The fastest and easiest way to get to Bordeaux from any major city in France (and the world, for that matter) is to fly. The Bordeaux-Merignac International Airport (BOD) receives direct national and international flights. Most national flights only take a bit more than an hour.
Direct trains also arrive daily from all over the country. The most frequented routes are from Toulouse and Paris, with the journey being 2 and 3:20 hours respectively. From other major cities, the journey is longer than 4 hours.
If you'd rather take the scenic route, you can hire a private transfer or rent a car. We particularly recommend this option if you are departing from Toulouse, Nantes, or Montpellier, as the trip won't take longer than 4 hours and 30 minutes. It is also possible to find the service from Paris, though it will take about 6 hours.
Although many travelers opt for the bus, this is mostly recommended for those departing from Toulouse, as the ride is only around 3 hours. The time significantly increases when considering other destinations, and can be as long as 14 hours!
Spend 9 days cycling along the Garonne as you pass through Bordeaux and Saint-Émilion on the way to Toulouse. Or go international and explore the French and Spanish Basque Country on this 11-day tour.
Duration: 1.5 - 5 hours
If you want to take advantage of your time in Bordeaux, flying is the best option. There are direct flights from most national airports and you'll only be in the air for around one hour and 15 minutes.
The exception to this is Toulouse, the major city closest to Bordeaux. Not many people choose to take to the air, so if you are one of the few, you will have to connect to another national airport. Trip time depends on the layover, but is usually under five hours.
Duration: 2 - 9 hours
Train is a wonderful option if you are setting out from Toulouse or Paris. Direct routes guarantee that you arrive within two hours from the first, and 3 hours and 20 minutes from the second.
The next closest cities by train are Montpellier and Nantes, which clock in 4 and 5 hours respectively. Lyon adds an additional 20 minutes, and the ride from Marseille takes about 6 hours. As is to be expected given its location in the southeast of France, Nice is the farthest, with direct trains taking about 9 hours to complete the journey.
What makes train travel so enticing is that no matter the starting point, you are guaranteed some wonderful views and glimpses of pretty French towns.
By Private Transfer
Duration: 25. - 8 hours
If you are beginning your trip from the Aquitaine region, Toulouse, or Nantes, private transfer offers you the commodity of door-to-door services and great scenery.
Within the region, travel by car is extremely convenient, and you will be able to see the countryside, the mountains, the vineyards, and maybe even the ocean.
From Toulouse, the scenic ride is only about two-and-a-half hours, with about an hour added if you are leaving from Nantes.
Other major cities like Lyon, Marseille, and Montpellier also offer private transfer services, but the route is about 6 hours from each. If you want to depart from farther cities like Nice—which is about 8 hours by car—you might have to dig a little deeper to find a company who offers the service.
Duration: 2.5 - 8 hours
The biggest perk of renting a car and driving yourself around France is that you can make all the stopovers your heart desires.
Travel time is about the same as it is for private transfer services, but you might also want to seriously consider side trips and pit stops along the way.
The road from Paris will take you through the Loire Valley, making it possible to stop by Tours and Orleans, and even get a chateau visit in.
From the French Riviera, you will be traveling along the gorgeous Mediterranean coast and through the mountains. You can even pass through Toulouse on the way to Bordeaux!
Finally, the Nantes route provides glimpses of the somewhat tourist-neglected west of France, with possible stops in cities like Saintes, founded thousands of years ago by the Romans.
Duration: Up to 14 hours
We would only recommend taking the bus if you are setting out from Toulouse or smaller towns within the Aquitaine region. The ride from Toulouse is about three hours, and buses are usually comfortable.
From all other major cities, the trip takes 5-14 hours, with the shortest time belonging to Nantes, and the longest to Lyon. Paris, Nice, Montpellier and Marseille all take 8-9 hours.
Although direct routes leave from all major cities every day, some are only offered once or twice a day. If you choose to go on bus, it would be wise to book tickets with plenty of time.