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Bordeaux Vacation Ideas for Planning an Itinerary

Along the curve of the Garonne River, discover Bordeaux, a city that stays true to the unique charm of Southern France. Only an hour’s drive from the Atlantic Coast and 300 miles from Paris, Bordeaux has a beauty that’s all its own. Our Bordeaux Vacation Travel Guide compiles the top things to do and places to visit in the region. Follow along with our visual tour for an exciting introduction to this leading French city. Read below for the best of Bordeaux and inspiration for an unforgettable vacation itinerary.


Ideas of places to visit in Bordeaux

If Bordeaux is calling your name then we have the answer for how best to spend a vacation here. For all the top Bordeaux attractions from the well-known to the locally loved, feel confident that you’ll know all the best places to visit in Bordeaux. Check out our Bordeaux vacation ideas below and don’t forget to read to the end to discover some fantastic villages just outside the city borders.


Garonne River - Bordeaux France

Garonne River

(0:42 in the video) This timeless river anchors the region and provides a beautiful backdrop to your vacation in Bordeaux. Follow our itinerary through the town and find the river is often not too far away. Watch as the river glimmers with the lights of the bridges and the town at night.


Pont du Pierre - Bordeaux France

Pont de Pierre

(1:14 in the video) Once you’ve oriented yourself alongside the Garonne, an easy first place to visit is the Ponte de Pierre. This arch bridge links the modern right bank to the historic center of the city. Also known as the Stone Bridge, Ponte de Pierre was for many years the only way to cross the Garonne River. From here, enjoy stunning views of Bordeaux. The bridge is a perfect point to start a journey around the city’s old town.


Cathedrale St Andre - Bordeaux France

Cathedrale St. Andre

(1:58 in the video) For perhaps an even better vantage point, visit Cathédrale St. André and marvel at panoramic views of the city from the freestanding bell tower of this iconic religious building. The spectacular Cathédrale St. André dominates the skyline of Bordeaux and is one of the region’s most important religious landmarks. Lovers of architecture won’t fail to appreciate this UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Girondins Monument - Bordeaux France

Girondins Monument

(2:10 in the video) If iconic structures are on your Bordeaux bucket list, don’t miss Girondins Monument. This spectacular pillar and statue commemorates the loss of members of a key political group in the French Revolution. The impressive fountain and sculptures beneath the stone tower stand proudly above its long, spacious esplanade.


Victory Place - Bordeaux France

Victory Place

(2:21 in the video) Explore Victory Place, or Place de la Victoire, in Bordeaux’s student quarter. This bustling square features an arch monument and a tall, twisting pillar which celebrates Bordeaux’s wine production heritage. From the square, many roads lead off in different directions, making Victory Place the perfect gateway to continue your vacation through to the rest of the city.


Aquitaine Museum - Bordeaux France

Aquitaine Museum

(2:44 in the video) From the echoes of prehistory to the present day, follow the story of the Bordeaux region at the Aquitaine Museum, one of Bordeaux’s must-see attractions. A visit here gives you the chance to learn not only about Bordeaux as it stands today but also the different eras of French history.


Place de la Bourse - Bordeaux France

Place de la Bourse

(3:38 in the video) Your next itinerary destination could be Place de la Bourse. Plan a visit to this photogenic riverside square and the two grand neoclassical palaces that line its sides. The spectacular fountain at its center completes the perfect symmetry of the square.


Rue Sainte Catherine - Bordeaux France

Rue Sainte-Catherine

(3:47 in the video) Shopping fanatics should definitely include this one in their Bordeaux itinerary. Rue Sainte-Catherine is one of Europe’s longest commercial pedestrian streets, lined with wonderful storefronts and cafes. This is a top attraction for those looking for the perfect gift to bring the family back home, or your own special souvenir.


Capucins Market - Bordeaux France

Capucins Market

(4:16 in the video) When it’s time to pause and recharge, plan a visit to “the belly of Bordeaux,” Capucins Market. Choose between the bakers, fishmongers, farmers, wine merchants and many more at Bordeaux’s largest market.


Wine and Trade Museum - Bordeaux France

Wine and Trade Museum

(4:40 in the video) One of the best things to do in Bordeaux is to step into the vaults of the Wine and Trade Museum. Learn about Bordeaux’s rise to being one of the world’s leading wine regions, from the Middle Ages to the present day. As part of your visit to the Wine and Trade Museum consider a wine tasting with commentary to fully appreciate Bordeaux’s distinct flavors.


Cite du Vin - Bordeaux France

Cité du Vin

(5:02 in the video) Another great museum to visit in Bordeaux is Cité du Vin. Here, your exploration of viniculture can continue and flourish as you discover the cultures and civilizations of wine on a truly multi-sensory journey.


Chateau Pape Clement - Bordeaux France

Chateau Pape Clement

(6:12 in the video) Every trip to Bordeaux should include this historic estate on its itinerary. Savor some of the world’s finest wines perfected here over seven centuries. The elegant medieval-style castle, Chateau Pape Clement, overlooks a beautiful park, an elegant greenhouse, vineyards and the gravelly soil that gives the wine its unique flavor.


Sauternes - Bordeaux France

Sauternes

(6:51 in the video) Journey beyond the borders of Bordeaux to Sauternes, located about an hour’s drive from Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport. The scenic appeal of Sauternes is hard to deny with its trickling streams, vineyards and attractive red-tiled farmhouses. Plan a visit here and explore the surrounding countryside which charms visitors with castles, ruins and walking and cycling routes. However, it’s the sweet wines produced here that have earned the region worldwide renown. Escape to this quiet and tranquil part of France and wander the quiet streets of this rustic village.


Bazas - Bordeaux France

Bazas

(7:00 in the video) The Bazadais region has heritage sites at every turn. Its center, the town of Bazas, possesses some of the most impressive. Tour the different monuments and landmarks of the old city and soak up the atmosphere of this historic destination. Bazas is about an hour’s drive from Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport, which is served by regular flights to and from many major European cities.


Saint Emilion - Bordeaux France

Saint-Émilion

(7:25 in the video) The historic town of Saint-Émilion is one of France’s top viniculture centers. Set on a hill and surrounded by vineyards, it is comprised of clusters of golden-stone structures and narrow, sloping cobbled streets lined with bakeries, cafés and bars. Explore the town’s medieval monuments, stroll through subterranean passageways and learn about local wines in intimate wine cellars. Take the 45-minute train ride northeast from Bordeaux to reach Saint-Émilion.


Inspiration for traveling to Bordeaux

Looking for more travel inspiration for this beautiful city in Southern France? Browse through our Bordeaux photo gallery for incredible images of this charming part of the world. If Bordeaux is one of multiple stops in France, broaden your search to our wider photo gallery which houses thousands of photos across so many destinations across the globe.

We also have many more travel videos from around the world ready to fuel your wanderlust. Check out our vacation travel guides to help plan the trip of a lifetime.

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This article was originally published on November 27, 2019. If you’d like to stay updated on new videos of the beautiful destinations that our planet has to offer, subscribe to Expedia’s YouTube channel.

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