December in Bordeaux is usually all about Christmas but after thorough research, I was able to find a variety of other interesting events taking place, especially in the first part of December, among them different wine-tasting events, kids’ theatre, and a cinema festival. I regularly update the info about the markets in the region in my Christmas markets in Bordeaux article as well as my newsletter to which you can subscribe here.
If it’s your first time in Bordeaux I recommend reading my article about the best things to do in Bordeaux and about the best districts in Bordeaux in case you’re still looking for accommodation. If you need day trip ideas, check out my article about day trips from Bordeaux.
Now let’s start with my list of things to do in Bordeaux in December 2022.
Best things to do in December in Bordeaux
The Christmas season in Bordeaux has plenty of great markets to attend and buy presents! The official Marché de Noël de Bordeaux with all the traditional stands and a lot of vin chaud (hot wine) will take place at Allees de Tourny from November 25 to December 25. If you want to discover other markets taking place in Bordeaux and other parts of Gironde, take a look at my Christmas markets in Bordeaux article.
Open Doors in the Chateaux of Pessac-Léognan
The Pessac-Léognan appellation is hosting its annual open doors weekend on December 3-4. 33 wineries will take part in the event with wine tastings, tours, gourmet food, and activities for kids. Some of the participating chateaux are Château Brown, Château Pape Clément, and Château Haut-Lagrange, for the full list of Chateaux and more info about the open doors weekend click here. If you’re also in the mood for a little day trip you can spend a nice half-day in Pessac – check out my article about it.
When: December 3-4 / Where: Pessac Leognan region (Check out the link above for the full list of chateaux)
I also have an article with all the open doors events to take place at the wineries of Bordeaux throughout the year, so check that out as well.
Cabanes en fête
This amazing event on the Bassin d’Arcachon is finally back after three years of absence. Cabanes en fête is the oysters and wine celebration taking place in Andernos-les-Bains on December 3. The program will also include cooking lessons from six big chefs, a music concert, a flash-mob dance, exhibitions, and more. This year, you must purchase a pass to be able to take part in this event. See all the details here.
When: December 3/Where: Port Ostreicole, 33510 Andernos-les-Bains
Disney en Concert
Your kids are going to love that one! All the popular Disney characters are visiting Bordeaux on December 4 with the show Disney en Concert. The show is taking place at the Arkea Arena. For tickets and more details click here.
When: December 4 / Where: 48-50 Avenue Jean Alfonséa, 33270 Floirac
Taste the best French wines
In December you also have a chance to taste some of the best French wines in one place at an event called “Bordeaux Tasting”. During two days (December 10-11) tens of wine houses from Bordeaux and other regions in France will be there to present their best wines. The tasting will take place at different sites around Place de la Bourse. For more details click here.
When: December 10-11 / Where: Place de la Bourse, Bordeaux
Brocante des Quinconces
The big brocante of Bordeaux (antique/flea market) is hosted twice a year at Place des Quinconces with 200 antique dealers, horticulturists, restaurants, and craftsmen. This fall edition of the market will take place from November 25 to December 11. Although it’s quite upscale, you can find some fine antiques and vintage pieces at a bargain price. See more info here.
When: November 25- December 11 / Where: Place des Quinconces
Strolling the different brocantes of Bordeaux is one of my favorite activities here. Check out all of the other options in my article about the 50 best things to do in Bordeaux.
Xmas Market – Darwin
This market is gradually gaining status as one of the main Christmas markets in Bordeaux. Like Darwin itself, the Xmas market is an alternative event with craftsmen and regional creators. The market will include stands of clothes, jewelry, accessories, art objects, books, sports accessories, and organic products. This year the market is taking place not once but twice! The dates are December 9-11 and December 16-18, for more info click here.
When: December 9-11, 16-18 / Where: 87 quai des Queyries, 33100 Bordeaux
Carrousel de Curiosités – Marché de créateurs
Le Carrousel de Curiosités is a creators’ market taking place twice a year at the Garage Moderne in Bacalan. The winter edition of the market is taking place on December 10-11. For more details click here.
When: December 10-11/ Where: 1 rue des Etrangers, 33000 Bordeaux
Les Lumières de la ville
Les lumières de la ville is a great chance to discover how Bordeaux’s monuments look at night. It’s a two-hour biking tour, starting at Place de la Victoire and finishing with Christmas drinks. On the way, you will get to see the most important monuments and all the beautifully decorated little streets of Bordeaux. The event will take place on December 9 at 19:00, it’s free and open to all. For more details click here.
When: December 9 / Where: Place de la Victoire, 33000 Bordeaux
La grande Sainte-Luce
La Brede (a little town in the South of Gironde) is hosting a big gastronomic festival called La grande Sainte-Luce with more than 60 local producers of caviar, duck products, cheese, and more. The event will also include many Christmas relates activities. The market will take place on December 10-11 at Parc de l’Espérance at La Brede. See more details here.
When: December 10- 11 / Where: Parc de l’Espérance, La Brede
Concert De Noël
The orchestra of Bordeaux will perform fpur concerts to celebrate the end of the year. The concerts will take place on December 15-18 at the Auditorium of Bordeaux. See more details here.
When: December 15-18 / Where: 8 – 13 Cr Georges Clemenceau, 33000 Bordeaux
International Animated Films Festival
Les Nuits Magiques is an annual international festival of animated movies taking place at “Le Festival” cinema in Begles from November 30 – December 11. This is the 31st edition of the festival, which over the years gained a reputation in the animation and special effects world. Check out the full program here.
When: November 30 – December 11 Where: 151 Boulevard ALBERT 1er, 33130 Bègles
Festival « Sur Un Petit Nuage » de Pessac
The city of Pessac invites you to a fantastic kids’ festival with plenty of live shows. The festival Sur un Petit Nuage will take place on December 12-21 in different locations in Pessac. You can see the full program here.
When: December 12-21 / Where: different places in Pessac
Cinderella at the Opera
The ballet of Bordeaux will perform a special version of Cinderella for kids (7yo and up), with the choreography of the Birmingham Royal Ballet. This year the shows run almost every day from December 10 to December 31.
For more info click here.
When: December 10-31/ Where: Opera de Bordeaux
A traditional marionette theater
Guignol Guérin is the oldest family-run marionette theater in France. Their traditional winter spectacle takes place in Théâtre l’Inox between December 23 and January 2. For more details click here.
When: December 23 to January 2/ Where: 13 Rue Fernand Philippart, 33000 Bordeaux
Visit wineries in Sauternes and Barsac
Sauternes and Barsac are two of Bordeaux’s most prestigious wine appellations. Here is the SW It’s also known as the Christmas wine. So if you happen to be in the region, why not go and actually visit some of the beautiful chateaux of Sauternes? Many of them are open all year long. See the list of my favorite wineries in Sauternes.
Best things to do in December in other parts of the Southwest
Festival des Lanternes in Montauban
This year the big lanterns festival is moving to Montauban (about 50 km from Toulouse). Around 80 talented artists from the province of Sichuan in China will present their monumental sculptures. This event will take place every evening on Cours Foucault from December 1st to February 5, 2023 (from 6 pm to 11 pm). See all the info here.
When: December 5 – February 5 / Where: Cours Foucault, Montauban
Toulouse Christmas markets
Another fun place to celebrate Christmas is Toulouse. Not only it has one of the biggest markets in the region taking place on Place du Capitole but it also has many other smaller chic events. See all the details in my article about the best Christmas markets in Toulouse.
La Flamme de l’Armagnac
Armagnac is one of the best products in the Southwest of France! Its production spreads over three departments in this region: Les Landes, Lot et Garonne, and Gers, all located within a 1-2 hour drive from Bordeaux. From the end of October to the beginning of January, the producers of Armagnac celebrate the distillery period with fun events at the chateaux and in small towns in the regions. see more details here.
Sur la Route des Vins du Jurançon
How about discovering another wine region in the Southwest of France? If you don’t mind driving, the Jurançon wine appellation, which is located close to the city of Pau is hosting its annual open doors weekend on December 11. See all the details here.
When: December 11 / Where: Route de Lacommande, 64360 Monein, France
Truffles markets in Dordogne
December is the start of the winter truffles season with many truffles markets in the region taking place between December and February. The Dordogne is known as the capital of truffles of the Southwest of France and starting mid-December it hosts several truffles markets in its different villages. You can see the full list of truffles markets taking place from December to the end of January here.
Marché de Noël à Sarlat
If you’re in the mood to travel a bit, why not go to one of the most impressive Christmas markets in the South of France, the Sarlat Christmas market. Sarlat is a magical place that is worth a visit any time of the year, but this market makes it even more worthwhile. The village includes 70 chalets selling local products, clothes, decorations, hot wine, and more. For more info click here.
When: December 7-31 / Where: Place de la Grande Rigaudie , 24200 Sarlat-la-canéda
Escape the rain
If it’s cold and raining and you’re not in the mood for an event you can always choose one of the cool places on my list of things to do when it’s raining in Bordeaux and things to do with kids when it’s raining.
Exhibitions not to miss in Bordeaux
If you want to discover the main museums of Bordeaux, check out my article about the best art, history, and wine museums of Bordeaux. Otherwise here are a few exhibitions you can go see this month.
After the success of a similar exhibition last yet, Parc Bordelais is hosting another immersive exhibition for the whole family. 30 Artists have contributed colorful metallic sculptures to the exhibition and now you can enjoy more than 8km of illuminated beautiful creatures. The exhibition is presented from November 11 to January 15 from 18:00 to 22:00. For more details click here.
“Venise, la Sérénissime”
You have only two months left to see the beautiful immersive exhibition at the Bassins de Lumières. The show is dedicated to the city of Venis and its cultural and architectural treasures. “Venise, la Sérénissime” will be presented until January 2nd. Get your tickets here.
Les Pionniers du Street art
Institut Bernard Margrez is dedicating yet another amazing exhibition to French street art. Les Pionniers du Street art will bring together the works of some of the most prominent street art artists from the 50s to the 80s. You can only visit the exhibition on weekends from October 22 to April 2nd. See more details here.
The Inner Space
The Inner Space is a journey through the creative life and work of Nanda Vigo, an Italian designer, and architect. Through immersive installations, the exhibition aims to introduce the spectators to all the aspects of her creative work from Architecture to art and design. You can see the exhibition until January 8, 2023, at the design museum of Bordeaux. See more info here.
If you’re looking for more ideas for day trips in the Bordeaux region here are a few other articles you might want to read:
Day trips around Bordeaux – wine, beaches, and villages
10 day trips from Bordeaux by Public transport
A weekend in Medoc – Bordeaux wine tours
What to do and eat in Saint Emilion
You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here: