Bordeaux has really come into its own in the last decade and is no longer just a sleepy town in Southwestern France. With a vibrant culinary scene, modern architecture combined with a rich medieval history, the region has plenty of exciting things to see!
Carnivores, rejoice! Bordeaux’s signature dish is the “entrecote à la bordelaise”. A delicious steak in a red wine (of course!) and shallot sauce. The city is home to multiple Michelin-star restaurants as well as more accessible culinary delights.
INSIDR RECOMMENDATION HIGHLIGHTS ON OUR INTERACTIVE MAP
What you should not miss if you spend two days in the Bordeaux area
With over half of the city’s 18 square miles UNESCO-listed, Bordeaux is the world’s largest heritage site. As the region’s main urban hub, it’s a must-see during your time in southern France. Take the time to visit at least one of the city’s 15 museums and sample the local cuisine at the Capucins market. Stroll peacefully next to the Garonne river while you take in the beauty Bordeaux has to offer!
The picturesque medieval town of Saint Emilion, just 35 kilometers from Bordeaux, should definitely be on your list of places to visit! The imposing monolithic church, the Roy Tower and Cordeliers Cloisters are just a few of the city’s monuments. The town’s history dates back almost 2,000 years when the Romans first planted vineyards in the region. There are several Châteaux near the city that produce excellent Saint Emilion wine.
Tour one of the renown Châteaux
With over 120,000 hectares of vineyards in the region, your time in Bordeaux would not be complete without touring at least one of the famous Châteaux. There are six different routes to guide you through the wine region, from Saint Emilion to the Medoc or Pomerol. Tours and tastings are available at most domains. Even if you aren’t a wine enthusiast, we recommend touring at least one of these beautiful, historic sites.
Day one in the Bordeaux area
Recommended things to do and see on your first day in the Bordeaux area
Start your day off in Bordeaux, in the center of town. Grab a coffee at Café Napoleon III which is next to the Golden Triangle. This is where colonial trading helped Bordeaux become the town it is today! Walk along the beautiful Garonne river to the Palais de la Bourse, the city’s stock exchange that has existed for centuries. Stop for lunch in one of the many restaurants.
After lunch, grab the tram down to the “Cité du Vin” to learn all about the city’s history or catch the latest exhibition. For art lovers, we also recommend the Musée des Beaux Arts. Established in 1801, the museum is one of the largest galleries in France outside of Paris. Stroll down the rue Saint Catherine. This pedestrian street is lined with fantastic boutiques and is the longest shopping street in Europe.
Treat yourself to a delicious gourmet dinner at Le Chapon Fin. The extraordinary interior décor is topped only by the excellent food. Head to the St. Pierre district for a nightcap at any of the numerous bars you’ll find in the neighborhood. Try to make time to walk by the church and theater, they’re especially lovely in the evening!
Where to stay for your first night in the Bordeaux area
Recommended tours & activities for your first day in the Bordeaux area
Day two in the Bordeaux area
Recommended things to do and see on your second day in the Bordeaux area
In the morning, make the 45-minute drive from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion. This medieval village is home to multiple UNESCO world heritage sites and of course the surrounding vineyards and wineries. Start the day with a visit of the town. Make sure to see the 14th-century Franciscan monastery and monolithic church – the 53-high meter tower is hard to miss!
In the afternoon, we recommend touring one of the neighboring Châteaux for a tour of the vineyards and wine tasting. We especially recommend either the Château de Gaudet or Château Ambre Tour Perret. Both are close to the city, provide daily tours and tastings and even cooking classes, if you’re interested! It’s the perfect way to learn about the full bodied wine that has made Saint Emilion famous around the globe.
After touring one of the wineries, return to the village for the evening. Walk up the impressive Tour du Roy for a panoramic view of Saint Emilion and surrounding nature. We recommend staying for sunset as the limestone buildings take on a beautiful golden halo-like hue when the sun goes down. Dine in one of the town’s many gourmet restaurants including La Terrasse Rouge or Le Tertre.
Recommended tours & activities for your second day in the Bordeaux area