Visiting France and thinking of traveling to Bordeaux? Here is a list of things to do in Bordeaux, brief guides and trip suggestions for family vacations and holidays with friends.
Bordeaux is the capital of Gironde department and of Aquitania region of France. It is often called “Petite Paris”,”Sleeping Beauty” and the “Moon Port”.
The city is located on the picturesque banks of Garonne River and occupies the biggest territory in France, with the population of almost one million citizens. The city is highly popular among the tourists.
List of best things to do in Bordeaux
Start with historical center of the city, take a walking tour to see the most interesting places or take bike tour.
Numerous restaurants of Bordeaux will offer you great cuisine and you should not miss the opportunity to try world known Bordeaux wines.
We have listed several trip ideas to make sure that visiting Bordeaux would be your best travel experience.
Bordeaux is very comfortable for walking tours in the center of the city.
To visit more remote historical sights tourists use buses, trams and bikes.
Enlarge the List of Things to do in Bordeaux: explore the city on bikes and by car
Tours by bikes are relaxing and easy in Bordeaux. About 580 km of bike roads are available for bikers. Bikes can be rented at the rent centers.
There is special program VCUB (bikes free access) according to which for a fixed amount of 1 Euro per day or 5 EUR per week bikes can be rented from any rent center.
First 30 minutes of rent will be free of charge, after that 2 EUR per hour will be charged.
Another convenient means of transportation in Bordeaux is ferry. It goes between the Southern part Quai Richelieu and Aristide Briand Square.
In case you prefer to see Bordeaux by car keep in mind that historical part of the city is easily accessible by feet and is a pedestrian zone.
It is rather hard to find a place for parking near the center. Paid parking is rather expensive.
- The Luna Port since 2007 is in the list of UNESCO world’s treasures.
- The Les Quais district and Aquitaine bridge are in the old bay of Bordeaux with the longest bridge in France.
- Pont Neuf, means new bridge, but in fact is the oldest bridge in Bordeaux. Old military ship Colbert is moored near it. The ship hosts museum and a restaurant.
- Historical part of Bordeaux in pedestrian area of Saint Michel, Saint Pierre, Saint Crua and Saint Epali. The architecture is really amazing here and you will see building of different epochs.
- Sainte-Katherine street is one of the most vivid places of the city.
- Marvelous view will open in front of your eyes from the Saint Michel Tower.
- Another place to see is La Victoire district with the Triump Arch.
- Gambetta Square is sometimes called La Petite Paris. This is also beginning of elite districts of Bordeaux.
- If you plan a trip to Bordeaux and prefer relaxing rest, the shadows of Les Jardines Public trees would be the best choice. You can take a guide excursion or just come here for few hours for a picnic with friends.
- Visit Aquitania Museum if you would like to find out more about the history of Bordeaux.
- Another popular tourist spot is Museum of Modern Art (Musee D’Art Contemporain). This is where you will get acquainted with the modern tendencies in creative works of Artists and Sculptors.
Addresses of popular museums in Bordeaux:
20, cours Pasteur
Tel. : 05 56 01 51 00
Musee des Beaux-Arts
Jardins de la Mairie
20, cours d’Albert
Tel. : 05 56 51 71 70
Capc Musee d’Art Contemporain
7, rue Ferrere
Tel. : 05 56 00 81 50
Musee National des Douanes
1, place de la Bourse
Tel. : 05 56 48 82 82
Places not to miss: Stone Bridge or Pont de pierre
Stone Bridge, called Pont de Pierre in French, is very popular among the tourists. The stone bridge connects the two parts of the city across Garonne.
Pont de Pierre connects cours Victor Huge and Avenue Thiers.
The bridge was built in 1819 – 1922 according to the order of Napoleon, by engineers Deschamps and Billaudel.
It was the first bridge built across Garonne River.
Erection of stone bridge was complicated due to the flow of the river. The interesting fact about the bridge is that it counts 17 arches – the number of letters in Napoleon Bonaparte name.
The length of the Stone Bridge is 486 meters. It remained the longest bridge until 1822, when the Saint-Jean Bridge was built in 1965.
Things to do in Bordeaux and area nearby – join a trip to Winery
Is wine testing in your list of things to do in Bordeaux? Taste local Bordeaux wines, which are highly appreciated all over the world.
You will discover how to maintain the vineyard, learn about the differences between vintages and ask any question that you want about wines.
Tours to the wineries can be booked at the hotels or in the tourist information centers.
Some interesting facts about Bordeaux
The history of Bordeaux is closely connected with the names of famous French people. François Mauriac was born here, Montesquieu was the President of the city parliament for example.
When the German army in 1940 approached Paris the French government moved to Bordeaux.
Interesting fact about Bordeaux is that it is called the Wine Kingdom.
Each wine producer has a castle and according to the tradition the wines are called in the names of the castles, where they were produced and aged.
Bordeaux is always beautiful, welcoming guests and offering a lot to see and to discover. You will never get bored and will always find plenty of interesting things to do in Bordeaux.
The city of Bordeaux is located on both banks of Garonne River, with the historical center on the left bank.
The so called Port of Moon, in a bay reminds moon in shape.
On the right bank of Garonne River there are several hills, which mark the beginning of the industrial zone of Bordeaux.
12 km to the South from the city Garonne merges with Dordogne and creates Gironde delta, which is the biggest in France.
How to get to Bordeaux city?
Most convenient way to travel to Bordeaux would be of course by plane.
The International airport Bordeaux-Mérignac is located only 10km from the city center. The airport hosts mainly internal flights from France.
Travelers can get from the airport to the center the following ways:
by bus Jet’Bus, departing every 45 minutes, from 7:45am till 10:45pm. The final stop is train station of Bordeaux (Gare St. Jean) with few stops on the way. The trip will take round 45 minutes, the cost is 7 EUR.
There is also bus #1, going between the airport and the center of the city with stops in Mérignac Soleil, Mérignac Centre, Barrière Judaique and Gambetta Square.
Price per ticket is 1,40 EUR. The bus leaves every 10-20 minutes depending on the period of time of the day, from 5:30am till 0:20am.
Trip by taxi to the center of the city will cost about 20 EUR.
Train connection in Bordeaux
Railway connection in Bordeaux was established in 1841.
The first line between Bordeaux and Paris was open in 1952, when the company Paris-Orlean established the railway connection between Bordeaux and Angulem.
In 1855 Bordeaux Segur railway station was destroyed and a new one – Bordeaux-Saint-Jean was built instead.
Today Bordeaux is an important connection point between Paris and Spain.
The main train station is Saint – Jean. Trains from Bordeaux go to Nant, Perig, Archashon, Clemont Ferrat. The high speed trains are connecting Paris, Toulouse, Daksem, Pau, and Endaime.
Climate and weather in Bordeaux
The climate and weather conditions in Bordeaux are determined by the Atlantic Ocean. Mild winters and hot summers are common in this region.
The statistics says that 150 days per year are rainy here. During summer time the rains are with thunderstorms.
The average temperature in January in Bordeaux is +6,4 C. In August the temperature reaches the point of + 20.9C.
The maximum temperature in Bordeaux was recorded in summer 2003, when the temperature went up to +41C. The coldest winters were recorded in 1985 and 1987.