Bordeaux is a vibrant city rich with restaurants, boutiques, and stunning monuments. To fully enjoy all this city has to offer, choosing the right hotel or apartment location is crucial. If you’re wondering what are the best areas to stay in Bordeaux, you can to the right place!
The most lively and central neighborhood in Bordeaux is Saint Pierre and if you don’t have budget or any other constraints (kids, noise, etc.) it’s a perfect area for your Bordeaux vacation. Having said that you shouldn’t limit yourself to Saint Pierre, there are lots of good neighborhoods in Bordeaux.
In this guide, I’ll help you discover the best districts to stay in Bordeaux: lively neighborhoods, hipster districts, and the best areas for families visiting the city. I added a few recommended hotels to some of my district descriptions in case you’re not an Airbnb kind of person 🙂 If you need more recommendations for hotels in the city center, check out my post about the best hotels in Bordeaux for every budget.
I have quite a few other articles you might find useful if you’re looking for accommodation in the region: The best spa hotels in Bordeaux, the best wine hotels, where to stay in Saint Emilion, and where to stay in Toulouse.
Let’s dive into the best districts of Bordeaux!
Central Areas in Bordeaux
Saint Pierre and Saint Paul – The historic center of Bordeaux
Saint Pierre and Saint Paul districts represent the city’s historic heart. These are the two most vibrant and lively areas in Bordeaux. Here you’ll find the paved narrow streets, the charming squares, and some of the most famous monuments of Bordeaux (Place de la Bourse, the Grosse Cloche, and more).
The historic center is also the heart of the gastronomic scene in Bordeaux, with plenty of amazing restaurants, cocktail bars, and hip cafés. It’s home to some of the most foodie streets in Bordeaux.
You can find a fine restaurant on almost every street in Saint Pierre. Whereas the best bars are located on rue Parlement Saint Pierre and rue Parlement Sainte Catherine. Another street area with an amazing gastronomic scene is all the little streets around Place Fernand Lafargue.
The neighborhoods are bounded by the Opera of Bordeaux from the north and rue Victor Hugo from the South. Going east you can enjoy a pleasant stroll on the gorgeous promenade of the Garonne River. The western border of the historic center is marked by rue Sainte Catherine. This is the longest pedestrian shopping street in Europe home to all the main retail stores as well as several smaller boutiques.
You can find plenty of Airbnb apartments in this area but they will usually be more expensive. Also, you should know that some of the streets can be a bit noisy at night.
There are lots of little hotels in this touristy area. If you’re looking for something very simple but with good value for money I recommend staying at Hotel Bleu de Mer (Hôtel Acanthe). Another good option is the Quality hotel, which is a very nice 3- star hotel.
You can see more recommendations for hotels in the Saint Pierre district in my post about the best places to stay in Bordeaux.
Pey Berland and Meriadeck – the shopping and administrative district of Bordeaux
Bordering the historic center is the Pey Berland neighborhood, home to the main Cathedral of Bordeaux, Saint André, and the city hall (Hotel du Ville). This is one of Bordeaux’s central neighborhoods located within walking distance from all the main monuments in Bordeaux.
Pey Berland is also known as the museum district of Bordeaux with several good museums worth visiting: Musée des Beaux-Arts, Musée des Arts décoratifs (currently closed for renovation) et du Design and the Musée d’Aquitaine (a regional history museum).
This district is also a hub for the new wave of hip quality cafés emerging around Bordeaux such as SIP, The Blacklist, l’Alchimiste and Gusco.
If Sainte Catherine left you hungry for more shopping, this district will not disappoint you. Plenty of clothing boutiques and art galleries are located between the town hall, place Gambetta, and Cours de l’independance. On rainy days, you can also visit the Mériadeck, the only shopping mall in the center of Bordeaux.
If you’re looking for accommodation in this area but still want to feel the historic vibe of Bordeaux, try choosing a place on the east side of Cours d’Albret.
In this district, you can find the coolest hotel in town – the Mama Shelter. Stylish rooms, a good restaurant, and a super chic rooftop bar with the best view of Bordeaux. Near Meriadeck you can also find First Bordeaux, a new chic hotel, with a nice bar.
If you’re traveling with kids, Novotel can be a good option for you. Located within about a 10-minute walk from the center, the hotel offers big rooms that perfectly fit families.
Quinconces and Triangle d’Or – The fancy area of Bordeaux
To the north of the historic center, we find the Triangle d’Or district, where the houses mostly date back to the 18th century. As you walk from the narrow streets of old Bordeaux towards the wide boulevards of Trainge d’Or you can instantly see the contrast in scenery. This is the fancy part of Bordeaux, abundant with luxury boutiques and some of the best chocolatiers in Bordeaux.
The neighborhood also borders Jardin Public, the biggest park in the center of Bordeaux, making it a very kid-friendly area.
Triangle d’Or is home to the Opera of Bordeaux and l’Esplanade des Quinconces, one of the biggest squares in France. Several times a year, different fairs take place at the square or on the Allées de Tourney. Among them are the Christmas market, the big brocante (flea and antique market) of Bordeaux, and an amusement park.
This district is home to the more fancy and prestigious hotels and apartments. This stunning apartment is located on the Cours de l’Intendance, less than five minutes walk from the Opera of Bordeaux. Hôtel de Sèze is a beautiful 4-star hotel that also has a Spa. Another option would be the very popular Le Boutique Hotel, which also has a wine bar where they organize wine tastings.
Chartrons – the posh area of Bordeaux
The Chartrons district is located to the north of Place de Quinconces. It’s quite a big district but the more interesting part of it lies next to the riverfront and around the long rue Notre Dame. It’s the posh part of Bordeaux, teeming with excellent restaurants, trendy boutiques, and antique shops.
In the north part of Chartrons’s riverfront you can find Les Hangars, warehouses once used by foreign merchants to age and store wine. Today it was turned into a commercial center with riverview restaurants and shops.
In the Chartrons district, you can stay at Casa Blanca, a very cozy and stylish B&B with a yummy breakfast. It’s located just a few minutes walk from Place du Marché Chartrons (Chartrons’ main square) and Jardin Public. Hotel Indigo in the center of Chartrons is also a good option if you want a more lively hotel close to the riverfront.
See more information about Chartrons in my article.
Jardin Public and Saint Seurin – the quiet and green area of Bordeaux
Fondaudege and Saint Seurin are two residential neighborhoods, located quite close to the city center. If you’re planning a trip to Bordeaux with kids, these neighborhoods are perfect as they are calm and close to the main park of Bordeaux, Jardin Public.
In recent years, rue Fondaudege (the main street of the district) has gone through massive renovations, inaugurating a new tram line. Today, you can jump on line D and get to the city center within a few minutes. Or you walk on the cute elegant streets for about 15 minutes to get to the most central parts of Bordeaux.
If you decide to stay in this area there are plenty of options for accommodation. If you’re after a fancy stay, you are going to be charmed with Le Palais Gallien and its spa facilities. If you’re looking for a small family-owned B&B, Maison Rosa is an amazing spot with a garden and a pool.
Saint Michel, Saint Croix and Victoire – the Cosmopolitan areas of Bordeaux
If you’re looking to lower your budget or change the scenery from classic Bordeaux, the southern districts of the city are a great option. Saint Michel, Saint Croix and Victoire are the cosmopolitan districts of the city. A very mixed population lives in these neighborhoods, among them, you’ll find international students, artists, and immigrant merchant families.
The area has a lively culinary scene, from Capucins (the main market of Bordeaux) to local bars and cute little restaurants. If you’re a foodie, don’t miss this fun food tour in the market of Bordeaux.
Although it’s only a few minutes walk from the city center, apartments in this area are considerably cheaper than the neighboring Saint Paul district.
Staycity Aparthotels is a great accommodation option with a good price close to the main square of Saint Michel. Another great place is Maison Fredon a little boutique hotel located in a beautifully renovated 18th-century house.
Click here to read more about things to do in Saint Michel.
The more distant neighborhoods in Bordeaux
Bordeaux is not a big city and you can easily reach the center from several other more distant districts. So if the center of Bordeaux is a bit out of your budget, consider some of the following areas.
Another option would be to look for something on one of the tramlines as those are very regular, as opposed to buses in Bordeaux. Here is the map of the tramline in Bordeaux, to make it easier for you to do your search.
Bastide – the other side of the river
While most of the historic monuments are located on the west side (rive gauche) of the Garonne, rive droite has its charm.
Pont Pierre, the central bridge of Bordeaux will lead you to the Bastide neighborhood on the other side. Until quite recently it was a sleepy residential neighborhood but in the last decade, it transformed into a hip area where many locals love to spend their weekends. This district is especially charming from May to October when you can enjoy all its green areas and all the summer bars and restaurants on the riverfront.
The bridge being the only thing separating you from the center of Bordeaux, you can get almost everywhere walking. The prices of hotels here are lower than in the city center, which makes it a great option to stay in Bordeaux. If you still see yourself using the tram, try to find a place along line A, that will bring you in a few minutes to Pey Berland.
Bacalan – The grungy area of Bordeaux
Neighboring Chartrons from the north is the Bacalan district, located about 30 minutes walk from the center of Bordeaux. Bacalan itself is a big district but here I’m going to focus only on its most interesting area, Bassin a Flot.
Bassin a Flot is built around the port of Bordeaux and has a very grungy look to it as opposed to the elegant architecture of the city center. In recent years, it has been transforming into one of the liveliest parts of Bordeaux. The neighborhood is not only home to the magnificent Cité du Vin but also to some of the best art venues in town.
This part of the Bacalan neighborhood is located along Tram B, so getting to the city center is very easy when staying here.
In this district, one of the best accommodation options is Seeko’o Hotel. It’s located in the north of the Chartrons neighborhood just next to the riverfront and within a few minutes walk from the big wine museum of Bordeaux. Radisson Blu Hotel on the Bassin a Flot with its rooftop is another fun hotel in this area. For a little upgrade check out Renaissance Bordeaux, with a pool and amazing view.
If you want to learn more about things to do in the Bacalan neighborhood, click here.
Gare Saint Jean – next to the train station
Saint-Jean isn’t one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Bordeaux and in some parts can be a bit shady. However, if you need to catch a train early in the morning staying there can be quite practical. And it’s also much more affordable than the center of Bordeaux, which you can easily reach with the Tram Line C.
There are some nice hotels on the way from the train station to the riverfront (the quai) and, generally speaking, this is the nicer part around Gare Saint-Jean. Also, Quai des Paludate is home to some of Bordeaux’s nightclubs and to La Boca food market.
Gradually and with a lot of investment from the city of Bordeaux, this area is becoming more popular and the stay can indeed be quite nice.
Novotel Gare Saint Jean is a good option if you want to stay next to the train station. It’s not very new but the rooms are comfortable and clean. For something with a more boutique vibe, check out Hôtel Particulier – Bordeaux St Jean.
Saint Genes and Nansouty
South to the center, you can find Saint Genes and Nansouty. These are two quiet neighborhoods bordering Place de la Victoire from the South. Both are located only within a 15-20 minute walk from the center and conveniently placed on the tram line B.
Nansouty has a love center with cute restaurants and food shops attracting many locals to this part of town. One of the cutest places in the Nansouty Saint-Genes district is Bordeaux Cosy B&B.
One of the most family-friendly neighborhoods in Bordeaux is Saint Augustin. It’s a small quiet area, located about 20 min (by tram) from the city center and a walking distance from two beautiful parks in Bordeaux, Parc Bourran and Parc Bordelais. The neighborhood has a little center with a few restaurants and a weekly market.
The Bordeaux Lac district is located in the north, quite far from the center of Bordeaux. Apart from cheaper rates, its main advantage is being close to the Parc des Expositions, where many of Bordeaux’s fairs and salons take place. So if you come to Bordeaux for a conference this will be a good option for you.
Also, if the shopping in the city center was not enough, Bordeaux Lac has one of the biggest shopping centers in the region.
As its name suggests, the neighborhood has a big lake with a popular beach that is open to the public during the summer. You can reach the exhibition park, the shopping center, and the beach by line C from the center of Bordeaux.
I hope this article covers everything you need to know about the different neighborhoods you can stay in when visiting Bordeaux. If you need more specific recommendations, check out my post about the best hotels in the city center.
If it’s your first time visiting Bordeaux, here are a few other articles you’ll find useful:
Things to do in Bordeaux, France – the ultimate guide
10 day trips from Bordeaux by train
The detailed guide to the Bordeaux wine region and how to visit it
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