How to use

Navigating Bordeaux: A Guide to Using Public Transport in the City

Bordeaux, with its rich history and vibrant atmosphere, beckons visitors to explore its streets, attractions, and hidden gems. To make the most of your time in this captivating city, understanding and utilising its efficient public transport system is key. In this guide, we’ll provide you with valuable insights and practical tips on how to navigate Bordeaux’s public transportation network like a local.

1. Tramway

The tramway is a convenient and popular mode of transportation in Bordeaux. The network covers the city center and extends to the surrounding suburbs. Tram lines are easily identifiable as there are only 4 lines – A, B, C or D. Be sure to check the tram map and timetable, available at stations and online, to plan your journey effectively. Or download the TBM App to receive live and up to date information.

2. Bus

Bordeaux’s comprehensive bus network complements the tramway system, allowing you to reach destinations beyond the tram routes. Buses are an excellent option for exploring neighbourhoods and attractions not directly served by trams. Bus stops are clearly marked, and timetables are available at stops and online. However for the majority of visitors staying in the city centre of Bordeaux you most likely won’t need to use the bus as the tram is usually sufficient. Especially now the tram goes directly to both the airport and train station. 

3. River Shuttle

Bordeaux’s river shuttle, known as the Batcub, offers a scenic way to travel along the Garonne River. With 5 stops in total, it’s an alternative way of getting to one end of the city to the other while admiring the gorgeous back drop of Bordeaux Old Town. You can buy a ticket on board however they will charge you a little more so the best option is to buy a tram ticket before embarking and use that instead. Note: Be mindful of the departure times if you plan to use the Batcub as it is not as regular as the Tram or Bus. 

Ticket and Passes

Before boarding any public transport in Bordeaux, it’s essential to have a valid ticket or pass. You can purchase tickets from ticket machines available on the tram stops (see photo below). The ticket machines can be viewed in French, English or Spanish by clicking the corresponding flag in the top right corner. 

Our tip would be to download the TBM App beforehand and buy your tickets through the App. This will save you time and also means you won’t have to hold on to your paper ticket throughout the day. Instead you can scan your phone each time you step on public transport. Note: Your ticket only becomes valid from the moment it is scanned so buying in advance is no problem. 

Options include single-use tickets (€1.80 for 1 hour unlimited), day passes (24hours unlimited €5), and longer-duration passes (7 day unlimited €14.20). Remember to validate your ticket by scanning your ticket on the machines provided once you step onto the public transport.

Park and Ride

If you’re arriving by car, consider utilising Bordeaux’s park-and-ride facilities. These designated parking areas on the outskirts of the city provide convenient access to tramway or bus lines. Leave your vehicle in a secure parking lot and hop on public transport to reach your desired destination hassle-free. Park-and-ride facilities are cost-effective and help alleviate parking congestion in the city center. However be mindful of strikes, as  sometimes the Trams are paused until the protests are over. 

Additional Tips

  • Bordeaux’s public transport system operates from early morning until late at night, but be sure to check the schedules, as they may vary on weekends and holidays.
  • Stay aware of your belongings and be mindful of pick pockets.
  • Keep an eye on electronic display boards at tram stops for real-time information on arrival times and any service disruptions.

Efficient, reliable, and cost-effective, Bordeaux’s public transport system is your ticket to exploring the city and its surroundings. By utilising trams and buses, purchasing the appropriate tickets or passes, and familiarising yourself with the routes and schedules, you’ll effortlessly navigate Bordeaux like a local. So, hop on board, embrace the adventure, and let public transport be your gateway to discovering the wonders of Bordeaux.