A comprehensive article that guides you How to use the public transport in Bordeaux. How to buy and validate a ticket, prices and other helpful information.

How to get around Bordeaux – Public Transport 101

All you ever wondered on how to get around Bordeaux and use the Bordeaux public transport. How to buy and validate a ticket, prices and other helpful information...
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Travelling to a new city can be exciting and full of anticipation. But it also can be a source of stress for public transport networks as we have no idea how to go around it…
Bordeaux public transport is pretty good and efficient. Here’s a breakdown guide on how to get around Bordeaux.

Don’t forget to check out the official site of TBM or Transports Bordeaux Métropole. It is very helpful and well-made. HERE

Many ways to travel

The city boasts an extensive tram network renowned for its accessibility and reliability, whisking passengers to key destinations with ease. For shorter journeys, buses crisscross the city, offering convenient routes to various neighbourhoods and attractions.

There are close to 60 different bus lines, and 4 different tramway lines. The city is completely covered by both. You will find maps at most stops, too, making it very easy to navigate.

There’s even a tramway (the A Line) connecting the airport directly to the city centre since 2023 in about 30 minutes!

How to buy a ticket and how much do they cost

Ticket 1 voyage – 1.80€

The most basic and commonly both ticket here is the Tickarte for 1 trip or 1 voyage. It can be used on trams, buses, and boats (“L’Hirondelle” and “La Gondole”, the 2 boats of Bordeaux Metropole linking the two banks of the river.) They are valid for the duration of 1 hour. You must always validate your ticket the moment you walk into the tram, using using the white machine (old version – the yellow machines) that is usually found on the right, next to the door. Your ticket is valid for 1 hour, no matter the method of transportation or the destination, but you have to validate the ticket each time you change transport, even if you have done it once before.

Ticket  2 voyages – 3.20

Its used the same way as the above and it is valid for 2 trips.

Ticket 10 trips – 14.50€

Obviously, if you plan to do more than one trip, this option is a lot more suitable for you. You get one ticket that can be used 10 times, so be careful not to throw it away. The ticket must be validated and works for 1 hour each time.

Travel pass – 7 days – 14.20€

This ticket gives you unlimited access to public transport and public parking or Les Parc-Relais for the period of 7 days from the moment of the first validation. Here you can find a list of the available parking spaces

Evening pass – 3.00€

This is a good option if you are going out for the night. The ticket is valid from 19h00 to 05h00 for as many times as possible. You can use it for the tram, bus, and parking.

CityPass 24h – 34€ / 48h – 44€ / 72h – 50€

This is a fantastic option. In our opinion, it might be the best even if you stay more than a day. It just packs so many things into a simple card!

Not only does it act as an unlimited transport card (you simply have to validate it when you get on the buses & trams), but for the price, it also includes free access to 15 museums, the “Bassin des Lumières” (more to come on that!) and some guided tours (on in Bordeaux, and one in Saint-Emilion if you take the 72h one)!
You can buy them directly online (and even have them shipped) here : https://www.visiter-bordeaux.com/en/bordeaux-citypass.html
Or you can buy it from the Tourist Office of Bordeaux.

How to validate tickets on Bordeaux public transport

You must validate your ticket every time you come to ON-BOARD the transport (but you don’t need to validate to get off-board), even in a connection (if you change the tram line, for example).

Validating your ticket (or app or city pass) is mandatory. Technically, you can be fined 122€ for not validating a ticket (it’s the same amount as if you didn’t buy any).

Thankfully, validating a ticket on a bus or tram is super easy; you just have to swipe it in front of this machine:

Bordeaux public transport validation
You need to validate your ticket on this machine

The machine will beep and blink green (or red if there’s an issue with your ticket) and even tell you how many trips you’ve left, the duration left on the ticket if it applies etc…

Where to buy tickets

Buying a ticket for the Bordeaux public transport is very easy and you’ve got a few options, you can buy it:

  • From the bus driver: true only for buses as you cannot talk to a tram driver also think about taking change, as they do not carry a lot of cash
  • At a tram stop: every tram stop has a big grey machine that sells tickets (and every menu is translated into English and Spanish!)
  • On your Phone: there’s a pretty well-made app where you can just pay directly with your credit card and then use your phone as a ticket (you have to have NFC and Bluetooth activated, and you swipe it in front of the validating machine – BEWARE that the machine sometimes bugs a,d will turn red, even if the ticket has been validated on the phone: so check your phone screen and disregard the information given by the machine).
    Here’s the link for the app :

Working hours of the Bordeaux public transport

Trams run from 05h00 to 00h00 from Monday to Wednesday until 1h00 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. They come at 4 to 7 min intervals during the day and 8 to 15 min at night. On Sundays and public holidays, they are very limited. That said all three lines – A, B, C have different times the service is terminated depending on the direction of the line, so I suggest you use an app that is very helpful and works for the tram and the bus to keep track of the time until the last bus/tram. On the 1st of May, there is no transportation.

Where to buy tickets

You can buy any ticket and recharge your city cart at any vending machine at any tram stop. You can buy 1 trip ticket from bus drivers and boat drivers or online. It is a good idea to always have some coins on you for the tickets because the machines take only cards or coins, and bus drivers rarely have change for larger bills.

Accessibility for reduced-mobility

There is usually no problem for people with disabilities or mothers with baby carts to use public transport. The trams are spacious, and the people are courteous, giving anyone who needs it enough space. The buses also have a special ramp, so anyone can get on it.

Little things to keep in mind

  • If you want to take the bus, you must wave your hand at the driver to stop it. Otherwise, the driver will pass by. Also, when you want to get off the bus, you must press the little red button inside the bus BEFORE to let the driver know you’re getting off at the next stop.
    Of course, this does NOT apply to tramways as they stop at every stop, even if there’s no one getting on or off, and you do not have to press anything (except to open the door).
  • No smoking on public transport, no drinking alcohol either (even though you will see drunk people on the tram at night).
  • Dogs are often allowed inside trams but have to be held on a leash

Check out our comprehensive Guide to the Main tourist attractions in Bordeaux

Plan Ahead

Here you can use the TBM system to plan your journey

Sales Offices

If you have any questions about the transport or problems, you can go to the special sales offices. They are very helpful. There, you can also make yourself a card for transport and recharge it.

Sales office opening hours
• Espace Gambetta
> Monday to Friday : 7am to 7pm
> Saturday: 9am to 7pm
• Espace Quinconces
> Monday to Friday : 7am to 7h30pm
> Saturday: 9am to 7pm
• Espace Modalis Saint-Jean
> Monday to friday : 7am to 7pm
> Saturday: 9am to 7pm
• Espace Buttinière
> Monday to friday : 7am to 7pm

I hope this answers some of the questions you might have about How to use public transport in Bordeaux. If you have any other questions, leave them below.

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