Bordeaux Travel Essentials


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"Eat, Drink and be Merry!"

Bordeaux Tourism

Bordeaux is a city located in the southwestern part of France, in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. It is situated along the Garonne River, approximately 500 kilometers southwest of Paris. Often referred to as the "Wine Capital of the World" due to its proximity to wine-producing regions, surrounded by picturesque vineyards and châteaux, the city is also a UNESCO World Heritage designation.

Bordeaux boasts elegant architecture from different eras, with its historic center featuring impressive squares, neoclassical buildings, and charming cobblestone streets. The Place de la Bourse and the Bordeaux Water Mirror are iconic landmarks worth visiting. The city is also home to numerous museums, galleries, and theaters.

The Garonne River adds to Bordeaux's allure, offering picturesque riverfront views. Visitors can take leisurely walks along the quays, enjoy boat cruises, or relax in riverside cafes. The city has a lively and welcoming atmosphere, with bustling markets, street performers, and a thriving nightlife.

 Bordeaux is a haven for food lovers, offering a diverse culinary scene. From traditional French bistros to Michelin-starred restaurants, visitors can savor delicious local dishes paired with exceptional wines.

Must Know Before You Travel to Bordeaux

  • Getting Around: Bordeaux has an extensive public transportation system, including buses and trams. The city center is also quite walkable. Taxis and rideshare services are readily available. Consider purchasing a Bordeaux City Pass for convenient access to public transportation.
  • Opening Hours: Shops in Bordeaux typically open around 10:00 AM and close around 7:00 PM, with some variations. Larger stores may stay open later. Many smaller shops and businesses may close for a siesta period in the afternoon. Restaurants often serve lunch from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM and dinner from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM.
  • Currency and Payment: Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in most establishments, but it's advisable to carry some cash for smaller purchases and places that may not accept cards.
  • Safe Drinking Water: Tap water in Bordeaux is safe to drink and of high quality. You can refill your water bottle at public fountains, available in various locations throughout the city.
  • Restrooms: Public restrooms are available in key areas like train stations, major squares, and tourist attractions. Some may require a small fee for access, so it's advisable to carry some change. Cafés and restaurants generally allow patrons to use their facilities.
  • Safety: Bordeaux is considered a safe city for travelers. However, as in any destination, be cautious of pickpockets, especially in crowded areas and public transportation. Keep your belongings secure, and be aware of your surroundings.

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Shopping in Bordeaux

For shopaholics, wine enthusiasts, and antique item collectors, Bordeaux's shopping scene is paradise on earth. No matter what your pocket size, the sheer variety of options with a promise of quality will drive your shopping to its ultimate peak. 

  • Rue Sainte-Catherine: Rue Sainte-Catherine is one of the longest pedestrian shopping streets in Europe, making it a prime destination for shopping in Bordeaux. It features a mix of international brands, French boutiques, and department stores. This bustling street is a great place to find fashion items, accessories, and souvenirs.
  • Place du Parlement: Surrounding the Parliament Square, you'll find a variety of shops, including antique stores, art galleries, and boutiques. This area is perfect for those looking for unique and artistic souvenirs.
  • Quartier des Chartrons: Known for its trendy and bohemian atmosphere, the Chartrons district is home to numerous antique shops, vintage stores, and art galleries. It's an excellent place to find distinctive souvenirs, particularly if you appreciate retro or artistic items.
  • Rue du Pas-Saint-Georges: Located in the historic district, this charming street is lined with boutiques and shops selling unique items such as handmade jewelry, home decor, and fashion accessories.

Nightlife in Bordeaux

Bordeaux's nightlife scene is vibrant and varied, offering something for everyone, from cozy wine bars to lively dance clubs. Here are some of the most important streets and areas in Bordeaux where you can enjoy a drink in the evening or go dancing:

  • Place de la Victoire: This bustling square is a popular gathering spot for students and locals alike. It's surrounded by numerous bars and pubs offering a lively atmosphere, especially during the evenings. The nearby Rue Sainte-Catherine also has several bars.
  • Quai de la Paludate: Located along the Garonne River, the Quai de la Paludate is home to several trendy riverside bars and clubs. Enjoy a drink with a view of the river, and as the night progresses, explore the nearby dance clubs.
  • Rue du Parlement Saint-Pierre: This narrow, picturesque street in the historic Saint-Pierre district is known for its eclectic mix of bars and pubs. It's a great place to enjoy a relaxed drink in a charming setting.
  • Rue Saint-Rémi: Nestled in the heart of the Old Town, Rue Saint-Rémi is lined with traditional wine bars and pubs. It's an excellent area to savor local wines and soak in the historic ambiance of Bordeaux.

History of Bordeaux

Home to the Bituriges Vivisci (Celtic) tribe in 300 BCE, who then called the city Burdigala, inhabited it for a good 200 years or so, after which the Romans took over in 60 BCE, under whom it became an important center of lead and tin commerce. Came in the Severan Dynasty in the 3rd century, Bordeaux flourished as the capital of Roman Aquitaine. Darker days befell once it was sacked by the Vandals in the year 276 and 409, by the Visigoths in 414 and the Franks in 498. Captivated and plundered multiple times over the centuries, in the period between 12th to 15th century Bordeaux regained its lost importance courtesy its wine trade and it is then that the cathedral of St.Andre was built. It continued to prosper under Edward, the Black Prince (1362 to 1372), but was eventually annexed by the French in the battle of Castillon in 1453. As Charles VII of France stepped in, the wine trade with England came to a screeching halt. Bordeaux regained its importance in the 16th century as a distribution center for slaves, traditional wine, and sugar. The golden era for Bordeaux was the 18th century when. It was rebuilt by Baron Haussmann as a model for Napolean III's demand for a modern Parisian structure. Since then, Bordeaux has been a pivotal point for various wars, including the First and the Second World Wars.

Daily Budget for Bordeaux

A daily budget for Bordeaux can vary from €69.50 to €169.50, depending upon the type of living arrangement, dining options, season, and current economic conditions. Here is an estimated breakdown of the daily expenses in Bordeaux for a traveler on budget:

  • Accommodation: Budget travelers can find hostels or budget hotels in Bordeaux, with prices ranging from €30 to €80 per night, depending on the type of accommodation and the season.
  • Food: Eating at local markets and bakeries can be more budget-friendly. On average, budget travelers may spend around €15 to €30 per day on meals. Dining at mid-range restaurants may cost between €30 and €50 per person.
  • Sightseeing: Many attractions in Bordeaux are free or have a modest entrance fee. For those with a budget, allocating around €10 to €20 per day for entrance fees to museums and attractions is reasonable.
  • Public Transport: Bordeaux has an efficient public transportation system. A single tram ticket costs around €1.70, and a day pass for unlimited travel is approximately €4.50. If you plan to use public transport extensively, consider a Bordeaux City Pass, which includes public transportation and museum entrances for a set price.
  • Miscellaneous Activities: Miscellaneous expenses can include coffee, snacks, and other activities. Allocate around €10 to €15 per day for these miscellaneous expenses.

Exchanging Money in Bordeaux

Nova Cambios at Hotel de Ville and the International Currency Exchangeat Saint Bruno and the Aeroport Bordeaux Merignac.

Best Time to Visit Bordeaux

How to Reach Bordeaux

How to Reach Overview

Bordeaux is easily accessible by flights.To travel from its neighbouring cities, towns and village, trains and busses are a good option

How to reach Bordeaux by flight

The A_roport Bordeaux M_rignac enables direct flight conectivity to Bordeaux from other places around the world

How to reach Bordeaux by road

Taxi services are available to and from the airport.Rental cars can be opted for reaching Bordeaux via A10 and A63 highway while coming from a nearby city.From 08:00 hours to 10:00 hoursand 16:00 hours to 19:00 hours areusually congested and hence driving at these hours must be avoided.

How to reach Bordeaux by train

The Gare Saint Jean railway station is located some 4km away from the center of the city and has several trains plying per day (every two hours)and provides for an excellent connectivity with its neighbouring cities.

How to reach Bordeaux by bus

A decent connectivity by busses, the long distance bus services stop southeast of the train station along Rue des Terres de Borde.

How to reach Bordeaux by waterways

Various cruises, specifically the Hotel Barges promise a luxurious experience while travelling form one city to another in France. Ferries are also available but they ply between locations within the city than inter city.

Local transport in Bordeaux

To move around the city, bus network is an extremely conveninent and well connected option and there are three tram routes serving every region. Bus and tram services stay closed on May 1st (celebrated as the Labour day) and costs EUR 1.50. A one day pass is for EUR 4.60 and a 7 day pass is for EUR 13.20. The Batcub( it is a ferry service) run between Lormont Bas, Les Hangars, Quinconces and Place Stalingrad.Fares are the same as for buses and trams.All passes are valid across these three mediums. Trans-Gironde bus network and regional railways are other options for travelling to the suburbs, though are infrequent in nature.

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FAQs on Bordeaux

What is the best way to reach Bordeaux?

Bordeaux is easily accessible by flights.To travel from its neighbouring cities, towns and village, trains and busses are a good option
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What are the places near Bordeaux?

The top places near to Bordeaux are Paris which is 499 km from Bordeaux, Cannes which is located 622 km from Bordeaux, Corsica which is located 834 km from Bordeaux, London which is located 742 km from Bordeaux, Barcelona which is located 444 km from Bordeaux

What are the things to do in Bordeaux?

The top things to do in Bordeaux are Miroir D'eau, Cathedral St.Andre, La Cit du Vin, Opera house, Left bank Quays, Modern Art Museum. You can see all the places to visit in Bordeaux here

What are the top hotels in Bordeaux?

There are 880 in Bordeaux which can be booked through Holidify. The most popular hotels in Bordeaux are Le 76 Avenue, Appartement Les Grands Hommes, Holiday Home Laureac, Barge Tango, Palais Clémenceau, T3 HYPERCENTRE Jardin Public. You can see all the hotels in Bordeaux here

What is the local food in Bordeaux?

In Bordeaux, expect the food to leave a lasting cherishable experience with the aroma and flavour of herbs, the lightness of olive oil, cheese and wine of varying age all combined with an assortment of numerous other ingredients. The streets shall amaze you with the sort of mouth watering innovations people are capable of. A suprisingly pleasant serande of flavours, textures and consistencies, Bordeaux's food conjours its gastronomic magic.
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What is the best time to visit Bordeaux?

There is no specific time for visiting Bordeaux. Just about any day, any season and anytime is suitable to experience this beautiful city.
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