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  1. France - French
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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Bordeaux

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Bordeaux each year. The main ones are listed below.

January 1: New Year's Day (national holiday)

March or April: Easter Monday (national holiday)

May 1: Labour Day (national holiday)

On the first of May, it is customary to offer a sprig of lily-of-the-valley to close ones. Many vendors occupy the pavement on that occasion!

May 8: Victory Day (national holiday)

Commemorates the Allied victory in Europe that ended World War II on this day in 1945. Various ceremonies are held around town.

June 21: Fête de la Musique (celebrated nationwide)

Also celebrated internationally as World Music Day, for this festival many free concerts featuring all types of music are held in the streets and at various venues across Bordeaux.

June: Bordeaux Fête le Vin (local event)

A wine trail stretching for over a mile in central Bordeaux, this incredible event is an opportunity for various animations, concerts and other shows along the banks of the Garonne River!

Summer season: Scènes d'Été (local event along the Gironde estuary)

With music, dance, theatre and street arts, this programme of over 500 events (more than half of which are free), jointly organized by over 200 of the region's towns and cities, is perfect for outings with family members or friends.

July 14 : Bastille Day (national holiday)

This holiday celebrates both the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789, the key event marking the beginning of the French Revolution. It plays as a symbol of the end of the privileges enjoyed by the clergy and the aristocracy. In Bordeaux, this anniversary is commemorated each year with a fireworks display over the Garonne River between the Pont de Pierre and the Place de la Bourse. Wonderful!

August 15: Assumption Day (national)

This celebration, still very popular in Bordeaux, is marked by the faithful with religious ceremonies. Expect fireworks over the Garonne River. The best spot to enjoy them is assuredly on the riverbanks.

3rd in September: European Heritage Days (national)

The aim of the European Heritage Days is to open up numerous sites and monuments, many of which are normally closed to the public, such as castles and private collections. A great opportunity for a lovely stroll through the city to admire architectural treasures!

November 11: Remembrance Day (national holiday)

On this day, French citizens gather at war memorials to commemorate the signing of the 1918 Armistice officially bringing an end to the First World War.

December 25: Christmas (national holiday)

December 31: New Year's Eve (national event)

On the night of December 31st, the atmosphere is particularly festive on the streets of Bordeaux, with families and friends celebrating the new year.

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Bordeaux

Because the Bordeaux region is situated on the Atlantic coast, the city and its surrounding area have a maritime climate, with mild winters (from December to March) and very warm summers. Temperatures can often exceed 35°C (95°F) in the summer months. It rains fairly frequently throughout the year, with thunderstorms in the summer. Nevertheless, the city is still quite sunny, with more than 2,000 hours of sunshine per year, making Bordeaux a top tourist destination.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 3/37 10/50 87/3.4 Not the best period to go
February 3/37 12/54 71/2.8 Not the best period to go
March 5/41 15/59 65/2.6 Not the best period to go
April 7/45 17/63 78/3.1 Good period to go Good period to go
May 11/52 21/70 80/3.1 Good period to go Good period to go
June 14/57 25/77 62/2.4 Good period to go Good period to go
July 16/61 27/81 50/2.0 Good period to go Good period to go
August 16/61 27/81 56/2.2 Good period to go Good period to go
September 13/55 24/75 84/3.3 Good period to go Good period to go
October 10/50 20/68 93/3.7 Good period to go Good period to go
November 6/43 14/57 110/4.3 Not the best period to go
December 4/39 11/52 106/4.2 Not the best period to go
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Bordeaux Mérignac Airport

Bordeaux Airport is located in the town of Mérignac, about
12 kilometres (7.5 miles) west of Bordeaux.

  • One terminal

Getting from the airport to Bordeaux and back:
  • By car
    • Accessible via exit 11b of the Bordeaux ring road.
    • Five parking facilities available at the airport:
      • Express (drop-off area): a one-minute walk from the terminal, free for the first 10 minutes.
      • P0 Comfort: a one-minute walk from the terminal. Prices start at EUR 27 for 12 hours.
      • P1 Proxi: a few minutes' walk from the terminal. Prices start at EUR 23 for 12 hours.
      • P2 Flexi: a few minutes' walk from the terminal. Prices start at EUR 21 for 12 hours.
      • P4 Long-Stay: 10 minutes from the terminal, free
        shuttle service provided. Prices start at EUR 12 for 12 hours.
    • Several car rental companies have counters at the airport, on
      Level 0 in the connecting wing between halls A and B.
  • By shuttle bus (30'Direct)
    • A shuttle bus service connects the airport to Bordeaux's Saint-Jean train station in 30 minutes and operates 7/7. Buses leave every hour from the airport (outside hall B, exit 7) between 7.25 a.m. and 8 p.m. during the week, and between 8:45 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Buses run from the Saint-Jean train station between 6:30 a.m. and 7:15 p.m. during the week, and between 8:10 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. at weekends. A single ticket costs EUR 8 and a return is EUR 16. For more information, go to https://30direct.com/en/
  • By bus (Lianes 1)
    • This bus line offers a direct link between Saint-Jean train station and the airport via central Bordeaux and Mérignac. It runs from 4:45 a.m. until 12:20 a.m. (or 1:20 a.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays), with a bus usually departing every 8-10 minutes. Single tickets cost EUR 1.70. For more information, go to https://www.infotbm.com/fr/lignes/01/
  • By taxi
    • Taxis are available just outside the airport. The fare to Bordeaux
      is about EUR 30 (night fare is about EUR 45).
  • Train + Air Service
    Customers connecting to Paris (Orly or Charles de Gaulle) who have an Air France flight number must visit the Train + Air desk at the Bordeaux Saint-Jean station between 24 hours and 20 minutes before departure: train tickets will be issued to them upon presentation of a valid airplane ticket.
  • You will find all necessary information on the website:
    https://www.airfrance.fr/FR/en/common/resainfovol/avion_train/reservation_avion_train_tgvair_airfrance.htm
  • The Bordeaux Saint-Jean TGV station is located at 1 rue Charles
    Domercq, 33800 Bordeaux. It is open every day from 4:00 a.m. to 1:00
    a.m. (4:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. on Friday):
    • Access via public transportation: tramway (line C), intercity buses
      (TransGironde), mainline coaches, city buses (Lianes 9, Lianes 1,
      Lianes 10, Lianes 11).
    • Access via private transportation: drop off area,
      self-service car sharing, rental car companies, taxis, parking lots,
      bike rentals.

For all necessary information about the Train + Air desk, please visit
https://www.garesetconnexions.sncf/fr/gare/frboj/bordeaux-saint-jean/services/espace-vente

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GETTING AROUND Bordeaux

As is the case for most large French cities, public transport is the best way to get around, although using a bicycle is perhaps the most enjoyable!

By bus and tram

Bordeaux's bus and tram network is unique in France:

  • Eight municipalities served.
  • Four tram lines along major thoroughfares from 5 a.m. to 12.55 a.m., with one tram every 6 minutes on weekdays and every 10 to 15 minutes at night and on weekends.
  • 80 bus lines throughout the city and its suburbs (operating from 5 a.m. to midnight or 1 a.m. with 3,000 bus stops).
  • Mobibus, a service for mobility-impaired passengers.
  • Four BatCub ferry stations.
  • EUR 1.70 for a single trip and EUR 13.70 for 10 trips (each trip covers a travel time of up to 60 minutes on any of Bordeaux's buses, trams or BatCub ferries)

For more information, please visit https://www.infotbm.com/en

City Pass

In partnership with Bordeaux's tourist office, the public transport authority offers this pass, which combines unlimited access for one person to all mass transit options in the city, with free admission to more than 20 museums over the period covered by the pass.

  • EUR 29 (1 day)
  • EUR 39 (2 days)
  • EUR 46 (3 days)

For more information, see https://www.visiter-bordeaux.com/en/bordeaux-citypass.html

By bicycle

Bordeaux is an excellent city to explore by bicycle. Many bike parking stations are available. More than 2,000 bikes provided by the V3 bike-sharing network are distributed across 184 stations in Bordeaux. Monthly or annual subscribers can use the network's bikes for free for 20 consecutive hours!

  • EUR 1.70 for 24 hours
  • EUR 7.70 for 7 days
  • EUR 11.00 for 1 month

For more information, please visit https://www.infotbm.com/en/v3

By car

Rental cars are a good option if you wish to leave the city to explore the region's vineyards. All major hire companies operate out of Bordeaux.

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Bordeaux, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organise your stay.

Bordeaux tourist office

Offers practical information and useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

French Travel Guide

The official tourism website of France has plenty of information available on Bordeaux.

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Medical information

In order to travel in the best conditions and for your health and safety, we invite you to check all information regarding preventive measures and best practices to be respected, available on the official website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs: https://www.gouvernement.fr/info-coronavirus

Your comfort, well-being and health are at the heart of Air France's concerns, and we want to help you prepare for your trip in the best way possible. Find out more about the measures taken to ensure safe travelling on our website: https://www.airfrance.fr/FR/en/common/page_flottante/information/coronavirus.htm#notre-engagement-sanitaire

See your doctor before you travel. It is also recommended to take out insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation before your trip. Bordeaux counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.

Vaccinations

There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to France. For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

  • Address: 38 quai de Jemmapes, 75010 Paris
  • Website: www.vaccinations-airfrance.fr
  • Telephone: +33 (0)1 43 17 22 00
  • To make a vaccination appointment:
    • online (click here)
    • call the centre at +33 (0)1 43 17 22 00

Food safety

There are no specific food safety risks. French government authorities promote good hygiene practices and put in place strengthened control procedures for sites especially frequented by tourists during the summer months.

Water

Tap water is safe to drink in Bordeaux.

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Administrative formalities

Entry requirements for France

As a general rule, a visa is required to enter France. Foreign nationals in the two categories listed below are not required to carry a visa for stays of 90 days or less:

  • Citizens of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or the Swiss Confederation
  • Citizens or nationals of some foreign countries.

For stays of more than 90 days, a long-stay visa is required.

Travellers from all other countries must be in possession of a visa, regardless of the length of their stay. Visa applications must be submitted to the nearest French Embassy or French Consulate in the country of permanent residence well in advance of departure.

For more information, please see the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs website: https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en

 

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Useful addresses

Directory of foreign embassies and consulates in France

Contact information for the embassies and consulates of your country is accessible in the directory of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs: https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Fort-de-France, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic French phrases that will make your stay in Bordeaux a little easier:

Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Bonjour (morning) Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: <em>Bonjour (morning)</em>

Good evening: Bonsoir Good evening: <em>Bonsoir</em>

Goodbye: Au revoir Goodbye: <em>Au revoir</em>

Yes: Oui Yes: <em>Oui</em>

No: Non No: <em>Non</em>

No, thank you: Non, merci No, thank you: <em>Non, merci</em>

Thank you very much: Merci beaucoup Thank you very much: <em>Merci beaucoup</em>

Please: S'il vous plaît Please: <em>S'il vous plaît</em>

I don't understand: Je ne comprends pas I don't understand: <em>Je ne comprends pas</em>

Could you repeat?: Pouvez-vous répéter ? Could you repeat?: <em>Pouvez-vous répéter ?</em>

What time is it?: Quelle heure est-il ? What time is it?: <em>Quelle heure est-il ?</em>

Sorry: Pardon
Excuse me: Excusez-moi Sorry: <em>Pardon</em><br />
Excuse me: <em>Excusez-moi</em>

Airport: Aéroport Airport: <em>Aéroport</em>

Train station: Gare Train station: <em>Gare</em>

Taxi: Taxi Taxi: <em>Taxi</em>

Hotel: Hôtel Hotel: <em>Hôtel</em>

Hospital: Hôpital Hospital: <em>Hôpital</em>

Bank: Banque Bank: <em>Banque</em>

Telephone: Téléphone Telephone: <em>Téléphone</em>

I'm (…): Je suis (…) I'm (…): <em>Je suis (…)</em>

I'm looking for (…): Je recherche (…) I'm looking for (…): <em>Je recherche (…)</em>

How much is (…)?: Quel est le prix de (…) ? How much is (…)?: <em>Quel est le prix de (…) ?</em>

Do you have (…)?: Avez-vous (…) ? Do you have (…)?: <em>Avez-vous (…) ?</em>

Where can I find (…)?: Où puis-je trouver (…) ? Where can I find (…)?: <em>Où puis-je trouver (…) ?</em>

Where can I buy (…)?: Où puis-je acheter (…) ? Where can I buy (…)?: <em>Où puis-je acheter (…) ?</em>

I'd like (…): Je voudrais (…) I'd like (…): <em>Je voudrais (…)</em>

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Good to know

+33
+ phone number (without 0)
-1 : 00
of time difference with
Djibouti
Start of daylight saving time: last Sunday in March
End of daylight saving time: last Sunday in October

BANKS

Usually open Tuesday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. (12:30 p.m. on Saturdays)
GOVERNMENT OFFICES

Usually open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
230 V / 50 Hz

Tipping
In Bordeaux like elsewhere in France, a service charge is always included in the bill. If you are particularly pleased with the service, you may certainly leave a few extra euros on the table. But this additional tip is neither expected nor necessary.

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