With its beautiful boulevards and thriving city center, Bordeaux is a city which you’ll quickly come to appreciate during your time there. Whether you’re looking to enjoy the city’s laidback atmosphere, or discovering one of the country’s most important trading ports, renting a car in Bordeaux will allow you to make the most of your time in the city.
And when you rent a car with us, you’ll enjoy a range of great benefits including the ability to cancel or amend your booking without incurring additional charges* and a loyalty scheme which allows you to add extra drivers at no extra cost. Our 24-hour helpline will also provide peace of mind.
*When the booking is amended or canceled within seven days of being made.
A city split in two by the Garonne River, driving in and around Bordeaux in your rental car is a straightforward process, thanks to the comprehensive road network within the city which stretches out to wider regions of western and southern France.
If you’re heading into the center of Bordeaux from the north, take either the A10 or N10 routes - while if heading in from the east you’ll want the A(N)89. If approaching from a southern direction, look out for the A62 road. It being one of the countries’ larger cities, you may find that these routes can become congested during peak periods so caution is advised.
The A630, also known as Rocade, is the highway which acts as Bordeaux’s bypass and is the perfect road for you to find your bearings on as it loops around the city. It’s worth noting though that the route can become crowded during peak times. Rocade is the main route to the airport too, which is located just off junction 11b.
There are several road bridges in and around Bordeaux, and they all span the Garonne River - the Pont d'Aquitaine and the Pont François Mitterrand form part of the city’s ring road.
Passing through the picturesque Poitou-Charentes region and providing access to quaint towns including Châtellerault, Poitiers, and Saintes, the A10 connects Bordeaux with Paris. Elsewhere, the A89 is another of the region’s busiest highways, stretching to Lyon and passing through the scenic French countryside.
When driving on the Autoroutes – the French highways – you may have to pay toll charges for using certain stretches of road. Find out more about the toll routes around Bordeaux here.
In France, the default speed limit on highways is 130 kph, but this may be reduced to 110 kph dependent on weather and location. The speed limits on smaller roads vary from between 50 and 90 kph. For more information, read here about the driving rules and regulations of driving in France.
Regarded as one of France’s greenest cities and sitting on the famous Garonne river, Bordeaux offers many a wonderful view to visitors; venture beyond its cobbled streets and you’ll again be rewarded with fantastic countryside retreats, historic ruins, and charming gardens.
Bordeaux is famous for its green spaces, from Parc Bordelais, a popular exercise spot, to Jardin Public, comprised of more than 10 hectares of luscious plant life. Situated at the Place Bardineau, Bordeaux’s Botanical Gardens date back to the 17th century and comprise six sections, including one dedicated to the flora of the region. The water garden is filled with aquatic botanical features and enormous glasshouses containing various rare Mediterranean plants.
Bordeaux is a UNESCO World Heritage site – only Paris boasts more protected buildings in the whole of France.
Many of the city’s best-known landmarks were constructed during the 18th century and many still stand today - the Place de la Bourse is one of the most famous. Built in 1730, the Royal Square contains the Grand Théâtre, a beautiful piece of architecture both inside and out.
Bordeaux Cathedral dates back to 1096, although the only original remaining part is a wall in the nave – the rest of the building dates back to the 14th century and remains one of the city’s finest examples of Gothic architecture. For breath-taking views across the city and out into the rolling hills of vineyards, climb the Tour Pey Berland – a 15th-century bell tower next to the cathedral.
In contrast to the Gothic architecture that’s prevalent across the city, head to the waterfront and see a modern-day structural wonder in action. The Pont Jacques Chaban-Delmas is a vertical lifting bridge across the Garrone – a 21st-century architectural masterpiece.
If you want to learn more about the heritage of the area, take a trip to the Bordeaux Museum of Wines - a great place to take in the city's history of wine production - while the Centre Jean Moulin focuses on its development through to the 20th century.
Musée des Arts décoratifs is a beautiful mansion offering a glimpse into how the elite lived during the French Revolution. The museum was designed and built by architect Etienne Laclotte in 1779, and today contains an extensive collection of ceramics, furnishings and glassware from the era. Or if you're a fan of handmade crafts, visit the Underground Pottery Museum where you'll find a fine array of Aquitaine pottery as well as contemporary works by modern day artists.
With its beautiful city center to the rolling hills of its countryside, the port city of Bordeaux is the perfect spot for a French city break, and with a rental car, you'll be able to take in the best of everything that’s on offer within beautiful southwest France. Ready to book your trip? Click here.