Bordeaux is the second most popular place in France (after Paris). Some says that Bordeaux is a smaller version of Paris.
Bordeaux is a perfect place for both wine lovers and admires of monuments – large part of Bordeaux has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Additionally there are lots of beautiful vineyards making some of the world’s most famous wine.
So if I encourage you to visit this beautiful place let’s check how to spend 3 days in Bordeaux France.
How to spend 3 days in Bordeaux
Where to stay in Bordeaux
No matter how many days you intend to spend in Bordeaux, you must decide where to stay. There are many options and it can sometimes be difficult to choose the right place. I recommend to choose the place in the city center. Within the city center, it’s easy to walk most places, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time on public transportation.
DAY 1: Discover the City Center of Bordeaux
A Bordeaux walking tour is the perfect way to see the city. Unlike Paris, which is a sprawling city with the sights quite spread out, Bordeaux is very compact and walkable.
You can explore Bordeaux city center in many ways, e.g. booking a walking tour with guide or exploring the city on your own. No matter which way you choose I recommend to purchase a Bordeaux City Pass, which gives you free access to a number of museums, monuments and free use of public transportation. You can buy one for 24, 48 or 72 hours, depending on how long you’ll be in the city and wanting to use the card.
The Saint-Michel freestanding bell tower, which the people of Bordeaux call “La Flèche” (The Spire), is 114 metres high and soars slim and light toward the sky.
Unusually, and like the city’s Saint-André cathedral, this is freestanding and located alongside, rather than on top of the church. The belltower was built in the 15th century on an ancient burial ground.
Mummies found in a nearby cemetery were exhibited there to the public in the late 18th century.
Entrance : 5 € | 3,50 € reduced | Free with the Bordeaux City Pass.
Free for less than 18 years old, and every first Sunday of the month (except in July and August).
Last climb 30mn before closing
Place de la Bourse
Place de la Bourse has symbolised the city of Bordeaux around the world for centuries and played a major role in the city’s development, trade, and reputation.
It took 20 years to construct this 18th this classical buildings. The buildings framing this place royale consist of the Hôtel des Fermes, built by Gabriel’s father, followed by the Hôtel de la Bourse built by Gabriel himself, and the isolated central pavilion (1735-1755).
Miroir d’Eau is a Bordeaux must see. The 3,450 square meter Miroir d’Eau is the world’s largest reflecting pool and was designed as a work of art when it opened in 2006.
Grand Théâtre was inaugurated in 1780 and is one of the oldest wooden frame opera houses in Europe. It is located on Place de la Comedie t in the middle of the city.
If you have got a Bordeaux City Pass you can visit for free a summer exhibition which gives you an opportunity to discover this majestic Victor Louis-designed structure, biuld under Louis XVI.
Before leaving Place de la Comedia, have a look at Bordeaux’s most beautiful wine shop located in front of Grand Théâtre. L’Intendant features only wine from the Bordeaux wine region and you can find wines from 1200 different châteaux
The Grosse Cloche is one of the oldest belfries in France, in the heart of the city.
Built in the 15th century, this fortified gateway was also a prison. The bell of the ancient belfry (7800 kg) sounded the big events of the city. The astronomical clock was built in 1759. The weather vane of the central dome represents a golden lion, one of the symbols of the Kings of England.
Built in the 15th century on the site of an ancient defensive gate, this gatehouse honoured King Charles VIII’s conquest of the Kingdom of Naples. On the side facing the river, a niche wit his effigy commemorates his victories in the build up to the Battle of Fornovo. There is a magnificent view of the oldest bridge in Bordeaux, the Pont de Pierre, from here.
Entrance : 5 € | 3,50 € reduced | Free with the Bordeaux City Pass.
Free for less than 12 years old, and every first Sunday of the month (except in July and August).
Last climb 30mn before closing
Place da la Victoire
The column on Place de la Victoire consists of six marble blocks sculpted and mounted two by two in Ivan Theimer’s workshop in Pietrasanta (Italy). These blocks form a 16-metre-tall column weighing over 50 tonnes. There is a fine and quite unusual view of the column from the end of the rue Sainte-Catherine and looking through the arch of the Porte d’Aquitaine.
The symbols on the column represent several myths as well as the history of wine from ancient times to the present day, with a special focus on the Bordeaux region.
Place de la Victoire is also the start of Rue Saint-Catherine, the most important and longest pedestrian street in Europe.
The turtles located near column symbolize the long, steady rise of the wine industry of Bordeaux
Pont de pierre
Connecting the left and right banks of the Garonne, commissioned by Napoleon and inaugurated in 1822, the “pont de pierre” was the first stone bridge ever built in Bordeaux.
Today, it is crossed by an ultramodern tramway and is one of half a dozen bridges. The “pont de pierre” nevertheless has a special place in the hearts of the Bordelais, who admire its elegance. The also scrutinise the bridge’s piles to ascertain the level of the tide.
Place des Quinconces
The Place des Quinconces is one of the most popular locations in the city, with a steady stream of tourists seeking a bit of fresh air and a beautiful setting in which to take photos.
The Place des Quinconces is the venue all year long for fairs, circuses, sporting events and artistic events. Quinconces station is a multimodal transport hub (trams B & C, terminus for several bus routes, and Vcub share bikes) so there is a steady flow of visitors.
Located just across from and quite close to the river, there are two rostral columns topped with statues dedicated to Bordeaux’s maritime and commercial activities. On the side of the Quinconces closest to the city centre are found large statues of the Bordeaux philosophers Montaigne and Montesquieu. Looking westward, the Monument aux Girondins consists of bronze fountains and a column with a staute of liberty breaking its chains on top. This bears witness to the Girondin political faction during the French Revolution.
Located near the Town Hall, this is the most beautiful religious monument in Bordeaux.
Saint André’s heterogeneous style is unexpected and endearing, especially because of its freestanding belltower.
The well restored royal entrance in the north wall of the nave epitomises 13th century French Gothic architecture. Like many other cathedrals, sculptures were painted in bright colours at the time to attract worshippers.
Saint Jean train station
For over 100 years, the Saint Jean train station has been the keystone of this eponymous quarter, everyday meeting with a mass of travellers who are sure to find what they’re looking
for. Its sheer height makes it unique in France. Hidden behind its large facade is a giant cast-iron concourse, built by Daydé and Pillé, considered to be the largest in the world at the time of construction (1907).
DAY 2: La Cité du Vin
La Cité du Vin is a unique cultural centre dedicated to the universal, living heritage of wine. It offers a spectacular journey around the world, throughout the ages, across countless cultures and civilisations.
Here are some facts about La Cité du Vin:
- 3,000 m² containing 19 thematic modules
- A tour available in eight languages
- Over 10 hours of visit content through more than 120
- Audiovisual productions
You have an opportunity to learn about different wine regions by watching video content of winemakers from those areas. You can also smell the different aromas that are represented in wines and try to identify them yourself without looking. You can sit back and watch movies and animated depictions to learn the history of wine.
La Cité du Vin is included in the Bordeaux CityPass. Additional charge of €5 for entry after 12 pm.
DAY 3: Wine Tasting Day Tours from Bordeaux to Saint-Émilion
Wine tasting in Bordeaux is an absolute must in our opinion. While Bordeaux is a great city to visit, you can’t ignore the fact that it’s a famous wine region with incredible wine.
The region encompasses 62 different appellations and more than 7300 châteaux. That’s why if you only have one day to visit Bordeaux’s châteaux for wine tasting, it’s best to focus on a single appellation.
Based on my experiance I can recommend a Château La Croizille and Château Tour Baladoz.
Family-owned estates of 5 and 9 ha, Château La Croizille and Château Tour Baladoz are neighbouring châteaux situated on top of a hill in the heart of the vineyard of Saint-Emilion, offering a superb panoramic view.
In April 2013 was inaugurated a brand new cellar for Château La Croizille with a modern architecture, meeting all technical requirements. From its tasting room overhanging the valley you will enjoy the exceptional natural landscape. Combining the traditional cellar of Château Tour Baladoz with the modern cellar of Château La Croizille, you get two visits in one and experience different facets of the world of wine in Bordeaux.
If you are interested in visiting Château La Croizille and Château Tour Baladoz just click on the image on the right to book your trip with a guide. During this tour you will get a chance to see two completely different ways of wine making and taste the best ones.
I hope that now you know how to spend 3 days in Bordeaux. As you can see Bordeaux offers a lot of things to do, so 3 days is a minimum to feel its climate.