Rivaled perhaps only by Champagne and Napa, there is no area in the world more closely associated with its fabulous vineyards than Bordeaux. Located in the southwest of France, not far from the Bay of Biscay, Bordeaux offers more vineyards—more than 100,000—than you could possibly try, but there’s glory even in just scratching the surface. The crescent-shaped city of Bordeaux, found along the Garonne River, has been the region’s wine capital for decades, with its illustrious past on display in the Golden Triangle area’s ornate buildings. Granted, in the not too distant past, Bordeaux was plagued by pollution, traffic jams, and urban decay. But today, when you travel to Bordeaux you’ll find a revitalized village, charming, 18th-century buildings, a pedestrian-friendly city center, and a thriving waterfront area with chic boutiques and cafés. There’s also world-class art, as well as theater and dining. Read on in this Bordeaux region travel guide to start planning your trip.
Things Not to Miss in the Bordeaux Region
• Taking the two-hour wine tasting course—available in English or French—at Maison du Vin de Bordeaux, located near the Golden Triangle
• Splurging on art at Le Passage Saint Michel, where you can find anything from Renaissance pieces to mid-20th-century treasures.
• Sampling creative dishes—like tomato ice cream—at La Tupiña.
• Explore Bordeaux’s city center, St-Michel, and the Flêche St-Michel tower, one of the tallest medieval stone towers in France
When to Go to the Bordeaux Region
The prime time for Bordeaux travel is between June and August: that’s when most French and other Europeans visit Bordeaux. For fewer crowds and lower rates, come in spring, or autumn. One downfall of coming in fall: starting in September, the wineries start doing their harvests, and some don’t allow visitors. While it can get chilly, a December visit to Bordeaux is very Christmas-festive.
No matter the season, you might get some rain in Bordeaux: spring and fall can see frequent showers, and so can the otherwise hot summers.
A two-hour wine tasting course—available in English or French—at Maison du Vin de Bordeaux, located near the Golden Triangle.
Splurging on art at Le Passage Saint Michel, where you can find anything from Renaissance pieces to mid-20th-century treasures.
Sampling creative dishes—like tomato ice cream—at La Tupiña.