Compared to Paris, Bordeaux doesn’t have an abundance of parks in the city centre, but there are still plenty of places to picnic in Bordeaux, you just have to know where they are.
And let’s face it, having a picnic is about the most French thing you can do.
If you want to know the best way to picnic, what to pack and when they first became popular in France, read my article about the Traditional French Picnic.
From Parc Bordelais and Jardin Botanique to Quais de la Garonne and Miroir d’eau Bordeaux has plenty of places for you to enjoy a French-style picnic.
Places to picnic in the heart of Bordeaux
Jardin Public de Bordeaux
As the name would suggest this public garden is the perfect place to lay out your blanket and enjoy a picnic. A beautiful green oasis in the middle of the city complete with a lake was designed in the style of an English garden in the 19th century.
However, it was actually created in 1746 and has made its way onto the list of France’s most remarkable gardens stretching over 11 acres.
Who would have thought you’d find something like this in the centre of Bordeaux?
Nearest Boulangerie: Boulangerie le pain de la Renaissance, 47 cours portal Bordeaux .
Ok, not the obvious choice for a picnic as it’s not a park, but it’s a great place for people spotting and enjoying some lunch al fresco. Plus, it’s the perfect backdrop for photos as one of Bordeaux’s most iconic attractions.
Located on the Quais de la Garonne, it’s become extremely popular with tourists since its installation in 2006. Spanning 3,450 square meters, it’s the world’s largest reflecting pool.
What sets it apart is the magical combination of water, mist, and mirrored reflections.
Every 15 minutes, the water disappears, revealing a fog that gently rises from the ground, which then gives way to a thin sheet of water that gradually covers the pool again, creating a shimmering surface that mirrors the surrounding architecture, the sky above, and the people who wander through it.
As you can imagine it does get very busy and there is no shade here so remember to take plenty of sunscreen.
Nearest Boulangerie: BH Formations, Quai Deschamps, Bordeaux.
Place des Martyrs de la Résistance
This square has a lot of history attached to it and sits where an early Christian cemetery was discovered as part of the archaeological site of Saint-Seurin. Over 400 graves have now been excavated.
It’s one of the largest squares in Bordeaux with plenty of benches, grassed areas and a playground for the kids. It’s much quieter than many other places as it’s not right in the centre, so away from the hustle and bustle.
Nearest Boulangerie: Maison Lamour, 157 rue Judaïque, Bordeaux
The smallest park in Bordeaux it’s hidden away in a more residential area near the Bernard Magrez Cultural Institute. It’s popular with locals and was originally part of a 19th-century castle owned by Baron Alfred de Luze.
You can still see the ruins of the castle in the park and you’ll find some chestnut trees that are over a century old.
It doesn’t have the manicured look and feel of Jardin Public but it’s a beautiful and tranquil spot. In the old stables, the city has created an area for keen gardeners to meet and understand some of the old ways of gardening.
Nearest Boulangerie: Antone Artisan boulanger, 125 rue de Laseppe, Bordeaux
Quai des Chartrons
This area of Bordeaux is a fabulous mix of bohemian and bourgeois with a completely different feel from the city centre.
Quai des Chartrons is right on the riverbank. You can sit on the wooden deck looking out over the river enjoying some food and wine.
There is a fantastic market every Sunday which is the best place to buy your picnic supplies, especially if you like oysters.
They even have a skate park to keep the kids occupied.
Nearest Boulangerie: La P’tite Boulangerie Notre-Dame, 62 Rue Notre Dame, Bordeaux
The lesser-known picnic areas in and around Bordeaux
Jardin Botanique de Bordeaux
Located in the Bastide neighbourhood, this lush and beautifully curated botanical garden offers a serene escape away from the more touristy parts of Bordeaux.
Established in the early 19th century, it spans over 10 hectares with an impressive collection of plants, including rare and exotic species housed in the big greenhouse.
As you explore you’ll find several themed gardens including the Rose Garden, the French Garden, with its geometrically designed flowerbeds and symmetrical patterns and the Rock Garden.
The lake is lovely too and the perfect place to sit and have your picnic.
Nearest Boulangerie: Gourmandises De Guillaume, 202 bis rue de la benauge, Bordeaux
Spread over 28 hectares it’s the largest park in Bordeaux and situated in the Cauderan area. It has everything you’d expect a park to have with a lake, cafe, two playgrounds and even a puppet theatre.
It’s also popular with runners and cyclists and there are so many areas to spread a blanket on the grass to enjoy the surroundings.
It will take you about 30 minutes to walk to from the city centre but it’s well worth the visit.
Nearest Boulangerie: Antone Artisan boulanger, 125 rue de Laseppe, Bordeaux
Parc Majolan, Blanquefort
And now we’re venturing outside of Bordeaux, but not too far. Here you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to picnic areas. It quite literally gives you everything you could possibly need from a park.
One minute you’re following a path that feels like it’s leading you into a forest and the next minute you come across part of an old ruin.
There’s a beautiful lake and there are even some old caves from the 19th century complete with a fairytale style grotto. You could quite literally spend the day here and still not discover all there is to see.
Nearest Boulangerie: Le Fournil d’Alex, 27 av général de gaulle, Blanquefort
Just a short tram ride from Bordeaux is this fabulous little park complete with a chateau. In the 18th century, this whole area was one where the rich Bordeaux merchants would come and spend time. So much so, that wealthy banker, Samuel Peixotto, built a chateau here in 1769 surrounded by gardens.
Both the gardens and chateau are now owned by the city of Bordeaux and you can now enjoy a picnic taking in the beauty of Parc Peixotto.
Nearest Boulangerie: Le Fournil De Birdy, 25 av. de Thouars, Talence
The best Wineries for Picnics near Bordeaux
At the end of the day, Bordeaux is known for its wine so it makes sense to combine the two, picnic and wine. What could be better than having a chateau with a vineyard as your backdrop as you enjoy a luxury picnic with all the trimmings?
Some chateaux will organise a picnic for you and include all the usual delicacies such as cheese, baguettes, cold meat, pastries etc.
You’ll usually need to book these in advance; normally, they’ll be available between May and September.
However, if you prefer to have everything taken care of, including a gourmet picnic, then why not combine your picnic with a wine tour?
A full-day wine tour with gourmet picnic lunch in Saint-Emilion.
- All wine tastings & picnic included
- Walking tour of UNESCO-listed Saint-Emilion village
- Visit three wineries + a glass of bubbles in a Monastery
- A small intimate group with a local guide
If you want to know how to enjoy wine tasting like a pro this article will help, 5 Top Tips for Wine Tasting in France. And for a full round-up of Bordeaux Wine Tours, read this article, The Best Bordeaux Wine Tours.
Conclusion: Where to Picnic in Bordeaux
If you know where to look there are so many lovely quiet places to enjoy the outdoors and picnic in style. From the smaller parks to the wineries in and around Bordeaux there really is something for everyone.