bordeaux's best bits: 6 summer activities

Last updated Jul 04, 2023


Bordeaux is a UNESCO listed stunner, buzzing with art installations, riverside cafes and wine bars hidden down cobbled streets. This is quintessential France complete with drool-worthy food and an air of quiet sophistication. Check out our top picks to break out of lockdown in Bordeaux this summer…


1. kayaking on the garonne river

The Garonne River is the beating heart of Bordeaux. Running through the city, it’s lined with flower-rimmed terraces and bustling markets. Take in all of Bordeaux’s beautiful sights from its unique perspective in a kayak. You’ll float under postcard-perfect bridges and wave to passers-by sipping coffee on the banks. Book with Bordeaux Canoe for a 1.5 hour loop for €25 from the Garonne Shipyards.

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2. diy wine tour

There’s no other place in the world that loves wine as much as Bordeaux. With vineyards and wineries surrounding the city and wine caves hiding behind Renaissance building facades, it can be difficult to know where to start. La Cité du Vin is your one stop shop for everything wine related. It’s the world biggest wine museum complete with interactive tours and wine tasting (of course). The whole building is shaped like a giant decanter so you know it means business. Tickets start from €20.

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3. explore darwin ecosystem

A testament to Bordeaux’s creativity and innovation, the Darwin Ecosystem is where artists, skaters,  musicians and entrepreneurs blend together in an eclectic collective village. Formally a military barracks, this hodge-podge of buildings has everything from an indoor skatepark to an urban farm. Check out the giant street art frescos, go bargain hunting in a second-hand shop or catch an event, film or exhibition. You’ll find this slice of utopia in the Bastide district, the other side of Pont de Pierre.

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4. head to the beach

Just because you’re staying in the city centre doesn’t mean you don’t need some R&R beach time. If you’ve rented a car, a day trip to the stunning Arcachon's bay area is a must. Just an hour from Bordeaux you’ll find sandy beaches, oyster ports and Dune du Pilat - the highest sand dune in Europe, just think of all those roly-polys. For sun and sand closer to home, head to Plage du Lac on the tram. It’s a sandy lakeside beach with kid-friendly activities all through the summer.

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5. get your art on


Bordeaux is bursting at the seams with art of every description, rivalling any major European city for its collections and reinvention of traditional exhibitions. Tick all the classics off the list at the Musée des Beaux-Arts, where you’ll find the likes of Matisse and Rodin plus excellent temporary exhibitions at the adjacent Galerie des Beaux-Arts. For contemporary art head to CAPC Musée d’Art Contemporain housed in a giant former warehouse. Explore modern art through thought-provoking themes and don’t miss the Keith Haring mural. But the pièce de resistance is the brand new Bassins de Lumières, the largest digital art centre in the world, located in four massive former submarine bases. This summer see the works of Gustav Klimt projected on the concrete walls to the sound of pianist Luca Longobardi.

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6. stuff your face


Prepare to go up a jean size, Bordeaux is a feeder. From Michelin starred restaurants to authentic French bistros, there’s a must-try down every cobbled street. Wherever you end up, try Bordeaux’s classic dish ‘entrecote bordelaise’, a rib steak cooked in gravy, wine, butter, shallots and bone marrow. It’s at its best washed down with a glass of local red. For something sweeter get your hands on a canelé (or three), these chimney shaped cakes are filled with custard and have a crispy caramel crust. Dreamy! Pick them up at Cannelés Baillardran.

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With its trendy neighbourhoods and bustling riverside Bordeaux is Paris’s feisty little sister. Get in on the action before everyone catches on. At Staycity Bordeaux City Centre you get all the city’s best bits on your doorstep.


Find out more and book now for summer 2023 here.