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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

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
#2

La Cité du Vin

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Despite only opening its doors in May 2016, the spectacular La Cité du Vin is already on its way to becoming one of Bordeaux's star attractions. Both an architectural landmark and a fascinating tribute to the city's wine-making heritage, the futuristic building looms over the banks of the Garonne and offers a unique 360-degree view from its 115-foot-high (35-meter-high) belvedere. Described by some as part museum, part theme park, La Cité du Vin whisks visitors on a self-guided, fully interactive tour of French wine history and heritage, with multi-sensory exhibitions and multimedia displays spread over 10 floors. Travelers are also offered the opportunity to sample wines from around the world (or grape juices for younger visitors), plus a choice of restaurants, wine bars and boutiques. Plans are underfoot to also host temporary art exhibitions.More
#3

Bordeaux Cathedral (Cathédrale St. André)

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The most remarkable religious building in Bordeaux, according to locals, 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.More
#4

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
#5

Saint-Emilion

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Saint-Émilion is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for the catacombs under the town, built on a beautiful spot overlooking the Dordogne valley. The steep cobblestone streets are lined with charming houses, fascinating Romanqesue ruins, and underground Monolithic church carved into the limestone. One of the principal red wine regions, located 35km northeast of Bordeaux, the town is named after a traveling monk, Émilion whose followers began producing commercial wine here in the 8th Century. The Romans planted vineyards here in the 2nd Century, and the main grape varieties now are Merlot and Cabernet Franc, with a sprinkling of Cabernet Sauvignon. The region's fine wines are made with time honored traditions at the Chateau Haut-Sarpe (Grand Cru Classe), Chateau Figeac and Chateau Beau Séjour Becot, just to name a few.More
#6

Pyla Dune (Dune du Pilat)

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The Dune of Pyla (Dune du Pilat) is the tallest sand dune in Europe. Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean, the Arcachon Bay and the luxuriant Landes forest, it stands 360 feet (110 meters) above sea level, and is over 1.68 miles (2.7 km) long and 546 yards (500 meters) wide. With more than 1 million visitors every year, the Dune of Pyla is consistently known as one of the most popular attractions in the region. With such a unique and jaw-dropping setting, it’s no surprise that the dune is so popular, especially among those who take part in airborne recreational activities such as paragliding and extreme kiting. There are also several free on-site activities as well, including the sunset discovery tour in the summer months. Visitors who prefer leisurely ascends should opt for the sturdy 160-step staircase, which is in place from April to November, while those in need of a good workout should definitely try and get to the top by trudging directly through the sand.More
#7

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.More
#8

Grand Theatre

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Bordeaux's Grand Theatre was built in the late 1700s during the reign of Louis XVI by architect Victor Louis. It is one of the most beautiful 18th-century concert halls in the world, with a facade adorned with 12 Corinthian columns, each topped with a statue. Nine statues represent the art muses, and the other three represent the Roman goddesses Juno, Venus and Minerva. Over the past few years, the theater has gone through restoration to repair damages from oil lamps and revive the 18th-century decor. On three separate occasions the theater was the seat of the French parliament. In effect this made Bordeaux the capital of France in 1870, 1914, and 1941. Today the Grand Theatre is home to the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, the Opera Ballet of Bordeaux, and the Chorus of the Opéra National de Bordeaux.More
#9

Médoc

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Everywhere you turn in Bordeaux, exceptional wines are the principal attraction, and one of the most famous areas for wine is the northern region of Medoc. Renowned for its fine red wines and home to some of the most prestigious wineries in France, the region encompasses classified growing areas like Pauillac, Margaux, St Julien and St Estephe. Wines here are typically produced from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and, being a grape best aged, the area’s acclaimed vintage wines can carry unbelievably steep price tags. Visitors to Bordeaux will find exploring the Medoc vineyards an easy day trip, although make sure you call ahead if you’re not booked on a tour as most vineyards here are not open to the public. It’s not just the world-class wine tasting that’s a draw, either.More
#10

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.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

Luxurious full day wine tour in a Tesla (8h)

Luxurious full day wine tour in a Tesla (8h)

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10
From
US$665.20
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Recent reviews from experiences in Bordeaux

star-5
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
Guided Tour of Bordeaux by Bike
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.
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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.
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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.
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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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