With so many “A Day In…” articles out there- we need a better format. This post will give you detailed options to build your own customized perfect day in Bordeaux, France!
Bordeaux is by far the most beautiful city I have seen through all of my traveling. The atmosphere is so authentic, with no “tourist traps” to ruin your visit. If you want to visit a real city, where you don’t have to research how to “live like a local” to have a truly great time- look no further.
Before arriving in Bordeaux, there’s a few things you should know:
Download DuoLingo, grab a roughguide book, or find your old class notes. The waiters here will be friendly, but friendly in French. Check out this post for language resources.
2. The Tram System
Probably the fastest way to find your way around, download a tram map on your phone and have your Euros ready! Bikes will be a good option to, but we’ll talk about that in just a second!
It’s not fair to only give you one option, so here’s a few! You can pick which one goes best with your tastes!
- Having a coffee and Croissant au Beurre at just about any cafe open in the a.m. is a trustworthy option in this city.
- Tip: sit outside! Some restaurants may charge extra for sitting inside. Plus, you get extra time to investigate every corner of the city.
- Chez Karl at Place du Parlement offers a beautiful surrounding and an AMAZING selection for both Breakfast and Brunch foods.
La Fabrique Pains et Bricoles. Grab some amazing French pastries at this bakery- they take great pride in every employee and you can even read about them here.
- If you’re staying at a hotel that offers free breakfast, don’t feel “uncultured” to eat that. It will save you an extra 8 Euros that you can spend on a coffee or Macaroons later!
- I ate at Le Saint Georges, where the waiters are so nice they bring the menu to you. Located in the beautiful Place Camille Jullian, you can sit in the square and enjoy a variety of well priced and amazing food. Our meal was 27 Euros total.
- Calix is a local grocer’s shop and trendy canteen! It offers the best of all seasonal produce, tastey wines, and the chalkboard wall of your dreams. Located at 62 av. de la Liberation, Le Bouscat.
- AnyTeas is simply a classic place for lunch, and I include it on this post because of it’s amazing location next to L’église Notre-Dame and just down the street from the best Chocolate and Macaroons in town.
You’ve shopped, walked, photographed, and posed. Now you need a pick me up!
- Literally any cafe you walk by. If you aren’t looking for an experience or a good deal, and just need a quick pick me up, grab a seat outside a café and order a Grand Café! Happy sipping!
- Books and Coffee.This is the best place for a good cup of tea or coffee, and it comes with a great atmosphere! Located at 26 rue St James.
- The Regent Café, facing the Grand Theátre, has quick waiters and classic French coffee, as well as hot chocolate for those who prefer decaf drinks!
Everyone deserves at least ONE good French meal while in France… Dinner is a great time to do it! Settle in for some great cheeses and the world’s best wines!
- L’alchimiste. An amazing atmosphere, enhanced by the wine list! Very warm and welcoming, this great place also makes some good cocktails! Located at 16 rue du Parlement St Pierre.
- Grand Bar Castan. Uniquely decorated and located, grab some great food and stay for some drinks. Located at 2 Quai de la Douane.
- Le Vin Rue Neuve. In an air-conditioned cellar, with some great dishes and the best wine list- how could you go wrong? Located at 23, rue neuve.
- L’Orangerie De Bordeaux. Located in Jardin Public, you can stop here for anything from a coffee to a great dinner!
- While there, you must visit Bordeaux’s public gardens of Jardin Public!
I’m including this section because there is something every visitor to Bordeaux needs to know. Bordeaux is the place to shop. There are so many shops and stores, from one of a kind boutiques to an Apple store, the streets full of shops go further than you can see. So gather your wits, and dive in! Window shopping is a must, and go in the places that interest you! My advice is just to walk, there is something for everyone. And you’ll be glad you saved some money and ate your free hotel breakfast earlier when you see that. scarf.
We’ve already seen L’église Notre-Dame, Jardin Public, and the Grand Theátre while eating. Now where to?
Chances are you’ve already caught a glimpse of this, but take more than a few seconds to appreciate this beautiful, 15th -century entrance to downtown Bordeaux.
Place de la Bourse and Mirroir d’Eau
The wind off the river, the sight of the beautiful building bending around the river, La Cite du Vin in the distance. There’s just something magical about this place! No matter how much through traffic or visitors, you feel alone in the beautiful moments it provides.
Le Pont de Pierre
This GORGEOUS bridge does not disappoint. It enjoys long walks on the river and being difficult to photograph for the not-such-photographers. Make a date with it today! 😉
Really the entire city is a cite, so I recommend renting some bikes- you’ll be among many other bikers, and take a ride! There are places to rent them all over the city!
Don’t Forget your Macaroons!
Maison Georges Larnicol deserves its own section. Bordeaux is a great town, so anywhere you get Macaroons, they will be great. However, I highly recommend taking a stop here, for they have giant chocolate sculptures inside!! I wasn’t allowed to take photos of them, but I did get some of the Macaroons! READ: They are cheaper if you pick out your own flavors! So put the pre-made plastic box down and start picking out which ones you want to try. They are 0,80 Euros a piece when you pick them out individually versus a 7 for 7 package. I got 8!!
- Myrtille (MY FAV)
Bordeaux is just a beautiful city. The old buildings with bring colored flowers are not just in the picture, nor are they limited to one street. Instead, the entire city is built this way. The history and the architecture take my breath away. The Authenticity of the city and its inhabitants is brilliant. I don’t know about you, but I take a French speaking waiter as a sign for quality French food. You won’t have to worry about anything being a tourist trap and you won’t have to do endless research just to “live like a local”. Just go to the city and you’ve done it. Good for you 🙂