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 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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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!!
After the success of my article about things to do in Bordeaux with kids when it’s raining I decided that it’s time to dedicate a separate article for adults trying to escape the rain in Bordeaux. Some of the suggestions in my first list are also valid without kids but I wanted to offer more options for those who don’t have kids to entertain.
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. If it’s your first time in Bordeaux, I think you’ll also like my guide to a weekend in 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. If you want to discover other cool places in the Bacalan neighborhood check out my article about things to do in Bacalan.
Address: 149 Quai de Bacalan, 33300 Bordeaux
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 want to discover Bordeaux beyond the center. go ahead to Darwin where you can eat at their designed restaurant, buy local organic products in their shop, do shopping in Emmaus and enjoy unique street art.
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:
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 every day except Tuesday 11:00-18:00
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 every day except Tuesday 11:00-18:00
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
*All museums mentioned above are free every first Sunday of the month.
Visit the Capucins Market
One of the main attractions in Bordeaux is Marché des Capucins. It’s the biggest daily market in Bordeaux and it has everything from fruits and spices, to local sweets and plenty of oysters stands. When it’s heavily raining in Bordeaux, this is one of the best places to go to. You can take your time strolling between the stands and discover the Southwest of France gastronomy and then conclude with lunch in one of the many excellent restaurants in the market. If you need help choosing what and where to eat at the market, check out my article about the best places to eat in Marche des Capucins. 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. You can also join my food tours in the market which is a fun way to learn about the local food scene.
Play board games 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 Bordeaux
See local contemporary art in MECA
If you crossed Pont Saint-Jean in the last year or so you must have noticed the new, very modern building that reminds a bit the Arc of La Defense in Paris. This is MECA the Regional Pole of Culture and Creative Economy. It houses many offices that don’t mean much to people trying to escape the rain, but there is one place inside where you can easily spend hours when the weather is bad. Frac, that sits in MECA is a cultural institution with a mission to promote contemporary art in Nouvelle Aquitaine, hosting several exhibitions of local artists. It has reopened its doors after being closed for two years. The exhibitions are varied and include many genres from photography to painting and sculpture. The works are not always my style but it’s big and you can always find a lot of interesting artists there. For more details click here.
Address: 54 Quai de Paludate, 33800 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 winemaking, see movies and interviews with wine producers and then smell and taste wine. Le 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. If you want to learn more about this super innovative museum, check out my article about visiting the Cite du Vin.
However, before going you should know that it is quite expensive (20€ per ticket) and many people are quite disappointed that the wine tasting includes 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.
Address: 134 – 150 Quai de Bacalan, 33300 Bordeaux
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’s 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 almost daily at 14h30, 16h00 and 17h30. The price is 6 euros and free for people under 26. For reservations click here.
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. 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’s 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).
Address: Boulevard Alfred Daney, 33300 Bordeaux
Visit the chic foodie market – Boca
If your stomach starts growling after the long art session in FRAC, just continue to the next place on Quai de Paludate – La Boca Foodcourt. They call it the first French food court, although it reminds me less of a traditional food court in an American mall and rather a chic and a bit of a pricy foodie’s market. Le Halle the Boca is a long hangar with rows of wooden tables in the middle and about 15 different restaurants. I really like it as there’s a great variety of food such as seafood, Spanish tapas, a meat restaurant, and a good bar.
It’s especially nice if you come as a group of people and share many different plates. I also found it to be very kids friendly with a lot of low tables that are a perfect fit for families. The paying method there is a bit tricky as you need to charge a special card and pay with at the restaurants. I’m not a fan of that as it makes you spend more than you would in a normal restaurant but the food is great and the experience is good anyway. Needless to say that it’s a covered market so it’s perfect for a rainy day.
Address: 208 Quai de Paludate, 33800 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 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 provides a dedicated multi-lingual game master that will be your personal guide throughout the game. Age: the place isn’t 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
We are in the capital of wine, so instead of being gloomy about the weather, use it as an opportunity for wine tasting. Here in Bordeaux, you have several places where you can taste local wines during the day without waiting for the bars to open up in the evening. One good example is Bar à Vin which is located in one of Bordeaux’s beautiful 18th-century buildings. This place specializes in the wines of Bordeaux and it changes its wine menu once a month, so there’s always a good reason to go back and learn about new local wines. If you want to discover other good places for wine tasting check out my article about wine tasting in Bordeaux.
See street art in a beautiful Chateau
Socially aware street art and a fancy 18th-century chateau, can you imagine a bigger contrast than that in a place like Bordeaux?. Well, this is exactly what Institut Bernard Magrez had successfully put together in 2011. Situated in Chateau Labottiere, the cultural institute regularly hosts exhibitions by the best local and international street artists which are interestingly integrated with the classical features of the chateau. The exhibitions are being alternated every couple of months so there is always something interesting to see there.
Address: 16 Rue de Tivoli, 33000 Bordeaux
See a movie in Utopia
Utopia is an independent cinema theater that offers a unique experience as it’s installed in an ancient church, l’église du Vieux Bordeaux. The program is very diverse, from little independent 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.
Address: 5 Place Camille Jullian, 33000 Bordeaux
Surfing in a coffee place
This is a super cool activity for a rainy day. The Wave Surf Café is the first indoor cafe where you can surf! The Big artificial wave in the middle of the coffee shop imitates an ocean wave and allows you to feel like a professional surfer in the city center :). It’s a nice experience for those who don’t live next to the sea and don’t have the opportunity to surf. For more details click here.
Address: 174 Cours du Médoc, 33300 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.
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
Attend one of Bordeaux’s events
The Bordelais are quite used to rainy winters (or falls and springs for that matter) so there are plenty of events that are adapted for people trying to escape the rain. While the summer events are usually outdoors, starting October many events, like special markets and open doors in various Chateaux, are starting to take place all over the region. To know about specific events taking place every month, follow my monthly lists that I publish regularly on the blog and check out my weekend list that includes all the main events taking place right now.
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.
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:
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
Natural History Museum
After years of renovations the museum of natural history of Bordeaux has finally opened its doors on March 2019. Created in 1971, the museum has one of the biggest collections in France with more than a million specimens. Besides the new design and the incredible collection, one of the new features in the renovated museum is the “Early Years Museum” for kids under 6 years old.
Where: 5 Place Bardineau, 33000 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
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
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
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
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
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.
This month I’m a bit late with my monthly list, but since there are so many fun things to do in September I decided to publish it anyway. After a long year without events, many of Bordeaux’s most entertaining events are back this year, among them are the Arts Mêlés festival and the dance festival of Arcachon, and many more. Just a reminder, following the governments’ announcement, many of these events will require you to show your Pass Sanitaire.
If events are not your cup of tea and you just want to explore Bordeaux and its surroundings, follow my list of the 50 best things to do in Bordeaux. Also, don’t forget that every Friday I send more events suggestions and ideas for the weekend through my email list.
Now let’s start with all the events and fun things you can do in Bordeaux in September 2021.
Festival Teste à Têtes
The Teste à Têtes festival, organized by the circus school Komonò Circus, will take place on September 10-12 in La Teste de Buch. For three days you can enjoy plenty of activities dedicated to street arts and music concerts. For more details click here.
When: September 10-12 / Where: Different locations in La Teste de Buch, see the program.
The mediaval festival of Bouliac
Every year, Bouliac, one of Bordeaux’s suburbs, organizes a fun medieval celebration full of art, games, and amazing costumes. This year the festival will take place on September 11-12. Check out all the details here.
When: September 11-12 / Where: Rue de l’Esplanade, 33270 Bouliac, France
La Morue est dans la plage
Bègles is celebrating its main product, the Morue (codfish), with a fun two days of live shows, activities for kids, and lots of food. The festival will take place on the beach of Bègles on September 10-11. See more details here.
When: September 10-11 / Where: Begles Plage
Fête de la Navigation
Fête de la Navigation is an annual navigation celebration taking place on September 11-12 in Lacanau. The program includes navigation-related workshops, guided tours, workshops for kids, and more. For more info click here.
When: September 11-12 / Where: Voile Lacanau Guyenne, 24 Allée du Club de Voile, 33680 Lacanau
Journées Européennes du Patrimoine
The European Heritage Days are a great opportunity to discover some of Bordeaux’s most beautiful and interesting buildings. During the weekend of September 18-19, many public and private places will open their doors and allow you to peek into parts of this city’s history otherwise hidden from our daily view. Some of the most interesting places to visit during the weekend are the Opera of Bordeaux, the Grosse Cloche, and many more. You can see the full list of the places that will be open to visits here.
You can also see the program all over France here.
When: September 18-19 / Where: Many places across the city, check out the program above.
Grands Crus Weekend
The Grands Crus weekend is an event organized by the Union des Grands Crus (the regional wine classification). The idea is to create an international meeting of wine lovers with wine tasting from over 110 Grand Crus chateaux. The event will take place on September 17-19. Read more about the event and the full program here and here.
When: September 17-19 / Where: Hangar 14 in Bordeaux and different chateaux (check out the program)
Summer Rock in Bouliac
The annual “Bouliac on the Rock” event will take place this year on September 18. The program of the event includes an American car exhibition, a rock concert, a raffle, vinyl discs, and food stands. The festival is free, see more info here.
When: September 18 / Where: Parking du stade, Bouliac
Festival Cadences d’Arcachon
Festival Cadence is a dance festival taking place every year in Arcachon. The program of the festival is known for its diversity including classic, contemporary, hip-hop, flamenco, and more. The festival will take place on September 22-26, for the full program click here, and see more info here.
When: September 22-26 / Where: Arcachon
ODP Music Festival in Peixotto
ODP is an annual music festival taking place in Parc Peixotto in Talence. This year the festival will take place on September 23-26. That’s one of the best music festivals in Bordeaux metropole and always has a great lineup. For more details and tickets go to the festival’s website and their Facebook page.
Festival Arts Mêlés
Arts Mêlés is a festival of magic and supernatural experiences organized by the town of Eysines. As always the program is full of magic shows, illusionists, acrobats, and more, making it super fun for kids. The event is free and will take place on the weekend of September 25-26. Check out the full program here.
When: September 25-26 / Where: Different locations in the center of Eysines
Go for a drink in one of Bordeaux’s summer bars
Many of the outdoor bars of Bordeaux are still open this month and many of them have fun musical programs over the weekend. Don’t miss the last month of a proper Bordolais summer! Check out the list of the best summer bars in Bordeaux.
See the new exhibition: Monet, Renoir… Chagall, Voyages en Méditerranée
Last summer Les Bassins de Lumières (Base sous-marine) invited us to see one of the best cultural experiences to ever arrive in Bordeaux, the Klimt exhibition. This year they are doing it again with Monet, Renoir, Chagall, and others. The exhibition is taking place from May 19 to January 2nd. You must book your tickets in advance.
When: Until January 2, 2022 / Where: 284 Boulevard Alfred Daney, 33300 Bordeaux
Dance at la Guinguette chez Alriq
La Guinguette chez Alriq is a tavern in the Bastide neighborhood, on the rive droite of the Garonne. During the summer the place is full of locals escaping the more touristy rive gauche and coming to enjoy live concerts on the river bank. The Guinguette is open from Thursday to Sunday. For the concerts program of September click here.
When: every weekend during September / Where: ZA Quai des Queyries, Port Bastide, 33100 Bordeaux
This is my first “Things to do this month in Bordeaux” list in a very very long time and I’m so happy to be finally writing about events in Bordeaux. If you’re new to this site, I also share quite a lot of events and things happening in the region on my mailing list, Instagram, Facebook and Facebook group. So be sure to follow me 🙂
Now let’s start my list of all the events and fun things you can do in Bordeaux in June 2021.
Open doors in Médoc
If you want to discover the Medoc area, one of France’s most famous wine routes, this weekend would be an excellent time to visit. On June 5-6, the Medoc wine region will celebrate its open doors at chateaux weekend. Here’s my article explaining all you need to know about this fun event -> https://www.lostinbordeaux.com/open-doors-at-the-chateaux-of-medoc/
When: June 5-6 / Where: different locations (see the site)
Tauzia Fête les Jardins
Tauzia is a gardening festival that takes place on June 5-6 at the Tauzia chateau in Gradignan. The event brings together more than 100 exhibitors specialized in the world of plants: plant producers, landscape designers, artists, collectors, horticulturists, and in general people with exceptional knowledge of plants. See more details here.
When: June 5-6 / Where: Château de Tauzia, 216 Cours du Général de Gaulle, 33170 Gradignan
Brocante des Quinconces
The big brocante of Bordeaux is back at place des Quinconces! It’s the biggest brocante event in the area with a huge selection of vintage home decor, paintings, antique furniture, garden accessories and more. The brocante is taking place on June 4-13. For more info and the list of exhibitors click here and here.
When: June 4-13 / Where: Place des Quinconces, Bordeaux
Vintage Kilo Market
On June 13-13 Darwin will host a huge vintage sale event, the Vintage Kilo Market. The event is free but you must reserve your spot to participate, click here for more details.
When: June 12-13 / Where: 87 Quai des Queyries, 33100 Bordeaux
Carrousel de Curiosités – Marché de créateurs
Le Carrousel de Curiosités is a creators market taking place every year at the Garage Moderne in Bacalan. This year, the event will take place on June 12-13 and will host a concert on Saturday evening. For more details click here.
When: June 12-13 / Where: 1 rue des Etrangers, 33000 Bordeaux
Bordeaux Wine Festival
This month (June 17-20) the banks of the Garonne will be again filled with wine lovers celebrating the Bordeaux wine festival, Bordeaux Fête le Vin. During the days of the festival, four big sailing boats will be docking along the banks of the river, be sure to reserve your spot if you want to visit them. Discover the other activities proposed during the festival here. As opposed to previous years no pass is required for wine tasting.
When: June 17-20 / Where: The banks of the Garonne
Open doors in Saint-Emilion
On June 19-20 you’ll get the chance to visit many of Saint Emilion’s chateaux as part of the annual open-doors weekend. The event will include many activities such as wine tastings, visits to the chateaux, games for kids, and more. Check out the full program for the participating châteaux, the activities, and the wine tasting proposed for that weekend – here.
When: June 19-20 / Where: different locations around Saint Emilion
Fête de la musique
The Fête de la musique is a French national day, dedicated to the celebration of music, with free concerts and street parties happening on this day (June 21) all over France. This is an extraordinary day where you get to walk around the city and enjoy an endless variety of small and big concerts from any genre of music. This year, due to the Covid 19, there won’t be big concerts and gatherings like in previous years, however, there will be small concerts all over Bordeaux metropole. I will publish more information in the following weeks leading to the event.
When: June 21 / Where: All over the city of Bordeaux
Dance at la guingette chez Alriq
La Guinguette chez Alriq is a tavern at the Bastide neighborhood, on the rive droite of the Garonne. Especially loved by the local public, chez Alriq is a fun place to enjoy a summer evening in Bordeaux while listening to live music. The Guinguette is open from Thursday to Sunday. See the full program for this month here.
When: all summer / Where: ZA Quai des Queyries, Port Bastide, 33100 Bordeaux
Nuits Atypiques Festival
This multidisciplinary festival in south Gironde has been taking place every summer since 1992. From June 4 to July 25, more than 20 events will take place in different towns of south Gironde. The program includes a variety of activities such as concerts, theater, films and more. Check out the full program here.
When: July 4- July 25 / Where: South Gironde- check out the exact location of every event in the program.
See the new exhibition: Monet, Renoir… Chagall, Voyages en Méditerranée
Last summer Les Bassins de Lumières (Base sous-marine) invited us to see one of the best cultural experiences to ever arrive in Bordeaux, the Klimt exhibition. This year they are doing it again with Monet, Renoir, Chagall, and others. The exhibition is taking place from May 19 to January 2nd. You must book your tickets in advance.
When: until January 2, 2022 / Where: 284 Boulevard Alfred Daney, 33300 Bordeaux
“Le Jardin des Chefs” – Terrasse Éphémère
This summer, Pape Clement, one of Bordeaux’s most popular chateaux is opening their estate for different chefs to cook at their summer terrace called “Le Jardin des Chefs”. You can see the participating chefs and book your lunch/dinner here and here.
When: Different dates in June / Where: 216 Avenue Dr Nancel Penard, 33600 Pessac
Go for a drink in one of Bordeaux’s summer bars
Plenty of rooftops, terrace cafes, and open bars are surging all over the city starting the end of May/ beginning of June. Some are more posh and chic, others simple and chill but they are all super fun to hang out in during the summer in Bordeaux. Check out the list of the best summer bars in Bordeaux.
Go to the Cité du Vin
To celebrate its 5-year anniversary le Cité du Vin, Bordeaux’s famous wine museum is reducing its tickets to 10 euros for all the residents of Bordeaux Metropole. This price will be offered from June 1st to August 31st.
Halloowing parties were not very common in France a few years ago. Luckily it looks like the French are getting into the Halloween spirit! You can see plenty of Halloween decorations in many shops and bakeries as early as September. There are some amazing events for everyone, from events in Chateaux to creative workshops and horror parties. In this post I gathered some of the best things to do this Halloween (2019) for kids and adults in and around Bordeaux. Enjoy 🙂
Halloween in a Chateau
Château de Vayres
Chateau de Vayres invites you to their Halloween weekend on October 26-27 with all the Halloween classics: witches, phantoms and werewolves. The two days event will be accompanied by exceptional Halloween decorations and plenty of activities and will finish with a firework show. For more details click here. Also throughout the school break (until October 31), the chateau will host a kids afternoon (3-12 years old) with workshops to create monsters and different surprises in the château and its beautiful gardens. For more info and reservation click here.
When: October 26-27 / Where: 63 Avenue de Libourne, 33870 Vayres
Château de Villandraut
Chateau de Villandraut invites you to three days of Halloween celebrations, full of perfect activities and games for kids. The event will take place on October 30 – November 1. The program includes candy hunting for the little ones, a treasure hunt for big kids (7-12 year olds), a murder party and much more. All the activities require prior registration by phone: 05.56.25.87.57 . For information about the kids’ party and activities click here and for the murder party click here.
When: October 30 – November 1 / Where: Rue Lafon Isore, 33730 Villandraut
Halloween à la Ligne
The beautiful Château de la Ligne is hosting a big Halloween party on October 31. The program includes a children afternoon with supervised activities and animations such as trick or treats and hide and seek in the château, a photo booth with face paintings and more. For adults, a wine tasting and ghost tour of the château, and from 8 pm, access to the bar, a whiskey masterclass, and other activities. For more info and tickets click here.
When: October 31 / Where: 30 route de l’entre deux mers, 33360 Lignan-De-Bordeaux
Halloween au Château de Duras
Château de Duras will celebrate its annual Halloween party on October 31. The party is for adults and kids over 10 years old. Pay attention to the opening hours for each age group. For more info click here.
When: October 31 / Where: Place du Château, 47120 Duras, Lot-et-Garonne
Celebrate it with kids
Halloween in the Ferme Exotique
La Ferme Exotique in Cadaujac invites you to celebrate Halloween with their farm animals during the two weeks of school break from October 19 to November 1. In the program: games, masks creation workshops, Halloween makeup and a phantom train. For more info click here.
When: October 19 – November 1 / Where: Domaine de la Roussie, 1932 Chemin du Port de l’Esquillot, 33140 Cadaujac
Journée Halloween chez Youpi parc
Youpi Parc, the soft play center in Pessac will host a Halloween day on October 30, with games and magic activities for kids. See more details here.
When: October 30 from 10:00 to 17:00 / Where: 16 avenue Louis de Broglie, 33600 Pessac
Atelier KIDS “Creuse et décore ta citrouille”
Halles de Bacalan is dedicating the whole afternoon of October 31 to Halloween. A super fun pumpkin decoration workshop will take place from 15:30. The program also includes make up for kids and plenty of drinks for adults 🙂 For more info click here.
When: October 31 / Where: 10 esplanade de pontac, 33300 Bordeaux
Halloween parties in Bordeaux’s Bars and restaurants
Horror Party in Mama Shelter
Especially for Halloween, Mama Shelter transforms into a horror movie. A Demonic DJ, scary atmosphere, a lot of cocktails and a costume contest (with prizes) will all be part of the horror party that will take place on October 31. For more info click here.
When: October 30 starting 19:30 / Where: 19, rue Poquelin Moliere, 33000 Bordeaux
Halloween party at the Grizzly Pub
The Grizzly pub invites you to a fun Halloween party with an electric set of Dj Bashment. Everyone who comes disguised gets a happy hour price the whole night 🙂 For more info click here.
When: October 31 / Where: 12 place de la Victoire, 33000 Bordeaux
Halloween : vivez vos pires cauchemars
Eventyr in Pessac invites you to a special immersive game that will take place in the dark!! Eventyr is a big decorated restaurant in Pessac, inspired by the world of Harry potter that offers an interesting immersive experience with actors. The special Halloween evenings will take place on October 29-31. The experience is supposed to be quite scary and is not recommended to kids under 14 years old. For more info and tickets click here.
When: October 29-31 / Where: 16 avenue Louis de Broglie, 33600 Pessac
I hope my list of things to do in Halloween helped you choose a cool event in Bordeaux. If you want to see what other events are happening soon in the city check out my list of things to do in November.
Normally, at this time of the year, a lot of my content revolves around Paque (easter in Eglish), whether it’s about the best easter chocolate in Bordeaux or egg hunts in beautiful chateaux in the region. While this year you can’t go out on chocolate hunting it doesn’t mean you have to give up the beautiful tradition of Easter. On the contrary, take it as an opportunity to discover great chocolatiers in Bordeaux. There are even several chocolatiers that will be delighted to deliver their Paque creations to the doorsteps of your home or at least your neighborhood. In this article, I present you with five excellent chocolate boutiques in the Bordeaux Metropole, where you can order chocolate for easter. Let’s start the sweetest list of the year.
If you still haven’t discovered this little wonderful patisserie, located right outside the center of Bordeaux, confinement is a great time to do just that. I won’t talk about their regular yummy pastries (I’ll do that after the confinement) but I will just say that their easter menu looks fab. They have delivery points in many of the neighborhoods and suburbs of Bordeaux. You can see the list of products and all the details here.
Franck Labasse Patisserie
If you want to take the opportunity to discover some of the great patisseries and chocolatiers around the Metropole, this is your chance. Franck Labasse’s pastry shop is located in the center of Pessac. While the shop is currently closed to the public, the pastry chef prepared a beautiful easter chocolate collection and provides a delivery service. You have to be quick with your order as it can only be done until Wednesday night (April 8). You can see all the details and the order form in this post.
Chocolaterie Lalere in the center of Bordeaux is run by a young talented chocolatier Xavier Lalère. The chocolate store offers a great collection of chocolates for easter that can be delivered around the metropole. The order has to be done by tomorrow evening (April 8 ). You can see all the details here.
Hasnaâ – chocolat grand cru
Hasnaa is one of the most famous young chocolatiers in Bordeaux. Like every year she released a collection of chocolates for easter and you can order it on her website. Hurry up as many of the chocolates are already gone.
The MOF (Meilleurs Ouvriers de France) David Capy is one of the most celebrated chocolatiers in Bordeaux, with shops in Bordeaux center, Cauderan, Gradignan and Eysines. His chocolate shops are open during the confinement so if you’re in the mood to invest in top-notch chocolate, give him a visit. His paque (easter) collection is absolutely stunning including everything from cute bunnies to huge chocolate strawberries, fish and potato heads. Find the collection as well as the shops’ details here.
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.
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.
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 🙂
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 Love Ira
Until just a few months ago I used to publish monthly posts with plenty of suggestions for things to do in Bordeaux every month and then like the rest of the world I had to stop. So I can’t even describe how good it feels to finally write this article. Those who live or have ever visited Bordeaux know that there are plenty of fun events taking place here every summer. This summer most events were obviously postponed to the summer of 2021 but luckily there are still plenty of great summer places that will be open, allowing us to enjoy this lovely season. In this article, I gathered 15 places and things you can do in Bordeaux this summer (2020). For specific events and other ideas for things to do every weekend, I invite you to subscribe to my email list here.
Go see the amazing Gustave Klimt exhibition – D’or et de couleurs
The long-awaited Gustave Klimt exhibition at the Bassins de Lumières (previously known as the Base sous-marine) was finally opened on June 10th. This is one of the most stunning exhibitions to ever arrive at Bordeaux and a visit there is a must! Whereas previously the quays of the Base sous-marine were used only to access the exhibition, this time all four pools, the quais, and the bridges are all used to screen the animated paintings of Klimt and his friends in the Vienna Secession movement. The result is mesmerizing! Important information: tickets must be bought in advance (here’s the link) and masks are obligatory.
Dance at La Guinguette chez Alriq
The Guinguette is a tavern on the right banks of the Garonne hosting plenty of open-air concerts every summer. The performing bands and artists are coming from all over the world and create a laid back party atmosphere. You can see their program here. The place is open from Wednesday to Sunday with concerts taking place daily. If you’re a group of people you can book a table – see all the details here.
Bordeaux museums are free this summer
Yes, you heard it right! Five main museums in Bordeaux are going to be free all summer long! This is the list: le Muséum d’histoire naturelle, le CAPC, le Musée d’Aquitaine, le Musée des Arts Décoratifs and le Musée des Beaux-Arts. If you’re coming with kids, the natural history museum of Bordeaux is fantastic!
The Cité du Vin is one of the most popular attractions on the tourist trail in Bordeaux. The extraordinary building, inspired by the movement of wine swirling in a glass, 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, culture and knowhow. One of the downsides is that the visit is quite expensive, the entry price for an adult is 20 euros and 9 euros for kids, so a family visit there makes it a pricey experience. However, this summer la Cité du Vin is free for kids under 17yo so it’s a great opportunity to take them to one of the most entertaining museums in Bordeaux. You can read my article about my visit to the Cite du Vin to get a good idea of what to expect there.
Enjoy a fun day in Darwin
Hipster paradise is finally open again! For those new to Bordeaux, Darwin is an old military base turned into an urban space with a huge chic restaurant and a cafe/organic food shop, a skate park for all ages, a second-hand shop, and many other surprises, all with an agenda of ecological awareness. On Saturdays, you can enjoy an outdoor local produce market. It’s also one of the most extraordinary places for street art and includes some amazing works by a lot of talented artists on each one of its buildings. Since the reopening, they added plenty of tables outdoors in what they call “Darwin Plein Air”, with some nice food stands for snacks. It’s not clear if Darwin Plein Air will continue throughout the summer but Darwin is a fun place to hang out in any case.
This summer (until August 31) Bordeaux Lac will offer FREE activities such as kayaking, SUP, zumba and more! The activities are taking place daily from 14:00 to 18:00 and registration is taking place on the beach starting from 13:30. Please read the content in this link as it includes instructions for some documents you need to present to be able to register as well as the schedule of the daily activities.
Puppet Theater for Kids
Le Guignol Guérin, founded in 1853, is the oldest puppetry show in France with daily spectacles for kids in Parc Bordelais during the summer (July and August). The show usually starts at 16:00 but can be canceled or postponed when it’s raining or getting too hot. Read more about the theater here.
Go to the IBOAT beach
Well, it’s not really a proper beach where you can swim but it’s definitely one of the coolest places in town. La Plage de L’IBOAT is a fun outdoor space with a bar, comfy sofas, and different outdoor events. The Iboat, mostly known as a concert venue, is a three-level ferry spanning 687m2, anchored to one of the docks of Bassins a flot.
For more cool places to visit in the Bassin a flot area check out my article about the Bacalan district.
Have a drink at Mama Shelter
This is one of the best places for drinks in Bordeaux, a rooftop bar on top of the Mama Shelter hotel in Bordeaux center. The rooftop is currently open every day from 12:00 to midnight, however, hours may change so check out their website before going. This place is very popular and tends to get busy in the late evening, so booking a table is recommended.
Mama Shelter is only one of the cool rooftops in Bordeaux Metropole, if you want to discover more hip rooftops and fun terrace cafes check out my article about the best summer bars in Bordeaux.
Don’t we all need to refresh our closet after this long period of being stuck at home? Summer sales are a great opportunity to enjoy good deals on clothes, shoes, electric supplies, toys and more. This summer the soldes d’été will take place from July 15 to August 11.
Enjoy the best markets in Bordeaux
You know how you always see people uploading beautiful pictures from French markets, with piles of strawberries, mouth-watering cheese, and crispy baguettes? Why not have the same fun touristic experience here, in one of Bordeaux’s numerous markets. The most popular market in Bordeaux is of course Marché des Capucins but there are plenty of amazing open-air markets in different neighborhoods in the city. Even if you live here you’ll probably discover a few new markets in my article about the best markets in Bordeaux.
Things to do around Bordeaux – Gironde and Dordogne
Taste the good life of Arcachon
If I had to make my top “good life in the Southwest of France” list, oysters, white wine, and beautiful beaches would probably be in my top 5. The Arcachon Bay is located about 50 km from Bordeaux and offers some of the best summer experiences in France. Tens of amazing beaches, oyster farmers villages, natural reserves, beautiful 19th-century architecture, and plenty of attractions for kids. A day trip (at least) to the Bassin d’Arcachon is an absolute must when visiting Bordeaux. To help you decide where to go I wrote an article about the best places to visit on the Arcachon Bay.
For a perfect summer afternoon gateway, head to Dune du Pilat and finish with a drink in La Corniche. Sounds splendid, isn’t it? Read more about these places in my article about the southern part of Arcachon.
Kayaking or Canoeing in the Dordogne river
Bordeaux is surrounded by many big and small rivers, it’s not a surprise then that there are quite a few places for Kayaking and Canoeing in the Bordeaux region. One of the biggest rivers near Bordeaux is the Dordogne, which splits from the Estuary of Gironde some 30 km north of Bordeaux. The low flow in most parts of the river makes it ideal for a kayak or canoe trip as you can easily descend and visit many beautiful villages and impressive chateaux on the way. I wrote an article about some of the best Kayaking clubs on the Dordogne river, some of which are located close to Bordeaux. You can also enjoy kayaking on the Leyre river on the Arcachon Bay.
Being close to the Atlantic ocean and surrounded by lakes are some of the best things about being in Bordeaux in the summer. We have an incredible amount of beautiful beaches with white fine sand, amazing views and nice beach facilities. You can surf in the Atlantic ocean, enjoy the kids’ friendly beaches of the Arcachon Bay or go to one of the beautiful lakes (and even hike around them!). If you’re here for a short period of time, it’s hard to choose where to go. To help you out I wrote an article about the best beaches around Bordeaux.
Discover the most charming villages in Gironde
Bordeaux itself is a beautiful and lively city but some of the best architectural treasures are spread around Gironde. The biggest department in France has some of the most charming villages in the Southwest of France. Bastide towns with arched squares, medieval towns with narrow streets, historic chateaux and citadels are all part of the incredible heritage of this region. In my article about the most beautiful villages in Gironde, I listed all my favorite villages around Bordeaux.
Go hiking and discover Gironde’s nature
Besides impressive heritage and beautiful beaches, the Bordeaux region is also rich with nature reserves, forests, and parks. If hiking is your thing, the options are endless. If you need some ideas for fun and interesting hiking trails, check out my article about hiking in Bordeaux.
Visit the most beautiful chateaux in Gironde
Dordogne earned its reputation as the queen of Chateaux in the southwest of France, but did you know that some of the most beautiful chateaux (castles) in this region are actually located in Gironde? Château Royal de Cazeneuve, Château de Roquetaillade and Chateau Villandraut are all located in the south of Gironde. These three are rich with history and beautiful architecture and are some of the most interesting heritage sites in our region. This summer the tourist offices of the South of Gironde offer a special chateaux pass giving you a discount if you visit more than one chateau. The pass can be bought in the tourist office in Langon and at the reception desk of all three chateaux. You can see more details here.
A new huge Labyrinth in Gironde
Popcorn Labyrinth is a new huge Labyrinth in Cestas that is about to open its doors on July 11th. During the summer the Labyrinthe will be open every day and even has night sessions on Fridays and Saturdays. You can see the hours and prices in this link.
Taste white wine in Entre deux mers
Bordeaux is the capital of wine and is mostly associated with red wine. However, I think that the hot summer in Bordeaux is a great opportunity to discover the white wines of Bordeaux. The largest sub-region in Bordeaux is Entre Deux Mers, the area located between the Dordogne and the Garonne river. While both red and white wines are produced in this region, only the white ones can get the AOC label of the Entre Deux Mers appellation. The wine is usually drunk young and is absolutely perfect for the Bordelais summer. In this link, you’ll find many of the wineries you can visit in the Entre Deux Mers region.
If you need more advice about the wines of the region and about the best wineries to visit, you can visit the Maison des Vins that is located at the La Sauve Majeure Abbey, about 30 minutes drive from Bordeaux.
I’m officially on vacation with my kids so this post was written while they are physically climbing on me. If you see any typos, that’s where they’re coming from 🙂 There’s not a lot of interesting events currently happening in the city so this month I will share a lot of places I visited myself to give you some ideas of fun things to do during the weekend. Also, I invite you to read my Summer list for more ideas on things to do in Bordeaux. If you’re currently traveling in the region I invite you to join my Travel in the southwest of France Facebook group and get more ideas for places to visits from local people. Here’s the list of things to do this weekend in Bordeaux (August 8-9).
A beautiful 4D show on Chateau de Duras
This one was added last minute to my list as I went there yesterday. Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday during the summer the beautiful chateau of Duras is hosting an amazing 4D spectacle where they screen the history of the chateau and a fun story for kids at the end. The show is really well done and the location itself makes the drive from Bordeaux well worth it. The show starts at 22:30 but If you’ve never visited the chateau before, make sure to come earlier in the day so you’ll have the chance to visit the rooms and see the stunning view from the top. The town of Duras is really charming and every Thursday night there’s a fun night market taking place there so think about combining it with the show when planning the trip.
Les Vivres de l’Art
This summer Les Vivres de l’Art in Bacalan invites you to the 7ème Ciel exhibition that’s hosting five different artists. For those who have never visited this fascinating place, Les vivres de l’art is an artistic association, holding cultural events, workshops, vintage sales, music festivals, exhibitions, and more. The expo is presented there until September 20, you can see all the details here. If you want to discover more fun places to visit in the area check out my article about the Bacalan district in Bordeaux.
Go Cycling in Saint Emilion
Last week I did a super fun electric bike tour in Saint Emilion with a company called Rustic Vines who specializes in biking tours in the vineyards. It was an amazing experience and you can read more about it in my Instagram post below. If you’re going to do it any time this summer, you can use my discount code BORDEAUX15 that will give you 15% off on their tours until the end of October.
La Nuit des étoiles au Bourghail
This Sunday (August 9) the park of Bourghail in Pessac is hosting a fun astronomy event with workshops for kids, stars observation, a tour of the forest by night, and more. The event is free, to see more details click here.
Discover the beautiful lakes near Bordeaux
Sometimes all you need is a calm weekend with a bit of nature for the soul 🙂 Luckily there’s plenty of nature around Bordeaux. Today I want to introduce you to two lakes in the region where you can have a lovely walk and admire the colors of the water. The first one is Lac Vert (the green lake) in Canejan and the second one is Lac Bleu (the blue lake) in Leognan, both located about 15/20 minutes’ drive from Bordeaux. Their names derive from the color of the water and they are both stunning.
I’m happy to tell you that even this summer the annual Quai des Sports was opened at the Parc the Sports in Saint Michel. The Quai des sports is a continuous sportive event for kids and adults where you can take part in many sports activities for free. The event this year will take place until August 23. For more info click here.
When: until August 23 / Where: Parc des Sports Saint Michel, Bordeaux
Go to a Night Market
You still have a few more weeks to try the night markets of the Southwest of France. If you’re planning to go on Saturday I recommend going south to Les Landes, where several night markets are taking place each week. You can see all the details about the markets of the region in my article about the night markets of the southwest of France.
Enjoy the night summer bars of Bordeaux
Bordeaux is a fun city all year long but in the summer there’s a special vibe in the city with plenty of open summer places opening up all around the city. Many of them are good but my favorite is La Guinguette Chez Alriq where you can also see daily concerts. This video for example is from a Flamenco show that took place there last Sunday afternoon. You can see the full list of the best summer places in Bordeaux in my article.
Free beach activities in Bordeaux
This summer (until August 31) Bordeaux Lac will offer FREE activities such as kayaking, SUP, zumba and more! The activities are taking place daily from 14:00 to 18:00 and registration is taking place on the beach starting from 13:30. Please read the content in this link as it includes instructions for some documents you need to present to be able to register as well as the schedule of the daily activities. For more events and activities taking place this summer in Bordeaux check out my article about things to do this summer in Bordeaux.