Known for its signature wine, Bordeaux's surrounding vineyards and La Cité du Vin museum might be its biggest draws, but there's plenty to enjoy in the city and beyond. With the Garonne River weaving through Bordeaux's center, you can explore the city by foot and boat. Stop at vibrant markets and wine shops, tasting gourmet goodies like canelé, oysters, cheese, chocolate, and, of course, a glass of red. Then, enjoy discovering the countryside havens of Gironde and Dordogne, full of picturesque hamlets and vineyards.

Getting Oriented

Quiet streets of Bordeaux at dawn.

Set in southwest France, Bordeaux is known as the "City of Art and History." The city houses one of Europe's largest original clusters of 18th-century architecture, as noted by UNESCO, including its famed Place de la Bourse and Fountain of the Three Graces. You could easily spend your entire trip weaving through Bordeaux's cobbled streets, admiring the twisting Garonne River and its historical bridges. However, the city's surrounding countryside (known for medieval villages and sprawling wine estates) is just as appealing as its city center. 

Explore the City

Start by roaming around the city! Walk Bordeaux's historic streets, stopping to admire the city's architecture, lively markets, and secret corners. Stop along the way to sample the region's wine, cheese, and desserts.

City Walking & Boat Tour 

Stroll the streets of historic Bordeaux.

Get to know the city of Bordeaux by foot and by boat with a walking tour and cruise along the Garonne River. You'll start by strolling through the historic streets, stopping at main sites such as the Grand Theatre, Place de la Bourse (former royal square of Bordeaux), Old Town (UNESCO World Heritage Site), St-André Cathedral, Gambetta Square, and more. Along the way, stop to taste local bread, chocolate, and cheese, then hop aboard a traditional boat and cruise down the river. To end the tour, enjoy a seafood lunch paired with Bordeaux wines. Read More

Gourmet Food & Wine Tour

Enjoy gourmet food and a wine tasting in Bordeaux. 

Join the locals at the city's lively Marché of Capucins, the Capucins Market, for a gourmet food tour. You'll peruse the restaurants, cafes, and stands brimming with local fare. Grab a coffee and pastry for breakfast, taste various specialities, and indulge in oysters, tapas, and wine for lunch. Then walk through the city, stopping to discover over 2,000 years of history amongst Bordeaux's 350+ protected buildings. End the tour in the Chartrons District, the birthplace of Bordeaux's wine trade to taste a few varietals. Read More 

Discover the Countryside

One of Bordeaux's biggest draws is its quaint and picturesque countryside. Visit medieval villages, scenic vineyards, and famed towns such as the enchanting Saint Emilion.

Visit the Cité du Vin & Cruise Down the Gironde

Explore the vineyards of Gironde.

Bordeaux is the perfect place to designate an entire day to the discovery of wine! Start with a visit to the Cité du Vin museum, which details the world's history of winemaking and culture. Then hop aboard a boat and cruise down the Gironde Estuary, stopping to explore charming hamlets, such as Blaye and Bourg. Enjoy lunch with a winemaker in a Côtes de Bourg estate, walk the ramparts of a 5th-century citadel, and discover the unique heritage of the Haute-Gironde region. Read More

Explore the Medieval Villages of Dordogne

Medieval villages along the Dordogne River.

Spend the day cruising up the Dordogne River, stopping to admire some of the medieval villages that dot its shores. Start with the town of Domme, with its trapezoidal bastide and interesting history from the 14th and 15th centuries. Then head down the river in a gabarre boat to La Roque Gageac to enjoy castle views. Finally, enjoy the hamlet of Beynac with its 12th-century fortress. Read More

Wine Tasting in St. Emilion & Pomerol

Wine shop in Saint Emilion.

Visit the quintessential French towns of Saint Emilion and Pomerol, where you'll explore more of the region's vineyards and wine culture. Start with a tasting and tour at Grand Cru chateau to learn about the entire manufacturing process, from vine to bottle. Enjoy the town itself with its sleepy cobbled streets and 12th-century underground church, followed by lunch. Make your way to the town of Pomerol for another wine tasting and to learn about the region's unique soil. Read More

How to Craft the Perfect Bordeaux Itinerary

New modern architecture at La Cité du Vin museum.

How many days to spend in Bordeaux greatly depends on what you do with your time. If you're visiting for the wine, give yourself at least 4 or 5 days to enjoy a day trip or two into the surrounding vineyards. But Bordeaux also pairs well with other regions in France, including Paris, the Loire Valley, Brittany, and the French Riviera. If you want to expand your trip to include other areas of the country, or even different countries like Spain or Andorra, plan for one or two weeks depending on how much you want to see and do. 

Past kimkim travelers have enjoyed the following itineraries that include experiences in Bordeaux: