July is a rather peculiar month, as it is the most touristic time for several cities in the northern hemisphere while it is also the hottest month of the year for this part of the world. For that reason, the best things to do in Bordeaux during this month have a lot to do with enjoying nature and being outdoors to avoid dealing with enclosed spaces under those high temperatures.
I recommend you not to miss this compilation of plans I have organized for you, as they are activities you can't miss, as they can show you the best of the culture and traditions of July in one of the most interesting and fun cities in the south of France.
1. Relax on a cruise on the Garonne River
I always say that if a city has a river and cruise tours are available, don't hesitate and sign up. It is the perfect opportunity to get to know the area from another point of view and in a more comfortable way, because you can continue discovering the city, but without having to walk.
In Bordeaux, specifically, is the Garonne River, one of the largest in Western Europe, which also has its source in Spain. I recommend that you take advantage of the good temperatures in July to take a cruise through Bordeaux on this river while enjoying the views of iconic monuments of the city such as the Quinconces Square, the Pierre Bridge or the Cité du Vin.
2. Take a sidecar tour of the city
Fancy an original plan during your visit to Bordeaux? Well, in summer, I recommend you to sign up for a sidecar tour, one of the most fun ways to discover different parts of this city. Moreover, the best of all is that these tours usually include a private guide on board, so besides having fun, you will also learn many curious facts about Bordeaux.
More information about Bordeaux
- Price: from 62€.
- Duration: approximately one hour.
- Tour locations: Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux, Place de la Bourse, Gate of the Great Bell, historic center, Place de la Comédie, St. Michael's Basilica, among others.
3. Don't miss Les Bassins des Lumières
Les Bassins des Lumières is a digital art center that was once a former submarine base. Here you will find multimedia exhibitions dedicated to great masters, that is, it is a new way to rediscover art and experience it. If you like art, but you don't feel like going into a museum again because you are looking for something different, this is definitely the place for you.
The visit won't take you more than an hour and a quarter, but you can go at your own pace, remember that you will be in the largest digital art center in the world".
- Price: from 15€.
- Location: Imp. Brown de Colstoun, 33300 Bordeaux, France.
- Hours: Sunday to Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
4. Have fun at Bordeaux Open Air
Electronic music is one of the characteristic elements of the European summer. For this reason it is not surprising that a festival like Bordeaux Open Air is one of the most advisable plans for those who want to have a good time enjoying some of the most famous DJ's of the French music scene. The most usual is that the first week of July the inaugural concert takes place in one of the public parks of the city, surely the Parc aux Angeliques is the one chosen for its favorable extension.
More information about the event
- Price: the concerts are completely free of charge.
- Location: the specific location of each one of them is changing because the idea is to occupy different public places that have the ideal atmosphere for this type of musical festivities.
Keep in mind that near the squares where this concert takes place there are monuments and important buildings of the city that you can't miss. So if you want to combine both experiences, I recommend you to get the Bordeaux City Sightseeing Pass to take advantage of the discounts. This pass is also recommended if you are visiting Bordeaux for two days or more.
5. Learn a little dance at Dansons sur les Quais
This interesting cultural event consists of a series of dance classes that take place throughout the city. The idea is that tourists and locals can come together to learn about a variety of contemporary genres such as tango, salsa, Hip Hop, Street jazz, zumba and even Bollywood movie music.
The activities are guided directly by professional dancers who belong to some of Bordeaux' s most prestigious and important dance schools. This is an excellent way to familiarize yourself with the summer traditions of this community and at the same time is something you can combine with a private tour of the city to continue learning about the history of the place.
More information about this tour
- Price: the activity is completely free, as it is a cultural program funded through the city council.
- Location: most of the events usually take place on the river quay located in the central district of Bordeaux.
- Exact date: these meetings and classes usually take place from July 15 to the end of the month.
6. Take a trip to the beach
One of the great advantages of Bordeaux is that it is relatively close to the Atlantic coast of southern France. For this reason, a trip to the beach is a highly recommended plan during a visit in July. Especially if you take into account the high temperatures of the month that invite you to enjoy the sea to cool off.
Specifically, I recommend an excursion to Arcachon from Bordeaux, a site famous for its sand dunes that are one of the largest in Europe.
Arés is another community within the same bay of Arcachon that you could visit if you are interested in enjoying a bit of the sea and, specifically, Cap Ferret is the safe bet if you like the idea of being in a seaside community that is elegant and exclusive. All of these destinations are part of the best day trips from Bordeaux.
7. Join the Jalles House Rock Party
This is one of the biggest rock festivals in the South of France and the program of events is usually quite diverse. The festival says that its main objective is to share the love for rock, so the entrance is free in all its editions.
The fact that the festival can take place in both suburbs and villages near Bordeaux makes the event much more interesting, as it allows you to enjoy those parts of the local landscape that are usually covered in the best wine tours in Bordeaux, which is something that could be added into the tourist planning if you are interested in knowing the wineries and planting fields of this important wine region.
8. Enjoy the art at Zinefest
The world of comics, illustration and photography joins the French interest in poetry. This happens in a festival that includes a schedule with different exhibitions and concerts of musicians with both local and international fame. The name of this event is Zinefest and it basically consists of a multicultural program of activities that seek to celebrate all those arts I have mentioned.
Also, keep in mind that this is a festival with a very family-oriented approach and, therefore, it is part of the best things to do with children in Bordeaux during the month of July.
More information about the festival
- Location: the southern suburbs of the city, around the Marché des Douves.
- Date: every day from the end of June to mid-July. Although it depends directly on the year you visit.
- Price: several of the festival's events are completely free of charge, but others have to be paid for.
9. Take advantage of the good prices of Les Soldes d'été
July is also synonymous with consumption and savings in most French cities and Bordeaux is no exception to this rule. And the fact is that in the middle of this month there are usually the summer sales, which involve a lot of offers both in clothes and shoes, electronics, toys and any other similar item. This means that your trip can end up turning into a fun-filled shopping session where you'll save quite a few euros.
Mériadeck, Galerie Bordelaise and the Bord'eau Village are just a few of the malls you might want to check out in search of these discounts. Although the truth is that the historic center of the city is also full of stores and if any of them interest you, you will most likely find favorable prices. At least until July 20 or 25.
In fact, these discounts start from the last week of June and, therefore, it can be said that shopping is also one of the best things to do in Bordeaux during the month of June.
10. Celebrate the French national day with the local population
July 14 is the most important day for the French and this date is the national holiday known as Bastille Day. The origin of this commemorative date has to do with the French revolution and the proclamation of France as a modern republic, which eventually led to equal rights and conditions for the entire population.
For this reason in Bordeaux both the 13th and 14th of July are usually celebrated all kinds of popular parties while the bars and nightclubs are packed with people. My recommendation is that this day you dedicate yourself to visit the main historical buildings and monuments of the city because surely each of them will have special activities. At the same time, I advise you not to go to bed early, as there will most likely be a fireworks show during the night of July 14.
11. Discover curiosities at Braderie d'été
The streets of downtown Bordeaux are filled with one of the most interesting events of the summer during the penultimate weekend of July. This comes to be the Braderie d'été and basically consists of a big celebration of street markets where local merchants from the south of France take the opportunity to set up stalls selling clothes, shoes and household items.
The rue Porte Dijeaux, rue Sainte Catherine and rue des Trois Conils are usually the epicenter of this event although it is also likely to include other streets depending on the tourist influx and the number of merchants who join the experience in which usually there are usually at least 250 different stalls.
In addition, the experience becomes even more fun because you do not have to be forced to buy. Therefore, it can be a good way to get up close and personal with the wonders that are sold at this type of French antiques market.
12. Don't hesitate to go out for a drink in the open-air bars of Bordeaux
If your visit to Bordeaux does not manage to coincide with the 14th of July, but you are still interested in the idea of enjoying the summer night in this city, then you have to know that the bars under the open sky are an experience not to be missed during the whole month of July. Especially because the nightlife is more interesting than ever during the summer and because the weather of this month makes being outdoors a must for both tourists and locals.
My recommendation is to visit bars that have terraces or are located on the riverside promenades of the Garonne. This is because on both the west and east banks you will find excellent establishments that usually keep their doors open until the wee hours of the morning.
13. Bet on children's entertainment at Le Guignol Guérin
One of the oldest puppet theaters in France, founded in 1853, is located in the city of Bordeaux under the name of Le Guignol Guérin. Throughout the summer and specifically in the month of July , daily shows are given at about four o'clock in the afternoon as an opportunity for local families to entertain their children and, above all, as a great tourist attraction.
It is located within the Parc Bordelais, which is one of the most important and largest public parks in the city that extends across 30 hectares. It has a lake, different playgrounds and a section with farm animals with which you can interact.
This site and its programming of puppet shows throughout the month of July makes it a must-see during your visit. Especially if you are looking for outdoor activities that have a family focus.
Temperatures in Bordeaux in July
July temperatures are the highest of the year in Bordeaux. As a result, you may find yourself in the 30 °C during the day, while in the evenings they drop to 20 °C and even down to 18 °C if it is a particularly cold date.
The number of tourists in Bordeaux in July
The influx of tourists this month is also the highest of the year because it is the summer season, which is synonymous with international tourism around the world. Therefore, it is important that you book your tickets to monuments and activities in advance so as not to run the risk of being left out.
Prices in Bordeaux in July
Prices in Bordeaux are similar or practically identical throughout the summer. At the same time, they are the most expensive when compared to what a trip costs during the spring or during the winter and autumn.
What to pack for a visit to Bordeaux in July?
In your suitcase to visit Bordeaux throughout the month of July you can not miss a good sunscreen and clothes that are comfortable and breathable. In fact, it is appropriate that you go for versatile clothing that you can use both in the countryside and in the city. It is also necessary that you wear comfortable and favorable footwear for walking through the streets of the city center under the high temperatures of the month.