Top 15 things to do in Bordeaux in 2024
There isn't enough time in a lifetime to cover all the things to do in Bordeaux. In the city, in nature, on the water, on foot or by bike... There's no shortage of things to do, and the hardest thing is choosing! So, to help you plan your stay in Bordeaux as well as possible, we've selected 15 must-do activities and places to (re)discover in 2024, on your own, with your partner, family or friends. Follow the guide!
1. Take a behind-the-scenes look at Bordeaux's most beautiful monuments
Bordeaux has a particularly rich history and heritage: Saint-André Cathedral and its Pey Berland Tower, the Cailhau Gate, the Girondins Monument, the Grand Theatre... Which monuments should you visit first? Whether on a guided tour or on your own, discover the secrets and anecdotes hidden in Bordeaux's treasures...
Good to know: With the CityPass (and junior city pass), you get free unlimited access to public transport, around fifteen monuments and museums and a guided tour of Bordeaux, bookable at the Tourist Office.
© Nicolas Duffaure
2. From Vermeer and Van Gogh to Mondrian at the Bassins des lumières
Once upon a time, there was a submarine base built by the Germans during the Second World War. Light years away from its sad fate, the site has managed to wipe the slate clean. Since 2020, part of this immense bunker has been hosting grandiose, original and immersive exhibitions. Projected from floor to ceiling with an appropriate soundtrack, monumental works by the greatest artists follow one another in this extraordinary place. After Klimt, Chagall, Monet, Miró, Klein, Dali, Gaudi and others, it's the turn of the Dutch masters to amaze us from the 16th of February in the world's largest digital art centre.
3. Attend one of the many performances offered by the National Opera of Bordeaux
Imposing and sumptuous, the grand theatre has reigned over the city since 1790. Feel free to open its doors and take a peek inside, admire the grand staircase and, better still, attend an opera or ballet in its magnificent auditorium. It's an evening you won't soon forget. The National Opera offers an eclectic programme to suit all audiences and all budgets, with performances starting from €10, or even free, including some for young audiences. In this first quarter, you'll be able to see Ali Baba as a family, the opera of the Pearl Fishers, La Traviata revisited, a concert by Jeff Mills, the musical West Side Story and the ballet Golden Hours.
© Alban Gilbert
4. Cheering for our athletes at the Olympic and Paralympic Games
Lit at the Olympia site in Greece on 16 April, the Olympic flame will pass through Bordeaux, Libourne and St Emilion on 23 May, a good opportunity to get into the spirit before the official opening of the Olympic Games in Paris in July. Between 24 July and 2 August 2024, seven men's and women's football matches will be played at the Matmut Atlantique stadium, including the quarter-finals. And if you're more into skateboarding than football, you should know that the brand new skatepark on the quays of Les Chartrons serves as a training ground for the Olympic athletes, so don't hesitate to go and admire the prowess of the skateboarding masters!
5. Immerse yourself in the world of wine with Via sensoria
The Cité du Vin is one of the must-see places to visit in Bordeaux, and even if you've already been there, it's time to go back and discover the brand new sensory trail called "Via Sensoria". This unique sensory experience will take you through the 4 seasons in the space of an hour. Accompanied by a sommelier, you'll taste 4 wines from around the world (or original non-alcoholic drinks) specially paired with different artistic worlds combining visual, sound and olfactory creations.
Please note: we strongly recommend that you book your visit in advance.
Les grands événements sportifs de Bordeaux en 2024
Cette année 2024 sera résolument sportive à Bordeaux ! Au programme : des courses, des compétitions et bien sûr, les Jeux Olympiques et Paralympiques de Paris 2024.
6. Taste the gourmet specialities of south-west France
Discovering the gastronomy of the South-West is all about taking the time. Time to stroll through the small shops in the city centre and the city's markets. The historic Capucins market, nicknamed "the belly of Bordeaux", draws visitors into its typical atmosphere. On the quayside, the Chartrons market offers a variety of stalls for a tête-à-tête with the Garonne. Over the last few years, a number of market halls have sprung up, including the Bacalan market, with its twenty or so stalls where you can buy fresh produce and/or enjoy home-cooked dishes in a friendly atmosphere. On the same principle, discover the Halles de Talence or the "foodcourt" version at Halle Boca. In short, there's no shortage of places and opportunities to sample the specialities of the South West, such as the famous canelés, oysters from the Bay of Arcachon, asparagus from the Blayais or lamb from Pauillac.
7. Marvel at the Musée des Beaux-Arts
Between 6 March and 10 June, you'll have the chance to admire two great masterpieces on loan to the MusBa: Edouard Manet's Balcon and Claude Monet's Cabane des douaniers. As part of the national celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of the first Impressionist exhibition, which marked the birth of the movement, the Musée des Beaux-Arts is welcoming two distinguished guests in addition to its collection ranging from pre-impressionism to post-impressionism. You will discover works by Jean-Baptiste Corot and the Barbizon School, Auguste Renoir, Mary Cassatt, Berthe Morisot, Georges Seurat, Bordeaux artists Louis Auguste Auguin and Alfred Smith, as well as Eugène Boudin's Port of Bordeaux.
8. A drink on the roofs of Bordeaux
There's nothing like an aperitif on a rooftop to take in the best views of the city. And that's just as well, because Bordeaux has a dozen or so rooftops, each with its own atmosphere and identity. Trendy or intimate, with friends or as a couple, for breakfast or dinner, discover these pretty perched terraces overlooking the capital of Gironde.
© Pierre Planchenault
9. Admire the exceptional sailing ships at the Bordeaux Wine Festival
From 27 to 30 June 2024, the Bordeaux Wine Festival will be the place to be for all wine lovers. Every year, this epicurean, family-friendly festival brings the quays of Bordeaux to life with a rich and varied programme. Come and stroll from stand to stand to taste the wines of the region, learn about oenology or attend a concert. And as the icing on the cake, admire the exceptional tall ships moored alongside the quays, veritable giants of the seas that grace the Port de la lune.
© Vincent Bengold
10. Music all summer long
The weather's fine, the weather's warm and the festival season is in full swing from June onwards, with the electro line-up at Bordeaux Open Air, a free public event that takes over the city's parks and gardens throughout the summer. Don't forget the weekend of 14-15 June, as it's sure to be a festive one. You'll have to choose between the ODP Festival, with this year's line-up including Shaka Ponk, Patrick Bruel and Louise Attaque, or the colourful "Madame Loyal" festival, with its funfair atmosphere, merry-go-rounds, entertainment and circus performers accompanied by the best DJs on the current electronic scene. Reggae fans won't be left out either, as the internationally acclaimed Sun Ska Festival takes place from 4 to 6 August in Vertheuil in the Médoc. As the summer season gets underway, the city is inviting everyone to get their groove on with rock, soul, jazz, funk, electro and reggae rhythms... with just one watchword: Vibrate!
© Bordeaux Open Air
Visit Bordeaux and its vineyards
Who says you need a car to visit Bordeaux and its vineyards? Embark on a low-carbon exploration of the region!
11. Explore the city in a green way
The brand new map published by the Tourist Office invites you to discover the vineyards, marshes, forests, hillsides and waterways of the metropolitan area, a wonderful playground for "travelling here and beyond". The map, available free of charge from the Tourist Office, highlights :
- 12 hikes to enjoy on your own
- 16 "favourites", places as varied as they are unusual and well worth a visit
- The route of the GR® Bordeaux Métropole, a major hiking trail
- The TBM tram network
- 17 wine châteaux just outside the city, open to visitors
- 11 suburban refuges for an unusual night out in the countryside
- 7 Tèrra Aventura trails for geocaching fans
- An overview of the main parks, natural areas and forests for your walks.
It's a great way to discover the wealth of landscapes, heritage and culture surrounding Bordeaux, on foot, by tram, by bus or by bike.
© Claude Clin
12. A family introduction to the wine trade
Don't your children love old stones and wine-making? Some châteaux understand this and have come up with a fun way for families to visit their wine estates.
In the Médoc, discover Château Citran, its heritage and history, and the fifteen or so peacocks that live on the estate! The owners have come up with an "Alice in peacock country" activity, during which children feed the peacocks and go in search of fairies, dwarfs and unicorns. The activity ends with a visit to the winery and a drawing and decoupage workshop, while the older children enjoy grape juice, honey and wine. In St Emilion, the Fleur de Lisse and Pas de l'Âne châteaux have also thought of children, offering fun and sensory tours that will delight children as well as their parents and/or grandparents.
© Claude Clin
13. Cycling around Bordeaux
There's no better way to discover Bordeaux than by bike, especially when you consider that the city is ranked 12th in the world (and 2nd in France) in the global bicycle cities index. So get on your bike and set off to discover the city and its surroundings along cycle paths that run along the quays, taking you through parks, gardens and wine estates, and all the way to the ocean!
© Vincent Bengold
14. Discover the tank workshop
From spring onwards, be the first to discover this authentic, lively, gourmet café. A new lively place in a new neighbourhood near the station, where you can sample a range of world cuisines, have a drink, take part in an art workshop or concert, and enjoy a dedicated workspace. It's a place for everyone, especially those who love good food.
15. Admire Bordeaux from a boat on the Garonne
The best place to admire the facades of the buildings listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites? On the Garonne, of course! Several boats offer river cruises: for brunch, lunch, an aperitif, dinner or even a spa, there's no shortage of cruises on offer. So let your mind drift and enjoy this guided tour while admiring the architecture of the city and its emblematic bridges.
© Bordeaux River Cruise