Having a hard time deciding between Bordeaux or Valencia for your next trip? You’re not alone – both cities have a lot to offer, and it can be tricky to choose just one. In this blog post, we’ll go over the main attractions, cultural experiences, and food scenes of each city.
A small city in southwestern France, Bordeaux is world-renowned for its wine, cuisine and architecture. If you mention Bordeaux to anyone, the first thing they think about is wine. But, there’s more to the city than just wine. It’s a beautiful city that is compact and walkable. We highly recommend visiting. It almost feels like a miniature Paris.
Located on the eastern coast of Spain, Valencia is world class destination that offers everything you need for a good break. Food, architecture, beaches and the sun, this city has something for everyone.
Pro’s and Con’s of Bordeaux and Valencia
- World-class wine culture and vineyards.
- Rich history and stunning architecture.
- Vibrant arts scene and diverse culinary experiences.
- Access to nearby UNESCO World Heritage sites, such as Saint-Émilion and the Cité du Vin museum.
- Proximity to picturesque regions like the Dordogne and the Bay of Arcachon.
- More laid-back atmosphere.
- Higher cost of living and accommodations compared to Valencia.
- Can be touristy, particularly during peak seasons.
- Traffic congestion and limited parking in the city center.
- Less emphasis on beach and water-based activities.
Best for: Wine enthusiasts, history buffs, foodies, and those who prefer a laid-back atmosphere and proximity to vineyards and picturesque countryside.
- Beautiful beaches and Mediterranean climate.
- Stunning modern architecture and cultural attractions, including the City of Arts and Sciences.
- Delicious cuisine, including paella and fresh seafood.
- Affordable cost of living and accommodations.
- Vibrant nightlife and entertainment options.
- Easy access to outdoor activities such as hiking and water sports.
- Less emphasis on wine culture compared to Bordeaux.
- Limited nearby UNESCO World Heritage sites and historic landmarks.
- Can be crowded during peak seasons.
- Limited English language proficiency among locals.
Best for: Beach lovers, foodies, culture and architecture enthusiasts, and those looking for a more affordable and lively city atmosphere.
How long to stay in Bordeaux
Bordeaux isn’t a big city, but there’s plenty to do. You could get around most of the city in a day if you wanted but you’d miss all the best bits. Bordeaux is a city best enjoyed at a slow pace. Wandering around whilst stopping off at cafes and tourist attractions.
There are plenty of galleries, museums and shops to fill your time. Plus if you’re into your wine, there are all the local vineyards that you can visit. There are also some pretty local towns to visit like Saint-Émilion and Arcachon. We’d recommend staying at least two days in Bordeaux, three days would be better though. We could easily spend a few weeks here, although we’d probably be fat alcoholics by the end of it.
How long to stay in Valencia
Valencia is Spains third largest city so there’s plenty to see and do. We’d recommend staying for three to four days. You could easily stay for longer if you wanted to spend a few days lounging on the beach.
How much is food and drink in Bordeaux?
The cost of food and drink in Bordeaux can vary depending on the establishment and the location. Here are some estimated average prices for food and drink in Bordeaux:
Beer: A beer in a typical bar or restaurant in Bordeaux will likely cost between €5 and €7.
Glass of wine: As Bordeaux is a wine region, wine is readily available and is often a better value than beer or cocktails. A glass of wine in a typical bar or restaurant can range from €3 to €10, depending on the quality and rarity of the wine.
Coffee: A cup of coffee in a typical café in Bordeaux will likely cost between €1.50 and €3.
Meal at a midrange restaurant: A meal at a midrange restaurant in Bordeaux will likely cost between €15 and €30 per person, depending on the restaurant and the menu.
How much is food and drink in Valencia?
Valencia is known for its delicious food, especially its paella. Here are some estimated average prices for food and drink in Valencia:
Beer: A beer in a typical bar or restaurant in Valencia will likely cost between €2 and €4.
Glass of wine: A glass of wine in a typical bar or restaurant can range from €3 to €6, depending on the quality.
Coffee: A cup of coffee in a typical café in Valencia will likely cost between €1.20 and €2.50.
Meal at a midrange restaurant: A meal at a midrange restaurant in Valencia will likely cost between €15 and €30 per person, depending on the restaurant and the menu.
How much is it to stay in Bordeaux?
It’s worth noting that prices may be higher in touristy areas.
Luxury hotel: A room in a luxury hotel in Bordeaux can cost anywhere from €200 to €500 per night, or even higher for the most exclusive properties.
Midrange hotel: A room in a midrange hotel in Bordeaux will likely cost between €80 and €150 per night, depending on the location and the amenities.
Budget hotel: A room in a budget hotel in Bordeaux will likely cost between €40 and €70 per night, depending on the location and the quality of the hotel.
Hostel: A bed in a hostel in Bordeaux will likely cost between €20 and €40 per night, depending on the location and the amenities.
How much is it to stay in Valencia?
The cost of accommodation in Valencia can vary greatly depending on the time of year and location. Here are some estimated average prices for accommodation in Valencia:
Luxury hotel: A room in a luxury hotel in Valencia can cost anywhere from €150 to €500 per night, or even higher for the most exclusive properties.
Midrange hotel: A room in a midrange hotel in Valencia will likely cost between €70 and €150 per night, depending on the location and the amenities.
Budget hotel: A room in a budget hotel in Valencia will likely cost between €30 and €70 per night, depending on the location and the quality of the hotel.
Hostel: A bed in a hostel in Valencia will likely cost between €15 and €30 per night, depending on the location and the amenities.
When is the best time to visit Bordeaux?
Bordeaux has got it all: mild weather, world-class wines, and plenty of festivals and events. Here’s what you need to know:
Weather: The weather in Bordeaux is usually pleasant, with mild temperatures year-round. Summers can get a bit sticky, but winters are mild and rainy. For the best weather, plan your visit during the shoulder season of April to June or September to October.
Wine season: Wine lovers, won’t want to miss the grape harvest season from September to October. The perfect time to indulge in wine tasting and vineyard tours and sample some of the best wines in the world.
Festivals: Bordeaux loves a good party, and there are plenty of festivals and events to keep you entertained. Don’t miss the Bordeaux Wine Festival in June or the Fête le Vin in June, both of which celebrate the region’s rich wine-making culture.
Crowds: The summer months of July and August are peak tourist season in Bordeaux, which means the crowds can be pretty intense. If you prefer a more relaxed visit, consider travelling during the off-season when the crowds have thinned out.
When is the best time to visit Valencia?
Valencia is a year round destination. The best all round times to visit are spring and autumn when the temperatures are mild and the city is quieter. Here are a few things to consider before booking your trip to Valencia:
Weather: Valencia is quite far south in Spain and can get very hot in the summer. Temperatures are usually around 30°C in the summer month but they can get considerably higher. Spring and autumn are a lot more comfortable. Even winters aren’t cold here with average temperatures between 6°C – 16°C, maybe not shorts and t-shirt temperatures but much warmer than most places in Europe.
Festivals: Valencia is famous for its festivals, there’s always something going on. La Tomatina is probably the most famous, a huge tomato fight held in the streets of the nearby town of Buñol. Check the festival calendar before visiting. Las Fallas is a festival held in March that involves burning papier-mâché sculptures and lots of pyrotechnics!
Crowds: Valencia is a popular summer destination so June to August tend to be very busy. If you want to avoid the crowds, visit in spring or autumn.
Average Monthly Temperatures
The average monthly temperatures for Bordeaux are:
The average monthly temperatures for Valencia are:
Getting around Bordeaux:
The city’s public transportation system consists of trams, buses, and a bike-sharing service. The trams are well-connected and cover most of the city’s major attractions. The tickets allow you to use any form of public transport for a certain period of time, (usually an hour). So if you needed to get one bus and a tram to get somewhere you’d only need one ticket if the journey was less than an hour.
Bike sharing is a good option for people that want to be a bit more active. Bordeaux has a lot of small windy streets so we spent most of the time walking, which I feel is the best way to see a city. Taxis and Ubers are readily available but you might struggle to get one right in the heart of the old town where a lot of it is pedestrianised.
Getting around Valencia:
Valencia has an extensive public transport system including buses, trams and a metro system. Valenbisi is bike-sharing system that is great if you want to explore the city on two wheels. Most the city can be reached easily on food if you’d prefer to walk.
Top things to do in Bordeaux
Visit the Place de la Bourse: This square is an absolute must-see, with stunning architecture and a beautiful reflecting pool called the Water Mirror. Don’t forget your camera!
Explore the historic Saint-Pierre district: This area is so charming, with cobblestone streets, cute cafes, and lots of history. Take a stroll around and enjoy the vibes.
Go wine tasting in the nearby vineyards of Saint-Émilion: If you’re a wine lover, this is the place to be! Saint-Émilion has some of the best vineyards and wineries around, and the views are pretty stunning too.
Visit the Musée d’Aquitaine: Learn more about the region’s history and culture at this museum, which has everything from prehistoric artefacts to contemporary art.
Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the Jardin Public: This park is seriously beautiful, with a lake, a rose garden, and tons of trees and flowers. It’s the perfect place to unwind and relax.
Take a river cruise on the Garonne River: You’ll see all sorts of amazing architecture and landmarks, and the views are seriously good.
Visit the Basilique Saint-Michel: This church is up on a hill, so the views are even better! Take some snaps, enjoy the scenery and soak up the atmosphere.
Enjoy some of Bordeaux’s local cuisine: Bordeaux has got some seriously tasty food, including sweet pastries called canelés and a delicious steak dish called entrecôte bordelaise.
Go to one of Bordeaux’s many festivals and events: This city loves to party, so there’s always something going on. Don’t miss the Bordeaux Wine Festival in June or the Fête le Vin in June.
Take a day trip to the nearby town of Arcachon: This seaside town is seriously gorgeous, with sand dunes and beaches that will take your breath away. It’s an easy train ride from Bordeaux, so don’t miss out!
Top things to do in Valencia
City of Arts and Sciences: This iconic complex is a must visit attraction in Valencia. Featuring several museums including the largest aquarium in Europe, a planetarium, an IMAX cinema and an interactive science museum.
Mercado Central: This stunning Art Nouveau market is a foodie’s paradise, offering an array of fresh produce, seafood, meats, and more. There’s plenty of food and local specialties to try out. Make sure you take cash as not all the vendors accept card.
La Lonja de la Seda: Originally a silk exchange, these Gothic-style building are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Entry to this beautiful building is completely free!
Bioparc Valencia: This zoo has a unique design that immerses visitors in the animals’ habitats. It’s home to a wide range of animals all of which look very happy! It doesn’t feel like your typical zoo, you’re a lot closer to the animals, which adds to the experience.
Plaza de la Virgen: Located in the heart of Valencia’s historic centre, this square is surrounded by stunning architecture and features a fountain in the centre.
Turia Gardens: One of the largest urban parks in Spain, the gardens were once the riverbed of the Turia river before it was diverted. There are still original bridges left which would have crossed the river.
El Carmen: Part of Valencia’s old town and one of the oldest areas of the city. This neighbourhood is perfect for wandering around and soaking up the local atmosphere.
Albufera Natural Park: One of Valencia’s secret gems, this nature resurve is located just outside of the city. Take a boat ride of hire some bikes and cycle around, you won’t regret it!
La Malvarrosa Beach: Valencia’s most famous beach stretches for 1km along the seafront. It’s very spacious and clean with plenty of restaurants and bars nearby.
Torres de Serranos: Once one of twelve gates that formed the city’s walls, these impressive gothic towers over great views of the city. The steps to the top are quite steep but it’s definitely worth going up!
How to spend three days in Bordeaux
To begin your day, head to the Place de la Bourse and the Water Mirror reflecting pool. Take some time to check out the beautiful architecture and take some pictures. If you want a really special experience, try and get up early to visit during the sunrise. It’s so worth it! After that, visit the Musée d’Aquitaine to explore the history and culture of the region. The museum has a fascinating collection of artefacts and exhibits. End your day with a dinner in the Saint-Pierre district, it’s probably the prettiest area in Bordeaux. There are plenty of good restaurants to choose from, make sure you sit outside if the weather is good too!
Spend your morning taking a day trip to the nearby town of Saint-Émilion, famous for its vineyards and wine. It’s only 35 minutes by train. Go for a wine tasting in one of the local vineyards then get a lovely French lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, return to Bordeaux and take a river cruise on the Garonne River. There’s something about river cruises that we love, the water is so relaxing and it’s a good way to see a city from a different perspective. For dinner visit Les Halles Bacalan, a market hall full of food vendors and bars. There’s so much food to try and wines to drink! After dinner, take a walk along the Quai des Chartrons to enjoy the views of the river and the city lights.
Start your day with a visit to the Jardin Public, one of the most beautiful parks in Bordeaux. It’s a great place to relax and people-watch. In the afternoon, head to the Basilique Saint-Michel to enjoy the stunning views of the city. There are loads of cool shops close by if you fancy looking around too. Finally, attend one of Bordeaux’s many festivals and events in the evening, such as the Bordeaux Wine Festival or Fête le Vin. If none of them are on, why not visit Musée du Vin et du Négoce de Bordeaux. This museum takes you through the history of winemaking in the region and even has wine-tasting sessions! It’s well worth a visit.
How to spend three days in Valencia
Morning: Begin your day with a visit to the Central Market. One of the largest markets in Europe there’s so much food on offer here, it’s crazy. Grab a coffee and a pasty at one of the cafes in the market and watch how busy it gets.
Afternoon: Take a walk around the historic centre of Valencia. Home to the cities most iconic landmarks, including the Cathedral of Valencia and the Plaza de la Virgen. Stop off for a Valencian Paella at one of the many restaurants in the area.
Evening: Head to the City of Arts and Sciences, a modern complex featuring a huge aquarium, an opera house and an interactive science museum. Make sure to go up to the L’Umbracle terrace afterwards to see the sunset and views of the city.
Morning: Take a trip to Albufera Natural Park, which is located just outside Valencia. This beautiful wetland park is only a 40 minute bus ride away from the city centre. You can take a boat ride and explore the lagoon or hire a bike and ride along the edge of it.
Afternoon: Head back to the city to visit the Turia Gardens. Located on the former riverbed, these gardens are around 12km long! Take a picnic or grab some local street food to eat whilst relaxing.
Evening: Experience Valencia’s nightlife with a visit to the Ruzafa neighborhood. This cool district is known for its trendy bars and restaurants. Spend the evening hopping from tapas bar to tapas bar, getting food and drinks at each one.
Morning: Spend the morning at Bioparc Valencia. This unique zoo try to recreate natural habitats for the animals living there. The enclosures look very big and comfortable for the animals, it feels like you get a lot closer than you do in most zoo’s too.
Afternoon: Visit the Mercado de Colón, a grand former market that has been converted into a shopping and dining complex. It takes some inspiration from Gaudi’s building in Barcelona and is filled with amazing restaurants and stalls. Make sure to try some horchata de Valencia a traditional drink made from tigernuts, it’s very cold and refreshing on a hot day!
Evening: End your trip with dinner overlooking the Malvarrosa Beach. Known for it’s golden sand and clear waters, it’s the perfect spot for a romantic walk along the beach after a nice dinner.
Food and drink: 9
Culture and history: 9
Total score: 61
Food and drink: 9
Culture and history: 9
Total score: 61