Bordeaux is the land of flowing fields and full glasses. The famous wine region of France is probably not what you envision when you think of a family getaway, but I am here to change your mind! This post will cover where to stay, play, and, most importantly, drink in Bordeaux if you are traveling with kids.
Our family, which includes four-year-old twins and a one-year-old wild baby, visited Bordeaux in late September. We chose Bordeaux almost entirely because of the incredibly reasonable flight price from our base in Valencia, Spain. A round-trip direct flight for four people and a lap baby was only $260 and took a mere 1.5 hours on Ryan Air. My husband and I really enjoy wine and always want to learn (and drink!) more to further our amateur sommelier hobbies. So, let’s go to Bordeaux, babies!
Where to Drink in Bordeaux : Family Friendly Wineries
Château Saint Ahon
Château Saint Ahon is located just north of Bordeaux on a quaint street in the town of Blanquefort. The biggest draw for families with children to Château Saint Ahon is the “Jardins de Mirabel” self-guided walking tour. Children can follow along and complete their own quiz as families make their way through the property and the surrounding fields and forrest scattered with explanatory panels. The price for a family of four was 12€ and included two tastings and grape juice sampling for the kids.
Our children loved the small playground area, collecting acorns, and sampling grape juice at the end of the tour, and we thoroughly enjoyed our tasting as well. The store/tasting room has ample supplies to build a gourmet picnic basket to enjoy at the playground, or you can stop by La Renaissance du Pain in Blanquefort for sandwiches (I recommend the tuna!) before heading to the vineyard.
Château Soutard truly has it all for family’s and wine lovers. It is located in Saint-Emilion, an hour east of Bordeaux’s city center. It is not accessible by public transportation, so sadly our family wasn’t able to visit this vineyard, but we have heard rave reviews from other families.
Château Soutard offers a free, self-guided educational nature walk through the property, or bikes can be rented by the hour. Take advantage of their picnic offering which is curated by the château’s chef and offers a children’s menu. They also offer several guided tour options, ranging from one to three hours, should your children be so kind to let you take advantage. Be sure to make an advanced reservation for any of these offerings!
Château du Taillan
Truth be told, Château du Taillan was not on our list of potential wineries to visit. We had planned to visit elsewhere, but realized that it was closed on Sunday. Château du Taillan was available to visit on a Sunday and accessible by bus, so off we went and we were so happy that we did. Château du Taillan is run by a family of five sisters (talk about girl power!) and has been in the family since the late 1800s. The property and vineyards are stunning and iddilic.
We joined a small group for a 30-minute guided tour of the cellars followed by a tasting. The cellars were dark and dreamy. The kids easily believed that they were dungeons and it kept their interest. The guide was more than accommodating and kind about our wild, newly walking baby. During the tasting, the children were able to color and read books in a cozy corner of the tasting room while we enjoyed five tastings paired with a small charcuterie plate to share amongst the guests. The guided tour and tasting is 10-12€ per person.
Had it not been a Sunday with limited hours, we definitely would have enjoyed the Château’s “Cheese & Bread Break” out on the lawn while the children played. It includes a plate of cheese and bread, plus two glasses of delicious wine to enjoy at your leisure for 20€. Do this!
Château D’Agassac was at the top of my list of family-friendly wineries to visit. Sadly, they were closed on Sunday (don’t believe what Google says!) so we didn’t get to visit, but it looks so good that I still had to include it on this list.
The biggest draw of Château D’Agassac for families is the self-guided iPad tour that engages both adults and children while they liesurely tour the property. Children are sent on a quest to free a princess, while adults learn about the Château’s history and wines. Guided tours are also available and are 45-minutes long. All tours conclude with a tasting of three to four wines and two grape juices for kids, which is just too cute. The guided tours are 14€ for an adult and 9€ for children under 12 years old, while the self-guided is priced at 12€/8€. From October to March, visits are by appointment only, so plan accordingly.
Bordeaux by Bus
We are traveling the world for nine-months and did not pack car seats. Renting a car and three car seats can be expensive, plus we place a high value on limiting our environmental footprint. For those reasons, we chose to explore Bordeaux using only public transportation. Public trains and busses were affordable, incredibly clean, easy to access, and FREE for children.
Public transportation is not the best way to experience all (the wineries) Bordeaux has to offer. You will have to bend your itinerary to the bus route, and seeing more than one per day could be arduous, especially with kids. In my research, the only wineries accessible by public transportation and within one-hour from Bordeaux’s center were located in the Haut-Medoc region, near the town on Blanquefort. They all use either the C line train, or bus 22 or 29, so two could be seen in a day with some back tracking.
- Château Saint Ahon (see below)
- Château Dillon
- Château du Taillan (see below)
- Château D’Agassac (see below)
Where to Play in Bordeaux
Miroir d’eau (Water Mirror) was a highlight of the trip for our children. The “pool” creates a field of fog, then slowly fills up with just 2cm of water before draining and starting the cycle again. Kids and adults are free to run, splash and play. It’s magic. The Miroir d’eau is located on the edge of the river in the historic city center.
The carousels in France are no joke, and Bordeaux’s are no exception. We visited the two-story carousel on Allées de Tourny two times and the one in Jardin Public once; that’s three carousels in three days. If you ask them what was their favorite thing they did in France, they will tell you about the carousels. We purchased 6 tickets for 10€ and used them over the three days.
Jardin Public boasts an arboretum, a library and the Museum of Natural History, tons of gorgeous walking trails, ponds with cute ducks, but our children couldn’t get enough of the playground. In addition to the large pirate ship structure, the playground has a separate area for young children, and of course, a gorgeous carousel.
Train Ride Tour
We were unprepared and missed our opportunity to ride the cute, “train touristique.” The “train” (more of a vehicle than a train, but it looks like one) tours central Bordeaux in just 45-minute, perfect for little attention spans. It is 8 euro for adults, children 6 to 12-years are 4.50, and kids under 5-years-old ride free. The train departs from the Allées de Tourny near the tourism office.
Where to Stay in Bordeaux
Family-Friendly Accommodations in Bordeaux City-Center
If you want to experience the city of Bordeaux and the wine region, your best option is to stay in the city’s historic center, as it will offer all the delicious amenities of a larger city, as well as access to the nearby vineyards. If you are renting a car and want to escape the hustle and bustle, I would strongly encourage you to research staying at a bed & breakfast or chateau in the surrounding areas of Bordeaux.
AirBnB has amazing flats for families near the city center. We stayed at a modern two-bedroom apartment on the edge of the historical center, though it felt very central. We were able to easily access public transportation and experience everything the city center has to offer. It was a short walk from Jardin Public, which has the “very best pirate park” according to our kids. The apartment was super quiet and got very dark in the rooms at night. The linens were dreamy and we all slept so well. Our host also provided a portable crib and a baby bathtub. I cannot recommend this place enough.
The photos of this three-bedroom apartment near Jardin Public look totally dreamy. It has a comfortable, “lived-in” vibe. Boasting a sitting garden and a crib in one room, this place is sure to delight and refresh the whole family.
This small, two-bedroom apartment “in the heart of the city” has excellent reviews and is leased by an “AirBnb Superhost.” One bedroom includes both a bed and a crib; perfect for the littlest of guests. It is cute cute cute, and a mere 200 meters from a tram stop.
Enjoy your eating, drinking and playing your way through Bordeaux! Please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions, and be sure to have a glass of red wine for me. Cheers!