye, 64200 Biarritz

11. Plage Port Vieux for a safe swim with kids

Plage port vieux - the best beach for kids in Biarritz
Plage port vieux – for a safe swim – by Lost in Bordeaux

After you’ve visited the Rocher de la Vierge (or the Biarritz aquarium nearby) continue walking along the coastline until you see a beautiful tiny beach from the top. This is Plage Port Vieux, the smallest and in my opinion, the prettiest beach in Biarritz. It’s located on a tiny bay between two cliffs creating a very sheltered beach which makes it the safest place for kids and adults to swim.

The problem is that it’s very small so it tends to be packed with families during the summer. If you’re looking for a quiet beach continue down the road to the southern part of Biarritz.

12. Villa Belza

Villa Belza

Another charming spot on the coastline comes right after the Port Vieux beach. Villa Belza is a beautiful 19th-century mansion located between the Rocher de la Vierge and the Côte des Basques. This mysterious house was used in the past as a setting for films and cabaret evenings. 

Next to Villa Belza, there’s a nice little cafe/bar, named the Eden Rock cafe with a beautiful view of the little Post Vieux beach. They have a DJ playing live music and it’s a great place for early evening cocktails.

Address: Eden rock café, 2-4 Espl. du Port Vieux, 64200 Biarritz

13. Plage Marbella

Another much more isolated beach is Plage Marbella in the South of Biarritz.  Characterized by its towering waves, this beach radiates a distinctly wild ambiance, making it a preferred haven for seasoned surfers.

a bar on plage Marbella
a bar on plage Marbella

One of Marbella’s best features is Debololo, the surfers’ outdoor bar, which is located on the cliff, just before you go down to the beach. Debololo with its local vibe has a light menu (quiches, sandwiches, etc.) and lots of cold drinks. 

Address: Debololo, impasse Marbella, Biarritz, France 64200

14. Go on a day trip from Biarritz 

There is an incredible amount of places to visit in the Basque region, and you need at least a few weeks to cover it all. But let’s be realistic, most people only have a few days when they are visiting the region, so I want to give you the highlights. 

If you have an extra day or two in Biarritz and you want to profit from the proximity of the town to other attractive destinations, it’s quite easy to do. The main popular places you can go to by train or bus from Biarritz are San Sebastian, a resort town on the Spanish side of the border (50 km from Biarritz); Saint Jean de Luz, a beautiful little fishing town (20 km from Biarritz) and Bayonne, one of the biggest cities in the area known for its chocolate and ham (10 km from Biarritz). 

Personally, Bayonne, the capital of the French Basque country is my favorite one. The city is known for its charming old town with narrow cobblestone streets and Basque-style houses. But Bayonne also happens to be one of the most gastronomic destinations in the southwest of France. So when there, I highly recommend taking a food tour so you can easily discover all the gastronomic gems of this city. 

Bayonne - a day trip from Biarritz
Bayonne -by Lost in Bordeaux

Where to eat in Biarritz – food and nightlife

The food is by far my favorite part of Biarritz! The richness of the Basque cuisine and the proximity to Spain makes this place a paradise for foodies. Seafood restaurants, an amazing market, great burgers, and awesome tapas bars, Biarritiz’s got everything and it’s all delicious.

15. Les Halles de Biarritz – the market of Biarritz

Halles de Biarritz
Halles de Biarritz

Marché aux Halles, Biarritz’s main market is one of the best attractions this city has to offer. This bustling market, housed in a charming Art Deco building was built in 1885 and has since become a gastronomic institution. You can find here the best regional delicacies, fresh produce, artisanal treats and even amazing coffee. 
My favorite way to discover a local market in many French cities I go to is taking a food tour with someone local. It’s not only the best way to discover the regional specialties but also to learn about the local life and culture. Several food tours in Biarrtiz will help you discover the market, one of them is the Biarritz guided walking & gourmet tour.

Eat oysters in les halles de Biarritz
Eat oysters in les halles de Biarritz

Next to the big market, you will find another smaller building, which is the fish and seafood market. Here you can order a plate of oysters with white wine and just enjoy the good life of Biarritz. 

This type of covered market has become very popular in France and in recent years you can see them popping up in many cities around the country. Usually, these are very lively during the day and quiet after 14:00 but Biarrtiz is different. This market is the go-to place for locals for lunch, apero, or a night out with friends. And while the market itself closes early, all the restaurants around it stay open. And I’ll mention a few of them later. 

The market tends to be very busy, especially on weekends, so try to come as early as you can. The market is open daily from 7:30 to 14:00 and also from 18:00 to 21:00 from mid-July to the 3rd week of August.

16. Basque food and tapas places

You can feel the Spanish influence on the French Basque cuisine in many of Biarritz’s restaurants. Excellent tapas bars with colorful Pintxos are an integral aspect of the city’s culinary landscape. In general, I found that the market area is the food hub of the city and harbors the best tapas bars in Biarritz.

Bar Jean in Biarritz
Bar Jean – one of the food institutions of Biarritz

One of the oldest and busiest tapas places in Biarritz is Bar jean. Located just in front of the market, the bar offers an impressive variety of dishes and tapas. This spot typically attracts a lively mix of tourists and fashionable locals gathering around its red bar. Bar Jean offers all the traditional Basque dishes as well as self-severed Pintxos from the bar. The food is indeed delicious, but the speed with which the waiters move makes for a slightly cold and impersonal service. Having said that I highly recommend spending at least one evening there.

Le Comptoir du Foie Gras in Biarritz
Le Comptoir du Foie Gras

Another great tapas bar is Le Comptoir de fois gras, a perfect place to finish your market visit. They offer a foie gras pintxo as well as a great selection of Charcuterie that you can accompany with a bottle of wine or champagne while watching the people rush in and out of the market.

17. Buy local products

Biarritz is rich with delicious Basque products, most of which you will try in the local restaurants. If you want to take some of the French basque flavors and specialties home with you, visit one of the many local product boutiques around the city.

basque products
Buy local products in Biarritz

Some of the highlights of Basque gastronomy are the Espellette peppers, the Basque cheese, Bayonne Ham, Basque cakes and chocolate, and the Irouleguy wines (with a strong flavor). Most of the products can be found in the market as well as in one of the shops in front of the market, Etxe Peio. Another beautiful shop for Basque products is Mikelena, which is located in the city center. 

If you have some time in Biarrtiz I also recommend taking a trip to the countryside to see how some of these delicates are produced. If you don’t want the hassle of organizing it yourself, you can take this Basque Country Food tour.

18. Good restaurants

The list of good restaurants in Biarrtiz is too long and it requires a separate article, but I wanted to give you at least three great ones to start with.

EPOQ – a chic restaurant, that prides itself on a stylish ambiance and a menu spotlighting locally sourced and organic dishes. 

Bistro Le Pim’pi – For a good old-fashioned style French Bistro – French classic dishes with an innovative touch.Frenchie – in the gastronomic territory we have this stylish restaurant that’s located in the Regina Hotel.

19. Basque Patisserie

I find it amazing that every region you visit in France has its own local patisserie! In Biarritz, it’s the Gâteaux Basques (Basque cakes) that come in many flavors such as nougat, cream, and pistachio. Another specialty is the local macaroon which is less pretty than the Parisian one but loses no points on taste and texture. 

The basque patisserie is very much based on ground almonds, resembling a bit the taste of croissant aux amandes. My favorite patisserie place is Patiserrie Adam, for its huge variety of basque cakes, the beautiful presentation of every pastry and chocolate, and the very lovely service (they gave us a lot of chocolate to taste 🙂 ).

patisserie Adam
Taste amazing Basque patisserie in Adam

Another much more famous one is Miremont, which is not just a patisserie place but rather a fancy tea house with beautiful desserts and chocolates and high prices accordingly.

20. Burgers

Les CAB Biarritz
Les CAB – great place for a burger

Burgers became popular in Biarritz and you can find several American-style places with good burgers in the city. My favorite was Le Comptoir à Burger, also known as Le CAB, located on rue Gambetta, which is yet another street full of great restaurants. Their super tasty burgers come with a variety of special toppings such as mozzarella, dry tomatoes, and homemade fries.

21. Nightlife in Biarrtiz

Biarritz is not a party town and you won’t see streets full of clubs with people dancing till morning. The atmosphere here is relaxed and people just love to go out for a drink and eat well. Some of the bars/restaurants can be open quite late if you want to continue drinking after dinner. 

Two of them are located on one of the main streets in the center,  Rue de port vieux: the Ventillo cafe with live music in the evenings and the Basque bar with a younger vibe. Both are open after midnight which is not obvious in Biarritz.

The market area is another place that becomes alive in the evening. Locals love to have an apero in one of the many bars and you will see the places getting busy with groups of friends as the evening carries on.

night life around the market in Biarritz
night life around the market in Biarritz

There are also a few nightclubs such as le Duplex and Carré Coast but I’m not a nightclub person so I can’t tell you from personal experience if they are good 🙂

Shopping in Biarritz

Given the relatively small size of the city, Biarritz offers a great shopping experience with a variety of famous French retail chains and local boutiques with an emphasis on beachwear and Biarritz-related products.

22. Where to shop for clothing in Biarritz

In general, there are two main areas for shopping in the center of Biarritz. If you are looking for famous boutiques like Zadig et Voltaire and Morgan go to Avenue Edouard VII, a home to some of the biggest French and international boutiques. You can also head to Galerie Lafayette where all the biggest clothing and cosmetics brands are on display.

Shopping street in Biarritz
Avenue Edouard VII – Shopping street in Biarritz

If you’re interested in smaller more local boutiques you can find some of them around the market (Les Halles de Biarritz), like Rue Gambetta or Rue Victor Hugo. You can also head to the very charming streets rue mazagran and rue du port vieux  – two little pedestrian streets full of boutiques, cafes, bars, and galleries.

23. Buy Souvenirs 

presents from Biarritz
Some of the presents you can bring back home

If you are looking for presents or memorabilia to bring from Biarritz, there are a few special items that can be great presents. One of the most popular merchandise in Biarritz is the espadrilles, made-in-France slippers that come in all colors and can be a great present for the summer. They are sold in many shops around Biarritz, but if you want a huge selection go to the very chic Art of Soule shoe store.

Les espadrilles
Espadrilles – a nice present to bring from Biarritz

Other very popular items are Biarritz’s aprons or the colorful little surfboards with cool graffiti or Biarritz’s scenery on them. One store that has a great selection of presents is Colibri.

Indoor activities to do in Biarritz

24. Museums

There are a few interesting museums in Biarritz and although most people come here for the beaches, it’s good to have some interesting indoor places in case it rains.

Apart from the Aquarium mentioned above, there’s an entertaining museum called Cité de l’océan. The Ocean Museum offers plenty of interactive and fun activities and multimedia exhibits that help you explore the relationship of Biarritz with the ocean. If you don’t feel like surfing in the real ocean, you can try the virtual reality surf experience in the museum. You can purchase tickets combining the museum with the Aquarium.

Another good museum is the Musée Asiatica, with several collections from China, Nepal, and Tibet as well as a large gallery of Indian subcontinent art.

25. Casino

Casino Barrière in Biarritz
Casino Barrière

Ever felt inadequate in a casino? well, not in this one :). The Casino of Biarritz is located in an art deco building on the main beach, Le grande plage. It’s probably not the most extravagant casino you’ve ever been to, but maybe the relaxed feeling is what makes it nice. There is no real dress code to get inside, except that men need to wear long pants.

Where to stay in Biarritz?

For those of you looking for a hotel for your stay in Biarritz, here’s a list of a few recommended hotels. I included both 3 and 4-star hotels and also one very luxurious option so that everyone can find something for their budget and needs. All of the hotels are located in the center of Biarritz, within a few minutes walk from one of the beaches, and with plenty of restaurants around.

Best Western Kemaris

A lovely 3 – star hotel situated in a typical French Basque house. It’s located just a few minutes walk from the surfing beach and about 10 minutes walk from all the shops and restaurants in the city center. The rooms are very bright and the design is quite minimalist (in a good way). Click here to book.

Best Western Kemaris
Best Western Kemaris

Résidence Vacances Bleues Le Grand Large

If you’re traveling with kids this is a great option for you. It’s an apartment-hotel with spacious rooms and a kitchen in every apartment so if you prefer to buy your food at the market and cook, this is perfect for you. The hotel does offer breakfast and has a restaurant for those who prefer not to hassle with cooking. The high building itself is not extremely charming but the rooms are nice and the view is spectacular. It’s also perfectly located within a few minutes walk from all the restaurants and the kids friendly beach (Plage Port Vieux). If it’s a bit cold outside for a beach day, the hotel offers a heated pool. Click here to book.

Hotel Windsor Grande Plage

This 4-star hotel is located right on the main beach of Biarritz with an amazing view of the ocean. It’s situated in what used to be a private mansion and has a very elegant white design. This hotel is perfect for couples on a romantic vacation 🙂 Click here to book.

Hotel Villa Koegui Biarritz

If you usually love to stay in boutique hotels, Villa Koegui Biarritz is a great option. The 4-star hotel is located very close to the beach and the main market of Biarritz. If you book the breakfast option you get to enjoy it in their lovely garden. Just one issue, the shower opens to the bedroom, meaning that it doesn’t have a separate door (I know it’s an issue for some people). But other than that it’s a great cozy hotel with great staff and service. Click here to book.

Le Regina Biarritz Hotel & Spa MGallery by Sofitel

This is the most luxurious option on my list. Le Regina is a marvelous 5-star hotel situated in a 1907 Belle Epoque building with an amazing Art Deco lobby. Besides the beautiful design, it has great amenities such as a big outdoor pool, a spa, a chef restaurant and more. The hotel is located between the main beach and Biarrit’s famous lighthouse. It’s very close to the main shopping street and about 20 minutes walk from the main market and the old port. Click here to book.

I hope this long list of things to do and see and where to eat and shop was useful for those planning to visit Biarritz. If Biarritz is not on your travel destinations list, you should definitely add it as you don’t want to miss the beautiful beaches, the delicious Basque food and the chill ambiance of this place!

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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 🙂 

Bordeaux is known for its stunning architecture and vibrant city life. On sunny days, you can spend the day in terrace cafes and walk along the neverending Garonne riverfront. The problem is though, that you can’t always count on sunny days in Bordeaux, as there are quite a lot of rainy periods here even during the summer. So having a plan for rainy days is quite a must! 

In this article, I put together some of the best places and things to do in Bordeaux. These include some of my favorite indoor places for drinks, museums, and of course wine-related activities. Many of these activities are geared towards adults so if you’re traveling with kids I invite you to take a look at my article about things to do with kids when it’s raining in Bordeaux

If it’s your first time in Bordeaux check out my list of the best 50 things to do in Bordeaux. Now let’s start our list of the best activities for rainy days in Bordeaux.

Food and wine with friends at Halles des Bacalan

The Bacalan market opened its doors in 2017 and has become one of the most popular places in town since. It’s not a surprise, of course, Bordeaux is well known for its gourmand population. This impressive 950m2 hangar is located just in front of the famous Cité du Vin museum and hosts numerous artisans and merchants who were chosen for the quality of their products. 

Les halles des bacalan

It’s a perfect place for lunch or an apero with friends, especially on rainy days. You can stay there for hours tasting delicious food and drinking wine. If you want to discover other cool places in the Bacalan neighborhood check out my article about things to do in Bacalan.

Address: 149 Quai de Bacalan, 33300 Bordeaux

See an immersive exhibition at Les Bassins de Lumières

Les Bassins de Lumières is a visual arts space situated in an old submarine base built during WWII. Since 2020 it has been hosting marvelous immersive exhibitions of many famous artists like Klimt and Dali. Different parts of their famous works are being deconstructed and screened on the walls of the Bassin accompanied by a touching soundtrack. You can see a video I took in their previous exhibitions just to get the vibe.

 This year les Bassins de Lumières is hosting an exhibition dedicated to Vin Gogh and other Dutch painters. The new exhibition will be presented from February 16, 2024, to January 5, 2025. You get your tickets here.

La cité du vin

The cité du vin is a fun place for any wine lover but can be very interesting and enjoyable for people who don’t drink at all. This impressive piece of modern architecture is a 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 smell and taste wine.

The tickets are not cheap but there’s so much to see there that you can easily spend a full day there. So you won’t have to worry about making plans for a rainy day. If you want to learn more about this super innovative museum, check out my article about visiting the Cite du Vin.

Address: 134 – 150 Quai de Bacalan, 33300 Bordeaux

Visit Darwin

Darwin is probably one of the most surprising places in Bordeaux. An old military base turned into an urban space with a co-working space/incubator for startups, a skate park for all ages, a restaurant, and many other surprises, all with an agenda of ecological awareness. 

Darwin in Bordeaux
Darwin

This is a great opportunity to discover a different Bordeaux, beyond the elegant historic center. When it’s raining you can spend a full day there, eating at a restaurant, tasting wine, doing second-hand shopping in Emmaus, and enjoying street art. 

It’s also one of the best places to take kids to when it’s raining

Address: 87 Quai de Queyries – 33100 Bordeaux

Le garage moderne

Le Garage Moderne is a special combination of a garage for cars and bicycles and a place of art and culture, workshops, and social meetings. If you have a problem with your car or your bicycle, it’s a good opportunity to learn how to fix it. The mechanics of le Garage Moderne will accompany you with explications adapted to your level of mechanic knowledge. 

Apart from that you can just drop by to have a drink, make friends, and see interesting art expos. Le Garage Moderne is open from Monday to Friday.

Address: 1 Rue des Étrangers, 33300 Bordeaux

Visit the Opera building

The Grand Theatre de Bordeaux was built at the end of the 18th century by the architect Victor Louis. It’s one of the most beautiful 18th-century theaters in the world and is one of France’s preserved historical buildings. 

Previously a seat of the French parliament, today it’s home to the Opera National de Bordeaux and the Ballet National de Bordeaux. You can try and get tickets to one of the shows at the Opera. A few times a week, depending on the season, the Grand Theatre also offers a guided tour. The price is 10 euros and free for people under 26. For reservations click here.

Address: Place de la Comédie, 33000 Bordeaux

Taste Wine 

We are in the capital of wine, so instead of being gloomy about the weather, use it as an opportunity for wine tasting. Here in Bordeaux, you have several places where you can taste local wines during the day without waiting for the wine bars to open up in the evening.

One good example is Bar à Vin which is located in one of Bordeaux’s beautiful 18th-century buildings. This place specializes in the wines of Bordeaux and it changes its wine menu once a month, so there’s always a good reason to go back and learn about new local wines. If you want to discover other good places for wine tasting check out my article about wine tasting in Bordeaux.

wine tastings in Bordeaux
photo by lost in Bordeaux

Visit art museums

If you are in the mood for some art on a rainy day, there are a few museums in the center of Bordeaux that are dedicated to art and design, the most important ones are:

Le musée des beaux-arts

This museum is famous for its sculptures and paintings from the 16th to 20th century, among them the works of Pérugin, Rubens, Chardin, Delacroix, and Matisse alongside Bordelaise artists such as Odilon Redon and Albert Marquet.Opening hours: The museum regularly hosts temporary exhibitions as well as concerts and art events. Open every day except Tuesday 11:00-18:00

Address: 20 Cours d’Albret, 33000 Bordeaux

Musée des Art décoratifs et du Design– the museum is closed for renovation

The Museum of Decorative Art and Design is located in a beautiful 18th-century mansion and is one of UNESCO’s heritage sites in Bordeaux. Many of the furniture and pieces of art you will see in this museum are dated to the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.  Not less impressive is the original woodwork and wooden floor of the museum. 

The museum is currently closed for renovation

Le CAPC – musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux

Le CAPC is worth visiting even if you are not a big fan of contemporary arts. The museum is housed in an old wool warehouse where commodities, traded down the river, used to be stored. What makes it special is the combination of modern art with the old architecture of the building. 

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.  Open from Tuesday to Sunday 11:00-18:00.

Address: 7 Rue Ferrere, 33000 Bordeaux

CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux
CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux

*All museums mentioned above are free every first Sunday of the month.

Visit the Capucins Market

One of the main attractions in Bordeaux is Marché des Capucins. It’s the biggest daily market in Bordeaux and it has everything from fruits and spices to local sweets and plenty of oyster stands. 

Chez-jean-mi Bordeaux market
Chez-jean-mi – Lost in Bordeaux

It’s a perfect place when you want to hide from the rain in Bordeaux. Take your time strolling between the stands and discover the Southwest of France gastronomy. You can then stay for lunch in one of the many restaurants in the Market. You can also try and book a food tour and turn it into a richer experience.

Weekends are especially busy in Capucins with locals meeting their friends for oysters and wine after their market run. So if you want to get a table on a Sunday be sure to be there before 11 am. If you need help choosing what and where to eat at the market, check out my article about the best places to eat in Marche des Capucins.

Play board games in Jeux barjo

Jeux Barjo is the most central game bar in Bordeaux which includes several spaces: a mezzanine, a cellar, and large libraries. Anyone can enjoy this bar as it holds a very impressive board game collection, and even if you are not familiar with the games, the friendly staff are there to explain the rules. The bar offers different menus of games, drinks, and tapas. 

Address: 12 Rue Saint-James, 33000 Bordeaux

See a movie in Utopia

Utopia is an independent cinema theater that offers a unique experience as it’s installed in an ancient church, l’église du Vieux Bordeaux. It is much more than just a cinema, there are regular meetings with directors and debates on social issues that are being addressed in movies. The program is very diverse, from little independent productions to big-budget movies and old classical ones. 

Utopia cinema Bordeaux
Photo by: Ramon Szmuk

At the entrance to this beautiful building, you will also find a restaurant, and on sunny days there are a lot of tables outside watching Place Camille Jullian. An old movie and lunch in an old church sounds like the most comforting plan for a rainy day. The price is 7 euros, see the program.

Address: 5 Place Camille Jullian, 33000 Bordeaux

Surfing in a coffee place

This is a super cool activity for a rainy day. The Wave Surf Café is the first indoor cafe where you can surf! The Big artificial wave in the middle of the coffee shop imitates an ocean wave and allows you to feel like a professional surfer in the city center :). It’s a nice experience for those who don’t live next to the sea and don’t have the opportunity to surf. For more details click here.

Address: 174 Cours du Médoc, 33300 Bordeaux

See local contemporary art in MECA

If you crossed Pont Saint-Jean recently you must have noticed the white modern building that reminds La Defense Arc in Paris. This is MECA the Regional Pole of Culture and Creative Economy. One of the more interesting places you’ll find here is Frac. 

MECA Bordeaux

Frac is a cultural institution with a mission to promote contemporary art in Nouvelle Aquitaine, hosting several exhibitions of local artists.  The exhibitions are varied and include many genres from photography to painting and sculpture. During the weekend it hosts interesting talks, workshops, and activities for kids. For more details click here

Address: 54 Quai de Paludate, 33800 Bordeaux

Visit the chic foodie market – Boca 

If your stomach starts growling after the long art session in FRAC, just continue to the next place on Quai de Paludate – La Boca Foodcourt. They call it the first French food court, although it reminds me less of a traditional food court in an American mall and rather chic and a bit of a pricy foodie’s market. 

boca food bordeaux

Boca is a long hangar with rows of wooden tables in the middle and about 15 different restaurants. I like it as there’s a great variety of food such as seafood, Spanish tapas, a meat restaurant, and a good bar. It’s especially nice if you come as a group of people and share many different plates. On weekends La Boca hosts many fun events such as salsa parties, 90s dance parties and more, you can check their events schedule here.

Address: 208 Quai de Paludate, 33800 Bordeaux

Try to get out of an escape room in Espace Hunt

Escape rooms have become popular around the world and it didn’t skip Bordeaux. There are a few escape rooms in Bordeaux and Espace Hunt, located next to Gare Saint-Jean is one of them. The concept is that for one day you become a group of detectives and you have 60 minutes to collect clues and solve a series of questions to exit the room before time runs out. The bigger your group is the easier it will be to get out! 

After the game, you can enjoy a coffee in a 100m2 Victorian salon and take photos in special detective costumes. The place isn’t recommended for kids under 12 and all kids under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. One of the rooms is forbidden for kids under 16.

Adresse: 5 rue Pierre Loti, 33800 Bordeaux 

Bowling 

Bowling is one of the best indoor activities you can do on a rainy day. Bordeaux has a big Bowling facility right just a few minutes walk from the city center. Bowling de Bordeaux is located in Meriadeck and it’s open daily. The place also has a bar and billiard tables. See all the information here.

Address: Terrasse du Général Koenig, 33000 Bordeaux

Centre Aquatique Caliceo

What’s better than to pamper yourself in a spa when it’s raining outside? The Caliceo Center offers you just that. A spa with pools, aquatraining, hammam, different saunas, and massage to relax and forget about work and city life. The place is open daily from 10:00 to 21:00.

Address: Quartier du Tasta, 8 Rue Jean Pommies, 33520 Bruges

Enjoy a Roller Disco 

Moovens Roller Rink in Gradignan is a fun place where you can go skating or rollerblading. They offer skating classes, roller sessions and even organize roller disco parties from time to time. If you don’t have rollers you can rent them there. See all the details here

Address: 11 Av. de la Madeleine, 33170 Gradignan

Axe Throwing in Pessac

If you feel like doing something special that you probably haven’t done before – consider axe throwing. Apparently, it’s a thing now and Les Freres Jacks is the place for it in the Bordeaux area. You have to reserve a target for one hour (up to 3 people for 1 target). 

Address: 152 Avenue Jean Jaurès, 33600 Pessac

Go shopping in one of Bordeaux’s Malls 

I’m not a huge fan of shopping centers but I must say that it saved a lot of my rainy days here in Bordeaux. If you want to stay close to the center of Bordeaux, Meriadeck is the only mall in the city. It has quite a few nice shops and a few simple restaurants/ coffee shops. 

However, if you want something bigger where you can spend many hours you should head to one of the commercial centers of Bordeaux. The two biggest and most impressive ones are Rive d’Arcins in Begles and Aushopping Bordeaux Lac, both accessible by public transport from the center of Bordeaux. Both of these commercial centers have a huge variety of shops, many places to eat, and little corners for little kids to play.

Attend one of Bordeaux’s events

The Bordelais are quite used to rainy winters (or falls and springs for that matter) so there are plenty of events that are adapted for people trying to escape the rain. While the summer events are usually outdoors, starting October many events, like special markets and open doors in various Chateaux, are starting to take place all over the region. 

To know about specific events taking place every month, follow my monthly lists that I publish regularly on the blog and subscribe to my weekly newsletter where I update you about the best events every weekend. 


I hope this list gave you a lot of ideas for the upcoming rainy weather! Thank you for reading and share if you liked it 🙂

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 🙂 

As someone passionate about Bordeaux, my blog has delved into various aspects of this vibrant city, from top tours to hidden gems in charming neighborhoods, bustling markets, and cozy coffee spots. Yet, I felt it was time to compile all my favorite discoveries into one comprehensive guide for my readers. After diving into this article, you’ll uncover where locals indulge in pastries, sip summer cocktails, and unwind on the region’s best beaches. Consider this your ultimate guide to the 50 best experiences in Bordeaux and beyond.

If you still haven’t booked a hotel in Bordeaux check out my article about the best districts in Bordeaux and my article about the best hotels in Bordeaux for every budget. In case you’re looking for a unique experience in the vineyards of Bordeaux, check out my article about the best wine hotels in the region.

Best things to do in the center of Bordeaux

Learn about the history of Bordeaux and admire its stunning architecture

Bordeaux boasts a diverse array of architectural styles, ranging from medieval gates to elegant 18th-century bourgeois houses. However, what truly sets this city apart is its rich history, spanning over 2000 years. For a deeper understanding of its impressive landmarks and buildings, I highly recommend embarking on a guided tour to gain invaluable context and insights.

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. If you don’t like walking for hours, other fun guided activities include a guided biking tour, a private sidecar tour, and a panoramic bus tour. Here are all my tours in Bordeaux recommendations in one place.

But here are a few facts about Bordeaux’s heritage, in case you’re going on a tour. 

Grosse Cloche - Bordeaux
Grosse Cloche – Lost in Bordeaux

Before becoming a modern 18th-century city with spacious squares and boulevards, Bordeaux was once a little town. The old town was surrounded by ramparts with impressive entrance gates. Today, five of the gates are still standing, marking the old borders of Bordeaux.  La Grosse Cloche, La Porte Cailhau, Porte de Bourgogne, Porte d’Aquitaine, and Porte Dijeaux .

Grosse Cloche and La Porte Cailhau in the historic center of Bordeaux two gates and the breathtaking Place de la Bourse are real architectural masterpieces you cannot miss.

The Famous Water Mirror

Cross the street from Place de la Bourse towards the riverfront to get to one of Bordeaux’s main attractions, Le Miroir d’Eau. The huge water mirror is the most popular monument in Bordeaux attracting many families with kids to splash their feet on hot summer days.

For more activities for kids check out my article about 30 things to do with kids in Bordeaux

Taste Canelé 

Canelé is the national pastry of Bordeaux so tasting one is a must when visiting the city.  If you plan to take a food tour in Bordeaux, Canelé will definitely be on the menu. 

Like many other things in this region, the story of Canelé is related to the wine world. Legend has it that the first canelés were made by nuns at the Couvert de L’Annociade de Bordeaux at the end of the 17th century. Canelé is made out of flour and egg yolks that were given to nuns by winemakers who used egg whites to purify the wine.

Today the little brown striated pastry can be found in many sizes all over the city. My all-time favorite canelé is la Toque Cuivrée whose small boutiques are spread all over the city center. See all their shops here.

canele in Bordeaux
Canelé

Read about all the other sweet specialties of Bordeaux in my article about specialty pastries and chocolate in Bordeaux.

See a concert at the Opera of Bordeaux 

Le Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux is a cultural landmark you should not miss when visiting Bordeaux. It’s Arguably the most beautiful building in the city. 

Opera house of Bordeaux
The Opera House of Bordeaux

The historic monument, built in 1780, is home to the National Opera and Ballet of Bordeaux and its program often includes some of the best ensembles from all over the globe. The demand for tickets is usually very high so book your tickets in advance.

Even if you don’t have the time to see a concert I recommend taking a tour of the opera as the interior design is spectacular. Check out all the details here (currently the tours are in French only). 

Go to the CIBC for Bordeaux wine-tasting

It’s time to sip some wine! If you’re eager to explore Bordeaux’s diverse wine selection, look no further than le Bar à Vin. This classic wine bar is located in the 18th-century residence of the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bordeaux (the Bordeaux Wine Council). The best thing about the Bar à Vin is that they let you taste half glasses so you can discover fantastic local wines at very low prices.

For other great options for wine tasting read my article about wine tasting in Bordeaux. Also, check the other wine bars I recommend visiting when you’re in Bordeaux.

You can, of course, upgrade the experience with wine tasting at a real chateau – here’s my article about the best wineries to visit in Bordeaux.

Wine shop in Bordeaux
Wine shop in Triangle d’Or – by Lost in Bordeaux
Bar à Vin in Bordeaux
Bar à Vin – Lost in Bordeaux

L’intendant – the wine library of Bordeaux

L’intendant is the most beautiful and rich wine store in Bordeaux. The shop holds a collection of more than 15,000 bottles all stacked on its walls, following a 12-meter-high spiral staircase.  

Established almost 30 years ago, L’intendant has become one of the go-to places to shop for the famous wines of the region. It’s often referred to as the Library of Bordeaux wines.

I have quite a lot of articles about visiting the Bordeaux wine region, in case you’re interested in exploring the area beyond.

Stop for a coffee

Bordeaux is a surprising city when it comes to good coffee places. While France doesn’t have a strong reputation for making good coffee, Bordeaux prides itself on its coffee scene, with cute little coffee places popping up on every corner. 

There are quite a few great coffee places in the city center but here are some of my favorites: Kuro, Sip, and l’Alchimiste in the city center and Café Eriu, and Café Gusco within a few minutes walk of the center. Read more about some of the best coffee places in Bordeaux here.

Check out my video about Café Eriu

Go to the Capucins Market 

In my opinion, Capucins is one of the best markets in France, here I said it! 🙂 If you love food or at least want to discover a bit of the rich gastronomic culture of the southwest of France, there’s no better place than the Capucins market.

This is the biggest daily market in Bordeaux and has everything from stands of fruits and vegetables, sweets, spices, and a bunch of lively cafés and restaurants. I have a whole article about the best places to eat at the Capucins market, so be sure to read it before going. You can also take a private tour with Anne, to get you familiar with all the hidden gems of the market.

capucins market in Bordeaux

Don’t miss the little stall with a local pasty called le Puit d’amour, you’ll thank me later. 

You can find quite a few food tour recommendations in my article.

Drink at the Bacalan market

From a traditional market to the newer chic market of Bordeaux -Marché de Bacalan. This impressive hangar is located just in front of the famous Cité du Vin and hosts more than 20 different artisans and merchants who were chosen for the quality of their products.

Halle de Bacalan in Bordeaux - one of the best markets in Bordeaux
Halle de Bacalan – Lost in Bordeaux

Many locals flock to the market on weekends for drinks and tapas and the great vibes. The Bacalan district is one of my favorite places in Bordeaux and I have a whole article about it – check it out here

If you love markets, discover all the best markets to visit in Bordeaux during your stay.

See an amazing exhibition at the Base Sous-Marine

La Base Sous-Marine is one of the most unique art venues in Bordeaux. Built by the Germans during the Second World War, this old submarine base has been converted into a space dedicated to contemporary art.

Bassin des Lumières - bassins a flot in Bordeaux
Monet, Renoir, Chagall and others called “Voyages en Méditerranée”

The exhibitions change every year so go on their website to see what’s up at the moment. You can purchase the tickets to the Bassins des Lumieres here. You also get a free entrance if you have the Bordeaux city pass.

Cité du Vin – the world’s biggest wine museum

This impressive piece of modern architecture is a unique cultural center, all dedicated to the discovery of wine. 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 smell and taste wine.

Read about what to expect when visiting the museum in my article about my visit to the Cité du Vin. You can avoid the lines at the entrance by booking the tickets online – book here

Visit Bordeaux’s real wine museum

I know I just talked about the big wine museum in Bordeaux but it’s not really focused on Bordeaux wine, but rather a wine all around the world. The real Bordeaux wine museum is Musée du Vin et du Négoce. This is the best place to help you discover how the Bordeaux wine area has developed over the years.

The museum is situated in what used to be a typical house of a négociant (wine trader) in the 18th century in the Chartrons district. It ends with a very nice wine-tasting session where you get plenty of explanations about the different wine appellations in Bordeaux. 

It’s not as modern and interactive as the Cité du Vin but if you want to learn about the history of the Bordeaux wine region this is the place to go. You can purchase the tickets to the Musee du Vin here. You also get a free entrance if you have the Bordeaux city pass.

Discover other museums in Bordeaux in my article about the best museums to visit in Bordeaux.

Discover one of the most charming streets in Bordeaux

Rue Notre Dame in the Chartrons district is a posh street with plenty of coffee places, trendy boutiques, antique shops, and more. You can spend several hours admiring the beautiful architecture, shopping, and trying great pastries. It’s one of the most beautiful streets in Bordeaux with a lot of tiny balconies decorated with planters full of colorful flowers. The perfect street for Instagram addicts 🙂

See what’s not to miss on rue Notre Dame in my article about the Chartrons district

rue notre dame Bordeaux
rue notre dame
Au Pétrin Moissagais - oldest boulangerie in Bordeaux
Au Pétrin Moissagais in Chartrons

Discover the oldest boulangerie in Bordeaux

Au Pétrin Moissagais on 72 Cours de la Martinique is the oldest bakery in Bordeaux, established in 1765. Serge, the owner is very proud of his Gascognian traditions and still makes the original Gascognian white bread in the 18th-century oven. And yes, it’s the same oven since the opening of the boulangerie (bakery), some 24 years before the French Revolution! 

The bakery has a completely different look compared to a standard French bakery and makes you feel like you’ve gone back in time to the 18th century.

Eat oysters at the Sunday Market

Every Sunday morning dozens of food trucks and stalls are installed at the Marche des Quais, on the Quai des Chartrons. These include the best oysters in the region, fresh fruits, vegetables, cheese, fish, wine, and more.

marche des quais Chartrons

For many visitors, the main attraction is the few stalls with oysters which cost around 6/7 euros per plate and come with a glass of white wine. It kind of embodies the good life atmosphere in this region 🙂.

Discover Bordeaux’s amazing street art

Like many other cities, Bordeaux has street art fever, with plenty of stunning wall paintings decorating its streets. Darwin is one of the places that have the largest concentration of street art by local artists in Bordeaux. Other spots in the city include the Bassin a Flot district, rue Bouffard, Quai des Platitudes, the Mur in Chartrons, rue Bergeret, and more.

In the city center, you can follow the huge animals by the local artist A-mo pained on walls and shatters of many shops (don’t miss the huge gorilla and the fox) – I won’t give you the specific locations, I’m sure it’ll be a lot of fun to find them by yourself. If you speak French, you can also take a street art tour.

Street art in Bordeaux -Amo
Street art in Bordeaux -Amo
Street art Bordeaux - Selor
Bordeaux street art – Selor

Take a boat ride on the Garonne 

Bordeaux is situated on the Garonne River and seeing it from the water is a fun experience you should try. Several companies offer boat tours on the Garonne, but you can sail on the Garonne for at least a few minutes for the price of a tram ticket. As part of its public transport system, the city of Bordeaux provides a ferry (navette fluviale), that has five stops: Stalingrad, Quinconces, Les Hangars, La Cité du Vin, and Lormont (take a look at the ferry timetable here).

You don’t have to do the whole line, you can use it to just cross the river to the other side. You can use it for free if you have the Bordeaux city pass.
If you do choose to take a cruise in the Garonne here’s a good one.

Darwin

Darwin is probably one of the most surprising places in Bordeaux. An old military base turned into an urban space with a workspace/incubator for startups, a skate park for all ages, a restaurant, and many other surprises, all with an agenda of ecological awareness.

Darwin is also an extraordinary place for street art and includes some amazing works by a lot of talented artists on every one of its buildings. They host many cool events so don’t be surprised if suddenly you see an artisan market or a collection of old cars on display.

Darwin is also one of the best places for rainy days in Bordeaux.

Darwin in Bordeaux
Darwin

See a concert at La Guinguette chez Alriq – the best tavern in town

The Guinguette chez Alriq is a big tavern located on the right banks of the Garonne in the Bastide neighborhood (right in front of Darwin), hosting plenty of open-air concerts every summer. The performing bands and artists come from all over the world and create a laid-back party atmosphere.

what to do in the summer in Bordeaux

There’s usually a small price to pay for the concerts taking place on Wed-Sat and Sundays the entry is free. You can see their program here. The place is very popular so expect to see a line at the entrance. 

Read about other outdoor places in my article about the best summer bars in Bordeaux

Bike along the Garonne River

Bordeaux is a very flat and bike-friendly city with many interesting cycling trails you can do around the city. However, the most recommended one in the city center is the bridge-to-bridge trail. The circuit goes from Pont Pierre (the central bridge of Bordeaux) to the new Pont Chaban Delmas, on both sides of the Garonne river.  

Besides the very pleasant ride on the riverfront, you get to see some of the most beautiful and fun places in Bordeaux. These include the stunning 18th-century buildings along the riverfront, the Cité du Vin, Darwin, and more. You can read all about it in my article about the Bridge to Bridge trail

There’s also a really fun biking tour that takes you through all these places and more.

Explore the Saint Michel neighborhood

Saint Michel is one of the most cosmopolitan and lively neighborhoods in Bordeaux. Although It’s not part of the traditional sightseeing tours of Bordeaux, I recommend spending a few hours in this cool district. 

The neighborhood is home to some of the best markets of Bordeaux, numerous places where you can browse for vintage clothes and furniture, and an endless list of lively restaurants and cafes. Read about all the things you can do there in my Saint Michel guide.

Sunday flea market in Saint Michel, Bordeaux
Sunday flea market in Saint Michel – Lost in Bordeaux

Sunday flea and antique market

Every Sunday morning more than 80 dealers gather at the square in front of the Basilica of Saint Michel for the Brocante du Dimanche. This is the weekly flea market of Bordeaux where you can find real bargains and purchase everything from toys for kids to antique frames and electronic devices.

L’entrepôt Saint Germain – the best vintage shop

L’entrepôt Saint Germain is a huge hangar with plenty of vintage furniture, beautiful house decor, antiques, and many creepy, funny, and probably unnecessary items. It’s designed like a little street with different boutiques and cafés (not real ones, unfortunately) where the items are perfectly placed.

The place is open daily and is located a few minutes walk from the train station of Bordeaux on 96 Rue Amédée Saint-Germain.

L'entrepôt Saint Germain in Bordeaux
L’entrepôt Saint Germain

Time for chocolate!

There are quite a few amazing chocolate shops in the center of Bordeaux. Some are owned by young talented chocolatiers (chocolate makers) and others are established places dating centuries back. 

Here are just a few of the best chocolate shops in the center of Bordeaux: David Capi, Cadiot Badie, the oldest chocolate store in Bordeaux; Hasnaa, the rising star of the Bordeaux chocolate world and Saunion, founded in 1893 and considered one of Bordeaux’s classics.

Cadiot Badie - one of the oldest chocolate places in Bordeaux

See all my other favorite chocolatiers in Bordeaux in my article about the best chocolate shops in Bordeaux.

Jet ski tour on the Garonne River

For those seeking a bit more excitement, why not embark on a thrilling jet ski tour along the Garonne River? Complete with commentary, this tour offers a unique perspective of the city and its surroundings from the water. Opt for the extended tour to reach unforgettable sites such as the Citadel of Blaye. Suitable for ages 8 and up, the tour departs from Place Aristide Briand in Lormont, nestled along the banks of the Garonne River at the base of the Pont d’Aquitaine.You can book the ski jet tour here.

Do a picnic in Jardin public

Jardin Public is the largest park in the center of Bordeaux with more than 300 trees and vast green planes – a perfect place for a picnic. Besides being visually stunning, it has a large pond (with ducks and geese!), great facilities for kids, and even a nice coffee place.

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

Discover other perfect picnic spots in Bordeaux as well as the most beautiful parks in Bordeaux.

Freep’show – a funky vintage shop

If you like second-hand shops you’re going to love Freep’show, a little hipster store with an impressive selection of plaid shirts, short jeans, and colorful dresses.

Fpeepshow bordeaux
Fpeep’show the funky second-hand shop in Bordeaux

Once you take your eyes off the big Slash mannequin in the entrance, you can spot plenty of second-hand items from the 80s and 90s that will make you instantly nostalgic. Add to that the vinyl records decor, uplifting music, and stylish employees dancing to its beats and you get one of the best vintage stores in town. You can read my full article about the best second-hand shops in Bordeaux here

Have a delicious meal 

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. So trying at least one restaurant in Bordeaux is a must!

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. Here’s a list of a few restaurants I like in the city: l’Atelier des Faures, Au Bistro near the market, Le Bouchon Bordelais, Botanique, Mets Mots, Le Chien de Pavlov, La Belle Saison, and the list goes on and on. 

I post about my foodie experiences in Bordeaux on my Instagram, so be sure to follow.

Shopping of course!

Bordeaux is not Paris when it comes to shopping but it doesn’t mean we don’t have a lot of great boutiques here 🙂

All the main clothing retail stores are located on the main shopping street, rue Sainte Catherine. For the more fancy shops head to the Triangle d’Or district and you’ll find all you need around le Marché des Grands Hommes. However, if you’re interested in small independent boutiques here are a few recommended ones in the center of Bordeaux: Jane de Boy, Blue Madone, Boutique Addict, and several other boutiques on rue Saint James and rue Notre Dame. 

See a concert on the Iboat

The Iboat is a big three-level ferry anchored to one of the docks of Bassins a flot, the port of Bordeaux. Since its opening in 2011, this funky concert venue has been promoting emerging artists, especially in the electronic music scene.

Iboat Bassin a Flot Bordeaux

Over the years it has become a multidisciplinary place with a concert hall and a club hosting more than 250 events a year, a terrace hosting Dj sets and happy hours. During summer you could also enjoy the outdoor area on the deck, with an exceptional view of the basin. Take a look at the program of events.

Read about other outdoor places in my article about the best summer bars in Bordeaux

Buy cheese 

There are a few cute cheese shops in Bordeaux where you can find all the famous French cheese. However, this can be a great opportunity to try out regional cheese from the southwest of France. When going to the shop ask about Ossau- Iraty from the Basque country, the goat cheese Rocamadour, or the excellent Tomme de Bazas.

My two favorite cheese shops in the city center are Fromagerie Beillevaire (8 bis Rue Michel Montaigne) and Fromagerie Deruelle (66 Rue du Pas-Saint-Georges).

Check out other food-related shops and streets in my article about the best foodie streets in Bordeaux

Mi cielo pastry shop in Bordeaux
Mi Cielo pastry shop
cheese shop in Bordeaux
cheese in a form of canele

Try the best patisseries

Can you really visit a French city without tasting at least one pastry? There are several amazing patisseries in the center of Bordeaux. Here are a few that I particularly love: Maison Lamour on rue Judaïque, Micheline Paulette in the Chartrons district,  Pâtisserie Valantin in the Nansouty district, and Mi-Cielo with a sweet creative collection.

Don’t miss the main Cathedral of Bordeaux 

Cathédrale Saint-André de Bordeaux is a Roman Catholic church and the seat of the Archbishop of Bordeaux. Located on the main square of Pey Berland, the cathedral is one of the most impressive monuments of Bordeaux and is labeled 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

Cathédrale Saint-André in Bordeaux - one of the landmarks of Bordeaux
Cathédrale Saint-André – Lost in Bordeaux

A cocktail night 

The Bordelais might love their wine but they sure do appreciate a good cocktail, and the number of great cocktail bars is a testament to that. Here are some of my favorite chic cocktail bars in the center of Bordeaux: Mama Shelter (cocktails with an amazing view of Bordeaux), Madame Pang, la Comtesse, Simone, and the Ayawasca Cocktail Club.

Mama shelter bordeaux
Mama Shelter

Buy French alcohol 

If you want to discover what other spirits France has to offer besides wine, you must go to Émile et Marguerite. This cute little shop on 13 Rue Parlement Saint-Pierre has a huge collection of French alcohol, from Cognac, Armagnac, local gin, craft beer, and many more. They are super nice and offer tastings to those interested to discover more about local liqueurs.  

However, if you have time I advise traveling to Cognac and Armagnac, both located about 1.5 hours from Bordeaux.

Visit the Natural History Museum 

After years of renovations, the Natural History Museum of Bordeaux opened its doors in March 2019. Created in 1971, the museum has one of the biggest collections in France hosting more than a million specimens.

Besides the new design and incredible collection, one of the new features in the renovated museum is the “Early Years Museum” for kids under 6 years old. The museum regularly hosts great temporary exhibitions which are usually very kids friendly. The entrance is free every first Sunday of the month. 

Natural history museum in Bordeaux

For more great museums in Bordeaux check out my Bordeaux museums article

For other kid-friendly activities check out my article about the 30 best things to do in Bordeaux with kids.

Palais Galien

Strolling the city center you’ve probably noticed a lot of impressive monuments dating back to the 13th,14th, and 15th centuries such as the Grosse Cloche or the Saint Michel Basilica. But Bordeaux’s oldest monument is actually located outside of the old city walls.

Palais Galien is the ruins of a Gallo-Roman amphitheater dating back to the second century when Bordeaux was called Burdigala. The site is located a few minutes walk from Jardin public and you can see all of it from the street. There are guided tours to Palais Galien during the summer season. You can book them by calling +33 5 56 00 66 00.

Palais Galien
Palais Galien

Librairie Mollat – one of the oldest bookstores in France

Librairie Mollat, a Bordelais establishment, opened in 1896, is the first independent bookstore in France and is one of the most iconic shops in Bordeaux. It is situated on rue Porte-Dijeaux where the latest house of Montesquieu was once located. 

See contemporary art in a beautiful building 

CAPC is the contemporary art museum of Bordeaux located in the chic Chartrons district. The museum is housed in an impressive former warehouse from the 19th century where commodities, traded down the river, used to be stored. The permanent collection includes almost 300 works of art. The museum regularly hosts temporary exhibitions and artistic events.

See a movie in Utopia

Utopia is an independent cinema theater installed in an ancient church, l’église du Vieux Bordeaux. It’s the cheapest cinema in Bordeaux and the one with the most diverse program, from little independent productions to big-budget movies and old classical ones. Utopia has also a big terrace café which is particularly fun on sunny days. See the program here

It’s also one of my recommendations for places to go to when it’s raining in Bordeaux.

Taste the delicious dunes blanches

Last yummy thing before we move to the list of day trips from Bordeaux. The delicious dune blanche is one of the most popular pastries in Bordeaux. It was created in 2008 by the pastry chef Pascal Lucas in his patisserie in Cap Ferret. The little choux pastry filled with whipped cream became an immediate success with several dedicated shops opening up in Arcachon, Bordeaux,  and Paris. In the center of Bordeaux, you can find them at 7 Rue de la Vieille Tour.

dunes blanches
Dunes Blanches

Must Day trips from Bordeaux

A day trip to Saint Emilion 

Saint Emilion has long gained a reputation as one of the greatest wine regions in the world. It’s no wonder it attracts more than a million tourists every year. For many decades this picturesque town has been an economic and religious center attracting royals, winegrowers, and pilgrims. Every square in the small village center is packed with history and some incredible architecture.

Read about all the things to do there in my article about Saint Emilion. Also, check out my list of recommended wine chateaux to visit. If you’re planning to spend a weekend in Saint Emilion, here are my recommendations for the best places to stay in the Saint Emilion region. Here’s all the info about how to get to Saint Emilion from Bordeaux.

what to do in Saint emilion

Climb the Dune du Pilat for a magnificent view

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 while also being 500 meters wide and 2.7 km long so you’ll have plenty of room to wander.

Dune du Pilat - one of the must things to do in Bordeaux
Dune du Pilat

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. If you;re short in time and want to combine it to visit to the Arcachon city and oyster tasting, I recommend taking a this tour

One of the most unforgettable experiences you can have when visiting the dune is Tandem Paragliding. Just imagine the view – see all the options here. For more things to do close by read my guide about Arcachon city.

Go to the beach

In Bordeaux you don’t need to travel far to enjoy the beach, you just have to take a 15-minute tram ride from the city center to the lake. 

Bordeaux Lac has a sandy clean beach and a lot of shade from the nearby trees for those who don’t enjoy 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.

begles plage

Discover other beaches in my article about the best beaches near Bordeaux

Visit wineries by tram 

The Bordeaux wine region has thousands of wine châteaux spread all over the Gironde department. Luckily there are several great wineries within the Bordeaux metropole you can visit by tram or by bus and I have a full article about it.

Here are two chateaux on my list that I particularly like:
Château Pape Clément in Pessac
Take line B to Pessac Centre and then continue for 20 minutes by foot or take a direct bus from Place Tourny in Bordeaux (line 4). You can book the tour online – just click here.
Château du Taillan in Le Taillan-Médoc
You can reach it by bus line 5N from Place Tourny in Bordeaux.
For more info click here.

Chateau pape Clement Pessac
Chateau Pape Clement

For more instructions on how to get there and other day trip ideas check out my article about the best day trips from Bordeaux by train. In case you’re looking for a unique experience in the vineyards of Bordeaux, check out my article about the best wine hotels in the region.

Also, check out my article about the best wineries to visit in Bordeaux.

Discover the oyster-farming villages of Cap Ferret

Cap Ferret is a peninsula 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.

The peninsula is known for its many oyster-farming ports that are located in small charming villages such as L’herbe and Le Canon. A day trip to Cap Ferret is a heavenly experience. You will eat oysters directly from the farmers, go on a walk along the bay beaches, cycle through the pine forest, and go surf on the beaches of the Atlantic coast (about that later).

Read about many other places to visit on Arcachon Bay in my article about a day trip to Bassin d’Arcachon. If you only have half a day to dedicate to it I highly recommend taking a guided tour. 

Arcachon bay - a day trip from Bordeaux

A day trip to Pessac 

To discover all the treasures of Bordeaux you need to go out of Bordeaux center. Some of the most interesting things in the metropole can be found in Pessac, one of Bordeaux’s biggest suburbs. You can take a bike (or use the tram) and go on a full day of history, nature, wine, and street art in this beautiful historic town. I wrote an extensive guide on all you can see there, read all about it here.

Visit one of the most beautiful parks in Bordeaux Metropole – Parc Majolan

Parc Majolan in Blanquefort is a great example of beautiful landscape design. Following the paths in the park feels like walking through a forest but then you suddenly discover the ruins of an old gate, beautiful flowers, and finally a stunning lake. The best part of the park is the artificial caves created in the 19th century. This park is so rich that it will take you hours to explore it all! 

Parc Majolan
Parc Majolan

Discover other amazing parks in Bordeaux in my article about the most beautiful parks in Bordeaux.

Visit the Blaye Citadel

The historic town of Blaye is located on the banks of the Gironde estuary, about 50 km north of Bordeaux. Blaye is known for its Citadel that is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can easily spend half a day exploring the streets and ramparts, admiring the view of the Gironde estuary which can be seen from the top. Read more about Blaye in my article about the most beautiful villages near Bordeaux

Visit the chateau of Montesquieu

There are several historic castles in Gironde but there is one I particularly love and it’s located only 25 km south of Bordeaux. Château de la Brède was built in a Gothic style during the 13th to 16th centuries and is today surrounded by water-filled moats and an English garden.

The Château is famous for being the place of birth of Montesquieu, the great French political philosopher. The interiors of the castle are only accessible through guided tours which take you through the main room, the guest room, and his beautiful library where he wrote many of his works. See more details here

Château de la Brede
Château de la Brede

Where to stay in Bordeaux 

Before we end I want to help out those who are looking for accommodation in Bordeaux! If you’re looking for a hotel, I have an article with recommendations about the best hotels in Bordeaux for different budgets.  If you’re looking for an Airbnb or just want to understand where you should stay in Bordeaux, you should definitely read my Bordeaux districts guide

Need more ideas for things to do in and around Bordeaux? you should definitely join my newsletter where I share a lot of info about the area – sign up here.

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:

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

If it’s your first time in Bordeaux you may also like to read some of the following “intro to Bordeaux” articles I wrote:
The Ultimate Guide to a weekend Bordeaux 
The best districts in Bordeaux 
Where to stay in Bordeaux 
What to do in one day in Bordeaux
Things to do with kids in Bordeaux

Liked the article? Want to read it again when you’re in Bordeaux? Save it on your Pinterest board.

*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 🙂 

Wine enthusiasts don’t need an introduction to Saint Emilion. The small wine appellation (comprising only 6% of the vineyards in the Bordeaux denomination ) has long gained a reputation as one of the greatest wine regions in the world. It’s no wonder it attracts more than a million tourists every year. However, when people plan their day trip to Saint Emilion they’re surprised to discover that it’s also one of the most fascinating villages in the Southwest of France.

For many decades this picturesque town has been an economic and religious center attracting royals, winegrowers, and pilgrims. Every square in the small village center is packed with history and some incredible architecture. Thousands of hectares of vines surround the medieval village making the landscape an unforgettable scenery. Today the stunning Saint Emilion is listed as a heritage site by UNESCO

Planning your first-day trip from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion can be a bit overwhelming. In this article, I want to give you all the information about what to do and see in Saint Emilion, where to eat, and how to get there. While you can still take guided tours, I hope this complete guide to Saint Emilion will make you want to do it by yourself and at your own pace. 

If you decide to stay the night in Saint Emilion (which I highly recommend), here are my hotel recommendations. In case you’re looking for a unique experience in the vineyards of Bordeaux, check out my article about the best wine hotels in the region.

A day trip to Saint Emilion- what to do
Discover the vineyards of Saint Emilion – Lost in Bordeaux

Car / Public transport 

Generally speaking, I always recommend renting a car when you visit vineyards because it gives you a lot of flexibility to visit any winery you want. And driving in between the small wine villages surrounding Saint Emilion is just magic by itself. If you decide to rent a car, check out this website for good deals

However, if you rather avoid driving just know that it’s very easy to visit Saint Emilion or other wine areas in Bordeaux by public transport. Here’s a detailed explanation of how to get to Saint Emilion from Bordeaux. If you prefer taking a guided tour of the vineyards I have a few recommendations in this article, you can click here if you want to read it now.

day trip to Saint Emilion
Saint Emilion from above by lost in Bordeaux

I have another article about the best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion so if you want to jump straight to wine tasting, simply click here. Also if you’re traveling with kids here are some of my recommendations for the most kid-friendly wineries.

What to do and see in Saint Emilion

A little touch of history

Saint Emilion has an integral part in the history of Bordeaux and the region. The history of wine in Saint Emilion (or Ascumbas as it was called back then) can be traced to the 3rd century BC, when the Romans planted the first vines in the region. It originally had a mere 200 hectares dedicated to vineyards, clearly not the wine empire it is today. 

the streets of Saint Emilion
The Streets of Saint Emilion – Lost in Bordeaux

In the 8th century, a monk named Emilian arrived in the little village in search of a quiet simple life and decided to make it his home. He lived in a little cave, receiving the many followers who traveled all the way to Saint Emilion to get his blessing. That’s actually how the village received its name, Saint Emilion.

In the following decades, many religious orders would follow the steps of the monk and move to Saint Emilion to build their churches and convents. That explains the abundance of religious buildings in such a small village. The city became an important landmark for many of the pilgrims following the Camino de Santiago pilgrim way to Spain. The cave of Saint Emilion inspired the construction of the most impressive monument of Saint Emilion, the monolithic church. 

Monolithic church in Saint Emilion
Monolithic church in Saint Emilion – Lost in Bordeaux

In the middle ages, during the 300 years of British rule, Saint Emilion was an autonomous city with a lot of financial and governmental power. In 1199 the British king established the Jurade, a group of magistrates governing the city. In return for the economic and political autonomy, the British received in return the best wines of Saint Emilion. That’s how the wine of Saint Emilion become so popular in England. 

The rich history of this little town left many traces in the city center. Many books have been written about its historic monuments, but here I want to share with you a few places that are, in my opinion, a must on your day trip to Saint Emilion. 

Take a tour to discover the underground of Saint Emilion 

Probably the most famous monument of Saint Emilion is the 12th-century Monolithic church that as its name suggests is carved from one stone. It’s the largest Monolithic church in Europe and its construction required the extraction of 15 000 mof stone. When looking at its modest front, it’s hard to imagine how big it is from the inside. I saw many pictures of the Monolithic church before going to Saint Emilion for the first time but I was still amazed when I saw this masterpiece firsthand. 

As it’s a preserved site, to visit the church you will need to take the tour proposed by the tourist office. I know that many people are not big fans of guided tours but this one is really worth it. During the tour, you get to also visit other underground sites which tell some of the history of the city.

Take a tour in Saint Emilion
A small group tour in Saint Emilion – by Lost in Bordeaux

Apart from the church itself, you will visit the catacombs, where the important people of Saint Emilion used to be buried in the middle ages. You will get to sit on a fertility chair in the original cave of Saint Emilion (according to the tourist office many babies have been born following this ritual) and see the impressive paintings on the 14th century Chapelle de la Trinité.

Two English tours are offered two times a day. At 11:00 you can take a general tour of Saint Emilion which ends with the underground tour. While the 14:00 tour is dedicated only to the underground sites. Times may change according to the season. See more details on the official tourist office page. 

What to do in Saint Emilion

The bell tower of the Monolithic church. 

While the church itself is well hidden in the rock, its bell tower is standing tall and can be seen from every spot in the city. If you’re interested in architecture, the tower is a fascinating monument by itself, built in both Romanesque and Gothic styles. You can climb the bell tower and see a magnificent view of Saint Emilion from the highest point in the city.

The Collegiate church

The Collegiate church is a beautiful monument built between the 12th and 15th centuries and you can visit it all by yourself, without taking a tour. Here again, you can see an interesting mix of Romanesque and Gothic styles, reflecting the long period of its construction.

The west door of the church was built in a pure Romanesque style during the 12th century while the north door is a Gothic one from the 14th century. It’s located behind the tourist office and you can enter it through one of the two doors or through its beautiful cloister. If you pay close attention to the walls of the cloister you will see quite a lot of interesting items such as graves, statues, and even a little dragon. 

The Collegiate church in Saint Emilion
The Collegiate church – by Lost in Bordeaux

La Tour du Roy

The 13th-century King’s Keep is one of the most famous military architectural monuments in Gironde. There’s still a debate among historians on who ordered its constructions but one thing is sure, it’s a beautiful monument well worth a visit. It’s also a great spot to see the view of the vineyards of Saint Emilion. The tower is open daily for visits, consult the opening hours and prices here

Les Cordeliers – drink sparkling wine in an old cloister

Red wine is not the only famous product of Saint Emilion, you can actually find here sparkling wine as well. The wine is called Cremant de Bordeaux and it’s produced in a beautiful old cloister that is worth a visit even if you’re not a fan of bubbly wine. 

The Cordeliers cloister was established in the 14th century by the Franciscan brothers. For several centuries that’s where they used to live, pray and grow vegetables in their beautiful garden. Most of the building was destroyed during the French Revolution and was later sold to private owners. In the 19th century, the new owners of the place decided to use the enormous underground galleries to produce and store sparkling wine.

Today the production has moved to a remote location but they still store their bottles in the caves underneath the cloister. The Codeliers offers daily tours where you get to visit the caves and taste the sparkling wine of Saint Emilion. Although the tour is nice, it’s not a must unless you really want to see the underground galleries. 

They also have a nice bar outdoors where you can grab a glass of Cremant de Bordeaux (the sparkling white or rosé) accompanied by a picnic basket and sit in the beautiful garden. For more details about the tours and the history of the place click here.
Address: 2 Bis Rue de la Porte Brunet, 33330 Saint-Émilion

Les Cordeliers - the sparkling wine on Saint Emilion
Les Cordeliers – sparkling wine produced in a Cloister

Enjoy the vibes of the Local markets

The markets in the Southwest of France are a treat so visiting at least one should always be on your list. Unfortunately, there’s no market in the center of Saint Emilion but one of the best markets in the Bordeaux region is just within a few minutes drive!

Libourne market is a must for anyone who wants to visit a big regional market with tens of stands of local cheese, wine, charcuterie, oysters, and other local delicacies. The market is taking is taking place every Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday in the center of Libourne.

If you’re about to visit Bordeaux on your trip, don’t miss a chance to visit Bordeaux’s main market, Marché des Capucins. It’s truly one of the liveliest markets in France and a great place to try local food. There are plenty of restaurants at the market and you can read about the best ones in my article about where to eat at the Capucins market.

Try regional sweets 

If you’re tired of wandering around soaking history and sipping wine it’s time to stop for some local sweets! Yes, the Bordeaux region has its special sweets that you can’t find anywhere else in France and one of them is coming straight from Saint Emilion. 

macarons of Saint Emilion

Did you know that the original Macaron was actually born in Saint Emilion? The macaroons of Saint Emilion are produced there since 1620 when the Ursulines sisters established their convent in the village. The recipe is being passed from generation to generation and hasn’t been changed ever since. 

You can get a box of macarons at the little sweets shop “Fabrique de Macarons” ( Address: 9 rue Guadet). Or have a cup of tea with a great variety of local sweets and pastries at Au Parvis des Thés, a nice coffee shop, located behind the tourist office (1 Place Pioceau)

The Saint Emilion wine route – visiting wineries 

How to visit wineries in Saint Emilion 

We’re finally getting to the topic most visitors come for – how to visit the wine chateaux of Saint Emilion. If you just want to drive around the Saint Emilion area and taste and buy some wine directly from the wineries, it’s quite straightforward. Many of them will happily welcome you to the chateau and let you taste their wine.

However, if you’re interested in a tour (even a basic one), you usually have to either make an appointment or book online. I highly recommend visiting at least one chateau when in the region. Here I want to facilitate the planning part for you with some tips.

best wineries in Saint Emilion

Here’s a good tip for those of you who don’t like to plan and would just love to visit a few properties. The tourist office in Saint Emilion publishes a list of two to four chateaux on a daily basis that are open for a visit without prior reservation. It allows you to be both spontaneous and to discover some wine chateaux you may have never heard of. You can see the daily list of wine chateaux here

Having said that, I know that most people traveling such a long distance to the southwest of France would love to know ahead what chateaux are the best ones to visit. There are more than 130 wine producers in the great Saint Emilion area, many of which are open to visitors. So obviously choosing only one or two is not easy.

As I had the chance to visit many chateaux in Saint Emilion since moving here, I’ve gathered a list of some of the best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion. This list is very limited and there are of course many other excellent wineries in the region but I found those to be particularly friendly to visitors.

Most of my list is dedicated to small family estates rather than big wineries owned by big companies. I personally prefer these kinds of visits as they feel more personal and allow you to discover the passion and history stretching several generations of winegrowers in one family. 

Note– Most of the wineries are reachable only by car. If you rather using the train to get to Saint Emilion, check out my article about wineries you can reach by public transport.

Chateau de Ferrand - a winery to visit in Saint Emilion
Chateau de Ferrand – By Lost in Bordeaux

Most of the winery owners and their employees speak English so contacting them should not be a problem. However, If you don’t want the hassle of contacting the chateaux you can always book a visit through Rue des Vignerons

Discover the Pomerol Appellation 

If you’re really passionate about wine, you should also visit the luxurious neighbor of Saint Emilion, the Pomerol Appellation. Pomerol is one the most prestigious appellations in the area, even though it’s not included in the official classification from 1855. It’s the smallest wine appellation in the Bordeaux wine region, covering roughly 800 hectares of vines.

Chateau Petrus is the most famous one in Pomerol. Unfortunately, most of us cannot visit this chateau as they are open only to wine professionals and honestly, most people can’t afford it either. 

Visit wineries in Bordeaux Chateau Beauregard in Pomerol
Chateau Beauregard in Pomerol

But there are several Pomerol wineries that will be more than happy to welcome you to their estate. Two of the most impressive ones, in my opinion, are Chateau de Sales (book a visit here) and Chateau Beauregard with the most impressive wine tanks I’ve ever seen. Other smaller family-owned properties I love include Château du Tailhas (book a visit here) and Chateau Bel Air.

Even if you don’t have the time to visit a winery in Pomerol you can still taste it in one of the wine shops in Saint Emilion. It’s really a great wine so I strongly recommend it. Many call it a ladies wine because it’s easier to drink than a Saint Emilion, but don’t say that to a Pomerol producer, they don’t like that label 🙂 

Taking a guided tour of Saint Emilion 

While I believe that Saint Emilion is a great trip to do on your own, I know that many visitors love to take guided tours. So if you rather avoid planning or driving, here are a few recommended tours you can take from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion. For more options for wine tours in the Bordeaux region check out my article about the Best wine tours in Bordeaux

From Bordeaux: Afternoon Saint-Emilion Wine Tasting Tripone of the most popular half-day tours from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion. The tour takes you from the center of Bordeaux to visit two wine chateaux. You can find all the details of the tour and book directly here.

Full-Day St Emilion Wine Tasting Tour – This tour from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion allows you to visit three different chateaux in the region as well as the town itself. This is a great option if you want to see different techniques of winemaking and taste different wines from the same area. You can see all the details and get your ticket here.

Guided wine tour in Saint Emilion
Ebike wine tour in Saint Emilion – by Lost in Bordeaux

Saint-Emilion Electric Bike Day Tour with Wine Tastings & Lunch – one of the best ways to discover the vineyards of Saint Emilion is on E-bikes. Rustic Wines is a company that offers amazing full-day ebike tours in Saint Emilion. The tours include a visit to two wineries, a lunch, and a visit to the village. Book the tour here

Private wine tours– there are quite a few amazing guides here in the region that can take you on a private tour to Saint Emilion. Three I particularly like are Olala wine tours, Niclolle from SIP, and Anne from Aquitiane travel guide.

What to eat in Saint Emilion 

Saint Emilion takes itself very seriously when it comes to gastronomy with plenty of restaurants in the city center as well as at the vineyards of the region. Saint Emilion is a very popular touristic destination which means that if you’re traveling in the summer season, reserving a table is a must!  

I gathered a shortlist of good restaurants in Saint Emilion, which includes both high-end gastronomic institutions and more simple but very good restaurants.

Logis de la Cadene – I dare say that this one Michelin star restaurant is the most praised restaurant in Saint Emilion. If you’re celebrating a special event or just want to have a culinary treat, this is the place for you.
Address: 3 Place du Marché au Bois, 33330 Saint-Émilion

L’Envers du Décor – The first wine bar in Saint Emilion that has become one of the best restaurants in town. The place is a bit pricey but the food and the overhaul experience are worth it. Plus, they have a nice little garden which is super fun when it gets warm. It’s currently owned by the Perse family, the owner of the famous Château Pavie so perfect wine matching won’t be a problem. 

The restaurant is open daily. The address is 11 Rue du Clocher, 33330 Saint-Émilion

L’huitrier-pie – a creative restaurant with great food. It feels very fancy but the prices are not too high compared to the more expensive restaurants in Saint Emilion. Address: 11 Rue de la Porte Bouqueyre, 33330 Saint-Émilion

Chateau de Candale – If you want to take full advantage of the wine region you can have lunch between the vineyards. Chateau de Candale has a nice gastronomic restaurant in their wine chateau and you can even combine it with a great wine tour. Click here to book a wine tour and a meal at Chateau de Candale.

The best events in Saint Emilion 

Saint Emilion is a small but very lively town with plenty of events taking place throughout the year. This wine region celebrates everything from wine to gastronomy to Jazz music so check out if there’s an event lining up with your planned trip.

I write monthly posts about the events taking place in and around Bordeaux (including Saint Emilion) as well as a weekly newsletter I send to my subscribers. So all the events will eventually appear on my blog. But here are just a few of the major ones:

The open doors in Saint Emilion – a weekend at the end of April/ beginning of May with almost 90 wineries opening their doors to welcome the public for three days of free tours, wine tastings, exhibitions, concerts, and more. Here are more open-door events taking place in the Bordeaux wine region.

Montgolfiades de Saint-Emilion – a hot air balloon festival taking place every year in October above the vineyards of Saint Emilion. This event is absolutely stunning!

saint emilion hot air balloon
Saint Emilion hot air balloon festival- by Lost in Bordeaux

Ban des Vendanges – a ceremony taking place on the King’s Keep in September, officially starting the harvest season in Saint Emilion. 

Fête les Vins Kms de Saint-Émilion – The official marathon (and semi-marathon) of Saint Emilion, taking place every March.

What’s the best time to come to Saint Emilion 

In my opinion, the best time to visit Saint Emilion is from May to Mid July and then September and October (the harvest season). But that’s the short answer, it’s obviously it a bit more nuanced than that. You can find my detailed answer about when to come to Saint Emilion and when to avoid it here. However, I just want to highlight that it’s a huge and very popular wine region, so you’ll find a winery to visit no matter when you come.

harvest time in Saint Emilion
harvest time in Saint Emilion – by Lost in Bordeaux

How to get to Saint Emilion

My directions here mostly focused on people coming from Bordeaux for a day trip. I will just mention that the two closest airports to Saint Emilion are the Bordeaux Airport in Merignac and the little airport in Bergerac. 

How do you get from the center of Bordeaux to Saint Emilion?

Saint Emilion is one of the easiest destinations to get from Bordeaux as there’s a direct train from Gare Saint-Jean (Bordeaux’s main train station) to Saint Emilion. The station in Saint Emilion is located about 15-20 minutes walk from the city center. If you want to know in detail about the train’s time schedule, where to buy tickets, and how to get transport from the station to the city center, read my article about how to get from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion

Nonetheless, if your day trip to Saint Emilion includes a visit to more distant wineries I do recommend coming by car – if you need to rent one click here.

Where to park in Saint Emilion?

There’s the free parking lot of the Gendarmerie (police station). However, this parking is often full on busy days in which case you can leave your car at the free parking next to the train station. There are also several paid parking lots (about 2 euros/hour): around the collegiate church (the upper town) and Place Bouqueyre (the bottom town). 

Where to stay in Saint Emilion

I know that many visitors go to Saint Emilion only for a day trip but consider staying a night in the medieval beautiful city as it can really be a beautiful experience. Here are a few recommended hotels for those who decide to stay in Saint Emilion.

*You can also read the full article about where to stay in and around Saint Emilion, where I included luxury experiences as well and more simple and cute B&B in the countryside around the beautiful town.

Logis de la Cadene

This is one of the most recommended hotels in the center of Saint Emilion. The hotel, with an amazing view of the historic center, has a warm and elegant design to it. And as I mentioned above it also has one of the best restaurants in town. Book it here

Hostellerie de Plaisance 

One of the most luxurious and beautiful hotels in the center of Saint Emilion. The hotel is located just next to the Monolithic Church of Saint Emilion and offers a magical panoramic view of the medieval village and the vineyards. Book it here.

Les Chambres d’Ovaline

Les Chambres d’Ovaline is a cozy and beautiful B&B located a few minutes walk from the center of Saint Emilion. The rooms are beautifully designed and you can enjoy your breakfast in their cute garden. It’s also much more affordable than the other options in Saint Emilion. Book a room here

Le Relais de Franc Mayne Saint Emilion

A magical B&B with the most beautiful view of the vineyards of Saint Emilion. The rooms are quite spacious and beautifully decorated. To book a room click here.

See the full list of my recommended hotels and B&Bs in the Saint Emilion region.

Hope you find this article helpful! If you do, please share it with your friends!

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Are you also planning to visit Bordeaux?

Here are a few articles to help you plan the best trip to Bordeaux:

50 best things to do in Bordeaux
My guide to a weekend in Bordeaux
What to do in one day in Bordeaux

And this is a full list of all Bordeaux wine-related articles with more winery recommendations, that will help you plan your Bordeaux self-guided wine tour:

Best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion Best wine tours in Bordeaux
A guide to the Bordeaux wine region 
How to visit wineries in the Bordeaux wine region without a car
A weekend in the Medoc wine region 
Best wineries to visit in Sauternes 
Best wineries in Bordeaux to visit with kids 

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:

Facebook |Instagram |Email  | Facebook group

*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 🙂 

Saint Emilion, one of the most prestigious wine regions in the world, is home to more than 800 wineries. Choosing which wineries to visit when traveling to Saint Emilion is not an easy task. So to help you out, I gathered a list of all the wineries I enjoyed visiting the most.

The Saint Emilion wine region consists of nine villages/towns: Saint-Émilion, Saint-Christophe des Bardes, Saint-Sulpice de Faleyrens, Saint-Hippolyte, Saint-Etienne de Lisse, Saint-Laurent des Combes, Saint-Pey d’Armens, Vignonet and parts of Libourne.

Best winerist to visit in Saint Emilion

My criteria when including chateaux in my list where

  1. Great wine (obviously)
  2. Beautiful properties
  3. Welcoming chateaux owners and interesting tours

Other than that, I featured both small family-run properties and bigger châteaux which are labeled as a Grand grand cru classé. I highly recommend combining both types of chateaux on your visit. 

Saint Emilion is also one of the most beautiful villages near Bordeaux. If time permits, dedicate a few hours to discovering this medieval little gem. To help you make it a perfect day I wrote a detailed article about the best things to do and eat in Saint Emilion

If you’re planning to stay in Saint Emilion here’s my recommendation for hotels in and around the village

 If you’re traveling with kids, here’s my article about the most kid-friendly wineries in the Bordeaux region (including Saint Emilion). Also at the end of the article, there’s a great recommendation for discovering Saint Emilion with the little ones.

Important note – you need a car to reach most of the wineries mentioned in this article, here you can find the best offers.  There are a few wineries however which are a walking distance from the center of Saint Emilion. Check out my article about all the wineries you can visit by public transport in the Bordeaux region.

For those of you coming to Bordeaux in September, you should know that it’s the grapes harvest season. To learn more about what to expect during that period go to my article about the harvest season in Bordeaux and Saint Emilion. Also if you’re interested in discovering other regions of the Bordeaux wine area, check out my article about the Medoc wine route. Now let’s dig in!

Best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion

Chateau de Pressac

Best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion - Chateau de Pressac
Château de Pressac

Château de Pressac was probably one of my favorite winery visits thanks to its welcoming service and stunning view.

The Chateau dates back to the middle ages and over the years has changed many hands and architectural styles. Since 1997 it belongs to the Quenin family who has done extensive work to rebuild the winery.

The chateau has probably one of the most beautiful views in Saint Emilion. Standing there on the top of the cliff with a glass of wine was one of the highlights of my visits to Saint Emilion over these few years. 

The winery offers different experiences from wine tasting to a discovery of their property. The wine of Château de Pressac is fantastic, but as it’s Grand cru classé the prices are quite high.

The chateau is open daily but you need to book the visit in advance. 

Click here to book a tour online.
Where: 66 Château de Pressac, 33330 Saint-Étienne-de-Lisse

Château Bernateau

Château Bernateau - one of the best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion
Château Bernateau by lost in Bordeaux

Château Bernateau is a family-run winery owned by the 11th generation of the Lavau family. 

The tour is run by the lovely Karine who is married to one of the sons running the family business. The visit, which lasts around an hour and a half, takes you from the vineyard to the glass. 

On the tour, you’ll discover a variety of old (60 yo) vines together with baby ones. You also get to visit their beautiful gravity vat house and taste wine from different years and styles. 

It’s a beautiful property with a green and charming garden and a small playhouse for kids. A perfect place for a relaxed visit which you can also end with a picnic in the garden.

They are open daily and offer tours in English and French. Tour prices range from 6 to 25 euros. Click here to book a tour online.
Address: Château Bernateau, 33330 Saint-Étienne-de-Lisse

Château Coutet

Château Coutet in Saint Emilion
Château Coutet by lost in Bordeaux

This elegant château is located about 20 minutes walk from the center of Saint-Émilion. The property has been handed down from generation to generation since the 17th century leading to a rich history of 400 years.

Today, the family’s 14th generation lives on the property and runs the winemaking business. The David-Beaulieu family is very welcoming and they guide the tours themselves giving a very personal feel to it.

One of the features that won me over is their amazing garden with its own pond and ducks. This picturesque scenery combined with the excellent wine made it one of the best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion.

This is also one of the best wineries to visit with kids. Mine absolutely adored the garden and didn’t want to leave.

There are two tours to choose from: 
The “Tradition” ( 14€) includes the history of the estate, a visit to the winery and the family cellar, and wine tasting. And the “Prestige” visit (40€), which is for 8 people max, also includes a tour through the vineyards and an exploration of Coutet’s treasures.

Book your visit at Chateau Coutet.

Address: Coutet, 33330 Saint-Émilion

Château La Croizzille

Chateau La Croizzille - one of the wineries to visit in Saint Emilion
Chateau La Croizzille – by lost in Bordeaux

Château la Croizille offers a fascinating journey combining old and new. The modern château stands right next to the traditional Château of Tour Baladoz, owned by the same family. 

This tour allows you to discover the differences between the traditional techniques and the innovative ones for which Château la Croizille is known for. One of the highlights of this tour is the amazing view from the tasting room overlooking the vineyards from the top.

The basic tour is offered daily and includes modern cellars and tastings.

Click here to book a tour at Château la Croizille.

Address: lieu-dit Baladoz, 33330 Saint-Laurent des Combes (Saint-Emilion)

Château Beaurang

Château Beaurang in Saint Emilion
Château Beaurang – by lost in Bordeaux

The Beaurang winery is located in the southern part of Saint-Émilion, about 5 km from the center. This isn’t a fancy château, but if you’re looking for a warm family welcome and great wine this is the right place for you. 

Claude Puyol and his daughter Delphine represent the third and fourth generations in this artisanal wine-making family. A family with a beautiful history they love sharing with their guests.

Claude’s grandparents immigrated to France from Spain in the early 20th century. For many years they worked as simple workers in the vineyards of Saint Emilion. But eventually, we were able to save enough to buy their own château and produce wine. 

The visit will teach you quite a lot about the wine in the region and about the life of a winemaker. During the tour, Claude elaborated on the beauty and struggles of wine growers in a conservative region like Saint Emilion.

The tours are offered every day from 10:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 18:00. They offer the visit for free but require a reservation. Email them to book a tour: delphine@chateau-beaurang.com
Website: https://www.chateau-beaurang.com/
Address: Château Beaurang, 1, Beaurang, 33330 Saint-Emilion

Chateau Cadet Bon

Château Cadet Bon is one of the hilly vineyards surrounding Saint Emilion. It’s a relatively small winery, occupying 7 hectares and producing classic Saint Emilion wine since 1867. 

Since 2001, the chateau is owned by Michele and Guy Richard who completely renovated the property. 

The wine they produce is labeled as Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classé, which means they follow tighter production restrictions. In 2017, the owners have started the transformation to creating only organic wines. 

Chateau Cadet Bon in the center of Saint Emilion  - winery to visit
Château Cadet Bon – by Lost in Bordeaux

Château Cadet Bon is located just a few minutes walk from the center of Saint Emilion, which makes it another great option for a winery to visit by public transport

The winery offers several tours. The small group tour includes a tasting of two wines accompanied by a detailed explanation.

The second tour offers a comparative experience where you get to also taste other wines from Saint Emilion and Pomerol and compare them to Château Cadet Bon. 

They also offer a wine-tasting course, an amazing opportunity to deepen your understanding of how to properly taste wine.  

You can book each one of these activities here.

Address: Au Cadet, 33330 Saint-Émilion. 

Château Soutard

Chateau Soutard  in saint emilion
Chateau Soutard by lost in Bordeaux

At a mere 10-minute walk from the center of Saint-Émilion stands the impressive 18th-century Château Soutard. If visiting a beautiful château is high on your list, this is one of your best options.

 Since 2006, its owned by La Mondiale company, so it lacks the cozy family feel that other wineries on this list offer. But it’s a very popular and highly rated experience.

The Château offers plenty of fun activities such as a wine blending workshop, biking in the vineyards, a gourmet picnic, and of course, wine tours.

Their basic wine tour English starts at 15h every day from April to October. If you speak French, you can take a French tour at 11:30 and 16:30 daily. The tour includes a visit to their vineyards and cellars and tastings of their renowned Grand Cru Classé wines.
No reservation is required but it’s highly recommended, you can reserve by email: booking@soutard.com.

Website: http://www.chateau-soutard.com/

Address: Soutard, 33330 Saint-Émilion

Château Cantenac

Château Cantenac - wine touring and tasting in Saint Emilion
Château Cantenac by lost in Bordeaux

Château Cantenac is a charming family-run winery built in 1870. The estate is located about 3.5 km from the center of Saint Emilion.

Since 1937 the winery is owned by the Roskam-Brunot family, which are now in their 3rd and 4th generations of winemakers. The family is very friendly and their tours are rich with knowledge about the winemaking process. 

The tours are guided by a family member, who is really passionate about their heritage and wine. What I loved most about this tour was the tasting part, which was a great comparative and educational experience.

The winery offers two tours: The one-hour classic tour (10 € / per person) and the Prestige tour ( 30 € / per person ) which also includes some snacks and more wine. You can visit the château from Monday to Friday upon reservation. Click here to book the tour directly through their site.

Website: https://www.chateau-cantenac.fr/histoire/la-famille-roskam/
Address: 2 locality Cantenac, 33330 Saint-Emilion

Château de Ferrand

Château  de Ferrand by lost in Bordeaux

Another impressive château on our list is Château de Ferrand, located about 6km from the center of Saint-Émilion. Part of the tour will include the history of the Château which dates back to the 17th century.

The wine is a Grand Cru Classé and with its 32-hectare, it’s considered a big winery in the Saint-Émilion wine region. During the tour, you’ll get to visit the vineyard and its big wine cellars. While many of the wineries on this list have a family feeling to them this one is a bit different. It’s much more professional and the wine-tasting part is conducted by a professional sommelier who will teach you how to taste wine.

Tour prices range between 15 and 35 euros depending on the number of glasses you’re going to taste. Click here to book a visit.
Address: Château  de Ferrand, Saint-Hippolyte, 33330 Saint Emilion

Château Villemaurine

Château Villemaurine in Saint Emilion
Château Villemaurine

If you come to Saint-Émilion by train and you really don’t want to leave the village, Château Villemaurine is perfect for you as it’s a short walking distance from the village center. The Château combines tradition, modernity, centuries of history, and the refined production of great wines.
Château Villemaurine offers three guided tours. The first one is a group discovery tour (15€ / person) where you get to visit the vineyards and the monolithic cellars which are located underneath the vines of the estate. Second is the Heritage tour (15€ / person ) where you will discover the stunning network of quarries owned by the Château Villemaurine. Last is a private tour (45€ / person) which is personally designed for wine enthusiasts.  All the tours include wine tasting at the end. Click here to book the tour online.
Address: 23 Villemaurine-Sud, Saint-Émilion

Check out other wineries you can visit by public transport around Bordeaux.

Visiting with kids

tourist train in Saint Emilion
photo by: tourist office Saint Emilion

If you’re visiting Saint-Émilion with kids and you’re afraid that a visit to a winery will bore them, take the train tour. The little train leaves every 45 minutes from Espace Villemaurine (next to the bus parking). It’s a 35 minutes tour (7€ / person) that takes you through the vineyards and the big châteaux of Saint-Émilion. If you wish to combine that with a winery visit, the 11€ tour includes a stop at Chateau Rochebelle and its stunning, beautifully lit monolithic cellars (with wine tastings at the end). The tickets can be bought in the tourist office in Saint-Émilion or online (24 hours in advance).  For all the details and to book a train tour click here.

Discover all the other wineries you can visit with kids in the Bordeaux region.

If you’re planning to stay the night in Saint Emilion, here are my recommendations for the best hotels and B&Bs in and around Saint Emilion.

Now for the more practical part. While some châteaux will welcome spontaneous visitors, most of the wineries require prior reservations. So be sure to book the tours in advance. In addition, unless you’re coming during the summer, some of the châteaux are closed on the weekends, so if you have the chance, try visiting during the week. Lastly, while visiting Saint-Émilion is a beautiful experience any time of the year, there are some months that are less recommended for wine tours. During the winter (from December to March) and especially in January when it gets cold, many wineries are closed for visits. September is one of the most interesting times in the area as it’s the harvest season but take into account that many small châteaux don’t have enough staff to offer tours during that time so make sure to contact the château in advance.

Saint-Émilion is the queen of wine tourism and one article cannot possibly cover all the tours you can take in the area. In this article, I simply wanted to highlight some of the tours I personally enjoyed and offer a variety of both big and small châteaux to help my readers plan their trip to the area. Hope you liked it 🙂

If you’re also visiting Bordeaux be sure to check out my post about the best things to do in the city and the best hotels in Bordeaux. Saint-Émilion is not the only day trip you can do from Bordeaux. The area is full of historic villages and beautiful nature. If you want to discover some of them, I invite you to read my article about the best day trips you can do by train from Bordeaux.

If you want to learn more about wine (from Bordeaux and other regions) you can also visit the Cite du Vin, the amazing wine museum of Bordeaux. I wrote a whole article about it and you can read it here.

Need more ideas for things to do in and around Bordeaux? you should definitely join my newsletter where I share a lot of info about the area – sign up here.

If it’s your first time in Bordeaux you may also like to read some of the following “intro to Bordeaux” articles I wrote:
The Ultimate Guide to a weekend Bordeaux 
The best districts in Bordeaux 
Where to stay in Bordeaux 
What to do in one day in Bordeaux
Things to do with kids in 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 🙂 

As someone living in this city, writing an article about things to do on a weekend in Bordeaux is not as easy as you might think. This amazing city has so many festivals, art events, amazing coffee places and restaurants that choosing the best things to do over a few days is almost impossible. But I will give it a try nevertheless 🙂 

I have a longer article where I talk about my 50 favorite things to do in Bordeaux and its region. However, if you have only a few days to spend here, this article will guide you step-by-step through all the must-see things Bordeaux has to offer. 

A weekend in Bordeaux France
Bordeaux by @Lostinbordeaux

A bit about Bordeaux and some tips

For many years, Bordeaux was nicknamed the sleeping beauty. A stunning city turned into a somewhat shady town following years of neglect. However, in the last two decades, the beautify has been awakened following a massive restoration work done by its administration. The goal was to make Bordeaux an attractive town to tourists again and give it back its well-deserved glory. 

The makeover included the restoration of monuments, modern tram lines, a building of a long beautiful promenade, an extensive cleaning of all the facades, and more. That plan was a great success with Bordeaux becoming one of the most interesting and popular destinations in Europe in the last decade. 

Bordeaux has 362 historic monuments (second only to Paris), so to visit them all will probably take weeks. So here in this article, I will cover only the most interesting/ beautiful ones. If you’re interested in a deeper understanding of the history and architecture of Bordeaux I highly recommend taking one of these tours:
A two hour guided walking tour offered by the tourist office
A guided bicycle tour of the historic center and Chartrons district.
A Nighttime highlights walking tour – a fun experience after you’ve been strolling the city in the morning

Guided cycling tour in the Bordeaux
Cycling in Bordeaux – by lost in Bordeaux

Also, despite it being the world capital of wine, I did not include wine-related activities in this article. I believe you need more than two days from that. If however, you do want to include a wine-related experience on your visit here, check out my articles about the Bordeaux wine region and wineries in Saint Emilion

Although this guide proposes a specific route to follow, feel free to take whatever you want from the list, and adapt it to your style of travel. You can switch the order of places you’re planning to visit but pay attention to things that are taking place only on Saturdays or Sundays. This list is quite dense so if you come for more than two days, feel free to reduce the pace and take some time to visit the city more calmly, and enjoy its cafés and the general atmosphere.

One last thing before we dive in. If you’re looking for a hotel to stay in during your visit here, check out my posts about the best districts in Bordeaux and about the best places to stay in Bordeaux. I’ve included some beautiful boutique hotels and several more affordable ones.

A Weekend in Bordeaux -Day 1

Place de la Victoire

Start your day from Place de la Victoire, on the southern end of Bordeaux’s shopping street rue Sainte Catherine. The impressive square is recognized by the 18th-century arc and the marble obelisk at its center. 

Place de la Victoire in Bordeaux - one of the liveliest sqaures
Place de la Victoire – by Lost in Bordeaux

Its proximity to the busiest street in the city, the University campus, and the numerous cafes and bars give it a very young and happy vibe. It’s not one of my favorite squares in Bordeaux but it’s a great place to start your discovery tour of Bordeaux. If you only have one day in Bordeaux, you can skip Place de la Victoire and focus on the most beautiful monuments in the city.

Marché des Capucins – discover local gastronomy

It’s never too early to start your gastronomic discovery of Bordeaux and for that, there’s no better place than Marché des Capucins

The Capucins, the biggest daily market in Bordeaux has everything from stands of fruits and vegetables, sweets, spices, and a bunch of lively cafés and restaurants. It’s the best place to taste some of the specialties of this region like oysters, duck products, and sheep cheese. 

It’s a covered market so you can enjoy it on the city’s numerous rainy days. Most cafes and restaurants also have tables outside where you can have a coffee or an early lunch. During the weekend, the market is packed with locals, who gather to eat oysters accompanied by white wine. Be sure to come early if you want to catch a table. 

Marche des Capucins
Marché des Capucins – for an early lunch with the locals

Before you go, be sure to check out my article about the best places to eat at the Marché des Capucins. The market is open from Tuesday to Sunday, however, be aware that not all the restaurants and stands are open on Tuesday and Wednesday. If you happen to visit on Thursday, I highly recommend booking a market tour with Anne, an American chef living in the region.

Now after opening the morning at the market we can start touring Bordeaux and admire its beautiful architecture. If you followed my advice and went to the market, your next destination should be Saint Michel. From Place des Capucins continue to rue Clare which brings you to the heart of the Saint Michel neighborhood. If you don’t have two full days in Bordeaux skip Saint Michel and go to the next item.

Discover the Saint Michel neighborhood

Saint Michel is skipped by many tourists. But I think that its authentic atmosphere, chic cafes, and markets make it one of the more interesting places in Bordeaux. There are many things to do and see in this area and you have more time to discover the neighborhood, be sure to read my detailed guide to Saint Michel. If, however, you are short in time and just want the “best of”, this is what I suggest:

The Basilica of Saint Michel – classified as a world heritage by UNESCO in 1998 stands at the heart of this lively neighborhood. It is located on the main square, Place Meynard, surrounded by plenty of cafes, restaurants, and bars.

la Flèche Saint-Michel – Just next to the basilica you’ll find the Saint Michel bell tower, one of the main monuments of the city. I highly recommend climbing it to see a magnificent view of Bordeaux.

The view from la Flèche Saint-Michel
The view from la Flèche Saint-Michel

The market on SaturdayEvery Saturday there’s a local market around the Basilica. Even if you don’t need to buy anything I’d still recommend going there on a Saturday morning just for the atmosphere

Antiquesif you love antique markets, whether it’s to buy or just to have a look, you’re at the right place. This neighborhood has several antique places that are open daily. Check out my guide to Saint Michel for a detailed list of addresses.

We are now going to enter the historic center of Bordeaux! If you’re short on time, I recommend starting the tour here!

The Grosse Cloche – one of the most impressive monuments in Bordeaux

From Place Meynard (in Saint Michel) take rue des Faures to get to one of the main streets in the center of Bordeaux (rue Victor Hugo). After a minute’s walk, on your right, you’ll see the spectacular bell town called the Grosse Cloche. 

The 15th-century bell tower is one of the most prominent symbols of Bordeaux. The gate was built on the remains of Porte Saint-Éloy, through which the pilgrims of Saint Jacques passed on their way to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

grosse cloche

You will now be entering the historic center of Bordeaux through the Quartier de la Grosse Cloche/ Saint Paul. Let yourself be charmed by the narrow paved streets of this small neighborhood. It’s one of my favorite districts of Bordeaux, full of chic cafés and boutiques. 

Rue Saint James

The first street you encounter when entering through the Grosse Cloche gate is Rue Saint James. This is one of the most charming streets in the neighborhood, with beautiful coffee shops (such as books and coffee ) chic boutiques, and specialized shops. Take some time to discover this street as well as the lovely narrow streets around it.

Quartier de la Grosse Cloche on of the best district in Bordeaux
Quartier de la Grosse Cloche – by Lost in Bordeaux

Continue on the street until you get to Place Fernand Lafargue. A long time ago this square used to be the city’s market and today it’s one of the best spots for a nice Lunch. The square and the emerging streets are a real food hub with plenty of cafes, bars, and a variety of restaurants from hamburgers to Sushi and Ramen soup.

After you finish strolling around the Grosse Cloche continue on Cr d’Alsace-et-Lorraine until you get to rue Sainte Catherine.

Shop on rue Sainte-Catherine

Sainte Catherine is the longest pedestrian street in France. A long strip of shops where you can find all main clothing retail stores as well as boutiques of cosmetics, jewelry, books, and more. 

The Southern part of the street (closer to Place de la Victoire) is where you’ll find most of the cheap clothing shops. The big chain clothing stores are located in the northern part of the streets. After you finish your shopping go back to Place Saint Projet, a square in the middle of rue Sainte Catherine. Now take rue des Trois-Conils and walk towards the main cathedral of Bordeaux on Place Pey Berland.

rue sainte Catharine Bordeaux
Sainte Catharine – the main shopping street in Bordeaux

Visit the main Cathedral of Bordeaux on Place Pey Berland

Place Pey Berland is one of the most central squares of Bordeaux and home to the main Cathedral of Bordeaux and its town hall. It’s also one of the liveliest neighborhoods in Bordeaux with many coffee places, chocolate shops, museums, and art galleries.

Cathédrale Saint-André de Bordeaux

The Cathedral of Saint André is the main church of Bordeaux and the seat of the Archbishop of Bordeaux. It is a Roman Catholic church that was labeled 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.

Cathédrale Saint-André de Bordeaux
Cathédrale Saint-André de Bordeaux

Tour Pey Berland

Just next to the Cathedral, you’ll find its 15th-century bell tower – la Tour Pey Berland. On the top of the tower, the statue of Notre Dame d’Aquitaine rises to the height of 66 m. 

If you want to enjoy a beautiful view of Bordeaux climb the 231 stairs of the tower to get to the top. A ticket to the bell tower is 6 euros and free to people below 26 years old. I recommend climbing it only if the weather is good, otherwise, you won’t see much. See the hours and buy tickets here
*If you have the Bordeaux City Pass, you get free entry to the Tour Pey Berland.

Good places for a coffee break:

Although I’m not a big fan of French coffee, somehow Bordeaux has figured out the secrets of a great brew. Some of the best coffee places in the city are actually in this central neighborhood, among them: Sip, Black list, and l’alchimiste café. If you’re a coffee-lover check out my article about Five coffee places in Bordeaux you don’t want to miss.

l'alchimiste café - one of the best coffee places in Bordeaux
L’alchimiste café – by Lost in Bordeaux

Other interesting streets in the Pey Berland neighborhood

From Place Pey Berland continue on rue Vital Carles, alongside the tram B line which goes through the main spots of the center of Bordeaux. On your left, don’t miss one of the city’s establishments –  Librairie Mollat, the oldest independent bookstore in France since 1896.

Another place worth mentioning is Porte Dijeaux. This pretty arc is another gate to the historic center of Bordeaux and has been classified as a historic monument in 1921.

Visit one of Bordeaux’s museums

If you have some time to visit a museum or two in Bordeaux, three of them are located in the Pey Berland neighborhood. It can also be a great option in case it’s raining in Bordeaux

Here are three museums in the neighborhood you should know about (all three have free entry with the Bordeaux City Pass): Musée d’Aquitaine (Bordeuax’s history museum), Musée des Beaux-Arts (the fine-art museum), Museum of Decorative Arts of Bordeaux (currently closed for renovation).

If you skipped the museums continue walking on Vital Carles Street and be ready for a beautiful surprise. At the end of the street, you will turn right to one of the most impressive streets of Bordeaux Cours de l’Intendance. This street conveys the feeling of Bordeaux – historic, beautiful, and very calm- just stand there and take a breath for a second.

Cours de l'Intendance - a street to discover on your weekend in Bordeaux
Cours de l’Intendance – by Lost in Bordeaux

Continue on Cours de l’Intendance until you get to Place de la Comédie.

Grand Théâtre – one of the landmarks of Bordeaux

The beautiful 18th-century building on Place de la Comédie will be hard to miss. The Grand Théâtre, the home of the National Opera of Bordeaux is one of Bordeaux’s most important landmarks.  If you have the chance, try to book tickets to one of the concerts at the Opera or the national ballet. 

Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux
Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux

Have a fancy meal in one of Bordeaux’s great restaurants

If you want to have a fancy meal while in Bordeaux, Place de la Comedie and its surrounding streets are one of the main spots for fine dining in Bordeaux. One of my favorite restaurants in Bordeaux is le Quatrième Mur, which belongs to the famous French chef Philippe Etchebest. The restaurant is located inside the Opera of Bordeaux complete with all its lavish decor.

There are of course many other amazing restaurants in Bordeaux such as Bo Tanique and Lauza.

Place des Quinconces

Next on our list is Place des Quinconces, the largest city square in France and one of the biggest ones in Europe. On one of the sides of this enormous square, you’ll find le Monument aux Girondins, a spectacular monument dedicated to the members of a political faction that were killed during the French Revolution. 

Throughout the year, many different events, festivals, and fairs (like the Brocante de Quinconces and the Foire aux Plaisirs) take place on this square. I tend to write a lot about the events that take place in Bordeaux in my newsletter and monthly to-do lists in Bordeaux.

The tram passing Place de Quinconces
The tram passing Place de Quinconces

If you’ve been following my guide so far, you’ve probably walked quite a bit. This would be the perfect time to rest in one of Bordeaux’s most beautiful parks.  From Place des, Quinconces continue to Cours du Marechal Foch until you get to Jardin Public.

Do a picnic in Jardin Public

Jardin Public is the largest park in the center of Bordeaux with more than 300 trees and vast green planes – a perfect place for a picnic. It has a large pond (with ducks and geese!), great facilities for kids, and even a nice coffee place. If you’re traveling with kids, it’s worth visiting the Natural History Museum, located in the park.

Read my article about all the other fun stuff you can do with kids in Bordeaux.

Jardin Public Bordeaux
Jardin Public – a green island in the city

If you want to know more about parks and gardens in Bordeaux check out my article with plenty of places for picnics in Bordeaux.

Now back to the city and to the last stop on the first day of discovering Bordeaux – the Chartrons neighborhood.

Leave the park from Cours Xavier Arnozan and continue towards the Garonne river. On your right don’t miss the CAPC, the Contemporary art museum of Bordeaux. This beautiful building was previously used as a warehouse for colonial foodstuffs and today is the house of contemporary art in Bordeaux, curating many exhibitions.

Now turn left on rue Notre Dame to enter the Chartrons neighborhood.

Visit the northern chic district of Bordeaux –  Les Chartrons

Located to the north of Bordeaux’s center, Chartrons is a very popular neighborhood with chic boutiques, antiques, and a lot of restaurants. The most interesting part of Chartrons is the main street, rue Notre Dame which is also one of the most foodie streets in Bordeaux. Don’t miss Eglise Saint-Louis des Chartrons, a 19th-century Neo-Gothic church.

rue Notre dame - one of the prettiest streets on Bordeaux
rue Notre Dame – by Lost in Bordeaux

Turn left straight after the church to get to the heart of the neighborhood- Halle des Chartrons. There are plenty of restaurants around the central square, with good lunch menus. The Halle des Chartrons often hosts activities and exhibitions, so take a peek inside to see if there’s anything going on. 

If you want to discover all the interesting places you can visit in the Chartrons district check out my article about the best things to do in Chartrons.

How to spend a weekend in Bordeaux – Day 2

Start the day at Place du Palais Station (Tram A) to enter the Saint Pierre Neighborhood.

Enjoy the squares of the Saint Pierre neighborhood

Saint Pierre is the most ancient district of Bordeaux and the tourist heart of the city. There aren’t any major monuments to see in this part of town but the little narrow paved streets and the beautiful lively squares are what make it one of the more pleasant places in Bordeaux.

I’ll mention some of the best things to do in this neighborhood, but I really recommend just taking a few hours to get lost in the charming narrow streets and get a feel of historic Bordeaux.

rue parlement saint pierre - one of the most beautful streets in the Saint Pierre neighborhood in Bordeaux
rue Parlement Saint Pierre in Saint Pierre – by Lost in Bordeaux

Porte Cailhau

From Cours d’Alsace et Lorraine turn to place du Palais. This is the first of many squares you’ll see while touring the neighborhood and probably the most beautiful one. 

The magnificent Porte Cailhau, a monument that looks like it has been taken from a fairy tale cannot be missed. This gate was built in 1495 to commemorate the glory of King Charles VIII. On the square itself, you’ll find a few nice cafes and restaurants with a view of the medieval gate. One I particularly like here is Tutiac, Le Bistro Vignerons.

Porte Cailhau on Place de Palais
Porte Cailhau on Place de Palais

There are three other squares worth mentioning in this neighborhood, all of which are beautiful and abundant with cute terrace restaurants. Each one is quite unique and worth a visit, but if you don’t have much time don’t feel obligated to visit all the squares.

Place Camille Julian

Place Camille Julian is one of the busiest squares in towns. Its main highlight is Utopia, a monastery turned into a cinema with a varied program of both blockbuster movies and small independent films.

Place Saint Pierre

The little square of Place Saint Pierre is where Bordeaux was born in the 3rd century. In the center stands the main church of the neighborhood Gothic Flamboyant styled Église Saint-Pierre. This historic monument used to be the main praying temple of the craftsmen and traders living in the area in medieval times. 

Place du Parlement

Another beautiful square in this lovely neighborhood is Place du Parlement, which was classified as a historic monument in 1952. This is yet another spot with many cafés with tables outside, perfect for a sunny day in Bordeaux. The Parlement square is located just a few steps from one of the important squares of Bordeaux – Place de la Bourse.

place du parlement bordeaux
Place du Parlement

From Place du Parlement continue to rue Fernand Philippart until you reach Place de la Bourse, a masterpiece of classic French architecture from the 18th century. Don’t miss the famous mascarons of Bordeaux, the little faces looking at you from the arches of the buildings.  There are more than 3000 of them decorating the buildings and monuments of Bordeaux.

In front, on the quay of the Garonne river, you’ll find one of the most popular attractions in 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.

Miroir d'eau bordeaux
le Miroir d’eau – the world’s largest reflecting pool

Take a walk on the quai – Bordeaux’s promenade

The promenade on the board of the Garonne is one of Bordeaux’s highlights. In recent years, since the renovation of the area, the riverfront has become one of the city’s most central 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. This trail includes the water mirror as well as big playgrounds for kids, restaurants with a view of the river, and the Chartrons Market, which is our next stop.

This is part of the trail you’ll do if you take the guided cycling tour.

Wine Festival on the quai in Bordeaux
The wine festival of Bordeaux in the summer

Shop and dine at the Chartrons market

One of the best markets in Bordeaux takes place every Sunday morning at Quai de Chartrons. The Chartrons market hosts dozens of food stalls, fruits, vegetables, cheese, fish, and plenty of food trucks. 

The Chartrons market - one of the best markets in Bordeaux
Marche des Quais – by Lost in Bordeaux

The market is usually quite busy with both locals and tourists, especially if you come towards noon, but it’s still worth the visit. For many visitors, the main attraction is the few stalls with oysters and a bottle of dry white wine. This, in a way, embodies life in the region 🙂

For more info about the market and other places around it read my article about the best places to visit in the Chartrons district.

Bacalan – discover the northern part of Bordeaux

From here (if you have more time left) you can discover the Bacalan, the northern district of Bordeaux. From the market just continue walking north on the riverfront until you reach the Chaban Delmas bridge.

Pont Chaban Delmas in Bordeaux
Pont Chaban Delmas – by Lost in Bordeaux

Pont Chaban Delmas

Pont Chaban Delmas is a modern bridge, named after the previous mayor of the city, which was inaugurated in 2013. It’s the longest vertical-lift bridge in Europe and seeing it elevating to let the tall ships pass is a very impressive sight. On the way there you will pass by several hangars that were turned into restaurants, boutiques, and a fantastic science museum for kids (Cap Sciences).

La Cité du Vin – Bordeaux wine museum

Cité du vin in Bordeaux

Just next to the bridge, you’ll find one of Bordeaux’s main attractions – la cité du vin. The Wine Museum of Bordeaux is a one-of-a-kind cultural center, all dedicated to discovering the wine world. It’s a “must” place for wine lovers but can also be very interesting and enjoyable for people who don’t drink at all. 

The museum offers an immersive exhibition to help you discover both French and global wine history. You will learn about winemaking, see movies and interviews with wine producers and then smell and taste wine. 

Click here to buy tickets to the wine museum in advance to avoid the line.

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

Les Halles de Bacalan

Les Halles de Bacalan is a covered market, located just in front of the Cité du Vin and hosts tens of stalls with amazing food and drinks. It’s a perfect place to stop by for a snack or a drink when discovering the Bacalan district.

Marché de Bacalan
Les Halles de Bacalan – a new covered market

Take a boat to the other side of the Garonne

Now it’s time to discover the other side of the Garonne river – the Bastide neighborhood. It’s yet another district of Bordeaux worth exploring if you have time. There are a few ways to get to the Bastide district. You can either cross the bridge (it’s a very nice walk but will take some time), take a bus or take a boat. 

Since 2013 the public transport system in Bordeaux has introduced a ferry (navette fluviale)  that will cross you over to the other side. The ferry which operates from 7 am to 7 pm, stops at five stations: Stalingrad, Quinconces, les Hangars, La Cité du Vin and Lormont. If you followed my guide up to now, take the navette at La Cité du Vin and get down at Stalingrad (on the other side of the river).

Take a look at the ferry timetable here.

You can use the boat and all other public transport in Bordeaux free of charge if you have the Bordeaux City Pass

Jardin Botanique

Arriving from Place de Stalingrad you have a nice walk on the riverfront to get to our next stop. On the way don’t miss le Jardin Botanique de Bordeaux. This beautiful park was created to allow the wide public to discover the world of plants, biodiversity, and sustainability. It’s definitely not a must-stop, but can be a great spot for a picnic with kids. 

From the part continue straight on the riverfront until you get to our next stop – Darwin.

Darwin – the hipster hub of Bordeaux

Darwin is probably one of the most surprising places in Bordeaux. An old military base turned into an urban space with a workspace/incubator for startups, a skate park for all ages, a restaurant, and many other surprises, all with an agenda of ecological awareness. 

Whether alone or with kids you can spend hours in Darwin. One of the buildings hosts the restaurant and the Darwin products store with a huge selection of different organic products. 

Darwin
Darwin – one of the coolest places in Bordeaux

Darwin is also an extraordinary hub of street art done by many local and international street artists. The place hosts many cool events so don’t be surprised if suddenly you see an artisan market or a collection of old cars on display.

It’s also one of the best places to hide from the rain on one of Bordeaux’s many rainy days.

This is the end of our weekend journey in Bordeaux! Before I leave you, here are some useful links:

The Bordeaux expats blog is a great source of info for people considering moving to Bordeaux. 

The site of the tourist office in Bordeaux has loads of information about all the points of interest in the city as well as about most of the main events. They also offer a lot of tours in and around Bordeaux – so check it out here.

The official site of Bordeaux offers a lot of interesting info about the places you will see (in French)- read it here.

As I said, Bordeaux has a lot to offer! It’s hard to see everything if you only have a day or two but don’t be stressed, just take the time to enjoy the city. 

If you have only one day, I recommend following this article instead.

Where to stay in Bordeaux 

Before we end I want to help out those who are looking for accommodation in Bordeaux! If you’re looking for a hotel, I have an article with recommendations about the best hotels in Bordeaux for different budgets.  If you’re looking for an Airbnb or just want to understand where you should stay in Bordeaux, you should definitely read my Bordeaux districts guide

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:

Facebook |Instagram |Email  | Facebook group

If it’s your first time in Bordeaux you may also like to read some of the following “intro to Bordeaux” articles I wrote:
The Ultimate Guide to a weekend Bordeaux 
The best districts in Bordeaux 
Where to stay in Bordeaux 
What to do in one day in Bordeaux
Things to do with kids in Bordeaux

If you like this article and want to read it again when you’re in Bordeaux – Save it to your Pinterest board!

*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 🙂 

One of the wonders of visiting Bordeaux is the day trips you can do in the region. Gironde (Bordeaux’s department) is one of the most fascinating areas in France, rich with beaches, beautiful villages, nature, and heritage. If you’re spending more than a weekend in Bordeaux, be sure to leave some time to discover its surroundings. 

There are quite a few beautiful spots to visit around Bordeaux and some are even accessible by public transport. I have a long article with all the best day trips you can do around Gironde. However, this article is dedicated to all the destinations around Bordeaux, which you can reach by train. 

If you have more time to discover the southwest of France, here are a few other destinations you should check out. All of these are easily reachable by train from Bordeaux. 

A weekend in Toulouse
The best things to do in Biarritz
What to do in Cognac

Practical advice

All the tickets to the suggested destinations can be bought directly at the Saint Jean train station in Bordeaux. Angouleme is the only one I recommend booking a bit in advance as the city sits on the busy train line to Paris. You can book your train tickets here

Now let’s start discovering the best day trips from Bordeaux by train!

Arcachon and Dune du Pilat – a day trip from Bordeaux to the Ocean

Dune du Pilat
Dune du Pilat by: Lost in Bordeaux

Arcachon is one of the most popular summer destinations in southwest France. A seaside resort town renowned for its beautiful beaches, impressive architecture, and vibrant atmosphere.

The town is divided into four districts, named after the four seasons. Ville d’Été, covering the tourist center, main beach, restaurants, and boutiques. Ville d’Hiver – the historic center adorned with glamorous 19th-century villas. Ville de Printemps is where the most beautiful beaches are located. Ville d’Automne is the port area, packed with great seafood restaurants.

Ville d'Été - Arcachon - one of the best day trip from Bordeaux
Ville d’Été – Arcachon – by Lost in Bordeaux

A day trip from Bordeaux to Arcachon can easily take a whole day but many tend to combine it with a visit to the Dune du Pilat, the tallest sand dune in Europe. I have a detailed guide to a day trip to Arcachon and the dune, be sure to read it before you go.

How to get to Arcachon by train?

There is a direct train to the center of Arcachon from the Gare Saint Jean train station (or Pessac train station). To continue to Dune du Pilat, take bus number 1 from the train station in Arcachon. The train leaves Bordeaux every 30 minutes from 6 am to 11:30 pm. You can buy tickets here or at the station.

You can also take a semi-private tour from Bordeaux to Arcachon.
In case want to stay the night in Arcachon, here are my recommendations for the best hotels.

Saint Émilion – a day trip to the Bordeaux wine region

Saint Émilion is probably the most famous wine-related day trip out of Bordeaux. Its picturesque center, densely filled with wine shops and fancy restaurants, turns this little town into a prominent attraction for tourists in the area.

One of the main attractions of Saint Emilion is visiting wineries. I would highly recommend this activity to anyone traveling in the region. If you need some help choosing a winery to visit, check out my article about the best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion. If you’re visiting without a car, I’d also recommend reading my article about all the wineries you can visit by public transport.

Another option for visiting Saint Emilion is taking a wine tour from Bordeaux. Here you can find my recommendations for the best wine tours from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion.

best wineries in Saint Emilion
Saint Emilion – by Lost in Bordeaux

Saint Emilion, however, is worth a visit even if you’re not a wine enthusiast. Important historical monuments can be found in abundance in this medieval town, some of which date back as far as the 11th and 12th centuries. You can read about all the special things to do on a day trip to Saint Emilion in my article.

One of the famous monuments is the 11th-century Monolithic church, carved from a limestone cliff, it’s the largest underground church in Europe. Check out the tourist office’s website for all the information about tours in the historic city.

A day trip from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion
The center of Saint Emilion – by Lost in Bordeaux

How to get to Saint Emilion by train?

You can get to Saint Emilion by train from the Saint Jean station in Bordeaux. There’s a 15-20 minutes walk from the station to the city center. For more details about getting to Saint Emilion, read this article. You can buy train tickets at the station or online.

If you have time to stay the night in Saint Emilion, that is also a perfect destination for a weekend. Here are my recommendations for the best places to stay in the Saint Emilion region.

Visit Châteaux in Bordeaux by tram or bus

Did you know that some of the best wineries in the Bordeaux wine region are actually located within Bordeaux Metropole? Meaning you don’t have to make the effort to get to Saint Emilion or Medoc if you want to visit chateaux in the region. 

A few months ago I published a detailed list of all the wineries you can get to by public transport. However, here I want to mention the closest one to the center of Bordeaux.

I highly recommend booking your visit before you go.

Chateau pape Clement Pessac
Chateau pape Clement – by Lost in Bordeaux

Château Pape Clément in Pessac

Take line B to Pessac Centre and then continue for 20 minutes by foot or take a direct bus from Place Tourny in Bordeaux (line 4). You can book the tour online – just click here.

Château du Taillan in Le Taillan-Médoc

Chateau du Taillan is a beautiful winery in Medoc. You can reach it by bus 5N from Place Tourny in Bordeaux.

For more info click here.

Château Saint Ahon In Blanquefort

Take line C to the Blanquefort train station and then continue 20 minutes by foot or take bus 29 from the Blanquefort train station.

For more info click here.

If you’re visiting with kids, this is one of the most kids-friendly wineries to visit in the Bordeaux wine region

Château Olivier

Another gem in the Pessac Leognan appellation is Château Olivier. Just a few km from Bordeaux, you’ll find a beautiful château, surrounded by a forest and vines.

Take bus number 5 from Palais de Justice in Bordeaux to get to the winery. Book your visit here.

La Réole – a charming medieval town

La Réole is a small hilly town situated on the banks of the Garonne river about 50 km from Bordeaux. It’s considered one of the most beautiful villages in Gironde.

The town developed around a monastery founded in the 7th or 8th century. However, its golden era was during medieval times when it became the second-largest city in the region after Bordeaux. 

Today La Reole is a quiet town that often holds interesting cultural events as well as one of the best markets in Gironde on Saturday mornings. 

Get lost in the narrow charming streets of the historic center of La Réole and let the beautiful architecture take you back in time.For more info: http://www.lareole.fr/

day tip from Bordeaux to La Reole
La Reole – by Lost in Bordeaux

How to get there by train? It takes about 40 minutes to get from Bordeaux to La Réole train station. The train leaves from Gare Saint Jean every two hours.

Discover other beautiful villages around Bordeaux in my article.

Wine tasting in Margaux

Margaux is one of the most prestigious wine appelations in the Bordeaux wine region. It’s one of the 8 wine appelations in Medoc, a region I recommended visiting by car. Having said that, visiting wineries in Margaux by train is very easy.

Wine tasting in Margaux - a day trip from Bordeaux
Wine tasting in Margaux – by Lost in Bordeaux

A train will bring you directly from Bordeaux to the town of Margaux. Some of the best wineries in this appellation are located within a walking distance from the train station. When there don’t miss the chance to dine in one of the great restaurants this town has to offer.

Here are the names of several recommended wine châteaux which are close to the train station (all require prior reservation):

  • Château Marquis de Terme: 3 Route de Rauzan, 33460 Margaux – you can book your visit here.
  • Château Ferriere: 33bis Rue de la Tremoille, 33460 Margaux- Book your visit here.
  • Château Lascombes: 1 Cours de Verdun, 33460 Margaux – book your visit here.

The beautiful Château Margaux is only a 25 minutes walk from the train station. Unfortunately, their tours are only open to professionals but you can walk around the winery, see the beautiful vines and take photos of the famous chateau. Check out all the wineries you can visit in the Bordeaux region by public transport.

Château Marquis de Terme  in Medoc
Château Marquis de Terme – Lost in Bordeaux

*If you do rent a car you should check out my article about a two-day itinerary in the Medoc wine region.

For more info about Bordeaux check out the tourist office website.

How to get there by public transport: There’s a train leaving Bordeaux to Margaux every couple of hours.

Saint Macaire – a charming medieval town

Saint Macaire is a medieval city located some 50 km from Bordeaux on the banks of the Garonne river. It’s not a familiar destination to most people visiting Bordeaux, but it’s definitely worth a day trip.

In the 13th and 14th centuries, Saint Macaire was one of the most prosperous cities in Aquitaine due to its significant agricultural and trade activities. The charming town with its narrow streets and beautiful old houses is a great place for those looking to get a sense of the region’s heritage.

Saint Macaire - a beautiful village in Gironde
Saint Macaire – by Lost in Bordeaux

Saint Macaire is also well known for its white wine. Guided tours are organized by the tourist office, including tastings of the Côtes de Bordeaux Saint-Macaire wines.

It’s really worth visiting Saint Macaire at the end of August when the Fêtes médiévales takes place. The little town gets very lively with amazing costumes, music, medieval games, and more.

Medieval festival in Saint Macaire
Medieval festival in Saint Macaire – Lost in Bordeaux

For more info: https://www.tourisme-sud-gironde.com/patrimoine/notre-territoire/saint-macaire/

How to get there by public transport? You can get to Saint Macaire by train from the Saint Jean station in Bordeaux. There are several trains running to Saint Macaire on Saturdays and fewer during the week.

A more flexible option would be to get to Langon, the main town of southeast Gironde, and then take a taxi (it’s a 10 minutes ride from Langon). Or if you have a bike you can take it with you on the train to Langon and then ride about 15 minutes to Saint Macaire.

Libourne – One of the best markets in Gironde

day trip to libourne
Libourne by Lost in Bordeaux

Libourne is a beautiful town located at the confluence of the Isle and Dordogne rivers. Founded as a Bastide town in the 13th century it used to be an important port city central to the wine and wood trade in the region.

Surrounded by some of the world’s most renowned wine labels such as Saint Emilion, Pomerol, and Fronsac, it used to play an important role in the economy of the region. While it’s not as attractive as Bordeaux, it’s the main city in northern Gironde and it’s rich with history and beautiful architecture.

Due to its location, many people see it as a wine destination from which you can visit the numerous chateaux in the area. But this city has more to offer and is worth a separate visit.

You can start your day trip at Place Abel-Surchamp, the main square of the city hosting the outdoor market every Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday. This is one of the main markets in the area, attracting people from all the little towns around Libourne. It’s recommended to visit the city on one of the market days as it really lifts the atmosphere. 

You can see a lot of interesting buildings on the little streets leading to the main square. Two of my favorites are Rue Victor Hugo and Rue Fonneuve. Don’t forget to take a walk on the beautiful quais of the Isle river.

Read more about the city on the page of the tourist office.

How to get there by train? There’s a train from Bordeaux to Libourne every 20-60 minutes, depending on the time of your departure.

Sainte Foy la Grande – visit a bastide town 

This beautiful bastide town, situated in the northeast of Gironde, is one of the most charming towns in the Libournais area. The Dordogne river runs through the town, unusual for bastides which are typically situated on hilltops. 

Many of the buildings in the center of this medieval town date back to the 15th century and give St. Foy la Grande its charming look. It’s a small lively town with little cafés on the main central Place du Marché square.

Sainte Foy la Grande - a beautiful bastide town
Sainte Foy la Grande – by Lost in Bordeaux

Although it’s not a very touristy destination it does get quite busy during Saturday’s market. The market is one of the biggest in the area and it’s the recommended day to visit Sainte Foy la Grande. If you want to spend the whole day there you can cross the river to the other side and visit a small river beach called Plage des Bardoulets.

the market of Sainte Foy la Grande
The market of Sainte Foy la Grande – by Lost in Bordeaux

You can combine this day trip with a visit to the Chateau de Vayres. The stunning castle is located in Vayres, a village sited on the same train line as Sainte Foy la Grande. 

How to get there by train? It takes about an hour by train from Saint Jean station to Sainte Foy la Grande.

Gujan-Mestras – discover oyster farming 

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. 

The best way to discover the town and its ports is by bike. You can rent one in the Gujan itself, here’s the link to the bike rental shop

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.

Alternatively, you can take a private tour, provided by Anne from Aquitaine Travel guide. Anne will introduce you to the current production methods in Arcachon. You’ll get to accompany an oyster farmer and taste the freshest oysters in Arcachon. See the details here.

A place I particularly like in Gijan Mestras is La “Maison de Huitre”, an interactive museum where you discover everything about oyster farming.

Gujan also has a very cute beach, Plade de la Hume. You can see more details about it in my article about the best beaches around Bordeaux.

No matter what you choose to do in Gojan Mestra, there’s one thing you shouldn’t miss – taste oysters! Along the ports and especially at Port de Larros, you’ll find tend of oyster cabanes. That’s where most Bordelaise will go for fresh oysters. 

Oyster tasting in Gujan Mestras
Oyster tasting in Gujan Mestras – Lost in Bordeaux

Discover other fun places to visit in Arcachon in my article.

How to get there by train? Gujan-Mestras is one of the stations on the way from Bordeaux to Arcachon. The train leaves every 30 minutes from Bordeaux Saint Jean or Pessac Centre stations.

Angoulême – the capital of comics and street art

Angouleme is one of the biggest cities in the southwest region, known as the capital of comics in France. In recent years it’s have been attracting many tourists thanks to its beautiful historic center and vibrant cultural life.

The town is located on a plateau overlooking the Charente river. Stroll the streets to explore the historic part of the city and the beautiful boulevards with their view on the original ramparts.

Angoulême - the capital of street art and comics of France
Angoulême – Lost in Bordeuax

It’s a vibrant city with plenty of cafes and restaurants, a big market, museums, and historic monuments. It’s also famous for its huge comics museum and the International Comics festival taking place every January.

One of the biggest attractions Angouleme has to offer is its street art scene. There are more than 20 murals of comics and illustrations on buildings in almost every neighborhood around the city. Discover the best murals in my article about street art in Angouleme.

For more info: http://www.angouleme-tourisme.com/

How to get there by train? The TGV train to Paris stops in Angouleme, so even though it’s located 130 km from Bordeaux, you can still get there from Bordeaux in about 35 minutes. You can book your tickets in advance.

Pin this article, so you can use it when in Bordeaux!

Before I end my article, here are a few other articles you might want to read when you’re traveling around Bordeaux:
The best beaches around Bordeaux
Best places to visit on the Arcachon Bay
A weekend in Medoc- Bordeaux wine tours
What to do and eat in Saint Emilion
A weekend in Toulouse

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:

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

*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 🙂 

When my family and I decided to move from Paris to Bordeaux, practically everyone guaranteed that the hot weather is the real bonus of moving to the South of France. “No more rainy days being stuck at home with the kids” I thought to myself. Boy, was I wrong!
Although there are a lot of sunny and hot days in Bordeaux, not many people know that on average it’s raining here 170 days a year.
Almost every weekend I see people on social media asking: what do I do with the kids when it’s pouring rain outside and you can’t go to the park? Apparently a lot!!! You just have to know about it.
So I’ve made a list of all the fun indoor things you can do with your kids when it is raining in Bordeaux:

Cap sciences

If you want a fun activity which is also educative then Cap Sciences is the place for you. It is located on Quai de Bacalan, in a beautiful spot with a view on the Jacques Chaban-Delmas bridge. The museum proposes interactive exhibitions and activities all dedicated to different aspects of science. Another interesting feature of the museum are the workshops that are dedicated to kids of different age groups (3-6, 6-12 and 8-14 years old) among them you can find photography, molecular k kitchen, eco-citizens and more.  And while your kids are busy exploring the wonders of the universe, you can enjoy the amazing view of the Garonne river from the terraces of the “Cafe des sciences”.
The museum is open Tue- Fri from 14-18 and from 14 to 19 on weekends. The prices varies according to the exhibition and a 50% is given to holders of the Carte Jeunes.

Address: Cap Sciences – Hangar 20 – Quai de Bacalan – 33300 Bordeaux

Cap-Sciences Bordeaux
credit: Cap-Sciences Bordeaux

Natural History Museum

Bordeaux natural history museum
Bordeaux natural history museum

After years of renovations the museum of natural history of Bordeaux has finally opened its doors on March 2019. Created in 1971, the museum has one of the biggest collections in France with more than a million specimens. Besides the new design and the incredible collection, one of the new features in the renovated museum is the “Early Years Museum” for kids under 6 years old.
Where: 5 Place Bardineau, 33000 Bordeaux

Skating in darwin

Darwin eco-system is where the cool kids go :). An ancient military base, located in the Bastide neighborhood on the right side of the river, that has been turned into a place full of innovation and surprises for both parents and kids. And although it seems like a perfect spot for a sunny weather it has a lot to offer indoors as well, notably the skating park. As part of its environmental friendly agenda, the skate house is made of recycled materials and has a special cultural landscape of street art and electronic music. Your kids will love it!

In order to skate in the hangar you would have to pay a member fee of 5 and then 3 for the whole day every time you come. Open everyday except Monday.

Address: 87 Quai des Queyries, 33100 Bordeaux

Skating in Darwin Bordeaux

Ice skating in La Patinoire de Mériadeck

For even colder days, you can get into the winter spirit with ice skating. La Patinoire de Mériadeck is a sports complex in Bordeaux center that hosts hockey games as well as many different concerts. However, several days a week the place is open to the public and you can come with your family and enjoy ice skating in this huge arena. The Patinoire is open on Wednesday afternoon, Thursday, and Friday evening and from the morning on Saturday and Sunday (with a lunch break). The prices range between € 5.70  to   € 8,30 (depending on your age and if you need skates or not) and free for kids under 5.

As the Patinoire hosts many different events during the year, its opening hours might change from time to time, so before heading there with your kids, check out the schedule.  

Address: 95 cours du Maréchal Juin 33000 Bordeaux

Royal Kids in Pessac

There are some days when you just have to get your little ones out of the house to release all their energy, so if it’s raining non-stop and you can’t take them to the park, take them to Royal Kids in Pessac. Royal Kids is an indoor soft play with different structures adopted for kids from 0 to 12 years old.  The place is open on Tue, Wed, Fri , Sat and Sun and every day during school break. The prices varies according to the age and number of kids in the family (between 4.5 and 9) and the entrance is free for kids under 1 years old and over 13 years old.

Address:  6 Rue Henri de Châtelier, 33600 Pessac

Karting and Bowling

If your kids are a bit older (over 11 years old) and you need an activity with more action, karting is always a good idea. There are two karting facilities in Bordeaux, one in Bordeaux-Lac (indoor) and the other one in Merignac (outdoor), both belong to Kart System.

However, Kart system is not only a karting place, you can easily make a family fun day out of it. In Bordeaux- lac, additionally to the huge karting indoor space there is a bowling alley with 20 lanes as well as 13 billiard tables with a bar.  Kart-System in Bordeaux-Lac is open 7 days a week from 14:00.

Address: KART System INDOOR – Rue du grand Barail – 33300 Bordeaux Lac

Jump in the Trampoline park

Another great place for the whole family is the Let’s Jump Trampoline Park which is also located next to Bordeaux Lac. The Trampoline park has a 500m² of trampolines where besides jumping you can play dodgeball, trampoline basketball or (trying to) walk on a tightrope. Kids over 3 years old are welcomed to the park and the prices are 8 for 5-6 years old and 12 for the rest (there’s also a discount with a student cart) for one hour, it’s recommended to reserve a spot in advance.

Address: 49 Rue Pierre Baour, 33300 Bordeaux

trampoline park bordeaux

Enjoy lunch while your kids play in Kidooland

kidooland bordeaux
kidooland by lost in Bordeaux

In this soft play wonderland you can enjoy a lunch while someone is watching your little kids enjoying 1000m² of soft playground. The Kidooland facility includes many inflatable installation for kids whose height is under 140cm, with the goal to make it a safe space for little kids.  Apart from the soft-play space the place organizes artistic workshops: comics, painting, photography, theater and more.
Kiddoland is closed on on Mon and Thur and the price is 9 for half a day and free for the parents.

 Address: 280 Boulevard Alfred Daney – 33300 Bordeaux

Climb on Blocks in Block’Out

If your family needs more action try climbing on blocs! Block’Out Bordeaux is the first climbing center dedicated to bloc climbing to open in Bordeaux, with a huge selection of structures and more than 1,100 m² of climbing surface.
The place is equipped with 45 blocs and 7 different levels so that both beginners and professionals can enjoy this activity.
Block’Out runs climbing courses for both adults and kids (7 years old and up) and it’s open every day of the week.

Address: 3 Rue Georges Barres, 33300 Bordeaux

Magic Makers

When the weather is bad many kids are stuck in front of the screen. This could be a good opportunity to discover if they like to create their own video games or to learn coding in general.
To help them discover the digital world take them to an atelier at Magic Makers in Chartrons.  Every Saturday at 13:30 Magic Makers invites children and teenagers between the ages of 6 and 15 to learn programming like adults and to enjoy themselves with other potential coding geeks 🙂
The price is 15 for every atelier.

Address: 60 Cours de la Martinique 33000 BORDEAUX

Bibliothèque Mériadeck

This activity for rainy days is fun, educative and totally free! If your kids are interested in books, the Bibliothèque in Mériadeck has a library for kids between 0 and 13 years old. The place includes novels, comics, manga, music, movies and even a coloring space for younger kids. Apart from books the Meriadeck library also hosts different events such as little shows for kids, story time and video games in groups.

Address: 85 cours du Maréchal Juin 33000 Bordeaux

La Parentèle for babies and toddlers

Last but not least, if your kids are too young for most of these activities, don’t be discouraged! La parentele hosts families with little kids every day except Sunday and it’s free. The Parentele is an indoor space for babies and toddlers where you will find a play area for different ages, a lot of toys, books, colors and a large space with coffee for parents to have a chat (while watching their kids of course). As the Parentele is open for all, it is limited for one hour and a half, but I guess for a toddler it is more than enough.

Address: 2 rue Courpon – 33000 Bordeaux

La Parentèle Bordeaux

So next time you see clouds approaching, don’t panic! Bordeaux offers great indoor activities to keep you and your kids occupied.

If you know of any other places to escape the rain with the kids, please let us know in the comments below.

Thank you for reading 🙂

Welcome back to my “What to do this week in Bordeaux” list – a post where I give you an idea of something to do in the Bordeaux region each day of the week. These include events, markets, tours, and generally fun places to visit. If you want a full list of things to do on the weekend, don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter (I send an email with plenty of events every Friday). Also, don’t forget to check out my September and October lists if you want to plan your stay in Bordeaux ahead. 

Here’s your list of things to do in Bordeaux this week (September 12-18)

Monday (Sep 12)

Go for a glass of wine in La Cabane dans les Vignes a charming wine bar, located in the vineyards of the Cadillac appellation. The bar is about to close its doors for the winter in less than two weeks so that’s your last chance to enjoy it. You can combine it with a day trip to Cadillac, see more details about that little town in my article about the most beautiful villages around Bordeaux

Tuesday (Sep 13)

Go to the morning market of Audenge on the Arcachon Bay that is taking place every Tuesday morning near the Halle du marché and on Avenue du Général de Gaulle. You can then continue to the Audenge beach or for a hike at the beautiful natural reserve called The Domain of Certes-Graveyron. See more details about this trail in my article

Wednsday (Sep 14) 

Enjoy the last weeks of summer in Bordeaux with a drink at the Les Planches Ephemeres, a summer bar that will be open until the end of September. See other open bars in Bordeaux in my article.

Thursday (Sep 15) 

  1. Go to a flamenco show of the talented dancer le Carmelita at the Thélonious Café Jazz Club in the Chartrons district. See more details here. Take that as an opportunity to discover Chartrons, one of the more lively neighborhoods in Bordeaux
  2. L’Astroshøw Open Air – a party at les Vivres de l’Arts – see details here

Friday (Sep 16) 

  1. Le Caraïbos Cocktail Club – this fun cocktail bar will be installed for two weeks (Sep 15- October 2nd) at La Belle Saison in the Bastide. See the full program here
  2. If you don’t mind traveling outside of Bordeaux, don’t miss the night visit at Château Royal de Cazeneuve in Préchac. This visit is part of the Noctambules event, organized by the tourist office of Sud Gironde – see more details here.
    Take it as an opportunity to visit a chateau in the Sauternes wine region – find my recommendations in this article

Weekend in Bordeaux

Here are a few ideas for things to do this weekend, however the full list with all the events taking place this weekend will be sent to you by email this Friday – you can subscribe to my newsletter here

Saturday  (Sep 17) 

  1. La Grande Fête in Ayguemorte les graves – enjoy three days (September 16-18) of festivities in this little town in the South of Gironde. See all the info here
  2. 2. Travel to the Basque country for the Anglet Jazz festival – see details here

Sunday  (Sep 18) 

1. Journées Européennes du Patrimoine – the European Heritage Days will be taking place on September 17-18 and it’s an amazing opportunity to discover the most interesting buildings in Bordeaux, some of which are usually closed to the public. You can see the full list of the places that will be open for visits here.

 2. Go to Saint Emilion to celebrate the harvest with the  Ban des Vendanges – see the full program here

That’s it for this week!

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:
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 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:

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group