Bordeaux has always been high on my list of French cities to visit, not only because of its wine reputation but also for its beauty. I decided to go to Bordeaux with two friends from Bourges for the last weekend of my two-week break.
Usually, I get a hostel when traveling, but the options weren’t great in Bordeaux. Getting an Airbnb was a better choice and was a comparable price. Our Airbnb was close to the center of town, was an easy walk from the train station and the tram also went right by where we were staying; a ticket cost only 1.60 euros.
My friend, Julia, and I arrived later in the day, so we just walked around town, saw Miroir d’eau and then went to bed.
The Wine and Trade Museum displayed historical wine making tools and described how wine commerce functioned hundreds of years ago. The museum ended with a tasting of two wines.
One of the employees told us about a special type of wine in the Bordeaux region: Clairet. It looks like a dark rosé but is more similar to a red wine with less tannins. This is because the skins are left to macerate for days instead of hours. This wine is so special, in fact, that it can only be found in Bordeaux (so clearly we all bought a bottle). It was one of the best wines I’ve had and has been added to my list of wonderful things I’ve tried that I can’t get in the states.
La Cité du Vin is one of the most high-tech museums I’ve visited. There were numerous interactive exhibits and more videos than any person could possibly watch. We went there toward the end of the day, so we were slightly rushed. Give yourself at least three hours, if not more, to take your time soaking in Bordeaux’s wine history.
The town of Bordeaux is magnificent, but many of the domaines and chateaus are at least a train ride away. We didn’t book any tours/tastings in advance, so we chose to go to Saint-Émilion to do our own half-day tour. This was the easiest (and cheapest) thing to do on such short notice. All of the excursions, which were more expensive, were already full for the weekend.
After deciding between three places in Saint-Émilion, we chose Chateau Villemaurine and booked a tasting and tour the day beforehand. Our tour and tasting cost 12 euros and the train cost 15 euros. * There is nowhere to buy a train ticket at the Saint-Émilion station, so make sure to buy a round trip ticket.* Fortunately, we had phone service and data so that we could buy tickets.