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
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 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.
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 everyday except Tuesday 11:00-18:00
Address: 20 Cours d’Albret, 33000 Bordeaux
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 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.
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).
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.
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.
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 🙂