Do you want to visit Bordeaux without breaking the bank? We offer you a circuit of essentials to discover, free of charge, turnkey.
Arm yourself with your cameras and stay vigilant, on your way you will surely come across architectural and historical nuggets, without even realizing it! Here are twenty activities, visits and things to do in Bordeaux for free:
Stroll along the Quays
Start your exploration by the Quays of Bordeaux , equipped with a cycle path and various sports complexes: basketball, football and beach volleyball courts towards the Music Conservatory, near St. Jean station.
La Porte de la Monnaie
It was built in 1758. Previously located on rue des Arlots, harlot meaning “girl of joy” in English, it is one of the smallest gates in the city.
Address: Porte de la Monnaie, 1 rue de la Porte de la Monnaie
Take a short detour and admire…
The Saint-Michel Basilica and its Spire
It is a UNESCO monument completed in the 16th century, located on Place Canteloup and Meynard. Built in a flamboyant Gothic style, it has a separate tower, nicknamed “La Flèche de St. Michel”, measuring 114m.
Address: Saint-Michel Basilica, Between Place Canteloup and Meynard
La Grosse Cloche
It is located in the alignment of the rue du Mirail, this door is the oldest still visible in Bordeaux. It still closes a jail today…
Address: Grosse Cloche, 45 Rue Saint-James
La Porte de Bourgogne
From the Grosse Cloche, go back down the Cours Victor Hugo to return to the Quays and you will come across a 3rd gate, opening onto the Pont de Pierre and the Garonne. Located on Place Bir-Hakeim, this arch is also called Porte des Salinières.
Address: Porte de Bourgogne, Place de Bir Hakeim
The Cailhau gate
Erected opposite the Place du Palais, this gate dates from the end of the 15th century. Similar to a miniature fortified castle, it stands out for its aesthetics and refinement.
Address: Porte Cailhau, Place du Palais
Place de la Bourse and its Water Mirror
Formerly called Place Royale, it was built in the 18th century. You can admire in its center the fountain of the Three Graces, dating from 1896, representing the three daughters of Zeus: Aglaé, Euphrosyne and Thalie.
Address: Place de la Bourse, Quai du Maréchal Lyautey
The Esplanade des Quinconces
Built on the former site of Château Trompette, it annually hosts fairs and carnivals of all kinds. You can admire the fountain of the Girondins and its horses standing in the middle of the water jets.
Address: Esplanade des Quinconces, Place des Quinconces
The Golden Triangle
This space characterizes the triangle formed by the Allées Tourny, the Cours de l’Intendance and the Cours Georges Clémenceau.
The Grand Théâtre and its 12 muses and goddesses
Opéra National de Bordeaux, you can watch operas and ballets there. Located on the Place de la Comédie, it was completed in 1780. Twelve statues contort on its pediment: Euterpe, muse of music; Urania, Muse of Astronomy; Venus, goddess of love; Calliope, Muse of Eloquence; Terpsichore, Muse of Dance; Melpomene, Muse of Tragedy; Thalie, Muse of Comedy; Polymnia, muse of Scripture; Hera, goddess and queen of the gods; Minerva, goddess of wisdom and war; Erato, Muse of Music and finally Clio, Muse of History.
Address: Grand Théâtre, Place de la Comédie
Following on from the Place de la Comédié and the Grand Théâtre, set off to discover the Allées Tourny and its merry-go-round. This square hosts a Christmas market every year where it is possible to buy, for example, Canadian “ice wine” and maple syrup “caught” on ice.
Address: Allées Tourny, Allée Tourny
Le Marché des Grands Hommes (The Market of Great Men)
This commercial gallery with metallic architecture was inaugurated in 1991 by Queen Elizabeth II, nothing less! Located on the Place des Grands-Hommes, you will find various shops nearby.
Address: The Great Men Market, Place des Grands Hommes
The Public Garden
Listed as a Historic Monument since 1935 and classified as a “Remarkable Garden of France”, you will discover the Natural History Museum, a palm grove as well as a cromlech, a circle of menhirs…
Address: Public Garden, Cours de Verdun
The Palais Gallien
These are the remains of a Gallo-Roman amphitheatre, an arena dating from the 2nd century. Only a few arches are still visible.
Address: The Palais Gallien, 126 Rue du Dr Albert Barraud
The Basilica of Saint-Seurin
UNESCO monument, explore its crypt in the basement. Address: Saint-Seurin Basilica
Let’s stroll near Rue St. Catherine, the Roman cardo
La Porte Dijeaux
Fitted with a triangular pediment on which are carved the coat of arms of Bordeaux as well as an ornament of abundance and lilies, it was erected in 1748.
Address: Porte Dijeaux, 90 Rue de la Porte Dijeaux
This is a cinema having taken root in the old St. Siméon church on Place Camille Jullian, near St. Catherine.
Address: Utopia, 5 Place Camille Jullian
St. André Cathedral
Located on Place Pey-Berland, it is a 12th century Gothic church. This cathedral saw the advent of two French queens: first in 1137, when Eleanor of Aquitaine first married the King of the Franks, Louis VII, then in 1615 with the Infanta of Spain, Anne of Austria, who married King Louis XIII.
Address: St. André Cathedral, Place Pey Berland
The Aquitaine Museum
From Prehistory, through Antiquity, the Middle Ages and Bordeaux 18th century with triangular trade, this museum will give you an overview of the history of the city of Bordeaux from its beginnings until today. today.
Address: The Museum of Aquitaine, 20 Cours Pasteur
Free admission every first Sunday of the month, except July-August.
The Porte d’Aquitaine
It is a triumphal arch located on the Place de la Victoire. On its two facades, the coat of arms of Bordeaux and fleur-de-lys are visible.
Address: Porte d’Aquitaine, Place de la Victoire
The Obelisk and its tortoiseshell friend
Enthroned at its full height on the Place de la Victoire, the obelisk is accompanied by a curious turtle, ridden by a mischievous passenger. A meeting place for students on Thursday evenings, La Victoire is one of the city’s main public squares.
Address: Obelisk, Place de la Victoire
Wishing you great rides!
Main photo credit: Pixabay