Where to park for free in Bordeaux

Looking for free parking in Bordeaux? You'll find all the details you need for free parking in this article.

2 September 2022
Where to park for free in Bordeaux
Where to park for free in Bordeaux

Bordeaux is one of France's major cities, renowned for the high quality wines produced in its local vineyards. On the other hand, it is also known for its famous Port de la Lune district; its name comes from the curvature of the crescent-shaped river which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007. Bordeaux offers one of the most beautiful and unspoilt 18th century cityscapes in the world.

Like the old town of Lyon, the historic centre of Bordeaux has many streets closed to traffic. The city is notable not so much for its individual monuments, but for its history.

The centre of Bordeaux offers everything you would expect from a modern, bustling city: shops, services, supermarkets, cinemas and much more, but it is made up of an architectural ensemble of stone buildings (most of which date from well before the 20th century). The rest of the space between the city and the waterfront is a long promenade with pedestrianised areas, gardens and harbours, although the only ships that dock are cruise ships.

What do you need to know to drive in Bordeaux?

The Crit'Air sticker is a certificate provided to users that measures the environmental impact of vehicles on air quality and therefore every vehicle must have the sticker.

It should be noted that the police can check the Crit'Air sticker at any time, whether it is a vehicle with a national registration or a vehicle with a foreign registration. If, for whatever reason, you do not have the sticker and you are driving in low emission zones, you can be fined up to €135. Pre-2001 diesel cars that are not classified or have the Crit'Air 5 sticker will not be allowed to drive or park in the Bordeaux metropolitan area and on the Bordeaux ring road in 2023.

Free parking in Bordeaux

On-street parking in Bordeaux is free from 19:00 to 9:00, as well as on Sundays and public holidays.

Bordeaux has many public transport options, as the city tries to encourage the use of public transport to reduce pollution. Therefore, you can easily find an alternative means of transport to the car, whether by tram, bus or bicycle. This way, if necessary, you can park on the outskirts of the city and have other options to get closer to the city centre without having to walk long distances.

Some streets in the Chartrons and the Grand Parc are free of charge. The same applies in the north/northeast direction on the left bank (Bassins à Flot, Bacalan), but far from the city centre. The Meriadeck shopping centre car park, located in the city centre, offers free parking for the first hour and a half; ideal if you need to run errands or park for a short time.

The French city centre is divided into two pay zones: the red zone, where you can park for a maximum of 4 hours, and the green zone, where you can also park for a maximum of 4 hours.

The rates for the red zone are as follows:

    - 30 min: 1,30€
    - 1h: 2,50€
    - 1h15 min: 3,20€
    - 1h30 min: 3,90€
    - 1h45 min: 4,70€
    - 2h: 5,00€
    - 2h15 min: 6,30€
    - 2h30 min: 7,50€
    - 2h45 min: 8,80€
    - 3h: 10,00€
    - 3h30 min: 12,50€
    - 4h: 15,00€

The tariffs for the green zone are as follows:

    - 30 min: 0,90€
    - 1h: 1,80€
    - 1h15 min: 2,30€
    - 1h30 min: 2,80€
    - 1h45 min: 3,30€
    - 2h: 3,60€
    - 2h15 min: 4,90€
    - 2h30 min: 6,10€
    - 2h45 min: 7,40€
    - 3h: 8,60€
    - 3h30 min: 11,10€
    - 4h: 13,60€

Parking can be paid at the parking meters on the streets (no need to put the ticket in the car, everything is computerised) or you can pay for your parking space with the apps "Easy Park" and "Flowbird". If you exceed the time limit or do not pay for your parking space within the time limit, you can be fined 35€ in the red zone or 30€ in the green zone.

For season ticket holders and public transport users, there are park-and-ride lots that make it easier to get around. You can park in the park-and-ride lots and get a good deal; both driver and passenger are entitled to a return trip on the transport network for only 4,5€.

If you are thinking of driving to Bordeaux, we recommend that you carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of each option in order to make the best decision.

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