In Aquitaine, the weather can be capricious even in summer, and you might come across rainy days during your trip around Bordeaux. There is nothing to be worried about in this scenario! Winalist knows what it takes to ensure you have a pleasant stay in Bordeaux, whatever the weather conditions!
From visiting the City of Wine Museum and other Bordeaux museums to discovering some of the best restaurants in Bordeaux, there is still much to do in this beautiful city when it rains.
Top 6 things to do in Bordeaux when it’s raining
Bordeaux being a very dynamic and active city, it offers plenty of alternatives to outdoor activities. From museums to oenological workshops, discover great indoor activities that will make you spend a wonderful day in Bordeaux – even in the rain!
1. Visit Saint-André Cathedral
Located on Place Pey-Berland, Saint-André Cathedral is the largest place of worship in Bordeaux. It has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998.
Despite the fire which severely damaged it in the 19th century, its reconstruction has restored it to its former glory. Among the works that adorn its walls, testifying to the thousand-year-old history of Bordeaux, we find in particular a painting by the great Flemish painter Jacob Jordaens.
The treasures of Saint-André Cathedral are accessible during a guided tour every Wednesday and Saturday from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Count 2 € per adult (+ 12 years old) for an entry.
2. Bordeaux museums
What could be easier when it’s raining than taking refuge in a museum? With Bordeaux museums, art lovers and hobbyists will always find something to satisfy their curiosity.
The city of Bordeaux, France is home to some of the best museums in the world. From art galleries to science centers, there are plenty of fascinating places to explore and learn about French culture and history.
The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux is a great place for those interested in fine arts, featuring works from renowned artists like Monet and Manet. For something more interactive, visitors can head over to Cité du Vin or La Maison des Esclaves et de l’Esclavage for hands-on activities exploring winemaking or slavery history respectively.
There’s also the Natural History Museum which offers an interesting look at nature through its numerous exhibits on flora and fauna. No matter what your interests are, you’re sure to find something that piques your curiosity at one of these incredible museums located in beautiful Bordeaux!
The Aquitaine Museum, right in the center of the city, houses an exhibition retracing the history of Bordeaux since prehistoric times. Throughout the year, temporary exhibitions take place, highlighting various cultures of the world articulated around a varied program. The Aquitaine Museum is located at 20 cours Pasteur, accessible by tram line B. Closed on Mondays, it is open the rest of the week from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Discover the Wine Museum of Bordeaux
La Cité du Vin (City of Wine Museum) is a unique place, which offers, as you may have guessed, an immersive tour on the theme of vine & wine. This modern building is one of the essential visits of Bordeaux whether it rains or not, and one most well-know Bordeaux museums in the country.
Exhibitions are constantly on offer, articulated around different themes such as “The Art of Living, Through History, Know-How, Around the World”. In general, the City of Wine Museum is open every day from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. as well as on weekends and during holidays.
3. Learn about oenology
Oenology is a pleasure accessible to all those who wish to have a good time and learn new things about wine – and in this case, Bordeaux wines. A friendly moment par excellence as a couple, with family or friends, the guided tasting is a fun and pleasant way to share at any age (provided you are of age, of course).
In Bordeaux, there is plenty to enjoy. You will find very good wine cellars offering oenological workshops in the city center, or in a few clicks on Winalist!
Discover some of the world’s most renowned wine by touring the best Bordeaux wineries.
4. Discover the local gastronomy of Bordeaux
Bad weather in Bordeaux? Don’t worry, the Marché des Capucins has something to comfort you. Founded in 1525, this large covered hall is the temple of local gastronomy. If you are fond of fresh, good and varied products, this is a visit not to be missed.
This large market with a lively atmosphere, sometimes even festive near the wine stalls, is an institution where the entire population of Bordeaux rubs shoulders.
Cosmopolitan and authentic, it’s the ideal place to snack and explore while a downpour passes. Apart from the traditional dishes of the region, you can also discover cuisines from around the world (Greece, Italy, Maghreb, Portugal, etc.).
4. Food and wine with friends at Halles des Bacalan
This fancy food market opened its gates on November 2017 and has been visited by more than 60,000 people in the first month. No surprises there, as Bordeaux is well known for its gourmand population.
This impressive 950m2 hangar is located just in front of the famous Cité du Vin and hosts 23 different artisans and traders that were chosen for the quality of their products (85% of which are produced in the South-West region of France)
6. Visit the chic foodie market – Boca
If your stomach starts growling after the long art session in FRAC, just continue to the next place on Quai de Paludate – La Boca Foodcourt. Le Halle the Boca is a long hangar with rows of wooden tables in the middle and about 15 different restaurants. It’s especially nice if you come as a group of people and share many different plates.
Best Restaurants in Bordeaux
There are plenty of restaurants in Bordeaux worth going to any day – but especially a rainy day when you want to taste some delicious indoor cuisine.
The first of the three best restaurants in Bordeaux, France is the Michelin Starr restaraunt, La Tupina. Located in the heart of the city center, this restaurant offers exquisite traditional French cuisine and a unique atmosphere like no other.
Its menu includes everything from classic dishes such as foie gras and magret de canard to more exotic recipes such as grilled octopus with pesto vinaigrette.
The second top-rated place is Le Petit Commerce, which specializes in Mediterranean seafood dishes. This family-run spot provides an authentic dining experience with its use of local ingredients sourced from nearby markets.
Lastly, there’s La Brasserie Bordelaise – a lively gastropub that serves flavorful regional specialties along with beer and wine selections from all over France. All three restaurants provide delicious meals that are sure to satisfy any palate!
Le Comptoir des Chartrons is another excellent restaurant that offers a unique dining experience. The menu features traditional French bistro dishes, as well as a wide array of international cuisine. In addition to the food, guests can expect exceptional service and an extensive wine list. Bordeaux restaurants never disappoint!
What to visit around Bordeaux?
Less than an hour by road or train, you will find many of the essential historical monuments of the Bordeaux region. And there’s something for everyone, from the seaside at Bassin d’Arcachon to the medieval winemaking village of Saint-Émilion.
FAQ & Useful resources
What to do in Bordeaux when it rains?
– Eating at the Halles de Bacalan
– Take a walk in Darwin
– Ice skating in Mériadeck
– Visit Pessac Zoo
– Go for an escape game
– Satisfy your curiosity in Bordeaux museums
– Relax and have fun in a “game bar”
Where to park for free in Bordeaux?
You can park for free in the parking lot of the Mériadeck shopping center for 1h30. Parking in the streets of Bordeaux is free between 7 p.m. and 9 a.m. during the week and all day on Sundays and public holidays.
Where to park your car in Bordeaux?
Go quickly to the Bourse (2, place de la Bourse), Cité Mondiale (20, quai des Chartrons), Front du Médoc (rue Robert Lateulade), Gambetta (rue des Commandos de France), Pey Berland (place Pey Berland) car parks. ), République (place de la République), Tourny (alleys of Tourny), and Victoire (place de la Victoire).