small businesses in Bordeaux

For two years now I have been writing only about happy events in the beautiful region of the Southwest of France. I would look forward every month to publishing my “what to do this month in Bordeaux” list, hoping to make people’s weekends and trips to the region a fun experience. Unfortunately, my events lists will have to wait for better times!  However, I feel that it’ll be a shame not to use the platform I’ve built for a good cause. So I’ve decided to help those local businesses that stay open during confinement by promoting them here for free. This article contains a list of several platforms through which you can order food from local farmers as well as a list of other local businesses who deliver what I consider as food for the soul 🙂 I will continue updating the list as I’ll discover new businesses in the food industry (write to me if you are one of them!)  You can also check my Instagram account where I’ll regularly post stories of these local businesses. Even if at this point you cannot support these businesses financially, think about supporting them virtually – follow them on social media, like and share their posts – that’s something that helps small businesses grow (I’m talking from experience 🙂 ). Let’s start!  

Buy food from local farmers and artisans in Nouvelle Aquitaine 

If you’re desperately looking for a food delivery service to avoid going out for shopping, don’t forget that many farmers and artisans are still working and many have delivery services. And now more than ever they need your support. Here’s a list of some of the platforms where you can order vegetables, meat, cheese, bread, and other fresh products. 

Plateforme Solidaire pour les producteurs de Nouvelle-Aquitaine

The Nouvelle Aquitaine region is now working on a fantastic initiative that is supposed to connect people to local food producers providing delivery services. The online platform is going to be launched on March 31 – you’ll find the map of all the registered food producers here.

Currently, they are in the process of registering as many farmers and artisans as possible, so if you want your business to be listed please register here:  Produits locaux de Nouvelle-Aquitaine.

help local farmers in the southwest of France

My Farmers – order fresh products online 

My Farmers is a Bordeaux based company whose online platform allows you to order local produce directly from farmers. You can get top-quality meat, cheese, fruits and vegetables delivered to your doorsteps. Go on their site http://www.myfarmers.fr and choose the option of “food lover” when subscribing. Currently, the service is available only in Bordeaux.

The Aquitaine Travel guide farms list

My friends Anne and Simona from Aquitaine Travel guide have curated a very long list of farms in the region, including the south of Gironde, Arcachon and Bordeaux Metropole. Some offer delivery services and some require a self pick-up of the products, Eather way, It’s a very detailed list where you are sure to find a farm close to your place.

La Ruche Qui Dit Oui

La Ruche Qui Dit Oui is a great concept that I recommend to anyone living in Bordeaux (or almost any other city in France). There are weekly assemblies in many locations in Bordeaux, and in some smaller towns in Gironde. Choose the one closest to your home to see the farmers and the products you can choose from. You then order all your products online, everything from fruits, vegetables, bread, cheese, meat, wine and more. There is no home delivery, you have to go to the dedicated location to pick your weekly products. Go to their site to see all the info on their website.

Make yourself happy with a bottle of wine

The chic Bordeaux wine shop, Cousin & Compagnie offers a delivery service in Bordeaux for orders above 50€ TTC.  ⁣⁣You can see all the details in their Facebook post or just contact them via email: [email protected]⁣⁣. 

Support local tourism

I know that planning trips may seem irrelevant right now but this is my industry so the topic is close to my heart and I need to address it here. There are some amazing tour guides in this region. People who are passionate about the history, culture, gastronomy and wine of the southwest of France. Some of them I know personally and some virtually, but their passion and knowledge never cease to amaze me. As you can imagine, all of us tour guides have lost our income for the next few months. So how can you help? If you know for sure that you will be arriving in the region during the summer or fall, you can order a tour in advance. Some tour guides offer great discounts if you order the tours now. Otherwise, you can like and comment on our posts on social media so we can at least grow in the virtual world, which will help us in the future. So here is a list of some of my favorite guides in the region 🙂 

Aquitaine Travel guide – Anne and Simona, are two passionate foodies that offer amazing farm to table tours in the south of Gironde. Check out their website here

Wine and history tour – Jennifer offers super interesting and fun tours that focus on the history and wine in Bordeaux center and it even includes a glass of Bordeaux wine in the end. Check out all the info here

Bordeaux walking tours – one of the best tour companies in Bordeaux, owned by the wonderful Hela. They offer a great variety of guided tours, from walking to running and fashion tours in Bordeaux. Check out their website here

Bordeaux – Cognac tour guide – While I haven’t met Marie personally, I have been learning from her on a daily basis. She posts so many interesting facts about Bordeaux, wine, Cognac, and more that you should follow her even if you have been living here for a while. Check out her Facebook page here

Taste of Toulouse – I usually write about Nouvelle Aquitaine but if you’re planning on visiting Toulouse over the summer, I have a great recommendation there as well. Jessica is an American food tour guide living in Toulouse. She offers amazing foodie journeys in Toulouse’s patisseries, chocolatiers and its main market. She offers a special code that is only good through the end of April. Use code ILOVELOCALBIZ to get 20% off any tour or gift voucher. Read about her and the tours here:  https://www.tasteoftoulouse.com/

Lost in Bordeaux – well this is me of course 🙂 Like everyone, I cannot do tours right now. But I am still posting quite a lot of content here and on my Facebook page and Instagram account so you’re welcome to follow, share, like and comment 🙂  

Lost in Bordeaux food tours

Support local businesses in the art, sport and lifestyle

Here’s a list of more local businesses that can improve your mood and health during this complicated period. Even if you don’t have the means or the mood to purchase art or design your house, you can still support them by liking their social media accounts and sharing them. 

Use the time to redesign your house

Cassandra is a Belgian-American home design coach and home stager that now offers consultation sessions online.  How does it work? You send her picture(s) and or video(s) of the room you want to redecorate, and she will send you her advice by e-mail. Price: 20€ per room, 30€ for 2 rooms. Here are her contact details: E-mail address: [email protected], Phone: 06 45 32 72 43, Website: www.coast33.com, www.meublimo.fr

Amazing local artist

If you decided to invest the time (and money) to redesign your house during the lockdown, how about adding some local art to your walls? Ed Williamson is a super talented British artist living in Saint Emilion. I have attended one of his exhibitions a year ago and I must say that his works are absolutely stunning. Visit his site here

Online workout membership by local coach

Cloë, an Aussie mum living in Bordeaux is a  mind body performance coach. She offers an online holistic membership that provides pre-recorded virtual workout videos from mat pilates, bands, weights, running plans, HIIT videos and programs, recipes, mindset coaching, yoga and stretching videos etc all available 24/7 anywhere, anytime. The membership is normally 42€ per month but is now offered to Bordeaux and EU locals 50% off for only 20€ per month. You can read more info and sign up:  https://powerzenbycloe.com/on-demand-bdx/

Holistic Health Coach

Daniela is a Holistic Health Coach helping people to get into a healthier lifestyle thanks to nutrition, stress management, movement and general lifestyle changes. Currently, she offers consultations over video. You can contact her through her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/lettucebloom

That’s it for now, I will continue updating this list during the confinement period (when my kids will finally let me have a moment for myself)

I really hope that soon enough all of this will be behind us and I can get back to writing about traveling in this amazing region. 
In the meanwhile, stay home and safe everyone 

source: AFP/Ludovic Marin

Yesterday evening, the president of France, Emmanuel Macron, has announced new and strict measures to combat the outbreak of the Coronavirus (Covid 19) in France. Since Friday, the president had already announced that all daycares, schools and universities will be closed starting Monday (March 16). Then adding this Saturday that all the nonessential shops will be closed starting Sunday (March 15) – you can see the list of all the businesses that will stay open at the end of this post. 

Yesterday, however, Macron has declared that France will enter lockdown for a period of at least 15 days, stating that “we are at war against the virus”. If you missed the speech or just confused by the new restrictions, this is how it’s going to work.
Starting today (March 17) at noon, all residents of the French territories are obliged to stay at home. You will be allowed to leave the house for one of the following reasons: 

  1. Work when working from home is not possible (you should have a permanent certificate from your employer if you have to go to work)
  2. Grocery shopping
  3. Health treatment –  go to a doctor/hospital/pharmacy
  4. imperative family reasons – assistance to vulnerable people or childcare. Parents who share custody also have the right to continue to do (exit homes to pick up or drop off) so per their agreements.
  5. Short physical activity or taking you animal for a walk – this should be done in your neighborhood (not more than a few hundred meters from your house) and alone.

This is the most important part! 

When you leave your house you must carry a certificate indicating the reason for your trip. You can see the certificate in the picture below – download it here.  Don’t worry if you don’t have a printer, you can write it by hand (be sure to put the date and time). Filling it wit an adobe reader app is not allowed. Anyone caught outdoors without the certificate faces a fine of 135 €. 

What will stay open during the emergency period (stage 3)?

On Saturday evening Macron announced that all non-essential businesses will stay closed including restaurants, bars, museums, cinemas and more. The businesses that will continue to operate are: pharmacies, medical cabinets, banks, gas stations, supermarkets and any grocery stores, bakeries, Tabac stores, hotels and post offices.  Many restaurants can still do deliveries so think of ordering some food to support local businesses :). 

You can see the full detailed list of all kinds of shops that are allowed to operate during this period in this government link

Travel ban

Starting this noon, the European Union is closing all external borders for 30 days. nevertheless, residents of the European Union will be allowed to go back to their countries. So far it seems that UK citizens can also travel back there from France.
Many European counties have imposed their own border closures, which means that you’ll have to check each individual country’s restrictions if you must go there.

Note from me

If you have a business in the southwest of France that is operating during this period, please send me a description of your business and all the practical info (opening hours, address, website) to [email protected] so I can add it to the post I’m currently working on. 

Stay home, safe and healthy!


So if we’ll survive the coronavirus we are going to have quite a lot to wait for in April this year. Many of the events are taking place in beautiful locations around Bordeaux like the wine salon in Blaye or the open doors in the wineries of Medoc. Besides that, there are great events like the big brocante of Bordeaux, the Easter weekend with plenty of activities for kids and a lot of great exhibitions.

If you’re reading the article in March you may also want to check my March list, just to make sure you don’t miss any of the cool events taking place this month. For those of you who are new to this site – I publish a post with events taking place every weekend in Bordeaux, so check it out to stay up to date. If the weather is good, April is a great month to start discovering our region and for that, you can check out my article about the best day trips from Bordeaux and my Facebook group Travel in the southwest of France. Here’s the list of things to do in April 2020 in Bordeaux.

Open doors in Médoc

To celebrate the beginning of spring the Maison du Tourisme et du Vin de Pauillac will hold an open doors weekend on April 4-5. During the weekend you can visit plenty of châteaux in the Medoc region and taste some of the finest wines in the world. For details about all the participating chateaux click here.

If you want to know more about the event you should read my post about the Open doors weekend.

When: April 4-5 / Where:  different locations (see the site)

Bicycle spring sale

Are you looking to buy or sell a bicycle, the big spring bicycle sale is just around the corner. The Bordeaux bicycle stock exchange will take place on April 4 at Quai Louis XVIII. Those who wish to sell their bike can do sot between 11:00 and 13:00  and the buyers will be able to start buying after 14:00. For more details click here. Check on leboncoin before you go, as prices are not always cheap..

When: April  4 / Where: Quai Louis XVIII

Printemps du sport 

A big sports day will take place on April 4-5 in Pessac. The program includes dance shows, discovery workshops of martial arts, a sports village and more. For the full program click here. The event will take place at the Stade André Nègre and at Piscine Caneton.

When: April 4-5 / Where: Avenue des Provinces 33600 Pessac

Convention Tattoo Bordeaux

The international tattoo convention of Bordeaux will take place on the weekend of April 4-5 in Hangar 14, which is located at Quai des Chartrons. The program includes a tattoo contest, expositions, live concerts and different activities such as juggling and breakdancing. For more info click here.

When: April 4-5 / Where: Hangar 14, 115 Quai des Chartrons, 33000 Bordeaux

Esclave du livre (literature festival)

Esclave du livre is a literature association whose goal is to promote reading and support the creation of new literature. They invite you on April 3-5 to take part in a literature festival that will bring together authors and illustrators for debates, public readings, performances and discovering pieces that haven’t been published yet. For more info click here.

When: April 3-5 / Where:  Place Renaudel – Quartier Ste Croix , Bordeaux

Tauzia Fête les Jardins

Tauzia is a gardening festival that takes place on April 4-5 at the Tauzia chateau in Gradignan. The event, which received a great amount of interest from the Bordelaise public last year, is full of events and activities for gardening enthusiasts. It will bring together more than 80 exhibitors specialized in the world of plants: plant producers, landscape designers, artists, collectors, horticulturists and in general people with exceptional knowledge of plants. You will be able to buy plants, flowers and shrubs in the beautiful English park of Chateau Tauzia and also get advice from the specialists on how to maintain your garden. See more details here.

When: April 4-5 / Where: Château de Tauzia, 216 Cours du Général de Gaulle, 33170 Gradignan

Treasure Hunt on Pâques Weekend

The second weekend of April (April 10-13) is the long weekend of Easter in France and the area of Bordeaux offers plenty of activities to entertain you and your kids. Egg hunting, visits in beautiful chateaux and chocolate workshops are only some of the activities you could do on this weekend. I will put more updates on specific events as we’ll get closer to the date, but for now, I’m just going to mention a few interesting ones:

  • A treasure hunt and activities for kids on April 12-13 at the beautiful  château de Vayres – for more details click here 
  • Château de Villandraut – the beautiful castle will host a treasure hunt on April 13 – for more info click here
  • Château Larrivet Haut- Brion in Leongan will host a treasure hunt for kids on April 11 – for more details click here
  • Écomusée de Marquèze celebrates Easter on April 12-13 in plain nature with concerts and lots of chocolate – for more details click here.

Territoires Sauvages – Nature festival

Territoires Sauvages is a nature festival that will take place at the Réserve Ornithologique du Teich on April 10-13. You’re invited to spend your Easter weekend discovering the natural treasures of the region. The festival’s program includes guided tours at the reserve, exhibitions, a big treasure hunt for kids and concerts on Sunday (April 12). For more info click here.

When: April 10-13 / Where: In front of the réserve ornithologique du Teich, Rue du Port, 33470 Le Teich

Festival Musical Écran

Festival Musical Écran is a very unique film festival all dedicated to documentaries about music. The festival will take place on April 12-19 in different places in the special Cinéma Utopia. For the program and all the details click here.

When: April 12-19 / Where: 5 Place Camille Jullian, 33000 Bordeaux

The Blaye Spring Wine Festival

The Blaye Spring Wine Festival will take place on April 18-19 at the beautiful Blaye Citadel. The annual wine festival brings together more than 80 winemakers. The program includes discovery workshops (introduction to tasting, mixing and food and wine pairing), guided visits of the citadel by train or horse and more. For the full program and tickets click here.

Blaye – by Lost in Bordeaux
When: April 18-19 / Where: Citadelle de Blaye, 33390 Blaye

Salon Nautique d’Arcachon

The big Salon Nautique d’Arcachon will take place on April 17-20 at Port de Plaisance D’Arcachon. This is a fabulous event for boat lovers. More than 150 exhibitors will participate in the Salon, with 450 boats stationed all over the port. The event will also include a night show, a triathlon, and an exposition of an exceptionally big vessel. For more details click here.

When: April 17-20 / Where: 14 Quai Goslar, 33120 Arcachon

Semaine de l’art

An art week is taking place on April 17-25  at the Abbaye de Verneuil in the médoc region. The program of the event with all the participating artists will be published soon. For tickets and more info click here.

When: April 17-25 / Where: 2 Place Saint-Pierre, 33180 Vertheuil

Fête de l’Asperge du Blayais

la Fête de l’Asperge du Blayais in Etauliers, that will take place on April 25-26, is all about celebrating the greatness of asparagus. More than 8000 visitors are expected to stroll along the 50 exhibitors of local delights and enjoy the activities offered to both adults and kids (make-up sessions, mini farm, pony rides and more). See the full program.

When: April 25-26 / Where: Place principale, 33820 Etauliers

Festival Animasia

Animasia is a festival of Asian pop culture that brings together many elements like Manga, karaoke, Cosplay performances, martial arts and more. The event will take place on April 25 at L’Entrepôt du Haillan. The entry is free, for more details click here.

When: April 25 / Where: 13 Rue Georges Clemenceau, 33185 Le Haillan

Le Bord’Osmose Festival

Le Bord’Osmose Festival celebrates Bordeaux’s art and culture. The festival will take place on April 25-26 at La Guinguette Chez Alriq, just before its big reopening on April 30. The program includes performances and concerts of local artists, exhibitions by some of the best Bordelais artists and plenty of great food trucks. You don’t want to miss this one!! For more details click here.

When: April 25-26 / Where: ZA Quai des Queyries, Port Bastide, 33100 Bordeaux

Search for beautiful antiques at the Brocante

The big brocante of Bordeaux is hosted twice a year at place des Quinconces with 200 antique dealers, horticulturists, restaurants and craftsmen. It’s the biggest brocante event in the area and the selection is huge, from vintage home decor, to paintings, antique furniture, garden accessories and more. While some items can be pricey, you can still find plenty of affordable pieces at this antique market. The merchants are very nice and are open to negotiations. The brocante is taking place from April 24 to May 10. For more info and the list of exhibitors click here.

brocante Bordeaux
Brocante in Bordeaux – by Lost in Bordeaux
When: April 24 – May 10 / Where: Place des Quinconces, Bordeaux

Fete de la Lamproie

Saint-Terre, the world capital of the Lamproie, will celebrate this creepy jawless fish with a fun, festive weekend. The full program will be published here closer to the event. The event will take place On April 24-26

When: April 24 – 26 / Where: Saint-Terre


Forsythe / Preljocaj / Smith les grands classiques d’aujourd’hui

The ballet of the Opéra National de Bordeaux invites you to a show with three classic choreographies by three famous choreographers: Forsythe, Preljocaj and Smith, each has a different style and evokes different emotions. For more info and tickets click here. The show will be performed 8 times between April 3-12. 

When: April 3-12 / Where: Place de la Comédie, 33000 Bordeaux

 La Belle et la Bête 

A modern ballet interpretation of the beauty and the beast by the choreographer Thierry Malandain will be performed by the Malandin Ballet Biarritz on April 8 at Pin Galant in Merignac. For more info click here

 When: April 8 / Where: 34 av. du Maréchal-de-Lattre-de-Tassigny, 33700 MERIGNAC


Gustav Klimt – D’or et de couleurs

If you were looking for more reasons to come to Bordeaux, you’ve got one! An amazing exhibition of Gustav Klimt is going to take place at the Bassins de Lumières (previously known as the Base sous-marine) starting April 17! This is a very special place (an old German submarine base converted into art space) and is worth a visit all by itself. For more details click here.

Gustav Klimt Bordeaux
 When: April 17- January 3 / Where: Impasse Brown de Colstoun, 33300 Bordeaux, France

Itinéraires des Photographes Voyageurs – photography festival

The 30th edition of the “traveling photographers routes” festival is taking place on April 1-30. During one month, 18 photography exhibitions will be presented at the main cultural institutions in the city, among them, the Rocher de Palmer in Cenon, the Bibliothèque Grand Parc, Espace Saint-Rémi and others. More info about the event will be published here.

When: April 1-30 / Where: Different locations in Bordeaux (see program)

Boire avec les dieux – exhibition

A new exhibition named Boire avec les dieux will be presented in Cite du Vin starting April 10. The interactive exhibition will focus on the relationship between Greek gods and wine. For more details click here

When: April 10 – August 30/ Where: 150-134 Quai de Bacalan, 33300 Bordeaux

Robots in Cap Science – last chance to see it

Robots is a cool exhibition for kids presented these days at Cap Science, the children science museum in Bordeaux. The exhibition is dedicated to robots and their functions in our lives. It will be presented until May 3, 2020. For more details and tickets click here.

When:  Until May 3, 2020 / Where: Cap Sciences Hangar 20

Afrique, Savane Sauvage – New Exhibition

The museum of natural history in Bordeaux opened its new temporary exhibition for 2020 – Africa, wild Savannah. The new exhibition focuses on different aspects of the relationships between animals in the African Savanna, from the food chain to their coexistence, seasonal migration and survival strategies. It’s a very fun and interactive exhibition that both kids and adults will love. The exhibition will be presented until December 31, 2020. For more info click here

When: February 4 – December 31 / Where: 5 Place Bardineau, 33000 Bordeaux (in Jardin Public)

That’s it for things to do in April 2020 my friends! You can see the smaller events taking place in and around Bordeaux in my weekend list and also on the Facebook page of Lost in Bordeaux. For much more info on what to do and where to travel in the region don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter and join my Facebook group “Travel in the Southwest on France“.

If it’s your first time in Bordeaux you may also like to read these articles:
What to do in Bordeaux -the ultimate guide
The best areas in Bordeaux – the district guide
Where to stay in Bordeaux – the hotels guide
The best museums to visit in Bordeaux
What to do in Saint Emilion
What to do in Arcachon

I truly believe that the best way to discover the center of  Bordeaux is by foot, simply because every building in this city is an architectural work of art worthy of your full attention. One exception is the waterfront of Bordeaux, which is the perfect place for cycling in the city. Surely if you’ve been living here for a while you would think that there are many other interesting trails around the city, but for a newcomer, this cycling route is the best way to discover some of Bordeaux’s most interesting and entertaining spots. In this article, I’m going to introduce you to the “Bridge to Bridge” cycling route in Bordeaux. This trail starts from “la rive gauche”, the western side of Pont Pierre (the central bridge of Bordeaux). It then continues north all along the waterfront until you get to the most modern bridge of Bordeaux, Pont Chaban Delmas. From there you will cross to the Bastide neighborhood, the local’s favorite weekend getaway.

Cycling in Bordeaux

In this article, I’m going to mention all the beautiful monuments and interesting places you should pay attention to as well as recommend places that require a longer stop. I do want to want to warn you that there are quite a lot of stops here, I wrote them all just for you have all the options, but if you really want to feel like you’re cycling you might want to skip some of them 🙂
I am only referring to places located along the waterfront so If you want a deeper introduction to Bordeaux go to my ultimate guide to a weekend in Bordeaux.
There is so much to see on the way and I don’t want you to miss any of it, so tune in and let’s start cycling.
*For information on bike rentals go to the bottom of the article.

What not to miss while cycling in Bordeaux 

The “rive gauche” – the 18th-century charm of Bordeaux 

Start your tour next to the central and oldest bridge of Bordeaux, Pont de Pierre. The first bridge of Bordeaux was commissioned by Napoleon I at the beginning of the 19th century. Prior to the building of this bridge, the only way to get to the other side was by boat. If you’re using the city bikes, there is a station just a minute walk north of Port de Bourgogne, otherwise, look on the map of available bikes here

Pont Pierre in Bordeaux

Now that you have your bike, you can start cycling north, all along the Garonne river. Look at the shape of the river, does that remind you of anything? The Garonne river is shaped like a moon and that’s where Bordeaux got its’ nickname “la Port de la Lune” – the moon port. 

It’s time for some sightseeing! It will be very hard to miss the first monument on our route, the spectacular Porte Cailhau,  one of the two original gates to the old city of Bordeaux. It was built in 1495 to commemorate the glory of king Charles VIII and you can find the statue of the king right in the center of it. 

We are in front of the Miroir d’eau, which is by far the most popular location in Bordeaux during the summer. And although you’ve been cycling for only a couple of minutes this place demands a stop. This modern monument, built in 2006, is the world’s largest reflecting pool. The surface is made from blue granite covered in water, reflecting the 18th century Place de la Bourse. During the summer months, the system of le Miroir d’eau operates in cycles of 15 minutes creating a shallow pool where you can wet your feet and a fog at the end of the cycle when the water is coming down. 

Place de la Bourse in Bordeaux

I would highly recommend crossing the road to Place de la Bourse and take a look at this masterpiece of classic French architecture from the 18th century. Don’t miss the famous mascarons of Bordeaux, these are the little faces looking on you from the arches of the buildings. There are more than 3000 mascarons decorating the buildings and monuments of Bordeaux, taking inspiration from Greek mythology, wild animals, religion and the economical development of Bordeaux. To learn a bit more about the architecture of Bordeaux go to the Bordeaux Patrimoine Mondial, an architectural and heritage interpretation center. The center hosts a modern exhibition presenting various stages in the development of Bordeaux and the factors that have influenced its construction.

You can now pop on your bikes and continue to our next stop, but before we get there, here are a few places I don’t want you to miss. 

Place des Quinconces
Place des Quinconces is the largest city square in France! On one of the sides of this enormous square, you will find the beautiful monument dedicated to the Girondins (members of a political faction) who were killed during the French Revolution. Throughout the year the square hosts many different events, festivals and fairs such as the Brocante de Quinconces. I tend to write a lot about the events that take place on Place des Quinconces so be sure to check out my monthly and weekly updates about things to do in Bordeaux for up to date recommendations.

Remembring the slave trade in Bordeaux
In the last few years, Bordeaux has become more engaged in trying to acknowledge its dark past of slave trade that took place from the 17th to the 19th century. A decade ago you could barely find any remanence of Bordeaux’s role as the second biggest slave trade port in France. Today, however, several statues of slaves can be found in the city and Bordeaux’s triangular slave trade voyages carrying more than 150,000 slaves are documented in the Musee d’Aquitaine.

Quais des Bordeaux

One of the most beautiful statues was created by a Haitian sculptor named Filipo and is located right here on the waterfront, just in front of the Bourse Maritime. The statue depicts a young slave named Modeste Testas who was bought when she was only 15 years old by two Bordelaise brothers. She worked on their plantation in  Saint-Domingue and was set free after the death of her owner. You can read about her story on the panel explaining the statue.

You can read more about the acknowledgment of the slave trade by Bordeaux in this very interesting article by Invisible Bordeaux

Stop 2  – CAPC

If you’re in an artistic mood our second stop is for you! CAPC is the contemporary art museum of Bordeaux located between the Quinconces and Chartrons districts. The museum is housed in an impressive former warehouse from the 19th century where commodities, traded down the river, used to be stored. 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 have visited the place several times and while the exhibitions are not always the best, the building itself is very impressive. On top of the building you can find a very chic restaurant, a nice place to stop for lunch or a drink. 

If you want to see what other museums Bordeaux has to offer, check out my article about the Museums of Bordeaux

Stop 3 – lunch on the Quai des Chartrons 

If you’re feeling peckish, Quai des Chartrons is the perfect location for a good lunch. You have many good restaurants along the waterfront to choose from, two of my favorite ones are Symbiose and Pastel. 

If you’re doing the cycling tour on Sunday, don’t miss one of the best markets taking place every Sunday morning on Quai des Chartrons. This market hosts dozens of food stalls selling everything from fresh fruits, cheese, pastries and oysters. Besides the fresh local products you can buy at the market it’s simply a very nice spot to have an early lunch or a plate of oysters with white wine if you want to feel like a local. 

Sunday market in Bordeaux

If you are not time constrained take an hour or two to discover the super chic Chartrons district. You can simply follow my article about the best things to do in Chartrons

Stop 4 – Cap Sciences

If you’re doing this bike tour with kids here’s another cool place to keep in mind. Cap Science is a nice science museum that proposes interactive exhibitions and activities all dedicated to different aspects of science. The museum is located at Hangar 20, Quai de Bacalan. For other activities for kids check out my list of 30 things to do with kids in Bordeaux

Hermoine in Bordeaux
See the ship parade in Bordeaux

Just next to it don’t miss Pont Chaban Delmas, a modern bridge that was inaugurated in 2013 and named after one of the mayors of the city. It’s the longest vertical-lift bridge in Europe and seeing it elevating to let the tall ships pass is a very impressive sight.

Before you cross the bridge to the other side let’s discover another hip neighborhood in Bordeaux 

The Bacalan neighborhood – the cool kid on the block 

Bacalan is a northern district of Bordeaux, an area that, until recently, has largely been avoided by tourists and locals. The grungy landscapes of the port and its distance from the city center aren’t as appealing as the beautiful architecture and lovely squares of the historic center of Bordeaux. In the last few years, however, the Bacalan district has been changing its face, emerging to be one of the most interesting places in Bordeaux, with plenty of new neighborhoods and places to explore.

things to do in Bacalan Bordeaux

You can spend a few hours discovering this cool place, using my guide to the Bacalan district. But as we’re in the midst of our “Bridge to Bridge” cycling trail, I’ll point out two of the places close to the river that I think you should visit. 

Stop 5 – La cité du Vin

La Cité du Vin is Bordeaux’s famous wine museum. This impressive piece of modern architecture is one of a kind cultural center, all dedicated to discovering the wine world. Through its interactive exhibition, It offers a journey to both French and global wine history. You will learn about winemaking, see movies and interviews with wine producers and then pass on to smell and taste wine. The Cité du Vin allows you to discover a selection of wines from all over the world and offers one of the best panoramic views of Bordeaux. You can think of it as a kind of wine amusement park that can be very enjoyable to both wine lovers and people who don’t drink at all. 

cite du vin
Learn everything about wine making

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

Stop 6 – the Bacalan Market 

It’s time for a little break from sightseeing to go for a drink in one of Bordeaux’s chic markets – les Halles de Bacalan, located just in front of the wine museum. This impressive 950m2 hangar hosts more than 20 artisans that were chosen for the quality of their products (85% of which are produced in the South-West region of France).

Marché de Bacalan
Marché de Bacalan – a new covered market

The “rive droite” – the hipster hub

You can now go back to the modern bridge and cross it to the eastern side – la rive droite. The Bastide neighborhood represents another side of Bordeaux’s charm. Instead of the classic monuments, it has a much more tranquil and funky spirit that attracts many local families and young hipsters of Bordeaux on 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.

Let me walk you over some of the best places to stop by at the Bastide neighborhood.

Stop 7 – Fabrique Pola

Our next stop is definitely not a must, but it can be a nice place to discover for art lovers. La Fabrique Pola is an artistic hub that brings together associations related to the visual arts. They always have different (usually free) exhibitions running and sometimes on weekends, they have live music on the banks of the Garonne. For the program take a look at their site

Stop 8 – Darwin 

Darwin is probably the main reason to cross the river to the east part of the city. It’s 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. Whether alone or with kids you can spend hours in Darwin. It is also one of the most extraordinary places for street art and includes some amazing works by a lot of talented artists on every one of its buildings.

Darwin in Bordeaux
Darwin by Lost in Bordeaux

If you’re interested in plants or just love beautiful gardens, don’t miss the neighboring Jardin Botanique. This little park was created to allow the wide public to discover the world of plants, biodiversity and sustainability.

Stop 9 – finish your day with a fabulous picnic

Your cycling route along Quai des Queyries (the waterfront of “rive droite”) goes through one of the best green corners of Bordeaux. That part of the Bastide district is called Parc aux Angéliques, a wide green space with a stunning view on some of the most stunning monuments in the center of Bordeaux. Closer to Darwin, the vibe gets more hipstery.. further away and it’s more of an extended family kind of atmosphere 😉

The Bastide district
The Bastide district by Lost in Bordeaux

On summer days it’s one of the best places for a picnic in the city. If you don’t have any food with you, just go over to Magasin Général in Darwin and buy some cheese and wine (the perfect set for a French picnic). For a larger selection go to the Carrefour supermarket on Allée Serr. For other beautiful green spots in the city, check out my article about the best places for picnics in Bordeaux

Before you go back to the center of Bordeaux through Pont Pierre, stop by one of the most famous statues of “rive droite”, Le Lion. The blue lion on Place Stalingrad is created by a famous French artist Xavier Veilhan as a tribute to the victory of the Soviet army during the Second World War.

Le Lion Bastide Bordeaux

That’s it, our cycling route in Bordeaux has come to its end.  But that doesn’t mean you have to stop! Bordeaux is a super friendly city for cycling and you can continue discovering other neighborhoods and parks. You might get some ideas from the article about the Five alternative ways to discover Bordeaux

Where to rent bikes in Bordeaux 

There are plenty of places to rent bikes in Bordeaux, one of them is located just next to our starting point, next to Pont Pierre. The shop is called Bordeaux Velo and the address is 46 Quai Richelieu.

However, if you’re on a budget or just don’t want to commit to a bike for several hours you can use city bikes that are spread all over the city. The price is only 1.7 euros for 24 hours if you return them to the station every 30 minutes (you can take another bike right away). If you rather not spend your time looking for a station in the middle of your trip you can return them after you finish your ride and pay 2 euros for every additional hour.  

If you live in Bordeaux you also have the possibility to rent a free bike for several months. The organization is called la Maison métropolitaine des mobilités alternatives (MAMMA) and it’s located at 69 cours Pasteur – 33000 Bordeaux. You can check out all the details here

I hope you enjoyed this beautiful city and if you have a few more days in the area don’t forget to check out my article about the best day trips from Bordeaux. If you want more tips on restaurants, concerts and exhibitions follow me on facebook/Instagram. Or better yet, join my newsletter where I share a lot of exclusive info about Bordeaux and the region – sign up here.

The Bassin d’Arcachon or the Arcachon Bay has become one of the most popular destinations in France with more than half a million visitors heading there during July and August alone. While some people rent a house close to the beach, most tourists go there for day trips from Bordeaux, which is located about an hour’s drive from the bay.If you look at the map you’ll see that the Arcachon bay is quite a big place with plenty of villages and activities so how do you choose where to go? That’s what I’m here for! In this article I’m going to introduce you to some of the best destinations for a day trip or a weekend on Bassin D’Arcachon. The places with the most unique atmosphere, the best beaches, interesting activities for you and your kids and spots where you can enjoy the famous Arcachon oysters. 

We can roughly divide the bay into two parts, the north and south of the Bassin. When I’m in the mood for a beautiful village or an unspoilt  beach I tend to go to the northern part of Arcachon bay. There, you have the most charming villages on the Arcachon Bay like L’herbe, Le Canon, Andernos les Bains and others. However, if I’m in a more active mood, I’d usually go to the southern part of the bay where you can climb the incredible dune de Pilat, visit the oysters museum, spend a day in a huge birds reserve and kayak on the Eyre river. 

Before we start, here are a few other articles you might want to read when you’re traveling around Bordeaux:
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 join my Facebook group “Travel in the southwest of France” where many enthusiasts of the region share their recommendations for places to visit and things to do in the southwest of France.

Now let’s start discovering some of the most beautiful and interesting places to visit on the Arcachon Bay!

Andernos les Bains a perfect day trip to the Arcachon Bay

Andernos les Bains is not a prime tourist destination like some of its better-known neighbors on the Bassin d’Arcachon and that, in a way, makes it even more attractive. With an old prehistoric site, 19th-century villas and a long sandy beach overlooking the Bassin, it’s not hard to spend a pleasant day in this seaside resort. Like other towns on the Arcachon bay, Andernos les Bains is also known for oyster farming, and a wealth of restaurants serving delicious oysters and seafood garnish its shores. Most restaurants are located next to the port from which you can take a nice promenade on the longest pier in France. My favorite spot for oysters is Cabane 21 Station des Gus, which is also very kids friendly. But mind you, it’s a spot for real seafood lovers as you won’t find anything else on the menu (except wine of course). Andernos les Bains is also known for its fun events and festivals such as the Festival Cabanes en Fête (an oysters and wine celebration) in December and the  Andernos Jazz Festival in July.

eating oysters at Andernos-les-bains

How to get from Bordeaux to Andernos les Bains: The best way to get there is by car but if you have no other choice you can also take Bus 601 (Trans Gironde) from Bordeaux center.

L’Herbe – the best-hidden gem on the Arcachon bay

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, there’s no church nor a central square with a bakery and a restaurant. Nonetheless, you can easily say that it is one of the most beautiful villages in the southwest of France. 

L'herbe - a beautiful village on the Arcachon Bay

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 workboat. 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: Same as with Andernos les Bains, a 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. But if you have no choice you can also take Bus 601 (Trans Gironde) from Bordeaux center. 

Cap Ferret – dreamy beaches and the best oysters on the Arcachon bay

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 the more southern towns of Arcachon bay. 

Cap Ferret - one of the best day trips to Arcachon Bay

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 and a taste.

Another fun thing to do in Cap Ferret is to bike 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 from Bordeaux to Cap Ferret: The same 601 bus can take 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. If you’re near Arcachon or le Moulleau, you can see the schedule here

Arcachon – the city 

It’s not my favorite destination on the bay mostly due to it being a town rather than a village. Having said that there are plenty of great things to do in and around the town of Arcachon and if you have the time it’s worth a visit. 

ville d'hiver - something to discover on your day trip to the Arcachon Bay

The town of Arcachon is divided into four districts, named after the seasons of the year. Ville d’Été, covering the touristic center, main beach, restaurants and boutiques. Ville d’Hiver – the historic center adorned with glamorous 19th-century villas. Ville de Printemps in the west is closer to the most beautiful and less crowded beaches of Arcachon and Ville d’Automne is the beautiful port area packed with great fish restaurants. A visit to Arcachon can easily take the whole day but many tend to combine it with a visit to the Dune du Pilat, the tallest sand dune in Europe and one of the most popular destinations in France. 

le moulleau on Bassin d'arcachon

Another reason to go to Arcachon is the beautiful beaches located on the south part of the bay. Two that I particularly like are petit Nice and La Corniche where you can also grab a drink at the fancy La corniche hotel /restaurant. A fun way to discover that part of the bay is by bike. You can hire one in the center of Arcachon city and just follow the cycling route along the beach. 

In my guide to Arcachon city, you can find all the details about things to do, places to eat, where to hire a bike and what beaches are the best ones to go to in Arcachon. 

How to get from Bordeaux to Arcachon: Arcachon is the easiest one to get to by train directly from Bordeaux. A train leaves almost every hour from the main station in Bordeaux and the station of Pessac centre. Beware that if you come by car, free parking is not easy to find, so taking the train is advisable during the touristic season. You have more details about parking in my article about Arcachon

The Magnificent dune du Pilat in Teste de Buch

If there’s one thing in this list I consider a “must” it’s definitely this one. 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.  It’s also 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.

Dune du Pilat Arcachon

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.  After working so hard climbing the dune, you can slide to the other side (when the sand is not too hot of course) and go straight to the beach. If you’re not in a rush you can easily spend the day here, have a nice picnic and swim in the crystal clear water. It’s hard to describe the beauty of this site in words, you really must see it for yourself.

Dune du Pilat Arcachon

How to get from Bordeaux to dune du Pilat: If you’re coming by public transport, line 1 (Baia company) will take you from the Arcachon train station to Dune to Pilat.  Otherwise, you can get there by car and park in the paid parking of the site.

Lanton – a beautiful promenade

If you’re looking for a beautiful quiet place for a long walk, Lanton is the perfect spot for you. You can start your walk from plage de Suzette, which is a little port with a few restaurants on it and just follow the trail that starts next to the boats. If you’ve ever been to the Bassin d’Arcachon you know that the view changes a lot depending on the tide. This trail goes along the bay and that’s why, depending on the time you arrive, it may feel like walking along the beach or in an apocalyptic desert. If you want to escape the crowds in the summer head to Lanton as the scenery and tranquility are just magical.

Lanton - take a walk on the Arcachon Bay

The birds’ reserve in Teich

The Teich Ornithological Reserve is a protected nature reserve located some 50km from Bordeaux, where you can watch thousands of wild birds from up-close. 110 hectares of wooded areas, saltmarsh, reed beds and meadows stretch out between the mainland and the Bassin d’Arcachon coastline, offering a perfect habitat for many birds. Some stay here permanently and some just pass by.

The Teich Bird Reserve is explored on foot along a 6 km long circular path (with a shorter route proposed to visitors with young kids). The path goes through a rich diversity of natural habitats, giving a great overall picture of the site and its surrounding areas. I would highly advise taking a binocular with you. Many of the birds stay quite far from the designated Viewpoints and are just too distant to observe. Doing the same route with a binocular made the visit much more interesting in my view. 

The Reserve Ornithologique du Teich is open all year long except on December 25, and can even be reached by train (the Teich train station is located about 15 minutes walk from the reserve). For more info see the website of the reserve: https://www.reserve-ornithologique-duteich.com/en/

Gujan Mestras – the capital of oysters

Gujan-Mestras is a little town known as the capital of oyster farming on the Bassin d’Arcachon. It has seven oyster ports which you can visit and watch oyster farmers’ work. You can even join one of the farmers and take part in their work for a few hours. Find the list of farmers providing that experience on the tourist office website

You can also visit the “Maison de Huitre”, an interactive museum where you discover everything about oyster farming. And finally, don’t forget to taste the freshest oysters in one of the cabanes along the coastline, many of which are located at the famous Port de Larros. Gujan-Mestras also has a beautiful beach called Plage de la Hume. Due to its interior position on the Arcachon bay, there are almost no waves and it feels more like a lake than a sea beach, which makes it very kids friendly. 

Plage de la Hume
Plage de la Hume on the Bassin d’Arcachon

The town hall of Gujan-Mestras is quite active and hosts plenty of nice events for kids and adults in the summer, you can find them all on their site:  https://www.gujanmestras.com

How to get to Gujan Mestras? The same train that goes to Arcachon also stops in Gujan Mestras so you can easily get there by train if you don’t want to drive. 

These are some of my favorite spots on the Arcachon bay, and I hope it will encourage you to get out and spend at least one day in this magical place. 

For more tips about things to do in Bordeaux, day trips from the city, vineyards, markets, brocantes and more check out the Facebook page of Lost in Bordeaux, subscribe to my newsletter and join my Facebook group “Travel in the Southwest on France“. 

March in Bordeaux is a great month for brocante lovers with two big events related to antiques and garage sales which are a good build up to the main brocante of Bordeaux that will take place in April. Also, like everywhere in France, Bordeaux hosts its annual carnival this month, a really fun event. Apart from that, there are plenty of other great events like the kids’ cinema festival, the swing festival, the vintage salon and more. If you’re reading the article in February you may also want to check my February list, just to make sure you don’t miss any of the cool events taking place this month. For those of you who are new to this site – I publish a post with events taking place every weekend in Bordeaux, so check it out to stay up to date.
If the weather is good, March is a great month to start discovering our region and for that, you can check out my article about the best day trips from Bordeaux and my Facebook group Travel in the southwest of France.
Here’s the list of things to do in March 2020 in Bordeaux.

Festivals, Fairs and Brocantes in Bordeaux

Vide-greniers des Bordelais

One of my favorite things to do in France is to wander around vide greniers (the French version of a garage sale) discover what French people hold in their homes and buy a lot of stuff I don’t really need at ridiculously low prices. On March 1st, more than 20 vide-greniers will take place all over the city. Check out the list of all the locations here.

vide grenier in Bordeaux
When: March 1st / Where:  different locations (see the link)

Les Toiles Filantes – kids cinema festival

Les Toiles Filantes is a cinema festival that invites kids aged 3-12 years old to discover cinema through screenings, meeting with people from the industry, new movie contests and more. This year the Festival’s theme is “Sur la route”, meaning that all the movies and animation films will be in some way related to traveling journeys. The festival takes place at Cinéma Jean Eustache in Pessac from March 2-8. For more details see the website of the festival

When: March 2-8 / Where: 7 rue des Poilus 33600 Pessac

Festival de 2 rives

Le Carnaval des 2 rives (March 8)  takes place on both sides of the Garonne river. This is a modern festival (created in 1996) that has all the best features of a traditional carnival such as costumes, shows, and a big parade. The parade will start at 14:00 at the Allée Serr, on the right side of the river and will pass to the other side through Pont de Pierre ending at the Village Carnival at Place Pey-Berland at 16:00. The Village Carnaval will be open until 18:00 with a big scene including dancers and demonstrations of augmented reality. For more details click here.

When: March 8 / Where:  Starts at Allée Serr, Bastide, Bordeaux

Salon du Vintage

The annual vintage salon will take place in Hangar 14 (Quai des Chartrons) on March 7-8. This chic event will gather more than 150 exhibitors with a great selection of accessories, furniture, vinyl records, classic cars, jukebox, paintings and more. Just outside of Hangar 14, plenty of food trucks will wait for you during lunch. For more details check the Facebook page and the website of the event. Entry is 5€ and free for kids under 8 years old.

When: March 7-8 / Where: 173 Quai des Chartrons, 33300 Bordeaux

Swing Festival

Every March, for more than a decade now, Bordeaux has been hosting the Swing Art Festival (March 6-8) where swing dancers come from all around the globe to teach the dancers of Bordeaux their art of Swinging. This festival is much more than just swing dancing, it’s three days of live music, art, vintage markets, workshops, and a get together of many people from all around the world to celebrate this sweeping dance. It will take place in and around Halle des Chartrons and it’s Free! For more details click here.

When: March 6-8 / Where: 10 Place du Marché Chartrons, 33000

Voir & Avoir – handmade fair

This Voir & Avoir is a handmade fair taking place every year in Talence. This year the event will take place on March 7-8 in château de Thouars. For more details click here.

When: March 7-8 / Where: avenue de Thouars, 33400 Bordeaux

Salon des Vins des Vignerons Indépendants de Bordeaux

The Salon des Vins of the Bordeaux independent winemakers will take place on March 13-15 at the Parc des Expositions de Bordeaux. Wine producers from the region will present their wines and will invite you to a free taste. This event is not geared towards professionals but rather to all wine lovers. For more info click here.

When: March 13-15 / Where:  Cours Jules Ladoumègue, 33000 Bordeaux

Saint Patrick’s day

Saint Patrick’s day is always a good opportunity to get drunk from an Irish beer or whiskey while listening to good music. Although it’s not Dublin, there are quite a lot of Irish and English bars in Bordeaux. Most of them make a big Saint Patrick’s day celebration with music and a lot of drunk and happy people. Check out my list of Irish/English bars in Bordeaux and choose one for March 17!

Les Fous Rires de Bordeaux

Les Fous Rires de Bordeaux (March 14-21) is a very unique humor festival hosting more than 80 artists and different activities taking place all over the city. The festival is an opportunity to experience humor in different forms, such as live on stage, in pictures and even through cooking!
There are two parts to the festival:
Festival IN, with well-known artists on stage.
Festival OUF– that proposes free activities during the whole week of the festival such as workshops, happenings, entertaining children in hospitals and more. See the full program here.

When: March 14-21 / Where: Different locations in Bordeaux

Salon du Jardin

This big gardening fair will take place on March 20-22 in Hangar 14 on quai des Chartrons. This great spring event will focus on six domains: horticulture, gardening, landscape, outdoor recreation, spas and swimming pools and crafts and new technologies. For more details click here

When: March 20-22 / Where: Hangar 14, Quai des Chartrons, 33000 Bordeaux

Bordeaux Beer Festival 

The second edition of the Bordeaux beer festival will take place on March 21-22. The festival is organized by the Beer Family, which is a group of partners (bars, restaurants, clubs and local French shops) such as Le Sherlock, La Casa, Le Théâtro and the Bordeaux Beer Factory. More details about the events taking place during the festival will be published on the Facebook page of the event

When: March 21-22 / Where: different bars in Bordeaux

Foire aux Plaisirs

This is the spring edition of the traditional Bordelaise Fair that is taking place at Place des Quinconces from February 21 to March 23. It’s a perfect activity for kids and for those who are young in spirit as La Foire aux Plaisirs de Bordeaux has it all: a big wheel, roller coasters, ghost trains, bumper cars, donuts, crèpes, barbes à papa and more. The fair is open daily from 14:00, and you are not required to pay any entry fee, only for some of the attractions. See more info about the fair here.

Faire aux plaisirs Bordeaux
When: February 21 – March 23 / Where: Place des Quinconces, 33000 Bordeaux

The European short film festival

The 23d edition of the European Short Film festival (festival européen du court métrage de Bordeaux) will take place on March 26-27 at the UGC Ciné Cité Bordeaux. The festival includes a program of about thirty movies from all over the world and a jury of famous personalities from the French cinema industry, from actors to directors and screenwriters. For more info and tickets check out the website of the festival or their Facebook page.

When: March 26-27 / Where: 13-15 rue Georges Bonnac, 33000 Bordeaux

South Town Jazz Festival 

The South Town Jazz festival is an annual festival taking place in Soustons, a charming beach town in the Landes department. The festival will take place on March 24-29. For more info and tickets click here

When: March 24-29 / Where: Soustons, Aquitaine

Big Vide Dressing event

A big event of vide-dressing (second-hand clothes sale) will take place on March 28-29 at Les Vivres de l’Art. Come and refresh your closet with the most famous marks at affordable prices. See more details here.

Les Vivres de l'Art Bordeaux
Les Vivres de l’Art by Lost in Bordeaux
When: March 28-29 / Where: 4 Rue Achard, 33300 Bordeaux

Les Puces Bordelaise

Les Puces Bordelaise is the spring brocante of Bordeaux, taking place on March 28-29 in Parc des Expositions de Bordeaux Lac. Experts and antique lovers gather around in a happening of French antiques, second-hand trade, vintage decoration and furniture. Entry tickets are 3 euros (free for kids under 18 years old). For more info click here

When: March 28-29 / Where: Cours Charles Bricaud, 33000 Bordeaux

The Italian Spring Festival

Le Printemps Italien is an Italian literature festival that will take place on March 19-29 in several locations around Bordeaux Metropole. The program includes meetings with Italian writers, screenings of Italian films, wine tastings and more. For the full program and tickets to events click here.

When: March 19-29 / Where: different locations around Bordeau

Concerts in Bordeaux

La Belle au Bois Dormant

The Saint-Petersburg Ballet Theatre will perform the amazing ballet “The sleeping beauty” on March 8 at Arkea Arena. For more info and tickets click here

When: March 8 / Where: 48-50 Avenue Jean Alfonséa, 33270 Floirac

Le Cirque Alfonse

Alfonse, the circus from Quebec arrives to Bordeaux for one show in Pin Galant in Merignac. The show will take place on March 10. For more info click here.

When: March 10 / Where: Pin Galant, 34 av. du Maréchal-de-Lattre-de-Tassigny, 33700 Merignac

Le Ballet National de Sibérie a Bordeaux

This month is full of beautiful shows! The National Ballet of Siberia will perform one show at the Casino Théâtre Barrière on March 11. For more info and tickets click here

When: March 11 / Where: Rue du Cardinal Richaud, 33000 Bordeaux

Opéra “Roméo Et Juliette”

On March 7-15 the Opera of Bordeaux will put on stage four shows of Romeo and Juliet. For more info and tickets click here

When: March 7-15 / Where: Grand Théâtre, Place de la Comédie, 33000 Bordeaux

Béjart Ballet Lausanne

The Béjart Ballet Lausanne will give three performances in Bordeaux. The shows will take place on March 25-27 in Pin Galant in Merignac. For tickets click here

When: March 25-27 / Where: Pin Galant, 34 av. du Maréchal-de-Lattre-de-Tassigny, 33700 Merignac

Holidays on Ice

A musical spectacle on ice will take place on March 31 – April 1st at the Meriadeck rink. For info and tickets.

When: March 31 – April 1 / Where: 95, cours du Marechal Juin, 33000 Bordeaux

Exhibitions to check out in Bordeaux

Matth Velvet expo at the Institut Bernard Magrez

Matth Velvet, a talented street artist that lives and works in Bordeaux, presents his beautiful works at the Institute Bernard Magrez, some of which you may have seen on building walls in the city. The exhibition is being presented at the museum from January 23 to March 23. For more details about the artist see here

When: January 23 – March 23 / Where:  16 rue de Tivoli 33000 Bordeaux

Afrique, Savane Sauvage – New Exhibition

The museum of natural history in Bordeaux has presented its new temporary exhibition for 2020 – Africa, wild Savannah. The new exhibition focuses on different aspects of the relationships between animals in the African Savanna, from the food chain to their coexistence, seasonal migration and survival strategies. It’s a very fun and interactive exhibition that both kids and adults will love. The exhibition will be presented until December 31, 2020. For more info click here

When: February 4 – December 31 / Where: 5 Place Bardineau, 33000 Bordeaux (in Jardin Public)

L’intelligence De L’œil. Hommage À Robert Coustet, Collectionneur Au Musée Des Beaux-arts À Bordeaux

This year the museum of fine arts of Bordeaux plays tribute to Robert Coustet, an art historian and an important figure in the cultural life of Bordeaux that passed away last year. An exhibition of artworks from his private collection will be presented at the museum until August 31. For more info click here

When: March 7 – August 31 / Where: 20 cours d’Albret, 33000 Bordeaux

That’s it for things to do in March 2020 my friends! You can see the smaller events taking place in and around Bordeaux in my weekend list and also on the Facebook page of Lost in Bordeaux. For much more info on what to do and where to travel in the region don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter and join my Facebook group “Travel in the Southwest on France“.

If it’s your first time in Bordeaux you may also like to read these articles:
What to do in Bordeaux -the ultimate guide
The best areas in Bordeaux – the district guide
Where to stay in Bordeaux – the hotels guide
The best museums to visit in Bordeaux
What to do in Saint Emilion
What to do in Arcachon

When Ira suggested I write a guest post for her fantastic Lost In Bordeaux blog, I wondered what might be the best approach. Over the years my Invisible Bordeaux blog has sought to uncover the city’s more obscure and lesser-known sights and stories. This has resulted in many interesting encounters and numerous fascinating discoveries, writing about subjects as varied as Cacolac (a local beverage that is most definitely not wine), Mort Shuman (the renowned Brooklyn-born singer-songwriter who is buried in Caudéran), the innovative silent movie star Max Linder, the events of May 1968… and what can be found at the point of convergence between the 45th parallel and the Greenwich meridian (the answer is: not much).

But one of the things I’ve realized is that one of the best ways to visit the city is by finding an unusual angle, transforming it into an itinerary, and just seeing what happens. I thought it might be interesting to share a few of those tips, which you may or may not want to replicate, or which might trigger concepts of your own! So here are five alternative ways of visiting Bordeaux:

Using a Monopoly board as a roadmap to discovering Bordeaux

There are many regional variants of the legendary board game Monopoly, including one that is set in Bordeaux. Of course, the basic premise of the game is that the various squares represent streets or districts of diverse real estate values… and therefore different moods and atmospheres. So, by plotting a route across all those squares in real life, you are bound to get a feel of the city as a whole! This is something Invisible Bordeaux tested, by conceiving an itinerary that involved “collecting” all the Monopoly properties over the course of the journey, which is probably best enjoyed on a bike. The trip was made using what is now an older edition of the game and that remained within the city itself, whereas the current edition includes stops that are further afield… but the potential for an unusual take on Bordeaux remains intact! You can discover the full route in this article.

You can also read Lost in Bordeaux’s articles about things to do in the chic Chartrons neighborhood and the hip Bacalan district as this fun route goes through both of these districts.

Plaque-spotting on the waterfront

The Garonne waterfront is now synonymous with its pleasant walkways, shops and café terraces, but by hunting out some of the plaques that have been positioned here and there, it is possible to travel back in time and imagine how it once was. One of the city’s big taboo subjects is its Second World War period, but plaques commemorating the British Royal Marines’ ambitious “Operation Frankton” (between Hangar 14 and the skatepark), the altruistic actions of Portuguese consul Aristides de Sousa Mendes (Quai Louis XVIII) and the manner in which Spanish guerilla Pablo Sanchez saved the Pont de Pierre from imminent destruction (Quai Richelieu) serve as testaments of some of the city’s more inspiring wartime events.

Quais des Bordeaux

By the “Bourse Maritime” building, a statue by Haitian sculptor Filipo that depicts the slave Modeste Testas is a poignant recently-installed memorial to the city’s slave trade past (get closer to the riverfront to see her). It is located, along with its accompanying plaque, towards the area from which ships set sail between 1672 and 1837, on the first legs of 508 triangular slave trade voyages that resulted in 150,000 Africans being deported to the Americas. Finally, on Quai des Chartrons, a plaque commemorates the legacy of Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States and a veritable “symbol of Franco-American friendship”. It is positioned here in honor of the five fruitful fact-finding days this renowned wine connoisseur spent in the city in 1787!

The Wallace fountain hunt

Wallace fountains are distinctive, elegant green cast-iron drinking fountains that are more naturally associated with Paris, but there are seven to be spotted around Bordeaux, in locations ranging from the Jardin Public to Place Stalingrad, via pleasant lesser-known squares such as Place Mitchell and Place de Porto-Riche. Some are original 19th-century models that were financed at the time by local philanthropist Daniel Osiris, while others are more recent replicas. Invisible Bordeaux has a very detailed article explaining where the Wallace fountains can be found in Bordeaux.

Wallace fountains -Place de Porto-Riche

The 1950s Formula 1 circuit

In the early 1950s, the city center of Bordeaux hosted four Formula 1 Grand Prix races, attracting driving aces including Juan Manuel Fangio, Stirling Moss and Maurice Trintignant. The drivers competed on a 2.5-kilometer circuit which looped around the Esplanade des Quinconces and along the waterfront. In order to be recognized as a Formula 1 race, the total distance had to be of at least 300 kilometers; drivers would, therefore, have to go around the track no less than 123 times, amounting to a little over three hours of racing. It is easy to find maps of the circuit in order to revisit it on foot or by bike, although going around once is probably enough! Read the full article about how Bordeaux city centre became a Formula 1 racing track.

Formula 1 racing track in Bordeaux

Greenery in the suburbs of Bordeaux  

Finally, it can be refreshing to head out to the suburbs and enjoy some of the nice greenery and wide-open spaces to be found within a relatively small radius. You can, for instance, start out to the north of the city at the surprising Parc Floral (now part of the recently rebranded “Réserve écologique des Barails”) with its curious twin city gardens, stunning rose garden and artificial Pyrenean stream.

impressive wooden structures of Pessac’s Écosite du Bourgailh

Looping your way anti-clockwise around the city’s periphery, make sure you take in the massive vegetable growing patches in Eysines, the linear Parc du Ruisseau in Le Haillan, the slightly arty Bois du Bouscat in Le Bouscat, followed by the tall and impressive wooden structures of Pessac’s Écosite du Bourgailh. Then the leafy stroll along the Eau Bourde stream in Gradignan and Canéjan is other-worldly, the Garonne riverside path between Floirac and Latresne is an absolute delight, and Lormont’s Parc de l’Ermitage Sainte-Catherine is a scenic reminder that the right bank is a hilly beast! The hustle and bustle of the city center soon feels a long way away!

A little bit about Tim, the founder and writer of Invisible Bordeaux

Tim Pike is an Englishman who has spent most of his adult life in France. On his website Invisible Bordeaux, he has been documenting the city’s lesser-known sights, stories and landmarks since 2011, also using the project as a great excuse to do a lot of cycling! During office hours Tim handles digital communications and content for the aerospace company Thales. He can also occasionally be spotted out and about singing and playing guitar.

These and many more subjects have been covered over the years on Invisible Bordeaux, which you’ll find here: http://invisiblebordeaux.blogspot.com

You can also follow Invisible Bordeaux on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Markets are probably one of the most exciting experiences in France. The fresh oysters coming directly from the sea, the huge variety of cheese and seasonal fruits can get me more excited than most works of art. As the French love buying their food at the market, there’s always an impressive amount of them in every city, many of which are weekly held taking place on the main square of every neighborhood. Luckily for us, Bordeaux has one of the best market scenes in France! Besides the small weekly markets in the different neighborhoods of the city, there are several big covered ones that are open daily and offer a great shopping and dining experience. Also, this is one of the most prolific agricultural regions in France, so visiting the markets are absolutely a must here. You have the most delicious strawberries from Lot et Garonne, tomatoes from Marmande, sheep cheese from the Basque country, duck from the Dordogne, and that’s only the short list of all the delicacies you’ll find in the markets here. In this article, I will help you discover the best food markets in Bordeaux, both in the city center and in the suburbs. Let’s start!

Food Markets in Bordeaux city

Marché des Capucins 

The Capucins market is one of the most visited places in Bordeaux. It’s the city’s biggest daily market and it has everything from fruits and spices, to local sweets and plenty of oysters stands. You can spend hours here strolling between the stands and discover the gastronomy of the Southwest of France. To make it an even better experience finish it with lunch in one of the many restaurants in the market. If you need help choosing what and where to eat, check out my article about the best places to eat in Marche des Capucins. This is a covered market so it can also be a perfect place to escape from one of Bordeaux’s rainy days. Weekends are especially busy in Capucins with locals meeting their friends for oysters and wine after their market run. So if you want to get a table on a Sunday be sure to be there before 11 am.

Marches des capucins

You can also join my food tours in the market which is a fun way to learn about the local food scene.

Opening hours: Open daily except Mondays / Address:  Place des Capucins, 33800 Bordeaux

Marche des Quais

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. The market is usually quite busy with both locals and tourists, especially if you come towards noon, but it’s still worth the visit. Besides the local products you can buy at the market it’s simply a very nice spot to have an early lunch. 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 🙂

Marche des quais - bordeaux

On Thursdays, a smaller market takes place at the same place. It hosts only a few stalls and doesn’t have the lively atmosphere of the Sunday market but if you need good organic products to cook at home, it’s a good market to go to. 

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

Opening hours: Every Sunday and Thursday morning / Address:  Place des Capucins, 33800 Bordeaux

Les Halles de Bacalan

This fancy food market opened its gates on November 2017 and has been visited by more than 60,000 people in the first month. It’s no surprise, as Bordeaux is well known for its gourmand population. This impressive 950m2 hangar is located just in front of the famous Cité du Vin and hosts 23 different artisans and merchants that were chosen for the quality of their products (85% of which are produced in the Southwest of France). Most weekends the market hosts different events like pintxos evenings, cooking workshops, music concerts and activities for kids. This is one of the best places to go for an afternoon drink and tapas with friends. 

bacalan market

If you have time, you can stay a bit longer and explore one of the rising neighborhoods in the city. Read about it in my article about the Bacalan district. If you would also like to visit one of the best wine museums in the world, check out my article about visiting the Cité du Vin.

Opening hours:  from Tuesday to Sunday (the market closes between 14:30 t0 16:30 on weekdays) / Address: 149 Quai de Bacalan, 33300 Bordeaux

Marché Royal in Saint Michel

Marché Royal is one of the biggest open-air markets in Bordeaux, taking place every Saturday morning at Place Meynard in the Saint Michel district. The surroundings of the church and bell tower are covered by tens of stalls, with merchants selling everything from fruits and vegetables to kitchen supplies, clothes and even pillows :). From my experience, this is the cheapest market in Bordeaux. However, if you are into organic produce, this one is probably not for you. On sunny Saturday mornings, the market attracts both locals, doing their weekly shopping and outsiders that come for the noisy market atmosphere and chic cafés.

Saint Michel Bordeaux - market day

On Monday mornings a different market is taking place in front of the church. You will find very diversified merchandise displayed on the stands of Marché Neuf, including books, house supplies, clothing, toys and more, however, it’s not a food market and doesn’t have the vibe of Marché Royal. This market is composed of hundreds of stands but has a more local vibe to it. On Sundays and Fridays,  antiques and flea markets are also taking place on the same square so this place is always worth a visit. 

Wondering what else is there to do in this neighborhood? Check out my article about the best things to do in the Saint Michel district

Opening hours:  Saturday for the food market, and Monday, Friday and Sunday for the other markets / Address: Place Meynard,  33000 Bordeaux

Marché de Producteurs Saint-Seurin

The producers market of Saint Seurin takes place every Friday morning at Place des Martyrs de la Résistance, about 10 minutes walk from the center of Bordeaux. It is a fairly small market with about 20 stalls but has a very cozy atmosphere and a variety of high-quality products from local farmers. In addition, it’s located on a beautiful square next to one of the most impressive churches of Bordeaux, la Basilique Saint Seurin, so it’s definitely worth a visit.

Opening hours:  Every Friday Morning (7:00-13:00) / Address: Place des Martyrs de la Résistance

Markets around Bordeaux Metropole

Les Halles de Talence

The Talence market is the little brother of the Bacalan market, built by Biltoki in December 2018. This too has a bit of a fancy vibe to it compared to Marche des Capucins, the main market of Bordeaux. The prices are not very cheap but you have everything you need in this covered market: a butcher, seafood, a bakery, a tapas stand that also makes a great sangria and more. The Biltoki bar in the center of the market welcomes plenty of locals who love to visit the market for a beer or a cup of coffee on the bar.  Like the Bacalan market, Les Halles de Talence too hosts plenty of nice events with concerts and a local vibe.

Les Halles de Talence

Every Wednesday there’s also an open-air market (in front of the covered market) that offers great products at much more reasonable prices. If you want to stay for lunch, a few nice food trucks are there to welcome you every Wednesday until about 14:00.

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

Thouars Talence – Every Sunday 

Let’s stay in Talence just a little bit longer as there’s another great market I must mention in this list. This one takes place every Sunday morning in the Thouars forest in Talence, just in front of the swimming pool. This is the biggest weekly market of Talence with tens of stands with great French products. I particularly love going there for the big variety of fruits and veggies and for the deals at the fish stall (if you come towards noon of course). This is not only a food market! You can also find other practical things like plants, clothing and kitchen accessories. The market is located within a few steps from a beautiful lake so you can also make a nice picnic day out of it. It’s not the easiest one to get to by public transport but if you have a car it’s worth a visit.

Marche de thouars in Talence bordeaux
When: Sunday morning  / Where: the parking of 235 Avenue de Thouars, 33400 Talence

Le Marché du Centre-ville de Mérignac

Another market I really love attending during the weekend is the Merignac city center market. The market takes place every Wednesday and Saturday morning on Place Charles de Gaulle, just next to Mediatheque Mérignac, the city library. A short ride on tram A from the center of Bordeaux will take you to one of the best markets in the city, with tens of stalls of regional wine, a huge variety of cheese, nuts, honey, pastries and all the basics like vegetables, meat and fish. In the center, there are tables put in place for you to enjoy a nice cup of coffee from the market’s coffee roaster stall. I visit this market quite often so I might even see you there 🙂  

One of the best markets in Bordeaux - Merignac
When: Wednesday and Saturday  / Where: Place Charles de Gaulle, Merignac

Pessac center

A very nice market takes place in the center of Pessac every Tuesday and Saturday morning. Pessac is one of the more charming suburbs of Bordeaux and a market day is a good excuse to visit its lovely city center. The market is not big but the products are excellent, I especially love the cheese stall. And as a bonus, you can finish your market tour with a drink in one of the coffee places on the square. You can reach it easily by public transport, just take tram B from the center of Bordeaux to Pessac Centre.

A much bigger market is taking place not far from the center every Sunday morning. Le marché Bourrec, on Avenue Pierre Wiehn is hosting more than 150 merchants and farmers coming from all the departments surrounding Bordeaux (Lot et Garonne, Dordogne, Landes…) with the best products of our region. This market also has stalls of clothing, art and more. 

When: Tuesday and Saturday and Sunday  / Where: Place de la Ve République and Avenue Pierre Wiehn. Pessac.

Marché de Rochefort –  Gradignan

Marché de Rochefort is a market I discovered just recently and I think it’s a great option for those who live in the Southern suburbs of Bordeaux. More than 70 merchands arrive here every Saturday morning selling everything from meat to cheese and fish, flowers and more. As it’s a very local market there’s a very cozy vibe to it. People are greeting each other and the customers share their cooking ideas and stories from their family dinners with the merchants who come here every week. It’s a very nice market if you’re looking for a calmer local vibe rather than a touristy atmosphere. It’s located next to the central road of Gradignan, Cours du Général de Gaulle so it’s easy to get there by public transport from Bordeaux and Talence (bus line 10 stops next to it).

Marche de Gradignan
When: Saturday morning (8:00-13:00) / Where: rue de Rochefort ( between the cemetery and le collège des Fontaines de Monjous), Gradignan. 

Marché de Bassens

The Bassens market is less known by most tourists but it’s actually one of the biggest markets in our region and one of the most popular among people on the rive droite of the Garonne. The market takes place every Sunday on place de la Commune de Paris in Bassen, a town located just after Lormont. Almost 150 stalls are waiting for you with some of the best products in the southwest of France. There are oysters from Arcachon and from Ile de Re, charcuterie from the Basque country, tarts from the Landes and other produce from almost every corner of Nouvelle Aquitaine. Among them, there are quite a few food stalls like Morocain couscous, Portuguese grilled chicken and a coffee place. You can spend a really fun morning here, strolling the many alleys of the market and tasting local food.

When: Sunday morning (9:00-13:00) / Where: place de la Commune de Paris, Bassens

If this list of the best markets in Bordeaux got you in a foodie mood you can also read my article about the most foodies streets in Bordeaux and the one about the sweet specialties of Bordeaux.

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 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 AirBnB 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.

With the highest number of restaurants per person in France, Bordeaux is heaven for foodies. If you find youreself hungry in this city, finding a place to eat will be an easy task 🙂 However, food specialty boutiques selling cheese, chocolate or products from the southwest of France are not as easy to find as one might think. I receive many messages from both tourists and locals asking me about the best streets for foodies, and hidden places where they could find specialty products that aren’t available at the supermarket.

Luckily that is exactly the research I had to do when I was building my food tours. I spend several days simply strolling the streets of Bordeaux, looking for those special places I can take my tourists to. Today I want to share some of these foodie secrets with you! In this article, I gathered a list of my favorite foodie streets in Bordeaux. Here you will find the best patisseries, specialty chocolate places, quality coffee, cute little cheese shops and more. So if you’re in a discovery mode, join me for a foodie ride in the streets of Bordeaux! 

Foodie streets at the historic center of Bordeaux

rue des Remparts

Rue des remparts
Stop for cheese and wine – Rue des Remparts

Let’s start with one of my favorite foodie streets in Bordeaux center- rue des Remparts, located just next to the city hall of Bordeaux. At first glance, it looks like many other streets in this district full of fashionable boutiques and art galleries, but it’s actually one of the richest gastronomical streets in Bordeaux. As you climb the street heading north you’ll pass by plenty of specialty shops, many of which are focused on a specific local product. There are two great chocolate shops on this street. The first one is Mademoiselle de Margaux which sells specialty chocolates from Margaux located in the Medoc wine region and the other is a famous chocolate shop from Bayonne – l’Atelier de Bayonne. You’ll also find a fancy cheese shop (Chez Delphine) where you can stop for some wine and cheese (the best thing to do when in Bordeaux). Besides that, there are quite a few interesting shops you should keep an eye on, among them Pierre Oteiza with their Basque charcuterie and Noisettines du Médoc with their nut products from Medoc as well as Oliviers & Co, an olive oil shop. 

Rue de la Vieille Tour

Once you finish rue des Remparts you’ll see the beautiful Porte Dijeaux on your left. Continue straight into another magical street that you might have missed when strolling the city – rue de la Vieille Tour. Until a few years ago rue de la Vieille Tour was just a quiet back street in the Hotel de Ville neighborhood. Today many people know it thanks to the presence of one of the best coffee shops in Bordeaux – l’Alchimiste. Just in front of the coffee place sits the second star of this street, the dunes blanches. This pastry was born a few years ago in Cap Ferret and was since embraced by the locals as a proper Bordelais pastry. I often stop there on my food tours and peoples’ reaction to the yummy cream-filled pastries never disappoints :).  On the same little street, you can find two of the best chocolate shops in Bordeaux, Hasnaa Chocolat grand cru and La Maison Darricau. If you’re in the mood for a good homemade cake and tea don’t miss the cozy Mona cafe. 

Mona Cafe Bordeaux
Mona Cafe by Lost in Bordeaux

If you want to discover other great coffee shops in Bordeaux, check out my article about the five coffee places you don’t want to miss

Rue des Trois Conils

The next street on my list is still in the Hotel de Ville neighborhood but this time we’re heading towards the river on Rue des Trois Conils. I find this street a bit less charming than rue des Remparts but it’s no less interesting when it comes to food. In just two minutes’ walk, you’ll find two great chocolate shops (Yves Thuriès and Jeff de Bruges), a delicious Spanish ham place (Viandas de Salamanca), a chic canned products shop (Conserverie la belle-iloise) and more. It’s even more attractive if you love cooking or baking as there are two big cooking shops in the middle of the street, my favorite is Alice Delice. One of the most interesting boutiques on this street is La Trinitaine Biscuiterie. Here you can find plenty of traditional local sweet specialties like cookies and chocolate that are not easy to find in the center of Bordeaux. One such example is the Bouchon de Bordeaux, you can read more about this and other local desserts in my article about the sweets of Bordeaux

foodie street in Bordeaux
a chocolate shop on rue trois conils

Le marché des Grands Hommes

The triangle d’Or district in the center of Bordeaux is probably one of the most attractive areas in the city when it comes to foodie boutiques. Here you can find some of the best wine shops and a number of lucrative chocolate boutiques. For example, just next to the Opera, on allee de Tourny, you will find l’Intendant, a shop that earned the name “the wine library of Bordeaux” due to its wide selection of local wine. Just a few steps from there, don’t miss the oldest chocolate shop in Bordeaux, Cadiot Badie. 

In my opinion, however, the best foodie places are located on one of the narrow streets surrounding the marché des Grands Hommes, notably, rue Michel Montaigne. If you’re a patisserie snob, you’re likely to find one of the best patissiers on this street. David Capy is one of the best chocolatiers- patissiers in Bordeaux, and a visit there should not be missed. That is also the street I take people who join my food tours for cheese tastings. The shop is called Beillevaire and I especially like it as it’s both a shop and a cheese producer. 

More foodie spots around Bordeaux

Rue Fondaudège

Rue Fondaudège
Rue Fondaudège by lost in Bordeaux

I bet that most of you visiting Bordeaux for a short period of time have never heard of rue Fondaudège but it’s actually one of the rising stars in Bordeaux. After several years of tram works this street finally got the spotlight it deserves. It’s a long busy street, very different from the cozy streets of the center of Bordeaux, and it’s quite easy to miss all the interesting food shops on it. But if food is your thing, it’s worth taking a few minutes to walk from the city center just to discover this street. Here’s just a short list of some of the specialty shops on this street: Chocolaterie Lalère, if you want a hot chocolate; Aux dix vin, a great little cheese shop; Perrin, a very good bakery and Original US, a shop of American products (a lot of candies 🙂 ). One of my favorite secret spots on this street is a little coffee place named Eriu. Apparently, other expats love it as well as you can often spot some English speakers ordering their scones there. 

Rue Notre Dame

If you’ve been to Bordeaux for more than two days, most chances are that you have visited this street. Rue Notre Dame in the Chartron district is a stylish street full of boutiques, antique shops and restaurants but it’s especially attractive for foodies. La P’tite Boulangerie Notre-Dame, one of Bordeaux’s best bakeries is located just in front of the church, you will easily spot it by the long queue. A little pastry shop I especially love is Micheline et Paulette – they have a very small selection of cakes but they are all excellent and the place is super cute. If you want to stop for a cup of coffee don’t miss la Pelle cafe. Check also la Conserverie which will introduce you to a variety of local products and wines. The atmosphere in this place is great and they’re not closing after lunch which is unusual for Bordeaux. 

Notre dame street and the central square next to it are full of specialty boutiques and good restaurants so one paragraph will not be enough to cover all of them. You have two choices, go and discover it for yourself or wait for my article about the Chartrons district coming up soon 🙂

Cours Portal

Cours Portal is not a very charming street but it definitely deserves a visit if you’re interested in food. It’s a long street but most of the good boutiques are located close to Place du Marché des Chartrons. Remember Beillevaire, the cheese shop I’ve mentioned before? Here you can find their second boutique in Bordeaux. Another good cheese shop is La Fromagerie de Pierre, visit both for the variety.  If you like to make quality coffee at home, check out Café refuge, a coffee specialty shop. The coffee roaster machinery there is really impressive! Like every foodie street, Cours Portal has its own little patissier, named Taupy. One of the more interesting places on rue Portal is Gastronomie Des Pyrénées, a specialty shop offering products from the southwest of France. 

foodie street in Bordeaux
Café refuge on Cours Portal

Marché des Capucins

Although my list includes only streets and not markets in Bordeaux, I had to add the place all foodies in Bordeaux fall for. Marché des Capucins is the ultimate place to go to if you want to explore the food of the Southwest of France. At the market, you have three-cheese shops where you can buy a variety of French cheeses. If you’re looking for a place to taste oysters while in Bordeaux, Chez Jean Me is definitely the place to go to. While on weekdays the atmosphere at the Capucins market is very chill, on weekends many more merchands are coming to sell their produce at the market. The central part gets completely covered with little stands of basque cheese, locally grown fruits and vegetables and plenty of local pastries such as the famous canelés and basque cakes in many flavors. There’s one local pastry in the market you shouldn’t miss called Puits d’amour by Maison Seguin. This little ‘well of love’ will keep you happy all morning 🙂 If you want to read more about sweet local specialties I invite you to read this article about my favorite sweets in Bordeaux. If you want to learn more about the market, check out my article about the best places to eat at Marché des Capucins

Marche des Capucins Bordeaux
Marche des Capucins by Lost in Bordeaux

I’m sure that many of you are familiar with other boutiques in Bordeaux where you can find fine cheese and delicious pastries. In this article, I focused on streets with a high concentration of shops selling products that will allow you to discover the gastronomic side of Bordeaux. If you know other streets and interesting specialty shops in Bordeaux, please share them with us in the comments below. 

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 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 AirBnB 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.

If you love wine, food and beautiful architecture you simply cannot miss a visit to Bordeaux when visiting the region. One day in this vibrant city may not be enough to discover all the attractions and gastronomic experiences it has to offer, but with the right plan, you’ll be able to explore the main sites and to appreciate its tranquil atmosphere. So for those of you wondering how to spend only one day in Bordeaux, in this article, I offer a plan to help you taste most of the amazing things this city has to offer. You will discover the remarkable architecture in the city center, visit the main market, taste Bordelais cuisine, ride a bike on the riverfront, eat delicious chocolate and taste amazing wine. By the end of this day, you’ll be exhausted and totally in love with Bordeaux!

If you’re coming for a weekend, you should check out my Ultimate Guide to a weekend in Bordeaux. Also, don’t miss my articles about the best neighborhoods to stay in Bordeaux and the best hotels in the city center if you’re looking for accommodation in Bordeaux.

Now let’s start discovering the beautiful capital of the Southwest of France.

Marché des Capucins – Visit the main market of Bordeaux

If you’re a foodie or just like discovering new markets, I highly recommend starting your one day in Bordeaux in Marché des Capucins. This is the biggest daily market in Bordeaux and has everything from stands of fruits, vegetables, sweets and spices to a bunch of lively cafés and restaurants. It’s a covered market so you can enjoy it on the city’s numerous rainy days. Most cafes and restaurants also have tables outside where you can have a coffee or an early lunch. While the market is pretty calm during the week it becomes very busy on the weekend when the Bordelaise rush to the market for their weekly shopping and a glass of wine.  

Marche des capucins
Marche des Capucins – by Lost in Bordeaux

If you like oysters there’s one restaurant in the market you simply cannot miss! Chez Jean-Mi has become an institution in Bordeaux, attracting many locals for a plate of oysters with white dry wine. Before you go, be sure to check out my article about the best places to eat at the Marché des Capucins. The market is open from Tuesday to Sunday, however, be aware that not all the restaurants and stands are open on Tuesday and Wednesday.

If you need help in discovering the market, I offer a market tour where you will taste and get familiar with the flavors of the southwest of France. So if you’re into starting your day with a foodie experience check out my food tours page

Stroll the narrow streets of old Bordeaux

I have yet met one person who was not stunned by the beauty of the “Vieux Bordeaux”, the historic part of the city. You can spend hours getting lost among the16th and 17th-century houses on the narrow paved streets of old Bordeaux. The historic center is also home to some of the city’s most emblematic monuments, which you shouldn’t miss on your one day in Bordeaux. The southwest capital has 362 preserved buildings labeled as historic monuments, second only to Paris. The historic part of the city (and several streets around it) is recognized by UNESCO as an “outstanding urban and architectural ensemble” of 18th-century architecture. Let yourself get lost for a few hours in the narrow streets of Bordeaux, that will give you the best introduction to the city. 

The center of Bordeaux
The center of Bordeaux – by Lost in Bordeaux

Here’s a shortlist of the sites you should not miss on your visit:

Main sites in the city center

Grosse Cloche – the 15th-century gate to the old city. This stunning bell tower is part of a whole structure that was previously a part of the city hall of Bordeaux and at some point served as a prison to misbehaved juveniles (!). It’s one of Bordeaux’s most emblematic monuments and appears on the coat of arms of Bordeaux. The Gross Cloche is located on one end of rue Saint James, one of the liveliest streets of Bordeaux, with stylish boutiques and wine bars. 

Porte Cailhau
Porte Cailhau by Lost in Bordeaux

Porte Cailhau – another magnificent 15th-century gate to the historic center of Bordeaux. This glamourous monument was built to commemorate the glory of king Charles VIII and opens up to one of Bordeaux’s nicest squares, Place du Palais. 

Two other important monuments are located on the border between the historic part and the fancy triangle d’Or neighborhood. 

The Grand Theatre -The beautiful 18th-century building on Place de la Comedie will be hard to miss. This is one of the most impressive buildings in the city and is home to the National Opera and the national ballet of Bordeaux. If you have the chance, try to book tickets to one of the concerts of the Opera or the national ballet. Continue from there to Place des Quinconces, the largest city square in France and one of the biggest in Europe. On one of the sides of this enormous square, you will find the beautiful monument dedicated to the Girondins (members of a political faction) who were killed during the French Revolution. Throughout the year the square hosts many different events, festivals and fairs such as the Brocante de Quinconces. Check out the weekend [psts on this blog to see what’s currently on at Quinconces.

one day in Bordeaux - discover the monuments
Discover the monuments of Bordeaux

Have a drink on the lively squares of Bordeaux

There’s a very special atmosphere in Bordeaux. It’s a very touristy and lively city that somehow is able to maintain its tranquility (except on the shopping street, Sainte Catherine). What contributes to that are the lively squares in the city center, linked by pleasant pedestrian streets. On every square, you can find terrasse restaurants and coffee places with someone sipping a glass of Bordelais wine anytime during the day. Some of the liveliest squares in the city center include the Place du Palais with a magnificent view of Porte Cailhau, Place Pierre with the Saint Pierre church right in the middle of it and Camille Julian with the nice Utopia bistrot (an old church converted into an independent cinema and restaurant). The biggest square in the old center is Place du Parlement, which was built in the 18th century in an Italian style. Its facades are very richly decorated and resemble the facades of the buildings on the riverfront of Bordeaux and the magnificent Place de la Bourse. 

place du parlement bordeaux

Lift your eyes to see the mascarons

Mascaron in Bordeaux
Mascaron in Place de la Bourse

If you’re following my advice and on your way to Place du Parlement don’t miss the beautiful little sculptures that decorate the buildings. Just lift your eyes and look at the buildings of this beautiful square as well as Place de la Bourse and most of the buildings on the riverfront of Bordeaux. The sculpted faces between the ground and first floor are called mascarons, a variation on the word masks in Italian. There are more than 3000 mascarons decorating the buildings and the monuments of Bordeaux, taking inspiration from Greek mythology, wild animals, religion and the economical development of Bordeaux. Some examples are Neptune who represents the importance of the river and African faces, a memory of the slave trade Bordeaux was part of.  

You can read in more detail about all the main monuments in Bordeaux in my ultimate guide to a weekend in Bordeaux

Dine in one of Bordeaux’s delicious restaurants

After the long walk, a proper lunch is in order! 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. If you have only one day in the city, trying one of Bordeaux’s restaurants should be on your list. 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. 

If you want to enjoy an elegant lunch by one of France’s celebrity chefs, Philippe Etchebest, go to Le Quatrieme Mur, a beautiful restaurant located inside the Opera building. To taste the specialties of the area go to Les Noailles or le Mably. These are not cheap restaurants but they offer a traditional Bordelais cuisine which is not as easy to find as you might think. For meat lovers, Le bar du Boucher and Le Grill Bordelais are great restaurants. You also have L’entrecote with its famous steak sauce, however, prepare yourself for a long queue if you decide to go there. Other great restaurants include Le Bouchon Bordelais, Le M restaurant, Miles and Frida. For a great view, you can also pass the river to the other side and enjoy lunch at L’Estacade. The list can go on and on but I won’t confuse you with too many options. 

Le quatrieme mur
Le Quatrieme mur – by Lost in Bordeaux

It’s important to notice that restaurants in Bordeaux tend to be closed on Sundays or Mondays (or both) so check out their websites when planning your trip. Also, it’s always recommended to book a table ahead of time, even if you do it on the same day. 

Have a picnic in Jardin Public, Bordeaux’s main park

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

If you prefer leaving the dining experience for the evening you can replace a fancy lunch with a picnic in the beautiful park of Bordeaux, Jardin Public. Make yourself a basket of regional products and join the other Bordelais on the vast green planes. Don’t forget to add a bottle of Bordeaux wine you can get in most supermarkets or in dedicated wine shops. One of the most interesting wine shops is called l’Intendant, which holds the nickname “the wine library” due to its 15,000 bottle collection. 

Jardin public is beautiful and by far one of the most kid-friendly places in the city. However, it’s not the only good spot for a picnic or a little break. Bordeaux has many gardens and parks that you can enjoy on a sunny day. To discover them check out my post about the best places for a picnic in Bordeaux.

Shop on the Longest street in France

Sainte Catherine is the longest pedestrian street in France, full of clothing boutiques and one of the only places in the center where you can find all the main fashion retail stores. If you prefer smaller boutiques, you won’t find them on the main streets but rather on the small narrow streets of Saint Paul and Saint Pier districts, as well as on rue Notre Dame in Chartrons. 

Shopping in Bordeaux
Shopping in Bordeaux – by Lost in Bordeaux

If you’re into second-hand clothing be sure to check my guide to second hand and vintage shops in the center of Bordeaux

Visit the main church in Bordeaux -Saint-André 

cathédrale saint-andré de bordeaux
Cathédrale Saint-André de Bordeaux

The big Cathedral on the main square of Pey Berland is a Roman Catholic church and the seat of the Archbishop of Bordeaux. This cathedral has an important part in the history of Bordeaux. Here, the 13 years old Eleanor d’Aquitaine, married the future king of France Louis VII, therefore making her the queen of France (for a very short period of time). Like many other churches and basilicas in Bordeaux, Saint-André is classified 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

Eat chocolate in the fancy district of Bordeaux 

It’s time for a little dessert and there’s no better place for it than the Triangle d’Or neighborhood, the fancy district of Bordeaux. You will immediately notice that the architecture and landscape of this district are different from the narrow streets of the historic center of Bordeaux. The wide boulevards and decorated 18th-century houses reflect the economic boom that the city was undergoing at the time. Today it’s considered as the gourmet district with plenty of wine and cheese boutiques. 

Like every French city, Bordeaux too has its chocolatiers and many of them are located in and around Triangle d’Or. On rue Michel Montaigne you will discover the most famous local patissier and chocolatier, David Capy. On Allée de Tourny you will visit the oldest chocolatier in Bordeaux, Cadiot Badie. It’s a very prestigious place that feels more like a jewelry shop than a chocolate boutique. Other amazing chocolate shops are la Maison Darricau and Hasnaa Chocolat grand cru.

David Capy- chocolat in Bordeaux
Taste chocolate and delicious pastry at David Capy

If you also want to take the opportunity to stop for a coffee. Bordeaux has some amazing coffee shops. You can read about my favorite ones in my article about the five coffee places in Bordeaux you don’t want to miss

Chill at the Miroir d’eau

Now it’s time to visit Bordeaux’s most famous attraction and one you have probably seen in any guide or video about Bordeaux – Le Miroir d’eau. This modern monument, built in 2006, is the world’s largest reflecting pool. The surface is made from blue granite covered in water, reflecting the 18th century Place de la Bourse. It’s a perfect place to chill on a hot sunny day in Bordeaux. If you’re coming with kids you can easily spend more than an hour here as it’s going to be quite hard to get them out of it. Kids seem to really love it! (don’t forget to bring replacement clothes for the kids, they tend to get soaked!)

miroir d'eau in Bordeaux

Take a bike ride on the banks of the Garonne

The promenade on the left bank of the Garonne river is one of Bordeaux’s highlights. Since the massive overhaul project in the early 2000s the quais (docks) of Bordeaux have become one of Bordeaux’s most popular spots, hosting many events and festivals during the summer. The 4.5 km promenade is also perfect for a walk or a bicycle tour. The most interesting part of it is between the two bridges of Bordeaux – Pont Saint Pierre in the center and Pont Chaban Delmas in the north of the city, which includes the Miroir d’eau as well as playgrounds for kids and restaurants with a view on the river.

the riverfront of Bordeaux
take a ride on the riverfront of Bordeaux

You can use city bikes that are spread all over the city. The price is only 1.7 euros for 24 hours if you return them to the station every 30 minutes (you can take another bike right away). If you rather not spend your time looking for a station in the middle of your trip you can return them after you finish your ride and pay 2 euros for every additional hour. 

Discover the hipster side of Bordeaux

After spending several hours in the classic left side of the river, it’s time to discover the more hipster right bank of the Garonne. If you take my advice and go on a ride on the riverfront you can continue with the bike to the other side, there are V3 stations (the Bordeaux city bikes) there as well. When you cross Pont de Pierre to the Bastide neighborhood you’ll discover a very pleasant park along the riverbank. There are a few great restaurants with a great view of the old part of Bordeaux that operate from May to October. 

The Bastide district
The Bastide district by Lost in Bordeaux

But the main attraction of the Bastide neighborhood is Darwin. 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. One of the buildings hosts the restaurant and the Darwin products store with a huge selection of different organic products from pastries to beer and even soap. Darwin is one of the most extraordinary places for street art and includes some amazing works by a lot of talented regional artists on every one of its buildings. 

Darwin in Bordeaux
Darwin by Lost in Bordeaux

If you visit the Bastide district on the weekend (during the summer) don’t miss one of Bordeaux’s hidden gems, La Guinguette chez Alriq. The Guinguette is a tavern on the banks of the river hosting plenty of open-air concerts from May to the end of September. The performing bands and artists are coming from all over the world and create an atmosphere of a laid back world music party. 

Have a drink in one of Bordeaux’s wine bars 

Wine bars are springing up like mushrooms in the center of Bordeaux. It’s not a big surprise considering it’s the capital of the biggest wine area in France. A great way to finish your one day in Bordeaux is by tasting some of the best wines of the region in one of Bordeaux’s wine bars. There are plenty of bars to choose from in the city center, here are some of my favorite ones: Un Chateau en Ville for a cozy family feeling, Wine more time for their huge selection, and le Bar a Vin for the beautiful decor and professional waiters. Other great bars with knowledgeable staff include Le wine bar, La ligne rouge, Le Flacon and Vins Urbains

un chateau en ville Bordeaux
photo by Lost in Bordeaux

Some bars offer wine tasting experiences that allow you to better understand the wines of the region. To discover the best places for wine tasting check out my article about wine tasting in Bordeaux

If you’re interested in wine don’t miss a trip to Saint Emilion where you can visit some of the best wineries in the region. You can easily plan the trip by yourself using my post about the best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion. Not less interesting and beautiful is the Medoc wine area where you can see some of the most impressive chateaux in the region. Follow my post about the Medoc wine route when planning your trip there. 

I hope you enjoyed this beautiful city and if you have a few more days in the area don’t forget to check out my article about the best day trips from Bordeaux.

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