We found it incredibly difficult to find a property to rent, although we were looking in the mid pyrenees.
We ended up here, about 90 mins from Bordeaux, in a house owned by a friend of a friend. It's 4 bedroom with an office two bathrooms etc and costs 700 euros a month.
We only drove through Bordeaux and haven't actually visited yet, it is on the agenda. But all the places around here are lovely. In fact we think we might find somewhere to buy around here now.
Our children are registered to start in the local French school in Sept, we thought it might help them integrate, also I understood the local schools need pupils to help funding etc.
We're finding the cost of living a bit more expensive than the UK. Food is marginally more expensive, bills are a fair bit more, but we're in a much bigger house here. The weird things are having to pay to have a bank account etc. We went to find a smoke alarm and they wanted 40 Euro's so bring things like that with you. In fact all electrical type things are expensive here, so are childrens shoes. Wine is cheap though.
We have a 7 and a 4 year old. The weather hasn't been so great since we've been here so we've not done much. The local piscine is really good and really clean. In fact everywhere we go is clean, especially the toilets (lots of dog poo on the pavements though). We found an adventure playground and waterpark but again these are expensive. I think my wife also found a play area (climbing, ball pits etc.) but they a few and far between and again expensive, I think 10 euros where we paid maybe £2 in the uk.
But the idea for us was to be more outdoors anyway, it seems the weather didn't want us too though
I was in Bordeaux last October for a long weekend, drove down from Angouleme to watch Wasps v Bordeaux-Beigles in the junior version of the Heineken Cup. That's an aside, what I wanted to say was that the city of Bordeaux is up there with the best of them. It has a wonderful park and ride system of state of the art trams (run every 10 min or so), the centre is almost totally traffic free and even in the rush hours the service at restaurants and cafes is first rate. I wouldn't shop too much there tho' very very expensive (120 Euros for a rugby shirt ?), and I'm aware that housing is pretty pricey, but with the advantage of the P&R system, you could live further out and commute without too much strife. That said, the traffic on the Rocade can be a total nightmare and please don't try to drive straight through the city!
Well, be sure to have a walk along the Garonne on the docks, both sides offer a long and nice mood. You can also do it in boat with just a tramway ticket if you take the batcub.
The city is very safe, do not hesitate to wander from saint Michel to the Chartrons, it's a long walk but you'll see most of the center of the town.
If you want to discover the history of the region, the Musée d'Aquitaine is pretty great. If you're more into contemporary art, go to the CAPC or the submarine base (which is a very strange place).
It you're up for a drink, I suggest you to go straight to the St Pierre district which is filled with bars and restaurants. You'll have a lot of wine shops where you can have wine for a really cheap price. My favorite place is Art & Vin (adress: place du Palais).
If you want to eat delicious French food, you should go to "La Taupinière", "Le Petit Saint-Michel", "l'entrepote" (the best ribs in town) or the "Croc Loup" (the last one is a bit expensive but it's really worth it and very filling). You also have "le petit commerce" if you're into fish/sea food.
Another good places would be the Sweeney Todd's (English pub, good bier, good burgers/club sandwiches/pies and a lot of Engligh speakers who will be happy to recommend you things to do here in Bordeaux).
For Moroccan food, you might want to go to the Rizzana (Place St Michel), the Maruya (delicious and authentic Japanese food) or "il Artigiano" for fresh Italian food.
There are plenty of places to eat on a budget too (5 to 10€). Just ask if you want some addresses!
Outside of Bordeaux, you might want to go to Arcachon, it's on the seaside 40mins from Bordeaux. You'll have the "Dune du Pilat", then you'll go eat fressh oysters from Arcachon and if the weather is not too cold, you can have a nice boat ride (where you can frequently see dolphins during summer).
Another place to go is the Perigord (3H of car from Bordeaux). It's truly one of the most beautiful places in France (especially around Sarlat). There's a cheap and romantic youth hostel in a 12th monastery in the town of Cadouin. And you can rent boats to navigate beetween a litteral shit ton of medieval castles from la Roque Gageac to Bezenac. It's one of the best place to eat duck too (Magret, Confit, Foie Gras).
In Saint-Emilion, have a sit-down at the Clos des Cordeliers and have a glass ! There's a small walk that goes around the old town, which offers very nice views.
In Bordeaux, "Chez Les Ploucs" have nice dishes for a good price, and with generous serving. Be sure to go the tourism office, they should have a little booklets of walks to do in surrounding countryside (that includes Saint-Emilion, Pauillac, Blayes area).
Nguyen Thai Hung
I myself has lived and studied in Bordeaux for more than 3 years, I’m proud to say those 3 years are the best years of my live of a foreigner students in France.
There are some famous university in Bordeaux so students are often come here for their degree. The city is very friendly toward students with lots of benefits for them like free bicycle loan, reduction on transport fee, and dedicated bureau to handle procedures for students. There are a lots of bars and clubs in the center area, thursday is like “student day” where all bars and clubs are filled with students. The population of Bordeaux will decrease significantly in the vacation time where all the students come back to their home, leaving a more quiet and calm Bordeaux for me to enjoy.
Bordeaux is a beautiful city, there aren’t any big monument that makes you ‘awe’ but surely you will slowly start to fall in love with it. The ‘Grand Theatre’, ‘Mirroir d’eau’ ‘Rue Saint-Catherine’ are my favourite places.
Bordeaux is known worldwide with its red wine, I personally don’t drink much alcohol but once you get to taste a 300euro wine bottle or above, you will understand why they love red wine so much. Other than the wine, the restaurants here are also amazing, the food here is what I miss the most after I moved to Paris, I keep coming back to Bordeaux to have a meal in my favourite restaurants, despite the fact that Paris is like the gastronomic capital of the world.
Bordeaux has a much slower and more relaxing life style, people doesn’t seem to rush all the time, it suit me perfectly since I’m more of ‘an old man’ inside. It’s just matter of preferences but I honestly think Bordeaux is more suited to people like me, if you are really active and dynamic, maybe you will find Bordeaux a bit boring though.
After all I just want to say that Bordeaux deserve a chance for everyone who is seeking a place to settle their live. I hope that everyone can love Bordeaux like I did, One day when I finished my degree I will definitely consider living in Bordeaux.
There is a cultural awareness !
Bordeaux and his areas owns the best wines in the world and the greatest Chef !
From Saint Emilion to Le Medoc, to the Atlantic Ocean, this is maybe the best part of France.
The finest castles, the finest beaches, the amazing City of Bordeaux, the finest restaurants, Bordeaux is a welcoming start for a new way of life: Quality of life first !
It is a choice of life and a way of accepting having the finest foods and drinks in the world !
There are so many amazing beautiful places to see.
The City itself of Bordeaux is sharing the old stories and the new stories.
The city is not finished to be refurbished...the new train station will offer a better comfort and new trains ... And an amazing bus is helping to go to the airport. French people likes when it is neat most is the time and they have a chance like no else will have, with the grace of their marvelous King Louis XIV. Le Roi Soleil !
Outside Bordeaux: Saint Emilion, Le Medoc, Arcachon, La dune du Pyla, Montalivet, Le Porge, Lacanau, And all the castles all around ...
Well the other already replied really well to your question I completely agree with them! I always lived in Bordeaux and have visited other french cities, and a lot of Parisian and people from the north where it's much more speed and stressing come to Bordeaux because it's a good deal between urban and calm life, it really is a beautiful town, there is some years earlier it wasn't like that but the mayo doesn't stop renovating it and embellish it, there is a lot of cultural issues and artists, and now it's only at two hours ago from Paris by train, we are near the sea which is really cool during summer, it's a pleasant lifestyle :)
The best of living in Bordeaux is the specific atmosphere : quiet and vibrant at the same time.
This little clip of the city in December is perfect to show it :
LA VILLE DE BORDEAUX - BEST CITY 2017
Bordeaux is a beautiful part of France. I didn’t find that they was much else in the area other than the city, but then again I'm a province/ cote d'azur fan
There are many attractive old cities in the world but not all of them combine that physical beauty with the many other great attributes of Bordeaux.
It is a city that throngs with life and activity. It is busy and yet preserves a companionable and relaxed ambiance. There is no shortage of historical sites to wonder at but the visitor is also amply provided with great museums, fine restaurants, convivial cafes and bars, shady and attractive parks and gardens. There is a variety of venues for live entertainment from rock to ballet whilst talented and amusing street-performers abound. The riverfront is also a great asset, lined as it is by gardens, sports facilities, cafes and upmarket shops.
Bordeaux is very easy to get around on foot but also boasts extensive, comfortable and efficient public transport in the form of buses and trams.
If I was to say anything negative about the old centre of Bordeaux, it is that there is too much traffic. The roads are noisy, smelly and a chore to cross.
But that is a small negative in a very positive experience overall.
In summary, I doubt if Bordeaux could be seen as the number one city I've visited by any individual measure but, as an all-rounder, it is hard to beat and definitely high on my list.
Located in the center of Bordeaux, along the river, Vieux Bordeaux is home to several unique areas. There are areas dedicated to shopping, old neighborhoods and of course the historical areas and buildings that dot this area of town.
Well worth visiting this area when in Bordeaux.
Coming from California, We have always had a desire to visit the wine country in Bordeaux France, which is the gold standard for wine production. Instead of finding a hotel in the city of Bordeaux, we decided to locate in the middle of wine country at Chateau Pomys in Saint-Estephe. Chateau Pomys is an absolutely beautiful chateau-hotel, with friendly staff and its own vineyard and private label wine. Our room on the third floor overlooked vineyards as far as the eye can see, as well as having a view of the Gironde estuary. At the suggestion of the hotel staff we went to the visitor center in nearby Paullac. The Visitor Center personnel were extremely friendly and helpful in arranging tours at various wineries thoughout the Medoc area, which made our visit to the area very special. Dinners at the Chateau Pomys are quite reasonably priced under French standards and we looked forwarded to our meals each night. When you start-out each dinner with Escargot in garlic sauce paired with the Chateau Pomys private label red wine, combined with great service in a quiet dining room, and only a minute from your bedroom, life does not get any better. Wifi was free.
We spent the last two nights of a long European trip (mainly Spain and Portugal) here before flying out from Bordeaux. We chose to stay in the countryside rather than in the city and were well rewarded. We had a comfortable, enjoyable stay in a delightful setting. We enjoyed a splendid dinner out on the terrace and had a private wine-tasting of several vintages. Breakfast was simple but totally adequate. We drove to St. Emilion for a day and thoroughly enjoyed it.