20 Best Things to Do in Bordeaux, France

Think Bordeaux, think wine? Sure, but Bordeaux has so much more to serve.

This article is your menu to a different Bordeaux, one that’s off the well-trodden tourist trail.

So grab your beret, let’s dive into the real Bordeaux, the one locals love.

Ready? Allez!

1. Explore the Darwin Ecosystem

Swap Bordeaux’s classic elegance for some alternative, eco-friendly vibes at the Darwin Ecosystem.

An urban renewal project brought to life in old barracks, this hub has morphed into a hotspot for creativity, sustainability, and street art.

Chill out in the organic restaurant, catch a live concert, or simply stroll through the recycled art installations.

Best Time to VisitWhat Not to Miss
SpringUrban art, eco-garden

💡 Tip: Buy travel health insurance before your trip.

Check out popular travel insurance plans and choose one that suits you.

Most plans only cost less than $20 a day.

2. Picnic at the Palais Gallien Ruins

Forget the fancy French cuisine. Pack a picnic and head to the ancient Roman ruins of Palais Gallien.

These ruins are all that remains of an amphitheatre from the late 2nd century.

Munch on some cheese and baguette, soak up the sun, and feel history come alive beneath your picnic blanket.

Best Time to VisitWhat Not to Miss
Sunny AfternoonsThe informative signage

3. Le Miroir d’Eau

Sure, it’s a popular spot, but the Miroir d’Eau, or Water Mirror, is nothing short of magical.

Located across from Place de la Bourse, this vast granite slab covered in 2 cm of water provides a perfect reflection of the grand 18th-century buildings.

A bonus? You’re bound to get a killer Insta-worthy shot here.

Best Time to VisitWhat Not to Miss
SunsetThe water ballet

4. Wine Tasting at Chateau Coutet

You can’t come to Bordeaux and skip wine tasting. But ditch the touristy vineyards for Chateau Coutet.

Nestled in Barsac, this organic vineyard specializes in sweet white wine, offering a fresh take on the region’s vinicultural prowess.

And the cherry on the cake? The stunning 18th-century chateau itself.

Best Time to VisitWhat Not to Miss
Harvest SeasonVineyard tour

5. Hike the Dune du Pilat

Swap the cobbled city streets for sandy shores and trek up the Dune du Pilat.

Yes, we’re talking about a desert in Bordeaux. Standing over 100 meters tall, this is the tallest sand dune in Europe.

The climb might leave you breathless, but the panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean will take what’s left of it away!

Best Time to VisitWhat Not to Miss
Spring or AutumnSunset from the summit

6. Cap Ferret

If you’re craving some sun, sand, and seafood, Cap Ferret is the place to be.

This peninsula, a hidden gem tucked between the Atlantic Ocean and Arcachon Bay, boasts serene beaches and succulent seafood.

Devour fresh oysters straight from the sea, sip local wine, and let the world go by. Vacation goals, anyone?

Best Time to VisitWhat Not to Miss
SummerOyster tasting

7. Dance at La Guinguette Chez Alriq

When the sun goes down, the party begins at La Guinguette Chez Alriq. Located on the river bank, this bar exudes an infectious energy.

With live music spanning genres and cultures, it’s a fantastic spot to immerse in the city’s nightlife.

Groove to the beat, sip on local brews, and dance like there’s no tomorrow!

Best Time to VisitWhat Not to Miss
Summer EveningsThe music lineup

8. Discover Street Art at Les Vivres de l’Art

Inject some color into your Bordeaux itinerary at Les Vivres de l’Art.

Once a set of 18th-century warehouses, it’s now a thriving art centre.

Take a stroll through the graffiti-clad buildings, partake in a workshop, or attend a concert. It’s creativity unleashed, and you’re invited.

Best Time to VisitWhat Not to Miss
During a live eventThe graffiti workshop

9. Shop at Marché des Capucins

For a taste of local life, venture to Marché des Capucins, the city’s largest market. Buzzing with locals, the market is a cornucopia of fresh produce, cheese, pastries, and antiques.

Buy some fresh ingredients for a picnic or simply enjoy people-watching with a café au lait.

Best Time to VisitWhat Not to Miss
Saturday MorningsFreshly shucked oysters

10. Explore the Saint-Michel Neighborhood

Get lost in the winding lanes of the Saint-Michel neighborhood. It’s a melting pot of cultures, brimming with eclectic shops, quirky cafés, and a bustling weekend flea market.

The towering Saint-Michel Basilica, with its gothic spire, adds to the neighborhood’s charm.

Best Time to VisitWhat Not to Miss
DaytimeThe Sunday flea market

11. Hop Aboard a River Cruise

Experience Bordeaux from a different perspective with a river cruise along the Garonne.

These cruises are a great way to view the city’s stunning architecture. Don’t forget to pack a picnic, nothing beats sipping a glass of local wine while taking in the sights.

Best Time to VisitWhat Not to Miss
Late AfternoonSunset over the river

12. Taste Bordeaux’s Food Scene at La Tupina

Elevate your taste buds at La Tupina, where traditional French cuisine gets a modern twist. Nestled in the heart of the city, this restaurant is a culinary heaven for food enthusiasts.

Don’t miss the duck fat fries, they are worth every calorie!

Best Time to VisitWhat Not to Miss
Lunch or DinnerDuck fat fries

13. Visit Bordeaux’s Botanical Garden

Need a green escape? Head to Bordeaux’s Botanical Garden.

This green paradise, tucked away from the city bustle, boasts plant species from around the world. The serene Japanese garden is a sight to behold.

Best Time to VisitWhat Not to Miss
SpringThe Japanese garden

14. Check out CAPC, Museum of Contemporary Art

Get your dose of modern art at the CAPC, a former colonial goods warehouse turned art museum.

This massive space hosts innovative exhibits from contemporary artists worldwide. Let the art challenge your perspectives!

Best Time to VisitWhat Not to Miss
When Exhibits ChangeThe building’s architecture

15. Stroll Along Rue Notre Dame

Looking for vintage finds and one-of-a-kind pieces? Rue Notre Dame is your treasure trove. Lined with antique shops, galleries, and cafés, this charming street offers a unique shopping experience.

And while there, pop into the L’Embellie Florale, a stunning flower shop!

Best Time to VisitWhat Not to Miss
DaytimeL’Embellie Florale

16. Swim at the Bordeaux Lake

In the summer heat, Bordeaux Lake is a welcome respite.

Just a short tram ride from the city center, this artificial lake boasts sandy beaches and calm waters. Perfect for a day of swimming and sunbathing.

Best Time to VisitWhat Not to Miss
SummerWater sports

17. Bike through the Vineyards

If you’ve been missing the outdoors, get on a bike and pedal through Bordeaux’s vineyards.

These guided tours offer a perfect combination of breathtaking landscapes, exercise, and of course, wine tasting.

Best Time to VisitWhat Not to Miss
AutumnHarvest season

18. Visit the Museum of Decorative Arts

Located in a 18th-century mansion, the Museum of Decorative Arts is a window into Bordeaux’s past.

The museum showcases an impressive collection of furniture, ceramics, and glassware. It’s a step back in time that you won’t want to miss.

Best Time to VisitWhat Not to Miss
Anytime18th-century collection

19. Walk Across Pont de Pierre

Built under the orders of Napoleon Bonaparte, the Pont de Pierre is Bordeaux’s oldest bridge.

Walk across this 17-arched bridge at sunset and admire the view of the city bathed in golden light.

Best Time to VisitWhat Not to Miss
SunsetThe city view

20. Relax at Thermes de Spa

End your Bordeaux adventure with a relaxing spa day at the Thermes de Spa.

This wellness center offers a variety of treatments designed to relax and rejuvenate. Treat yourself, you deserve it!

Best Time to VisitWhat Not to Miss
AnytimeThermal bath

💡 Tip: Buy travel health insurance before your trip.

Check out popular travel insurance plans and choose one that suits you.

Most plans only cost less than $20 a day.


By now, you must be itching to pack those bags and book the next flight to Bordeaux. You’ve had a peek into a different Bordeaux.

One that’s off the tourist grid, one that brims with local secrets. Ready to take on the journey?

Remember, each adventure, each place, each moment is like a unique bottle of Bordeaux wine. Rich, enticing, and filled with stories. So, get ready to pop those corks, one at a time!

Happy adventuring!

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