The capital of one of France’s most famous wine regions, Bordeaux attracts visitors for its fine wine, gourmet cuisine, and stately architecture. With just one day, planning ahead helps you maximize your time and see more of the area’s attractions. Here’s how to see Bordeaux in one day.
Spend the morning exploring Bordeaux’s historic center, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its grand squares and monumental buildings. Opt for a guided walking tour to get an overview of the city, or choose a bike or Segway tour to explore further and enjoy views along the scenic Garonne riverfront with a guide.
Must-see sights include the waterfront Place de la Bourse, with its Miroir d’Eau; the Monument aux Girondins on Place des Quinconces; Place de la Comédie, home to the Grand Théâtre; and the shopping boulevard of Rue Sainte-Catherine. For lunch, the streets of Bordeaux’s Golden Triangle—the shopping area between Cours Georges Clemenceau, Cours de l’Intendance, and Allées de Tourny—are dotted with artisan shops, delicatessens, traditional cafes, and upmarket restaurants.
Even time-crunched visitors won’t want to leave Bordeaux without sampling the region’s renowned wines. Afternoon tours to Saint-Emilion, just 45 minutes from the city, are a popular choice, and typically include wine tasting at one or more wineries, along with a visit to the medieval village.
If you prefer to stay in the city, head to Cité du Vin wine museum for insight into France’s winemaking history, and then join a wine tasting workshop to sample Bordeaux’s reds with an expert to explain the different appellations and classifications.
Bordeaux is most atmospheric in the evening, and the best way to see it is on a river cruise. Hop aboard for an evening cruise along the Garonne River and glide past landmarks such as Quai Richelieu, Pont du Pierre, and St Michael’s Basilica.
If you want to explore further, head to Bordeaux’s St. Pierre district, full of bars where you can sip cocktails on the terrace. Quai de Paludate or the Bassins-à-Flots are the best places for a late-night party.