Car hire in Bordeaux
Hiring a car in Bordeaux
Bordeaux has really come into its own since the year 2000, enticing tourists from around the world to France. Previously known as La Belle au Bois Dormant - Sleeping Beauty - Bordeaux underwent a period of vast restoration that has resulted in half of the city being listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has become a rich, vibrant city that seems to have shaken off its sleepy past.
While the city has a great public transport network, you can't beat the freedom that comes with hiring a car in Bordeaux. This means you can explore the city and the areas beyond to really appreciate the beauty of France. It is worth remembering that highways in and around Bordeaux are toll roads, so you should have cash and your card on you at all times.
What you need to know
You have several different choices when it comes to car hire companies in Bordeaux. This will allow you to take in the historical sites throughout the city and explore some of the other interesting areas in this region of France.
You can make finding the right vehicle for your budget easier by using of our booking tool. This will show you which companies have cars available for your date and what the costs are, without any hidden charges. Booking through Holiday Autos also ensures free cancellation, as well as around the clock support.
Where to pick up your car
Whether you're flying into Bordeaux or arriving by train, you can get your holiday started the minute you arrive. Car hire pick-up is available at Bordeaux Airport and train station, with some companies offering other locations in the city.
At Bordeaux Airport, you'll find the car hire desks between halls A and B, so you can simply collect your luggage and be ready to go. If you're arriving at Bordeaux Saint Jean Railway Station, a number of car hire companies have offices for you to pick up your vehicle. Once you have your car, you can head straight to your hotel without the need for connections or start your exploration of Bordeaux immediately.
“The pick-up was easy, it took 5 minutes from arriving at the desk to driving out the car, and the return took even less time.”
Where to go
When it comes to beautiful historic sites in Bordeaux, you'll be spoilt for choice. It seems like wherever you look there is stunning architecture to behold, making even the shortest stroll interesting. Fans of museums will also be in their element, as there are several to visit giving you insights into Bordeaux's past and the art of France.
Of course, you can't visit Bordeaux without heading to the Esplanade des Quinconces in the centre of the city. The square is thought to be the largest in Europe, offering an expanse of public space that is ideal for people watching and enjoying some peaceful moments. In the square, you'll find statues and the iconic Monument aux Girondins fountain, all of which are worth a photo or two.
It isn't just the city that has great places to explore, heading further afield also offers some brilliant sightseeing opportunities. Around 45 minutes from the centre of Bordeaux via the D14 lie the ruins of Abbaye de la Sauve-Majeure. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the abbey was built between the 11th and 13th centuries, but now stands open to the elements. If you love taking photos, this is definitely the place to visit.
If you want to include a bit of the coast in your holiday, drive for an hour via the A63 and A660 to Arcachon. The seaside town offers great beaches suitable for sunbathing and swimming, as well as historical villas set among 1950s buildings, creating a varied feel.
The location of Bordeaux means that you are perfectly placed to explore more of what France has to offer. This includes the town of Bergerac, which is just over an hour away from the city via the A89. Bergerac is surrounded by stunning vineyards, which are worth a visit, and features a busy cafe scene that attracts visitors from around the world.
Another great place to drive to from Bordeaux is La Rochelle. Known as the White City due to the fact that its limestone facades glow in the sunlight, you can get to La Rochelle in around two hours if you take the A10. The stunning coastal town features one of France's most important historic seaports, which is really beautiful. You should also keep an eye out for the detailed gargoyles that protect buildings throughout the town.
Top attractions to visit in Bordeaux
Whether you want to head out into the area around Bordeaux or stay within the city, hiring a car allows you to explore all that the region has to offer.
In the heart of Bordeaux lies Cathédrale Saint-André, which dates back to the 12th century. The cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is easy to see why, as it features beautifully detailed architecture. Cathédrale Saint-André was part of the Route of Saint James pilgrimage trail, drawing thousands of pilgrims on their way from Tours, the British Isles and Medoc to Santiago de Compostela. The rich history and beautiful features throughout the cathedral make it well worth a visit.
Musée des Beaux-Arts
Located in a section of Bordeaux's town hall, the Musée des Beaux-Arts allows you to get to grips with Europe's art history. It features masterpieces from the 15th to the 20th century, including pieces created by renowned artists Rubens, Delacroix and Renoir. As well as permanent exhibitions, the museum also has space for temporary displays, so it offers something new even if you have visited before. Once you've strolled around and looked at the art, you can head outside to relax in the Jardin de la Mairie, which is the perfect public park for enjoying the sunshine.
Palais Gallien is the only piece of Roman era history remaining in Bordeaux. The amphitheatre was originally constructed back in the second century but it still retains its grandeur. Built to allow for 15,000 spectators, you can get a real feel for what Bordeaux would have been like in Roman times. While you won't get the chance to see gladiator fights in the amphitheatre today, it stands out from other historical sites in the city so should be explored.