Things to do in Bordeaux

Itineraries for Your Trip to Bordeaux

Bordeaux locals share their perfect days.
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3 Days in Bordeaux for First Timers

Curated by Zoë SmithZoë Smith is a British travel writer, editor, and digital content creator who has lived, worked, and traveled over six continents, and is currently based near Nantes, France. She has written for Rough Guides, CNN, and Culture Trip, and is digital editor at FrenchEntrée.

With three days in Bordeaux, there’s time to experience the city highlights and explore the surrounding region. Take time to savor Bordeaux’s gourmet cuisine, shop at the markets, and enjoy a leisurely wine tasting amid the vineyards. Here are some ideas for three days in Bordeaux.

Day 1

With three days in Bordeaux, you can afford to spend a full day taking in the sights. For independent travelers, hiring an electric car is a great way to get around, offering the convenience of a GPS-programed itinerary, while leaving you free to explore at your own pace. Alternatively, book a private tour and benefit from the expertise of a local guide who can customize the tour to suit your preferences.

If you didn’t stop at the historic squares of Place de la Bourse, Place des Quinconces, or Place de la Comédie in your morning tour, do so in the afternoon. Also, pay a visit to the Cité du Vin wine museum for an insight into France’s winemaking history. In the evening, admire the city’s illuminated monuments on a night tour or set sail along the Garonne River for a scenic dinner cruise.

Day 2

Bordeaux is one of France’s most renowned wine regions, known for its bold reds and home to more than 60 different appellations. The most popular wine-growing areas are the Medoc, which stretches north along the Gironde, and Saint Emilion, east of the city. It’s possible to visit both on a full-day tour, including visits to some of the region’s most prestigious wine chateaux, guided wine tastings, and a walking tour of the UNESCO-listed medieval village of St. Emilion.

Alternatively, combine wine tasting with fresh oysters on a visit to nearby Arcachon, the oyster capital of France, where you can also take in the views from the Dune of Pilat—the highest in Europe. For an even more special wine tasting experience, choose a private customized tasting tour or add on a hot air balloon ride or helicopter flight over the vineyards.

Day 3

Head to Bordeaux’s main market, Marché des Capucins, in the morning, where you can sample regional specialities including cheeses, wines, and sweet canelés cakes. Another top spot for foodies is the Golden Triangle—the shopping area bordered by Cours Georges Clemenceau, Cours de l’Intendance, and Allées de Tourny—where you find some of Bordeaux’s best patisseries, delicatessens, and chocolatiers. To fully experience the flavors of Bordeaux, oin a guided food tasting tour or take a cooking class at the renowned L'Atelier des Chefs cooking school.

Spend your final afternoon in Bordeaux in the atmospheric Chartrons district, where highlights include the Cap Sciences Museum, CAPC Contemporary Art Museum, and Quai des Marques shopping center. Stick around after sunset, when the bars and bistros along the waterfront Quai de Chartons afford views along the Garonne.

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