Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport (one of the busiest air transport hubs in France) serves the remarkable wine-producing region of Bordeaux, part of the Gironde department in southern France. A major tourist destination of France, Bordeaux is famous not just for its wines but also for the fact that the city is the largest urban World Heritage Site on the planet (as of January 2016). Poetically nicknamed the ‘Port of the Moon’, Bordeaux was given this honorary status due to the historical and cultural significance represented by the city’s architecture and urban plan.
Those who would like to drive in Bordeaux may pick up a rental vehicle direct from Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport, which is host to numerous major car hire agencies like Avis, Budget, Europcar, Enterprise, Goldcar, Firefly, Sixt and Hertz. Simply head to the A-B Connecting Wing of the airport terminal to access the car rental counters there.
You need a valid driving license from your home country to rent a car and drive in France (unless you are staying for more than a year, in which case you will need a French license). You are also required to keep this driving license on hand at all times when you’re on the road. An International Drivers’ Permit may be required of some drivers, so it is best to ensure that you have one before traveling to Bordeaux.
Do note that traffic in Bordeaux is right-handed.
Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport is located about 12 kilometres from the Bordeaux, so driving to and from the airport isn’t too difficult. Expect a drive time of about 30-40 minutes.
Getting around Bordeaux by car is rather easy as well, with the country’s well-maintained network of roads. However, tourists staying only in Bordeaux are advised against driving as traffic congestions are common in the city’s narrow streets. Furthermore, finding parking space within the city is rather difficult.
What to see and do
If there’s one thing you absolutely cannot miss doing in Bordeaux, its a wine tour. Lucky for you, there are plenty to choose from! Decide if you’ve the stamina for a full-day or half-day guided wine tour, and be sure to wear comfortable shoes before setting off as there’s bound to be plenty of walking. Have an experienced guide take you to the wine-growing Médoc region and around to various chateaus and estates, where you get to learn the proper way to taste different kinds of wines, peep into wine cellars and more. You’d leave the tour enlightened about the finer things in life and with a renewed appreciation for the deeply-rooted wine culture of this remarkable region.