Though the port city of Bordeaux has slightly more than 250,000 residents, when combined with the surrounding suburbs, that number approaches nearly 800,000.
That makes it one of France’s largest metropolitan areas – and it’s one of the country’s most celebrated agricultural, historical, and wine-producing areas.
Its southern location means relatively mild year-round weather. In addition to its cultural, art, food, and wine attractions, it’s also renowned for natural beauty.
Comprised of rivers, marshlands, a thriving urban center, and hundreds of thousands of acres of grapes under cultivation, it’s truly a unique place.
Below are 15 of the best tours of Bordeaux.
1. 3 ½ Hour Old Town and Market Food Tour
Like most of France’s tourist destinations, Bordeaux is a wonder for the senses, and that’s especially true for those with seasoned taste buds.
The city’s historic Old Town area features a bustling market that’s the region’s culinary centerpiece.
This walking tour includes the services of a local guide, who’ll explain the city’s history and culture—especially how it relates to both food and wine.
Guests will meet locals, sample products like chocolate, cheese, and cured meat, and learn about what makes Bordeaux so unique.
Hotel pickup and drop-off aren’t included, but tours meet and start at a central location that’s easily reachable.
2. Sightseeing by Sidecar
What could be more romantic and exhilarating than zipping around Bordeaux in the sidecar of a vintage motorcycle?
Not much, according to previous tour guests.
Along the way, guests will see many of the city’s most significant sights, like Place des Quinconces, St. Michael’s Basilica, the Grosse Cloche Bell Tower, and Grand Opera.
While en route, your guide will describe the things you’re seeing, as well as point out places you may want to explore on your own when the tour is over.
Itineraries vary depending on the season, weather, and traffic, and multiple sidecars may be booked simultaneously to accommodate groups.
3. River Cruise with Guide
River cruises are fun ways to get a unique perspective of amazing cities like Bordeaux.
Guided river cruises last 90 minutes, begin in the middle of the afternoon, and are open to visitors who use wheelchairs.
Along the way, guests will see many of the city’s most notable attractions – like the spectacular Place de la Bourse and the impressive Chaban-Delmas drawbridge – while learning about them from their guide.
Tours include aspects of art and architecture, history and culture, and, of course, food and wine.
Onboard food and drinks are available at extra cost, and both in and outdoor seating are available.
4. 3-Hour Bike Ride
For those who’ve just spent countless hours on a cramped jetliner or in a tiny cabin on a cruise ship, bike tours are excellent ways to stretch your legs and get insight into the new area you’re visiting.
Tours depart from the city center, just a stone’s throw from the magnificent Saint-Andre Cathedral.
Participants will get all the gear they need before heading out to explore the city’s attractions.
It’ll probably be abundantly clear very quickly why Bordeaux is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and why it’s consistently ranked as one of Europe’s best destinations.
Bike tours are generally appropriate for those of most ages and levels of physical ability.
5. Guided Winery Tour & Wine Tasting in Saint Emilion
France is one of the world’s premier wine-producing countries, and many of its wineries have been around for centuries.
On this guided winery tour in Saint Emilion Grand Cru, visitors will go to both historical and contemporary wineries.
Guests will enjoy thorough tours of each facility, learn about how grapes are transformed into delectable and intoxicating beverages, and sample a number of products of varying colors and flavor profiles.
Participants are often particularly impressed with the traditional architecture and craftsmanship found in the older winery’s facilities, and the impressive modern technology used in the more state-of-the-art ones as well.
6. Bordeaux Metropole City Pass
Want free entry to some of the city’s main museums?
Discounts on meals, cruises, wine tastings, and sightseeing cruises on scenic rivers?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then the Bordeaux Metropole City Pass is for you.
Depending on which option you choose, passes are valid for 48 or 72 hours, which means the flexibility to see the things that interest you at your own pace.
Since this is a guideless tour, participants will receive a guidebook full of valuable information that’ll help them make the most of their time.
Other options include transportation by bus or train, as well as the services of a live guide for those who’d like an insider’s insight.
7. Bordeaux Lunch Cruise
Seeing Bordeaux from the deck of a slowly rolling tour boat is a unique experience that tends to make a big impact on first-time visitors to the area.
As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bordeaux is chock-full of historical, architectural, and cultural attractions that are worth checking out.
While cruising along the River Garonne, guests will learn about the things they’re seeing from the boat’s guide and narrator, and probably discover things they’ll want to check out for themselves when the tour is over.
A three-course onboard meal including appetizer, main dish, and dessert is included in the tour’s cost.
8. La Cité du Vin Skip-the-Line Entrance Ticket with Wine Tasting
Though Bordeaux itself is one of the world’s premier wine cities, it also features an attraction called La Cité du Vin that features nearly two dozen exhibits focusing on the region’s wine.
La Cité du Vin is an impressive venue both inside and out. It is a great attraction for visitors unfamiliar with the area because, in addition to its focus on wine, it encompasses bits of history, culture, and lore.
This skip-the-line and wine tasting ticket is a great value for do-it-yourselfers. Visitors generally spend about three hours on-site before heading out to explore other attractions.
Hand-held audio guides are available in eight languages.
9. Bordeaux City Discovery Game
For many energetic tourists, traditional guided tours can be a bit boring.
Thankfully, there are options that let guests interact with others and their surroundings, and this City Discovery Game is one of them.
Using their cellphones, participants will use their problem-solving skills to answer riddles which will lead them from one attraction to the next.
There are 12 stops in all, each of which reveals fascinating aspects of the city’s history that might not be discovered otherwise.
Discovery game tours are great options for families with children and fun-loving visitors traveling in small groups looking for a unique experience.
10. Private Welcome to Bordeaux Walking Tour with a Local
A decent hat, a bottle of water or two, and a pair of comfortable shoes are really all it takes to experience Bordeaux on this private walking tour with a local guide.
Unlike larger tours, where busses and minivans are the main modes of transportation, walking tours allow guests to see things from street-level, which translates into a more intimate and memorable experience.
Guests will meet their guide at their hotel, learn about the neighborhood in which they’re staying, then head out to take in many of Bordeaux’s most prominent attractions.
Short walking tours are great first activities for those interested in getting up to speed quickly.
11. Wine and Food Tasting at St. Emilion’s Chateau Terrace
From chateaus and bistros to vineyards and cafés, there’s really no shortage of culinary hotspots for foodies to enjoy while visiting Bordeaux.
Though harried travelers often spend significant portions of their vacation time hopping from one attraction to another, ample opportunities exist for those who’d like to relax, imbibe, and enjoy the good life for a few hours.
This wine and food tasting combo tour is held at St. Emilion’s Chateau Terrace’s wine bar, which overlooks idyllic vineyards below.
Guests will enjoy three distinct wines from different regions while listening to relaxing music and dining on a variety of tasty tapas dishes.
12. Bordeaux: Full-Day Countryside Tour
The Bordeaux countryside is characterized by amazing natural beauty, large tracts of scenic vineyards, award-winning wineries, and abundant historical attractions.
If it sounds like too much to experience in one day, it’s not.
This ten-hour tour gets underway early and includes round-trip transportation and the services of a local guide.
Tour stops include the otherworldly sand dunes of Pilat, Arcachon Bay, and the Medoc wine region.
Along the way, guests will have time to stop and enjoy the splendor while learning about the things they’re seeing.
Also included are instructor-led wine tastings, a picnic-style lunch with fresh oysters, and entrance fees to two chateaus.
13. Bordeaux by Night Private Citroën 2CV Tour
If you’ve never seen or ridden in a vintage Citroën 2CV, you’re in for an unforgettable experience on this Bordeaux by night tour.
Old Citroëns are generally small, cramped, and loud.
Thankfully, they’re also quintessentially French, making them perfectly unique and romantic ways to experience one of the country’s most iconic cities.
Tours are available lasting either 45 or 90 minutes. They whisk guests to significant sites like the Place des Quinconces, the Grand Theater, the Quays of the Garonne, and St. Michael’s Basilica.
At night, many of the city’s attractions are awash in spectacular light, making for a unique perspective that’s especially popular with photographers.
14. Winery and Wine Bar Tour
For true wine lovers, there may be no more alluring destination than Bordeaux, France.
Unlike other wine tours that tend to focus on tastings, this immersive winery and wine bar tour gives guests in-depth insights into the whole process of winemaking.
Tours last four hours, begin mid-morning and include transportation by bus, a local English speaking guide, and visits to a winery and wine bar.
Multiple samples are included, as are light snacks that pair well with wine, like fresh bread, olives, cheese, and an assortment of deli meats.
Though tours end just after 1:00, guests may stay at the wine bar longer on their own.
15. Craft Distilleries and Cognac Vineyards Private Tour
The grape-growing areas in and around Bordeaux produce some of the world’s most sought after wines, but cognac is another much-loved product.
This tour includes visits to two cognac estates that are owned and operated by local families.
Guests will tour the distilling facility, learn about how aging barrels are made, why the area is so perfect for producing cognac, and sample a variety of the estates’ best vintages.
Tours are only open between Monday and Friday and include lunch and drinks in a small village restaurant before making the scenic drive back to town.