Bordeaux was voted the Best European Destination of 2015, but why? Because Bordeaux is the most authentic city you will ever visit. With beautiful old architecture down every street and welcoming locals, I could spend a lifetime here. And it is still up and coming!
20 Things To Do In Bordeaux:
1. Kayak the Garonne
Don’t get caught on a tourist bus, see the city from the river! Bordeaux is built along the Garonne river/estuary in a moon shape, giving the city it’s name, “Port de la Lune.” Bordeaux Canoë offers 25-30 Euro 2.5 hour tours. This is my favorite thing I have ever done and I learned things about the city that locals don’t even know! Reserve your trip here. The photo above is from my trip!
2. Miroir d’eau
The Miroir d’eau is no joke, being the Worlds Largest Reflecting Pool, and giving you the most stunning views of Place du Bourse, this is a must do! Kick off your shoes and get your camera ready, it is gorgeous.
3. Picnic in Jardin Public
Jardin Public takes my breath away every time I visit. The best place to catch locals sitting under the shade of a huge tree picnicking with friends, why not join them! Live the Bordeaux life! (Check out more places to picnic here)
4. Take An Excursion into the Medoc
And visit a Chateaux to learn all about wine! Considering myself a local to the Medoc, I can’t help but recommend the beautiful towns extending north of Bordeaux. Check out Pauillac! Miles of fields of vineyards and the most beautiful Chateaux in the world. Any city you chose is a winner. Expect a post about “The Route of the Chateaux” coming soon to my blog!
5. Visit Cap Sciences Museum
The amazing exhibits here will leave your jaw dropped! Check out what’s going on during your visit here. I got to see mummies during my visit! Plus, everything is so kid friendly and interactive.
6. Visit the Contemporary Art Museum (CAPC)
The best part about the CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux is the ancient building it is in! Not really, but it is beautiful! Find out more about admission and exhibits here!
7. Visit any of the other 10+ Museums HERE
8. See an Event at Opéra National de Bordeaux
The beauty of this Opéra is no joke, plus they have events going on all the time to suit whatever you prefer.Check out the list of events during your stay here!
9. Hop Around the Tree-Tops
Zip lining? Rope Bridges? Tarzan jumps? Yes!!! Tépacap Park has a 2-hour tree-top course following 80 trees and 7 levels.
10. Eat Canelés
And not the off brand kind (I learned the hard way). And you’ll learn why these are a Bordeaux specialties during #4. And don’t worry, you will see the shops everywhere in the city!
11. Learn to Salsa Dance on the Boardwalk
Bordeaux has so many festivals for it’s inhabitants and visitors, and one that happens every summer is the “Dansons Sur Les Quais” where you can learn to dance on a new wooden dance floor that is just opposite Place des Quinconces along the river!
12. Shop Europe’s LONGEST Shopping Street!
Rue Sainte-Catherine is not only the longest shopping street in Europe, it is the best. With deals around every corner, amazing French fashion, and no Parisian prices- this is a must. The sight itself is beautiful!
13. Rent Bikes
The city has a bike renting service very similar to Paris’ (learn how to use it here) and it is a great way to soak up the beautiful city along the great bike lanes and trails throughout. You’ll see all of the locals riding their’s along the boardwalk, so join them!
14. Visit Cité de Vin
This amazing building was established June 2016 and adds a great modern flair to the skyline of Bordeaux. once inside, you can do a great number of things:
- Schedule an excursion into the Medoc
- Learn about he wine making process
- Learn about Bordeaux’s history
- Take in the amazing architecture that extends throughout the entire building
- Taste amazing wines at the top with a 360 degree view of the city
- Eat dinner in the restaurant
15. Go to the Beach
Just hop on the tram and head out to Bégles or Bordeaux Lac to enjoy amazing water sports, sun, sand, and water! Relax with a drink, or learn to paddle board on one of the lake’s available paddle boards!
16. Watch a Movie Beside a Monument
Every summer, all summer, the festival Cinésites sets up giant movie screens in various squares or streets and allows the public to enjoy a movie under the stars! There’s also craft booths and picnics beforehand!
17. Go to Arcachon
A beautiful beach town, unknown to outsiders, with great bars and water sports. Only a short train ride from Bordeaux, you can climb Europe’s Tallest Dune and enjoy the views across the ocean on one side and a vast forest on the other.
18. Go to a Wine Tasting Bar
At Places like “Aux Quatre Coins du Vin” you can try all of the best wines without leaving your wallet as dry as the driest red wine in stock. You will be given a “prepaid” card and a wine glass, then you can just walk up to your choice of wine and “taste, half-glass, or full-glass” it! Enjoy!
19. Go to the Top of Porte Caihau and Basilica of St. Michel
These two architectural stamps stand out no matter where you are in the city, so why not climb to the top of them! It’s 5 Euros for one of the best views of Bordeaux possible.
20. See a Movie at Utopia
An amazing, artsy, and locally owned Cinema used to be a chapel! All films here are shown in the original versions, and of course the inside is beautiful since it kind of used to be a chapel you know…
Have I convinced you to visit Bordeaux?
Perhaps this quote from Victor Hugo (that still reigns true) will help explain why you MUST visit Bordeaux:
Bordeaux is an odd, unusual, perhaps unique town. Take Versailles and mix it with Anvers and you have Bordeaux… There are two Bordeaux, the new one and the ancient one. Everything in the modern Bordeaux breathes the greatness of Versailles; everything in the old Bordeaux tells history like in Anvers.”
Have you ever been to Bordeaux? Did I miss your favorite thing to do? Let me know below!