What to Do in Bordeaux: Exploring the City’s Hidden Gems

Bordeaux, often regarded as the wine capital of the world, is a city that beckons travelers with its exceptional wine, breathtaking architecture, and rich history. However, beyond its famed vineyards and iconic landmarks, Bordeaux boasts a plethora of lesser-known treasures waiting to be uncovered. This article aims to take you on a journey through Bordeaux’s hidden gems, shedding light on unique experiences that lie off the beaten path.

Historic Chartrons District

Nestled on the banks of the Garonne River, the Chartrons district is a reflection of Bordeaux’s storied past, blending 18th-century architecture with a contemporary vibe. Once the hub for wine merchants, Chartrons is now characterized by its antique shops, art studios, and chic boutiques.

A leisurely stroll through its cobbled streets gives visitors a chance to relish in the district’s unique ambiance. Don’t miss the Church of Saint-Louis des Chartrons, a neo-Gothic masterpiece. Bordeaux tours will ensure your visit is both educational and memorable! 

CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art

CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art

Source: bordeaux-tourism.co.uk

Set within an old colonial goods warehouse, the CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art is an ode to Bordeaux’s commitment to preserving its history while embracing modernity. Here, art enthusiasts can delve into a rich collection of contemporary works, ranging from paintings and sculptures to audiovisual installations.

The juxtaposition of the old warehouse structure with avant-garde artworks makes it a truly captivating experience. Moreover, the rooftop offers a panoramic view of Bordeaux, providing a scenic backdrop to contemplate the art.

Palais Rohan’s Lesser-Known Rooms

While the Palais Rohan stands as one of Bordeaux’s prominent landmarks, few are aware of its hidden chambers. Once the residence of archbishops, this grand edifice is home to several overlooked rooms, including the ornate Archbishop’s Apartment and the opulent Grand Salon. Exploring these chambers offers a glimpse into the lavish lifestyles of Bordeaux’s historical elite.

Darwin Ecosystem

Darwin Ecosystem

Source: futuribles.com

Blurring the lines between a workspace, cultural center, and urban farm, the Darwin Ecosystem is one of Bordeaux’s most unique attractions. Located on the right bank of the river, it’s a haven for creatives, entrepreneurs, and eco-conscious individuals.

Visitors can marvel at the murals and art installations, join workshops, or simply enjoy the tranquil atmosphere. The emphasis here is on sustainability and community, making it a vibrant and inspiring space.

Grosse Cloche’s Hidden Secrets

The Grosse Cloche, or “Big Bell”, is a staple of Bordeaux’s skyline. While many admire its external grandeur, few know about its intriguing interior. Inside, a winding staircase leads to the belfry, where you can witness the mammoth bell itself.

As you ascend, historical exhibits unravel the bell’s significance, from its use as a warning signal to its role in Bordeaux’s ceremonies. The pinnacle of the visit, however, is the breathtaking panoramic view of the city from the top.

La Cité du Vin’s Off-the-Beaten-Path Exhibits

La Cité du Vin's Off-the-Beaten-Path Exhibits

Source: bordeaux-tourisme.com

La Cité du Vin, or “The City of Wine,” is an architectural marvel dedicated to the world of viticulture. While its main exhibits are frequented by hordes of tourists, several lesser-known sections offer a more intimate exploration.

For instance, the ‘Boat Room’ immerses visitors in the maritime history of wine trade, while the ‘Gallery of Civilizations’ offers a global perspective on wine’s role in various cultures. Venturing into these overlooked corners not only deepens your understanding of wine but also offers a respite from the usual crowds.

If you are a wine lover yourself and would like to know where you can find the “perfect sip”, we got you covered. Check out our article on wine tasting in Vouvray and discover the hidden gem in the world of wine just 355 kilometers away. If you ask me, that is a trip worth taking.


Bordeaux, with its rich tapestry of history, art, and culture, offers more than meets the eye. While its mainstream attractions undoubtedly deserve a spot on every traveler’s itinerary, the city’s hidden gems provide unique insights and experiences that truly encapsulate the essence of Bordeaux.

Whether you’re an art aficionado, history buff, or simply a curious traveler, there’s a treasure trove of secrets waiting to be discovered in this French gem. So, the next time you find yourself wandering the streets of Bordeaux, take a moment to look beyond the obvious and delve into its lesser-known wonders. You might just stumble upon your own hidden gem.