Top attractions in Bordeaux
The city of Bordeaux is probably best known for its wine, but there's plenty more to savor in this city!
The "stone bridge" has become a romantic symbol of Bordeaux with its hanging lanterns and the trams that pass over it several times a day!
With medicinal roots from the 17th century, Bordeaux's botanical gardens are still worth a visit today.
Follow the history of Bordeaux's wine industry, starting right in its birthplace. When King Henry II of England married the French duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine, the region's wine became an international affair!
The Dune of Pilat, overlooking Arcachon Bay, is one of the true jewels of Atlantic Europe. Every year, visitors flock here to take in its white sands, enjoy windsurfing, and observe birds at the nearby Banc d'Arguin nature reserve.
This theater, built in neo-classical style, now houses Bordeaux's national ballet and opera. Once, in 1871, it even played host to the French National Assembly!
According to French lore, St. Michael was a local hero who slayed a dragon, and the story is now portrayed on the basilica's pulpit for everyone to enjoy. At 114 meters, the bell tower is the second-tallest in France.
What would a trip to Bordeaux be without a peek behind the scenes of its wine industry? Go on a tour to nearby medieval village St. Emilion and discover the rich heritage and tastes of the region's vineyards.
French law mandates that you always have some form of government-issued ID on your person - ideally your passport.
Although in France the legal age to drink wine is 16, an exception is made in cases of wine tasting tours - younger children may indeed be permitted to take a sip. However, parents can exercise their own discretion!
Bordeaux has a good network of buses and trams. Tickets can be bought from sales offices or ticket machines at stops and may need to be validated upon boarding.
Don't forget to stay safe in the sun while you're enjoying the delights of Bordeaux. This means plenty of sunscreen, and stay in the shade around midday.
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- As a city on the Atlantic, weather is not as predictable and sudden changes can be expected. Spring and fall are the best times to visit for mild weather. Summer is busy with locals on holiday and tourists. If looking to visit wineries, avoid mid-September in which many tasting rooms are shut down for harvest time.
Things to Do in Bordeaux
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What people are saying about Bordeaux
Our host Phillipe was the perfect amount of entertaining and intellectual. After travelling in a beautifully air conditioned van we arrived at Saint-Émilion, a beautiful village famous for it’s wine. Our guide was talking the whole time about little facts here and there, discussing everything from the best places to buy bottled wine to architecture. From there we visited a local chateaux and saw on a slightly smaller scale the production of a wine from vine to bottle. Then we were driven to another vineyard that had a significantly larger plot of land and made wine on a much greater scale. We got to drink wine, discuss the best way to drink it and the best years for Bordeaux wines. We were then transported back to the city centre after about 5-6 hours. Overall it was a lovely introduction to Bordeaux wine with very friendly hosts.
Saint Emilion Grand Cru wines on a relatively small scale in a location where wine is produced under two Chateau names - one using traditional methods and the other modern - a fascinating comparison and commendable wines too. Tours can be made in small groups and you can even book a picnic - assuming the weather plays fair! A great way to get a quick peek behind the scenes without needing to spend 3 or 4 hours traipsing around! Getting to the Chateau was a bit of a trial for us, but only because they were replacing the rails on the line down the hill from the Chateau, meaning all roads from that side were blocked! Approach is probably best from the town of St. Emilion itself!
The trip was enhanced by the wife and I, fortunately, being the only people in the party. That aside, Quentin, our guide, was excellent and very knowledgeable. Transport was clean, tidy and comfortable. The trip was well organised. No waiting around. The Chateaux visited were great also. The meal provided was a hearty lunch accompanied by a good bottle of white wine. Being guided around St. Emilion was also a plus. Whilst it is an eight hour excursion, the day will flash by with much to see and do. I highly recommend this trip.
Marion's SARL Bordeaux Bike Experience was the highlight of our Bordeaux experience. The four of us, by no means experienced bikers, were guided carefully through the city streets and alone both banks of the river, stoping frequently for extremely well presented narratives on the City's most important historical sites and through-out the afternoon on the historic events which drove change. We highly recommend Marion and her team for an informative and fun, unique experience.
We enjoyed this tour last week (July 2019) and enjoyed an incredible day touring chateaus and restaurants in St. Emilion with our incredible guide, Emily. The entire experience was very pleasant and it is clear the tour company takes great pride in their selection of guides, chateaus to visit, and the day-long itinerary. We will ABSOLUTELY book this provider again in the future! Many thanks to Emily for an awesome day-long experience!