Make your trip to Bordeaux, France a memorable one. This glorious city in France is synonymous with the cultivation of exotic grapevines. There are so many renowned wineries, as well as, smaller ones for you to locate and explore while you are here. A visit to the new Cité du Vin should be on your bucket list to understand the importance of wine to this beautiful city along with its influence in various other parts of the world. The old city of Bordeaux is part of UNESCO’s prestigious World Heritage Site list and is definitely worth visiting. Read on to explore some of the top things to do in Bordeaux, France.
1. Appreciate the gothic architecture of the Bordeaux Cathedral
The French Revolution witnessed a difficult time for several religious sites across France and the Bordeaux Cathedral was no exception to this. While the decor inside might have been destroyed, its grandeur is still intact and the ancient gothic architecture of this cathedral is sure to take your breath away. Though the entire site is of great historical significance it’s north portal deserves a special mention. Constructed as an entrance for royalty, the portal has images from various scenes including the famous Last Supper.
Address: Place Pey Berland; 33000 Bordeaux
Website: Bordeaux Cathedral
2. Marvel at the 18th-century bell in the Grosse Cloche
La Grosse Cloche was constructed in the 15th century and features twin conical roofs and has been the bell tower for the town hall of Bordeaux. One of the rare remains in the city from the medieval era, it was once used as a prison for juvenile offenders. You have to spend some time to marvel at the 18th-century bell, high up in the tower. The bell originates in 1775 and is massive in terms of its size. Apart from big celebrations such as Bastille Day, it remains silent most days of a year.
Address: 45 Rue Saint-James, 33000 Bordeaux, France
Website: Grosse Cloche
3. Soak in some culture at the Grand Theater of Bordeaux
The Grand Theater of Bordeaux was built by Victor Louis, a famous architect in 1780 and is considered as one of his best works. The decor inside is truly extravagant done in shades of blue and gold, which are the hues of the French royalty. If you wish to experience this attraction in its truest sense, a performance by the Bordeaux National Opera will be an absolute visual treat. The magnitude of this show is massive as there are 38 dancers, 37 vocal artists, guest conductors and soloists, and 110 orchestra musicians in the team.
Grand Theater of Bordeaux
Address: 17 Place Paul Doumer, Bordeaux
Website: Grand Theater of Bordeaux
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4. Visit the Museum of Aquitaine
One of the biggest heritage museums located outside the French capital, the Museum of Aquitaine boasts of a rich collection of exhibits from different centuries. You will get acquainted with the Aquitaine region’s past after visiting this museum. Its galleries are large and so you need to have some time in your hand to conduct an effective visit. The LaRussa Venus is worth mentioning and is a stone carving that depicts the Goddess Venus and is around 27,000 years old. If you are a history buff, you are definitely going to love this museum tour.
Museum of Aquitaine
Address: 20 Cours Pasteur, 33000 Bordeaux, France
Website: Museum of Aquitaine
5. Admire the Place de la Bourse
It was in the early 18th century when this majestic attraction was constructed near the bank of River Garonne. Jacques Gabriel, the favorite architect of Louis XV was the designer of this opulent palace and soon the square became a symbol of pride for this French city. The sculpted faces below the buildings’ arches are worth taking a close look at. There is a huge pool, hidden by a mist at times but it reflects the grand palace beautifully otherwise. It is also a fantastic site for a photo shoot.
Place de la Bourse
Address: Place de la Bourse - 33000 Bordeaux
Website: Place de la Bourse
6. Climb the Jacques Chaban-Delmas Bridge
Jacques Chaban-Delmas BridgePosted by Alan Sun on Tuesday, 9 April 2019
This beautiful vertical bridge in Bordeaux was opened for the public in 2013. The Jacques Chaban-Delmas Bridge is Europe’s tallest vertical bridge and you just cannot afford to miss it while vacationing here. Today, the bridge has become one of the most important landmarks of Bordeaux. Although the bridge is new, it gels well with the surrounding historic cityscape of Bordeaux and is regarded as a visual and technical masterpiece. If you go for a ferry ride, the view of this bridge is truly enticing and exciting.
Jacques Chaban-Delmas Bridge
Address: Pont Jacques Chaban Delmas, 33300 Bordeaux, France
Website: Jacques Chaban-Delmas Bridge
7. Stroll across St. Catherine Street
Welcome to Europe’s longest shopping street for pedestrians spanning multiple important landmarks of the city including the Place de la Victoire, the Grand Théâtre, and Rue Sainte-Catherine. In case you are a shopaholic, you simply cannot miss an exciting shopping trip. Relax in one of the cozy cafés after your shopping spree and watch the crowd. The street’s upper-end houses all the famous international brands and it becomes more bohemian and vibrant as you travel further down.
St. Catherine Street
Address: Rue Sainte-Catherine, 33000 Bordeaux
Website: St. Catherine Street
8. Explore the Natural History Museum and the Puppet Theatre at Jardin Public Park
The Jardin Public Park was created with the aim of promoting the health of the residents of the city. Designed in a typical English manner, the park features historic trees, lawns, fountains, bridges made of wrought iron, a number of statues, and more. You can also enjoy some culinary delights at the on-site restaurant. Enjoy a leisurely picnic or read your favorite novel while lazing on the grass. Do not forget to explore the puppet theater especially when you are with your kids and the Natural History Museum located just adjacent to the park.
Jardin Public Park
Address: Jardin Public, Cours de Verdun, 33000 Bordeaux, France
Website: Jardin Public Park
9. Visit the world’s largest reflecting pool called the Water Mirror
This picturesque pool, designed by Michel Corajoud, is located across the Place de la Bourse and displays artificial misting and a mirror effect in an exceptional and unique way. The rhythmic change in the water as it flows on a huge granite slab gives it a mirror-like appearance. It is the perfect place for both children and adults to enjoy while dipping their feet in the cool water and savoring a magical experience.
Address: Place de la Bourse, 33000 Bordeaux, France
Website: Water Mirror
Opening hours: 10am - 10pm (daily)
10. Pamper your taste buds at the Le 7 Restaurant
This restaurant, located on the seventh floor of La Cité du Vin, offers breathtaking views of the city and the Port of the Moon. Open throughout the day, you can enjoy breakfast, lunch, afternoon snacks and dinner along with some delicious wines from a large selection of drinks. The chefs create seasonal menus from local produce with flavors from all around the globe.
Le 7 Restaurant
Address: 134 Quai de Bacalan, 33300 Bordeaux, France
Website: Le 7 Restaurant
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 11pm; Sun: 10am - 7pm
11. Tour Bordeaux’s Wine and Trade Museum (from USD 10.0)
There is no better way to appreciate French wine than taking part in a tour of the Wine and Trade Museum in the city. You can participate in a wine-tasting session, sip on a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Merlot wine and learn to distinguish between various wines while learning about their history and their process of production.
Bordeaux Wine and Trade Museum with Tasting Admission Ticket
Duration: 1 to 2 hours
12. Embark on a Bordeaux wine tour (from USD 52.0)
With this two-hour wine tasting tour and workshop, you can learn about the famous wine growing regions of France, refine the method you use to taste your wine and also distinguish the aromas as well as the flavors. You can spend your time sampling some of France’s best wines while nibbling on delicacies like an assortment of cheese, bread, and cured meats. Also, take part in a workshop for wine-blending and produce a custom blend of your own.
Bordeaux 2-Hour Small-Group Wine Tasting and Workshop
Duration: 2 hours
13. Relax at Victory Square
Victory Square is one of Bordeaux’s most well-known city centers. It is a historical and ethnic hub where you can find both tourists and locals alike. You can spend your time watching the Porte de Aquitaine and click photos in front of the pink marble obelisk. Embark on a tour of the square or grab a bite to eat. You can spend your time in the cafés, explore the clubs or simply watch and observe people.
Address: Place de la Victoire, 33000 Bordeaux, France
Website: Victory Square
14. Explore the Gate of Cailhau
Built to celebrate the victory of Charles VIII in Italy, this stunning monument has a long history and also offers a beautiful view of Bordeaux. The monument depicts the French-style of architecture with lovely stone masonry. There is an exhibition inside that showcases the tools and different materials used for its construction at that time. Interested visitors can also watch the audio-visual presentation that demonstrates how the entire monument was built.
Gate of Cailhau
Address: Place du Palais, 33000 Bordeaux, France
Website: Gate of Cailhau
Opening hours: 10am - 1pm, 2pm - 6pm (daily)
15. Browse through famous paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts
Bordeaux artists come from varying schools and periods and are considered ad some of the greatest painters in Europe. The Museum of Fine Arts has two different wings to display artworks from different eras. Art from the 16th to 18th centuries can be found in the South Wing while those from the 19th and 20th centuries are displayed in the North Wing. You can also view sculptures and several paintings that were stolen by the French during the French Revolution. A visit here is a learning experience for friends and family as well as a great source of entertainment.
Museum of Fine Arts
Address: 20 Cours d'Albret, 33000 Bordeaux, France
Website: Museum of Fine Arts
Opening hours: Wed - Mon: 11am - 6pm (closed on Tue)
16. Witness performances, exhibitions, and even the occasional club night at the BETASOM
An unusual and modern setting, the BETASOM is a submarine base. It is an intimidating structure build with a combination of steel, concrete, shadow, and water. It was one of the five bases built during World War II by the Germans. This gigantic base has now been converted into an underground cultural space that offers exhibitions, opera, theater, concerts, dance, etc throughout the year. Visit BETASOM for an awe-inspiring experience. Revel in its unique atmosphere and historical influences.
Address: Boulevard Alfred-Daney, 33300, Bordeaux, France
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 1.30pm - 7pm (closed on Mon)
17. Walk across the iconic Stone Bridge
Visit the first stone bridge ever built in Bordeaux. This iconic bridge connects the right and left banks of the river Garonne and was commissioned by the famous French emperor Napolean Bonaparte. A modern tramway crosses it today. Spend some time here to admire its architecture and listen to the seagulls call out on a clear day.
The Stone Bridge of Bordeaux
Address: Entre la place Bir Hakeim et la place Stalingrad, 33000 BORDEAUX, France
Website: The Stone Bridge of Bordeaux
18. Sample unusual French cheeses at the Fromagerie Deruelle
Located in Bordeaux, Fromagerie Deruelle offers more than 100 varieties of beautifully presented cheese. It has a fresh section that specializes in yogurts, farm eggs, quality butter and more. Its charcuterie department offers cooked sausages, Lyon sausages, dumplings, and crusted pâté among others. Enjoy a wide variety of mouthwatering cheesecakes that are a local favorite.
Address: 66 Rue du Pas-Saint-Georges, 33000 Bordeaux, France
Website: Fromagerie Deruelle
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 1.30pm, 4pm - 7.30pm; Sun: 11am - 6pm
19. Explore the Museum of Decorative Arts
One of the most famous tourist spots in France, the Museum of Decorative Arts is a huge contributor to the heritage of Bordeaux. It features splendid staircases, attractive wooden paneled rooms along with exquisite artwork. Many rooms also display antique furniture and other decorative items. You can experience the very soul of the city when visiting the Museum of Decorative Arts.
Museum of Decorative Arts
Address: 39 Rue Bouffard, 33000 Bordeaux, France
Website: Museum of Decorative Arts
Opening hours: Wed - Mon: 11am - 6pm (closed on Tue)
20. Indulge in an adventurous bike ride to explore the city's rarified atmosphere (from USD 32.0)
Begin a venturesome bike tour and experience the city’s unique atmosphere while visiting its famous tourist spots. You can meet your guide either in the morning or in the afternoon and set off touring Bordeaux’s hotspots and its modern locations. Immerse yourself in the city’s beauty and explore all that Bordeaux has got to offer while enjoying your bike ride.
Bordeaux Essentials Sightseeing Bike Tour with a Local Guide
Duration: 150 to 180 minutes
21. Delve into French history at Girondins Monument
The Girondins Monument is a major emblem of the French Revolution in Bordeaux. It was built for the Girondins and is near to the Place des Quinconces. The attraction is very well accessible and has a constant flow of visitors from all around the world. The monument consists of a column with a woman breaking her chains on the top. There are various fountains at the bottom to dip your feet in. It is the perfect place to visit and click photos.
Address: 2792 Place des Quinconces, 33000 Bordeaux, France
Website: Girondins Monument
Opening hours: 24/7
22. Learn about the history of wine at the La Cité du Vin (from USD 24.0)
Now, you can avoid the long queues and huge crowds while visiting the famous La Cité du Vin in this French town. Spend some time while visiting the museum here, which enlightens you about the unique culture of wine. There will be an experienced guide on this tour who will show you around 20 distinct themed sites. You will also get an opportunity to taste one of the world-class wines during this tour. Finally, go to the building’s eighth floor and enjoy a stunning view of this magnificent city.
Bordeaux Cite du Vin Skip-the-Line Admission Ticket
Duration: 2 to 3 hours
23. Cruise along the Garonne River while sipping vintage Bordeaux wines (from USD 56.0)
It is your chance to spend a blissful 90 minutes as you relax on this luxurious cruise along the famous Garonne River. Sip some of the most famous Bordeaux wines and marvel at the stunning vistas around you. You will also see some of the most popular attractions of Bordeaux, which is also one of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed places. Some of these include the hills covered with vineyards and Place de la Bourse. You can take your pick from either of these two points to start this cruise - Cité du Vin or the Quai Richelieu.
Garonne River Cruise with Lunch from Bordeaux
Duration: 2 hours
Beautiful Bordeaux has so much to offer
The city of Bordeaux has so much to offer to tourists belonging to different age groups that you will simply lose track of your time. Follow our recommendations and make sure to cover these top things to do in Bordeaux, France. We guarantee that you will take home with you memories of a lifetime.
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