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What’s happening in Bordeaux in May? Our charming city feels very lively in May. All the outdoor places around Bordeaux are starting to open up with locals occupying every terrace café in town. Many of the attractions parks in the region are opening for the season and places like Cap Ferret are coming back to life after a long winter sleep. The summer season in Bordeaux is officially on! 

In this article, I made a list of all the best events and ideas for things to do in Bordeaux in May 2024. If it’s your first time here don’t forget to check my article about the 50 best things to do in Bordeaux as well as my Bordeaux district guide (especially helpful for those looking for accommodation in Bordeaux).

Now let’s see what’s waiting for us in Bordeaux and the Southwest of France in May 2024!

The best events in Bordeaux (and Gironde) in May 2024

The opening of La Guinguette chez Alriq

Bordeaux’s best place for sunny weekends is about to reopen for its summer season. La Guinguette chez Alriq is a tavern in the Bastide neighborhood, on the rive droite of the Garonne. On a sunny day, you can enjoy a cold beer, nice food, and daily concerts with a magnificent view of the Garonne. The first concert will take place on May 2, see the full program for the month here.

Discover other summer bars in Bordeaux in my article.

When: Starting May 2 / Where: ZA Quai des Queyries, Port Bastide, 33100 Bordeaux

Open doors in Saint-Emilion

An open-door weekend will take place on May 4-5 in Saint Emilion where tens of wine producers will open their chateaux to the public. The weekend will include many activities such as wine tastings, visits to the chateaux, games for kids, and bike rides. The full program of the event with the participating châteaux and the activities taking place that weekend will be published here – here. You can also plan your trip to this wine region with my detailed guide to Saint Emilion.

See all the other open-door events taking place in the Bordeaux wine region this year.

When: May 4-5 / Where: different locations around Saint Emilion

Festvial Faites des bulles 

Faites des Bulles is a comics and illustration festival taking place every year in Floirac, one of Bordeaux, suburbs. The program includes exhibitions, concerts, storytelling, and more. The event will take place on May 4-5. See all the info here.

When: May 4-5 / Where: Halle 47, Floirac

La Plage aux Écrivains

On May 4-5  writers and avid readers will meet in Arcachon for the annual literature festival, Plage aux Ecrivains. For more details and the full list of writers taking part in the event click here.

When: May 4-5 / Where: next to the Palais des Congrès.

Search for beautiful antiques at the Brocante

The big brocante of Bordeaux is hosted twice a year at Place des Quinconces with 200 antique dealers, horticulturists, restaurants, and craftsmen. It’s the biggest brocante event in the area and the selection is huge, from vintage home decor to paintings, antique furniture, garden accessories, and more.

Brocante de Bordeaux - one of the best events in Bordeaux
Brocante de Bordeaux – Lost in Bordeaux

The market is taking place from April 24 to May 14. For more info and the list of exhibitors click here.

When: April 24 – May 14/ Where: Place des Quinconces, Bordeaux

Go on a wine trip in Medoc 

May is probably one of the best months to do the Route des Chateaux in Medoc, a magnificent wine trail, which combines nature, history, and culture on one beautiful road.

You can do it as a day trip from Bordeaux and visit wineries located not far from the city. Here are a few I can recommend: Chateau d’Arsac, (book a visit here), the charming family-run Chateau Siran (book a visit here), and Chateau Kirwan (book a visit here). 

Winery in Medoc, Bordeaux

If you prefer to go on a tour with a guide, here’s a great wine tour company that will take you on a half-day tour, with two winery visits – click here for all the details.  If you want to rent a car and just plan the wine trip on your own – here are the best wineries to visit in Medoc.

Les Cogitations

Les Cogitations is a mocking art festival taking place in the L’entrepot in Lehaillan on May 3-19. Check out the full list of performers here.

When: May 3-19 / Where: 13 rue Georges Clémenceau – Le Haillan

Cathedral nights 

Cathedrale Saint André in Bordeaux will celebrate its annual event Les Nuits des Cathédrales on May 10-11. The beautiful lighting of the Cathedral at night will make this an unforgettable event. For more information click here.

When: May 10-11/ Where: Place Pey-Berland, 33000 Bordeaux

Festival Imagin’Ere

A creative festival will take place on May 9-11 at the little village of Captieux in South Girodne. The program includes plenty of concerts, spectacles, artistic makeup, and plenty of games. For more details click here

When: May 9-11/ Where: the village of Captieux

Open doors in the Côtes de Bourg appellation

Ô Chais is the annual open-door event taking place at the Côtes de Bourg appellation. It’s less known than the renowned Saint Emilion or Medoc appellations but it’s an excellent wine you should try when visiting the Bordeaux wine region. 

This year the event is taking place on May 11-12. See more details here. For other open-door events, check out my article about all the Portes Ouvertes in the wineries of Bordeaux
When: May 11-12 / Where: wineries in Bourg

Cotes de bourg vineyards

European Museums Night

On May 18 some of the best museums and cultural establishments in Bordeaux will open their doors to the public with free exhibitions and activities. Besides exhibitions, the museums will host lots of kid-friendly activities, concerts, and more. See the full list of museums and events here.

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

When: May 18 – 6 pm until midnight / Where: Different museums around the Metropole

Picnic in the vineyards 

People in this region really love visiting wineries and doing picnics, so why not combine the two activities? Usually, the vineyards can only be visited as part of a guided tour at the Chateaux, but one weekend a year you’re invited to enjoy many of them for free. Just bring your picnic to the vineyards and enjoy a fun day with your family and friends surrounded by this majestic scenery. The chateaux will provide wine and entertainment 🙂

Bordeaux vineyards

The event is called Pique nique chez les vignerons and more than 100 estates are participating in it around France (and Bordeaux obviously). This year the event will be taking place on May 18-20. The places are limited so reserving a spot is recommended. Take a look at the map.

When: May 18-20 / Where: Different locations in France (see map)

Bordeaux Geek Festival

Comics, science fiction, video games, parallel worlds, creative industries – you’ll find all of these at the next Bordeaux Geek Festival (BGF), taking place May 18-19 at Parc des Expositions.

The goal of this festival is to experience geek culture and share knowledge on topics that are at the heart of the Geek community. The BGF brings together different players from these industries, among them: video artists, gamers, illustrators, designers, scientists, authors, comedians, and more. For more details and tickets click here.

When: May 18-19 / Where: Hall 3 and 1 – Parc des Expositions, 33000 Bordeaux

Bordeaux Electronic Weekend

Bordeaux Electronic Weekend 2024 is a fun music festival taking place on May 16-19. The lineup includes more than 10 electronic artists that will take the stage at Quai des Sports, Saint Michel, and Hangar FL. See the details here

When: May 16-19 / Where: Different locations in Bordeaux

Bordeaux Tango Festival

The 8th edition of the Bordeaux Tango Festival will take place on May 17-20. This hot festival connects Bordeaux and the place where Tango was born, Buenos Aires. A variety of activities will be offered to celebrate the link between these two cities, such as dance, music, art, literature, and even food. See the program of the festival.

When: May 17-20 / Where: Different locations in Bordeaux

Le Mai talençais

A super fun and free event for kids is taking place now (May 17-23) at Park Peixotto in Talence. The program includes concerts, a creators’ market, activities for kids and more. For more details click here.

When: May 17-23 / Where: Parc Peixotto, Talence

Millesime Electronic Music Festival

Festival Millesime will take place on May 17-18 in La Réole (about an hour’s drive from Bordeaux). This is a great event for electronic music lovers who want to enjoy a good lineup without leaving the region.

La Reole is a charming village located on the banks of the Garonne River, which is where the festival will take place. See more info here

If you’re looking for something to do in the region, visit Castelmoron d’Albret, the smallest village in France, see more details in my article

When: May 17-18 / Where: Hippodrome de La Réole, lieu dit Mijéma, 33190 La Réole

Foire internationale de Bordeaux

The big fair of Bordeaux is about to take place on May 18-26 at the Parc des Expositions. The 101st edition of the fair will host many events and exhibitions related to gastronomy and art de vivre. See more details here.

When: May 18-26 / Where: Parc des Expositions, 33000 Bordeaux

Saint Macaire Sort Le Grand Jeu

A big game festival will take place on May 18-19 in the charming village of Saint Macaire. The program includes plenty of different activities, escape games, and workshops. For more info click here

When: May 18-18 / Where: the center of Saint Macaire

Let your kids discover the art of circus at the Jubil’à Jongle festival

The 15th edition of the festival will start with an inauguration evening on May 24, which will include magic and fire shows and different activities for kids. On the second day of the festival (May 25), you will discover the art of circus and street entertainment through shows of Juggling, magic, games, and introductory workshops. The festival will take place at the Parc de Fongravey in Blanquefort. For more info click here.

When: May 24-25 / Where: 4 Parc de Fongravey in Blanquefort

Festival Invasion de Lucanes

Festival Invasion de Lucanes is a music festival taking place every year in Libourne. This year the event will be taking place on May 24-25 and includes a lineup of French and international artists. See all the details here.

When: May 24-25 / Where: 36, Rue du 1er RAC, 33500 Libourne, France

Fête de la Nature

Terres d’Oiseaux, the beautiful nature reserve, located on the board of the Gironde estuary invites you to a weekend of nature celebration. The event will take place on May 25, see more details here.

When: May 25 / Where: La Terre Promise, 33820 Braud-et-Saint-Louis

Bad-Bordeaux

The Bordeaux art and design fair is taking place from May 29 to June 2 at Hangar 14 in the Chartrons district. For tickets and info click here.

When: May 29- June 2 / Where: 115 Quai des Chartrons, 33000 Bordeaux

Big events in other parts of the SW of France 

Les Floralies – Flowers weekend

On the weekend of May 11-12, you can also visit Saint-Jean-de-Cole, one of Dordogne’s most beautiful villages where a big flowers fair is about to take place. See more details here.

Fête de la Fraise

The annual celebration of strawberries is going to take place on May 12 in the village of Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne. This region of France is known for amazing strawberries so they are right to celebrate it 🙂  For more details click here.

See more events taking place in Dordogne in my article about the festivals of Dordogne.

Jazz en Comminges

This Jazz festival is taking place every year in Saint Gaudens, a little town in the Haute Garonne department (near Toulouse). The event is taking place on May 8-12, see all the info here.

Discover other festivals in the Toulouse region in my article.

Exhibitions and concerts not to miss this month in Bordeaux

La Cité du Vin

La Cité du Vin has renovated its permanent exhibition and added plenty of cool and immersive sections for you to learn about wine. You can buy tickets here

If you’re not sure if it’s worth the price, you can check out my article about the Cite du Vin to see what to expect during your visit there. Visiting wineries is always a good option in the Bordeaux wine region. Check out my new article about the best wine tours in Bordeaux.

See the stunning Vin Gogh exhibition at Les Bassins de Lumières

Les Bassins de Lumières will finally be hosting the stunning Vin Gogh exhibition that has been traveling the world for a few years. And even if you’ve already gone to this expo elsewhere in the world, I still recommend going to the Bassins de Lumières just to experience it in this special location. The visual arts space is situated in an old submarine base built during WWII. The reflection of the works of art of the most notorious artists in the world in the water of the basin just makes it a very immersive and special experience. You can see a video I took in their previous exhibitions just to get the vibe. 

The new exhibition will be presented from February 16, 2024, to January 5, 2025. You get your tickets here.

You can see a video I took in their previous exhibitions just to get the vibe.

Is it your first time in Bordeaux? If it is you should definitely check out my ultimate guide to Bordeaux to get familiar with all the must-see places in the city. To help you choose a hotel I’ve gathered a list of the best hotels in the center of Bordeaux as well as a guide to the districts of Bordeaux to help you find your preferred AirBnB location.

If you need more tips for things to do in the SW of France I invite you to join my Facebook group ” Travel in the South West of France“. Also, every Friday I send a newsletter with plenty of additional events you can enjoy during the weekend, so hurry up and subscribe to my email list now 🙂

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

The most beautiful event this weekend will surely be the flying balloons festival in Saint-Emilion. But with this amazing fall season outside, there’s no lack of great outdoor activities such as collecting mushrooms in the forest, the Bordeaux Fair and an Autumn festival in the Médoc. If you loved the open doors weekend in the Châteaux of Médoc, this weekend you can enjoy a similar event in the Graves wine area. Besides all of these, there are fun events like the swing festival, the ancient books salon and plenty of music and exhibitions. Here is the list of things to do in and around Bordeaux this weekend (October 19-21):

Montgolfiades de Saint-Emilion

Montgolfiades is an annual festival of balloon flights organized by Le Ciel est à Toi association. The flights will take place on October 19-21 above Saint-Emilion and the vineyards around it, so the sight is promised to be breathtaking. For more info click here.

When: October 19-21
Where: Bordeaux, Merignac, Talence, Pessac and more – check out the full program

Bordeaux Swing Festival

The international festival of Lindy hop (part of the Swing family) will take place on October 19-21 in the Bordeaux region and this year they have invited a special guest, one of biggest stars in the the New York swing scene – Gordon Webster. Two swing parties will take place at the beautiful le Rocher de Palmer in Cenon, with a battle between the Gordon Webster Hot Swing Sextet bands. The program of the festival also includes 7 hours of classes with 11 international teachers. For more details check out the website of the festival.

When: October 19-21
Where: Different locations in Bordeaux – check out the full program

Open doors in the Chateaux of Graves wines

Graves, one of the wine regions in the Bordeaux wine area (appellation d’origine contrôlée) invites you to an open door weekend, allowing you to discover its wines and châteaux. During the weekend (October 20-21) 69 châteaux will open their doors to visits, wine tastings, wine workshops and different activities for kids and adults. See the full program of the event and the list of the participating châteaux here.

When: October 20-21
Where: Graves area – chose your chateau from the program

Fest’O’Tone 2018

The 4th edition of the Fest’O’Tone festival will take place this Saturday (October 20) in the Salle Socio Culturelle in Listrac Médoc. The festive evening will include a line up of concerts (JEKO, GOLDEN PARACHUTE, ALAM, TRIBALIZER), a sculpture exhibition, a bar and a wine tasting space. For more info and tickets click here.

When: October 20,  19:00 to 1:30
Where: Chemin du stade, 33480 Listrac-Médoc

FAB – International art festival

FAB is the annual International art festival of Bordeaux Metropole taking place this year on October 5-24. As one of Europe’s biggest art festivals it attracts some known names from the international contemporary art scene. During the three weeks of the festival more than 30 shows will take place in more than 20 different locations in Bordeaux, from the TnBA theater to the Opera of Bordeaux and the Base Sous Marine. Click here to see the full program of the festival.

 

When: October 5-24
Where: Different locations in Bordeaux – check out the program,

Foire aux Plaisirs

This is the fall edition of the traditional Bordelaise Fair that is taking place at Place des Quinconces  from October 12 to November 4. It’s a perfect activity for kids and for those who are young in spirit as La Foire aux Plaisirs de Bordeaux has it all: a big wheel, a roller coasters, ghost trains, bumper cars, donuts, crèpes, barbes à papa and more. The fair is open daily from 14:00, you are not required to pay any entry fee, only for some of the attractions. See more info about the fair here.

When: October 12 – November 4
Where:Place des Quinconces , 33000 Bordeaux

Explore the city on the National Architecture days

The National Architecture days are a great opportunity so discover the city in a more profound way and learn about the buildings you see every day in Bordeaux. One association that offers guided tours in different areas in Bordeaux are Tout Art Faire. During this weekend (October 19-20) they will offer 3 different guided tours: around Pey Berland, a thematic tour about art deco in Bordeaux and one on Neoclassic Bordeaux. For more details about the tours click here.

When: October 19-21
Where: See locations in the program

Sunday Party – Bordeaux Swing

This event is basically the after party of the Swing festival taking place in Bordeaux this weekend. The I-BOAT invites you to a swing party that will end the events of the festival in Bordeaux on October 21. The program includes 2 DJ sets on both floors of the IBOAT, live music, vintage dressing and more. The tickets are included in the Bordeaux swing festival pass, or 10€ without the pass. The IBOAT is one of the coolest concert venues in Bordeaux so if you haven’t been there yet, it’s a good opportunity to check it out. For more details about the event click here.

When: October 21, at 19:00
Where: Quai Armand Lalande, 33300 Bordeaux,

O’VIVES

Les Chantiers de la Garonne together with Darwin, two of the best places in Bordeaux to go to on weekends, invite you for the third edition of  O’Vives. The event revolves around environmental sensitivity and will include music, talks, an exhibition, yoga, DIY workshops and more. For details  and the full program click here. The event is free.

summer in Bordeaux
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

When: October 20, from 14:00
Where: 21 quai des queyries, 33100 Bordeaux

Take your kids to collect mushrooms in Pessac

This is the time of the year where you start seeing the little colorful mushroom heads in the forest. This Saturday (October 20) you and your family could join the mycologists of C.E.M.A. (Cercle d’Études Mycologiques en Aquitaine) in the field and explore the world of mushrooms. This fun activity will take place in Forêt du Bourgailh in Pessac and will of course include the collection of mushrooms, thus a basket and a knife are a must. The activity is open to kids over 8 years old, the prices are 8€ for adults and 3€ for kids. Reserve your place and buy tickets here.

When: October 20, at 14:00
Where: 160 Avenue de Beutre, 33600 Pessac (at the Jardins du Bourgailh)

Autumn in the Garden

As part of the “fête des jardins partagés” celebrations initiated by Bordeaux Métropole, the cultural center Saint-Exupéry organized a fun event called “Automne aux jardins” that will take place this Saturday (October 20). This colorful event will include culinary activities, a gardeners stand, flower plantation and more. The event is free. For more info click here.

When: October 20, from 14:00 to 18:00
Where: Impasse Yvon Mansencal, 33140 Villenave d’Ornon

The Salon of Ancient and Modern Books

The biggest book event in the South west of France will take place this weekend (October 20-21) in Halle des Chartrons. This salon of ancient and modern books proposes something for every genre lover from travelling guides, to kids literature, science books, comics and much more. This is a heaven for book worms as alongside the famous ancient and modern literature you can find rare editions, old newspapers, illustrations and plenty of other surprises. The entrance is free, for more details click here.

When: October 20-21, from 10:00 to 19:00
WherePlace du marché des Chartrons, 33000 Bordeaux

Jazz night in Cenac

Soirée Jazz360 is a music event that will take place this Saturday (October 20) in Cenac with a Jazz Quartet taking the stage of the Salle culturelle de Cénac. For more details click here.

When: October 20, at 19:00
Where: Salle culturelle de Cénac

Malmoré

d’Angélique de Chabot is a young artist who creates beautiful little monsters from a variety of materials and creatures, like crustaceans and feathered beasts. In the last few months she has been obsessively collecting branches fallen from trees, oyster shells and rare bird feathers to create this exhibition. The exhibition is presented in the beautiful Château Malromé in the entre-deux-mers area, which quite often hosts great art exhibitions. The exhibition will be presented until December 16. See more info on the facebook page of the event or the website of the chateau.

When: October 6 – December 16
Where: Château Malromé, 33490 Saint-André-du-Bois

Photography Celebration

This is the 6th edition of Fête de la photo  with more than 70 different photography exhibitions that will be presented  this Saturday (October 20) at Galerie François Mitterrand and salle Raymond Bonnot in Saint-Seurin-sur-l’Isle.  Besides the photos themselves, the event will include workshops and a photos sale. The event is free, for more details click here.

When: October 20, from 9:00
Where: Salle Bonnot et François Mitterrand. 33660 SAINT-SEURIN-SUR-L’ISLE

PROXIMA exhibition

The Proxima exhibitions is one of the main events of the space month in Bordeaux and will be presented at the Médiathèque de Mérignac from October 5th to October 26. Throughout the exhibition you will discover how astronauts prepare for their missions in space, the effects of weightlessness on their body and how their daily life looks like while they’re on mission. For more details check out the facebook page of the exhibition. Click here to see what other events are part of the space month in Bordeaux.

When: October 5-26
Where: 19 Place Charles de Gaulle, 33700 Mérignac

La générosité de Dorcas – dance show

The TNBA theater will host 2 dance shows by the French creator, Jan Fabre and his dancer Matteo Sedda. The show la Générosité de Dorcas will take place on October 19-20. For more details and tickets click here.

La générosité de Dorcas – Jan Fabre from TnBA on Vimeo.

When: October 19 at 21:00 and October 20 at 18:00
Where: Tnba, Place Renaudel, 33800 BORDEAUX

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

If you have kids and you have no idea what to do with them during the school break – check out my list of ideas for the fall break of 2018.

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Have a great weekend!