The city is home to some of the finest wines in the world, so going on wine tours is a popular option in Bordeaux. However, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the city and the region. The history, architecture, and gastronomy of Bordeaux are not to be missed on your tour. Besides, Bordeaux is near the Bay of Arcachon on the Atlantic coast which adds interest to visiting Bordeaux and staying longer.
It is optimal to spend at least three days in Bordeaux. One or two days can be devoted to visiting wineries in the famous wine regions of the Medoc and Saint-Emilion, while during the third day, you can explore the city, visit the wine museum, go on a food tour or simply join locals on the Quays of the Garonne or at the local farmers’ market.
I am a wine tour guide in Bordeaux and here are my thoughts on how many days you should spend in Bordeaux depending on your interests.
1 Day in Bordeaux
If you are limited on time or perhaps you are not that much into wine, it is possible to visit Bordeaux in one day.
What would I do in one day in Bordeaux?
– go on a half-day tour of Saint-Emilion or the Medoc
– wonder around Bordeaux city center, sit in a cafe or have dinner with southwestern France specialties
– join a wine tasting in the city of Bordeaux
Many of our clients make a day trip to Bordeaux from Paris. It is a long day, but it is well worth it. See more details in my article Can I Visit Bordeaux Wineries from Paris in One Day?
2 Days in Bordeaux
Two days in Bordeaux is the choice of many visitors.
If I had two days in Bordeaux I would:
– Go for a full-day wine tour to the Medoc or to Saint-Emilion wine areas (read about Medoc vs. Saint -Emilion)
– Explore the city center on your own or join a walking tour of Bordeaux
– Visit La Cite Du Vin. Here is the link to skip-the-line tickets
– Spend an evening at a wine bar in Quartier Saint-Pierre
If you are in Bordeaux only for a day or two I recommend staying in the core of the city centre, somewhere near the Grand Theatre. While staying at a Bordeaux vineyard is possible, add about one hour drive each way to the city centre, the airport or the train station.
Here is more on Where to Stay In Bordeaux City Centre.
3 Days in Bordeaux
I think spending three days in Bordeaux is making a lot of sense. You will have enough time for your wine tours, but you will not miss out on what the city of Bordeaux has to offer.
If I had three days in Bordeaux I would:
– Visit two wine regions of Bordeaux – one on the Left Bank and one on the Right Bank.
– Walk in the city center, go to La Cite du Vin for a couple of hours or visit a farmers’ market
– Enjoy dinner at a Michelin-star restaurant and a couple of wine bars in the city center
-Explore the wine bar scene.
4 Days in Bordeaux
If you are interested in wine or want to have a relaxing holiday in the south of France, it definitely makes sense to spend at least four days in Bordeaux
If I had four days in Bordeaux I would:
– Visit at least two wine regions of Bordeaux – one on the Left Bank and one on the Right Bank, and potentially Pessac-Leognan/Graves or Sauternes.
– Spend a day in the Arcachon area, climb the Dune of Pyla and have dinner at La Co(o)orniche.
– Go for one of the city activities: La Cite du Vin, a food tour, or an architecture tour.
– Enjoy dinner at a Michelin-star restaurant and a popular local place in Bordeaux.
– Explore Bordeaux wine bars
– Stay a night or two in the vineyards near Bordeaux
5 Days in Bordeaux
Five days in Bordeaux is for serious wine lovers.
If I had five days in Bordeaux I would:
– Visit two, three or four wine regions of Bordeaux – the Medoc, Saint-Emilion/Pomerol, Pessac-Leognan/Graves or Sauternes
– Spend a day in the Arcachon area, climb the Dune of Pyla, taste oysters at Cap Ferret, or go surfing
– Enjoy what the city has to offer – La Cite du Vin, a food tour, an architecture tour, or a performance at the Grand Theatre.
– If you are not wined out yet, go for a wine tasting in the city of Bordeaux
– Enjoy dinner at a Michelin-star restaurant and a popular local place
– Have breakfast or brunch at one of the many cafes in central Bordeaux
– Visit Marche des Capucins or another farmers’ market
– Go for a day trip in the Entre-Deux-Mers region to discover small Medieval villages.
Staying at the vineyard of Medoc, Saint-Emilion or even Sauternes is a good idea if you are in Bordeaux for five days or more.
You can see more tips and recommendations on visiting Bordeaux and its wineries in my blog.
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