Bordeaux is a beautiful city located in southwestern France. Visitors to Bordeaux can explore the city’s many cobbled streets, visit its famous cathedrals, and enjoy the views from its riverside promenades.
Of course, no trip to Bordeaux would be complete without sampling some of the local wine. The city is home to numerous vineyards, and there are plenty of opportunities to taste the region’s signature red wines.
Also, if you happen to be traveling around France, Bordeaux is only an hour flight away from both Paris and Nice.
Whether you’re interested in learning about Bordeaux’s rich history or simply want to enjoy its food and drink, here’s our list of some of the best things to do in Bordeaux, France.
1) Palace de la Bourse
The Palace de la Bourse is one of the most iconic landmarks in Bordeaux, France. Built in the 18th century, the palace was originally designed as a stock exchange and has since been used as a variety of different purposes, including a museum and an event space.
The palace is located in the heart of the city’s historic district. Visitors to the Palace de la Bourse can admire its neoclassical architecture and learn about its rich history. The palace is open to the public throughout the year and offers a variety of guided tours and events.
2) Rue Saint-Catherine
Rue Saint-Catherine is the main shopping street of Bordeaux, France. It is pedestrian-friendly and runs for over a kilometre through the city centre.
The street is home to several department stores, as well as shops selling fashion, beauty, and souvenirs. Rue Saint-Catherine is also known for its many restaurants, cafes, and bars. The street is particularly busy during the Christmas period, when it is decorated with lights and festive decorations.
Every year in December, a giant Advent calendar is displayed on one of the buildings on Rue Saint-Catherine, counting down the days until Christmas Day.
3) La Cité du Vin
La Cité du Vin is a wine museum located in Bordeaux, France. The museum opened to the public in 2016 and is dedicated to the history, culture, and production of wine.
The museum’s permanent collection includes exhibitions on the history of wine, the wine-making process, and the different types of wines produced around the world. In addition, La Cité du Vin offers educational programs, tastings, and other events that help visitors learn about wine.
The mission of La Cité du Vin is to promote understanding and appreciation of wine through education and cultural exchange. As such, the museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in learning more about this fascinating topic.
4) Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion
Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion is a historic wine estate in the Bordeaux region of France. The château dates back to the 16th century, and its wines have been enjoyed by royalty and nobility for centuries.
Today, the estate is still known for producing high-quality wines. The château’s vineyards are planted with varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are used to produce red wines that are prized for their elegance and complexity.
Les Carmes Haut-Brion also produces a small amount of white wine from the Sauvignon Blanc grape. The château’s wines are available for purchase at their website and select retailers around the world.
5) The Saint-Seurin Basilica
The Saint-Seurin Basilica is a church located in Bordeaux, France. It is situated on the site of an ancient cemetery, and is one of the oldest churches in the city. The basilica was built in the fourth century, and has undergone several renovations over the centuries.
The most recent renovation was completed in the early 21st century. The church is noted for its Romanesque architecture, and is a popular tourist destination. The Saint-Seurin Basilica is also home to a number of important works of art, including a 13th-century statue of the Virgin Mary.
6) Bike Around the City
Biking around Bordeaux is a great way to see the city and its surroundings. Biking is a relatively inexpensive way to get around, and it’s also good for your health. There are several bike paths in Bordeaux, and the city is relatively flat, making it easy to bike around.
You can rent a bike from one of the many bike shops in the city, or you can bring your own. If you’re not used to biking, be sure to wear a helmet and follow the rules of the road. Biking is a great way to see the city, and it’s also a great way to get some exercise.
7) The Bassins de Lumieres
The Bassins de Lumieres is a series of large reflecting pools located in the center of Bordeaux, France. The pools are filled with water that is lit from below, creating a stunning display of light and color.
Visitors can stroll along the paths that wind around the pools looking at all of the art being displayed arounf the pools. In addition to the reflecting pools, the Bassins de Lumieres also features a small cafe and a gift shop.
The cafe is a great place to relax with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, and the shop offers a variety of souvenirs and gifts. Whether you’re looking for a unique photo opportunity or a relaxing way to spend an afternoon, the Bassins de Lumieres is worth a visit.
8) Wine Tours
Bordeaux is one of the most famous wine regions in the world, and for good reason. The region’s unique climate and soil produce some of the finest wines in France.
A wine tour in Bordeaux is a great way to learn about the different types of wines produced in the region. Most tours include visits to several wineries, where you can learn about the wines’ history and taste them yourself.
You’ll also can explore the beautiful countryside and visit some of the historic villages located in the region. Whether you’re a wine lover or simply looking for a unique vacation destination, a wine tour in Bordeaux is an unforgettable experience.
9) The Miroir d’Eau
The Miroir d’Eau in Bordeaux, France, is a large reflecting pool that covers the Place de la Bourse. The pool is fed by a series of pumps that circulate the water and create a thin layer of mist on the surface.
The mist evaporates quickly, leaving the water surface completely still. The Miroir d’Eau is open to the public from 9am to 11pm. It is a popular spot for tourist photos and has become one of the symbols of Bordeaux.
The reflections of the nearby buildings in the water make for a beautiful sight, especially at night when the buildings are lit up. If you’re ever in Bordeaux, be sure to check out the Miroir d’Eau!
10) Quais de Bordeaux
The French city of Bordeaux is home to a variety of beautiful architecture, including the Quais de Bordeaux. The Quais are a series of waterfront promenades that were built in the 18th century.
They are located on the left bank of the Garonne River and stretch for over two kilometers. The Quais de Bordeaux are lined with elegant townhouses, public parks, and Statue Nouvelle-Aquitaine.
The promenades offer spectacular views of the river and the cityscape beyond. They are a popular destination for locals and visitors alike and are a great place to relax and take in the sights and sounds of Bordeaux. Visiting these promenades is definitely one of the best things to do in Bordeaux!
11) The Office de Tourisme de Bordeaux
The Office de Tourisme de Bordeaux is the perfect place to start your exploration of this historic city. Located in the heart of the city, the office is a one-stop shop for all your tourist needs.
Here you can pick up maps and brochures, get information on local attractions, and even book tickets for sightseeing tours. The friendly staff are always happy to answer any questions you may have, and they can even help you book accommodations and restaurant reservations.
Whether you’re planning a day trip or an extended vacation, the Office de Tourisme de Bordeaux is an essential stop on your itinerary.
12) Moon harbor Distillery
Moon Harbor distillery is located in Bordeaux, France and is best known for their whiskey. The distillery first opened up in2014 and was an instant success.
Today, Moon Harbor whiskey is made using a traditional pot still and is aged for a minimum of three years in oak barrels. The result is a smooth, flavorful whiskey that has earned rave reviews from critics and customers alike. If you’re looking for a truly special whiskey, be sure to give Moon Harbor and its distillery a try a try.
13) Grosse Cloche de Bordeaux
The Grosse Cloche de Bordeaux is a large bell tower located in the city of Bordeaux. The tower is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city and has been a part of the skyline for centuries.
The Grosse Cloche was originally built in the 14th century and was used as a watchtower to warn of approaching enemy ships. In the 18th century, the tower was redesigned and refurbished, and it has remained an iconic part of the city ever since.
Today, the Grosse Cloche is a popular tourist destination, and visitors can enjoy stunning views of the city from its top. The tower is also home to a small museum, which showcases historic artifacts from Bordeaux’s rich history.
14) Hanger Darwin Skate Park
The Hanger Darwin Skate Park in Bordeaux, France is a must-see for any skateboarding enthusiast.
The Park is home to a variety of obstacles, including ramps, rails, and grind boxes, that will challenge even the most experienced skaters. Additionally, the park is well-lit and offers a safe environment for skaters of all ages. Visitors to the Hanger Darwin Skate Park are sure to have a blast trying out new tricks and testing their limits.
15) Musee D’aquitaine
The Musee D’aquitaine in Bordeaux, France is a museum dedicated to the history and culture of the Aquitaine region. The museum houses a collection of historic objects ranging from prehistoric artifacts to contemporary art.
The museum is divided into four main sections: Prehistory, Antiquity, Middle Ages, and Modern Times. The Prehistory section includes artifacts from the Paleolithic and Mesolithic periods, while the Antiquity section features objects from the Greek and Roman periods.
The Middle Ages section contains items from the early medieval period up to the 15th century, while the Modern Times section covers the period from the 16th century to the present day. In addition to its permanent collections, the Musee D’aquitaine also hosts temporary exhibitions on a variety
16) Bordeaux Cathedral
The Bordeaux Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Saint André, is a Roman Catholic church located in the heart of the city. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Bordeaux and has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The construction of the cathedral began in the 12th century and was completed in the 13th century. The Gothic-style cathedral is built from limestone and features two large towers, a nave with seven radiating chapels, and a transept with five chapels.
The interior of the cathedral is notable for its beautiful stained glass windows and carved stone portal. The Bordeaux Cathedral is one of the most visited tourist attractions in France and receives over 1.5 million visitors each year.
17) Musee de Vin et Negorce
The Musee de Vin et Negorce in Bordeaux, France is a must-see for any fan of wine or history. The museum is located in the heart of the city’s historic district, and it provides an intimate look at the city’s rich wine culture.
Visitors can explore the museum’s many exhibits, which showcase the city’s wine-making heritage and the unique terroir of the Bordeaux region. The museum also offers visitors a chance to taste some of the local wines, and to learn about the different viticultural practices used in the region.
Whether you’re a wine enthusiast or simply interested in learning more about Bordeaux’s unique history, the Musee de Vin et Negorce is sure to provide an enjoyable and informative experience.
18) Monument aux Girondins
The Monument aux Girondins is a monument in Bordeaux, France penned by Joseph Ingres and completed by Hector Guimard. It is located on the left bank of the Garonne River in the center of the city’s promenade des Quinconces.
The monument commemorates the Girondins, who were deputies in the Legislative Assembly during the French Revolution and were later guillotined. The most prominent figure represented on the monument is Georges Danton, one of the leaders of the Girondins. The monument was erected in 1828, and its design was based on classical antiquity.
The base of the monument is decorated with friezes that depict scenes from the French Revolution, while the columns and pediment are decorated with reliefs that represent key figures from that time period. The Monument aux Girondins is one of the most iconic landmarks in Bordeaux and is a must-see for any visitor to the city.
19) Grand Theatre
The Grand Theatre in Bordeaux is one of the most important opera houses in France. Built in the 18th century, it is renowned for its architectural beauty and outstanding acoustics.
The theatre presents a wide range of operas, ballets, and concert performances throughout the year, attracting visitors from all over the world. The building itself is a work of art, with lavish decor and an impressive balcony overlooking the stage. The grand theatre is truly a highlight of Bordeaux’s rich cultural heritage.
Recap of best things to do in Bordeaux, France
- Palace de la Bourse
- Rue Saint-Catherine
- La Cité du Vin
- Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion
- The Saint-Seurin Basilica
- Bike around the City
- The Bassins de Lumieres
- Wine Tours
- The Miroir d’Eau
- Quais de Bordeaux
- Office de Tourisme de Bordeaux
- Moon Harbor Distillery
- Grosse Cloche de Bordeaux
- Hanger Darwin Skate Park
- Musee D’aquitaine
- Bordeaux Cathedral
- Musee de Vin et Negorce
- Monument aux Girondins
- Grand Theatre
Where to Next?
Looking for another beautiful French city? Check out Nice!
For a city with rich culture and history, why not visit Amsterdam next?
From mesmerizing castles to iconic parks, be sure to put Copenhagen on your travel itinerary!