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Traveling alone in France? Just say oui! As a female solo traveler, I always look for cities with an amicable atmosphere. In this big world, the choice seems limitless, which leads to confusion. When you travel alone, you wish to make the most of your journey. If you only have 3 days in Bordeaux, make the most out of them with this itinerary.
Where is Bordeaux Located?
Bordeaux is located in Southwestern France. A port city that sits on the Garonne river in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. Bordeaux is known for being the wine capital of France.
The distance from Paris to Bordeaux is only 310 miles. The average train will get you there in 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Best Time To Visit Bordeaux
If you love wine tasting, the best time of year to visit Bordeaux is between May and November. From late August through early October, you can attend a grape harvest.
Visiting from spring through fall is also the best time to explore the vineyards! Although I don’t love winter, I would visit Bordeaux during Christmas. The pictures of the darling Christmas Markets have me thinking I might a quick trip here next year!
Since this city is so incredibly charming, any time of the year is really a good time to visit Bordeaux!
Get the Bordeaux-Inspired Look
How Many Days Do You Need in Bordeaux?
The number of days you need in Bordeaux really depends on the type of traveler you are. Bordeaux is a place I could spend weeks exploring and experiencing. But in general, 3 nights would suffice in most cases.
If you are active, 3 days will be plenty to see the main attractions in Bordeaux. This is primarily possible because Bordeaux is a smaller city. And having experienced both the vivid big top destination life and the enchanting small cities around Europe, I prefer the latter.
When saying ‘small’ cities in France, do not envision isolated villages that may depress an energetic female solo traveler. Think medium-sized, great transport links, and not too touristy. Seeing all of Bordeaux in just 3 days is a bit ambitious, but you can get a good overview in that amount of time.
Free Google Map of Bordeaux
Learn how to Make A Downloadable Map: Here
Is Bordeaux Worth Visiting?
100% YES, Bordeaux is worth visiting! Spending 3 days in Bordeaux, France, is a superb idea if you’re searching for a lovely city with pleasant people and world heritage sites. And if you are visiting Paris, taking the train down to Bordeaux is easy!
There is a certain charm found in Bordeaux that makes it such a visit-worthy city. You will escape so much of the congestion you find in bigger cities like Paris. Walking the streets, I felt a sense of ease, and peace, unlike other places I have visited.
Bordeaux is also more affordable than Paris, with a friendlier atmosphere. The city is very clean and less crowded than I was expecting.
Read More: Solo Travel Ideas for Paris
Bordeaux a Walkable City?
Bordeaux is very walkable since it is a small city you can easily get around without ever needing public transit. I would rank it among one of the most walkable cities I have visited.
There are a lot of pedestrian-only squares in Bordeaux, which I love. The city has a well-connected public transportation system, subways, buses, and trams. Renting a car wasn’t even a thought in my mind when visiting Bordeaux for 3 days.
Bring your comfortable shoes, as the cobblestones can be hard on your feet! Also, be sure to check out the Bordeaux City Pass! It will come in handy, I promise!
Solo Travel Bordeaux Top Tips
If you are traveling alone in Bordeaux here are some helpful tips!
- If you are arriving via the Bordeaux International Airport research how you will get to the hotel. For newbie solo travelers, arrange an Airport Pickup! It’s nice to be greeted when you land.
- Make sure to call your phone carrier and understand your options for using your mobile phone abroad! I recommend getting a European SIM card.
- Download all apps for travel, especially Google Offline Maps! Just in case you need to access them when service is low.
- Book a hotel in the center of town. I spend a little more to stay central when I am traveling alone. It always pays off!
Best Hotels in Bordeaux for Solo Travellers
The perfect hotel for 3 days in Bordeaux is Hotel de Tourney. This boutique hotel is located in the city center of Bordeaux. It is within walking distance of Monument aux Girondins. My room was modern, sparkling clean, and offered free wifi.
When returning to Bordeaux, I will make sure to stay at this hotel.
For other top hotels in the area, check out these:
Day 1 In Bordeaux
Transit From The Airport
When arriving in Bordeaux by plane, you have a couple of options to get to the city center. If you don’t arrange an airport pick-up, the obvious first choice is a taxi. It could cost you about 43 euros or more depending on when you arrive.
Alternatively, you can take the bus to the train.
Taking public transit will double the time to arrive in the city center of Bordeaux, but it’s a fraction of the cost of a taxi.
The transit time on public transit is about an hour, vs. the taxi transit time of 30 minutes. The shuttle bus to take is the Navette Shuttle 30 Direct, and it will take you to Gare de Bordeaux St. Jean.
The cost for a one-way adult ticket is 8 euros. The schedule is here: Schedule.
The Bordeaux City Pass is a great option for 3 days in Bordeaux. This pass includes transit within Bordeaux city for buses and trams. Also, enjoy free entry to museums, and discount tickets to excursions around Bordeaux.
I always recommend utilizing a city pass or bus tour on the first day of any trip. Getting a broad overview of the city highlights is the best way to see everything you want to see.
City Pass for 48 -72 hours cost 39 euros. It includes :
- Unlimited access to tram, bus, river shuttle
- 20 museums and monuments
- 1 guided tour
- Many discounts on cruises, wine tours, and more
- Great for day trips from Bordeaux
Top Sites Visiting Bordeaux Day 1
Cathedrale Saint Andre I enjoy visiting a church more than visiting a museum. This is not because I am a religious person, I find a building more interesting than a bunch of old artifacts.
Exploring the cathedral is a lovely way to spend a morning or afternoon in Bordeaux. Don’t forget to check out the tower.
An extra tip from A Solo Woman Traveling: The wait for tickets can be a bit long, so go early. It’s a tight stairwell, so you should reconsider if you have issues being in small spaces.
The Girondins Monument is an incredibly beautiful fountain with a towering column erected to honor the Girondin revolutionaries.
The monument is located in the center of Bordeaux, close to the Garonne River. It is the perfect spot to visit at sunset.
The Girondins Monument is a significant tourist attraction, so to avoid crowds, you may need to visit in the early morning.
If I were to visit only one monument when visiting Bordeaux, this would be the one. It was a wonderful experience for me.
Shopping on Rue Sainte Catherine is a beautiful female-friendly activity. Here you will find all the shops of famous brands and some local designers.
The streets of Bordeaux are lined with the most idyllic cafes for when you need to take a break from the shops.
Be advised that shops are closed on Sundays and holidays in France! Sadly, I didn’t realize this when I planned to arrive on a Sunday. Luckily, the cafes were open, so I enjoyed window shopping and drinking coffee.
Visiting Bordeaux Day 1 Restaurants
La Diplomate is a tea house serving Bordeaux’s best tea in the most incredible ambiance.
I highly recommend spending some time enjoying infused tea and a piece of cake.
Nama is a fantastic choice when visiting Bordeaux! This restaurant has a mystery menu that will leave you wishing for more! If you aren’t feeling adventurous, you can order a la carte.
The service here is fantastic, which can greatly impact your experience.
If you are vegetarian and gluten-free, there is an option for you!
I would highly recommend making reservations at this restaurant. Nama is closed on Mondays, and open from 19:30 – 22:30 the remaining days of the week.
Day 2 In Bordeaux
I can’t think of a better way to experience Bordeaux than taking a candy-tasting and walking tour.
If this is your first time traveling as a solo woman, I highly suggest taking the city tour. Not only is it a fantastic way to dive into Bordeaux, but you could also make new friends or merely socialize! If you do decide to skip the walking tour, be sure to visit the Place de la Bourse and the Miroir d’eau on your own.
After 20 years of construction, this 18th-century palace is a crowned jewel of Bordeaux. It was built outside the medieval city walls, evidencing the growth of Bordeaux.
Some other Bordeaux highlights are :
- Quais de Bordeaux Walk The walk is along the Garonne river and has lovely views of Bordeaux.
- The Grosse Cloche The passage through is open to the public. You will need a guide to show you the dungeons that were used to keep young people who did not respect curfew or public order.
- Tour Pey-Berland This 66-meter bell tower was constructed back in the 15th century. You must climb 233 steps in a narrow spiral staircase to reach the terrace at the top of the tower.
The Jardin Public It is located in the heart of Bordeaux and serves as a place of relaxation. It is surrounded by beautiful trees and flowers that span the entire length of this historic garden.
Visiting Bordeaux Day 2
The Best Restaurants in Bordeaux
The menu is small and to the point, with some classic pasta dishes and antipasti. Bar Primi is located close to the Grosse Cloche, perfect for lunch.
I want to offer you a variety of choices when it comes to restaurants, so below, you can find a list of some of the best in Bordeaux!
- La Belle Epoque I had a wonderful lunch at this friendly bistro close to the river in Bordeaux. It is a French cuisine-inspired menu with very reasonable prices.
- Nofa is a creative restaurant serving French and Italian fusion. This place is tiny, so pre-book. The staff is friendly and seems happy to have you as their guest.
- Berthus is classic French cuisine served in a cozy environment. The service was fantastic, and the prices were perfectly reasonable. You will need a reservation, which can be made online.
Bordeaux is famous for its wines. So here’s a wine shop I recommend;
- L’indendant If you’re a wine lover, you should consider visiting this historic store as they sell various wines.
Day 3 in Bordeaux
I can’t think of any other activity more female-friendly than wine tasting! Even if you have just 3 days in Bordeaux, there is time for wine tasting! Visiting Bordeaux without tasting a glass of wine is like visiting Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower. If this interests you, then this is a perfect day trip from Bordeaux.
Luckily, Bordeaux, France, is one of the top locations in Europe for wine tasting. Bordeaux wine has a great aging potential and excellent taste, which makes it a delight for wine lovers. The history of wine in Bordeaux dates back to around 43 AD when the Romans cultivated wine for soldiers by establishing vineyards in the city. A day tour is a great way to see more of the surrounding areas without having to do any of the planning. I chose this tour company for my day tour to Saint Émilion, and I couldn’t be happier!
This tour lasts 5.5 hours and hits all the highlights of St. Émilion. The van ride is about 40 minutes to the winery, where the tour would start. The drill is as follows – first comes wine theory, such as harvesting and production, and then comes the practical bit, which is… drum roll please… wine tasting.
Following the tasting, you are taken to the town of St Emilion. I can highly recommend visiting this charming village! As a single female, you will feel incredibly safe and homey walking these cobblestone streets alone.
After about a 45-minute walk around the town, you meet with the group and head back to Bordeaux.
I hope you enjoyed your 3 days in Bordeaux! Touring the South of France is one of the most magical trips I have ever made!
FAQs For Bordeaux
If you want to see the top sites in Bordeaux, I suggest a minimum of 3 nights in Bordeaux. If you have more time, 5 nights in Bordeaux is ideal.
If you have to choose between the two cities, choose Bordeaux. Bordeaux is friendly, smaller, cleaner, and has a more authentic feel than Paris.
I felt very safe visiting Bordeaux alone as a solo woman. Even at night, I felt safe walking around by myself. I advise staying in the city center and researching the area’s safety on your own.
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