Wine city but not only, but Bordeaux is also the perfect destination for a long weekend, summer or winter: it’s small pedestrian streets, it’s shopping full of sweets, it’s famous Sainte-Catherine street, it’s cozy restaurants, it’s Christmas market, it’s seaside and of course… It’s «chateaux»! All the reasons are good to visit Bordeaux…
And if you don’t know from where to start to discover “La Belle Endormie” (the sleeping beauty) here is our selection of 25 things to do in Bordeaux for a successful trip!
1) Walk on « le miroir d’eau » and admire the reflections…
Realized by the fountain crafter Jean-Max Llorca, le “Miroir d’eau” (water mirror) of Bordeaux is the biggest in the world. In inside, you will be able to see the reflection of “la place de la Bourse” and the “quais”. Since its creation in 2006, it’s an inescapable place in Bordeaux!
Schedule: the “miroir d’eau” works every day from 10 AM to 10 PM (but winter).
To get there: tram C: stop “place de la Bourse”
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2) Stop into a Baillardran shop to taste a « canelé »
This little delicacy flavored with rum (just a little) and vanilla is iconic of the city of Bordeaux. To taste one of the references on the subject alongside “la toque cuivrée”, you can get into one of the 12 Baillardran’s shops of the city and don’t forget to ask for your favorite baking time!
You could even learn to prepare them at the canelé school in the Atelier des chefs, 36 place Gambetta.
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3) Take a glass of wine in the Saint-Pierre area
Inevitable area of Bordeaux, it is also the best place if you would like to spend an evening in a wine bar and taste the best vintages of the region.
To get there: Tram A: stop “Place du palais”. Tram C : stop “Place de la Bourse »
4) Have a walk on the “Quais” side
The developed area, « Les quais de Bordeaux » (the docks) are very pleasant to walk around and allows you to discover the most important touristic sites such as le Parc Saint Michel, la Place de la Bourse, Le Pont de Pierre or la Cité du Vin. You will also find some outlet shops from big brands.
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5) Climb at the top of the tour Pey Berland
Wearing the name of archbishop Pey Berland, this tower is listed on the world heritage of UNESCO organization and allows you to admire the wonderful panorama of the city.
Schedule: Open from Tuesday to Sunday (every day during summer) from 10 AM to 12.30 then 2 PM until 5.30 PM.
Prices: €5 as a reduced price, €6 for everyone. Free entrance every first Sunday of the month from November to May.
To get there: Tram A and B: stop “Hôtel de Ville”
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6) Taste a plate of oyster on the Bassin d’Arcachon
The Arcachon Oyster served with a small glass of wine and a toast with butter will make happy gourmets!
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7) Get on a boat and visit “le bassin d’Arcachon”
Let’s go to discover the emblematic pile dwelling and of course the beautiful island « l’île aux Oiseaux » (the bird’s Island) located in La Teste-de-Buch.
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8) Cross the Quinconces Square
The biggest square in Europe, “la place Quinconces” takes its name from the arrangement in staggered rows of the trees that overcome it. The impressive « Monument aux Girondins » is on this place, it is ranked as a very important historical monument. You will be impressed by the size of this square!
To get there: Trams B et C, stop Quinconces.
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9) Visit « Cap Sciences »
This science museum of Bordeaux contains a lot of exhibitions, for adults as well as kids.
Schedule: From Tuesday to Friday from 2 to 6 (and one Mondays during scholar holidays)
Prices: Free for until 5-year-old, €5 for less than 26, €8 for the rest.
To get there: Tram B: stop « la Cité du Vin ».
10) Take an initial lesson on wine tasting
Haute place of viticulture and enology, Bordeaux is the ideal city to learn about it. The Wine School offers a workshop, evening class, and internship around the wine.
More information: www.bordeaux.com/wschool/fr/ecoleduvin
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11) Spend an evening at the « Club House »
Old Jazz counter, the Club House is a music room with a cozy atmosphere where you will attend a memorable concert! A must-go if you spend your night out in Bordeaux.
To get there: Tram C: stop Gare Saint-Jean.
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12) Take a surf lesson on the seaside
If you wish to discover the surroundings of Bordeaux, let’s go to the Cap-Ferret or Lacanau and enjoy the local sport: surfing. You will attend international competitions like « Lacanau Pro », most of the time during the middle of August.
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13) Visit the Saint-Emilion small village
Yet to discover the Bordeaux region? The eponym village of Grand Cru, Saint-Emilion, is a must-do for all for its beauty and especially for every wine connoisseur. You will visit the wine cellar and even do the tasting.
Source : travel junction (Flickr)
14) Go around vineyard des vignobles of Pessac Léognan
Situated in the south of Bordeaux, this production area assembles 10 villages: Cadaujac, Canéjan, Gradignan, Léognan, Martillac, Mérignac, Pessac, Saint-Médard-d’Eyrans, Talence et Villenave-d’Ornon. You will taste wines of the famous domain of « Château Haut-Brion ».
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15) Visit the Saint-Michel marketplace on Saturday morning
Between 7 am and 1 pm, the Saint-Michel marketplace, called the royal market, assembles more than160 sellers who offer fresh food products and delicacies and also high-quality goods.
To get there: Tram C: stop Saint Michel.
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16) Taste the delicious macaroons of « La Maison Larnicol »
A model in the world of pastry!
To get there: Tram B: stop Grand Théâtre.
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17) Go to see an exhibition in « CAPC »
Previously called « Centre d’Arts Plastiques Contemporains », the Contemporary Art Museum of Bordeaux hosts many events and artistic exposing all year long.
Hours: From Tuesday to Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm. Nocturnal on Wednesday (until 8 pm).
Prices: 4€ at a reduced price and 7€ at full price. Free admission the first Sunday of each month (except in Summer).
To get there: Tram B: stop CAPC. Tram C: stop Jardin Public.
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18) Visit the Christmas market in » allées de Tourny »
If you are visiting Bordeaux during December, you won’t be able to miss the great Christmas market and its numerous merchants. You will also be able to grab a mulled wine and a lot of crafted things.
Hours: from the end of November, from 10.30 AM to 8.30 PM.
To get there: Trams B & C: stop Quinconces.
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19) Have a walk-in « le Jardin public »
Historical monument since 1935, the public garden of Bordeaux is a true fresh breath in the city center. Ideal for a short walk behind the trees or a picnic on the grass!
Hours: Every day from 7 AM to 8 PM (but in winter).
To get there: Tram C: stop Jardin Public.
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20) Climb at the top of « la dune du Pilat/Pyla »
An emblematic figure of le Bassin d’Arcachon, La Dune du Pyla is the highest dune in Europe and one of the most visited sites in France! Don’t miss the occasion to climb at the top and observe the landscape from there.
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21) Get to see a play in one of the numerous theatres of the old Bordeaux
The cultural center, Bordeaux has a lot of theatres alongside the amazing Grand Théâtre housing the opera. There is also le Théâtre National en Aquitaine where you will be able to assist some nice plays and shows.
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22) Take the tramway and visit the city comfortably
The tram is the most common and most popular public transport in Bordeaux and it will help you to reach most of the tourist sites. Ideal if you are a little tired after several days of walking in the city center.
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23) Visit « le musée d’Aquitaine »
Telling the story of the area since the prehistoric era, le musée d’Aquitaine is a must-do for history amateurs.
Schedule: from Tuesday to Sunday from 11 AM to 6 PM.
Prices: free for under 18, €3 with reduced price and €5 at the full price.
To get there: Tram B: stop “musée d’Aquitaine”
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24) Visit the psychology university
Previously the medical university is part of world heritage and it is protected by UNESCO.
To get there: Tram B: stop “Victoire”
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25) Taste the Bordelaise cuisine
Foie gras mi-cuit aux figues, magret de canard, lamproie, entrecôte de boeuf, escargots à la caudéranaise, agneau de lait de Pauillac, cèpes… There is a lot of choice, enjoy it fully!
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