Are you on holiday for few days in Bordeaux? Whatever size your family, your age, your fitness, your time availability, we have one piece of advice: do not use a car. Here is all the necessary information and the best advice from Guide Bordeaux Gironde, for getting around Bordeaux during your stay :)
BORDEAUX, a city for everybody, BUT NOT cars!!
Bordeaux is an absolutely beautiful city, especially since the enormous refurbishment undertaken during the first decade of the Millennium. Everything has been thought of to facilitate the life of its inhabitants, tourists, people with reduced mobility, sports enthusiasts, children. Everybody, but not cars! The density of the population, the narrowness of the streets of this historical city, which was listed as an Unesco World Heritage site in 2007, the bridges over the Garonne River and cutting the city in half, do not facilitate the fluidity of the traffic...
Far be it from us to stigmatise our beloved 4 wheeled vehicle, but the figures speak for themselves: in 2016, Bordeaux was listed as the third French city the most prone to traffic congestion, with an average of 20 hours lost per person per year to traffic jams... 8% of the day is prone to traffic congestion! And this does not include the “Rocade” (high speed artery in the outskirt of the city, a kind of ring-road) which is clogged a most of the day.
Enormous amounts of money and a lot of ingenuity has been invested in the Bordelais public transport, so do not hesitate to take advantage of it with our practical guide!
PARK YOUR CAR IN BORDEAUX: THE CAR PARKS
Parking your car in Bordeaux, in the city centre’s on street parking is possible, for a maximum of 2 hours. You can pay with coins or a smartphone, at the relevant pay station. The cost depends of the zone you wish to park in. In the red zone, allow €5 for 2 hours, in the green zone, €3,60.
For those with disabled cards, there are of course reserved car spaces in all the city. The location of the disabled car spaces can be seen online.
The electrical cars can get parked easily (for a short period of time) on the charging points in the city (check the Charging bay Map).
Parking your car in the covered car parks is a better idea, they are scattered all around the city, often secured and at a better price. Inside the city, the cost can be high (at least €10 or even €15 for one day), but they allow you to get parked for longer than the two hours authorised outside. However, the inconvenience, if you get parked in the city centre is to get out of it at the end of the day!
The most economical option and a guaranty of less traffic, is to get parked in one of the many Relays Park P+R. They allow you leaving your car all day, while receiving a return trip on the TBM network, by tramway, bus or boat. Check Internet site of the network, to find the location of these car parks. The cost is, on average, €4 or €5 euros per day.
GETTING AROUND IN BORDEAUX
Discover the public transport systems of Bordeaux!
The Tramway: beautiful, bright, quick and environmentally friendly, the tramway is the traveller’s friend in Bordeaux. Its ground level power supply system avoids unsightly cables and pylons. It operates from 5am to midnight or 1am (at the weekend). To get on board, you need to validate a magnetic transport card in the carriage. Cards are available in the pay stations at each stop. You can pay by credit card. In the city centre, the trams are frequent, every 2 to 5 minutes on average, during the day.
The fare is €12,90 for 10 trips and €4,60 per person for 1 day.
To organise your trips, check the Carte des Stations and lines, on the network’s website. The cards are available at each station. The tramway is really revolutionary: simple to use, can carry a large number of passengers, and is not delayed by road traffic!
Bus, coaches, shuttles: 65 bus routes are available for your trips in Bordeaux and its surroundings. The 14 "Lianes" are buses as efficient as the tram, operating in the city centre. The other specific lines link places of interest or other important CUB (Communauté Urbaine de Bordeaux) locations.
Note: Liane +1 is the specific bus line between the airport and Saint-Jean train station in the city centre, with stops along the way. It is a key line if you arrive by plane or train.
The shuttle 30'Direct also offers a connection between the airport and Gare Saint-Jean, direct in 30 minutes.
The BatCub, the river shuttle: Original, quick and economic, the BatCub is a catermaran river shuttle, to go from one river bank to the other or one dock to the other, quickly and pleasantly. You can use your normal TBM card (the same one than for the tramway or bus). You can also take your bike! The shuttles operate every 5 minutes during the rush hours. We would not hesitate in recommending that you use this fun mode of transport.
GETTING AROUND IN BORDEAUX OR GETTING TO BORDEAUX WITH AN ECOLOGICAL MODE OF TRANSPORT OR CARPOOLING.
Car sharing: the city has carpool parking areas and the usual sites offering this type of service can inform you how to find a travelling partner or a car to get you to Bordeaux. Once in town, you just need to use the public transport, a great idea to travel cheaply from all over France.
Coming to and getting around with an electrical car: Bordeaux has 57 charging points (as at the end of 2017) for electrical cars. In 20 minutes, you can recharge on average 80% of your battery and you can enjoy 30mn of parking! Check the Charge Map on the Internet.
Finally, to discover Bordeaux, by a free, simple and ecological mode of transport: walking! The city centre can be visited on foot, there are maps to locate yourself at each tramway stop and the Bordelais are happy to help you if you are looking for a specific place :)