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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.

Smart planning transformed the otherwise unsavory port characteristics of the neighborhood into pleasant features. The gigantic hangars, the boats and the unusual infrastructure turned into places of emerging arts, music, food and leisure, transforming the neighborhood into one of the most intriguing places in Bordeaux. So if you haven’t yet had the chance to visit this amazing neighborhood or you feel there’s not much there for you to do, let me prove you wrong. From street art, to wine, whiskey and live music, here is the list of the best things you can do and see in Bacalan:

La Cité du Vin

la cite du vin in Bordeaux

La cité du vin is a “must” place for any wine lover but can be very interesting and enjoyable for people who don’t drink at all. This impressive piece of modern architecture is a one of a kind cultural center, all dedicated to discovering the wine world. Through its interactive exhibition, It offers a journey to both French and global wine history. You will learn about wine making, see movies and interviews with wine producers and then pass on to smell and taste wine. The cite 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.

Address: 134 – 150 Quai de Bacalan, 33300 Bordeaux
Opening hours: weekdays from 10am to 6pm, weekends and holidays 10am to 7pm
For more info check out the website of cite du Vin

Have a drink or a snack at les Halles des Bacalan

marche de bacalan in Bordeaux

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 traders that were chosen for the quality of their products (85% of which are produced in the South-West region of France). Now, when all of this food is accompanied by several bars, you are guaranteed to have a good time.

Opening hours:  from Tuesday to Friday 8:00 – 14:30 and 16:30-20:30, Saturday 8:00- 22:00 and Sunday 8:00-17:00
Address: 149 Quai de Bacalan, 33300 Bordeaux

Les Vivre de l’art – emerging arts and impressive sculptures 

les vivres d'art - art and music events

Les vivres de l’art is one of the most fascinating arts projects in Bordeaux. Located just a few steps from the cité du vin, in an architectural historic monument called les Vivres de la Marine. Iron sculptures made by the artist Jean-François Buisson (which works there since 2003) adorn the place and give it its creative characteristic. Since 2008 it has become an artistic association, holding cultural events, workshops, vintage sales, music festivals, exhibitions, and more. This is one place in the neighborhood you don’t want to miss, even just for a sneak peak of the beautiful and creative sculptures which can be seen from the road.

Opening hours: open daily from Monday to Friday 10:00 to 12:30 and from 14:00 to 18:00, and usually hosts different events during the weekend (consult the program on their site).
Address: Les Vivres de l’Art – Place Victor Raulin – 1 rue Achard – 33300 Bordeaux
For more info check out the website of Les Vivres de l’art

Le Garage moderne – a social garage

la garage moderne - social garage

Le Garage Moderne is a social garage, a brilliant gem of a place where you can come to fix your own car and bicycle while experiencing art and culture, workshops and social meetings. If you’re fed up with being clueless about your car or bike every time they break, then it’s time to join a social garage and acquire some skills. The mechanics in the garage moderne can accompany the reparation process  with explanations adapted to your level of mechanical ability. This incredible space is far more than just a garage. There’s a restaurant where you can eat lunch, an outdoor café and a cultural space where weekly expos and concerts take place.

Address: 1 rue des Etrangers, 33000 BORDEAUX
Opening hours: The garage itself is open Monday to Friday (9:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 18:00, closed Tuesday morning), the restaurant is open from Tuesday to Saturday 11:00- 18:00
For more info check out the website of le garage moderne

Street art all over 

graffiti bacalan

As seen in many dynamic cities around the world, the street art scene has a tendency to bloom in emerging neighborhoods. It brings both new and established artists to portray their art on the walls of their neighborhood and in some cases it’s the city who invites these artists the use the urban space and get creative. This is exactly the case of Bacalan and the results are nothing but astounding. No matter where you go, you’ll cross by some of the most impressive paintings on building walls, warehouses, and different urban structures. Even if you don’t enter any of the places I mentioned in this list, Bacalan is worth a visit only for the art.

La Base sous marine – a German bunker turned into a museum

base sous marine

Built by the Germans during the second World War, this old submarine base has been converted into a space dedicated to contemporary arts, which allows you to enjoy the space itself no less than the art presented there. The fact that the expositions are usually of the digital, street and visual arts kind, allows the artist to leverage this unusual space to its full potential. There aren’t any permanent exhibitions in La Base Sous Marine so the place is open only when an exhibition is being presented. It is located on one of the most interesting parts of the Bacalan area  – the Bassins a flot, which are worth a visit even if the museum is closed. Finding the entrance can be quite tricky. So if you come from the” la cité du vin“ tram station be sure to walk on rue Lucien Faure before turning right to Boulevard Alfred Daney. Also, if you come with kids, it’s important to know that strollers are not allowed in the structure as it’s dark and has a lot of stairs (you can leave the stroller at the entrance).

Open from Tuesday to Sunday 13:30 to 19:00 (only during exhibitions). Check out the facebook page of la Base Sous Marine for more details.
Address: Boulevard Alfred Daney, 33300 Bordeaux

Go to a concert on the I.boat

Iboat in Bordeaux

The Iboat, mostly known as a concert venue, is a three level ferry spanning 687m2, anchored to one of the docks of Bassins a flot. Since its opening in 2011 the I.boat has dedicated itself to promoting emerging artists, especially in the electronic music scene. Within the years it has become a multidisciplinary place with a concert hall and a club hosting more than 250 events a year, a terrace hosting Dj sets and happy hours and a restaurant. One of the special features of the place is the Upper deck where they host events and exhibitions during the evenings and then transform it into a chill out area after midnight. During summer you could also enjoy the outdoor area on the deck, with an exceptional view of the basin. Take a look at the program of events.
The opening hours:
Concert from 7pm to 23pm | Club from 11.30pm to 6am  from Tuesday to Saturday
Restaurant: Lunch from Monday to Saturday from 12am to 2pm and Dinner from Tuesday to Saturday from 7pm to 23pm
Address: bassin a flot n°1 – Quai Armand Lalande

Have a lunch or a drink at one of the restaurants next to the basins 

standby coffee shop
Standby coffee shop
If you’re hungry or need a coffee break, I’ve got you covered. Although there are some bars and restaurants all over the Bacalan neighborhood, many of the cool places are concentrated on the southern side of the first basin (Bassin à Flot n°1). On the long dock (which you can approach from rue Lucien Faure), you’ll find restaurants, coffee shops and plenty of bars on the dock, on the roof and on boats.
Some places worth mentioning are:
  • The Wallace Bar – the rooftop bar of the Radisson Blu hotel (Bassin à flot n°1, Quai Armand Lalande).
  • Café Maritime – a very classical French restaurant with a beautiful decor (Bassin à flot n°1, Quai Armand Lalande)
  • The standby cafe– on the main street – just in front of the Bassins – a cool place to grab a cup of coffee (80 rue Lucien Faure).
  • Loft 33 – a wine bar and a restaurant with live music – Hangar G4, 51 rue Lucien Faure.

Visit the Bordeaux Whiskey Distillery

Did you know that there’s a whiskey distillery in Bordeaux? While many activities and tours in Bordeaux revolve around wine, it’s actually the local whisky producer who is housed in one of the most special places in Bordeaux. The Moon Harbour Whiskey, opened in 2014, is 100% Bordelaise, from the grains that are growing in Saint Jean d’Illac to the barrels used to age the Whiskey that are coming from some of the most famous wine chateaux in the region (such as Sauternes). The barrel room is located inside a bunker built by the Germans during the Second World War as part of the constructions of the Submarine Base (mentioned above). Apart from  tasting the local whiskey and gin, the location of the barrel room is what makes the visit there so special. The tour (which is offered in French and English) is followed by explanations on malting and the production of whiskey as well as tastings of the three products of the distillery. The visit requires prior reservation by phone ( 05 56 29 86 60) or email ([email protected]). The price is 10€/pers for the visit and tasting.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday from 11:00 to 18:00 and Saturdays from 11:00 to 15:00 and from 16:30 to 18:00.
For more info check out the site of Moon Harbour.
Address: 492 Boulevard Adfred Daney, 33300 BORDEAUX

Find the UFO on the water

bassins a flot

Le “soucoupe volante”, a UFO shaped sculpture, the work of the artist Suzanne Triester, made quite a buzz in Bordeaux when it appeared in the middle of the basins last May. This piece of art was purchased by the Bordeaux Metropole as part of their vast investment in contemporary art in the city. Now all you have to do is take a walk on the docks of the basin to find it. As the area is quite packed with boats, buildings and a lot of construction machinery, the sculpture is not that easy to find. So to give you a little hint, try to look for it when you are searching for a bar/ restaurant on the docks :).

Hope you enjoyed the list and that it will help you to discover new places in this surprising city.
If you liked the post, share the love on facebook, pinterest or twitter.
If it’s your first time in Bordeaux and you want to get to know the other parts of this beautiful city – check out my general guide to Bordeaux.
Thanks for reading!!

A few weeks ago I published the guide of “things to do in Bordeaux with kids when it’s raining“. Some of the suggestions in that list are also valid without kids, and in this post I’d like to suggest additional fun things to do when it’s raining outside and you don’t have kids to entertain. So for all the people without kids, tourists with grown up kids or the lucky ones whose parents are babysitting, this article is for you.

When you look at local guides to Bordeaux you mostly see outdoor places such as the Miroir d’eau, Place de la comedie and so on. But the truth is that Bordeaux is a very active city and there are many things you could do outside your house even when it’s pouring.  I’ve come up with a list of fun activities in Bordeaux, and you’d be surprised how many cool stuff you can experience indoors. So if it’s your first time in Bordeaux, don’t be discouraged by the wet weather and follow my list of special things to do in rainy Bordeaux.

Food and wine with friends at Halles des 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. No surprises there , 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 traders that were chosen for the quality of their products (85% of which are produced in the South-West region of France). Now, when all of this food is accompanied by several bars, you are guaranteed to have a good time.

Les halles des bacalan is open from Tuesday to Friday from 8:00- 14:30 and 16:30-20:30, Saturday 8:00- 22:00 and Sunday 8:00-17:00

Les halles des bacalan

Address: 149 Quai de Bacalan, 33300 Bordeaux

Darwin

Darwin is probably one of the most surprising places in Bordeaux. An old military base  turned into an urban space with a work space/incubator for startups, a skate park for all ages, a restaurant and many other surprises, all with an agenda of ecological awareness. If you feel  you need to get out of the center to a refreshing place, go a head to Darwin where you can eat at their designed restaurant, buy bio products in their shop, do shopping in Emmaus and enjoy a unique street art.

Darwin ecosystem Bordeaux

Address: 87 Quai de Queyries – 33100 Bordeaux

Visit art museums

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

Le musée des beaux-arts

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

Address: 20 Cours d’Albret, 33000 Bordeaux

Musée des Art décoratifs et du Design

The museum of decorative art and design is located in a beautiful 18th century mansion and is one of UNESCO’s heritage sites in Bordeaux. Many of the furniture and pieces of art you will see in this museum are dated to the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.  Not less impressive is the original woodwork and wooden floor of the museum. Open everyday except Tuesday 11:00-18:00

Address: 39 rue Bouffard 33000 Bordeaux

Le CAPC – musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux

Le CAPC is worth visiting even if you are not a big fan of contemporary arts. The museum is housed in an old wool warehouse where commodities, traded down the river, used to be stored. What makes it special is the combination of modern art with the old architecture of the building. In the permanent collection there are almost 300 works of art and it regularly hosts temporary exhibitions that are dedicated to the history of art.  Open from Tuesday to Sunday 11:00-18:00.

Address: 7 Rue Ferrere, 33000 Bordeaux
CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux
CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux

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

 

Play game boards in Jeux barjo

Jeux Barjo is the most central game bar in Bordeaux which includes several spaces: mezzanine, cellar and large libraries. Anyone can enjoy this bar as it holds a very impressive board game collection, and even if you are not familiar with the games, the friendly staff are there to explain the rules. The bar offers different menus of games, drinks, and tapas. Jeux barjo is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 14:00.

Address: 12 Rue Saint-James, 33000 Borde

Make a tour in the Opera of Bordeaux

The Grand Theatre de Bordeaux was built at the end of the 18th century by the architect Victor Louis. It is  one of the most beautiful 18th century theaters in the world and is one of France’s preserved historical buildings. Previously a seat of the French parliament, today it serves as a home to the Opera National de Bordeaux and the Ballet National de Bordeaux. Excluding  the summer period, the Grand Theatre offers guided tours in the building. The tours take place on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 14h30, 16h00 and 17h30. The price is 6 euros and free to people under 26. For reservations (obligatory).  

Address: Place de la Comédie, 33000 Bordeaux

See modern art in la Base sous marine

This is one of the most unique places you can find in Bordeaux. Built by the Germans during the second World War, this old submarine base has been converted into a space dedicated to contemporary arts, which allows you to enjoy the space itself no less than the art presented there. The fact that the type of the expositions are usually digital ,street and visual arts allows the artist to use this unusual space to its full potential. Base sous marine is  located in the Bacalan neighborhood, so it can be combined with a drink in the Bacalan market mentioned above.

It can be a bit tricky to find the entrance, so if you come from the la cité du vin tram station be sure to walk on rue lucien faure before turning right to Boulevard Alfred Daney. Also, if you come with kids, it is important to know that strollers are not allowed in the exhibition as it’s dark and has a lot of stairs.

Open from Tuesday to Sunday 13:30 to 19:00 (only during exhibitions).

la base sous marine bordeaux

Address: Boulevard Alfred Daney, 33300 Bordeaux

Try to get out of an escape room in Espace Hunt

Escape rooms have become  popular around the world and it definitely didn’t skip Bordeaux. There are a few escape rooms in Bordeaux and Espace Hunt, located next to Gare Saint-Jean is one of them. The concept is that for one day you become a group of detectives and you have 60 minutes to collect clues and solve a series of questions in order to exit the room before time runs out. The place offers 3 different games: “ The Mystery of St-Emilion”, “Murder in the Harbour” and “Jack the Ripper “. The bigger your group is the easier it will be to get out, and in general the Hunt is not recommended if you’re only 2 players unless you have a previous experience in escape rooms.

After the game you can enjoy a coffee in a 100m2 Victorian salon and take photos in special detective costumes. Speaking French is not necessary as Espace Hunt provide a dedicated multi-lingual game master that will be your personal guide throughout the game. Reservations must be made online and the price varies with the amount of players (2 players: 72€ , 3 players: 87€ , 4 players: 100€ , 5 players: 105€ – total for the room). Espace Hunt Bordeaux is open daily from 10:00 to 23:00.

Age: the place in not recommended for kids under 12 and all kids under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. One of the rooms is forbidden for kids under 16.

Adresse: 5 rue Pierre Loti, 33800 Bordeaux 

See a movie in Utopia

Utopia is an independent cinema theater that offers a unique experience as it is installed in an ancient church, l’église du Vieux Bordeaux. The program is very divers, from little independant productions to big budget movies and old classical ones. Utopia is much more than just a cinema, there are regular meetings with directors and debates on social  issues that are being addressed in movies. At the entrance to this beautiful building you will also find a restaurant and for sunny days there are a lot of tables outside watching Place Camille Jullian . An old movie and a lunch in an old church with a friend, sounds like the most comforting plan for a rainy day.

The price is 7 euros, see the program.

Utopia cinema Bordeaux
Photo by: Ramon Szmuk
Address: 5 Place Camille Jullian, 33000 Bordeaux

Centre Aquatique Caliceo

What’s better than to pamper yourself in a spa when it’s raining outside? The Caliceo center offers you just that. A spa with pools, aquatraining, hammam, different saunas and massage to relax and forget about work and city life.

The place is open daily from 10:00 to 21:00. See prices here.

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

Axe Throwing in Pessac

If you feel like doing something extraordinary that you probably haven’t done before – consider axe throwing. Apparently it’s a thing and Les Freres Jacks is the place for it in the Bordeaux area. You have to reserve a target for one hour (up to 3 people for 1 target) and the price is 48€ for a target. Open from Tuesday to Sunday.

Address: 152 Avenue Jean Jaurès, 33600 Pessac

Le garage moderne

Le Garage Moderne is a special combination of a garage for cars and bicycles and a place of art and culture, workshops and social meetings. If you have a problem with your car or your bicycle, it’s a good opportunity to learn how to fix them from the mechanics in garage moderne as they accompany the reparation with explications adapted to your level of mechanic knowledge. Apart from that you can just drop by to have a drink, make friends and see interesting art expos. Le garage moderne is open from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 18:00.

Address: 1 Rue des Étrangers, 33300 Bordeaux

La cité du vin

The cité du vin is a “must” place for any wine lover but can be very interesting and enjoyable for people who don’t drink at all. This impressive piece of modern architecture is a one of a kind cultural center, all dedicated to discovering the wine world. Through its interactive exhibition, It offers a journey to both French and global wine history. You will learn about wine making, see movies and interviews with wine producers and then smell and taste wine. The cite du vin allows you to discover a selection of wines from all over the world and to see the best panoramic view of Bordeaux.

However, before going you should know that it is quite expensive (20€ per ticket) and many people are quite disappointed that the wine tasting include only one glass of wine. Having said that it is an interactive full sensor activity that you are most likely to enjoy and is a great thing to do on a rainy day in Bordeaux. The Cite du vin is open daily from 10am to 7pm.

cite du vin Bordeaux
photo by: ramonszmuk
Address: 134 – 150 Quai de Bacalan, 33300 Bordeaux

 


I hope this list gave you a lot of ideas for the upcoming rainy weather! If I missed any indoor places that you know about please let us know in the comments below.

Thank you for reading and share if you liked it 🙂

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

Cap sciences

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

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

Skating in darwin

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

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

Address: 87 Quai des Queyries, 33100 Bordeaux

Skating in Darwin Bordeaux

Ice skating in La Patinoire de Mériadeck

For even colder days, you can get into the winter spirit with ice skating. La Patinoire de Mériadeck is a sports complex in Bordeaux center that hosts hockey games as well as many different concerts. However, several days a week the place is open to the public and you can come with your family and enjoy ice skating in this huge arena. The Patinoire is open on Wednesdays afternoon, Thursday and Friday evening and from the morning on Saturday and Sunday (with a lunch break). During the school break it’s open every day between 14:30 and 17:00. The prices range between  € 5.30  to   € 7,90 (depending on your age and if you need skates or not) and is free for kids under 5.

As the Patinoire hosts many different events during the year, it’s opening hours might change from time to time, so before heading there with your kids, check out the schedule.  You have three more months to enjoy it this year as the Patinoire de Mériadeck is annually closed between mid-May and the beginning of September.

Address: 95 cours du Maréchal Juin 33000 Bordeaux

Royal Kids in Pessac

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

Address:  6 Rue Henri de Châtelier, 33600 Pessac

Karting and Bowling

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

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

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

Jump in the Trampoline park

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

Address: 49 Rue Pierre Baour, 33300 Bordeaux

trampoline park bordeaux

Enjoy lunch while your kids playing in Kidooland

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

 Address: 280 Boulevard Alfred Daney – 33300 Bordeaux

Climb on Blocks in Block’Out

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

Address: 3 Rue Georges Barres, 33300 Bordeaux

Magic Makers

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

Address: 60 Cours de la Martinique 33000 BORDEAUX

Bibliothèque Mériadeck

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

Address: 85 cours du Maréchal Juin 33000 Bordeaux

La Parentèle for babies and toddlers

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

Address: 2 rue Courpon – 33000 Bordeaux

La Parentèle Bordeaux

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

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

Thank you for reading 🙂

There are several important events related to wine about to take place this May in Bordeaux. One of them is the Open doors in the chateaux of Saint Emilion, a great opportunity to visit this magical village. We all know, however, that Bordeaux is not all about wine and so this month we’ll also have several festivals of arts, dance, and circus as well as cultural events like the European museums night. All you have to do to get up-to-date about things to do in Bordeaux this May is to keep on reading…

Open doors in Saint-Emilion

An open door weekend will take place on May 4-5 in Saint Emilion where 81 wine producers will open their chateaux to the public. The weekend will include many activities such as wine tastings, visits to the chateaux, games for kids and bike rides. Check out the full program for the participating châteaux, the activities and the wine tasting proposed for that weekend – here.

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

The opening of La Guinguette chez Alriq

The best place for sunny weekends in Bordeaux is about to reopen for their summer season. La Guinguette chez Alriq is a taverne at the la Bastide neighborhood, on the rive droite of the Garonne. On a sunny day you can enjoy a cold beer, nice food and daily concerts with a magnificent view of the Garonne. The opening night will take place on May 2 with a concert of Bojan Krstic. See the full program for the weekend here.


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

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

The 13th edition of the festival will start with an inauguration evening on May 3, which will include magic and fire shows, different activities for kids and even a rock concert. On the second day of the festival (May 4), you will discover the art of circus and street entertainment through shows of Juggling, magic, games and introductory workshops. The festival will take place at the Parc de Fongravey in Blanquefort. For more info click here.

When: May 3-4 / Where: 4 Parc de Fongravey in Blanquefort

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. The brocante started on April 19 and will continue until May 5. For more info and the list of exhibitors click here.

When: April 19 – May 5 / Where: Place des Quinconces, Bordeaux

Bordeaux Tango Festival

The 7th edition of the Bordeaux Tango Festival will take place on May 7-12. This hot festival connects Bordeaux and the place where Tango was born, Buenos Aires. A variety of activities will be offered to celebrate the link between these two cities, such as dance, music, art, literature and even food. Most of the events will take place in Espace St. Remi and Rocher Palmer in Cenon. See the program of the festival.

When: May 7-12 / Where: Different locations in Bordeaux

Vinexpo Bordeaux

Vinexpo is one of the most famous wine-related events in Bordeaux, intended for professionals in the wine world. The program includes master classes, wine tastings, conferences, and networking events. The fair will take place at the Parc des Expositions de Bordeaux on May 13-16. For the full program and more details click here and for tickets click here.

When: May 13-16 / Where:  Cours Jules Ladoumègue, 33000 Bordeaux, France

European Museums Night

On May 18 some of the best museums and cultural establishments in Bordeaux will open their doors to the public with free exhibitions and activities. This year the event will have a 90’s vibe to it and the organizers encourage you to dress up in a 90’s style: so pull out your high jeans and too colorful clothes, you know the drill :). Besides exhibitions, the museums will host lots of kids friendly activities, concerts and more. See the full list of museums and events here.

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

Big Bang – Air and Space Festival

The Big Bang festival in Saint-Médard-en-Jalles will take place on May 14-18. This year the cultural and scientific festival is dedicated to the moon. The program includes art and science exhibitions, conferences, films, concerts and much more. Check out the full program of the event.

When:  May 14-18 / Where: Le Carré des Jalles, Place de la République, 33160 Saint-Medard-En-Jalles

Le Marché des créateurs

The 29th edition of the creators market (Marché des créateurs) will take place on May 18-19 at Place Camille Jullian (next to Utopia cinema). This market proposes a great variety of items giving everyone a chance to find something fitting their tastes and budget: clothes, accessories, jewelry, decorations, kids accessories, toys and more.  For more details check out the facebook page of the event.

When: May 18- 19 / Where:  Place Camille Jullian, 33000

Belem, the famous French vessel arrives to Bordeaux

Belem, the oldest big French vessel (launched in 1896, 51 meters long) will arrive in Bordeaux for five days and will be open to the public. The beautiful ship, classified as a historic monument, will dock at Quai Richelieu on May 16-20. Follow the facebook page of Belem for updates about the hours you can visit the vessel.

When: May 16-20 / Where: Ponton d’Honneur, Quai Richelieu, 33000 Bordeaux

Go to a secret event at the Festival de Caves

Festival de Caves (the Cellars festival) is an underground theater festival, gathering a small number of spectators in cellars and other underground places throughout the city. In Bordeaux, the festival will take place on May 11-25 and will run the whole month of May in different cities in Aquitaine. The festival will premier on May 11 (at 18:30) at the Maison Cantonale. Check out the full program on the website of the event. For more details click here.

When: May 11-25 / Where: Different locations in Bordeaux

Festival Echappée Belle in Blanquefort

The Echappée Belle festival is a great entertaining event for the whole family merging theater, dance, circus and other forms of art. The festival will take place from May 23-26 in Blanquefort, starting in Parc Majolan and continuing for the weekend in Parc de Fongravey.  See the full program here.

When: May 23-26 / Where: Different locations in Blanquefort (see the program)

Grand Crus Weekend

One of the most anticipated events in Bordeaux’s wine world is the Grand Crus Weekend that will take place on May 23-26. This event, organized by the Union des Grands Crus (the regional wine classification), aims to create an international meeting of wine lovers. The highlights of this weekend will include tasting wines from over 110 Grand Crus and meeting different chateaux owners as part of pre-organized dinners in the châteaux. Read more about the event and the full program here.

When: May 24-26 / Where: many locations in Gironde, see the program

Take your kids to an  inflatable water park in Biscarrosse

The huge inflatable water park in Biscarrosse (about an hour drive from Bordeaux) is about to reopen for the Summer at the beginning of May. The AquaPark is equipped with water ziplines, several diving boards of different heights, trampolines, catapults, climbing walls, slides and more. The park is accessible to kids over 4 years old. For more details and tickets click here.

Where: Port Maguide, 18 Chemin de Maguide, 40600 Biscarrosse

If you need more ideas of activities with kids check out my post about 30 things to do with kids in Bordeaux.

Enjoy a cocktail party on the Iboat

The Iboat, mostly known as a concert venue, is a three-level ferry spanning 687m2, anchored to one of the docks of Bassins a flot. One of the special features of the place is the Upper deck where events and exhibitions are held during the evenings. Every Wednesday at 19:00 the Iboat hosts the SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE, an after-work party with very creative cocktails :).  For this and other events taking place at the Iboat click here.

Where: bassin a flot n°1 – Quai Armand Lalande

To discover more cool places in Bacalan, read my post about the best things to do in the North of Bordeaux.

Quatre tendances – Dance show

Quatre tendances is a collaboration between several ballets groups and choreographers. Like every two years,  Quatre tendances will take the stage for several nights to perform a number of contemporary choreographies. This year the national ballet of Bordeaux will collaborate with Ballet Preljocaj – CCN d’Aix-en-Provence, le Malandain Ballet Biarritz and le CCN-Ballet de l’Opéra National du Rhin. Four choreographies will be performed during nine shows, taking place on May 22-31. For more details and tickets click here.

When: May 22-31 / Where: Grand Théâtre, place de la Comédie, 33000 BORDEAUX

Last chance to see the D’un soleil à l’autre exhibition

In the D’un soleil à l’autre exhibition artists present their poetic journey in space. Aspects like elastic distances, weightlessness, dazzling, infinitely large landscapes and incandescent materials are beautifully translated into contemporary digital art. La Base sous marine is known for the phenomenal use of their unique space for art, so don’t miss this one. The exhibition will be presented at the museum until May 19. For more info click here.

When: March 9 – May 19 / Where:Boulevard Alfred Daney, 33000 Bordeaux

When art and design take on glass

A new temporary exhibition was inaugurated at the Cité du Vin in March. The exhibition beautifully combines the wine and glass worlds. It includes the works of several glass designers who all modified and reinvented wine glasses and bottles. For more details click here.

When: March 15 – June 30 / Where: Esplanade de Pontac, 134 quai de Bacalan, 33300 Bordeaux

Les chōchin du Japon- exhibition

This is the last chance to see the Les chōchin du Japon exhibition at the Musée des art décoratifs that is dedicated to special lamps that were declared a “traditional craft knowledge” in Japan. The exhibition will be presented at the museum until May 19. For more info click here.

When: until May 19 / Where: Musée des Arts décoratifs et du Design, 39 rue Bouffard, 33000 Bordeaux

Festins – a funky exhibition at the Bernard Magrez Cultural Institute

Yet another great exhibition is presented these days at the Institut Bernard Magrez. Festins is an exhibition by two artists, Gérard RANCINAN  and Caroline GAUDRIAULT, that have been working together in the last 20 years and have now agreed to present their works at the museum. For more details click here.   The exhibition will be presented at the institute until June 9.

When: March 7 – June 9 / Where: 16 rue de Tivoli, 33000 Bordeaux

If you’re visiting Bordeaux for one of the wine events, be sure to check out my ultimate guide to Bordeaux, that will get you familiar with all the “must” places to visits in Bordeaux. Also, if you have more days to spend in our beautiful region, check out my article about the best day trips from Bordeaux.

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

I must admit that this week, building the best weekend list wasn’t easy. Usually this time of the year there are much bigger outdoor events. It took me some time but I managed to collect some interesting events nonetheless. In the program for this week: Tango, music in the main Cathedral of Bordeaux, board games and plenty of sales of clothes and flowers and more. Here’s the list of things to do this weekend in Bordeaux (May 10-12).

Bordeaux Tango Festival

The 7th edition of the Bordeaux Tango Festival will take place on May 7-12. This hot festival connects Bordeaux and the place where Tango was born, Buenos Aires. A variety of activities are offered to celebrate the link between these two cities, such as dance, music, art, literature and food. Most of the events will take place in Espace St. Remi and Rocher Palmer in Cenon. See the program of the festival.

When: May 7-12 / Where: Different locations in Bordeaux

Cathedral nights

cathedrale saint andre
photo by: Lost in Bordeaux

The Cathedral of Saint André in Bordeaux invites you to the Cathedral Nights events that will include two nights of musical concerts (May 10-11) and one day (May 12) of Organ music. The beautiful lighting of the Cathedral at night will make this an unforgettable event. For more information click here.

When: May 10-12 / Where: Place Pey-Berland, 33000 Bordeaux

Go to a secret event at the Festival de Caves

Festival de Caves (the Cellars festival) is an underground theater festival, gathering a small number of spectators in cellars and other underground places throughout the city. In Bordeaux, the festival will take place on May 11-25 and will run the whole month of May in different cities in Aquitaine. The festival will premiere on May 11 (at 18:30) at the Maison Cantonale. Check out the full program on the website of the event. For more details click here.

When: May 11-25 / Where: Different locations in Bordeaux

Spring Garden Party

To celebrate spring you are invited to a garden party right in the center of Bordeaux. Vide Déco and Végétal Bazar will host you for four days (May 9 – 12) of brocantes and plant sales. For more details click here.

When: May 9-12 / Where: 19 Rue du Loup, 33000 Bordeaux, France

Board games Festival in Pessac

This weekend (May 11-12) Pessac will host the first board games festival at les Salles Jacques Ellul et Roger Cohé. The event will include a big escape game and many other participative games. This is a great event to attend with friends or family and it’s free. For more details click here.

When: May 11-12/ Where: place de la 5ème république

Fête du jeu de Bordeaux

Le collectif Fête du Jeu de Bordeaux invites you this Saturday (May 11) to a fun day full of activities for kids and adults at Jardin Public. You can also bring some wine and snacks as they are organizing a big picnic with all the participants. For more details click here.

When: May 11 at 17:00 / Where: Jardin Public Bordeaux

Fête des petits pois

The very nice fête des Petits pois will take place this Sunday (May 12) in Cerons. The program includes many activities and games for kids and food stands. For more details click here.

When: May 12/ Where: Cérons

Night visit at la Forteresse de Blanquefort

This Sunday a night-guided visit will take place at the beautiful forteresse de Blanquefort. This is a private property and usually opens to the public once a month so take the opportunity to visit it. To register for the night tour click here.

When: May 12 at 21:00 / Where: Rue de la Forteresse, 33290

Bordeaux Brewers Battle

This Friday (May 10) Mille et Une Bières will host the first beer Breweries Battle. The rules are simple: two breweries, 12 taps, the brewery serving the most beers in 4 hours will take the trophy. The entry is free. For more details click here.

When: May 10 at 17:00 / Where: 42 Rue Edmond Besse, 33300 Bordeaux, France

A weekend of concerts at La Guinguette chez Alriq

Another great weekend of live music is going to take place at la Guinguette chez Alriq. Every week from Thursday to Sunday, this cool tavern invites you to four evenings of concerts by artists from all over the world. For this week’s program click here.

When: May 9-12 / Where: ZA Quai des Queyries, Port Bastide, 33100 Bordeaux

Decor and craft from all over the world

This Saturday (May 11) a big sale of decor pieces from all over the world will take place at the Librairie du Contretemps in Bègles. The stands will include ceramics, small furniture, mirrors and more. For more details click here.

When: May 11, at 10:00 / Where: 5 Cours Victor Hugo, 33130 Bègles

Festival Imagin’Ere

A creative festival will take place this weekend (May 11-12) at the little village of Saint-Michel-de-Castelnau with plenty of nice workshops for kids. For more details click here.

When: May 11 -12 / Where: Saint-Michel-de-Castelnau

Swing on the streets

Swing In Kiosque is a series of improvised dance events that are taking place in Jardin Public once a month. This weekend the event will take place on May 12. Take a look at the full program of events on their facebook page.

When: May 12 at 15:00 / Where: Jardin Public, 33000 Bordeaux

The Big Plants Sale

A big plants sale will take place this weekend (May 10-12) at the Cour Malby. The prices are guaranteed to be quite low (from 2€ to 10€) so it’s a good opportunity to fill your house with winter plants. For more details click here.

When: May 10-12 / Where: 3 rue Mably, 33000 Bordeaux, France

Festins – a funky exhibition at the Bernard Magrez Cultural Institute

Yet another great exhibition is presented these days at the Institut Bernard Magrez. Festins is an exhibition by two artists, Gérard RANCINAN  and Caroline GAUDRIAULT, that have been working together in the last 20 years and have now agreed to present their works at the museum. For more details click here.   The exhibition will be presented at the institute until June 9. 

When: March 7 – June 9 / Where: 16 rue de Tivoli, 33000 Bordeaux

If you want to leave Bordeaux for the weekend check out my posts about the best day trips from Bordeaux and the best chateaux to visit in Saint Emilion.

That’s all for this weekend! If you’re not on my email list yet, join me and get more exclusive tips about Bordeaux – subscribe here!

If you want to know what other events are taking place this month in the city, check out my post about 20 things not miss in May in Bordeaux.

Have a great weekend!

The spring is here and the city is coming back to life with sunny beautiful days with plenty of interesting events. So what is waiting for you in March 2019? Dance, wine, antiques, cinema and more. Now get your diaries ready and follow my list of things to do this month in Bordeaux!

Salon des vins des Vignerons Indépendants de Bordeaux

The Salon des vins of the Bordeaux independent winemakers will take place on March 8-10 at the Parc des Expositions de Bordeaux. Wine producers from the region will present their wine and will invite you to a free taste . This event is not focused on professionals but rather on all wine lovers! This year the salon celebrates its 20th anniversary and they promised it will be bigger than ever. Come prepared to drink a lot. For more info click here.

When: March 8-10 / Where:  Cours Jules Ladoumègue, 33000 Bordeaux

Salon du Vintage

The annual vintage salon will take place in Hangar 14 (Quai des Chartrons) on Marche 9-10. 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 12 years old.

When: March 9-10 / 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 15-17) 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. The event will take place in Halle des Chartrons and it’s Free! For more details click here.

When: March 15-17 / Where:  10 Place du Marché Chartrons, 33000

The Italian Spring Festival

Le printemps italien is a an Italian literature festival that will take place on March 14-16 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 14- 16 / Where: different locations around Bordeaux

Les Fous Rires de Bordeaux

Les Fous Rires de Bordeaux (16-23 March) 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 16-23 / Where:  Different locations in Bordeaux

Saint Patrick’s day

Saint Patrick’s day is always a good opportunity to get drunk from an Irish beer or whisky 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!

Foire aux Plaisirs

This is the spring edition of the traditional Bordelaise Fair that is taking place at Place des Quinconces  from February 22 to March 24. 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, you are not required to pay any entry fee, only for some of the attractions. See more info about the fair here.

When: February 22 to March 24 / Where:Place des Quinconces , 33000 Bordeaux

Salon International du Disque de Bordeaux

The international salon of vinyl and cd records of Bordeaux will take place March 23-24 in the Parc des expositions. It’s the 59th edition of this festival that brings together 80 exhibitors from France and abroad and proposes all genres of music: rock, pop, soul, jazz, punk, reggae and more. For more details click here. Price: Normal 3€50 / Student 2€ / free for kids.

When: March 23-24 / Where: Stadium-vélodrome, Cours Jules Ladoumègue, 33000 BORDEAUX

The European short film festival

The 22nd edition of the European Short Film festival (festival européen du court métrage de bordeaux) will take place on March 27-29 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 27-29 / Where: 13-15 rue Georges Bonnac, 33000 Bordeaux, France

SHOWS

Lac des Cygnes

The Russian National Opera will perform the Swan Lake, one of the most famous ballets in the world on March 16 at the Bordeaux Arkea Arena. For tickets and more info click here.

When: March 16 / Where: 48-50 Avenue Jean Alfonséa, 33270 Floirac

Tango Pasion

Tango Pasion is coming back to France after more than 3000 shows around the world. Six world renowned couples of amazing dancers will take the stage of the Arkea Arena on March 28. There aren’t many tickets left so hurry up. For more info and tickets click here.

When: March 28 / Where: 48-50 Avenue Jean Alfonséa, 33270 Floirac

Celtic Legends

Celtic Legends will perform their new show “Connemara Tour 2019” at the Arkea Arena on March 27 (two shows). For more details and tickets click here.

When: March 27 / Where: 48-50 Avenue Jean Alfonséa, 33270 Floirac

Exhibitions:

D’un soleil à l’autre – New exhibition at the Base sous marine

In the D’un soleil à l’autre exhibition artists present their poetic journey in space. Aspects like elastic distances, weightlessness, dazzling, infinitely large landscapes and incandescent materials are beautifully translated into contemporary and digital art. La Base sous marine is known for the phenomenal use of their unique space for art, so don’t miss this one. The exhibition will be presented at the museum from March 9 to May 19. For more info click here.

When: March 9 – May 19/ Where:Boulevard Alfred Daney, 33000 Bordeaux, France

Festins – new exhibition

Institut Bernard Magrez will be presenting its new exhibition in a few days (March 7) and it looks awesome. Festins is an exhibition by two artists, Gérard RANCINAN  and Caroline GAUDRIAULT, that have been working together in the last 20 years and have now agreed to present their works at the museum. For more details click here and here. The exhibition will be presented at the institute until June 9. On March 8, in honor of the international women’s day the entry for women is free. This place never disappoints!

When: March 7 – June 9 / Where: 16 rue de Tivoli, 33000 Bordeaux

Sous les mers, au-delà de l’image-  Musee de la Mer et de la Marine

“Sous les mers, au-delà de l’image” is a photography exhibition presented at the new Musee de la Mer et de la Marine until April 30. The expo consists of more than 100 photographs by Paul Nicklen and David Doubilet, two National Géographic  photographers. Check out more info on the site of the museum.

When: Until April 30 / Where: 89 rue des étrangers, 33300 BORDEAUX

That’s it guys!!! I do this list so you won’t miss the best events and concerts taking place during the month. If there are other things you would like to see in my monthly lists please feel free to leave a comment below!