Bordeaux, hub of the famed wine-growing region, is a port city on the Garonne River in southwestern France.
Before visiting any town or city make sure you know the basics. General details and important information.
- Emergency Services: 112
- Language: French
- Currency: Euro
- Country Code: FR
- Travel Visa: None required
- Population: 239,157
Researching various official sources, we perceive the risk to holiday makers and travellers are as follows;
Top travel advice and interesting tip bits of information from experienced travellers.
- Bordeaux is one of the most beautiful of Europe's smaller cities. A comparison would be to call it a 'mini Paris'. Architecturally it is stunning with a superb 17/18th century waterfront.
- "It’s all about wine, admit it! Well, that’s what I knew before I visited it, too, so no shame in saying it out loud. Bordeaux is most famous for its wine, and for good reason!"
- Make the most of your visit to Bordeaux with the Bordeaux Metropole City Pass. Enjoy free access to numerous monuments and cultural attractions, enjoy discounts, and travel for free on the city’s public transportation system for 48 or 72 hours.
For the Emergency services just dial 112 from any phone.
Just 30 metres from Saint Jean Train Station, ibis Bordeaux Centre Gare Saint Jean Euratlantique is located in a pedestrian square. Bordeaux city centre is a 20-minute walk away or 5 minutes away by tram, which goes there directly
Aeroport de Bordeaux-Merignac is the main airport serving Bordeaux. Click the text below to visit their website.
Bordeaux Saint-Jean Station is the main train station serving the city. Click the text below to visit their website.
Where can I keep up with the news?
Which areas should I avoid?
In the city beware of the quieter streets and keep your belongings secure, there are a few suburbs of the city where you need to take extra care but they are not popular for tourists.
What are the common crimes?
Beware of pickpockets as they tend to operate in tourist areas like to markets and city squares, keep your belongings secure at all times and be careful if strangers try to make conversation or distract you as it could be an attempt to steal your valuables.
Car thieves normally target expensive cars but there are some exceptional situations where rental cars have been broken in to. Park the car in well lit areas and use car park with CCTV. Don’t leave valuables on your car seat as it could attract criminals, drive with the car door locked all times.
What safety tips should I know?
Be alert at all times and be aware of your surroundings. Take the usual safety precautions so you do not become a targets for pickpockets. Don’t put your wallet or mobile phone in your back pocket. Put any valuables items in a dark colour shopping bag when going out to avoid attention.
Don’t flash your cash
When withdrawing cash from ATM try to go inside the bank. Beware of withdrawing cash from cash points on pedestrian walkways. Try to withdraw small sums and don’t flash your cash around even in the bank.
Improve Your Personal Safety
Knowledge – the more you have the better equipped you are.
Awareness – the more you see the safer you become.
Response – the right reaction can change a situation.
Annual events allow a city come together for some amazing experiences. If visiting at this time, make sure you have your accommodation booked and are always aware of your surroundings when travelling around.
Bordeaux Christmas Market
The Christmas markets run during the festive month of December and the city’s main squares fill up with vendors and stalls selling local and seasonal produce, it’s a great opportunity to get involved with the city and undertake some festive spirit. The French have a great love for Christmas and a real focus on family life.
Medoc Open Visits (Portes Ouvertes)
Over 50 winemakers of the Médoc region, passionate and excited about their produce, invite you to discover their vineyards, their cellars, their chests, their castles … and their wines.
Jazz O Lac
If you are going to be in Saint Emilion then it is worth making sure you are here for the Jazz festival. Not only is the town a beautiful setting but you will be entertained by some of the best jazz musicians around.
Marathon du Medoc
Every September, runners gather for the Médoc Marathon which winds its way through over 50 vineyards of this special region. A fun, fancy dress occasion with plenty of wine!
What are the best museums?
Musee du Vin et du Negoce
The vaulted cellars, built in 1720, trace the history of the wine trade, the work of coopers and the raising of wine in barrels in the tradition of 19th century breeders. At the end of your visit, the team invites you to share a convivial moment around the wines of Bordeaux.
Institut Culturel Bernard Magrez
The Bernard Magrez Art Institute offers contemporary art exhibitions, concerts, workshops and conferences. The château and other rooms can be rented for product launches, corporate team building events or private events. The Art Institute supports arts through artists residencies, masterpieces orders and other charity events. Is supports science through charity nights and donations. It supports culture thanks to exhibitions, workshops and facilitation of meeting with artists in person.
Since 1987, set in the heart of the city, the Musée d’Aquitaine retraces the history of the region, from prehistory through to the present day. The museum exposes rich regional and extra-European collections of archaeology, history and ethnography. This “Museum of civilisation” presents each years several temporary exhibitions about history and cultures of the world. It offers to public a varied cultural programming: lectures, screenings, round tables, guided tours, concerts, meetings with foreign communities, educational workshops.
Where else is great to visit?
Cathédrale Saint-André de Bordeaux is a Roman Catholic cathedral, located in the heart of the city. It was built during the end of the 14th and early 15th century and was built using traditional building methods of the day, these methods are still evident in the structures today and makes of a very impressive building, inside is not a disappointment and shows the love the workman had for the church in the precision of the carvings and masonry. It is amazing to see and well worth a visit when wandering round the city.
Pont de pierre
First bridge over the Garonne River was designed under the instructions of Napoleon I, it was built between 1819 and 1822. It was not an easy task due to the height and strong river currents; the bridge itself has seventeen arches, which are the number of letters in the name Napoléon Bonaparte. It also carries the coat of arms of the city. It is a very impressive structure and pays great homage to the greatness of the man who commissioned it.
Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux
Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux, The Theatre was designed by the architect Victor Louis who was assigned the task after winning the Grand Prix de Rome which is a very prestigious. The inside of the theatre was renovated in 1991 bringing it back to its former glory and original blue’s and gold’s. Today the theatre is home to the Opéra National de Bordeaux, as well as the Ballet National de Bordeaux and if you have the opportunity to see a performance you will not be disappointed.
What are the highlight attractions?
Place Parlement is a beautiful town square with shops and outdoor cafes on each side, a great place to meet, take tea and watch the world go by. During lunch times and evening the square becomes alive with people enjoying themselves, its mainly tourists who eat but it’s a great place to hangout and experience some of the city’s culture and way of life.
Basilica of St. Michael
The Basilica of St. Michael, Bordeaux, is an over stated Gothic style church which really looks the part, it was started at the end of 14th century and finished in the 16th century, when you see it and inside you will know why, it is very impressive to look at from the outside, when you venture in the church has a nave, four main aisles and a transept going off in different directions, the organ is from the 18th century and looks a wonderful instrument. Well worth a visit if you are in the city.
The Museum of Aquitaine was officially created in 1962 with the concept from Georges Henri Rivière. The museum showcases the history and culture of the country through its various specialties it has a focus on the scientific and the ways research has developed over the years in order to make clear and defining conclusions. The other museums in the country followed suit and it has become a standard across the country. Well worth a visit to experience some of the amazing finds and exhibits from years to research and discovery.