Planning a visit to Bordeaux for 2 days? Not sure how to fit-in all the major sights in such a short amount of time? Well, it isn’t going to be easy but if you are ready for a chock-full couple of days with plenty of walking, and ready to take home plenty of memories, then I’d gladly say you’ve landed on the right page.
I was in Bordeaux for several days at the end of May and I could have easily stayed longer. The sun shone bright amidst a little coolness and gentle breeze. The lines were minimal or none at all, because I’d pre-booked my skip-the-line tickets. This made it easier to appreciate all the monuments, landmarks and time available to take in the beautiful sights during the long walk along the Garonne.
I quickly discovered that this city has so much more to offer than just its highlights. From the incredible boulangeries to the abundance of gastronomic restaurants, along with the welcoming and laid-back vibes, Bordeaux has a charm that beckons you to stay longer. The town squares weren’t overly crowded and we were offered seating “with a view” – now, how can I complain!
I share my experienced tips and the best things to do in Bordeaux so that you can make the most of your two days in this enchanting city.
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BORDEAUX IN TWO DAYS: HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF 2 DAYS IN FRANCE’S WINE CAPITAL + Map & Tips
It seems almost impossible to choose the best things to do in Bordeaux for just two days but if two days in Bordeaux is all the time you have, I’d say it is absolutely possible with a well planned itinerary. To help you make the most of your time, here’s a carefully crafted 2-day itinerary that covers all the must-see sights and ensures a memorable visit. I’ve also thrown in a half-day trip to a medieval village.
Get ready to immerse yourself in one of Europe‘s most captivating cities! Bordeaux awaits, with its stunning attractions, historic landmarks, and hidden gems, ready to offer you unforgettable memories.
ABOUT BORDEAUX, FRANCE
Bordeaux, a city in southwestern France, carries a rich history that spans over two millennia. The story begins with its establishment as a thriving Gallo-Roman city, known as Burdigala, with Roman influence shaping its early development.
Bordeaux: From the Middle Ages to the 20th century
Throughout the Middle Ages, Bordeaux flourished as a major port city, trading goods and wines with countries across Europe. This period saw the rise of Bordeaux’s architectural gems, including Gothic cathedrals, imposing city gates, and elegant mansions.
However, Bordeaux experienced a decline in the 18th and 19th centuries, due in part to political unrest, economic challenges, and urban decay. It was during this time that the city earned the nickname “La Belle Endormie,” or “The Sleeping Beauty,” as it seemed to slumber in its faded grandeur.
“La Belle Endormie”
In the late 20th century, Bordeaux experienced a remarkable renaissance. The city underwent extensive urban renewal, restoration projects, and cultural revitalisation. Historic buildings were meticulously renovated, breathing new life into the city’s architectural heritage. Bordeaux’s UNESCO-listed historic center, recognised as an outstanding example of urban and architectural coherence, stands as a testament to its revival.
The term “La Belle Endormie,” has come to symbolise Bordeaux’s awakening and transformation into a vibrant, cosmopolitan city. It captures the contrast between its once-slumbering state and its current reinvigorated allure. Today, Bordeaux is celebrated for its thriving wine industry, world-class cultural institutions, and dynamic culinary scene.
What to expect when you visit Bordeaux
As you explore Bordeaux, you shall encounter the echoes of its past. From Roman ruins and medieval architecture to elegant 18th-century squares and avenues along with quaint ivy-clad houses that sit along narrow cobblestone alleys. Bordeaux is an enchantment at every turn. Yet, the city also radiates a modern energy, with contemporary art exhibitions, innovative gastronomy, and a lively ambiance that complements its historical charm and its futuristic wine museum, the Cité du Vin.
THE BEST 2 DAYS IN BORDEAUX ITINERARY
Following my visit to this captivating city, I’ve curated some fantastic ideas on how to spend the perfect 2 days in Bordeaux. With two days at your disposal, you have time to delve into the main wonders of Bordeaux.
However, given the abundance of amazing things to see and experience, it’s essential to have a well-planned itinerary and pre-purchased tickets to make the most of your visit.
So, channel your inner wine connoisseur and follow along for a comprehensive guide on how to maximise your 2 days in Bordeaux. As with all of my suggested itineraries, I encourage you to use this 2-day Bordeaux itinerary as a blueprint. Feel free to customise it to align with your unique interests, preferences, and preferred pace of exploration.
HOW THIS BORDEAUX 2-DAY ITINERARY IS TAILORED
While most bloggers often suggest starting a day in Bordeaux at the historic square, I suggest a slightly different approach. In this article, the focus is on saving time so that you can experience as many landmarks and attractions as you can within the two days in Bordeaux.
In this itinerary for two days in Bordeaux, we begin the day at the north district of Bordeaux, where Les Lumières is located. Your itinerary is strategically planned to make the most of your time in this way, and avoid circling back-and-fro.
Starting from the furthest point allows you to take advantage of the beautiful walk along the Garonne River, saving time while still immersing yourself in the scenic views. As you make your way towards the historic center, you can efficiently explore the city, stop for photo-opportunities, and optimising your day. Thus, ensuring that you experience the highlights of Bordeaux while making the best use of your valuable time.
An early start to the day is highly recommended.
DAY 1 IN BORDEAUX
Here’s how to spend Day 1 of your 2 Days in Bordeaux
- Les Bassins des Lumières.
- La Cité du Vin.
- Les Halles de Bacalan.
- A long walk along the left bank quay, Garonne River, Bordeaux.
- The Quayside in Bordeaux.
- Jacques Chaban-Delmas Bridge.
- Bord’eau Village.
- Quai des Chartrons.
- The CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art in Bordeaux.
- Water Mirror or Miroir d’Eau.
- Pont de Pierre.
- Place de la Bourse.
- Porte Cailhau.
- Saint Pierre Church.
- Bordeaux’s Historic Neighbourhood located behind Place de la Bourse.
Let’s dive in.
Start your day with a visit to Les Lumières, a unique light and sound show that illuminates the façades of historic buildings in Bordeaux. Depending on where you are staying, work out a route by tram, bus or both to get to Les Lumières
Les Bassins des Lumières
The Bassins des Lumières in Bordeaux is an extraordinary art installation located in a former submarine base on the outskirts of the historical center. This immense digital art centre provides a unique and immersive experience, featuring ever-changing exhibitions of mesmerising sound and light displays.
Inside the base, you’ll find four vast pools of water that once served as wet docks for submarines. This is now transformed into the centerpiece of this magical showcase. The concrete walls surrounding the pools serve as a backdrop for stunning art installations, crafted by Culturespaces. Dynamic images constantly shift and transform on these walls. The symphony of visuals and sound continues as you explore the exhibition.
Each year, the Bassins des Lumières highlights a different artist, complemented by additional displays. Renowned artists like Gustave Klimt, Paul Klee, Yves Klein, and Claude Monet have graced the Bordeaux installation, showcasing diverse artistic styles and influences.
Beyond the main exhibition, you can visit “the cube” featuring immersive artworks, explore the museum space delving into the submarine base’s history, and find unique gifts in the shop.
Just know that the Bassins des Lumières changes its art installation annually and closes every January to prepare for the next show. So, if you really want to visit the Bassins des Lumières, plan ahead and visit when it is open.
The exhibition operates daily, with opening hours varying from 10 am to 5/7 or 9 pm, depending on the day and time of the year. Situated at Impasse Brown de Coulston, 33300 Bordeaux, the Bassins des Lumières is easily accessible by Bordeaux’s tram system or bus services.
Time: 1 to 1.5 hrs
After experiencing Les Lumières, head to La Cité du Vin, an iconic wine museum in Bordeaux.
The Bassins des Lumières is situated approximately 2.4 kilometers (or about 1.5 miles) away from La Cité du Vin. It’s a flat and enjoyable walk that takes you past the World War Two German submarine base, which is partially open to the public. The walk would probably take about 20 to 30 minutes. This stroll offers an interesting glimpse into Bordeaux’s wartime past, adding an extra layer of intrigue to your journey.
La Cité du Vin
La Cité du Vin, Bordeaux’s wine museum is an extraordinary cultural institution that celebrates the world of wine in all its glory. This iconic landmark stands as a testament to the city’s deep-rooted connection with winemaking and its rich heritage.
Designed by architects Anouk Legendre and Nicolas Desmazières, the building itself is a masterpiece of contemporary architecture, resembling a swirling wine glass or the curves of a vineyard.
Inside La Cité du Vin, you embark on a fascinating journey through the history, culture, and art of wine. The immersive exhibitions and interactive displays offer a sensory exploration of wine’s global influence, featuring multimedia installations, informative panels, and engaging audiovisual presentations. From ancient winemaking techniques to modern viticulture practices, the exhibits showcase the diverse facets of wine production, showcasing the stories, traditions, along with flavours from vineyards around the world.
The highlights of the experience is Via Sensoria, and the Belvedere. The Via Sensoria is an exclusive one-hour exhibition which requires a separate ticket to that of the main exhibitions and wine tasting at the museum. You can book here for Via Sensoria. By far, the Belvedere is the place you’d want to be. Situated on the 8th floor, you can enjoy panoramic views of Bordeaux from its observation deck while you savour one of the fine wines from the different regions featured in the exhibition.
With its unique blend of education, entertainment, and gastronomy, La Cité du Vin is a must-visit destination for all visitors to Bordeaux, especially so for oenophiles.
Tips to consider when visiting the Wine Museum in Bordeaux
TIP 1: Just so you know, La Cité du Vin is massive!. To fully experience all the activities offered at each of the floors, you’ll need at least 3 hours. However, you can program a shorter journey of 1 to 1.5 hours to complete all the activities. In this way, you can still experience a complete journey through the exhibitions and not miss anything. Also, remember to go to the Belvedere on the 8th floor. The wine of your choice is included in your ticket price.
TIP 2: No matter how busy a schedule you have, ensure that you stop at the Cité du Vin cellar. It is quite simply magnificent.
View my Instagram reel to see what a jaw-dropping cellar this is.
TIP 3: You’ll probably reach La Cité du Vin by midday. If you are figuring out where to eat, there is a great place on the 7th floor, Le 7 Restaurant that comes with panoramic views. This restaurant is open for breakfast from 07:30 to 09:30 and from 14:30 to 17:30 for the afternoon menu. A Brasserie is situated to the rear of the wine cellar for quick lunches.
- Via Sensoria, 1 hour.
- La Cité du Vin and Wine Tasting: 1 to 1.5 hours.
Go here to the Instagram reel about my visit to La Cité du Vin.
If lunch at the wine museum is not in your radar, you may want to try something gastronomically adventurous at the Halles de Bacalan, situated in front of Bordeaux wine museum, your next stop in this 2 days in Bordeaux itinerary.
Les Halles de Bacalan
Les Halles de Bacalan, situated opposite to La Cité du Vin, is not only a vibrant food market but also an ideal spot to stop for a quick lunch.
This bustling culinary hub is a covered market, a food-court and a paradise for food enthusiasts. Offering a wide range of fresh produce, local delicacies, and gourmet delights where you can sample the diverse flavours of Bordeaux and the surrounding region. From a delectable selection of oysters, charcuterie, foie gras, or freshly baked bread to savouring the aroma of artisanal chocolates, spices, and aromatic herbs that fill the air. The Halles de Bacalan is a perfect destination to grab a delicious meal amidst your exploration.
There’s plenty of seating inside and outside and exudes a lively local vibe with music all-round. It’s nice here.
Not sure how long you’d dedicate here. It depends if you are having lunch or not. I’d suggest a quick visit of 30 minutes or so is more than enough to experience the cultural vibes here.
A long walk along the left bank quay, Garonne River, Bordeaux
From Les Halles de Bacalan, cross-over to the side of La Cité du Vin and head towards the bridge, making your way towards River Garonne. There is a small harbour here and you can hop onto a boat for a ride. Sometimes these boats do not operate which means you can opt for the tram and go straight to the historic centre. However, this itinerary is crafted for a walk along the Garonne so you can see some of the landmarks.
You’ll see the majestic Jacques Chaban-Delmas bridge just ahead.
A walk along this left-bank of River Garonne is a journey of 2000 years of history of Bordeaux, as a port city. This is a long walk but a rewarding one worth making.
The Quayside in Bordeaux
The quayside in Bordeaux is renowned worldwide for its stunning waterfront. Adorned with beautiful 18th-century facades and numerous historic buildings, this area has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007. The quayside has become the heart of a vibrant urban ensemble.
Today, the quayside offers a new way of life, drawing both locals and visitors. The lush lawns, charming parks, and inviting gardens along the Garonne River provide a perfect backdrop for leisurely strolls, cycling, shopping, or simply unwinding and relishing the surroundings. Sports enthusiasts will appreciate the Saint Michel sports park and skate park, offering a unique environment for some active recreation.
On weekends, the quayside truly comes alive, with a bustling array of options. From boutiques and restaurants to inviting cafés with outdoor seating, an ice cream parlor, and even a merry-go-round, there is something for everyone.
However, even beyond shopping, the quayside holds its allure. Throughout the year, outdoor cafés offer delightful spaces to savour brunch while relishing the beauty of the surroundings.
Landmarks and Unmissable Points of Interests along the Garonne River
Along the Garonne River in Bordeaux, you’ll find a plethora of landmarks and unmissable points of interests that showcase the city’s rich history and the architectural splendour. Let’s take a look at some of them for your 2-day itinerary in Bordeaux.
The majestic Jacques Chaban-Delmas Bridge
Jacques Chaban-Delmas is an iconic bridge that spans the Garonne River in Bordeaux. This magnificent structure, built in 2013 and named after a former Prime Minister of France, stands as a testament to architectural ingenuity and engineering marvel.
With its elegant design and multiple arches, the Jacques Chaban-Delmas bridge offers a striking visual presence, adding to the city’s skyline. Crossing the bridge provides breathtaking panoramic views of Bordeaux, and its grandeur serves as a constant reminder of the city’s rich history and modern development.
Jacques Chaban-Delmas is also known as the Vertical Lift Bridge. This unique bridge features a vertical lifting mechanism that allows it to accommodate the passage of large ships and vessels. Its distinctive design and engineering prowess make it a remarkable feat of modern architecture. As it raises and lowers, the Jacques Chaban-Delmas bridge showcases its impressive functionality, adding to its allure and making it a prominent symbol of Bordeaux’s maritime heritage.
Whether admired from a distance or experienced firsthand, Jacques Chaban-Delmas is an unmissable landmark that contributes to the allure of Bordeaux’s waterfront.
The Quai des Marques or Bord’eau Village
The Quai des Marques in Bordeaux is a renowned shopping destination that offers an enticing array of boutiques and brands. Situated along the picturesque Garonne River, this shopping centre attracts locals and visitors alike with its “factory outlet” concept and unbeatable prices. With 33 boutiques, 13 restaurants, and charming cafés with outdoor seating, the Quai des Marques provides a delightful shopping experience.
Located near a tram stop and with ample parking, Bord’eau Village is a convenient and attractive destination for fashion enthusiasts seeking quality products at affordable prices. The Quai des Marques is one of the best places to pick-up a souvenir to take home.
Quai des Chartrons
Quai des Chartrons is known for its historical significance and vibrant atmosphere, offering a plethora of attractions to explore.
The Chartrons, an alluring neighbourhood that combines charm, community spirit, and the art of living. Known for its historical significance and vibrant atmosphere, Chartrons beckons visitors to discover its unique ambiance. Chartrons presents a captivating blend of bourgeois elegance and bohemian allure, making it an essential destination for a memorable stroll.
This neighbourhood, named after the Chartreux abbey that once stood in the area, proudly embraces its heritage as a hub for wine, antiques, and eclectic traders.
As you wander along Quai des Chartrons, you’ll encounter a charming blend of elegant 18th-century buildings, antique shops, art galleries, and cosy cafés. The district’s name itself reflects its past as a hub for wine merchants and traders, showcasing Bordeaux’s deep connection to the wine industry.
You can browse through unique boutiques, discover hidden treasures in the antique shops, and indulge in delightful culinary experiences at the area’s renowned restaurants. A must-visit destination for history enthusiasts, art lovers, and those seeking a taste of the city’s vibrant cultural scene.
The CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art in Bordeaux
The CAPC Museum is a captivating cultural institution housed within a former warehouse. This unique setting provides a distinctive backdrop for its contemporary art exhibitions and installations.
As you step inside, you’ll be immersed in a world of artistic innovation and creativity. The museum showcases a diverse range of contemporary artworks, spanning various mediums and artistic expressions. From avant-garde installations to thought-provoking sculptures, paintings, photography, and multimedia creations, the CAPC Museum offers a dynamic and ever-changing artistic experience. It serves as a platform for both established and emerging artists to share their visions and engage in meaningful dialogue with visitors. A must visit for a seasoned art enthusiast or simply curious about the evolving art world.
Practical information for the CAPC Museum
- Entrance to the attraction is free with the Bordeaux City Pass, providing visitors with a fantastic opportunity to explore without additional cost.
- From the 27th of June to the 30th of August, admission is also free for all visitors.
- Admission is free on the first Sunday of every month (excluding July and August).
- For those without the city pass, regular admission prices apply, with €7 for adults and €4 for reduced admission.
- There are several exemptions: entrance is free for individuals under 18 years old, disabled individuals and their companions, and on the first Sunday of every month (excluding July and August).
Water Mirror or Miroir d’Eau
Miroir d’Eau, or the Water Mirror, is a captivating attraction located in Bordeaux. It is an unmissable attraction when visiting Bordeaux.
Situated in front of the majestic Place de la Bourse, it is the world’s largest reflecting pool and an iconic symbol of the city. The Miroir d’Eau creates a stunning visual effect, reflecting the magnificent architecture of Place de la Bourse and the surrounding buildings. Visitors can enjoy the mesmerising display of water and mist as it alternates between stillness and gentle ripples, providing a unique sensory experience.
The Water Mirror is a popular spot for both locals and tourists to relax, play, and capture beautiful photographs.
Families will find joy in the Miroir d’Eau, complete with play areas that add a touch of magic to the quayside’s atmosphere.
Dip your toes in the water, dance through the mist, or simply marvel at its beauty, the Miroir d’Eau offers a magical and enchanting atmosphere in the heart of Bordeaux.
Walk along the quay to the marvellous stone bridge, Pont de Pierre.
Pont de Pierre, Bordeaux
Pont de Pierre meaning “Stone Bridge,” is one of the city’s landmarks that spans the Garonne River in Bordeaux. Built between 1810 and 1822, it stands as a testament to the city’s rich history and architectural heritage. The bridge features 17 elegant arches, representing the number of letters in the name “Napoleon Bonaparte,” who commissioned its construction.
Pont de Pierre offers breathtaking panoramic views of Bordeaux, and its presence adds to the city’s charm and allure. From this historic bridge, you can admire the picturesque scenery and appreciate the architectural mastery that has stood the test of time.
Connecting both the left and right banks of the Garonne River, the stone bridge adds a touch of enchantment with its illuminating lights. As the sun sets, the bridge comes alive with a mesmerising display of lights that beautifully illuminate its elegant arches. The illuminations create a captivating ambiance, casting a warm and magical glow over the river.
Whether viewed from afar or experienced up close, or walking across, Pont de Pierre’s illuminated beauty adds a special allure to Bordeaux’s nighttime scenery, making it a must-see attraction.
You can walk across the bridge if time permits. However, I have not included this in this 2-day itinerary in Bordeaux as it would take time away from exploring the historic district.
Walk back to the Water Mirror and crossover Quai Louis XVIII/Quai du Marechal Lyautey to Place del Bourse and Porte Cailhou.
Place de la Bourse
Place de la Bourse, also known as the Palace Square, has been a cherished symbol of Bordeaux, known and admired worldwide. This grand square played a vital role in the city’s growth, trade, and reputation and is defined by its majestic architecture along with its stunning beauty.
At the centre stands the Palais de la Bourse, an elegant 18th-century building that serves as a testament to Bordeaux’s rich history. The square is flanked by magnificent buildings with intricate facades, creating a harmonious ensemble of architectural splendour. The Bordelais hold a deep affection for this architectural gem, and visitors are equally enamoured by its allure.
Place de la Bourse offers a captivating setting. The enchanting fountain, located at the centre of the square, alongside the famous Water Mirror, has become an iconic focal point and the most photographed attraction in Bordeaux, captivating tourists from around the globe. Whether day or night, the square exudes a magical atmosphere, making it a popular gathering spot for locals and tourists alike.
Porte Cailhau, an architectural gem in Bordeaux, stands as a testament to the city’s rich history. This majestic structure, integrated into the city walls, reaches an impressive height of thirty-five meters. Initially home to a public letter writer and a salt weigher, the Porte Cailhau underwent renovations to restore its magnificence.
From this historic site, you are treated to a splendid view of the city’s oldest bridge, the Pont de Pierre. Inside, an exhibition showcases the tools and materials used in its construction, providing a glimpse into the world of stone masonry.
The Porte Cailhau offers an insight into Bordeaux’s past and serves as a remarkable symbol of the city’s architectural heritage.
Practical information for Port Cailhau
- Admission prices for the Port Cailhau are €5 for adults, €3.50 for reduced admission, and free for children under 12 years old.
- The last entry to the monument is 30 minutes before closing time.
- Free admission on the first Sunday of each month,
While many visitors to the city often find themselves captivated by the stunning buildings along the quays of Bordeaux, they may be surprised to discover that the true historic core lies beyond the magnificent 18th-century Place de la Bourse. As you venture further, a hidden gem awaits.
At this point in your first of your 2-day itinerary in Bordeaux, you may be here at about 17:00 after the walk along the riverfront. You may consider returning to your accommodation to freshen up for dinner. If so, you may just want to make a quick stop at Saint Pierre Church before it closes at 17:30.
PRO TIP 1: Dinner times in Bordeaux begin from 19:00 and go beyond midnight, preceded by “happy hour”. So, even if you are here for 20:00, it should be okay. If you are travelling during the high season, reservation is highly recommended.
One evening, we had our meal at L’Ombrière Restaurant and Café. We were here for over three hours, simply enjoying our front-row seats with a view of the fountain, the unhurriedness and the warm ambiance of the square. Good food and service and plenty of wine.
PRO TIP 2: Getting to Place de la Bourse is practically easy. There is a tram stop right at its doorstep, making it convenient to reach from wherever you are in Bordeaux city.
Bordeaux’s Historic Neighbourhood located behind Place de la Bourse
The historic neighbourhood situated behind Place de la Bourse, Bordeaux’s iconic square, is a captivating enclave brimming with architectural wonders, cultural landmarks, and a vibrant culinary scene.
Surrounded by charming cafés and restaurants, this district offers an array of dining options that can make choosing where to eat a delightful challenge. From cosy bistros to elegant eateries, the neighbourhood presents an endless array of gastronomic delights to satisfy any palate. Indulge in the local cuisine, savour international flavours, or simply relax at a sidewalk café and immerse yourself in the lively ambiance of Bordeaux’s culinary haven.
With such a diverse and enticing selection, finding the perfect dining experience becomes part of the adventure in this captivating neighbourhood behind La Bourse.
In the midst of great vibes, you’ll discover three charming squares that you’ll absolutely love and worth your time strolling through during your 2 days in Bordeaux.
The charming Place Saint-Pierre, a picturesque square known for its lively atmosphere and vibrant café culture. The square is surrounded by historic buildings and is a popular gathering spot for locals and visitors alike.
Nestled within this charming district is the magnificent Saint Pierre Church, an architectural gem that exudes grandeur and spirituality. More about Saint Pierre Church further below.
Place du Parlement
Adjacent to Place Saint-Pierre is the magnificent Place du Parlement, a true architectural gem that showcases Bordeaux’s rich history. This square boasts a harmonious blend of original structures dating back to 1760 and newer buildings designed in the same architectural style. Strolling through Place du Parlement feels like stepping back in time, with its elegant facades and intricate details.
Place Camille Jullian
Another notable site in this historic neighbourhood is the enchanting Place Camille Jullian. This charming square exudes a cosy and inviting ambiance, with its café terraces and quaint shops. It’s a wonderful place to relax, soak in the atmosphere, and indulge in the vibrant street life of Bordeaux.
Saint Pierre Church, Bordeaux
Saint Pierre Church in Bordeaux was built during the 14th and 15th centuries. Its construction spanned several decades, with different parts of the church being completed at different times.
The Gothic-style church showcases the architectural influences of the period, including its soaring spires and intricate details. Over the centuries, the church has undergone renovations and restorations to preserve its historical and cultural significance, making it one of Bordeaux’s remarkable architectural treasures.
One of the notable highlights of Saint Pierre Church is its exquisite stained glass windows. These intricate works of art depict biblical scenes and saints, illuminating the interior with a kaleidoscope of vibrant colors.
Another notable feature of Saint Pierre Church is its stunning organ. The church houses a magnificent instrument known for its remarkable sound quality. The organ has been meticulously crafted and maintained over the years, and its melodic tones add a transcendent ambiance to the church when worship services are held.
Exploring the historic neighbourhood behind Palce de la Bourse allows you to immerse yourself in the city’s rich heritage, admire stunning architecture, and experience the vibrant local culture that makes Bordeaux so unique.
Top Tips for Day 1 in Bordeaux
As an alternative, on your first day, it may be a good idea to opt for a food walking tour and see the highlights of the city at the same time. Take a look and join one or two of the following really nice walking tours:
- Bordeaux Wine Tasting and Cheese including a Walking Tour led by a Sommelier. This tour lasts for approximately 2.5 hours. BOOK THIS EXPERIENCE
- You can join a Wine tasting and Cheese pairing experience here.
- I also found the food tour offered by NO DIET CLUB to have 4.9 or 5 star reviews. You might want to check them out also.
- If it is the best boulangeries in Bordeaux that you are after, you may want to try these guys out. Just remember to bring along a bag for all the pastries you will collect along the way. BOOK A TOUR OF BOULANGERIES IN BORDEAUX.
- Alternatively, join a foodie tour that includes lunch at a French bistro in the heart of Sante Pierre neighbourhood.
- If you don’t fancy walking, no worries. Discover Bordeaux with a bicylce. Join a guided bike tour for 3 hours covering a distance of 12 to 14 km. You cover more ground than a walking tour and get to see the highlights of the city. BOOK YOUR BIKE TOUR.
DAY 2 OF 2 DAYS IN BORDEAUX
After an exciting first day exploring the city’s highlights, the second day of your two days in Bordeaux today promises even more captivating experiences and discoveries.
In this 2-day itinerary in Bordeaux, I suggest that you embark on a delightful journey through Bordeaux’s prestigious wine regions, indulge in local gastronomy, immerse yourself in the city’s rich history and culture, and savour the beauty of its parks and architectural treasures.
From vineyard tours and wine tastings to museum visits and leisurely strolls, day 2 offers a perfect blend of wine, cuisine, art, and relaxation. So, let’s dive into another unforgettable day in Bordeaux and make the most of your time in this enchanting city.
Another early start is in order for your day two in Bordeaux.
- Morning trip to a winery and wine tasting.
- Girondins Monument
- The Musée d’Aquitaine.
- Palais Gallien.
- Jardin Public.
- The Old Town, Bordeaux.
- Immerse in Bourdeaux’s Café Culture.
- Place Pey Berland.
- Bordeaux Cathedral known as Cathédrale Saint-André de Bordeaux.
- Pey Berland Tower.
- Rue Sainte Catherine.
- River Cruise.
Embark on a remarkable morning trip to the prestigious wine regions surrounding Bordeaux, renowned for their Grand Cru and distinguished appellations.
Whether you choose to explore the illustrious Médoc, the charming Saint-Émilion, or the celebrated Pessac-Léognan, you’ll have the opportunity to delve into the world of exceptional wines.
Just so you know, so that you can plan ahead, the morning tours in Bordeaux begin at either 08:00 08:30 or 09:00. I’d recommend that you opt for the 08:00 or 08:30 tour which usually lasts for 4.5 or 5 hours. The 5-hour tour is great value for money. I went on two of these tours and can’t recommend them enough.
MORNING TRIPS TO THE WINE REGIONS FROM BORDEAUX
During this half-day trip, you are accompanied by knowledgeable guides. You’ll discover the secrets of Grand Cru estates and esteemed wineries that have made Bordeaux famous.
Learn about the different appellations and their unique terroirs, which contribute to the distinctive characteristics of each wine. From the renowned Cabernet Sauvignon of Médoc to the elegant Merlot-based blends of Saint-Émilion, each appellation showcases its own refined style and craftsmanship.
Next, indulge in tastings of these prestigious wines, allowing your palate to unravel the layers of complexity and sophistication. Gain a deeper understanding of the winemaking process. From vineyard management to barrel aging, and witness firsthand the meticulous attention to detail that goes into producing these world-class vintages. Immerse yourself in the rich heritage and tradition of Bordeaux’s Grand Cru and appellations. Experience the true essence of the region’s winemaking excellence.
I can assure you, you’ll be blown away, as was I, at the love and meticulous attention given to each bottle of wine that leaves their vineyards.
Here are the trips you can book. I have carefully selected tours that take place in the morning for the purposes of this 2-day itinerary in Bordeaux. In this way, you have the afternoon and evening to explore the rest of beautiful Bordeaux. There are options to opt for an afternoon tour if you wish.
These tours I suggest are highly rated by reviewers. I have personally been on these, and my experiences have been positive. Hence my recommendation.
#1 Morning Visit to Saint-Émilion + 2 Wineries + Tastings
☑ Guided tour of Saint-Émilion medieval village.
☑ Discover 2 estates of Saint-Émilion.
☑ Wine tasting with a minimum of 4 wines.
☑ Aperitif with French delicacies.
You will return to the meeting point by 13:30.
☑ Small Group 5-hour tour is offered in the morning (departure at 08:30) as well as in the afternoon (13:30).
BOOK YOUR SAINT-ÉMILION + WINERY EXPERIENCE
#2 Morning Trip to Saint-Émilion + 1 Winery Visit + Wine Tasting
☑ Guided tour of Saint-Émilion medieval village.
☑ Discover 1 estate of Saint-Émilion.
☑ Taste up to 4 wines.
☑ This 4-hour tour is offered in the morning (departure at 08:50). You’ll return to the meeting point by 13:00.
#3 Morning Winery Trip to Médoc Region + Tastings
☑ Visit 2 wineries in the Médoc Region.
☑ All wine estates visited will either be Classified Growth or Crus Bourgeois appellations.
☑ This 4-hour tour is offered in the morning (departure at 09:00). You’ll return to the meeting point by 13:00.
Any one of these day trips is a great experience into the world of fine wines. A place where you can appreciate the artistry and passion that has made Bordeaux an iconic destination for wine enthusiasts worldwide.
If you opt for a visit to Saint-Émilion, read my first-hand experience of this beautiful medieval village surrounded by vineyards.
Alternatively, if you do not want to include a trip out of Bordeaux but would like to taste some of the best wines from this region, you could join this wine tasting class for 2 hours or here for wine and cheese tasting experience.
If you join one of the experiences mentioned above, you are likely to be dropped off at the Girondins Monument, near the Quinconces Square in Bordeaux.
TIP: To make the most of your afternoon of your second day in Bordeaux, you may want to consider taking the tram to save time. If you’d been thinking of using the tram, it may be worthwhile purchasing the Bordeaux City Pass which includes travel on the trams. In this way, you can take the tram to access the following highlights of the city which forms your afternoon itinerary.
The Girondins Monument is a significant landmark situated in the Quinconces Square in Bordeaux. This impressive monument holds great historical and symbolic importance. It was erected to honour the Girondins, a political group during the French Revolution who advocated for republicanism and social reform.
The monument is a colossal structure. It features a central column topped with a statue representing Liberty. Surrounding the column are various statues depicting heroic figures, allegorical representations, and historical scenes. These sculptures commemorate the courageous individuals who fought for freedom and democracy during a turbulent period in French history.
Today, the monument serves as a gathering place for the people of Bordeaux and more of a photo-spot for tourists. You may want to spend a few minutes here for some photos.
Afterwards, head over to Quinconces Square for a quick bite. The square is named after the arrangement of its trees in quincunx pattern. It is a popular gathering place for locals and tourists. The square hosts various events, markets, and festivals throughout the year.
Following a quick lunch, you can visit the Musée d’Aquitaine, Palais Gallien, and Jardin Public.
The Quinconces Square and the Girondis Monument is conveniently served by Tram Line B.
This is a fascinating museum showcasing the history and culture of the Aquitaine region. Explore the diverse exhibits, including artifacts from prehistoric times to modern-day Bordeaux.
The Musée d’Aquitaine is located at 20 Cours Pasteur in Bordeaux, France. It is approximately a 10-minute walk from the Girondins Monument in Quinconces Square. The distance between the two is around 800 meters.
The Musée d’Aquitaine is served by Tram Line B.
From the Musée d’Aquitaine, head to Palais Gallien. The distance is about 1.3 km and may take about 20 to 30 minutes to walk from Musée d’Aquitaine to Palais Gallien.
Palais Gallien in Bordeaux is an archaeological site that showcases the remains of a Roman amphitheater. It is a significant historical landmark and a testament to the city’s ancient Roman past.
The amphitheater dates back to the 2nd century and was once a grand structure used for various events and spectacles.
You can explore the ruins, walk along the ancient pathways, and imagine the vibrant atmosphere of the past.
Palais Gallien provides a fascinating glimpse into Bordeaux’s rich history and is a must-visit for history enthusiasts and those interested in ancient architecture.
At night, Palais Gallien is an especially enchanting and atmospheric place. The ancient ruins of the Roman amphitheater are beautifully illuminated, creating a captivating ambiance. The soft glow of the lights adds a sense of mystery and highlights the architectural features of the site.
Walking through the ruins allows you to appreciate its tranquility at night. It provides a unique opportunity to experience the historical site in a different light. The peaceful surroundings and the evocative atmosphere make it a memorable and romantic place to visit after dark.
Palais Gallien is primarily served by Tram Line A. The nearest stop is Palais de Justice where you need to exit.
Note: Palais de Justice is also a tram hub for Tram Line A and Tram Line B.
Take a quick stroll through Jardin Public in Bordeaux. A beautiful and serene public park that offers a tranquil escape from the bustling city. It is a well-maintained green space with manicured gardens, charming ponds, and shaded pathways.
The park provides a peaceful atmosphere for leisurely walks, picnics, or simply relaxing on one of the park benches. Jardin Public also features a children’s playground, making it a family-friendly destination. The park’s central location and its proximity to other attractions make it a popular spot for everyone to enjoy nature and unwind.
Something to consider:
At this point, it should take you to about 15:30.
If history is not one of your interests, you may want to just pop-in very quickly at the Musée d’Aquitaine and save some time. You may also want to visit Palais Gallien at night and enjoy the serenity with less crowds.
The next item on your itinerary is to visit a boulangerie for afternoon tea/coffee. For this, I’d suggest the Old Town of Bordeaux near the Bordeaux Cathedral. I enjoyed exploring this part of Bordeaux and the city’s extraordinary café culture.
The Old Town, Bordeaux
The Old Town of Bordeaux, also known as the “Historic Centre,” is a charming area that showcases the city’s rich heritage and architectural splendour.
Bordeaux’s Old Town is characterised by its charming cobblestone streets, elegant squares, and stunning architectural landmarks. You’ll see a mix of architectural styles, including Gothic, Renaissance, and neoclassical, reflecting different periods of Bordeaux’s history.
Some of the must-see attractions in the Old Town include Bordeaux Cathedral, a magnificent Gothic masterpiece, the Pey Berland Tower along with Rue Sainte Catherine, the longest street in Europe of shops and the rich café culture
Wandering through the Old Town, you’ll discover hidden gems like quaint shops, local markets, and cosy cafés. You can savour regional delicacies and soak in the lively atmosphere. With its timeless charm and historical significance, the Old Town of Bordeaux is a place where you can step back in time and experience the enchantment of this remarkable city.
From Jardin Public, you’ll want to head to Place Pey Berland. To travel from Jardin Public to Place Pey Berland by tram, you can take Tram Line B. The nearest tram stop to Jardin Public is “Jardin Public” itself. From there, you can board a tram on Line B heading towards the direction of “Pessac Centre” and ride it until you reach the “Hôtel de Ville” stop. Place Pey Berland is just a short walk away from the Hôtel de Ville tram stop.
Immerse in Bourdeaux’s Café Culture
Visiting a boulangerie in Bordeaux is a delightful experience that allows you to indulge in the city’s renowned bakery culture. Step into one of the local boulangeries and be greeted by the irresistible aroma of freshly baked bread, pastries, and other delectable treats. From classic baguettes to delicate croissants and mouthwatering pastries, boulangeries in Bordeaux offer a wide variety of traditional French baked goods. These pastries are so deliciously good with café au lait. You could also try the local speciality, canelé, a small French pastry flavoured with rum and vanilla.
One of my favourites was chocolate and pistachio croissants. I tried canelé on the side with café au lait or a good glass of Bordeaux on several occasions. This pastry is also a good dessert with chantilly cream and raspberries.
Pey Berland Square
Pey Berland Square, officially known as Place Pey Berland, is named after Pey Berland, the Archbishop of Bordeaux during the 15th century.
The square is best known for being home to Bordeaux Cathedral, a magnificent Gothic masterpiece that dominates the skyline and Per Berland Tower adjacent to it.
Surrounding Pey Berland Square, you will find charming cafés and restaurants that offer a delightful dining experience. It’s a perfect opportunity to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the square while savouring delicious French cuisine with wine or sipping on a cup of coffee.
Bordeaux Cathedral or Cathédrale Saint-André de Bordeaux is a stunning Gothic cathedral which was constructed in the 12th century. This magnificent cathedral showcases remarkable architectural features such as intricate stone carvings, rose windows, and beautiful stained glass.
Inside, you can explore chapels, admire impressive altarpieces, and experience the serene ambiance of this significant religious monument. Bordeaux Cathedral is a symbol of the city’s cultural heritage and a must-visit destination for its architectural grandeur and historical significance.
The cathedral is open to visitors from 09:30 to midday. Closed between noon and 14:00. It re-opens to visitors from 14:00 to 19:00.
Just so you know…
If you wish to light candles for Our Lady here, ensure you have some cash in Euros. There are no slots or card payments here. You’ll have to purchase the candles from the lady at the desk.
Pey Berland Tower
Pey Berland Tower stands adjacent to Bordeaux Cathedral. The tower offers panoramic views of the city and its surroundings.
Constructed in the 15th century, the tower showcases Gothic architectural elements. The tower is open to visitors. You can climb to the top of the tower and enjoy the breathtaking vistas of the cityscape, including the historic center and the Garonne River.
Visiting Pey Berland Tower is by pre-booking online only.
From Place Pey Berland, explore the neighbouring quaint streets towards Rue Sainte Catherine. This area is pedestrianised and easy to explore.
Rue Sainte Catherine
Rue Sainte-Catherine is a vibrant and bustling pedestrian street that spans over one kilometre. It is one of the longest shopping streets in Europe and a major thoroughfare in the city.
Lined with a variety of shops, boutiques, cafés, and restaurants, Rue Sainte-Catherine offers a diverse range of shopping and dining experiences. Here, you’ll find a mix of international brands, local boutiques, and department stores, making it a popular destination for fashion enthusiasts and shoppers. With its lively atmosphere and unique charm, Rue Sainte-Catherine is a must-visit street to indulge in retail therapy or enjoy a leisurely stroll.
MAP OF BORDEAUX CITY CENTRE: LOCATION OF PLACES MENTIONED IN THIS TWO DAYS IN BORDEAUX ITINERARY
Almost the end of day two of your 2 days in Bordeaux…
After experiencing all of the above on the afternoon of your second day, it should take you to 18:00. This is a good time to head back to freshen up before dinner for your last evening in Bordeaux.
I am sure by now, you are certain that you have experienced all that Bordeaux offers. What if I say, there is still one more thing to do?
Well, how about a cruise? Cruising the River Garonne is one of the best things to do in Bordeaux. The river cruise was not included in day one of this 2-day itinerary but you could easily opt for it.
Garonne River Cruise
Embarking on a river cruise on the Garonne is one of the best things to do during your two days in Bordeaux.
A Garonne river cruise during the evening offers a unique experience of the city at night. These cruises allow you to enjoy breathtaking views of Bordeaux’s illuminated landmarks, such as the Place de la Bourse, Pont de Pierre, and the stunning waterfront facades.
There aren’t many river cruise options in Bordeaux but you can take a look at this that comes with a glass of wine.
TIP: Personally, I feel there really isn’t much to see during the day-time cruise. With illuminations of the city, the evening cruise is a worthwhile experience.
Call it a day…
After your river cruise, go for a delightful stroll along the riverfront. The area around the Water Mirror is especially enchanting with mesmerising mist amidst a backdrop of lights and reflections. Visit a wine bar before you call it a day in Bordeaux.
BORDEAUX CITY PASS
The Bordeaux City Pass is really worth getting! With your choice of a single-day or multi-day pass, you can create your ideal and budget friendly 24H, 48H and 72H of Bordeaux’s best attractions.
I mentioned above about some free entries and there are several more not mentioned. Click the link to find out more. Take note that all public transportation is included.
I just wanted to sum up the attractions mentioned in this article where you can use the City Pass:
✔ Bassins des Lumieres
✔ Musee d’Aquitaine
✔ La Cite du Vin
✔ CAPC Musee d’Art Contemporain
✔ Pey-Berland Tower
✔ City Tours
✔ Unlimited access to tram and bus, except on May 1st
Explore more of Bordeaux with these indepth guides:
Are you Planning to Explore Other European Destinations?
While you immerse yourself in the wonders of Bordeaux, consider expanding your itinerary to include additional destinations within France and beyond.
A short train ride from Bordeaux, the charming medieval village of Saint-Émilion awaits, surrounded by picturesque vineyards. Experience its enchanting ambiance and discover more about this captivating village in my comprehensive guide to spending one day here for a timeless visit.
For a taste of quintessential English charm, visit towns like Bibury, Bourton-on-the-Water, and Castle Combe. These are nestled amidst the scenic English countryside. If you have time, visit Stow-on-the-Wold, famous for its “magical door” at St Edward’s Church. This famous door flanked by yew trees is said to have inspired JRR Tolkien to write his “Doors of Durin” in the Lord of the Rings. You may also be enchanted when you visit Burford, Lacock, Battle and Canterbury. These make excellent additions as day trips from London also.
With its stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage, Scotland beckons with its allure. From the majestic Highlands to the historic city of Edinburgh , immerse yourself in the country’s beauty. Explore iconic landmarks such as Edinburgh Castle. Ensure to embark on a magical journey aboard the Harry Potter trains, such as the Jacobite Steam Train.
Italy boasts a treasure trove of destinations to discover. Explore Verona, Milan, Lake Como, and Lake Garda through my travel page dedicated to Italy. You’ll find valuable insights and recommendations for your Italian adventure.
Other European Gems
For a seamless travel experience, be sure to explore my resource page, filled with valuable tips and information. Embark on a European journey of exploration and discovery, with each destination offering its own unique charm and experiences. Whether you’re drawn to the vibrant streets of London, the breathtaking landscapes of Scotland, or the cultural wonders of Italy, Europe is yours to explore.
finally…on Bordeaux in two days
A visit to Bordeaux promises an unforgettable experience packed with rich history, exquisite wines, stunning architecture, and delightful gastronomy.
Over the course of two days, you can immerse yourself in the charm of this captivating city. Exploring its iconic landmarks, wandering through picturesque neighbourhoods, and indulging in its culinary delights. From the historic streets of the old town to the vibrant quays along the Garonne River, Bordeaux offers a seamless blend of old-world charm and modern vibrancy.
No matter if you’re strolling through the charming squares, sipping fine wines in prestigious vineyards, or savouring delicious dishes at local eateries, Bordeaux has something to captivate every visitor.
With careful planning and this comprehensive two-day itinerary, you can make the most of your time in Bordeaux. While each day is bursting with enriching experiences, these create cherished memories that will last a lifetime. The city awaits, ready to charm you with its beauty, flavours, and irresistible joie de vivre.
I guess this is all I have for you on your 2 days in Bordeaux itinerary. Have a splendid time, no matter how you decide to spend your two days in Bordeaux.