European Best Destination 2015, favourite city of the French*, 4th most attractive city for students**, three Michelin-starred chefs - Gordon Ramsay, Joël Robuchon, and Pierre Gagnaire - have opened restaurants in under a year… Bordeaux is a powerful magnet! After a 15-year full makeover, Bordeaux, with its blonde stone façades, has recovered its 18th-century splendour, confirmed by the historic city centre’s recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. And with the opening of the LGV high-speed rail link in July 2017, Bordeaux the Beautiful will be only just over 2 hours 5 minutes from central Paris.
The city has a much younger image, with outdoor cafés on every street, trendy bars, designer shops, skate parks, a host of chic, contemporary restaurants…. and much more! Joggers enjoy 350 hours more sunshine than in Paris and run every evening along the redeveloped waterfront, then go for a drink on the right bank with the view over the Garonne River and the floodlit façades of the Place de la Bourse. There is no time to be bored, as the cultural scene is always very exciting, with exhibitions, concerts, lectures, street entertainment, and arts to suit every season.
Bordeaux on the move...
Heading for Greater Bordeaux 2030! The city is evolving in all directions. On the north side, the first residents moved into the gargantuan development at the Bassins à Flot in 2015. On the south side, the revamped station will be completed in 2017, in time to inaugurate the LGV high-speed rail link. A whole new district, Bordeaux Euratlantique, one of the most extensive development projects in France, is well on its way. On the right bank, following the emergence of the Bastide-Niel district, the Brazza area, opposite the Parc aux Angéliques, is moving into its second development phase. There’s no time to rest - 2030 is just around the corner.
Bordeaux: world wine capital
This is even more true since June 1rst 2016, with the opening of La Cité du Vin, a unique place for wine-related discoveries and experiences. Bordeaux now has its own emblematic structure, like the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, overlooking the city and the Garonne River. This is decidedly a very special year, featuring the 10th Bordeaux Fête le Vin - wine festival that welcomed 700,000 visitors from June 23th to June 26th 2016.
Rejuvenated, radiant, vibrant, joyous, keen on green transport, with its tram, VCub bikes, and electrical cars: Bordeaux is a breathable city! The urban area provides vast scope for experiments in sustainable development: reducing traffic, protecting historical heritage, promoting shorter distribution channels, preserving air quality and biodiversity, producing green energies locally, etc.
Gateway to southwest France
The list of excursions from Bordeaux makes your head spin. Arcachon and is an hour away, with its harbour, oysters, and Belle Epoque villas, as is Saint-Emilion and its UNESCO Heritage vineyard. The coast offers some of the loveliest, undeveloped beaches in France, for the delight of sports enthusiasts and nature-lovers. The ancient port of Rochelle, 2 hours to the North, provides access to an archipelago of enchanting islands: Oléron, Ré, Aix, and Madame. Further east, the Périgord boasts many delicious specialities, while the Basque country, to the south, is known for its festive atmosphere and distinctive character. It’s a different world.