How to use Bordeaux Public Transport

Discovering Bordeaux: A Local's Guide to Mastering Public Transportation

Bordeaux, known for its storied history and vibrant atmosphere, invites travelers to delve into its charming streets, captivating attractions, and hidden treasures. To fully seize the essence of this alluring city, unlocking the potential of its efficient public transport system is paramount. This guide written by local Sophia aims to provide you with invaluable insights and practical advice, enabling you to effortlessly navigate Bordeaux’s public transportation network with the familiarity of a seasoned local.


The tramway is one of the most popular modes of transport within Bordeaux. Spanning the city center and extending to its peripheries, the tram network is easy to understand as there are only 4 lines: A, B, C, and D. Most places that you will want to visit in Bordeaux are accessible via the tram. Maps of the city are shown at the tram stops so that you can easily plan your journey. Alternatively, you can download the Transport Bordeaux Metropole App (TBM), which offers live and up-to-date information.


Bordeaux’s comprehensive bus network complements the tramway infrastructure, providing access to destinations beyond tram routes. Buses offer an excellent means of exploring neighbourhoods and attractions not directly served by trams. Bus stops are prominently marked, and timetables are available both on-site and online. Although visitors staying in Bordeaux’s city center may find the tram sufficient, buses remain an appealing option for their wider coverage as some bus lines can take you to different chateaus for wine tours and tastings.  

River Shuttle

The Batcub, Bordeaux’s river shuttle, presents a picturesque opportunity to traverse the Garonne River. Connecting five stops in total, this mode of transportation provides an alternative route across the city while offering breathtaking views of Bordeaux’s Old Town backdrop. Purchasing a ticket onboard incurs a slight additional charge, making it advisable to purchase a tram ticket beforehand and use it for the Batcub. However, be attentive to departure times, as the Batcub operates less frequently than trams and buses.

Tickets and Passes

Before embarking on any public transport in Bordeaux, it’s essential to possess a valid ticket or pass. Tickets can be obtained from ticket machines situated at tram stops (as shown in the photo below). These machines support language options of French, English, or Spanish for accessibility. A notable tip: pre-download the TBM App and purchase tickets through it to save time and reduce reliance on paper tickets. Your ticket becomes active upon scanning, eliminating any pre-purchase concerns. Ticket options encompass single-use tickets (€1.80 for unlimited 1-hour travel), day passes (€5 for 24-hour unlimited travel), and week passes (€14.20 for 7-day unlimited travel). Upon boarding, remember to validate your ticket by scanning it on the provided machines.

Park and Ride

For those arriving by car, Bordeaux’s park-and-ride facilities offer a practical solution. Located on the city’s outskirts, these designated parking areas grant convenient access to tramway and bus lines. Securely park your vehicle and seamlessly transition to public transport for a hassle-free journey to your destination. These facilities not only offer cost-effective solutions but also contribute to mitigating parking congestion within the city center. However, keep in mind that strikes can occasionally disrupt tram services and therefore make it difficult to get back to your parked car.

private walking tour

Additional Tips

  • Bordeaux’s public transport system operates from early morning until late at night; nevertheless, it’s advisable to verify schedules, as they may fluctuate on weekends and holidays.
  • Remain vigilant about your belongings and be mindful of potential pickpocketing.
  • Stay updated by checking electronic display boards at tram stops for real-time details on arrival times and any service disruptions.

Efficient, dependable, and cost effective, Bordeaux’s public transport system serves as your gateway to exploring the city. By adeptly using trams and buses, obtaining appropriate tickets or passes, and acquainting yourself with routes and schedules, you’ll seamlessly navigate Bordeaux, embracing every facet of its charm. So, step aboard, embrace the adventure, and allow public transport to reveal the marvels of Bordeaux.

About the bordelais

The bordelais is a private walking tour company in Bordeaux created by local Sophia. Her private tours focus on the historical city of Bordeaux. Each tour covers an in-depth narrative of the rich history of Bordeaux and how it impacts the modern day to day life of the Bordelais (locals of Bordeaux).

After years of living in the heart of Bordeaux city and going out alot, Sophia has discovered the best bars to dance the night away, the most delicious food and the quirky addresses you’d never discover without living here

Check out her downloadable food guide –

For more information on the tours Sophia offers. 

Please click here