Tips for the best things to do in Bordeaux

Are you planning to visit Bordeaux, France during your next vacation? The traditional visit to the “sleeping beauty” is a great experience, but imagine if you could live the typical “Bordelaise” day. Here are the places to visit, the best locations to taste traditional dishes and the beautiful streets to stroll around with family or friends. Don’t hesitate to take notes!

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1. Stroll in the Saint Pierre district

Saint Pierre area in Bordeaux
The Saint Pierre district is the historic heart of the “sleeping beauty." Stroll around its quaint streets to find the different small squares filled with many restaurants and wine bars to have a gourmet break.

Visit Porte Cailhau and stop at La Ligne Rouge, a small charming wine bar where you can taste wines from Bordeaux, but also from all over the world, with beautiful plates of charcuterie.

2. Walk on the docks

Things to do in Bordeaux France - travel with home exchange
After a beautiful day in the historic heart of Bordeaux, it’s time to walk on the docks. Take a VCub and discover the ‘Rive Droite’ (right bank of the river), going from the pont Chaban-Delmas to Pont de Pierre. To rest after this bike ride, take a break on the lawns of the docks like any self-respecting Bordelaise.

3. Relax in the Public Garden

The Public Garden in Bordeaux Things to do in Bordeaux France - travel with home exchange
Take a rest on the greens of the Public Garden. This typical French garden classified as a “Remarkable Garden of France”, located in the Chartrons district, and it is a haven of rest. Covering 11 hectares, there is something to suit everyone. You can relax in the former botanical garden or in the lovely bar-restaurant l’Orangerie or just hang out on one of the many lawns in the park.

4. Walk on the Ponte de Pierre at night

Things to do in Bordeaux France - travel with home exchange
You dont want to miss this magnificent view! After observing the Pont de Pierre (stone bridge) from the Bordeaux docks, stop in the middle of it to enjoy a breathtaking panorama of the illuminated docks. You will be able to spot the Place de la Bourse, Place des Quinconces, Porte Cailhau and the beautiful facades of the buildings that surround the Garonne. Enjoy a moment of pure relaxation after a busy day.

5. Visit the Cathedral of Saint André

The Saint André Cathedrale in Bordeaux
Gaze at the Cathedral of Saint André and its independent tower overlooking the Pey Berland square. While you're there, head inside to admire the beautiful stained glass. It was declared a historic monument and it was listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1998. Take the tour of the Cathedral to admire the town hall of Bordeaux from its bell tower: The Pey Berland Tower.

6. Take a picture at the Place de la Bourse and the water mirror

The Place de la Bourse and the Water Mirror in Bordeaux
Which Bordeaux local has not photographed the Place de la Bourse and the water mirror? This is your Instagram picture of the day if you want to have a memory of “the city of wonders.” Insider tip: take the photo when the water is evaporating to guarantee a successful shot.

7. Walk through St. Catherine Street

Things to do in Bordeaux France - travel with home exchange
Rue Sainte Catherine is, according to the locals, the longest shopping street in Europe. It connects two of the most important places of the city: the Place de la Comedie and the Victory Square, which are filled with surprises. Wander through the main artery of Bordeaux between shops, wine bars and restaurants. Your shopping day must begin here!

8. Enjoy the sun and eat quality seafood, Sundays on the Marché des Quais

Things to do in Bordeaux France - travel with home exchange
A dozen oysters or a fish-skewer? You choose! The Marché des Quais is a must for every Bordeaux resident on a Sunday. Stroll among the market stalls to discover the fresh local products. If you're hungry, we recommend oysters, or the famous fish-skewers (at 5€ per skewer, you will not be disappointed!).

9. Cross Quinconces

The Quinconces Things to do in Bordeaux France - travel with home exchange
Quinconces, located in the center of Bordeaux holds the honorary title of the largest square in France and even Europe with a total of 12 hectares. The square has held many events, such as a carnival and the Fête aux Jambons (a festival for ham). Here, you can also admire the monument to the Girondins or statues in honor of Montaigne and Montesqieu.

10. Admire the beauty of the vineyards in the Bordeaux region

Bordeaux Vineyards
Who's up for a quick bike ride in the vineyards of Bordeaux? Saint Emilion, Saint Estephe, Margaux, Pomerol, you have already heard of these names several times during a dinner or conversation. Now it’s time for you to visit, and preferably by bike, these major areas of Bordeaux and admire the beauty of small villages and vineyards around. Notify castles in advance of your arrival and you may be right on time to a tasting and tour!

11. A little trip on the seafront

Things to do in Bordeaux France - travel with home exchange
Are you tempted to visit the Pyla Dune on the coast? By car or train, Arcachon is just a few kilometers away. Enjoy the sun on a beautiful Atlantic coast sandy beach with the oyster menu, bread, and of course white wine to accompany it. Do not immediately return to Bordeaux, first pause to enjoy a sunset at the top of the Dune du Pyla, which boasts breathtaking views and impressive colors.

12.Climb to the top of the Tour Pey Berland and watch “The Pearl of Aquitaine” at dusk

The view from the Pey Berland Tower
Have you always wanted to see an aerial view of Bordeaux and enjoy the breathtaking views of the monuments and roofs at nightfall? Climb to the top of the Pey Berland Tower right next to the Cathedral of Saint André to marvel at the surprise that awaits you.

13. The Bordeaux wine festival

Bordeaux Wine Festival
Try the best of Bordeaux wines at this annual festival. Visiting the largest city of wine without attending this wine festival would be a crime. Every year in June, Bordeaux celebrates great wine. In the heart of the city, a road filled with winemakers and traders await, eager to meet you and discuss thir wines. Make sure you have a Pass Dégustations (a tasting pass), and you can enjoy a few good glasses of wine!

14. Taste the famous Bordeaux Canelés

the Bordeaux Canelé
One not-to-be-missed Bordeaux speciality is the canelé. The small pastry is flavored with rum and vanilla, caramelized on the outside and chewy on the inside. For the best canelés, go to one of the many Baillardan stores.

15. Taste the cuisine of the Bordeaux region.

Things to do in Bordeaux France - travel with home exchange
Bordeaux is known worldwide for its wine, but do not forget its gastronomy, which will fill you with joy! Find restaurants serving traditional cuisine such as seared foie gras with figs, duck breast, the lamprey, beef steak, caudéranaise snails, Pauillac milk-fed lamb, ceps, and many more delicious offerings.

This list contains just a glimpse of the beauty of the city of Bordeaux and the surprises that await you. It's not called “the city of wonders” for nothing! Have fun, lose yourself and make lifelong memories.

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