Traveling by car
You may drive with a valid U.S. driver's license in France. In addition, it is recommended (not required) to carry an International Driving Permit or attach a French translation to your US driver's license. You must also be at least 18 years old and hold a valid credit card.
There are several good car hire companies throughout Europe, I would recommend one of the following;
ADA – 0825 169 169
Avis – 0820 150 505
Europcar – 0870 607 500
Hertz – 0720 903 905
The speed limit is 50 km/h (30 mph) in the towns, and 90 km/h (55 mph) on the open roads.
We chose to rent a car and drive from Den Haag to Southwest France as it was the most economical and easiest way to get to and around France.
From outside the airport you can pick up the JetBus straight to the centre of Bordeaux. The terminus is the Gare St Jean and you can request the driver to stop anywhere along the route to the station, including Quinconces. A full route map can be picked up from the information desk in the arrivals hall. The drivers are friendly and the fare into Bordeaux is €6.60, payable directly to the driver on board...a lot cheaper than the cab fare, which can is officially €15-20, but I was ripped off to the tune of €37!! Not having any idea of how much it would cost me and being alone, I paid it, but won't ever take a cab in Bordeaux again...there's just no need to. In fact, cabs are almost impossible to come by in the town and most make their living at the airport. Buses leave every 45 minutes and it's best to be at the bus stop early as the Jet buses are quite small and may fill up quite quickly.
If you're planning to move around, and have not much time, renting a car might be a good idea. Around Bordeaux there are many interesting places, and several freeways, so moving there is pretty easy and convenient. There's also public transportation (bus and, some places, train) but if short of time, car lets you visit more places, and the ones you want. Anyway, just be careful not to drink too much wine before driving... ;-)
(BTW, I don't think this car is to rent, but was nice anyway. Maybe the bike behind was more adecuate to our budget :-)
The city center is criscrossed by many modern tram rails, so moving there is pretty easy getting one of those modern trains. For the curious, this tram gets energy from the floor instead of that ugly and anoying cables hanging over the rails, like a toy train :-)
Trams are quick, regular, cool and clean. €1.30 is the cost for one journey. Tickets are purchased at tram stops and validated on the tram at self-service machines. The red and green lines run from Quinconces and run north to south through Bordeaux with the red line passing through the centre and the green line running alongside the river and terminating at the Gare St Jean. The blue line starts at Meriadeck west of the river and runs through the centre past the cathedral and across the Pont de Pierre and way out of the town.
Transportation in Bordeaux during the roadworks for the 3 tram lines was... impossible.
So the bordelais went back to an ancient transportation mode, their bicycle. And seem to be happy with it now, as you still see a lot of bikes everywhere. The funniest is that you often see businessmen cycling, it's the only transportation mode that guarantees you get to your destination on time !
Get rid of those ugly exhaust fumes, cycle too !
Getting around Bordeaux by car is a nightmare, especially when you don't know how to avoid the rush hours and the worst traffic jams.
So park your car outside ("Parc-Relais") or if you come by train/plane don't bother renting a car when you're in town
There's a brand new tramway (that seems to work correctly now), 3 lines in the center and some more remote areas.
Situated in the city of Mérignac, at around 15 km of the center, it has 2 terminals and the new "Porte Ibérique" for smaller jets going to Spain or Portugal.
Frequent flights to and from Paris (Orly and CDG) and several european destinations, plus a couple of overseas cities.
I'm not sure of the price if you go there by taxi, most probably around 18 euro from the center, or you can take the airport shuttle from the train station or place Gambetta (6.60 one way, 30 to 45 minutes)
Note that the control tower has been designed by Philippe Stark
This picture was taken on my way back from Bordeaux, via St Emilion. I always enjoy traveling by road, as it affords me the opportunity of seeing other towns and cities. It also give the feeling of knowing the geography of the terrane very well.
- Road Trip
Bordeaux Inter City
This is the La Bastide section of Bordeaux. The Buses could be embacked on at Stalingad, almost at the foot of the Pont de Pierre. They are regular and very reliable mode of moving within Bordeaux.
- Road Trip
To and around Bordeaux.
Tel: 33(0)556 345 050
Tel_ 33 (0)892 353 535
Tel: 33 (0)826 022 022
La communauté d'agglomérations de Bordeaux s'est doté d'un nouveau tramway en site propre. Ce nouveau moyen de transports en communs est très moderne, fonctionnel et confortable.
The community of agglomerations of Bordeaux endowed itself with a new tram in clean site. This new means of transportation in outbuildingses is very modern, functional and comfortable.
- Road Trip
- School Holidays
By plane to Bordeaux
Some major airlines also serve Bordeaux regulary, for example Lufthansa (from Munich) or MALEV (from Budapest). Please check to shedules of the airlines.
Instead of going directly to Bordeaux you can also take a plane to Paris. There is a regulary high-speed trainservice (TGV - train a grand vitesse) linking Paris and Bordeaux. Look at the SNCF-Website for more infos.
By car to Bordeaux
My sister, a travel companion and I went to Bordeaux by car. It was rather far - more than 1800 kilometers in two days.
From Paris: Take to motorway A 10, distance is about 550 km, and it will take about 5 hours.
From Toulouse/Marseille: Take the motorway A 62, it is about 500 km from Marseille, Toulouse is closer.
There are big distances in France!
- Road Trip
Wonderful cycling paths
Some part of the old railtracks in this area have been converted into cycling paths. Cycling highway, a really nice experience...
Some years ago (I guess it is still the case), you could get a free map (Gironde - Carte des pistes cyclables) by sending a (snail) mail to
La maison du tourisme de la Gironde (21 cours de l'intendance - 33000 Bordeaux)
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