September is hands down the best month to visit Bordeaux! It’s still hot enough to go to the beach, many summer bars are still open and don’t even get me started with how beautiful the vineyards are this time of the year. So you don’t really need events to enjoy the SW of France in September, but I’m going to tell you about them anyway! And that’s because I believe it’s the best way to discover the hidden gems of Gironde.
So this September we have everything from the Medoc Marathon to the European heritage days and a dance festival on the beach. If you’re reading this in August, don’t forget to check out my article about the best things to do in August as well.
There are only the biggest events taking place in September in the region. There are of course many other smaller festivals, markets, and concerts happening here all the time. These usually appear in my weekend newsletter so don’t forget to subscribe to my email list if you’re not on it yet.
Here are some of the best things you can do in Bordeaux in September 2023!
The best events in Bordeaux (and Gironde) in September 2023
The Rugby World Cup is coming to Bordeaux!
This year Bordeaux is one of the cities hosting the Rugby World Cup which means that the city is going to be extra lively in September and October 2023. Bordeaux is about to host five matches at the Matmut Atlantique stadium on September 9 – 30. You can buy tickets here.
Bordeaux is going to welcome the worldwide fans at the Rugby Village that will be set up at the Parc des Sports de Saint Michel. There you’ll be able to socialize with other fans, enjoy interactive activities, and watch the match together on a 52m² screen.
See more details about the Rugby village here.
The Medoc Marathon
Running 42km is only a small part of the Medoc Marathon experience. It’s mostly about enjoying the amazing scenery accompanies by great wine and food. This year the celebrated Marathon will take place on September 2nd.
You don’t have to run to enjoy this event, many activities will take place on the weekend of the marathon (September 1-3). follow the program here.
See all the other things you can do in Medoc in my article about a weekend in Medoc.
When: September 10 / Where: the Marathon will start in Pauillac
In September, Bordeaux will be hosting one of the biggest electronic music festivals in France. The initial Festival will take place on September 1-2 at the Parc des Expositions. The long program includes 3 stages and 22 artists that will make you dance non-stop for two days. See more details here.
When: September 1-2 / Where: Parc des Expositions in Bordeaux
Ouvre La Voix Festival
Ouvre La Voix Festival gives you the opportunity to discover the beautiful Entre-Deux-Mers region in Gironde in a special way. The three-day program of the festival (September 1-3) combines concerts, wine, and gastronomy with biking routes taking you to places like Créon, Frontenac, Sauveterre de Guyenne, and more. See more details here.
When: September 1-3 / Where: Different places in the Entre-Deux-Mers region (check out the program).
Festival des Gueilles de Bonde in Macau
Festival des Gueilles de Bonde is an art and music festival taking place in Macau in the Médoc region. This year the free festival will take place on September 1-2. The program includes music concerts, street theater, and a gastronomic market. Check out the program of the festival here.
When: September 1-2/ Where: place de la Mairie, MACAU, 33460
Les Noctambules de Septembre
Every Friday during the month of September you have a chance to discover one of the most beautiful castles in Gironde. However, these are not just regular visits, but rather special night tours accompanied by a short wine tasting. See all the events here.
Discover the Chartrons neighborhood
There’s no specific event taking place here in September, but I don’t want you to miss one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Bordeaux on your visit. Elegant buildings with flower-covered balconies, chic coffee places, some of the best pastry places in Bordeaux, and many antique shops are only some of the things you can find in Chartrons. See all the best things to do in Chartrons in my article.
Bordeaux Open Air
Bordeaux Open Air is a series of free summer electronic music events, all set in different locations and with a great city vibe to them. For more details and the full summer program click here.
When: Sept 3, 10, 24 / Where: Follow the website for the exact location
Festival Teste à Têtes
The Teste à Têtes festival, organized by the circus school Komonò Circus, will take place on September 9-10 in La Teste de Buch. The program includes plenty of activities dedicated to street art and music concerts and circus workshops for kids. For more details click here.
When: September 8-10 / Where: Different locations in La Teste de Buch, see the program.
See my other recommendations about places to visit in Arcachon in my article about a day trip to Arcachon.
The Big Scooter Race
The Nire Laguna Thomas Association organized a wonderful event to help raise funds for research on pediatric cancer. A kid’s scooter race will take place on September 9 on the Quai of Bordeaux, starting from Placette de Munich. The race is open to kids aged 5 -10 years old, register here.
When: September 9 / Where: Placette de Munich , 33000 Bordeaux
The medieval festival of Bouliac
Every year, Bouliac, one of Bordeaux’s suburbs, organizes a fun medieval celebration full of art, games, and amazing costumes. This year the festival will take place on September 9-10. Check out all the details here.
When: September 9-10 / Where: Rue de l’Esplanade, 33270 Bouliac, France
The Vino Voce festival
The vino festival in Saint Emilion is a celebration of voices in all forms, from singing voices to voices on the radio, voices of actors, and more. The festival (September 8-10) includes a rich program of music concerts, movie screenings, singing master classes, and other platforms where voice plays an important role. For more info about the festival click here.
When: September 9-10 / Where: Different locations in Saint Emilion
Darwin will host its annual Climax Festival on September 15-17. The festival focuses on environmental issues and climate change and its program includes conferences debates and many cultural events and concerts. This is one of the biggest festivals in the center of Bordeaux located in one of the hippest places in the city. Take a look at the site of the festival for the full program.
When: September 15-17 / Where: 87 Quai des Queyries, 33100 Bordeaux
Journées Européennes du Patrimoine
The European Heritage Days are a great opportunity to discover some of Bordeaux’s most beautiful and interesting buildings. During the weekend of September 16- 17, many public and private places will open their doors and allow you to peek into parts of this city’s history otherwise hidden from our daily view.
Some of the most interesting places to visit during the weekend are the Opera of Bordeaux, the Grosse Cloche, and many more. You can see the full list of the places that will be open for visits here.
You can also see the program all over France here.
When: September 16-17 / Where: Many places across the city, check out the program above.
The ceremony of the harvest in Saint Emilion – Ban des Vendanges
The ceremony that kicks off the annual harvest in Saint Emilion is called Ban des Vendanges, meaning ‘the harvest ban’. The ceremony is held in front of the beautiful front collegiate church of Saint Emilion by the Jurade, winegrowers dressed in red caps and robes.
This year the events of the “Ban des Vendanges” will take place on September 17, as part of the European heritage days. For more info about this special day check out my article about the harvest season in Saint Emilion.
There are a few wineries that host harvest events where you can come and take part in the harvest process. For now, the only winery that has published an event like that is Château St-Ferdinand, you can see all the details here.
As usual, when I’ll have more details I will update this list.
Summer Rock in Bouliac
The annual “Bouliac on the Rock” event will take place this year on September 16. The program of the event includes an American car exhibition, a rock concert, a raffle, vinyl discs, and food stands. The festival is free, see more info here.
When: September 16 / Where: Parking du stade, Bouliac
Festival Cadences d’Arcachon
Festival Cadence is a dance festival taking place every year in Arcachon. The program of the festival is known for its diversity including classic, contemporary, hip-hop, flamenco, and more. The festival will take place on September 18-24, for the full program click here, and see more info here.
When: September 18-24 / Where: Arcachon
Week-end anniversaire – le Capc a 50 ans
The contemporary museum of Bordeaux, le CAPC is celebrating its 50th birthday this year! For this special event, the museum is hosting a festive weekend with free dance performances, meetings with artists, and a kids’ party. The events will take place on September 23-24, see details here.
When: September 23-24 / Where: Arcachon
Discover Bordeaux by bike through places where bicycles are usually not allowed: museums, sports centers, cultural and historic places, and more. More than ten places have opened their doors for this unusual experience. The tour will take place on September 24 and will start at the Maison Écocitoyenne Bordeaux. For more info about the event click here.
When: September 24 / Where: Quai Richelieu, 33000 Bordeaux
A similar event will take place in Saint Emilion on September 9, see all the details here.
See other things you can do in Saint Emilion in my article about a day trip to Saint Emilion.
Visit the Vineyards of Sauternes and Barsac
Bordeaux is mainly famous for its red wines but a small part of this huge wine region is actually dedicated to white sweet wine. The Sauternes and Barsac AOC produce some of the most prestigious sweet wines in the world. But what makes the visit there even more interesting are the beautiful chateaux in which these wines are produced. See my latest article about wineries to visit in Sauternes and Barsac.
Les Campulsations is a student festival, celebrating the beginning of the new academic year in different locations in the Aquitaine region. The program is varied and includes such events as a brocante party, music concerts, theater shows, exhibitions, and more. Check out the full program and find an event near you. The festival will take place from September 28-29.
When: September 28-29 / Where: Different locations, consult the program.
Go for a drink in one of Bordeaux’s summer bars
Many of the outdoor bars of Bordeaux are still open this month and many of them have fun musical programs over the weekend. Don’t miss the last month of a proper Bordolais summer! Check out the list of the best summer bars in Bordeaux.
Dance at la guingette chez Alriq
La Guinguette chez Alriq is a tavern in the Bastide neighborhood, on the rive droite of the Garonne. During the summer the place is full of locals who escape the more touristy rive gauche and come to enjoy live concerts on the river bank. The Guinguette is open from Thursday to Sunday. For the concert program for September click here.
When: every weekend during September / Where: ZA Quai des Queyries, Port Bastide, 33100 Bordeaux
Big events in other parts of the SW of France – September 2023
Piano aux Jacobins (Piano concerts)
Piano aux Jacobins is a Piano festival taking place every September at the Couvent de Jacobins in the center of Toulouse. Le Couvent de Jacobins is one of the landmarks of Toulouse and a must-stop on your visit there. This year (2023) the festival is taking place on September 6-29, see the program here.
See other places not to miss on your visit to Toulouse.
When: September 6-29 / Where: Le Couvent de Jacobins, Toulouse
Montgolfiades de Rocamadour
The hot-air balloon festival of Racamadour is taking place this year on September 23-24. It is one of the most beautiful festivals in the region, attracting tens of thousands of people every year. See all the full programs here.
When: September 23-24 / Where: Rocamadour
Sarlat celebrates gourmet taste
This is an amazing culinary event taking place every year in the medieval town of Sarlat. Every fourth weekend of September Sarlat is holding an event that celebrates the gastronomy of the region with a big market, an open-air meal, and a walk to see the seasonal migration ramble. The event is taking place on September 23-24. See more details here.
When: September 23-24 / Where: Sarlat
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: