Christmas Markets in Bordeaux: dates, location and best activities

Mercado de Natal de Bordéus, em França.
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2024-01-25

Everything you need to know about the Christmas Market in Bordeaux, France! The best tourist attractions, must-try items at the market stalls, gastronomic suggestions, accommodation, and much more.

I recently returned from a family weekend where I had the joy of experiencing the Bordeaux Christmas Market, and what a market it is!

Having visited Toulouse during Christmas, expectations were high for French Christmas markets, and the verdict is that it’s well worth going to Bordeaux at this time of year.

So, in this article, I’ve gathered the information you need to organize your Christmas trip to Bordeaux. And if you have anything to share, please leave a comment. I’m more than happy to help!

Christmas Market in Bordeaux, France

Mercado de Natal em Bordéus, França.
Christmas Market in Bordeaux, France.

More than 100 stalls offering crafts, perfumes, clothing, and food fill Allées du Tourny in the center of Bordeaux. This is where the Marché de Noël Bordeaux takes place.

To enter, it is necessary to show backpacks and pass through a metal detector, which may be a bit intimidating, but is a preventive measure that makes perfect sense in today’s world.

Each stand stands out for something particular. Sweets and jams on one side, clothes on the other, crafts, and cascades of chocolate that are hard to ignore.

The places with more people are those selling food and drinks, forming queues of a few minutes. Civility is impressive, and the queues quickly disappear, with everyone satisfied with a glass or plate in hand.

Dates: from November 24th to December 27th, 2023.

Opening hours: from 11 am to 9 pm.

Location: All. de Tourny, 33000 Bordeaux, France.

Free admission.

Best Things To Do in Bordeaux for Christmas

Ópera Nacional iluminada: Luzes de Natal em Bordéus.
National Opera illuminated: Christmas Lights in Bordeaux.

Here is a list of the best things to do in Bordeaux during the Christmas season, but I must tell you that this list is not intended to be exhaustive.

In other words, my idea is to give you some tips on how to make the most of your trip to Bordeaux at Christmas, leaving room and time to discover the city at your own pace.

So, these are my suggestions for a fantastic weekend in Bordeaux.

Visit the Christmas market

Barraquinhas no mercado de Natal de Bordéus.
Stalls at the Bordeaux Christmas market.

The Christmas market is a significant event in Bordeaux. The fact that it is open for 10 hours a day helps disperse the crowds, but when night falls, the queues to enter the market increase considerably.

However, don’t let the number of visitors discourage you from exploring the market, as the flow is quite manageable, with people leaving the venue at all times.

Wine Tasting

Prova de vinhos em Bordéus.
Wine Tasting in Bordeaux.

At Le Bar À Vin, next to the Christmas market, you can enjoy a wine tasting of the region.

In fact, the Bordeaux region is the second-largest wine-growing area in the world, with an annual production of over 700 million bottles.

The wine prices are quite affordable, ranging from €2 to €3.5 per glass, allowing you to try various wines at a very reasonable cost. You can also complement your tasting with cheese boards, charcuterie, or chocolates.

My suggestion is to take your time, so you can fully savor the experience.

Take a boat trip with a wine tasting

Cruzeiro em Bordéus, com prova de vinhos.
Cruise in Bordeaux with a wine tasting.

For a richer experience, how about sampling the famous Bordeaux wines aboard a cruise on the Garonne River?

You can make this happen by taking a tour departing from La Cité du Vin in Bordeaux.

This way, you get to enjoy two of Bordeaux’s tourist attractions simultaneously: wine and the city’s landscapes

See the Christmas lights and decorations

Luzes de Natal em Bordéus.
Christmas Lights in Bordeaux.

Similar to other French cities, Bordeaux makes a significant investment in Christmas lighting. Therefore, you will see Christmas lights and decorations in various colors adorning monuments and streets throughout the city.

Shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants also dress up for the occasion with cascades of lights and festive decorations that stand out in a sea of twinkling lights.

So, take some time in the city center to discover these little treasures. If you don’t feel like searching for the most beautiful Christmas lights in Bordeaux, here are some notable locations:

  • Promenade de Sainte-Catherine;
  • Opéra National de Bordeaux (Pl. de la Comédie, 33000 Bordeaux, France);
  • Cours de l’Intendance.

Hotels near the Christmas Market in Bordeaux

MEININGER Hotel Bordeaux Gare Saint-Jean.
MEININGER Hotel Bordeaux Gare Saint-Jean.

As I found the hotels near the Christmas market in Bordeaux to be quite expensive, I opted for accommodation a bit farther from the city center.

The MEININGER Hotel Bordeaux Gare Saint-Jean is about a 10-minute walk from the Gare St Jean train station, which is a little over half an hour from All. de Tourny, where the Christmas market is located.

Indeed, it’s a bit far, but I must say that the stroll along the Garonne River is quite pleasant.

As I mentioned, I chose this hotel because the alternative was more expensive, but if budget is not an issue for you, I suggest checking out the Hôtel de Sèze & Spa Bordeaux Centre (4 stars) or the Hotel de L’Opéra (2 stars), both centrally located.

If none of these recommendations appeals to you, then take a look at the map with hotels and apartments in Bordeaux.

Everything you need to know about the Christmas Markets in Bordeaux, France

Produtos locais no mercado de Natal de Bordéus.
Local products at the Bordeaux Christmas Market (Les produits du Terroir).

When does the Christmas Market in Bordeaux start?

The Bordeaux Christmas Market starts on November 24 and runs until December 27, 2023.

Furthermore, the opening hours are from 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM, meaning every day, for 10 hours, you can enjoy the Christmas market.

Is the Christmas Market in Bordeaux safe?

Decorações de Natal em Bordéus, França.
Christmas Decorations in Bordeaux, France.

In general, I consider the area around the Bordeaux Christmas Market to be safe, mainly due to the presence of police and security checks at the entrance to the market.

However, I must mention that I saw homeless people sleeping under bridges, and there were many individuals asking for money near the entrance of monuments.

If I were alone, I might have avoided walking in the streets late at night to prevent potential issues.

Now, what you should not skip is travel insurance for Bordeaux, France. I recommend IATI insurances, which are comprehensive and reasonably priced.

Moreover, in case you need to activate the insurance, there is no need for upfront payments and reimbursement requests afterward, which is a significant advantage.

Get your travel insurance (European Countries | Rest of The World).

How’s the weather in Bordeaux at Christmas?

Place de la Bourse com nevoeiro.
Place de la Bourse in fog.

Expect quite cold weather during Christmas in Bordeaux! Minimum temperatures can drop to zero degrees, while maximum temperatures are unlikely to exceed 15 degrees Celsius.

Therefore, bring warm, layered clothing that you can easily remove when entering indoor locations, such as cafes and restaurants.

Additionally, the proximity to the Garonne River causes morning fog or mist, which usually dissipates after 10 AM.

Final tips to make the most of the Christmas Market in Bordeaux:

  • Bring warm clothing, as it can get cold during the day and even colder at night.
  • Try the food from the stalls, including crepes, beignets, poutine, aligot, raclette, in short, a gastronomic journey through different parts of the world.

Other Articles about European Christmas Markets

Would you like to explore more Christmas markets? Then, we take the liberty to suggest that you check out the following posts:

We are a family traveling around the world and sharing our journey and experiences at passaportenobolso.com. Here you can find plenty of family budget travel tips as well as practical information about numerous destinations in Europe, Africa, Asia and America. We have visited 30+ countries and we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Follow our adventures on YouTube / Instagram / Pinterest / Twitter / Facebook.

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