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I’m so excited to write this article because it’s the first time in two years that I finally get to include some of my favorite summer events in Bordeaux. Events like Bordeaux Open Air, Dansons sur les Quais and La Bataille de Castillon are back and you don’t want to miss them! As usual, most of this list includes specific events, so if you want to see fun places to visit during the summer, check out the article about the best things to do during summer in Bordeaux. Also, I update about many more events taking place every weekend in Bordeaux in my newsletter, so don’t forget to subscribe to my email list if you’re not on it yet. 

If it’s your first time in Bordeaux and you want to get more tips about traveling in Bordeaux and the Southwest of France feel free to join my Travel in the southwest of France group on Facebook or follow me on my Facebook/ Instagram accounts. This time the list is long so I divided the list to things to do in Bordeaux and things to do in Gironde and other parts of SW. Let’s start!

What to do in July 2022 in Bordeaux Metropole? 

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. The first event this summer will take place on July 3rd at Parc aux Angéliques. For more details and the full summer program click here.

Bordeaux open air festival in Jardin Public
Bordeaux open-air festival by Lost in Bordeaux
When:  July 3, 17, 24  and August 7,  21, 28 Sept 11, 18 / Where: Follow the website for the exact location

Initial Festival

For the first time Bordeaux is going to host one of the biggest electronic music festivals in France. Initial Festival will take place on July 9-10 at the Parc des Expositions. The long program includes 3 stages and 28 artists that will make you dance non-stop for two days. See more details here and for tickets click here

When:  July 9-10 / Where: Parc des Expositions, Bordeaux

Dance on the Quai

Dansons sur les Quais is a series of dancing classes and events where people gather to dance together and learn a variety of dancing genres like Tango, Salsa, Bollywood, Forro, Hip Hop, Street Jazz, Zumba, and more. These activities will be guided by professional dancers from different dance schools in Bordeaux and they are completely free, so this is a great opportunity you don’t want to miss. The dancing events will take place on the quai almost daily on July 14-31. Many of the lessons and events this year require prior reservation, for more details and the full program see here.

When:  July 14 – 31 / Where: Quai Louis XVIII, 33000 Bordeaux

Zinefest

Zinefest is a festival dedicated to comics, illustrations, photography, and poetry. The festival includes several expositions and concerts by both French and international artists and will take place in several venues in the south of Bordeaux. Check out the full program of events here.

When: June 25 – July 9/ Where: Different locations next to Marché des Douves in Bordeaux Sud (check out the program).

Jalles House Rock

Le Jalles House Rock is one of the biggest rock festivals in Gironde that annually proposes a rich program of local and international acts. The goal of the festival is to share the love for rock music with as many people as possible and that’s why the entrance is free (they do however encourage you to donate to the Estran association that organizes the event). This year the festival in Saint-Médard-en-Jalles takes place on July 7-9. For more details check out the website of the festival.

When: July 7-9 / Where: 1, chemin de Cantelaude, 33160 Saint-Médard-en-Jalles

Summer sales

Summer sales are a great opportunity to enjoy good deals on clothes, shoes, electronics, toys, and more. This summer Les Soldes d’été will take place from June 22 to July 19.

Celebrate the French National Day – update

July 14th is the French national day which is celebrated in every city in France. Like every year, Bordeaux will hold a series of popular events and parties. Apart from the traditional national day events, plenty of other parties will take place on July 13-14 in many parts of Gironde to celebrate this day. Follow my social media for updates about specific events. 

Les Nouvelles Saisons – music festival

Les Nouvelles Saisons is a classic music festival taking place in Bordeaux on July 14-21 at Cour Mably, la Cathédrale de Bordeaux and the main library of Bordeaux. The festival was created by the violoncellist Jeremy Genet and the composer Christian Lauba offering a great variety of musical styles (baroque, romantic, modern, and more). For more details and tickets click here.

When: July 14-21 / Where: Different location in Bordeaux

Talence Estival

Talence Estival is a series of fun events, taking place every Friday from June 24 to August 26 at the Peixotto park in Talence. It’s a chill event with a concert and some food trucks and many families coming to start their weekend in a fun way 🙂  For more info click here.

Talence - Parc Peixotto
Talence – Parc Peixotto – by Lost in Bordeaux

When: Every Friday from June 24 – August 26 / Where: Peixotto park, Talence

Bordeaux Metropolitan Summer

Like every year Bordeaux Metropolitan invites you to discover the city and the area around it through a series of cultural events and activities. More than 100 activities of music, dance, public reading, theater, circus and gastronomy  will take place between July 16 and August 28. These events are so widely spread across the metropolitan area of Bordeaux that you are guaranteed to discover places (especially parks) that you have never heard of before. Check out the full program of events here.

When:  Daily from July 16 to August 28/ Where: Bordeaux Metropolitan – check out the exact location of every event in the program.

Braderie d’été

Every summer the main streets of Bordeaux are getting filled with stands of clothes, shoes, toys, house supplies and more – this is the Bordeaux summer Braderie. If you’re in town for winter sales take the opportunity to check out the stands of more than 250 merchants on rue Porte Dijeaux, rue Sainte Catherine and rue des Trois Conils. The Braderie will take place on July 21-23. For more details click here.

When: July 21-23 / Where: Center of Bordeaux: rue Porte Dijeaux, rue Sainte Catherine and rue des Trois Conils

Go for a drink in one of Bordeaux’s summer bars

Plenty of rooftops, terrace cafes, and open bars are surging all over the city starting the end of May/beginning of June. Some are more posh and chic, others simple and chill but they are all super fun to hang out in during the summer in Bordeaux. Check out the list of the best summer bars in Bordeaux.

Les Planches Éphémères summer bar in Bordeaux

Puppet Theater for Kids

Le Guignol Guérin, founded in 1853, is the oldest puppetry show in France with daily spectacles for kids in Parc Bordelais during the summer (July and August). The show usually starts at 16:00 but can be canceled or postponed when it’s raining or getting too hot. Read more about the theater here.

When: Daily during July – August at 16:00 / Where: Parc Bordelais

What do in July in Gironde and other parts of SW France? 

Festival Garorock

One of the biggest music festivals in our region is about to take place on June 30 – July 3 in Marmande (about an hour drive from Bordeaux). Garorock is an international festival with 5 big stages that will host more than 50 French and international artists. For more info and tickets click here.

When:  June 30 – July 3 / Where: Plaine de la Filhole, 47200 Marmande

If you want to discover other festivals taking place in the region, check out my post about the best music festivals around Bordeaux.

Festival Rues et Vous

Rue et Vous is a performance arts festival that takes place every year in the charming villages of Rions, Virelade, and Cerons. This year the festival will take place on July 7-10 and will include a rich program of theater, dance, cirque, and music shows for both adults and kids. For tickets and the full program check out the website of the festival.

When: July 7-10 / Where: Rions, Virelade, and Cerons

Baroque Festival 

Festes Baroques is a Baroque music festival taking place at different wine chateaux in South Gironde. So if you want to enjoy wine, beautiful music and some of the most interesting patrimony in this region, this event is for you. The event will take place from June 28 to July 12. See more details here

When: June 28- July 12 / Where: Different chateaux in South Gironde

Summer of Music in Medoc

Les Estivales de Musique en Medoc is the only music festival in France dedicated exclusively to young laureates of international competitions.  The festival was created in 2003 to discover new talents in classical music. The concerts are hosted in some of the most prestigious châteaux in the Medoc area and are followed by wine tastings. The concerts will take place from June 29 to July 15. See the full program here.

When:  June 30 – July 15 / Where: Different locations, see program above

If you want to combine it with a trip to the Medoc region here’s my article about a weekend in Medoc

Music O Teich

Music O Teich is a fun event taking place every year at the port of Le Teich in Bassin d’Arcachon. This year it will take place on July 14-17 and will include a big creators market and free concerts every night. For more info click here

When: July 14-17 Where: 33470 Le Teich, Aquitaine, France

For more places to visit around the Bay of Arcachon, check out my article about a day trip to Arcachon

Festival Les Plages Pop 

A magical pop festival will take place at Le Canon village in the Cap Ferret peninsula. A free music festival, taking place in one of the most charming villages in Arcachon. See all the details here

When: July 19 – 20/  Where: Place Ubeda – Village du Canon, Lège Cap-Ferret
Le Canon - Cap Ferret

Les Escapades Musicales

Les Escapades Musicales is a big classical music festival taking place in different natural and historic sites around the Bassin d’Arcachon. During five weeks (from June 23 – to July 23) plenty of international musicians will take part in this festival, aiming to concert the unique sites of Arcachon with the elegancy of classical music. See the program here

When: June 23 – July 23 / Where: Different locations around Arcachon 

Andernos Jazz Festival 

One of the best Jazz festivals in the Gironde region will take place on July 29-31 in Andernos les Bains. 18 concerts will take place in four different scenes in this beautiful town on Arcachon Bay.  For more details about Andernos Jazz Festival click here and the full program here

When: July 29-31/ Where: the center of Andernos les Bains

Durassic Festival

An electronic festival will take place in one of the most beautiful castles in our region, Chateau de Duras. The event will take place on July 15-17. For more details and tickets click here

When:  July 15-17 / Where: Chateau de Duras

A beautiful 4D show on Chateau de Duras

Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday during the summer (July 3rd to August 30) the beautiful chateau of Duras is hosting an amazing 4D spectacle where they screen the history of the chateau and a fun story for kids at the end. The show is really well done and the location itself makes the drive from Bordeaux well worth it. The show starts at 22:30 but If you’ve never visited the chateau before, make sure to come earlier in the day so you’ll have the chance to visit the rooms and see the stunning view from the top. See more details here

When:  July and August / Where: Chateau de Duras

La Bataille de Castillon

La Bataille de Castillon is a spectacle taking place during the course of several weeks in the summer, replicating the famous fight from 1453. Castillon-la-Bataille, the town where the show takes place also hosts many activities and events revolving around the big show: tours of the city, exhibitions, and workshops of medieval art, and more. For more info and tickets click here.

When: July 21 – August 20 / Where: Association 1453, Mairie de Castillon, 33350 CASTILLON-LA-BATAILLE

Jazz in Marciac

Marciac is a nice little village in the Gers department (about 2 hours drive from Bordeaux) that hosts one of the biggest Jazz festivals in the region. The festival takes place for three weeks (from July 22 to August 6) and has a very impressive lineup of international Jazz artists. The tickets are sold separately to each and every concert. Check out the full program here

When: July 22 to August 6 / Where: Marciac

Jazz in Sanguinet

Another cool festival this weekend (July 20-24) will take place in Sanguinet, just next to the Biscarrosse lake. This is a fun event with plenty of concerts and exhibitions. For more info click here

When: July 20-24 / Where: Espace Gemme, Avenue du Born, 40460 SANGUINET

Nuits Atypiques Festival

This multidisciplinary festival in south Gironde has been taking place every summer since 1992.  From June 3 to July 23, more than 20 events will take place in different towns of south Gironde. The program includes a variety of activities such as concerts, theater, films, and more. Check out the full program here.

When:  July 3- July 23 / Where: South Gironde- check out the exact location of every event in the program

Exhibitions not to miss this month in Bordeaux

Picasso, l’effervescence des formes

From April 15 to August 28, Le Cité du Vin will be presenting a temporary exhibition, called Picasso, l’effervescence des formes. The exhibition will look into the role wine and alcohol, in general, played in Picasso’s works. For more info click here

Read about my visit to the Cité du Vin to learn more about one of Bordeaux’s modern symbols. 

When: April 15 – August 28 / Where: 134 Quai de Bacalan, 33300 Bordeaux

Venise, la Sérénissime – Les Bassins de Lumières

Les Bassins de Lumières is hosting yet another exhibition and it’s very exciting! This time the exhibition is dedicated to the city of Venice and its cultural and architectural treasures. If you’ve been to the previous two exhibitions at the Bassins de Lumières you know that it’s an amazing experience and if you haven’t check out my video from the last exhibition. “Venise, la Sérénissime” will be presented from February 11 to January 2nd, get your tickets here

When: February 11 – January 2nd / Where:  Imp. Brown de Colstoun, 33300 Bordeaux

Rosa Bonheur Exhibition

This summer the Bordeaux fine arts museum is hosting a beautiful exhibition to Rosa Bonheur. The exhibition is taking  place at Galerie du musée et aile nord du musée des Beaux-Arts from May 18 to September 18. See more details here

When: from May 18 to September 18 / Where:  20 Cr d’Albret, 33000 Bordeaux

If you’re visiting Bordeaux for the first time, be sure to check up my ultimate guide to Bordeaux, that will get you familiar with all the “must” places to visits in Bordeaux. To help you to choose a hotel in Bordeaux 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 choose your preferred location.

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

Bordeaux is a lively city throughout the year, with plenty of restaurants, pubs, and wine bars where you can get a drink every day of the week. However, summer is when Bordeaux really shines with plenty of rooftops, terrace cafes, and open bars are opening all over the city. Some of the open bars in Bordeaux are posh and chic, others more simple and chill however, many of them are open only during the summer season so you have a limited amount of time to enjoy them. In this list, I included some of my favorite rooftops and terraces all over the Bordeaux metropole. You need to know that every district in Bordeaux has a different vibe to it so you need to visit a few to really enjoy the Bordeaux spirit 🙂  

If you’re about to spend the summer in Bordeaux be sure to also check my article about the best things to do in Bordeaux in the summer.  If you’re interested in wine tastings in Bordeaux check out my article about the best places in Bordeaux that offer wine tasting sessions. For specific events and other ideas for things to do every weekend, I invite you to subscribe to my email list here

If it’s your first time on Lost in Bordeaux and you want to get more tips about traveling in Bordeaux and the Southwest of France feel free to join my Travel in the southwest of France group on Facebook or follow me on my Facebook/ Instagram accounts.

Here’s a list of the best places summer bars in Bordeaux for a perfect cocktail evening or an afternoon apero!

La guinguette chez Alriq – the best tavern in town

La Guinguette chez Alriq is one of my favorite places in Bordeaux and its opening event usually means that summer has officially started! The Guinguette is a big tavern located on the right banks of the Garonne in the Bastide neighborhood, hosting plenty of open-air concerts every summer. The performing bands and artists are coming from all over the world and create a laid-back party atmosphere. There’s usually a small price to pay for the concerts taking place on Wed-Sat and on 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. 

what to do in the summer in Bordeaux
by Lost in Bordeaux

Where: ZA Quai des Queyries, Port Bastide, 33100 Bordeaux / When: Thu-Sat from 19:00 to 1:00 and Sunday from 12:00 to 22:00

Les Chantiers de la Garonne

Just next door to La guinguette chez Alriq you can find one of Bordeaux’s best-hidden gems. Les Chantiers de la Garonne is an old hangar turned into a sailing club and a restaurant with one of the best outdoor spaces in Bordeaux. The restaurant is located on the board of the Garonne river and the outdoor space feels like a real beach with plenty of low tables standing on fine white sand and fresh seafood with cold bottles of white wine on them. You can find more info about the restaurant and other activities proposed by the Chantiers de la Garonne here.

les chantiers de la garonne
by Lost in Bordeaux

Where: 21 Quai de Queyries, 33100 Bordeaux /  When:  The bar is open daily, see the hours here

Mama Shelter 

Mama Shelter is probably the most popular summer rooftop bar in Bordeaux. It has a funky design and many original cocktails but I believe its location should also get a lot of credit for its popularity. It’s one of the only rooftops in the center of Bordeaux, located just next to the Cathedral Saint André, and has one of the best views of the city. If you come in the evening hours, booking in advance is recommended. 

Where: 19 Rue Poquelin Molière, 33000 Bordeaux / When: Open daily for lunch, dinner and drinks, see specific hours here

Plage de L’IBOAT

The Iboat is a three-level ferry spanning 687m2, anchored to one of the docks of Bassins a flot and mostly known as a concert venue. During the summer they also open their “beach”, a fun outdoor space on the board of the Bassin a flot with a bar, comfy sofas, and different outdoor events. La Plage de L’IBOAT is definitely one of the best summer bars in Bordeaux for an afternoon drink! You can see the list of concerts and events here

Iboat Bassin a Flot Bordeaux
by Lost in Bordeaux

For more cool places to visit in the Bassin a flot area check out my article about the Bacalan district

Where: Bassin à Flot n°1, Cours Henri Brunet, 33300 Bordeaux / When: Every day, check out the list of events on their website

Terrasse 14 – a pop-up bar

This hip rooftop is located on the roof of Hangar 14 on the riverfront and thus the name Terrasse 14. Besides an amazing view of the Garonne river, this place has all the hipster 101 kit 🙂 A cool bar, a petanque court, great local beers, wines, and tapas, and a lot of chic bordelaise people. This rooftop is usually open only for the summer so hurry up if you want to try it. See more details here.

Where: Hangar 14, Quai des Chartrons, Bordeaux / When: Wed-Sun from 17:00 to midnight

Le Bar de la Marine

Le Bar de la Marine is a real hidden gem and like many places in this list, it’s also located in the Bacalan district. A few minutes walk from the Cite du Vin, you’ll pass by a little restaurant that doesn’t seem very impressive from the outside, but once you enter the door you’ll discover a magical universe. Since 2019, the Bar de la Marine belongs to chef Frederic Coiffe who not only makes great food but also understands the importance of attracting people who are looking for great vibes. The restaurant has a secret garden in the back where you can enjoy lunch, meet friends for an afternoon drink or have a delicious family brunch on Sunday. See more details on their Facebook page

La Bar de la Marine in Bordeaux
by Lost in Bordeaux

Where: 28 Rue Achard, 33300 Bordeaux / When: open daily – see hours on their Facebook page

Le Solztice

Another comeback from last year is the popular tavern (they call themselves a beer garden 🙂 ) called Le Solztice. The outdoor bar is located close to Bordeaux’s main train station,  in the Belcier district which has been gaining a lot of hype in the last few years. Solztice is an associative bar that offers plenty of cool features like food trucks, live concerts, pétanque and more. See more details click here

Address: 147 Rue des Terres de Borde, 33800 Bordeaux

Effet Mer

If you didn’t have enough reasons to go to Bassin a flot, here’s another one. Effet Mer is a fun summer bar, located just next to the Base Sous-Marine. This cool place is open seven days a week and offers daily life concerts and dj sets. For more details click here

Address: 280 Boulevard Alfred Daney, 33300 Bordeaux

Les Planches Éphémères

Les Planches Éphémères opened its doors last year and quickly became one of the local’s favorites. A huge outdoor bar, located at the hippodrome of Bordeaux in La Bouscat, the place offers two bars, a dj set, and a huge chill-out area under the trees.  The place is open every day until September 30. Check out their site for more info. 

Address: 8 Avenue de l’Hippodrome, 33110 Le Bouscat

Gina 

One of the most exciting places to open up last summer in Bordeaux is Gina, a rooftop bar, an Italian restaurant, and a coffee shop located in the new Renaissance hotel in the Bassin a flot district. The place is open seven days a week and on weekends offers a brunch as well. The restaurant requires a prior reservation, you can see more details and book here

Address: Place des Millésimes, 33300 Bordeaux

Domaine de Raba

The beautiful chateau of Demaine de Raba is well hidden in a residential neighborhood in Talence. This place is a bit hard to describe as it has everything from a spa to a fancy restaurant, a bar, and different events like cinema nights and morning yoga. The menu of the bar changes every week and it has many special evenings with Dj sets and concerts. Booking in advance is recommended, you can do it online here

by Lost in Bordeaux

Where: 35 Rue Rémi Belleau, 33400 Talence

Les Halles de Talence

The Talence market is the little brother of the Bacalan market, built by Biltoki in December 2018. Inside the market, you can find a very good cheese stand, tapas, Moroccan food, sushi, oysters, and more. The prices are a bit high except for the bar, which has a great variety of wines at a good price. The best part, however, is the outdoor area! Plenty of tables are spread in the afternoon between the market and the other restaurants in the Forum and you can enjoy a really fun apero or dinner with a very local vibe. 

Halles de Talence - chic market near Bordeaux
by Lost in Bordeaux

If you want to discover other markets in Bordeaux check out my articles about the best markets in and around Bordeaux

Where: Place Alcala de Henares, 33400 Talence /  When:  Daily except for Mondays, the market closes for a break between 14:30 to 16:30 on weekdays 

Canopee Café in Merignac

If you want to avoid going to the city center the Canopée Café is a great option! The Canopée Café in Merignac has both an indoor restaurant (open for lunch and dinner) and a very chic rooftop with a huge selection of cocktails and a petanque court, called the Bodega. 

This rooftop is located in the industrial zone in Merignac and thus lacks the beautiful view in Bordeaux’s rooftop bars but the place itself is super chic and there’s plenty of parking 🙂 If you’re a group of 15pl, you must book a table- all the details are here

Canopée Café Mérignac - chic rooftop near Bordeaux
by Lost in Bordeaux

Where: Face Mérignac Soleil, 1 Chemin de Pouchon, 33700 Mérignac / When:  The rooftop (La Bodega) is open Mon to Sat from 17:30.

Eklo’s Guinguette 

Eklo in the bastide neighborhood is an eco-friendly hotel and also a fun bar/restaurant with a huge terrace. The atmosphere there is very chill and less posh than some of the other places on this list, and it’s definitely a positive thing. The menu mostly includes charcuterie, cheese, and some snacks so don’t expect a proper dinner. There’s usually a D.j set in the evening, see the program here. The guinguette is open Wed to Sat. See all the details here.

Where: 10 Rue de la Gare d’Orléans, 33100 Bordeaux / When: Wed to Sat from 16:00 to 23:00

Moxy

A similar vibe of a light, fun, and unpretentious terrace bar you can find at Moxi, yet another hotel located next to the Bacalan market. The bar has a chic interior space (which is even kids-friendly) and a fun outdoor space. Like many other summer bars, they have quite a lot of live shows and dj sets. See the program here

Where: 25 quai du Maroc, Bordeaux  33000 France 

Le Café Utopia

This isn’t specifically a Bordeaux summer bar but it’s one of my favorite Terraces in Bordeaux all year long (when it’s not raining of course). For those who’re not familiar with the place, Utopia is an independent cinema theater, installed in an ancient church, l’église du Vieux Bordeaux. At the entrance to this beautiful building, you’ll find le Cafe Utopia, a nice bistro, and a good to take your laptop for a few hours of work. However, the best part is the terrace which has plenty of tables on one of the liveliest squares in Bordeaux, Place Camille Jullian. If you’re looking for a nice, simple place for a drink in the center of the city, this one is recommended. 

Cafe Utopia - one of the best terraces in Bordeaux
Cafe Utopia – one of the best terraces in Bordeaux

Where: 5 Place Camille Jullian, 33000 Bordeaux /  When:  Daily from 10:00 to 22:30

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 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

I really love the summer in Bordeaux! And although I have a full guide to the best things to do in Bordeaux as well as a guide for a weekend in Bordeaux, I decided that I must dedicate an article to all the best things to do in Bordeaux in the summer. This list mostly includes my favorite summer places as well as activities that you can do all summer long in Bordeaux and more generally in Gironde. If you want to discover all the best events taking place in the region, you must read my monthly lists and subscribe to my newsletter where I update you about all the best things happening in the city every weekend. 

If it’s your first time on Lost in Bordeaux and you want to get more tips about traveling in Bordeaux and the Southwest of France feel free to join my Travel in the southwest of France group on Facebook or follow me on my Facebook/ Instagram accounts.

So now let’s dive into all the best things to do in Bordeaux in the summer!

Things to do this summer in Bordeaux Metropole

Dance at La Guinguette chez Alriq

The Guinguette is a tavern on the right banks of the Garonne hosting plenty of open-air concerts every summer. The performing bands and artists are coming from all over the world and create a laid-back party atmosphere. The place is open from Wednesday to Sunday with concerts taking place daily. You can see their program here

Dance on the Quai – learn to dance

Dansons sur les Quais is a series of dancing classes and events where people gather to dance together and learn a variety of dance genres like Tango, Salsa, Bollywood, Forro, Hip Hop, Street Jazz, Zumba, Country, and more. These activities will be guided by professional dancers from different dance schools in Bordeaux and they are completely free, so this is a great opportunity you don’t want to miss. The dancing events are taking place for several weeks every summer at Placette de Munich.  For more details and the full program check out the website of Dansons sur les Quai.

Enjoy a fun day in Darwin 

For those new to Bordeaux, Darwin is an old military base turned into an urban space with a huge chic restaurant and a cafe/organic food shop, a skate park for all ages, a second-hand shop, and many other surprises, all with an agenda of ecological awareness. It’s also one of the most extraordinary places for street art and includes some amazing works by a lot of talented artists on each one of its buildings. 

It’s also one of the places I like to go to on rainy weekends and it’s on my list of the things to do when it’s raining in Bordeaux, so take a look. 

Have a drink at the terrace bar of the Bordeaux design Museum 

Musée des Art décoratifs et du Design is located in a beautiful 18th-century mansion and is one of UNESCO’s heritage sites in Bordeaux. It has a large collection of furniture, porcelain, and art objects, dating to the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. This museum is a cute cultural gem but what makes it even more attractive is the new terrace café that has been operating there for the last few years. The little outdoor restaurant is owned by Julie, who’s also the owner of one of my favorite coffee shops in Bordeaux. If you’re dreaming of a glass of wine on a terrace in a beautiful location, this is the place for you! Café Madd by Sip is open from Wed to Sun, see more details here

Musée des arts décoratifs bordeaux
Musée des arts décoratifs bordeaux

Fun beach activities in Bordeaux

You will be surprised to discover that you don’t need to leave the city to go to the beach in Bordeaux, instead just catch a tram to Bordeaux Lac! Plage du Lac is open from June to August and during the summer offers plenty of activities such as kayaking, SUP, and more! The activities are taking place daily from 14:00 to 18:00, see the schedule here

Bordeaux lac
Bordeaux lac by Lost in Bordeaux

Puppet Theater for Kids

Le Guignol Guérin, founded in 1853, is the oldest puppetry show in France with daily spectacles for kids in Parc Bordelais during the summer (July and August). The show usually starts at 16:00 but can be canceled or postponed when it’s raining or getting too hot. Read more about the theater here.

Go to the IBOAT beach 

Well, it’s not really a proper beach where you can swim but it’s definitely one of the coolest places in town. La Plage de L’IBOAT is a fun outdoor space with a bar, comfy sofas, and different outdoor events. The Iboat, mostly known as a concert venue, is a three-level ferry spanning 687m2, anchored to one of the docks of Bassins a flot.

Iboat Bassin a Flot Bordeaux

For more cool places to visit in the Bassin a flot area check out my article about the Bacalan district

Have a drink at Mama Shelter

This is one of the best places for drinks in Bordeaux, a rooftop bar on top of the Mama Shelter hotel in Bordeaux center. In the summer, the rooftop is open daily from 12:00 to midnight, however, hours may change so check out their website before going. This place is very popular and tends to get busy in the late evening, so booking a table is recommended. 

Mama Shelter is only one of the cool rooftops in Bordeaux Metropole, if you want to discover more hip rooftops and fun terrace cafes check out my article about the best summer bars in Bordeaux.

Enjoy the best markets in Bordeaux

Little red strawberries, mouth-watering cheese, and crispy baguettes, you saw them all in market photos uploaded to social media by people visiting France 🙂 Now go have the same fun touristic experience here, in one of Bordeaux’s numerous markets. The most popular market in Bordeaux is of course Marché des Capucins but there are plenty of amazing open-air markets in different neighborhoods in the city. Even if you live here you’ll probably discover a few new markets in my article about the best markets in Bordeaux

Summer sales

Summer sales are a great opportunity to enjoy good deals on clothes, shoes, electronics, toys, and more. This summer the soldes d’été will take place from June 22 to July 19.

Go to the pool

There are several great pools in Bordeaux, two of them are located not very far from the city center. Next to the Meriadeck shopping center, you’ll find the piscine Judaique which is located in a beautiful art deco building. A bit farther from the center is Piscine du Grand Parc. Both are very kids friendly with facilities like a kids pool, water slides, floats, and more. If you have a car you can enjoy other outdoor pools in the region, like the Stade Nautique in Pessac or the new Centre Aquatique “La Calinésie” in Libourne. 

Things to do around Bordeaux – Gironde and Dordogne 

Taste the good life of Arcachon

Bassin d’Arcachon (the Arcachon Bay), located about 50 km from Bordeaux is one of the most popular summer destinations in France, and rightfully so. Tens of amazing beaches, oyster farmers’ villages, natural reserves, beautiful 19th-century architecture, and plenty of attractions for kids are part of what you can enjoy at this destination on the Atlantic ocean. A day trip (or a weekend) to the Bassin d’Arcachon is an absolute must when visiting Bordeaux. To help you decide where to go I wrote an article about the best places to visit on Arcachon Bay.

Arcachon bay - a day trip from Bordeaux

For a perfect summer afternoon gateway, head to Dune du Pilat and finish with a drink in La Corniche. Sounds splendid, isn’t it? Read more about these places in my article about the southern part of Arcachon

Spend your Sunday at Bel Ami 

If you’ve been following me on Instagram you probably know that this is one of my favorite summer places in the region. If you don’t, let me introduce you to Bel-Ami, a summer outdoor restaurant/ bar located in the cute little village of Plassac on the Estuary of Gironde. Now try to imagine, sitting on comfy sofas, eating a delicious meal, and drinking a Lillet cocktail, with the impressive Gironde estuary calmly flowing in front of you. Every Wednesday and Saturday they also have live music in the evening, so be sure to book ahead as the place gets busy. If this tranquility is not enough for you to make an hour’s drive from Bordeaux, you should know that Plassac is also known as the mosaic village so there’s a lot to discover. See more info here

Bel Ami - summer bar in Gironde

Do a weekend in Medoc

Medoc is one of the most interesting and beautiful regions in Southwest France, and luckily it’s located an hour’s drive from the center of Bordeaux. It is, of course, known for its wine, and the Medoc wine route is indeed one of the best ways to discover the Bordeaux wine world. However, the Medoc peninsula is much more than just winery visits! You have amazing beaches on the Atlantic ocean, plenty of markets with fresh local food, little ports on the Gironde estuary where you can go for a drink, and amazing lakes with beaches and water activities. So even a weekend is not enough to enjoy this amazing region. See all the things you can do there in my article about the Medoc region.
If you have time, don’t miss the Saint Emilion wine region as well, here are a few chateaux I recommend visiting in Saint Emilion

Kayaking or Canoeing in the Dordogne river

Bordeaux is surrounded by many big and small rivers, it’s not a surprise then that there are quite a few places for Kayaking and Canoeing in the Bordeaux region. One of the biggest rivers near Bordeaux is the Dordogne, which splits from the Estuary of Gironde some 30 km north of Bordeaux. The low flow in most parts of the river makes it ideal for a kayak or canoe trip as you can easily descend and visit many beautiful villages and impressive chateaux on the way. I wrote an article about some of the best Kayaking clubs on the Dordogne river, some of which are located close to Bordeaux. 

Canoe and kayak on the Dordogne river

Kayak and Canoe on the Dordogne by Lost in Bordeaux

You can also enjoy kayaking on the Leyre river on Arcachon Bay. See more details about that in my guide to what to do with kids in Arcachon

Enjoy the beautiful beaches in Gironde 

Being close to the Atlantic ocean and surrounded by lakes are some of the best things about being in Bordeaux in the summer. We have an incredible amount of beautiful beaches with white fine sand, amazing views, and nice beach facilities. You can surf in the Atlantic ocean, enjoy the kids’ friendly beaches of Arcachon Bay or go to one of the beautiful lakes (and even hike around them!). If you’re here for a short period of time, it’s hard to choose where to go. To help you out I wrote an article about the best beaches around Bordeaux. 

Discover the most charming villages in Gironde

Bordeaux itself is a beautiful and lively city but some of the best architectural treasures are spread around Gironde. The biggest department in France has some of the most charming villages in the Southwest of France. Bastide towns with arched squares, medieval towns with narrow streets, historic chateaux, and citadels are all part of the incredible heritage of this region. In my article about the most beautiful villages in Gironde, I listed all my favorite villages around Bordeaux.  

Castelmoron d'Albret - the smallest village in France

Go hiking and discover Gironde’s nature

Besides impressive heritage and beautiful beaches, the Bordeaux region is also rich with nature reserves, forests, and parks. If hiking is your thing, the options are endless. If you need some ideas for fun and interesting hiking trails, check out my article about hiking in Bordeaux.  

Visit the most beautiful chateaux in Gironde 

Did you know that some of the most beautiful chateaux (castles) in this region are actually located in Gironde? Château Royal de Cazeneuve, Château de Roquetaillade and Chateau Villandraut are all located in the south of Gironde. These three are rich in history and beautiful architecture and are some of the most interesting heritage sites in our region. 

Château de Roquetaillade - chateaux in Gironde
Château de Roquetaillade by lost in Bordeaux

Discover the Labyrinth of the region

Labyrinth is a really fun summer activity for a group of friends with or without kids and there are two cool places to do it close to Bordeaux. The first is Popcorn Labyrinth, a huge Labyrinth in Cestas that is open in July and August and usually also offers night sessions. You can see the hours and prices in this link. 

The other one is Parc Mysterra in Montendre, which is set in a beautiful location but is recommended for slightly older kids (more than 8 yo). See more details here

Taste white wine in Entre deux mers

Bordeaux is the capital of wine and is mostly associated with red wine. The hot summer in Bordeaux, however, is a great opportunity to discover the white wines of Bordeaux. The largest sub-region in Bordeaux is Entre Deux Mers, the area located between the Dordogne and the Garonne river. While both red and white wines are produced in this region, only the white ones can get the AOC label of the Entre Deux Mers appellation. The wine is usually drunk young and is absolutely perfect for the Bordelais summer and a plate of oysters. In this link, you’ll find many of the wineries you can visit in the Entre Deux Mers region. 

If you need more advice about the wines of the region and about the best wineries to visit, you can visit the Maison des Vins which is located at the La Sauve Majeure Abbey, about 30 minutes drive from Bordeaux.

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 best districts in Bordeaux 
Where to stay in Bordeaux
What to do in one day in Bordeaux
Things to do with kids in Bordeaux

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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There are a thousand châteaux in the Bordeaux wine region which makes it almost impossible to choose just a few when you visit this region. However, if your timing is right, you might be visiting during one of the open doors weekends taking place at the wineries of Bordeaux throughout the year. There are around 60 different appellations in the Bordeaux wine region with many of them hosting “Portes Ouvertes” (open doors) weekends at least once a year. These events are usually hosted by the wineries of each appellation and include free tastings, tours, and activities for kids. In this article, I will be listing all the open doors weekends in the wineries in chronological order. Don’t worry If you’re visiting outside of these specific dates, many of these châteaux offer tours and tastings (by appointment). In the article, I will also recommend my favorite wineries to visit in each appellation of Bordeaux wine. The list is long so let’s go!

The Blaye Spring Wine Festival

The Blaye Spring Wine Festival is usually the first event to start the wine festivals season in the Bordeaux region. The event takes place at the Blaye citadel at the beginning of April, bringing together more than 80 winemakers from the Blaye appellation. The program includes discovery workshops (introduction to tasting, mixing, and food and wine pairing), guided visits to the citadel, and more. For the full program and tickets click here.

Open doors in the Médoc wine region

The first open doors event of the year is always the Portes Ouvertes weekend in Medoc, taking place in April. During the festive weekend, you can visit plenty of châteaux in the Medoc region and taste some of the finest wines in the world. I usually update about the event and the wineries you can visit in this article. This year the event takes place on April 8-10.

If you wish to make this trip an unforgettable experience, you should go on the Medoc wine road trip that includes all the wonders this area of Gironde has to offer. I personally did the Medoc wine route a few years ago and wrote a very detailed article about it, read it here

Medoc portes ouvertes - open doors in the chateaux of Bordeaux
Chateau d’Arsac

Recommended wineries in Medoc you can visit all year long 

Château du Taillan (book a visit here), which is owned by 5 sisters, is one of the closest wineries to Bordeaux. Château d’Arsac, is one of the most beautiful properties in Medoc with an extravagant display of art in its enormous gardens (book a visit here). Closer to Margaux you have the charming family-run Chateau Siran (book a visit here), Chateau Kirwan (book a visit here), or the beautiful Chateau Marquis de Terme (book a visit here). 

Open doors at Lalande de Pomerol

Another Open doors weekend in April is taking place at the Lalande de Pomerol appellation. A neighbor to the highly prestigious wines of Pomerol and Saint Emilion, this appellation produces some great wines you’d really enjoy discovering. Some of the Lalande de Pomerol properties are owned by famous wine families, such as La Fleur de Boüard, which is owned by Hubert de Boüard of Château Angélus. If you want to learn more about the Lalande de Pomerol appellation and its châteaux, click here. This year the event takes place on April 23-24.

Recommended wineries in Lalande de Pomerol you can visit all year long 

Château Siaurac is one of the best wineries to visit in that part of Bordeaux’s wine region (check out their website). A bit less famous but also a great estate to visit is Château Tournefeuille (Book your visit here).

Open doors in Saint-Emilion

Saint Emilion, the most famous wine appellation in Bordeaux, celebrates its open doors weekend at the beginning of May. The weekend will include many activities such as wine tastings, visits to the chateaux, games for kids, and bike rides. Check out the full program for the participating châteaux, the activities, and the wine tasting proposed for that weekend – here. You can also plan your trip to this wine region with my detailed guide to Saint Emilion. This year’s open doors weekend takes place on April 30-May 1.

Chateau La Croizzille - portes ouvertes in Saint Emilion
Chateau La Croizzille in Saint Emilion

Recommended wineries in Saint Emilion you can visit all year long 

I tend to visit the Saint Emilion region quite often so I have many recommendations for wineries to visit there. I put some of them in my article about the best chateaux to visit in Saint Emilion

Grand Crus Weekend

One of the most anticipated events in Bordeaux’s wine world is the Grand Crus Weekend that is usually taking place in June.  This event, organized by the Union des Grands Crus (the regional wine classification), aims to create an international meeting of wine lovers. The highlight of this weekend is the major wine tasting event with more than 100 Grand Crus where you get to meet different chateaux owners. Read more about the event and the full program here. This year the event will take place on June 17-19.

If you want to visit some of the Grand Cru châteaux in Bordeaux, here are a few recommended ones:

In Saint Emilion: Chateau Franc Mayne (Book your visit here) and Chateau Beau Sejour Becot (Book your visit here).

In Pessac and Leognan: Château Larrivet Haut Brion (Book your visit here), Château Pape Clement (Book your visit here) and Château Latour Martillac (Book your visit here).

In Medoc: Château La Tour Carnet  (Book your visit here), Chateau Fourcas Hosten (Book your visit here) and Chateau de Camensac (Book your visit here). 

Open doors in the Côtes de Bourg appellation

Ô Chais is the annual open doors event taking place at the Côtes de Bourg appellation situated on the west end of the Dordogne river before it flows to the Gironde estuary. 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 7-8. See more details here

Château le Clos de Notaire  in Bourg
Château le Clos de Notaire

Recommended wineries in Bourg you can visit all year long 

One of my favorite châteaux in Bourg is Château le Clos de Notaire with its amazing view (see their website).

Bordeaux Wine Festival

Bordeaux Fête le Vin is the biggest wine event in Bordeaux! Once in two years in June, the banks of the Garonne river in Bordeaux are taken over by wine enthusiasts celebrating the Bordeaux wine festival. Apart from wine tastings, you should expect plenty of music, good food, and activities for kids. See more details here. This year the event takes place on June 23-26. 

Sauternes Fête le vin

Sauternes is a prestigious wine area famous for its sweet white wines. This is the only wine appellation in Bordeaux that hosts two open-door events every year. The summer event is the Sauternes wine festival, which this year will take place on June 18. For more details click here

Recommended wineries in Sauternes you can visit all year long 

Château Guiraud is one of the most beautiful estates in Sauternes and often hosts interesting events (book you visit here). Also don’t miss the magnificent Château Lafaurie-Peyrague and its Michelin restaurant (book your visit here). Another fun option is the Château d’Arche (Book you visit here).

Open doors at the châteaux of Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux

Another smaller and less known appellation in Bordeaux wine is Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux. This appellation has a very active Maison du Vin which organizes an annual open doors event every June, with close to 50 participating chateaux. This year the event will take place on June 4-5. See the list of participating Chateaux.
When there, don’t miss the beautiful Château de Cadillac, one of the most important historic monuments in Gironde. Check out other beautiful towns you can visit in that part of Gironde in my article about the most beautiful villages around Bordeaux.

Portes Ouvertes de l’Appellation Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux

Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux appellation hosts its annual open doors event in early September and it’s usually a great event to start the Autumn with. Contrary to other appellations where you get to visit different châteaux, this one is a rather small appellation and the event usually takes place at the beautiful Château de Pitray, with many stands of smaller producers. See more info here.

Château de Pitray- Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux - open doors
Château de Pitray- Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux

Les châteaux de l’appellation Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux

Another hidden gem in Bordeaux wine is Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux, located near the Blaye citadel in the north of Gironde. I already mentioned this wine appellation in the first event of the year, however, in September, there’s a real Open doors weekend where you get to visit the winemakers in their châteaux. Many of them are family-owned wineries and the visit there feels very cozy. The information about their next event will be published here

Open doors in the Chateaux of Graves

Graves is another famous sub-region of Bordeaux wine, located on the left bank of the Garonne river. It’s a huge appellation that includes within itself a few other appellations like Pessac Leognan, which often participate in the Open doors weekend as well. The event usually takes place in October with more than 70 participating chateaux. See more info here

If you want to visit Graves at any other time, one of the most interesting wineries to visit in that appellation is Chateau de Portets (book your tour here).

Portes ouvertes in Fronsac

Another great wine to try in Bordeaux is Fronsac & Canon Fronsac and their Portes Ouvertes is a good opportunity to do just that. The event usually takes place at the end of October with more than 30 chateaux hosting people for free tastings, guided tours, and more. One of the main events is taking place at the magnificent Château de la Rivière. The info about the next event will be published here

Château de la Rivière in Fronsac - vin de Bordeaux
Château de la Rivière in Fronsac

Recommended wineries in Fronsac you can visit all year long 

Château de la Rivière is probably one of the most interesting wineries to visit in the region (Book your tour here) however there are other great places to visit such as Chateau de la Dauphine with its impressive vat room (book your visit here) and Chateau George 7 with their fun summer terrace (see all the info here). 

Open doors in the Chateaux of Sauternes et Barsac

The second event of Sauternes et Barsac wine appellations takes place in November. This wine area is famous for its sweet white wines and some of the chateaux look like historic monuments and are worth a visit. You can find the full program here closer to the event. 

Recommended wineries in Sauternes you can visit all year long 

Château Guiraud is one of the most beautiful estates in Sauternes and often hosts interesting events (book your visit here). Also, don’t miss the magnificent Château Lafaurie-Peyrague and its Michelin restaurant (book your visit here). Another fun option is the Château d’Arche (Book you visit here). Another amazing vineyard to visit in Barsac is Chateau de Myrat (book your visit here).

Portes Ouvertes in Pomerol

Pomerol is probably the most prestigious wine appellation in the Bordeaux wine region, however, for some reason, its Open doors weekend is not as well known as the other ones. The event usually takes place at the end of October and it’s a rather straightforward one. Most of their chateaux don’t offer tours or special activities during the event because they really only want you to taste their wine. But it’s Pomerol, so amazing wine is guaranteed! The list of the participating chateaux is usually published here.

Château Beauregard - Pomerol- portes ouvertes
Château Beauregard – Pomerol

Recommended wineries in Pomerol you can visit all year long 

Château Beauregard has one of the most impressive Vat rooms I have ever seen and is one of the best places to visit in Pomerol (see info about visits here). Château de Sales is another magnificent chateau to visit, and they offer many different activities on and around their property (book a visit here)

les Journées Gourmandes Loupiac & Foie Gras

les Journées Gourmandes Loupiac & Foie Gras is a great opportunity to get familiar with the sweet wines of Loupaic, meet the farmers of the department, and taste their gourmet production. The event always takes place on the last weekend of November. See the list of participants here.  

Open Doors in the Châteaux of Pessac-Léognan

The Pessac-Léognan appellation is usually the one closing the year with its Open doors weekend in December. This event includes tens of wineries that offer wine tastings, tours, gourmet food, and activities for kids. All the information about the event is published on this website. Pessac is a beautiful little town near Bordeaux so if you want to spend the day there, check out my article about it

Chateau pape Clement Pessac
Chateau pape Clement

Recommended wineries in Pessac and Leognan you can visit all year long 

Château Larrivet Haut Brion (Book your visit here), Château Pape Clement (Book your visit here), and Château Latour Martillac (Book your visit here), as well as the renowned Château les Carmes Haut-Brion (info about visits here).

I gave you a lot of information to process hoping it will help you choose the best time to come to Bordeaux. If you’re interested in more events taking place in Bordeaux, don’t forget to check out my monthly lists and also subscribe to my newsletter where I update you about all the best things to do in Bordeaux and the region every weekend. 

Cheers everyone! 

*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 🙂

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.

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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The Bordeaux wine route is one of the most visited attractions in the southwest of France. It’s actually not one but five different wine trails around Bordeaux and one of them is the beautiful Medoc region. “Route des chateaux” is the unofficial name of this magnificent wine trail, which combines nature, history, and culture in one beautiful road. If you have more than a day to spend on a wine trip in Bordeaux, you should definitely consider Medoc. In two days, you can see a wealth of beautiful chateaux, taste some of the best wines in the world, go to the beach on the Atlantic Ocean and enjoy the local cuisine. The list of things to do in Medoc is quite long and you can easily turn it into a weeklong vacation if you like. However, as most people go to Medoc for a weekend, I decided to write a two-day itinerary. I tried to cover the most important things to do and places to visit in the Medoc Peninsula, so apart from wine-related activities I also included recommendations of beautiful villages to visit, beaches, markets, hotels, restaurants, and more. I truly hope this article will help you plan your wine trip in the area and will make you fall in love with the marvelous region of Medoc.

If you’re interested in doing more than just one wine route while in Bordeaux, you should check my list of châteaux to visit in Saint Emilion

The Medoc wine region in numbers

The Medoc wine region consists of eight appellations (AOC) covering 16,500 hectares, which include Médoc, Haut-Médoc, Margaux, Pauillac, Saint Julien, Saint-Estéphe, Moulis and Listrac. The Medoc wine is classified according to the Bordeaux wine official classification of 1855 with five levels of Grand cru classé, Premier cru classé being the highest of the five. There are five chateaux classified as Premier cru classé in the Bordeaux area, four of them being in the Medoc area: Château Margaux, Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Latour and Château Mouton Rothschild. The fifth one is Château Haut-Brion from the Graves wine area. Visiting the Medoc Premier cru chateaux can be complicated as they are usually open only to professionals or by appointment. But you don’t really need these four to make it an unforgettable trip. There are 60 Grand cru classé wineries, craft and cooperative chateaux, and many other incredible wine chateaux that you can visit on the Medoc route. Now it’s time to discover them, so let’s dive into the two-day itinerary in the Medoc wine route. 

Day one – Châteaux along the Medoc wine road

Start your day from Bordeaux on the D2 road, which is essentially the famous wine road called “Route des châteaux”. It starts at Blanquefort and continues all the way to the top of the Medoc Peninsula. All along the D2 road, you will pass through tens of km of vineyards and châteaux and through towns like Margaux and Pauillac, names you may know from the labels of Bordeaux’s wine bottles. The Medoc wine route is beautiful and you will enjoy it even if you don’t plan to taste any wine at all. Take your time to admire (and take photos of) the breathtaking châteaux that you will randomly see by the road. Some of them are so magical that you start feeling as if you’re on a movie set.

For the full wine route experience, you need to actually visit one or several wineries and taste their wines. However, as you will witness, there are so many of them on the D2 road that choosing one or two to visit is practically impossible without some guidance.

Visiting a château in Medoc – how to go on a wine tour?

Visiting a wine château in Medoc is a marvelous experience providing you with a glimpse into winemaking in one of the most prestigious wine areas in the world. Most guided visits in the wineries will start with a tour of the properties, many of which carry historic value. Often this includes the story of a wine-making family over several generations. Some châteaux also hold little art museums with family collections. Others display impressive exhibitions of art in their gardens or even in the cellars themselves. In some cases, the property won’t be very impressive but the warm welcome of the family will make it an unforgettable visit. 

Chateau Siran
Château Siran private collection – by lost in Bordeaux

The second part of the visit deals with the wine itself. You get to visit the vineyards and hear the characteristics of different types of grapes and blends. In most tours, you will continue to the cellars and see some old and new techniques of winemaking. And there’s always the fun part, the tastings, where you get to taste two or three different wines of the château. 

There are many wineries that welcome visitors to their wineries but it’s important to know that they usually require prior reservations for the tour. However, if you come spontaneously and ask to have a quick look at the property and taste some wine, many of them will happily welcome you inside (if they’re not in the middle of a tour). Don’t try to run and see tens of chateaux, there are just too many of them, just take your time to enjoy a few. I recommend visiting two or three châteaux just for the sake of comparison. 

Here are a few of my recommended wineries to visit in Medoc that are not far from Bordeaux

Chateau du Taillan (book a visit here) which is owned by 5 sisters, is one of the closest wineries to Bordeaux.
Chateau d’Arsac, one of the most beautiful properties in Medoc with an extravagant display of art in its enormous gardens (book a visit here).
Closer to Margaux itself you have the charming family-run Chateau Siran (book a visit here) and Chateau Kirwan (book a visit here). 
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.

Chateau d'Arsac
Château d’Arsac by Lost in Bordeaux

The town of Margeaux

Margaux isn’t very impressive on its own, but there are several reasons for a quick stop there during your trip. The first one is Mademoiselle de Margaux, a chocolate shop and factory with chocolates you can find only in the region. The factory was created in Margaux in 1969 and produces delicious chocolates that are inspired by wine. If you’re looking for an original present to bring back home from Medoc, this is one of the best options. Also, Margaux is home to one of the most famous châteaux in the world, Château Margaux. They don’t offer visits to individuals but you can still take a walk around some of their facilities and see the magnificent mansion through the gate. If it’s lunchtime, there are a few restaurants in the center. Remember, in France all the restaurants close for a break at 14:00 so try not to miss the lunch slot!

Pauillac

Next on our route du vin is Paulliac, one of the main wine destinations in the Bordeaux area. It’s a very nice town with a charming riverfront where you’ll find plenty of restaurants. If you want to stop for a nice meal of mussels and wine, les Moules du Cabanon on the riverfront is the perfect place. Pauillac is also home to the famous Café Lavinal, one of the most renowned dining institutions in the area. If you wish to discover the traditional food of Medoc, this is the place for you. 

Château cos d'estournel on the Bordeaux wine route
Château cos d’Estournel by Lost in Bordeaux

After lunch, head to the Tourist Office and the Maison du Vin which is located on the riverfront. Contrary to many tourist offices, this one is a very informative resource for all you can do in the area. They have recently launched a new interactive activity for kids and adults where you get to practice your wine smelling skills. They can also advise you on the closest wineries to visit in the afternoon.

Wineries to visit in Medoc – neat Pauillac

There are plenty of impressive chateaux to see in the northern area of Medoc, both in Pauillac, Saint Julien, and Saint-Estéphe. Some of the most impressive and interesting ones are Château Beychevelle, Château Cos d’Estournel, Château lamothe Bergeron (book your visit here) Château La Tour de By, Château la Tour Carnet (you can book your visit here), Château Lafon-Rochet and Château Pichon Longueville Baron. As mentioned above, many of the wineries require you to book the visits in advance.

If you have only one day to dedicate to visiting the Bordeaux wine region, you go on a tour that takes you to both Medoc and Saint Emilion – see the details here.

Château Loudenne for a special experience!

Château Loudenne was one of my favorite experiences in the region. It’s a 17th-century mansion, known as château rose, the pink house, which you get to explore during the visit.  The château is located almost at the end of the wine route and is the only château in Medoc that has a private port, with a beautiful view of the Garonne Estuary. Apart from the impressive property, they have a beautiful garden where you can take a walk after tasting their divine wine. They offer two free tours at 11 am and 2 pm during the touristic period and will welcome you without reservation when it’s less busy.

Chateau loudenne on the Medoc wine route
The pink house – Château Loudenne by Lost in Bordeaux

If you arrive for the morning visit (11am) you can spend the whole day at the château. They offer an amazing picnic basket (which you should order ahead) so if the weather is nice you can have a picnic on the river banks. There are boats that pass by the port several times a week, proposing a guided tour of the Gironde estuary. Book the boat tour on the same day as it will depend on the tide. Chateau Loudenne is open from Tuesday to Saturday, check out their contact details on their website.

Have dinner on the Port of Saint Vivien de Medoc 

The northern part of the Medoc peninsula is a magical place most travelers don’t get to see. Starting from Château Loudenne the vineyard landscape starts to change into a completely different scenario of little ports on the Gironde Estuary. Several little port villages lay between the last châteaux and Le Verdon sur Mer, the northernmost point of Medoc. One that I found especially charming was Saint Vivien de Medoc, with a cute little port with several restaurants and bars perched along the river. My favorite one was la Cabane du Port, a charming tapas bar with comfy chairs, great food, and a great view of the docking boats. The Kayak Café is also great for a more substantial meal. 

The port of Saint Vivien de Medoc
The port of Saint Vivien de Medoc by Lost in Bordeaux

Visit Phare de Richard and the traditional fishing houses

Phare de Richard is an old lighthouse turned into a nice museum telling the story of the Estuary and the fishing industry around it. If you come during the opening hours you can climb to the top and see a beautiful view of the Estuary. However, the site is worth a visit even without entering the lighthouse just to see the Carrelets, the traditional fishing cabins. The site also has a very nice picnic area with a small playground for kids.

 Carrelets in Medoc
Carrelets in Medoc by Lost in Bordeaux

Second Day – from wine to the ocean – discovering Medoc Atlantic

Soulac Sur Mer – the Arcachon of Medoc

This charming little town is one of the highlights of the Medoc region, located at the very top of the Medoc Atlantique, about 90 km (55 miles) from Bordeaux. Soulac sur mer looks like a little Arcachon, with the city center resembling Ville d’été and the impressive 18th-century villas have a similar architectural style of Ville d’Hiver in Arcachon (For more details about Arcachon click here). Soulac has some of the most beautiful beaches on the Atlantic coast, attracting many French tourists to the area. There are plenty of cute little restaurants both in the center and on the promenade. Seafood is a very important part of the local cuisine and so many restaurants will serve oysters and large shrimps. While there, don’t forget to visit the amazing covered market of the region that sells all the delicacies of the area. Also, if you want to stop for a coffee, Livres Et Cornets is a cute chic cafe on the main pedestrian street. 

Soulac sur mer
Soulac sur mer by Lost in Bordeaux

Sunday Market at Montalivet les Bains

The Montalivet market is not to be missed if you happen to be there on Sunday morning. This is one of the biggest markets in the area, hosting more than 200 merchants all year long. Here you will find all the delicacies of the region, the Medoc wine, oysters from Cap Ferret and Île de Ré, cheese from the Basque country, and more. But the real attraction of the market is the oyster stands where plenty of people gather to sip white wine accompanied by this local delicacy. By 11 am it gets really crowded so try to make it as early as possible. 

The Montalivet market
The Montalivet market by Lost in Bordeaux

Due to its location on the Atlantic coast, Montalivet les Bains became a popular destination for surfers. The city center, which is located close to the main beach, looks like a typical surf resort town with plenty of surf and water equipment shops. All along the main street, restaurant owners will invite you to have a drink or lunch on their terraces. The highlight for me was the gallery café, located just in front of the market, which is both a very chic coffee place and a vintage shop. They serve delicious fresh food and it’s a perfect spot for a brunch. The address is 49 Avenue Brémontier, 33930 Vendays-Montalivet.  If you’re traveling with kids, this town can be a nice break for lunch but I didn’t find the beach very kids friendly. 

Visit Vertheuil – an old beautiful village

If you’re done with wine and the ocean (if that’s at all possible) there’s one last stop to make on the way back from your Bordeaux wine route. Vertheuil is probably one of the most charming little towns in the Medoc area. It’s located somewhere in the middle of the peninsula so it can be on your way whether you still have some wineries to visit or want to go back straight to Bordeaux.  It’s a very small village surrounding the Abbey of Vertheuil that dates back to the 12th century (and reconstructed in the 18th century). At the back of the Abbey, there’s a lovely garden with a terrace cafe and even a little playground for kids. The Abbaye of Vertheuil is open from Tuesday to Sunday in the afternoon in July and August. 

the Abbey of Vertheuil
The Abbey of Vertheuil by Lost in Bordeaux

If you’re hungry there’s a nice little Italian restaurant right in the center of the village called Casa Trogarra.

Where to stay in the Medoc area?

There are plenty of accommodation options in the Medoc area, you just have to decide on the setting and view. You can spend a night in the vineyards and enjoy the calm atmosphere, sleep in gorgeous chateaux on the Route des chateaux or have a more lively vibe in the center of Soulac sur mer. Here are some good options:

Hotels in Medoc

Château de l’Isle

An exceptional bed and breakfast in a beautiful 18th-century house, located between Margaux and the two lakes of Medoc Lacanau and Hourtin. The breakfast is served outside in the beautiful garden, just next to the pool. They provide their guests with bikes so you can even enjoy a bicycle ride in the vineyards of Medoc. They have only four rooms in the chateau so try and book as early as possible. 
Book it here

Relais de Margaux

A 4 star hotel located in a beautiful 19th century chateau in the heart of the Margaux vineyards in Médoc.  The hotel has beautiful and spacious rooms and offers a spa and an outdoor pool. There’s also a golf course but it’s currently closed for renovation. 
Book it here

Sleeping in a wine Chateau

You’re travelling on the wine road so why not make your hotel part of the journey and stay in one of the wine producing chateaux that also offer accommodations? Here are some options:

Hotel Rollan de By

A beautiful 3 stars hotel located in one of the most gorgeous areas in the Medoc, between the vineyards and the Gironde Estuary. The hotel is quite close to the little ports I’ve mentioned above meaning you have a lot of options for dinner. Rollan de By is an active winery so you can have a wine tour and tastings while staying at the chateau, how great is that?
Book it here

Château du Tertre

chateau-du-Tertre
credit Chateau-du-Tertre

This is a beautiful guesthouse, located in a 19th-century mansion. The rooms are elegantly decorated and have a view of the vineyards of the estate. You also get a free tour of the château and the cellars, which are quite remarkable. This is the closest hotel to Bordeaux, so if you want to visit Bordeaux and the Medoc area without changing your accommodation, this is a great option. 
Book it here

Château La Tour Carnet

If you want to feel like you’re staying in a real castle, this is your best option. Château La Tour Carnet is a famous winery located in one of Médoc’s oldest estates, a former medieval fortress. The amazing room decorations and the setting in a 12th-century castle is an experience like no other in the Medoc area. There are only two rooms in the chateau so it’s almost private. The stay here is not cheap but it’s truly exceptional!
Book it here 

Château Pierre de Montignac 

This is a more simple and affordable place if you want to stay in a wine chateau. The rooms are comfortable and clean and you get a nice breakfast in the morning. And you even get a gift bottle as a gift 🙂
Book it here

Soulac sur mer – for a more lively stay

Au cœur de la station et de la plage 

A charming apartment in the center of Soulac sur Mer, just a few minutes walk from the main beach.
Book it here

Villa Le Cid 

A guest house in one of Soulac’s most beautiful villas. The rooms are quite simple but the house is incredible and the staff is amazing. It’s located a few minutes walk from the market of Soulac.
Book it here

If you’re visiting Bordeaux for the first time, be sure to check out my ultimate guide to Bordeaux to get familiar with all the must-see places in Bordeaux. To help you choose a hotel in Bordeaux 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 location.

Lost in Bordeaux helps you enjoy the city and region in many ways so be sure to follow us on facebook/Instagram for more daily updates on things to do and see. Or better yet, join my newsletter where I share a lot of exclusive info about Bordeaux and the region – sign up here.

Enjoy Medoc!!

*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 🙂 

There are plenty of great articles you can find about the main attractions in Bordeaux as well as its most important monuments. However, I feel they don’t reveal all the treasures and hidden gems this city has to offer. You need to fully experience Bordeaux in order to understand why people love it so much. In this article, I summarized my 50 best things to do in Bordeaux. My list includes everything from food, chic cafés, shopping, fun neighborhoods, music venues, art, day trips, and more. Hope you’ll enjoy it! If you enjoyed the list please share it!

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.

Before we start, if you have only one day in Bordeaux, check out my article about what to do and see on a one-day trip – read it here. Also, if you want to get lost in Bordeaux with me, check out the dates of my group tours in Bordeaux. And last but not least, check out my Travel in the Southwest of France group on Facebook for many more tips. Now let’s start! 

Best things to do in Bordeaux and its surroundings 

Admire the stunning gates of Bordeaux

Before becoming a modern 18th-century city with spacious squares and boulevards, Bordeaux was once a little town surrounded by walls and impressive entrance gates.  Today, five of the gates are still standing, marking the old borders of Bordeaux: the Grosse Cloche and le Porte Cailhau in the city canter, Porte de Bourgogne facing the river, Porte d’Aquitaine on Place de la Victiore, and Porte Dijeaux at the western part of the historic center. The first two on this list are the only two original gates from the 15th century from when Bordeaux was still a fortress and they are real architectural masterpieces. 

Grosse Cloche - Bordeaux
Grosse Cloche
Porte d’Aquitaine on Place de la Victiore
Porte d’Aquitaine

The Famous Water Mirror

The Miroir d’Eau is a huge water mirror located on the left bank of the Garonne river,  just in front of the iconic Place de la Bourse. Le Miroir d’Eau is the most popular monument in Bordeaux attracting many families with kids to splash their feet on hot summer days. It is also one of the best places to take your Instagram photos 🙂 

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

Taste Canelé 

Canelé is the most famous Bordeaux pastry so tasting one is a must when in Bordeaux.  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. It 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 and you can see their small boutiques spread all over the city center. See all their shops here

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

Stop for a coffee

Bordeaux is a surprising city when it comes to good coffee places. While France doesn’t have a strong reputation in making good coffee, Bordeaux prides itself on its coffee scene, with cute little coffee places popping up in every corner. The list is quite long but here are some of my favorites: Kuro, Sip, l’Alchimiste, and Piha 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

Bike along the Garonne river

Bordeaux is a very flat and bike-friendly city. There are many interesting cycling trails you can do around the Bordeaux metropole, 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 such as 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

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. 

capucins market in Bordeaux

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

Drink at the Bacalan market

From a traditional market to the newer chic market of Bordeaux -Marché de Bacalan This impressive hangar is located in the Bacalan district just in front of the famous Cité du Vin and hosts more than 20 different artisans and merchants that were chosen for the quality of their products. Many locals flock to the market on weekends for drinks and tapas and the great vibes. I wrote a whole article about the Bacalan district as it’s one of my favorite places in Bordeaux – check it out here

See the best exhibitions 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 arts, which allows you to enjoy the space itself no less than the art presented there. Currently, the place is called le Bassin des Lumières hosting a mesmerizing exhibition of Monet, Renoir, Chagall and others called “Voyages en Méditerranée”.

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

Important information: tickets must be bought in advance (here’s the link) and masks are obligatory. 

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 that’s not Bordeaux’s real wine museum, it’s rather a world wine museum. Musée du Vin et du Négoce is the actual Bordeaux wine museum and the best place to help you discover how the Bordeaux wine area has developed over the years. It’s situated in what used to be a typical house of a négociant (wine trader) in the 18th century in the Chartrons district. 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. It ends with a very nice wine tasting session where you get plenty of explanations about the different wine appellations in Bordeaux. 

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

See a concert at the Opera of Bordeaux 

Arguably the most beautiful building in Bordeaux, le Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux is a cultural landmark you should not miss when visiting the city. 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.  

Opera house of Bordeaux
Opera house of Bordeaux

Classic music concert at the auditorium

Getting tickets to the opera at the Grand Théâtre requires buying tickets well in advice, going to a classical music concert, on the other hand, is much easier. The Auditorium of the Opera National of Bordeaux is one of the largest music venues in Bordeaux hosting several classical music concerts every week. See the program here.

Go to the CIBC for Bordeaux wine tasting

If you really want to understand the variety of Bordeaux wines you should start tasting it and there’s no better place for that than le Bar à Vin. This classic wine bar, located in the 18th-century residence of the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bordeaux (the Bordeaux Wine Council). The best thing about this place is that they let you taste half glasses so you can discover many fantastic local wines at very low prices. For other great options for wine tasting read my article about wine tasting in Bordeaux

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

L’intendant – the wine library of Bordeaux

L’intendant is the most beautiful and rich wine store in Bordeaux and it’s no wonder that it’s referred to as the library of Bordeaux’s wines. It holds a collection of more than 15,000 bottles all stacked on its walls, following a 12 meters high spiral staircase.  Established almost 30 years ago, the store has become one of the go-to places to shop for the famous wines of the region. 

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 really 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 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.

Discover Bordeaux’s amazing street art

Like many other cities, Bordeaux has the 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. 

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

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 (my personal favorite); 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.

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

Freep’show – a funky vintage shop

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

second hand shops in Bordeaux

Have a delicious meal 

In recent years Bordeaux is gaining 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, Le M, Mets Mots, Le Chien de Pavlov , La Belle Saison and the list goes on and on. 

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 baker and 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 and feel compared to a standard French bakery, it really feels like you’ve gone back in time to the 18th century. 

Eat oysters at the Sunday Market

Every Sunday morning dozens of food stalls with the best oysters of the region, fresh fruits, vegetables, cheese, fish, wine, and plenty of food trucks are installed on the Quai des Chartrons. For many visitors, the main attraction is the few stalls with oysters which cost around 6 euros per plate and come with a glass of white wine. It kind of embodies the good life atmosphere in this region 🙂. 

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. 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: David Capy next to Marché des Grands Hommes, Pâtisserie Valantin in the Nansouty district, Pâtisserie S. with a special French-Japanese vibe, 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

Shopping of course!

Bordeaux is not Paris when it comes to shopping but it has quite a lot to offer to shopping lovers 🙂 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. 

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. Thousands of hectares of vines surround the medieval village making the landscape an unforgettable scenery. 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

You can get there by train but I recommend renting a car for a better experience – click here for car rentals.

what to do in Saint emilion

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

Do a cocktails 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 Night Beach (the pricey rooftop bar of the Grand Hotel).

Mama shelter bordeaux
Mama Shelter

Take a boat ride on the Garonne 

Bordeaux is situated on the Garonne river and seeing it from the water is a fun experience. There are several companies that offer boat tours on the Garonne, but you can actually 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 time table here). You don’t have to do the whole line, you can use it to just cross the river to the other side.

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. Also, Darwin is 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 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 at the Bastide neighborhood (right in front of Darwin), hosting plenty of open-air concerts every summer. The performing bands and artists are coming from all over the world and create a laid-back party atmosphere. There’s usually a small price to pay for the concerts taking place on Wed-Sat and on 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

See a beautiful view from Parc de L’ermitage

The Parc of Lormont, or by its official name: Parc de l’Ermitage Sainte-Catherine, is a beautiful hilly park located on the east bank of the Garonne river. If you climb on the upper side of the park you can enjoy a stunning view of the Aquitaine bridge covering the Garonne river. However, If you’re coming with strollers or generally with little kids, beware that it’s not a very easy climb to the top of the park. In that case, I would advise you to spend your time near the lake at the bottom of the park and then re-enter the park again through Haut Lormont (the higher part of Lormont) to visit the hilly part.  

Go to the beach

You don’t need to go far to enjoy the beach in Bordeaux, we actually have a great lake beach which you can reach in 15 minutes by tram from the city center. Bordeaux Lac has a sandy clean beach and a lot of shade from the nearby trees for those who don’t really like 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

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

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.  

Visit the Natural history museum 

After years of renovations, the natural history museum of Bordeaux has opened its doors on 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

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 Bordeaux metropole you can visit by tram or by bus, here are some of the recommended ones:
Château Pape Clément in PessacTake line B to Pessac Centre and then continue 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 Haut brion in Pessac
You can reach it by bus line 4 from Place Tourny in Bordeaux.
For more info 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

Librairie Mollat – one of the oldest book stores in France

Librairie Mollat, a Bordelais establishment since 1896 is the first independent book store 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. 

Visit one of the most beautiful parks in Bordeaux – 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.

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. You can climb the dune by stairs that are installed from the end of May to early November. If you come during the low season or just feel energetic, you can just climb straight up the sandy slopes. 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. 

For more things to do close by read my guide about Arcachon city

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. You can rent a car and go on a full relaxing day in this little paradise. Eat oysters directly from the farmers, go on a walk along the bay beaches, take a bike and discover the pine forest, and go surf on the beaches of the Atlantic coast. Read about many other places to visit on Arcachon bay in my article about a day trip to Bassin d’Arcachon

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 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

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. In 1984 the city decided to transform this unique space into a museum of contemporary art, an idea that was very innovative at the time. In the permanent collection, there are almost 300 works of art and it regularly hosts temporary exhibitions that are dedicated to the history of art. I’ll admit that I’m not always a fan of their exhibitions, having said that, I think the place in itself is very impressive and worth a visit. 

Taste the delicious dunes blanches

Last yummy thing before I finish my list!  While most outsiders think of the canelé as our regional pastry, there’s another modern contestant that has become very popular amongst locals. The delicious dunes blanches were 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, 33000 Bordeaux

dunes blanches
Dunes Blanches

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 🙂 

Bordeaux is a very lively city with plenty of restaurants, boutiques and interesting places to visit. So if you want to fully enjoy all this city has to offer, choosing the right hotel or apartment location is crucial. The most vibrant and central neighborhood in Bordeaux is Saint Pierre and if you don’t have a tight budget or other constraints (kids, noise, vicinity to the train station, etc.) it’s a great area to stay in. But you shouldn’t limit yourself to Saint Pierre, there are lots of good neighborhoods in Bordeaux. In this guide, I’ll help you discover the best areas to stay in Bordeaux: lively neighborhoods, hipster districts and the best areas for families visiting the city. I also added a few recommended hotels to some of my district descriptions in case you’re not an Airb&b kind of person 🙂 If you need more recommendations for hotels in the city center, check out my post about the best hotels in Bordeaux for every budget. Let’s dive in!


Booking.com

Central Areas in Bordeaux

Saint Pierre and Saint Paul – The historic center of Bordeaux

Saint Pierre and Saint Paul districts represent the historic heart of the city. These are the most vibrant and lively areas in Bordeaux, where you stroll by paved narrow streets, charming squares and several famous monuments (the Miroir d’eau, place de la Bourse and others). it’s also the heart of the gastronomic scene in Bordeaux, with plenty of amazing restaurants, cocktail bars and hip cafés. Many are concentrated around the Place Fernand Lafargue, especially on rue Saint James. In Saint Pierre, almost every street has a good restaurant, but the best bars are on rue Parlement Saint Pierre and rue Parlement Sainte Catherine.

The neighborhoods are bounded by the Opera of Bordeaux from the north and rue Victor Hugo from the South. Going east you can enjoy a pleasant stroll on the gorgeous promenade of the Garonne River. The western border of the historic center is marked by rue Sainte Catherine, the longest pedestrian shopping street in Europe hosting all the main retail stores as well as several smaller boutiques.

You can find plenty of Airbnb apartments in this area but they will usually be more expensive. Also, you should know that some of the streets can be a bit noisy at night.
There are lots of little hotels in this touristy area. If you’re looking for something very simple but with good value for money I recommend staying at Hôtel Acanthe. Another good option is the Quality hotel, which is a very nice 3- star hotel.
You can see more recommendations for hotels in the Saint Pierre district in my post about the best places to stay in Bordeaux.  

Pey Berland and Meriadeck – the administrative district of Bordeaux

Bordering the historic center is the Pey Berland neighborhood, home to the main Cathedral of Bordeaux, Saint André and the city hall (Hotel du Ville). This is one of Bordeaux’s central neighborhoods located within a walking distance from all the main monuments in Bordeaux. Pey Berland is also known as the museum district of Bordeaux with several good museums worth visiting: Musée des Beaux-Arts, Musée des Arts décoratifs et du Design and the Musée d’Aquitaine (a regional history museum).

Musee des beaux arts in Bordeaux
Musee des beaux arts in Bordeaux

This district is also a hub for the new wave of hip quality cafés emerging around Bordeaux such as SIP, The Blacklist, l’Alchimiste and Gusco. If Sainte Catherine left you hungry for more shopping, this district will not disappoint you. Plenty of clothing boutiques and art galleries are located between the town hall, place Gambetta and Cours de l’independance. On rainy days, you can also visit the Mériadeck, the only shopping mall in the center of Bordeaux. If you’re looking for accommodation in this area but still want to feel the historic vibe of Bordeaux, try choosing a place to the east side of Cours d’Albret.

In this district, you can find the coolest hotel in town  – the Mama Shelter. Stylish rooms, a good restaurant and a super chic rooftop bar with the best view of Bordeaux. What more do you need? If you’re traveling with kids, Novotel can be a good option for you. It’s located within 10 minutes walk from the center of Bordeaux and they offer big rooms that will fit your whole family.

Quinconces and Triangle d’Or – The fancy area of Bordeaux

Opera of Bordeaux
The Opera of Bordeaux

To the north of the historic center, we find the Triangle d’Or district, where the architecture mostly dates back to the 18th century. You’ll immediately notice the contrast in scenery coming from the narrow paved streets of old Bordeaux to the wide boulevards and elegant facades of the Triangle d’Or. This is the fancy part of Bordeaux, abundant with luxury boutiques and some of the best chocolatiers in Bordeaux.

The neighborhood also borders Jardin Public, the biggest park in the center of Bordeaux, making it a very kid-friendly area. Triangle d’Or is also the home of the Opera of Bordeaux as well as the Esplanade des Quinconces, one of the biggest squares in France. Several times a year, different fairs take place at the square or on the Allée de Tourney. Among them are the Christmas market, the big brocante (flea and antique market) of Bordeaux and an amusement park. In my blog I cover all the main events taking place in the city during the year, so for more updates follow my monthly and weekly lists.

This district is home to the more fancy and prestigious hotels. Hôtel de Sèze is a beautiful 4-star hotel that also has a Spa. Another option would be the very popular Le Boutique Hotel. They have a few very chic rooms and a great bar where they offer wine tastings (you can read more about it here).

Chartrons – the posh area of Bordeaux

Chartrons in Bordeaux
The Chartrons district in Bordeaux

The Chartrons district, neighboring esplanade des Quinconces, starts the northern part of Bordeaux. It’s quite a big district but the more interesting part of it lies next to the riverfront and around the long rue Notre Dame, one of the poshest streets in Bordeaux. This central street and the little ones surrounding it are full of excellent restaurants, trendy boutiques and antique shops.

The Chartrons riverfront is characterized by warehouses once used by foreign merchants to age and store wine. It gives the neighborhood a vibe different than the rest of the city. Also, every Sunday a big market takes place on Quai des Chartrons, gathering many tourists and locals from all parts of the city. So even if you don’t stay there, don’t miss this charming neighborhood.

In the Chartrons district, you can stay at Casa Blanca, a very cozy and stylish B&B with a yummy breakfast. It’s located just a few minutes walk from the main square of this chic neighborhood and is also super close to the main park of Bordeaux, Jardin Public. 

Saint Michel, Saint Croix and Victoire  – the Cosmopolitan areas of Bordeaux

Saint Michel in Bordeaux
Saint Michel in Bordeaux

If you’re looking to lower your budget or change the scenery from classic Bordeaux, the southern districts of the city are a great option. Saint Michel, Saint Croix and Victoire are the cosmopolitan districts of the city. A very mixed population lives in these neighborhoods, you could find international students, artists and immigrant merchant families. The area has a lively culinary scene, from the main market of Bordeaux to local bars and cute little restaurants. If you’re a foodie, check out my food tours in the main market of Bordeaux.
Although it’s only a few minutes walk from the city center, apartments in this area are considerably cheaper than the neighboring Saint Paul district.

The best known hotel in this district is Maison Fredon, a little boutique hotel located in a beautifully renovated 18th-century house. There are only five rooms in this hotel, all uniquely designed to combine modern decor with the classic style of a bourgeois bordelaise house.

Click here to read more about things to do in Saint Michel.

Jardin Public and Saint Seurin – the quiet and green area of Bordeaux

Jardin Public and Saint Seurin are two residential neighborhoods, located quite close to the city center. If you’re planning a trip to Bordeaux with kids, these neighborhoods are perfect as they are calm and close to the main park of Bordeaux, Jardin Public. They are within a short walking distance from the Opera of Bordeaux and some of the best restaurants in the city so you won’t feel isolated.

If you decide to stay in this area, Villa Victor Louis is your place. A charming boutique hotel with beautiful decor and a nice little garden which is just perfect to spend your summer days.

The more distant neighborhoods in Bordeaux

Bordeaux is not a big city and you can easily reach the center from several other more distant districts. So if the center of Bordeaux is a bit out of your budget, consider some of the following areas. Another option would be to look for something on one of the tramlines as those are very regular, as opposed to buses in Bordeaux. Here is the map of the tramline in Bordeaux, to make it easier for you to do your search.

Bastide – the other side of the river

LES CHANTIERS DE LA GARONNE
The hip area of Bordeaux

While most of the historic monuments are located on the west side (rive gauche) of the Garonne, rive droite has its own charm and can be a good place to stay in Bordeaux. By crossing the central bridge of Bordeaux (Pont Pierre) you arrive at the Bastide neighborhood. Until quite recently it was a sleepy residential neighborhood but in the last decade, it transformed into a hip area where many locals love to spend their weekends.

This district is especially charming from May to October when you can enjoy all its green areas and all the summer bars and restaurants on the riverfront which are then open for the summer season. Bastide is still much cheaper then the center of Bordeaux and can be a great option if you’re on a budget. However, to still feel like you’re close to the city center, search for a hotel or apartment close to Tram A. This line will take you through Pont Pierre to Hotel du Ville in just a few minutes ride.

There is a new cool eco-friendly hotel in this neighborhood, named Eklo. It has a very young design and it’s located just next to Darwin. However, I would mainly recommend it to young travelers or families with kids who want to sleep in the same eco-friendly room 🙂

Bacalan – The grungy area of Bordeaux

bassins a flot
The grungy part of Bordeaux

Neighboring Chartrons from the north is the Bacalan district, located about 30 minutes walk from the center of Bordeaux. They are a far not only in their geographical distance but also in their landscape. The Bacalan neighborhood is built around the port of Bordeaux and has a very grungy look to it as opposed to the classic city center. In recent years, the city of Bordeaux has been transforming this neighborhood into one of the most interesting areas in the city. Apart from the magnificent Cité du Vin, it also houses some of the best music venues and has a thriving street art scene. If you chose to stay in this area, be sure to stay in the Southern part (close to the Chartrons district) and as close as possible to the tramline (Tram B) that will take you to the city center in a few minutes.

The best option in Bacalan, in my opinion, is the Seeko’o Hotel which has a very urban and cool design to it. It’s located just next to the riverfront and within a few minutes walk from the big wine museum of Bordeaux. Another great option is the Radisson Blu hotel which is located on the Bassin a Flot and has one of the best rooftop bars in town.

If you want to learn more about things to do in the Bacalan neighborhood, click here.

Gare Saint Jean – next to the train station

Saint-Jean isn’t one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Bordeaux and in some parts can be a bit shady. However, if you need to catch a train early in the morning staying there can be quite practical. And it’s also much more affordable than the center of Bordeaux, which you can easily reach with the Tram Line C. There are some nice hotels on the way from the train station to the riverfront (the quai) and, generally speaking, this is the nicer part around Gare Saint-Jean. Also, Quai des Paludate is home to some of Bordeaux’s night clubs and to the new Boca food market. Gradually and with a lot of investment from the city of Bordeaux, this area is becoming more popular and the stay can indeed be quite nice.

Hôtel Mercure is a good option if you want to stay next to the train station. It’s not very new but the rooms are comfortable and clean. If you’re looking for something fancier, the Hilton Garden Inn hotel is also within a few minutes walk from the station. It is however located a bit further from the city center so take that into consideration.

Saint Agustin

One of the most family friendly neighborhoods in Bordeaux is Saint Augustin. It’s a small quiet neighborhood, located about 20 min (by tram) from the city center and a walking distance from two beautiful parks in Bordeaux, Parc bourran and Parc Bordelais. The neighborhood has a little center with a few restaurants and a weekly market.

Saint Genes and Nansouty

South to the center, you can find Saint Genes and Nansouty. These are two quiet neighborhoods bordering Place de la Victoire from the South. There isn’t much to do here but it’s only about a 15 minutes walk from the center and it’s conveniently placed on the tram line B that takes you to all the main spots  in Bordeaux.

Bordeaux Lac

The Bordeaux Lac district is located in the north, quite far from the center of Bordeaux. Apart from cheaper rates, its main advantage is being close to the parc des expositions, where many of Bordeaux’s fairs and salons take place. So if you come to Bordeaux for a conference this will be a good option for you. Also, if the shopping in the city center was not enough, Bordeaux Lac has one of the biggest shopping centers in the region.

As its name suggests, the neighborhood has a big lake with a popular beach that is open to the public during the summer. You can reach the exhibition park, the shopping center and the beach by line C from the center of Bordeaux.  

I hope this article covers everything you need to know about the different neighborhoods you can stay in when visiting Bordeaux. If you need more specific recommendations, check out my post about the best hotels in the city center.

If it’s your first time visiting Bordeaux, here are a few other articles you’ll find useful:
Things to do in Bordeaux, France – the ultimate guide
10 day trips from Bordeaux by train
30 things to do in Bordeaux with kids

If you’re moving to Bordeaux, be sure to check out the Bordeaux Expats website which is full of valuable knowledge for newcomers.  

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.

*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 🙂 

I absolutely love street art and any city that makes the effort to complement its historic landscape with a modern expression of art is buying a fast ticket to my “go-to” list. That’s why Angoulême, which is located in the Charente department, about 1.5 hours drive from Bordeaux (or 35 minutes by train) has been on my mind for quite a while now. Angoulême is widely known as the comics and street art capital of France and is globally renowned for its Internation Comics festival hosting more than 200,000 people every year. Although I knew that I’m expected to see some beautiful murals in Angoulême, the creativity of this city took me by surprise the minute I entered the historic part of the city. Angoulême’s admiration for comics was expressed in every detail, from colorful post boxes to painted recycling bins and statues of famous comics characters. Visiting Angoulême is a little bit like playing treasure hunt for art lovers, there’s something to find on every street corner. 

Now, don’t get me wrong here, this is by far not the only reason to visit Angoulême. It’s a beautiful historic city, surrounded by ancient ramparts, abundant with elegant monuments, and generally a vivid place with an impressive number of bars and restaurants. My article about all the things you can do in Angouleme is in the making but in this article, I want to focus on what attracted me to this city, which is its street art. My goal is to make you experience this city as if we were in an open museum of comics and street art. Having said that, if you really love comics don’t miss la Cité Internationale de la Bande Dessinée et de l’Image, the comics museums of Angoulême. 

Street art in Angouleme France

If it’s your first visit in this region, check out my guide to Bordeaux and my article about visiting Cognac. You can also get plenty of traveling tips in my Facebook group “Travel in the Southwest of France“.

The map of all my favorite murals and statues 

There are 25 huge murals painted on different buildings spread around Angoulême. If you can, pass by the tourist office (located in the Hotel de Ville), and grab a map indicating all of these murals. However, you should know that some of them are located quite far from the city center and require a long walk to get there. So if you are limited in time or just want to save your energy for the more interesting parts of the city, I made a map of my favorite murals and other street art that I really loved when strolling the city. In most of the locations on the map, I added the name of the work and the artist’s name and in some, I also added a photo and a link for more info about this work (in French). 

I should mention also that there’s an app that can help you navigate around the murals in the city. I didn’t try it myself, but if you want to give it a try, these are the links, Google Play, App Store.

My three favorite murals in Angoulême

I should start by saying that all the murals in Angouleme are stunning but there are several that I particularly loved and I think you should see.

La Fille des Remparts – Max Cabannes

This one is probably the most famous mural in Angouleme and one of the best spots for taking photos and selfies in the city 🙂
In this Mural, Max Cabann imitates the atmosphere of the old city with its ramparts and old buildings. It almost feels like a continuation of the street your standing on. You can find it just next to the market on 6 Boulevard Pasteur. 

Chassez le Naturel – François Boucq

This beautiful mural is located in a residential neighborhood slightly outside of the city center, but it’s so stunning it’s worth the walk. François Boucq is a French comics artist known for its books about Jérôme Moucherot, an insurance salesman, who is dressed in a leopard suit. The mural can be found at: Rue du Dr Duroselle above the parking entrance.

Chassez le Naturel - François Boucq - mural in Angouleme

L’Archiviste – François Schuiten

L’Archiviste by François Schuiten is one of the most special artworks on the streets of Angoulême – one million holes on a stainless steel plate over a huge building facade. The building is located on 24 Avenue Gambetta.

L'Archiviste - François Schuiten - street art angouleme

The Comics Festival

If you can choose when to visit Angouleme, the best time would be in January when the city hosts its famous Comics Festival. The Angoulême International Comics Festival is the third biggest comics festival in the world, hosting more than 200,000 visitors every year. 

Discover more art when strolling Angoulême 

The murals of Angoulême display the works of the most famous comics artists in France. However, street art and comics are such an important part of the modern identity of this city that the murals are only a fraction of the art you can find in Angoulême. I spent hours just walking and absorbing the colors, the cute characters painted on the shatters, and unusual statues in the garden below the ramparts. Here are some of my favorite discoveries from this beautiful city. I count on you to find many more when you visit fascinating Angoulême 🙂

Street art Angouleme
memoire du xxeme ciel - street art Angouleme

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

In the last few weeks, I’ve been writing a lot about places in Gironde, rather than Bordeaux itself and that’s because I really want to encourage you to discover the amazing area we live in. Gironde is the biggest department in France and one of the most varied ones in terms of what you can see and do. In my previous articles, I’ve written about the beautiful beaches surrounding Bordeaux, the best parks around Bordeaux, and some great hiking trails in Gironde. Now that you know all about the magnificent nature we’re surrounded by, it’s time to explore some of the most charming villages in France! So today, I am taking a short break from nature to invite you on a journey to discover Gironde’s beautiful architecture and heritage. In this article, I gathered some of the most beautiful villages in Gironde. If you follow my articles, you know that I really like variety and that’s why I included towns and villages from all over the department. Beach towns on the Atlantic coast, beautiful villages in the middle of Bordeaux’s wine routes, and plenty of medieval towns in the South of Gironde. 


*Note – most villages on this list require a car to get to, in case you don’t have one, click here to get a rental car in Bordeaux.

Castelmoron d'Albret

If you take my advice and visit these beautiful villages, I’d love it if you could use the hashtag #lostinbordeaux so I can share your photos on my stories on my Instagram page Lost_in_bordeaux. Also, come and share your experiences and get plenty of new ideas for day trips in Nouvelle Aquitaine in my Facebook group – Travel in the southwest of France

*Before we start I have an important announcement! I am upgrading my newsletter and from now on I will send a weekly email with suggestions of things to do every weekend. The email will be sent on Friday! So if you want to receive cool plans for the weekend (especially during this period without obvious events taking place in Bordeaux) be sure to subscribe to my newsletter here

Now let’s hit the road and discover the most beautiful villages in Gironde. 

Entre deux mers and South Gironde 

I decided to start my list with the Entre Deux Mers region and the South of Gironde as they’re usually my go-to places when I’m in a mood for beautiful medieval towns. This is one of the most beautiful parts in the southwest of France, embodying the historic and cultural richness of this region. Most of the villages on my list are located close to one another so you can visit them all in one weekend. Public transport is not extremely developed in this part of Gironde so it’s better to travel by car or bike if you like cycling a lot. I did, however, add public transport routes to these places just for completeness.

Saint Macaire 

First on my list is Saint Macaire, a little medieval town located on the banks of the Garonne river, about 50km from Bordeaux. Saint Macaire is a very attractive destination for those interested in history and beautiful architecture. What today seems like a sleepy town in the Entre Deux Mers wine appellation was once an important city under British rule and was declared the “Ville royale d’Angleterre” (An English royal city) in 1341. During the 13th and 14th centuries, it was one of the most prosperous cities in Aquitaine due to its significant agricultural and trade activities. 

Saint Macaire - one of the most beautiful villages around Bordeaux

Visiting Saint Macaire can be a great half-day trip if you take the time to discover its rich heritage, the narrow streets, and beautiful old houses and monuments. Place Mercadiou, surrounded by beautiful medieval houses is the main square of the village, where the market takes place every Thursday morning. Another monument not to miss is Porte de la Benauge, the main gate to the old city whose historic center is surrounded by ramparts. Probably the most important monument of Saint Macaire is its Eglise de Saint Sauveur et Saint-Martin. The big church, built in the 12th and 15th centuries has impressive murals that are really worth seeing. Every year at the end of August, Saint Macaire hosts one of the best medieval festivals in the region. 

How to get there:
It’s a bit complicated to get to Saint Macaire without a car as there’s no regular direct public transportation going there from Bordeaux (there’s one train a day to Saint Macaire). However, you can take a train to Langon and then cross the Garonne to the other side and bike or even go for a nice hike along the river until you reach Saint Macaire. 

Cadillac

Cadillac is a little town located on the right bank of the Garonne river at the Entre Deux Mers wine region. It’s quite a popular destination attracting many tourists, especially during summer.  Cadillac is hard to miss when driving the D10 route to the south of Gironde. You will be greeted by a big defensive wall and the main gate into the old medieval center built in the 13th century. However, its undeniably most famous monument is the Château des Ducs d’Épernon, built by the Duke of Épernon in the 17th century. The chateau is very impressive and is best known for being a women’s prison starting from the French revolution and up until 1950. It now serves as a museum that mostly displays the life of the royals who were occupying the estate before it became a prison. However, on the last floor, you can actually still see the cells and a small exhibition about the prison. 

Cadillac - medieval village inGironde, France

The town is also known for its wine, the Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux appellation. You can visit the Maison des vins of Cadillac in order to learn about the wine of this region and taste it of course 🙂

How to get there:
You can get there by bus number 501 from the Bastide neighborhood in Bordeaux, see the schedule here.   

Rions

About 5km from Cadillac you will find Rions, a small medieval town located on the banks of the Garonne river. Like other towns in this region, Rions is also characterized by cute narrow streets and medieval houses. During medieval times it was an important town which was greatly affected by the Hundred years war between France and England. In 1295, Rions, which was at the time under British rule, was conquered by the French Charles of Valois who took down its defensive walls. In 1313, England was able to take the city back and surround it with ramparts, making it one of the Fortified English cities of British ruled southwest of France (Guyenne). It went back into French hands right before the end of the long war and, despite all the turmoil, was left with its impressive architecture and charm, perfect for a few hours trip. If you want to make the best of your day trip to the region, you can go on a 5km hike and see the beautiful surroundings of this medieval town. Read more about the hiking trail from Rions, in my article about hiking around Bordeaux

Rions - a medieval town in the South of Gironde

How to get there:
You can take bus number 501 from the Bastide neighborhood in Bordeaux, see the schedule here.   

Castelmoron d’Albret

Castelmoron d’Albret is the smallest village in France and in my opinion one of the most charming ones in the southwest of France. This tiny medieval village is brimming with charm! Almost every house here is covered with colorful roses and other beautiful flowers spilling from eclectic pottery that is made here in the village. No house here looks the same, every window and door has its own particularity. There are almost no signs of modern life here, no cars, no sidewalks, just a beautiful village frozen in time. There are only about 50 people living here and only three businesses operating in the 3.5 hectares village so the atmosphere is incredibly relaxing. I think my kids were the loudest thing this village has experienced in a while.  

Castelmoron d'Albret - the smallest village in France

It will take you about an hour of a scenic drive over the hills and along the vineyards of Entre Deux Mers to reach the little town from Bordeaux. If you want to combine the visit with any other activity, I recommend visiting the impressive bastide town of Sauveterre-de-Guyenne, which is located just a few minutes drive from Castelmoron d’Albret. There are also several hiking and cycling routes you can do in this part of Entre deux Mers.  In this link you can find two great hiking trails that start from the village itself. 

How to get there:
Getting there by bus is fairly complicated and I would advise going only by car. The closest train station tho this village in La Reole but the bus from there to Castelmoron d’Albret is not very regular. 

La Réole

La Réole is a small hilly town situated on the banks of the Garonne river about 50 km from Bordeaux. Although the town developed around a monastery founded in the 7th or 8th century, it’s golden era was in medieval times when it became the second largest city in the region after Bordeaux. Still today, it’s one of the biggest towns in the south of the Gironde department with plenty of interesting events and a very lively weekly market on Saturdays. There are quite a few impressive houses and monuments to see in this little town, among them is the historic 12th century Town Hall, the Saint Pierre church and the Benedictine abbey, the old remparts of the city and more. Get lost in the narrow charming streets of the historic center of La Réole and let the beautiful architecture take you back in time. If you happen to arrive in La Reole when the tourist office is open, be sure to take a map of all the monuments in the city. 

La Reole a beautiful town around Bordeaux

How to get there:
This is a great destination for those who don’t own a car. You can get to La Réole in 40 minutes by train from Bordeaux. The train leaves from Gare Saint Jean every two hours.

If you want more ideas for trips by train from Bordeaux check out my full article about day trips from Bordeaux by public transport

Bazas

Bazas is one of my favorite towns in the south of Gironde not only because it’s a beautiful place but also due to its rich heritage embodying the Gascony culture. It’s located at the eastern edge of the Gascon Landes forest, about 65 km from Bordeaux. A stroll in the historic center will allow you to discover the impressive architecture of the city and its past role as an important bishopric. At the main square of the town you will find its famous gothic Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste which appears on the UNESCO world heritage list. When strolling the historic center don’t miss the charming old houses on the smaller streets as well as the gardens. 

Bazas - heritage and Gastronomy in the southwest of France

Architecture is not the only attraction of Bazas which is actually quite famous for its gastronomy, especially its meat. You can enjoy the Bazadaise meat in one of the restaurants located on the main square. True meat lovers could also buy meat in one of the many butcher shops in the center. If you’re looking for a full gastronomic experience to discover the cuisine of the region, there’s one tour you shouldn’t miss. Anne, an American living in Bazas is an expert on everything related to food in the region. She knows all the farmers and chefs around Bazas and her guided farm to table tours are an unforgettable experience. Check out her website.

How to get there
This is the most complicated place on my list to get to by public transport and I wouldn’t recommend doing it. If you still want to go there by public transport you can take a train from Bordeaux to Langon and then bus number 512 to Bazas. 

Before we continue to our next region I just wanted to remind you that I also share plenty of day trips ideas on my Facebook/Instagram pages, so if you’re not there yet, what are you waiting for? Like/follow me on social media and you will never be bored on a weekend again 🙂 

The right bank – Saint Emilion and Pays Blayais

Saint Emilion 

You can’t really do a list about villages around Bordeaux without including Saint Emilion in it, can you? This medieval village is known all around the world for its splendid wine but it’s also undoubtedly one of the most beautiful villages around Bordeaux. 

A day trip to Saint Emilion in the southwest of France

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. One of the famous monuments is the 11th-century Monolithic church, carved from a limestone cliff, it’s the largest underground church in Europe. Its picturesque center, densely filled with wine shops and fancy restaurants, turns this little town into a prominent attraction for tourists in the area. If you’re visiting Saint Emilion in the high season of July-August beware that you need to book everything in advance, it gets very busy!  

There are plenty of things to see in and around Saint Emilion, and it requires a full day trip to see all of it. I recommend reading my guide to Saint Emilion before heading there. Also, if you want to visit wineries in the Saint Emilion wine region, check out my article about the best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion

Blaye 

Blaye is one of the most interesting places in the Bordeaux area, located only about 50 km north to Bordeaux center. This little town has a long military and strategic history and is mostly known for its remarkable Citadel. The Citadel and city walls are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and you can easily spend half a day discovering them. The entrance to the Citadel is free and you can explore the streets and ramparts admiring the view of the Gironde estuary which can be seen from the top.

The citadel of Blaye

Blaye is also well known for its red wine which honestly is really excellent and very reasonably priced. You can visit the Maison du Vin on the main street (12 Cours Vauban), where they would gladly introduce you to the wines of the region and the chateaux you can visit around Blaye. 

How to get there?
The easiest way to get there is by car or by ferry if you’re coming from the other side of the Gironde estuary. The ferry is leaving from Lamarque, you can see all the details about the tariffs and hours in this link. Beware that masks are currently required onboard the ferry.  There are also several bus lines going to Blaye – check all the info here

Bourg

Bourg (Previously called Bourg sur Gironde) is a picturesque village at the heart of the wine appellation of Côtes de Bourg located at the confluence of the Dordogne and Garonne Rivers. Bourg has played a key role in the region’s history, it was built in Roman times, fortified by the English and visited by several kings, such as Louis XIV in 1650. Just like its neighboring town of Blaye, Bourg too has a very impressive citadel called Château de la Citadelle. While it’s not one of the main tourist destinations in the Medoc area, those who do get to visit this beautiful place, quickly fall in love with it. Apart from the citadel, the historic part of the city also has a cute central square with restaurants and shops, the market takes place every Sunday.

Bourg - a beautiful day trip from Bordeaux

Bourg is however quite known for its great Côtes de Bourg wine! Don’t miss a visit to the Maison des Vins des Côtes de Bourg, a 19th century former residence with a warm atmosphere that acts as a venue for exhibitions, talks, receptions, tasting classes, meetings with winegrowers and more. You can also see the map of all the wineries here, it’s better to call them prior to your visit. 

How to get there:
Two bus lines of TransGironde (201, 202) from Lormont pass through Bourg. However, unless you live or stay on rive droite of the Garonne it will take you some time to get to Lormont from the center of Bordeaux. So here too, going by car is recommended. 

Arcachon and Medoc

L’herbe

L’herbe is a traditional oyster farming village located on the Cap Ferret Peninsula. Here you won’t find the characteristics of a typical French village, no central square with a bakery, no old houses or medieval gates. Nonetheless, it’s one of the most beautiful villages in the southwest of France, in my opinion at least. 

Arcachon bay - a day trip from Bordeaux

There’s something raw and authentic about L’herbe. You get to walk between the colorful cabins of oyster farmers and see them in action on their special workboats. If you like oysters, you’re going to love this place. Plenty of oyster restaurants are spread along the beach serving only the freshest oysters, pork paté and white wine. This is a perfect destination for a sunny half-day trip from Bordeaux, or a full day trip if you add a visit to the beach as well. 

How to get from Bordeaux to L’herbe: by car is the best way to get here as the bus is not a direct one and it takes almost two hours to get to L’herbe from Bordeaux. But if you have no choice take bus 601 (Trans Gironde) from Bordeaux center. 

If you want to discover all the other amazing places to visit around the Bassin d’Arcachon check out my article about a day trip to the bassin d’Arcachon

Cap Ferret 

Cap Ferret is a little town located 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, especially if compared to Arcachon city. 

Cap Ferret one of the most popular destinations near Bordeaux

Cap Ferret is shaped like a narrow tongue with a long string of beautiful sandy beaches on the Atlantic ocean and a view of the eastern side of the Bassin. Apart from its dreamy beaches it’s also known for its ostréiculture industry, which produces some of the best oysters in France. Dozens of oyster cabins and restaurants with a view on the Bassin give Cap-Ferret a unique character that’s worth a visit. If you want to really profit from the day, rent a bike and cycle along the beaches and through the pine forest that covers a large part of the Cap Ferret peninsula. There are plenty of bike rentals in Cap Ferret, one of them is Bike rental Cap Gyro (7 Boulevard de la Plage, 33970 Lège-Cap-Ferret).

How to get there:
Bus 601 will bring you to Cap Ferret but it’ll take you at least two hours to get there, so a car is definitely a better option here. You can also take a ferry from Arcachon or le Moulleau beach, you can see the schedule here

Soulac Sur Mer

This charming little town is one of the highlights of the Medoc region. It’s located on the very top of the Medoc Atlantique, about 90 km from Bordeaux.
If you ever had the chance to visit the town of Arcachon, you will find Soulac sur Mer a bit familiar, and many actually call it “little Arcachon”. Its city center resembles Ville d’été while the northern part of the town with its charming 18th-century villas is similar in style to the impressive villas of Ville d’Hiver in Arcachon. Soulac has some of the most beautiful beaches on the Atlantic coast, attracting many French tourists to the area. There are plenty of cute little restaurants both in the center and on the promenade. Seafood is a very important part of the local cuisine and so many restaurants will serve oysters and large shrimps.

Soulac sur mer - a beautiful village in Medoc, France

Every year Soulac hosts one of my favorite events in Gironde, called Soulac 1900. A celebration of music, dance, ancient cars and costumes from the beginning of the 20th century. 

We came to the end of my list of the most beautiful villages in the Southwest of France, Gironde (at least until I find another treasure that has a place on this exclusive list :)). There are of course more charming villages around Bordeaux such as le Canon in the Cap Ferret Peninsula or Monsegur in Entre deux mers, but I narrowed down the list to the ones I find most special. 

If you’re interested in day trips in the region there are a few other articles you might like:
Best day trips from Bordeaux
10 day trips from Bordeaux by train 
Two days in the Medoc wine region

If you missed my announcement from the beginning of the post I will repeat it again because I think it’s so cool 🙂 I am upgrading my newsletter and from now on I will send a weekly email with suggestions of things to do every weekend. The email will be sent on Friday mornings! So if you want to recieve cool plans for the weekend (especially during this period without obvious events taking place in Bordeaux) be sure to subscribe to my newsletter here!

The amazing response to my Hiking in Bordeaux article last week, made me realize that now, more than ever, people are looking to replace their city center outings with parks, beaches, and forests. So maybe not everyone is up for a 9km hike but I’m sure most of my readers would love to discover new places where they can admire exotic flowers, observe ducks swimming peacefully in a cute pond and enjoy an outdoor picnic. I know we all miss going to restaurants but opening a bottle of good Bordeaux wine accompanied by cheese, charcuterie and a beautiful view doesn’t feel so bad to me! So this week I decided to write an article about the most beautiful parks in Bordeaux, or better yet “my favorite parks in Bordeaux” 🙂

If you leave the city center and travel to the other towns of Bordeaux Metropole, you will discover that there’s a huge amount of parks and green spaces in the Bordeaux region. Some of them have lakes, playgrounds, picnic areas, others have a more foresty vibe to them and some even have beautiful art installations. In some parts of this article, I mention things like playgrounds, animal parks, coffee places, and picnics, which were a normal thing before the pandemic. I hope that things can get back to normal as soon as possible but for now, please know that some of these places are still closed and that no gathering of more than 10 people is allowed. So be safe and prudent when visiting public spaces. 

If you’re keen on staying close to the center you can check out my older article about the best places for picnics in Bordeaux. Also, I just want to remind you that on my Instagram I post plenty of photos and stories from the places I visit in Gironde so follow me to get much more info about the hidden gems of our region.

The best parks in Bordeaux – Rive Gauche

Jardin Public in Bordeaux center

Jardin public in Bordeaux

For those living in Bordeaux, my choice to start with Jardin Public would seem too obvious, but one cannot make a list of parks in Bordeaux without mentioning this beautiful green island harmoniously placed among the historic buildings of Bordeaux. Jardin Public, created in the 18th century is the biggest park in Bordeaux center spreading over 11 hectares! This place is the epitome of city parks, it has a beautiful pond with ducks and swans, a wide green area for picnics, a lot of space for runners and two fun playgrounds for kids. It’s also home to Bordeaux’s natural history museums which is a great spot for families. You can clearly see why it’s one of the most visited places in Bordeaux by locals and tourists alike. In the summer, the park hosts a daily traditional puppets show, which makes it even more attractive for families. For more activities for kids check out my article about the best things to do in Bordeaux with kids

Parc Bordelais in Cauderan

Parc Bordelais in the Cauderan neighborhood is the biggest park in Bordeaux city. It’s a beautiful 28-hectare green space that attracts both friends and families for picnics around the lake, as well as runners and bikers. It also has a chic cafe, for those of you in need of a cold glass of rosé 🙂  I would dare to say that it’s the most kids-friendly park in Bordeaux. Besides two large playgrounds (for younger and older kids), there is a puppet theater, a little animal park and a kids train that takes you on a tour of the park. While it’s not in the hyper center like Jardin Public, it’s really worth the travel. 

Parc bordelais in Bordeaux

There’s no tram directly to the park but you can easily reach it by bus (number 2 or 3) from the center of Bordeaux. You can also take tram D and walk about 15 minutes to the park. It will take you about half an hour to get there walking from the center of Bordeaux. 

Parc Majolan in Blanquefort

If I had to make a list of my top three parks in Bordeaux this one would definitely be on it! Parc Majolan in Blanquefort is a great example of a beautiful landscape design. When you follow the paths in the park you feel like you walk through a forest but then suddenly discover ruins of an old gate, beautiful flowers, and finally a stunning lake. The best part of it all is the artificial caves created in the 19th century. This park is so rich that it will take you hours to explore all of it! 

Parc Majolan Bordeaux

How to get there: The entrance to the park is from Avenue du Général de Gaulle 33290 BLANQUEFORT. If you’re coming by bus, take bus number 29 and get off at Parc de Majolan station. 

Parc Bouran in Merignac

Parc Bouran in Merignac

Parc Bouran is the main park of Merignac and is easily accessible by tram A from the city center. While it’s a proper park with a lake, a beautiful chateau and playgrounds, some parts of it feel rawer and woody, which I find very nice. The park has been built around the Deveze, a stream that runs into the Garone river next to the Saint Pierre neighborhood (the original location of the old port of Bordeaux). In the city center, the stream now goes underground but here in the park, it’s in the open-air, giving it yet another special feature. This park is perfect for families and seems to be very popular with joggers as well 🙂

Parc Floral 

I feel like this amazing park doesn’t get enough credit. The 20 hectares flower park of Bordeaux side by side with the Bois de Bordeaux (the forest of Bordeaux) in the Barails natural reserve, which I have written about in my Hiking in Bordeaux article. This is one of the most beautiful places in Bordeaux for walking, running, bicycle riding or a picnic. 

Parc floral in Bordeaux

The colorful Parc floral has a beautiful rose garden with more than 500 varieties of roses. And that’s not all, among the park’s greenery you can find magnolias, many irises, every possible type of rhododendrons and many types of vines (mind you they are there to feed the birds). Throughout the park you will see plenty of statues and structures that look like they have been taken from other parts of the world. These were donated to Bordeaux from different places like Japan, Spain, and Morocco (don’t miss the stunning Moorish mosaics.) Spring is the best time to visit the park. Everything is still blossoming and after two months of confinement, it’s a good reminder that the world is still beautiful and alive 🙂 

Parc Floral is located in the Bordeaux Lac neighborhood and to get there straight without passing the forest first you will need to enter through entree roseraie (next to the Golf de Bordeaux Lac). Before heading there check out the information about the different entrances and parking spots on the official site of Bordeaux

Le Bois du Bouscat

Le Bois du Bouscat is a 5 hectares park stretched along the big Hippodrome in the Le Bouscat neighborhood. It’s a relatively new park, opened only in 2013 and labeled “entre nature et culture” it strives to connect  nature, art, and culture. While it’s not a huge park, its cultural aspect is particularly attractive and it can take you a few hours to see everything if you really pay attention to all the details. Plenty of sculptures are spread throughout the park, unusual benches, each designed by a different wood sculpturer, beautiful metallic animals representing the animals of the forest, and other art installations all related to nature. If you’re in for a culture hike, this is your place.

Parc Peixotto

Parc Peixotto in the center of Talence is not one of the big parks in Bordeaux metropole, but one of my favorites for sure. Well, I’m not objective here, I live just next door to it and it has been my savior every time my kids go bananas at home. What can you find here? A pond with plenty of geese and ducks, a beautiful chateau, and tons of hidden spots for romantic picnics 🙂 In the summer there are usually some nice events taking place in the park as well. 

chateau peixotto
chateau peixotto in Talence

It’s easily accessible by tram B from the city center – the Forum and Parc Peixotto stations are both very close to the park. 

Ecosite du Bourgailh in Pessac

The Ecosite of Bourgailh is not just a park, it’s a universe of plants put together in great landscape design. The area of the Foret du Bourgailh includes a 2.6 km walking trail, the largest tropical greenhouse in the region, sports facilities, a skate park, an amphitheater, a zoo and one of the most beautiful playgrounds you have ever seen, which for me is the highlight of this park. There are plenty of nice ecological and educational events taking place there throughout the year, such as mushroom hunting, a pumpkin festival, planting workshops and more. 

Ecosite du Bourgailh in Pessac

There are currently some issues with the parking there so you might have to stop further away and walk a bit. Click here to see where to park and how to get there by public transport or biking. 

Parc du Moulineau Gradignan

Parc du Moulineau Gradignan

Parc du Moulineau happens to be one of the biggest parks in the green suburb of Gradignan and it’s a real gem for kids. Not only can they enjoy a big playground but it’s also home to the Maison de la Nature that inhabits nearly 50 different animal species from rabbits to the black and white goat of the Pyrénées. The animal park is still closed so I recommend waiting until it opens up before going there. You can see all the details about the opening hours of the animal park here

Parc Sourreil in Villenave d’ornon

Parc Sourreil in Villenave d’ornon

This little park is well hidden behind its chateau and is easy to miss when passing by its main entrance in Villenave d’Ornon. However, if you go beyond the chateau you’ll find a cute forest-y park with a nice area for kids and some walking paths around the woods. I wouldn’t necessarily make a long trip to see this park but if you’re not far from here, it’s worth a visit!

Parks on Rive droite 

Parc de L’ermitage in Lormont 

The Parc of Lormont, or by its official name Parc de l’Ermitage Sainte-Catherine, is one of the favorite parks of rive droite inhabitants, or those who love traveling around the metropole. This beautiful hilly park is located on the east bank of the Garonne river and is part of the enormous 400 hectares green space called Parc des Coteaux, which goes through several other towns on rive droite. 

If you climb on the upper side of the park you can enjoy a stunning view of the Aquitaine bridge covering the Garonne river. However, If you’re coming with strollers or generally with little kids, beware that it’s not a very easy climb to the top of the park. In that case, I would advise you to spend your time near the lake at the bottom of the park and then reenter the park again through Haut Lormont (the higher part of Lormont) to visit the hilly part.  

Parc de L’ermitage in Lormont

I previously mentioned this park in my article about things to do with kids in Bordeaux. Just next to the park you will find the ferme d’Iris, an animal farm for kids with rabbits, donkeys, goats, and more.  For more info about the farm click here.

Parc aux Angéliques in Bastide

Parc aux Angéliques on Quai des Queyries isn’t a park per se, but rather a vast green area close to the city center, perfect for hiking, biking, or a picnic with friends. I felt that I should include it in the list for those looking for a nice picnic spot in the more tranquil part of Bordeaux. The park is spread along the Garonne river from its east side which provides a beautiful view of the buildings and monuments on the opposite side of the river such as the beautiful Place de la Bourse. There’s a very familial and tranquil vibe to it even during the more touristy months of the year. You will see groups of friends picnicking, families playing badminton, and a lot of bikers and runners (well, these are apparently everywhere in Bordeaux). If you’ve made it all the way there you can enjoy places like Darwin and Jardin Botanic, both located just in front of the park. You can read more about these two places in my ultimate guide to a weekend in Bordeaux. If you’re coming with kids, don’t panic if you don’t find a playground in the park. There’s actually a large playground just next to Jardin Botanique at Place des Droits de L’Enfant.

Parc aux Angéliques in Bastide

You can get there by tram A (Stalingrad station), by boat from the other side of the river, or with many buses that go through the Bastide neighborhood, You can use the site of the public transport in Bordeaux to find the best route. My favorite way to get there is on a city bike, you can read more about that in my article about cycling in Bordeaux

In this list, I included only the parks that I had a chance to visit, which is quite a lot but if you think that I should include other parks feel free to write it in the comments below. 

If you want to get more information about traveling in Bordeaux and the Southwest of France you should join my Travel in the Southwest of France Facebook group or simply join my Facebook/Instagram pages where I share almost all my travel and experiences in the region on a daily basis. If you want to get exclusive tips on traveling in the region, subscribe to my newsletter here.

Hope you enjoyed reading!