With its favourable location in the southwest of France, Bordeaux is a popular location for British expatriates. It offers a temperate climate, striking architecture and, of course, some of the best wine in the world.
The bustling city is the sixth largest metropolitan area in France, with a diverse but robust economy. While traditional industries still play a key role – such as agriculture and wine production – more modern sectors are emerging. Aeronautics is a large area of employment, for example, and many global companies are branching out into the city.
This growth is attracting more expats to the region, especially those looking for a balance between a secure work placement and a relaxed lifestyle.
Living in Bordeaux is a pleasant experience. It’s well looked after, with numerous attractive public gardens and parks among the city streets. The vibrant mix of classic architecture and ultra-modern new buildings adds a pleasing contrast, as does the historic port. The relatively modern (in the last decade) Miroir d’Eau, or Water Mirror, has become one of the city’s main attractions. The large pool gives a mirror effect and is popular in summer, with families paddling in the cool, shallow waters.
Expatriates fond of being outside will love Bordeaux. It is designed to encourage a healthy lifestyle. It’s easy to walk and navigate the streets, so for those living within a short distance of the centre, a car isn’t needed for the daily commute. It’s also a bike-friendly city, with major cycle routes crossing through its heart. These offer great opportunities for weekend rides out into the more rural, wine-producing areas, as well as a straightforward, flat ride for commuters.
Bordeaux is a cosmopolitan city, with a vibrant nightlife. From chic restaurants and bistros, to high-end shopping boutiques, there is always something to experience. The city has somehow managed to achieve a lively atmosphere with a laid-back vibe – perfect for expats wanting a better work/life balance.
For those with a love of art and culture, Bordeaux is the perfect city to relocate to. Recently picked as the top city in the world to visit, Bordeaux is the largest urban World Heritage site. It’s also known as a ‘City of Art and Heritage’, with half the city UNESCO listed and over 300 historic monuments.
There are so many points of interest that expats new to the region can spend their weekends exploring and appreciating the classical and neo-classical architecture. There are also world-class museums and galleries.
As it’s known for its exceptional wine making, it’s only natural Bordeaux should also be home to a unique museum dedicated to the drink. La Cité du Vin is described as a ‘new generation’ museum with immersive experiences based around a self-guided tour through 20 themed spaces. The building itself is an architectural marvel, with sleek lines and bold curves.
If your tastes are more classic, try the Musée des Beaux-Arts (Museum of Fine Arts). This gallery was built in 1881 and has two wings. The south wing is dedicated to art from the 16th to 18th centuries, and the north wing has art from the 19th to 20th centuries.
If you’re moving to Bordeaux, find out how Cadogan Tate can help you with your relocation, managing the move from start to finish.