Gorgeous Bordeaux is a port city from the eighteenth century, the French wine capital, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the historic city center’s cobblestone streets while dining at classy brasseries and shopping at trendy boutiques. Bordeaux isn’t simply an ancient charm; it’s a youthful, vibrant city with skate parks, futuristic skyscrapers, repurposed warehouses, and a hip underground scene. Every corner holds a surprise for you! The best things to do in Bordeaux are listed here.
Get out of bed, get a bike, and prepare for a few days of touring in Bordeaux, a quaint French city!
Le Miroir d’eau + Place de la Bourse
One of Bordeaux’s most famous attractions is Le Miroir d’eau, and the most significant part is that admission is free! Known as the “largest reflecting pool in the world,” the 37,000 square-foot pool has earned this title. Merely two centimeters deep, the lake reflects the Place de la Bourse adjacent to it thanks to its thin granite tile covering.
It’s cleverly designed with three distinct sequences: pool, mirror, and fog, so you can sit and watch the water and reflections vary. But also enjoy a wonderfully cool down as the temperature rises.
Tip: This is a stunning location where romantic lights illuminate the reflected water at night. After that, go along the promenade along the magnificent Garonne River.
Basilica of St. Michael
The St. Michael bell tower, which stands next to the basilica and buildings over the city, makes the structure outstanding despite its beauty. The name “la Fleche” (meaning “spire”) comes from the Bordeaux dialect, and it is well known for having been constructed beside the basilica rather than atop it. Reaching the summit of the spire to get the best views over the city is one of the must-do activities in Bordeaux.
Entry fee: The bell tower entrance is five euros. The church is open daily, and admission is free.
The greatest surprise of all is the Darwin Eco-Systeme in Bordeaux, France! Get out of Bordeaux’s historic city center and into this hip warehouse-style location. A former military installation has been transformed into an open area with eateries, co-working spaces, and retail establishments.
This building has a strong focus on environmental issues, and the majority of the stores and food outlets carry eco-friendly goods.
Take some time to explore the area’s street art, take in live music performances by DJs, and watch skateboarders perform acrobatics in the skatepark.
Hours of operation: 8 AM to 11 PM, daily
Grosse Cloche de Bordeaux
Bordeaux’s most lovely district is reputedly Grosse Cloche. Spending a few hours strolling around the cobblestone streets, dining at authentic French cafes, and shopping at adorable boutiques is ideal.
Access the area via the gate, which leads to a stunning arch with a lovely bell tower—a Bordeaux classic and a superb location for pictures.
Saturday Market at St. Michael
What could be more ideal than a genuine French market? St. Michael’s Saturday market is the same! Bordeaux weekends are best started at the bustling market that surrounds the church. Discover all the items you would expect from a farmers’ market: produce, meats, cheeses, and fruit grown nearby. It’s a lovely location to view the cathedral and a vibrant, moody approach to take in the city.
Cathédrale Saint-André de Bordeaux
Situated on Pey Berland’s main square, the magnificent Cathedrale Saint-Andre is a national monument of France. The Cathedral has a “Hogwarts-style” air because of its elaborate stone carvings, arches, and two massive spires. After taking in the Cathedral’s stunning façade, climb the bell tower from the fifteenth century for even more breathtaking views across Bordeaux. Get ready for a little climb—there are 231 steps to the top!
Two euros is the entry cost. Wednesday and Saturday from 2:30 PM to 5:00 PM are open.
Librairie La Nuit Des Rois
Librairie La Nuit Des Rois is like something out of a romantic French romance. In this small bookstore, You can browse antique books on old shelves filled with used books. The literature is mainly in French, but you may also find vintage comics, maps, and posters—all of which make for attractive souvenirs of your trip to Bordeaux.
Also visit: The Medieval village of Sarlat in the Dordogne
Cycle Around the City
Bordeaux is a terrific place to rent a bike and cycle between the landmarks, but it’s also reasonably walkable. The city is great for bicyclists, with many bike paths for travelers to get from point A to point B. Discover the vibrant Bordeaux by riding your bike along the riverbanks with the wind in your hair!
Local transportation provider TBM offers bikes all over the city that may be utilized with a membership or a registered card. When you’re done, it’s simple to end your subscription. It’s among the least expensive ways to move about the city.
Also visit: Nice, the most stunning city of the French Riviera.
Cité du Vin
One of Bordeaux’s most stunning structures is the Cite du Vin, a futuristic tower whose glass and aluminum panels may be seen gleaming in the distance. The structure, meant to resemble the swirling of wine in a glass, is home to a museum honoring Bordeaux’s passion for wine.
Enjoy the museum’s interactive French and world wine history displays, interviews with winemakers, and wine-tasting and sniffing opportunities.
Tip: You can ascend the 55-meter tower at Cite du Vin to get to the top, where there is a wine bar. This location offers excellent views!
There is an exhibition and wine tasting cost of 20 EUR. (Grab your tickets to avoid the line.)
Opening times for the display areas are 10 AM to 7 PM.
Wander Through the City
It’s fun to spend the day strolling from neighborhood to neighborhood in Bordeaux, enjoying the food, people-watching, and wine that has made the city so well-known. Bordeaux is so colorful and diverse. A walking tour with an official guide is highly recommended if you’re interested in discovering hidden locations or learning more about Bordeaux. They will be able to provide you with all the information you require.
Pont de Pierre
The Pont de Pierre, also known as the “stone bridge,” is a multi-arched bridge from the 19th century that spans the Garonne River. There are a total of 17 arches that span the water. Only bicyclists and pedestrians can utilize the bridge; automobiles are prohibited. As a result, it’s a terrific location to take in views of the city and across the river.
Tip: Cross the Pont de Pierre at night to see the sunset over the city. The bridge is illuminated by romantic lamplight at night.
How to Get to Bordeaux
Bordeaux is a fantastic place for a city tour because of its good links to European cities. Given how easily accessible Bordeaux is by vehicle, traveling there and about in one is also an intelligent alternative.
- Paris to Bordeaux: high-speed train in just 2 hours.
- London to Bordeaux: Take the Eurostar in 6 hours
- Rotterdam or Amsterdam to Bordeaux: 7 hours with a change in Paris.
Bordeaux’s international airport serves numerous more significant European cities. An airport shuttle bus may take you to the airport, which is 12 km outside of the city center.
Getting Around Bordeaux
Although you may stroll through the city’s old section, there is a frequent tram and bus service if you want to get to other areas or around more quickly. You may also rent a bike for the day from one of the many rental shops in the city, or you can sign up online for the fantastic city bike system.
Best Cafes and Restaurants in Bordeaux
Are you a foodie? Bordeaux is for you! There’s a great variety of delicious restaurants and cafes all around the city. These were our favorites:
- Contrast (espresso bar with good food)
- Frida (popular, make a reservation!)
- L’Autre Petit Bois (good food & wine)
- Peter Coffee Shop
- Café Kokomo
- Restaurant La Mona (Italian)
- Le P’tit Chez Moi (Vegan)
Where to Stay in Bordeaux
Bordeaux has many elegant boutique hotels, five-star residences, and classic apartments. The historic center is the ideal place to stay because it provides easy access to all the fantastic attractions.
Costs of Traveling in Bordeaux
Take a low-cost weekly trip to Bordeaux for $680 − $930 USD, a mid-range trip for $930 − $1740 USD, or a high-end trip for $1700 − $2370 USD. On the other hand, expenses vary depending on activities, lodging, and transportation. Flights were not included.
Best time to visit Bordeaux
Anytime in the fall or spring is an excellent time to visit if you’re on a city trip (the summer months might be hot for sightseeing).
On the other hand, June through August is the ideal time of year to visit the Bordeaux region’s vineyards. Many of the wineries close for harvest in September.