Things to do in Bordeaux

About Bordeaux

Explorers of Bordeaux should not miss the emblematic La Cité du Vin, the stately Place de la Bourse with its reflecting Miroir d'eau, and the historic Saint-André Cathedral. The cultural journey continues with a stroll along the River Garonne on the Quais, and the impressive Porte Cailhau, offering insight into the city's past.
For those visiting Bordeaux with children, the Cap Sciences offers an interactive learning experience, while Parc Bordelais and Jardin Public provide extensive play areas amidst lush greenery. The Bordeaux Puppet Theatre promises delightful entertainment that captures the imagination of younger audiences.
Bordeaux's outdoor activities include biking along the Quais or enjoying a picnic at Parc Bordelais. Wine tours in the surrounding vineyards and a walk across the majestic Pont de Pierre also offer memorable experiences amidst the picturesque Bordeaux landscape.
Cultural enthusiasts will revel in the opulence of the Opera National de Bordeaux, uncover natural curiosities at the Bordeaux Natural History Museum, and marvel at contemporary art within CAPC, the city's museum of contemporary art. Indulging in the sensory journey of wine discovery at the interactive Bordeaux Wine Museum is another highlight.
Apart from the vineyard excursions, the best tours in Bordeaux include historical walks around the city's old quarter, guided visits to Bordeaux's many historic monuments, and river cruises on the Garonne. Each offers unique perspectives on the city's rich heritage and beauty.
The prestigious Musée d'Aquitaine for regional history, the Bordeaux Wine Museum for viniculture exploration, and CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art for art aficionados stand out as Bordeaux’s most visited museums, rich in educational content and experience.
On rainy days, consider the sheltered options such as the immersive La Cité du Vin or the Musée du Vin et du Négoce, where the storied relationship of Bordeaux with wine unfolds. The underground passages and cellars of the city also offer a unique tour away from the elements.
For quick explorations, visitors can engage in short self-guided walking tours through emblematic neighborhoods such as Les Chartrons or enjoy concise visits to numerous historic landmarks like the Grosse Cloche, offering insight into Bordeaux’s history in under an hour.

Best Things to Do In Bordeaux

Unveil the rich tapestry of Bordeaux through our immersive audio tours, designed for cultural aficionados and travelers alike.

Bordeaux: Les Quais

What is it?
A scenic promenade along the banks of the Garonne, perfect for walks and cycling.
Why you should go?
Les Quais is the lifeblood of the city, offering breathtaking views of Bordeaux's historic facades and bridges. This riverfront esplanade is ideal for an evening stroll or a leisurely bike ride, with areas for picnics and social gatherings. As part of Bordeaux activities, it offers a tranquil escape from the urban bustle while still capturing the city's dynamic essence with outdoor concerts and events. For those pondering what to do in Bordeaux, mingling with locals at Les Quais is a delightful way to immerse oneself in the city's lively culture.

Bordeaux: Le Grand Théâtre

What is it?
An 18th-century neoclassical theater that is home to the Opera National de Bordeaux.
Why you should go?
Le Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux is not merely an architectural masterpiece; it's a living testament to the city's illustrious cultural scene. With its grandiose façade and lavish interior, visitors can enjoy world-class operas, ballets, and classical concerts. Regularly cited as one of the most beautiful theaters in the world, it offers an awe-inspiring ambiance for performances making it a highlight amongst the places to visit in Bordeaux. Indulging in a show here guarantees an evening of elegance and artistic splendor.

Bordeaux: Jardin Public

What is it?
A serene 18th-century public park featuring extensive gardens, a pond, and a natural history museum.
Why you should go?
The Jardin Public is an oasis of green in the heart of the city, favored by both locals and tourists for its calming nature. With beautifully manicured gardens and broad walkways, it is the quintessential spot for relaxation and leisure. Considered one of the best things to do in Bordeaux, the park provides an opportunity to unwind, enjoy open-air theater, and explore the botanical wonders within its boundaries. This verdant retreat is a corner of paradise that enchants with its timeless charm.

Bordeaux: Place de la Victoire

What is it?
A lively square known for its iconic obelisk and lively bar scene.
Why you should go?
As a crossroads of student life and urban excitement, Place de la Victoire is synonymous with Bordeaux's vibrant atmosphere. Surrounded by cafés and bars, it's a bustling space where the pulse of the city is palpable. This square is a preferred starting point for nights out and a social hub during the day. Discovering the cultural layers of Place de la Victoire is essential for those interested in what to see in Bordeaux, offering a snapshot of contemporary life set against a historically rich backdrop.

Bordeaux: Pont de Pierre

What is it?
The first bridge in Bordeaux to cross the Garonne River, connecting the left and right bank.
Why you should go?
The historic Pont de Pierre is a 19th-century bridge boasting seventeen arches that represent Napoleon's victories. As a crucial slice of Bordeaux's infrastructure, it provides unmatched panoramic views of the river and city. Taking a leisurely walk across Pont de Pierre is undoubtedly one of the fun things to do in Bordeaux, providing a picturesque perspective of the cityscape by day and a romantic spectacle as evening lights cast their glow over the water. It’s a peaceful experience that elegantly bridges the heritage of Bordeaux with the bustle of contemporary life.

Bordeaux: La Cité du Vin

What is it?
An innovative wine museum showcasing the history of wine across the globe.
Why you should go?
La Cité du Vin stands as an emblem of Bordeaux's viticultural heritage. This state-of-the-art facility presents an engaging journey through the world of wine. Travelers are invited to not only learn about but also experience the nuances of viticulture through interactive exhibits, tasting sessions, and workshops. This remarkable cultural facility encapsulates the spirit of wine-making, making it a must-do for enthusiasts and novices alike, ensuring it remains at the pinnacle of things to see in Bordeaux.

Bordeaux: The Water Mirror

What is it?
An enchanting mirage-like water feature opposite the Place de la Bourse.
Why you should go?
Nestled across Place de la Bourse, the Water Mirror or 'Miroir d'Eau' offers an ephemeral experience blending water, light, and mist. This captivating installation reflects the city's historic facades providing photographers, romantics, and families with a unique visual spectacle. It’s a refreshing halt, especially during summer, offering a playful respite for children and a serene ambiance for adults. The Water Mirror is truly one of the fun things to do in Bordeaux, inviting interaction and engagement with its tranquil yet dynamic setting.

Bordeaux: Darwin Eco-Système

What is it?
An urban ecosystem combining coworking spaces, organic food, and cultural events.
Why you should go?
Bordeaux's Darwin Eco-Système is a vibrant hub for creativity and sustainability. Situated on the right bank of the Garonne, this former military barracks has been transformed into a collaborative space fostering innovation and ecological business practices. With urban gardens, skate parks, and organic eateries, Darwin is more than a trendy spot; it is a community-driven project propelling Bordeaux's modern identity. Engaging with Bordeaux activities at Darwin means supporting environmentally conscious living while enjoying the site's dynamic, artistic, and entrepreneurial spirit.

Bordeaux: Palais Rohan

What is it?
The City Hall of Bordeaux, an elegant example of neoclassical architecture.
Why you should go?
Palais Rohan, Bordeaux's grandiose City Hall, captures the historical evolution of the city through its majestic architecture and political significance. Visitors are treated to grand ceremonial rooms and opulent décor that narrate the city’s past through luxury and refinement. It’s not only a visual feast but also a poignant reminder of Bordeaux's regal history. This is one of the essential Bordeaux excursions for those keen on immersing themselves in the grandeur of the city's administrative heritage while enjoying the harmonious blend of art and governance.

Bordeaux: Marché des Quais

What is it?
A vibrant riverside market boasting regional produce and lively atmosphere.
Why you should go?
Every Sunday, the picturesque riverfront transforms into the bustling Marché des Quais, a farmers’ market offering the freshest local delicacies. From oysters and charcuterie to artisan cheeses and pastries, the market is a gastronome's paradise. It’s a place where the local culture is both preserved and celebrated. Enjoy impromptu picnics by the Garonne, scrumptious street food, and the melodic charm of street musicians. As far as the best Bordeaux tours go, a self-guided stroll through this market is a delight for the senses and embodies the best things to do in Bordeaux.

TOP-5 tours in Bordeaux for first-time visitors

  • Explore the resplendent Place de la Bourse, featuring a comprehensive narrative about its history and importance in finance and architecture.
  • Take a sensory journey through the Bordeaux Wine Museum tour, savoring the stories of wine-making that define the region's essence.
  • Stroll along the Garonne River with an audio guide enlightening the picturesque riverfront and its pivotal role in the city's development.
  • Discover the medieval wonders of Saint-André Cathedral, delving into its historical significance and architectural splendor with an expert audio narration.
  • Experience the charms of the Marché des Capucins through a guided audio tour, sharing insights into local cuisine and market culture.

Fun things to do in Bordeaux with kids

Embrace the joy of family travel with a journey through Bordeaux, where children and adults alike can revel in discovery and delight. First, immerse yourselves in the enchanting world of the Miroir d'eau. Let your children dance through the gentle mists and marvel at the reflective surface that mirrors the grand Place de la Bourse, creating unforgettable memories in this magical water feature. Next, indulge in the whimsical realm of Cap Sciences, an interactive museum dedicated to awakening curiosity in young minds. With hands-on exhibits and enthralling workshops, science becomes both an adventure and a game, sparking the imaginations of the city's young visitors. Lastly, no family excursion would be complete without a visit to the Jardin Public. This verdant haven includes a playground where laughter fills the air, ancient trees offering shade for restful pauses, and enough space for little ones to frolic safely within the heart of Bordeaux. This city truly offers a treasure of activities that engage children in the wonders around them.

Things to do in Bordeaux with family

Bordeaux is not just a haven for wine enthusiasts; it's a playground for families seeking a blend of culture and fun. Begin your adventure at the Cité du Vin, where interactive exhibits take you and your family through the history of wine in a way that is engaging for all ages. Children can learn through play, and adults can appreciate the rich narratives of winemaking. For a breath of fresh air, spread out a picnic blanket at the Jardin Public. This puppet-show-featured park is an idyllic spot for a family respite from the city's buzz. Meander through its manicured landscapes, playgrounds, and charming duck pond for a moment of tranquility amid your explorations. End your day with a stroll on the iconic Pont de Pierre bridge as you watch the sunset casting a golden hue on the Garonne River. It's a moment to bond over the beauty of Bordeaux, with sweeping views making a picturesque background for your family holiday snapshots.

Free things to do in Bordeaux

Those exploring Bordeaux on a budget will find a wealth of free activities that don't skimp on charm or substance. The Miroir d'Eau, located in front of the stunning Place de la Bourse, is a must-see for visitors of all ages. This mesmerizing water feature, the largest of its kind in the world, provides a magical playground for children and a spectacular photo opportunity for adults, particularly when it captures the image of the illuminated 18th-century façade at dusk. Another gem is the Bordeaux public gardens. The Jardin Public is a lush, green space offering a serene escape with beautiful landscapes, a large playground, and lovely pathways perfect for a family stroll or a leisurely jog. Lastly, make sure to wander through the historic streets of Bordeaux. The Saint-Pierre District, with its medieval architecture and bustling squares, offers a free open-air museum experience. Walking through this area feels like traveling back in time, surrounded by stories etched in stone.

Cheap things to do in Bordeaux

Bordeaux beckons frugal travelers with its array of economical attractions that promise rich experiences without a hefty price tag. Begin your inexpensive journey through Bordeaux's history with a visit to the Basilique Saint-Michel. The gothic spire stands tall, offering a panoramic view of the city for a nominal fee. Amidst the backdrop of aged facades and bustling markets, the basilica grounds serve as a window to the city's soul. Another affordable option is to indulge in the city's public spaces, such as the Parc Bordelais. With its expansive playgrounds, charming duck pond, and peaceful walking paths, it's the perfect spot for relaxation and leisure without spending a cent. For those interested in local life, the Marché des Capucins is an ideal destination. As Bordeaux's main market, it invites visitors to weave through stalls filled with regional produce, glistening seafood, and aromatic cheeses. Sampling gourmet bites or simply soaking up the ambiance won't break the bank, but it will enrich your travel experience.

Things to do in Bordeaux for couples

Romance radiates throughout Bordeaux, presenting couples with an array of intimate activities. Begin with a leisurely saunter along the picturesque Quais of the Garonne, where the rhythm of the river sets the stage for a hand-in-hand exploration enriched with scenic views, especially as the sun sets, painting a warm glow over the stone bridges and historic skyline. For wine-loving duos, a visit to the vine-clad countryside is a must. Affordable experiences abound at nearby wineries where tastings of world-renowned Bordeaux wines offer a sensual journey into the art of viticulture, complete with the lush green backdrops of the vineyards - the perfect setting for making treasured memories. End your day with a venture to the Place de la Bourse, home to the mesmerizing Miroir d'Eau. At night, this mirrored water feature reflects the grandiose neoclassical buildings—and the twinkling stars above—providing an enchantingly romantic backdrop for couples seeking beauty and tranquility in the city's heart.

Things to do in Bordeaux at night

As twilight descends upon Bordeaux, the city unveils a new, vibrant persona, offering nocturnal attractions that enchant visitors. An evening walk through the historic district of Saint-Pierre presents a journey back in time amid the warm glow of street lamps, with cobblestone streets leading to cozy cafes and wine bars where couples and friends can savor local vintages and delicacies. The night is also perfect for beholding the grandeur of the Place de la Bourse, which, when illuminated, stands as a testament to the city's architectural splendor. Its reflection in the Miroir d'Eau creates a stunning visual spectacle, evolving into a serene haven as the crowds dissipate. For a more lively nighttime endeavor, partake in Bordeaux's dynamic music scene. Venues like the Rock School Barbey host an eclectic mix of live performances, inviting an opportunity for energetic evenings filled with rhythm and dance, further sealing Bordeaux’s status as a city of culture and celebration.