Travel Guide to Bordeaux

Indian Embassy Contact Information in Bordeaux

Since 15 January 2015, all passport and consular services have been outsourced to M/s VF Services (UK) Ltd. Their office in Bordeaux is located at 81, Boulevard Pierre 1er, 33110 Le Bouscat, Bordeaux.

For any enquiry or information or clarification tourists and visitors can call:

  • 08 92 23 03 58 - from within France
  • + 1 214 257 1048 - from outside France

Visa Process for Indians Visiting Bordeaux

The following documents are required to get a France visa:

  • Original passports with 6 months validity from date of arrival in France along with the old passports
  • The passport should have 2 blank pages for stamping purpose
  • Visa application forms
  • Cover letter mentioning the details of the traveller, type of travel, and details of visit.
  • Confirmed hotel reservation for the complete stay
  • Confirmed air tickets
  • Day-to-day itinerary
  • Travel Insurance
  • Income tax returns or Form 16 for last 3 years
  • Original and updated personal bank statements for last 6 months

Time required: 10 - 15 working days

Disclaimer: These are the standard requirements needed to attain a French visa. The visa requirements may change according to factors like employment status, age, etc.

About Bordeaux

Bordeaux is a port city lining the Garonne River coast in southwestern France. It is a famous wine-growing region, and the city is famous for an exciting and vibrant wine display. Bordeaux is also referred to as "Little Paris". The city’s recent development has made Bordeaux a dynamic city. Its sleeping image has transformed into a city which never sleeps. Bordeaux city tour includes a combination of pedestrianised boulevards, restored neoclassical architecture, and a technolgically advanced public transport system.

The historic part of Bordeaux is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thus striking a classic balance between ancient and modern life. Reputed architects have designed several new buildings and Herzog & de Meuron stadium (2015), decanter-shaped La Cité du Vin (2016) and Jean-Jacques Bosc bridge (2018) are key Bordeaux points of interest.

Places to Visit in Bordeaux

The places to visit in Bordeaux include the stunning Gothic Cathédrale Saint-André, some mansions from the 18th- and 19th-century and the notable art museums.

The things to do in Bordeaux include raising a toast with a glass of fine-taste wine in one hand and the epic cuisine byte on the other. There are a multitude of cafés, gardens, and lots of food to be had.

Tourist places in Bordeaux also include a bustling university community of over 60,000, (Bordeaux Campus is the largest in France). The place is full of cultural, music and artistic vibes and there is no discussion on politics, sexual orientation or religion among people. Bordeaux was once ruled by the British, so there is an English Flair to the whole city.

Famous places in Bordeaux includes many historical attractions and that it is a place full of pride for its heritage can be seen at many places.

  • To begin the tour, a scenic, comfortable walk at Les Quais—over the unique Aquitaine Bridge is experiential in many ways.
  • Explore the shores of the Garonne, ride the ferry boat, enjoy the landscape splendour over the bridges of Bordeaux, or cherish the experience at any of the nightclubs.
  • The Jacques-Chaban: Delmas lift bridge is placed between the "Quais" and the "Aquitaine bridge". It has a lifting deck which reaches up to 53 meters to lodge cruise ships and sailboats near to the Quinconces Square.
  • La Victoire: La Victoire is where historical monuments greet the university students; add to it the life in bars. Bordeaux has a significant university-student population, and you can see them enjoying at the local cafes, food trucks, dining options and relishing the fine wine too.
  • The Pedestrian Center is the place where the shopping stroll begins. A host of cultural activities begin here asa well.
  • Gambetta Square is where Bordeaux gets its famed title of Little Paris. This place or the Bordeaux North has rich districts.
  • Quinconces Square has the famous fountain monument.
  • Meriadeck is the administrative centre of Bordeaux which is home to the biggest library of France.
  • The Victory Arch (Roman architecture) is located at La Victoire centre and boasts of the city attachment to its Roman roots.
  • Gambetta Square has many relaxed, picnic spots given its lush public gardens.

Among the things to do in Bordeaux, the Sainte-Catherine street is a pleasant, scenic walkway. Cross the bridge walking or take a ferry across the river. The tower of Saint-Michel can be ascended in 243 steps to enjoy a panorama view of the city. There are many public gardens, and the most famous of the lot is the big public park called the Bordeaux's Botanical Garden. Watch the ducks play in this 1855 botanical garden. There are guided tours and fun activities for children and the family here.

How to Reach Bordeaux

Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport is the regional airport used for domestic flights and few international flights, connecting Bordeaux to Europe specifically Paris, London, Madrid, and Amsterdam.

Airport transfers include a bus to the city centre. A shuttle share service is also available to drop you at the doorstep in Bordeaux. It is called Hello Shuttle. Buses are also available to help you reach the downtown.

Bergerac Dordogne Périgord Airport hosts various international airlines. There is no public transport service available for transit to the city. Opt for a taxi from the airport to Bergerac railway station and then board the rail to reach Bordeaux Saint Jean station.

At Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport there are high-speed trains from terminal 2 to Bordeaux Saint Jean station.

Paris Orly Airport: Take a bus from the airport to Massy TGV station. There are TGV train services to Bordeaux Saint-Jean railway

Bordeaux by car can be reached via the A10 highway or N10, in the south by taking the A63 highway, and in the east by taking A beltway to be around Bordeaux.

Travelling in Bordeaux

Bordeaux is a big city landscape, but fortunately, most of its tourist attraction are in/around the town centre. Avoid car parking in the narrow streets of the town centre.

Take a walk, instead of going about in a car, since most of the town centre is pedestrian-friendly. Reaching using the various city bus lines. A small ferry boat, called Le Bus du Fleuve, will shuttle you between the western and the eastern shore.

There are three tramway lines are also available (A, B, and C).

Best Time to Visit

Bordeaux is a wine destination and so naturally, the best time to visit the place is from April to October. Summer season is from June to August. Days are long and hot during this time. The winters from December to February are wet and mild.

Springtime from March-May and autumn from September-November is recommended to the tourists. In summers, especially during July and August peak tourist months, the temperature is soaring and so are the prices due to a huge number of tourists. Besides, a lot of chateaux are shut down for a public visit during this time. Sundays on your trip days should be a minus if you are on a wine tour. Most of the cellars are closed on the day.

Ideally, make a visit to Bordeaux in May and June or September and October which are low season months and the perfect time to witness the harvest season.

From October, wineries close down, and June is also the time when it is the festival season, fair, flea markets and events. Bordeaux Pride, Bordeaux Fete Le Fleuve, Bordeaux International Fair, Flea Market, Bordeaux Wine Festival and Bordeaux Bacchanal are some of the must visit places. To witness the Opera season, plan a visit in September to October.

What to Pack?

  • Go for a smart, stylish look
  • Black is the colour to be worn anywhere here in comfort
  • When in the countryside or the beach, the dress is conservative outside Paris. However, you can keep it stylish and smart
  • Carry a comfortable pair of sneakers or flipflops to walk the city
  • Keep the heels for evenings or on a visit to restaurants
  • You can leave your sneakers behind while visiting restaurants
  • Use neutral shades to lips balms
  • For evenings, the dress code is smart casual. Wear simple, elegant dresses and wear minimal jewellery, a scarf and minimal makeup to impress
  • Keep a soft, winter coat
  • Good umbrella

Also, pack a travel insurance. Travel insurance is quite helpful in case of baggage or document loss. Even medical emergencies can be handled better with the help of travel insurance.

Top Delicacies

  • Beef rib roast
  • Glass eye
  • Roast pig's feet with mustard
  • Tartine of red mullet
  • The salads with the homemade bread rolls
  • Seafood, oysters, wild fishes from Arcachon
  • "Blond d'Aquitaine" beef etc.
  • Milk-fed lamb, tripe and goose wings

Shopping List Essentials

Bordeaux is a trade-centred economy, and hence, it has many trading shops. The Pedestrian Center accommodates stores of all sorts and sizes selling clothes, art, craftworks, wine, etc.

For luxury items, Gambetta Square is the place to shop.

Bordeaux music groups have proven popular, so invest in local Bordeaux music.

Clothing is more affordable than Paris, so head straight to Rue Sainte Catherine to buy shoes and clothes both. Also look for second-hand and vintage clothes at a shop called "Kilo Chic".

Buy the Bordeaux wine.

Healthcare Centers

The best thing to do is to check with your travel insurer for a list of networked hospitals. Networked hospitals may allow cashless treatment which is even better for an unplanned medical care. Some of the prominent hospitals in Bordeaux are:

  • Hospitals Bordeaux
  • Hospital Center Specialized De Cadillac
  • Centre Hospitalier Charles Perrens
  • Clinical Tourny
  • L Hospital Julie

Currency

Euro is the official currency used here.

Do’s and Don’ts of Bordeaux

Do’s First

  • Dress Well: French are fashionable, so any visitor will do well to do ‘as the Romans do in Rome’.
  • Give & Take: When you are invited to a dinner or family gathering, make sure to make it a bit formal and carry gift(s) for the host(s).
  • Etiquettes: Place the napkin on your lap and your hands on the table while dining.
  • Breaking the Bread: French prefer to have their bread in the tiny pieces rather than digging their teeth into a full piece.
  • Greetings: Learn the French way of greeting with 2 or 3 kisses on the cheeks

Don’ts in Bordeaux

  • Greetings: Do not shake hands if you should be greeting in French (kisses on the cheeks)
  • Flowers: Avoid presenting red carnations to anyone. The flower symbolizes ill will in France for most.
  • Showing Off: When in France, showing off wealth can be considered bad. Better stick to culture, food and politics
  • Waiting in Cafes: Waiting is part of the experience in French Cafes, so no complaining there.
  • Bon Appétit: That’s the code word you should wait for before starting your meal at a dinner or a gathering.

Basics of Local Communication

The official spoken language here is French. You will find many people speaking French and English too in restaurants, bars and hotels. It is best to know some simple French phrases and go easy in navigating the city too.

English French
Good morning Bonjour
My name is mon nom est
Where is...? où se trouve
Yes Oui
No non
Please S'il vous plaît
Sorry Pardon
How much is this? combien ça coûte

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What kinds of medical coverage’s are provided??

The following medical expenses are covered: 

  • Travel insurance includes medical expenses, repatriation, and emergency medical evacuation. Even dental care expenses such as acute anesthetic treatment of teeth are covered.

What is a deductible?

“Deductible”means a cost-sharing requirement under this policy, that provides that the insurer will not be liable for a specified rupee amount or percentage of claim amount or number of days or number of hours, as specified in the policy schedule and which will apply before any benefits are payable by the insurer. A deductible does not reduce the sum insured and is applicable per event, upto the specified limits mentioned.

What Is Not Covered Under the Travel Insurance Plan?

  • Medical Expenses (inclusive of Repatriation and Emergency Medical Evacuation), Daily Allowance in case of hospitalization, Compassionate Visit benefits, the following will not be payable for Any pre-existing condition, Routine examinations, Expenses for rest or recuperation at spa/ health resort/ sanatorium, Pregnancy (including childbirth, miscarriage, abortion or related complications ) or treatment relating to the removal of physical flaws or anomalies (cosmetic treatment or plastic surgery).
  • Cosmetic surgery, unless such cosmetic surgery is rendered medically necessary as part of treatment for accidents and burns whilst being abroad.
  • Suicide, attempted or wilfully self inflicted injury or illness, mental disorder, anxiety, stress or depression, venereal disease, alcoholism, drunkenness or the abuse of drugs, or any loss arising, directly or indirectly, from any injury, illness, death, loss, expense, or other liability attributable to HIV and/or any HIV related illness including AIDS and/or any mutant derivative or variation thereof however caused.
  • Treatment which could be reasonably delayed until the Insured’s return to India, which will be decided jointly by the treating Physician and the Emergency Assistance Service Provider and shall be in accordance with accepted standards of medical care.
  • The Insured taking part in naval, military or air force operations; war and nuclear perils.
  • Insured engaging in air travel unless he or she flies as a Fare Paying passenger in an aircraft licensed to carry passengers.
  • Participation of the Insured in winter sports, mountaineering and such other professional sports or any other hazardous or potentially dangerous sport for which the Insured members are adequately trained, physically fit and using proper equipment. and that too only if specifically agreed and mentioned in the policy schedule.
  • Hazardous occupation, or if engaged in any criminal or illegal act.
  • Medical Expenses in respect of Experimental, investigational or unproven treatments or treatments which are not consistent with or incidental to the diagnosis and treatment of the positive existence or presence of any Illness for which confinement is required at a Hospital. Any Illness or treatment which is a result or a consequence of undergoing such experimental or unproven treatment.
  • Naturopathy treatment.
  • Non Allopathic treatment e.g. - Ayurvedic, Yogic, Homeopathic, Unani treatment(s).
  • Under no circumstances shall this insurance contract be deemed to provide cover and no liability be incurred to pay any claim or provide any benefit hereunder to the extent that the provision of such cover, payment of such claim or provision of such benefit would expose us to any sanction, prohibition, or restriction under United Nations resolutions or the trade or economic sanctions, laws or regulations of the European Union, United Kingdom, United States of America & India

You can avail the Travel Insurance online and enjoy the benefits offered by Bharti AXA

What Is Covered Under Travel Insurance?

Loss of passport and documents:

Reimbursement of actual expenses incurred in connection with obtaining a duplicate or fresh passport or reasonable cost of replacing/obtaining the stolen documents/ tickets if the passport belonging to the Insured / Insured Person be lost

Home Fire Insurance Contents & Home Burglary Insurance (contents):

Cover against any loss or damage of the Contents at Home of the Insured in India caused by Fire and Allied perils or through burglary and/or housebreaking while the Insured is on a trip abroad.

Hijack Distress Allowance

Payment of distress allowance in case of hijack of a common carrier for more than certain number of hours whilst on the trip. You can easily avail the allowance by filing a claim online through Travel Insurance cover online process.

Medical Expensesinclusive of Repartration  and Emergency Medical Evacuation

If you are sick or injured during the journey, your medical expenses can prove to be costly. In such cases,  Travel Insurance cover greatly helps. The insurance company also offers a cashless settlement with the network hospitals or you can also opt for the reimbursement process within 30 days of hospitalization.

Legal Expenses

Payment of legal costs and expenses incurred by the Insured towards claims from third Parties for compensation in respect of death or disablement arising due to an injury whilst on a trip abroad.

Personal Accident

Payment of compensation if the Insured sustains accidental bodily injury during a trip resulting in death or Permanent Total Disablement or Permanent Partial Disablement within 12 months of occurrence of such injury.

Trip Cancellation/Or Interruption


Payment towards the non-refundable prepaid payments incurred on the trip being cancelled and additional cost of transportation in case of Interruption: due to medical problems, personal employment problems or natural disasters or other listed reason in policy wordings.


Trip Delay


 Reimbursement of additional expenses if trip is delayed beyond a period, due to airline problems, medical problems, personal employment problems or natural disasters.

 Daily Allowance in case of Hospitalisation

 Payment of daily allowance for the days the Insured is hospitalised beyond a specified number of days, as mentioned in the Policy Schedule, for which a valid claim is admissible under the Policy whilst on a trip abroad.Emergency Accommodation

 Payment of compensation for the additional cost of emergency accommodation if the Insured/ Insured Person could not stay in the accommodation originally booked due to ­fire& flood, earthquake, storm, hurricane, explosion, outbreak of major infectious diseases.

Why do I need Travel insurance?

During a trip there are chances of unfortunate events such as loss of checked in baggage, medical emergency, loss of passport that can spoil your international trip, be it business or leisure. Travel insurance can protect you from such events ensuring that you are left stuck in foreign land.