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Things to do in Bordeaux

Things to do in  Bordeaux

Welcome to Bordeaux

Bordeaux attracts travelers with its culture, scenery, and wine. The sheer number of wineries and varietals can be overwhelming, so an organized wine-tasting tour to the “chateaux” of Saint-Émilion, Médoc, or Graves ensures visitors get to taste the best wines without having to worry about picking and choosing. In addition to the world-class wine, Bordeaux is renowned for its historic buildings and squares, from Bordeaux Cathedral to Place des Quinconces and Place de la Comédie.

Top 10 attractions in Bordeaux

#1
La Cité du Vin

La Cité du Vin

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Bordeaux has long been one of the world’s top wine destinations but when Cité du Vin opened in 2016, it finally got a museum to match its reputation. Housed in a modernist building that resembles a wine decanter, the center comprises exhibition spaces, cultural events, a wine bar, a cinema space, and more.More
#2
Saint-Emilion

Saint-Emilion

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Surrounded by the vineyards of Bordeaux, the medieval village of Saint-Emilion is pure eye candy. The picturesque town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, takes its name from a Benedictine monk who—according to local legend—took refuge in a cave here in the eighth century. Centered around a monolithic church that was painstakingly carved from limestone in the 12th century, the village comprises a cluster of cobbled streets lined with historic stone houses, Romanesque ruins, and shops selling Saint-Emilion wines.More
#3
Place de la Bourse (Place Royale)

Place de la Bourse (Place Royale)

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The Place de la Bourse (or Place Royale) faces onto the river Garonne. It was laid out in the 1700s by Louis XV's architect, Gabriel, to act as a dramatic frame for an equestrian statue of the monarch.The Place de la Bourse is framed on one side by the Stock Exchange (the 'Bourse' that gives the square its name) and on the other side by a museum. In the center of the square is its chief beauty and attraction, the fountain of the Three Graces, built by Visconti in 1869. When it's lit at night it is highly photogenic.More
#4
Bordeaux Cathedral (Cathédrale St. André)

Bordeaux Cathedral (Cathédrale St. André)

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The most remarkable religious building in Bordeaux, according to locals, the Bordeaux Cathedral (Cathédrale St. André) is famous for having a separate and independent bell tower. The cathedral was first built in the 13th century and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site, while having once played a significant role in the religious and cultural development of Bordeaux; it is indeed where the prosperous Eleanor of Aquitaine got married to the future King of France, Louis VII. Her considerable wealth benefited the entire city and even the cathedral itself, which was subsequently enlarged and lavishly decorated. One of its most remarkable features is undoubtedly the wrought ironwork by local craftsman Blaise Charlut, which is located in the middle of the transept. The cathedral’s 14th-century tympanum depicts the Last Judgment in the most dramatic way in prominent Gothic architecture.Bordeaux Cathedral is also where Archbishop Bertrand de Goth found out that he had been elected Pope and officially became Pope Clement V, the first to move the Curia from Rome to Avignon. Its also infamous for suppressing the order of the Knights Templar. The cathedral would again see the wedding of a royal family in 1615, this time between King Louis XIII and Queen consort Anne of Austria, following a tradition of fortifying military and political alliances between the Catholic powers of France and Spain with royal marriages.More
#5
Porte Cailhau

Porte Cailhau

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Built in 1495, this dramatic Gothic Revival 35-meters tall city gate was built to commemorate King Charles VIII's victory at Fornovo in Italy during the Italian War of 1494. At the time, it was the main entry point to Bordeaux from the port. It faces Place du Palais and features several ornamental sculptures and towers, something that is very typical of architecture built under the reign of Charles VIII; indeed, the monarch wanted this gate to showcase his power and affluence. The gate, which was once part of the Bordeaux city wall, was later on used as a defensive tower (the multitude of portcullis, murder holes, and machicolation features are there to prove this), and as a salt scale and storehouse.Nowadays, it houses an informative exhibition dedicated to the tools and materials with which the tower was built as well as the urban development of Bordeaux. There is a wonderful view of the old town center, the Garonne River, and the Pont de Pierre Bridge from the top floor.More
#6
Pyla Dune (Dune du Pilat)

Pyla Dune (Dune du Pilat)

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Standing more than 360 feet (110 meters) above sea level in Bordeaux, France, Pyla Dune (Dune du Pilat) is the tallest sand dune in Europe. In the summer months, a staircase is constructed to allow visitors to climb the dune—an activity that draws over one million visitors every year.More
#7
Grosse Cloche

Grosse Cloche

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One of Bordeaux’s most popular attractions is, predictably, also one of the most historically significant: Grosse Cloche. So much so, in fact, that the edifice is heavily featured in the city’s coat of arms. What once was the old Town Hall’s belfry dates back to the medieval times and was built as part of the city’s thick fortifications. It actually consists of two 40-meter-high towers connected by a central structure toward the top, which contains the famous bell and features an 18th-century solar dial. The tower is often referred to as the “golden lion,” a clear reference to the weather vane atop the central dome that represents the English Kingdom back when the Duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine married King Henry II of England. Grosse Cloche–literally, the big bell, as it weighs well over 16,500 pounds (7,500 kilos)–was up until quite recently used by city magistrates to announce the start of harvest season, or alternatively, to warn residents of a fire. Rumor has it that locals were so attached to the bell that the king threatened to take it away when a resident misbehaved!Nowadays, the bell only rings only six times a year, for national holidays and military celebrations.More
#8
Grand Theatre

Grand Theatre

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OverviewBuilt in the 18th century, Bordeaux’s Grand Theatre is a well-known symbol of French culture. The ornate neoclassical building is used for theatrical and operatic performances and has also served as the location of the French parliament during times of war.More
#9
Pont de Pierre

Pont de Pierre

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What is perhaps one of the most iconic bridges in all of France is definitely a must-see for visitors to Bordeaux. Connecting the left and right bank of the city since 1819 but ordered by Napoleon I during the First French Empire, Pont de Pierre–the stone bridge– was the first bridge to cross the mighty Garonne River. Indeed, its construction was a challenging one, as the current is extremely strong at this point in the river; more than 4,000 workers were needed to build it, using an English diving bell to stabilize the pillars. Consequently, Pont de Pierre was actually the only bridge to connect the two banks for nearly 150 years!The red-stone bridge consists of seventeen spans–the exact number of letters in the name Napoléon Bonaparte–lined with elegant iron light posts; each of the bridge’s pillars is capped by a medallion to honor both the emperor and Bordeaux’s coat of arms. A transport route was created in 2004 to convey the over-sized structural sections of the Airbus A380 airliner from the manufacturer to the headquarters in Toulouse; Pont de Pierre had to be slightly modified to allow the passage of barges, and thus became a new quintessential thing to do in Bordeaux in the process.More
#10
Bordeaux Wine and Trade Museum (Musée du Vin et du Négoce de Bordeaux)

Bordeaux Wine and Trade Museum (Musée du Vin et du Négoce de Bordeaux)

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Opened in 2008 in the historic Chatrons district of Bordeaux, the Bordeaux Wine and Trade Museum (Musée du Vin et du Négoce de Bordeaux) is a must for anyone interested in learning more about the history of the wine trade in France from the Middles Ages to the present day.Located in what was traditionally the wine merchants quarter of the city, the museum presents artifacts, models and two-dimensional realizations designed to explain the Bordeaux wine trade system. It also tells the stories of the great wine merchant families of the 18th and 19th centuries through documents and personal testimonies. The museum also attempts to educate visitors about the various classifications of wine and different ageing processes used in the local cellars. Artifacts, documents and other enactments provide insight about the Port of Bordeaux and its wine exports. Finally, visitors can sample a couple wines and learn from the experts how to differentiate between certain grape varieties.More

Trip ideas

Médoc Wine Tasting from Bordeaux

Médoc Wine Tasting from Bordeaux

How to Spend 2 Days in Bordeaux

How to Spend 2 Days in Bordeaux

Arcachon Oyster Tastings in Bordeaux

Arcachon Oyster Tastings in Bordeaux

Top activities in Bordeaux

Bordeaux Segway Tour

Bordeaux Segway Tour

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38
From
US$36.40
An afternoon in Margaux

An afternoon in Margaux

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6
From
US$103.12
Bordeaux Traditional Food Tour

Bordeaux Traditional Food Tour

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From
US$103.12
Bordeaux City Pass

Bordeaux City Pass

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From
US$48.53

Recent reviews from experiences in Bordeaux

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Great experience
Valeriya, Aug. 2020
Bordeaux City Custom & Private Guided Walking Tour with a Local
We went on a 3 hour walk with Phia and really enjoyed it - from trying delicious local pastries to learning about what life in Bordeaux is like, along with a bit of history and recommendations for places to visit.
star-5
Beautiful Bordeaux
Dick_B, Jul. 2020
Bordeaux tourist excursion by bike "Burdigala over time"
He speaks English quitte well and we recommand him without hesitation.
star-5
Great Experience!
Cheryl_C, Feb. 2020
Discover Bordeaux vineyard : special wine tasting with two cellar men brothers
They are very patient and speak great English for those of us who haven’t mastered French yet.
star-5
Wine tasting in February
edelcallaghan5, Feb. 2020
Bordeaux Vineyards Wine Tasting Half-Day Trip
A lovely day out - got to see a lot of the Bordeaux region, Glass on wine and onion soup in St Emilion village
star-5
Wine and trade museum
filippo G, Dec. 2019
Bordeaux Wine and Trade Museum Admission Ticket with Wine Tasting
I recommend to visit this museum.
star-4
My Bordeaux Segway Experience
Emerico D, Feb. 2019
2-Hour Bordeaux Segway Tour
The guides were conscious of both our safety and the need for us to see the great sights of Bordeaux.
star-5
Great small group tour to...
dwight.horkheimer, Nov. 2017
Saint Emilion Day Trip with Sightseeing Tour & Wine Tastings from Bordeaux
Alot to see in the area made for a full day.
star-5
Really enjoyed our tour. Maria was...
Carolyn M, Sep. 2017
Bordeaux City Sights Walking Tour
Maria was an excellent guide, great English and full of information about the history and architecture of Bordeaux.
star-4
Great way to see all the highlights...
Steve V, Aug. 2017
Bordeaux Segway Tour
Great way to see all the highlights of Bordeaux.
star-4
The guide was very knowledgeable, St...
Sarah A, Mar. 2018
Bordeaux Vineyards Wine Tasting Half-Day Trip
The guide was very knowledgeable, St Emilion was a beautiful medieval town to visit and learning about the wine making process at the chateaux was interesting.
star-5
This tour was a lovely way to spend...
Rebekah S, Nov. 2017
Medoc or St-Emilion Small-Group Wine Tasting and Chateaux Tour from Bordeaux
Worth it to see some of the countryside surrounding Bordeaux.
star-4
Our guide took us on an efficient 2...
Barry W, Jun. 2016
Bordeaux City Sights Walking Tour
We were able to see many important sites and received a good explanation of the history and significance.
star-5
Very good experience. We learn lot...
Emeline L, Nov. 2016
Saint Emilion Afternoon Wine Tour with Winery Visits & Tastings from Bordeaux
The visit is really nice for beginners, permit to see the beautiful lands around Bordeaux and it's cool to see one big Château and another more family.
star-5
It was a very fun and informative...
Anna Z, Oct. 2015
Médoc Region Half-Day Wine Tour with Winery Visit & Tastings from Bordeaux
We liked that she also showed us attractions in Bordeaux itself and not only the vineyards and chateaux.
star-4
A true wine extravaganza in...
Erik G, Jul. 2014
Saint Emilion Day Trip with Sightseeing Tour & Wine Tastings from Bordeaux
The guide spoke good English, even though the French accent was as expected quite dominant.
star-4
We had such a great visit and wine...
Ylva L, Dec. 2013
Saint Emilion Half-Day Trip with Wine Tasting & Winery Visit from Bordeaux
It was a misty and beautiful autumn morning, St Emilion is like the perfect village to visit, the wine tasting great and the chateau visit as well.
star-5
Way BETTER Than Advertised
Cesar_F, Aug. 2020
Saint Emilion: Food and wine escape
Julie was very patient and built time in for us to visit a couple of shops.
star-5
Totally Worth It
Vanessa_Z, Mar. 2020
Saint Emilion Half-Day Trip with Wine Tasting & Winery Visit from Bordeaux
For us, This tour was perfect as it gave us a chance to see the highlights of St.
star-5
Fun (and you make your own wine!)
Gayle, Mar. 2020
Make your own cuvée of Bordeaux wine
Including soil samples was an interesting touch as it made it easier to see why some areas of Bordeaux grow different grapes than others.
star-5
Great wine making experience!
marymI8944YY, Oct. 2019
Make your own cuvée of Bordeaux wine
The brothers speak English and French, and the wine shop is well set-up.

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