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Bordeaux or Bust

Volume XXII, Issue 13

The Bordeaux tram at the Opera stop

Monday I’m headed to Bordeaux to film our 55th House Hunters International episode. We filmed an episode there one time before with a couple of guys who ended up leaving it for Nice, then they went to the Occitanie and then to Lyon. They’re having a grand time getting to know France trying out lots of different places to live.

Bordeaux is not top of my list of great places to live in France—not because it’s not a beautiful city, but because the access from Bordeaux limits your ability to travel internationally. One reason is that France’s ban on short-haul domestic flights came into force May 23, 2023. Under a government decree, any journeys that are possible in less than two-and-a-half hours by train cannot be taken as a flight. That includes flights between Bordeaux and Paris because the train between the two cities is two hours 10 minutes.

Most of our clients come to France with the idea of exploring all of Europe, so there are better hubs from which hopping on a plane or a train and seeing it all is a lot easier and faster. That’s just the way it is, with no offense to Bordeaux or anywhere else in France.

Bordeaux is steeped in its own uniqueness. It boasts of a region of unparalleled diversity in geography, soil composition, climate, and winemaking heritage, resulting in a vast array of wines, each possessing its own distinctive character. This diversity is evident in Bordeaux’s 57 appellations, 61 grand cru classés, over 9,000 wine-producing châteaux, and 13,000 wine growers. As the largest producer of fine wine globally, Bordeaux’s annual output of approximately 6 million hectoliters (158 million gallons) far surpasses that of all other French wine regions, except for the Occitanie. This is definitely something to be proud of!

This uniqueness can make the city a bit insular, too. Centered around the history of their wine industry that dates back to well before the middle ages, those who work in the industry, and even just the native Bordelais themselves, have a self-image to uphold and aren’t seeking outside influence. That means the would-be Bordelais who come to live there and enjoy all it has to offer won’t necessarily be welcomed with open-arms by the natives. They simply don’t care to meet or get to know the foreigners moving into their territory. American wine connoisseurs and sommeliers are often not given proper credit for their knowledge, just because they aren’t French or Bordelais. I’ve heard this story so many times.

The “contributors” in the House Hunters filming are our clients who were set on Bordeaux, so in spite of my caution, they went full speed ahead and now seem to be very happy with their decision to move there. They love it!

As is the usual format for the show, we will be visiting three properties and they will choose one. Together we’ll be exploring the neighborhoods and the properties.

The city is the 9th largest in France with a population of about 260,000. The cost of living in Bordeaux is relatively affordable compared to other major European cities, however, prices can vary depending on the neighborhood and type of housing…but that’s true for any city. On average, properties in Bordeaux rent for about €21 per square meter, therefore a one-bedroom apartment in the city center rents for about €850 per month, while a two-bedroom apartment can range from €1,250 to €1,800 per month. This is a bit less expensive than Nice where rents are €23 per square meter, therefore about €950 per month for a one-bedroom, and a two-bedroom would range from €1,400 to €1,850. Purchasing property is also one step less expensive than Nice, with price per square meter ranging from about €5,000 to €6,500. (See the chart comparing French city property prices.)

Bordeaux offers a wide range of neighborhoods to suit various lifestyles and budgets. From the trendy atmosphere of Chartrons to the peaceful green spaces of Saint-Genès, there’s a neighborhood in Bordeaux for everyone. I hope to be exploring many of them.

Here’s a short description of each and why it might be perfect for you: (Source)

Chartrons: Dynamic and Stylish

Chartrons is a trendy and fashionable neighborhood situated along the Garonne River. Renowned for its vibrant atmosphere, it hosts numerous cafes, restaurants, and boutiques along its streets. The presence of the famous Bordeaux Wine School makes it a favored destination for wine enthusiasts. With its exquisite 18th-century architecture and lively ambiance, Chartrons is an excellent choice for those seeking a dynamic and stylish neighborhood.

Saint-Michel: Vibrant Cultural Scene

For aficionados of history and culture, Saint-Michel offers an ideal setting. Home to the iconic Basilica of Saint-Michel, a striking Gothic church dating back to the 14th-century, this neighborhood also features a bustling market where one can find fresh produce, local delicacies, and unique crafts. With its rich historical background and bustling environment, Saint-Michel is perfect for those seeking to immerse themselves in Bordeaux’s vibrant cultural scene.

Saint-Pierre: Shopping, Dining, and Cultural Attractions

Often hailed as the “heart of Bordeaux” due to its central location and historical significance, Saint-Pierre is home to some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, including the Place de la Bourse and the Miroir d’Eau. With its narrow cobblestone streets and charming squares, Saint-Pierre offers a quintessential Bordeaux experience. Ideal for those who desire to be at the center of it all, with easy access to shopping, dining, and cultural attractions.

Saint-Genès: Serene and Green

Positioned just east of the city center, Saint-Genès is a tranquil residential neighborhood offering a more laid-back lifestyle. Renowned for its picturesque parks and gardens, it is an excellent choice for families and nature enthusiasts. Moreover, Saint-Genès is home to several reputable schools and universities, making it a sought-after destination for students and academics. If seeking a serene and green neighborhood with exceptional educational opportunities, Saint-Genès is the perfect fit.

Nansouty: Sense of Community and Relaxed

Nansouty, situated south of the city center, exudes charm and authenticity. Known for its traditional Bordeaux-style houses and lively market, where locals gather for fresh produce and specialty items, it also boasts several parks and green spaces, making it an ideal choice for families and outdoor enthusiasts. For those desiring a neighborhood with a strong sense of community and a relaxed atmosphere, Nansouty is an ideal option.

Caudéran: Wide Range of Housing Options and Excellent Amenities

As the largest neighborhood in Bordeaux, Caudéran offers a diverse range of housing options and amenities. Recognized for its spacious villas and modern apartment buildings, it appeals to those seeking a suburban lifestyle. Caudéran is also home to numerous parks, sports facilities, and shopping centers, providing residents with everything they need within close proximity. For a neighborhood offering a wide range of housing options and excellent amenities, Caudéran is the perfect choice.

La Bastide: Modern and Innovative

Nestled on the right bank of the Garonne River, La Bastide offers breathtaking views of Bordeaux’s historic city center. Undergoing significant development in recent years, it has seen new residential and commercial projects transform the area. La Bastide is also home to the impressive Darwin Ecosystem, a creative hub housing various startups, artists, and cultural organizations. For those seeking a neighborhood with a modern and innovative atmosphere, La Bastide is an excellent choice.

Le Bouscat: High Standard of Living and Excellent Educational Opportunities

Le Bouscat, an upscale neighborhood just northwest of Bordeaux’s city center, is renowned for its elegant mansions and tree-lined streets, making it a favored destination for those seeking a luxurious lifestyle. It is also home to several prestigious schools and sports clubs, making it ideal for families and professionals. For those in search of a neighborhood offering a high standard of living and excellent educational opportunities, Le Bouscat is the perfect choice.

Bacalan: Significant Growth Potential and a Unique Character

Bacalan, a rapidly developing neighborhood in the northern part of Bordeaux, is known for its industrial heritage. Currently undergoing a major transformation with new residential and commercial projects revitalizing the area, it is also home to the impressive Cité du Vin, a modern wine museum attracting visitors from around the world. For those seeking a neighborhood with significant growth potential and a unique character, Bacalan is an ideal choice.

Gare Saint-Jean: Excellent Connectivity and a Vibrant Atmosphere

Located near Bordeaux’s main train station, Gare Saint-Jean is a bustling and cosmopolitan neighborhood known for its excellent transport links, making it ideal for commuters and frequent travelers. It is also home to several new residential and commercial developments offering a range of modern housing options. For those seeking a neighborhood with excellent connectivity and a vibrant atmosphere, Gare Saint-Jean is the perfect choice.

Bordeaux has great public transportation, a big plus in its favor. The tramway stands out as the ideal mode of transportation due to its cleanliness, affordability, and convenience. Introduced in 2003, the tram system efficiently serves the city, preserving its scenic charm by employing ground-level power supply, eliminating the need for unsightly overhead wires. Comprising three distinct tram lines, Bordeaux and its environs are seamlessly connected by this extensive network.

You’ll be hearing more about Bordeaux and my personal impressions after our filming (!), but if you want to learn more now, you can download the PDF press kit.

And don’t hesitate to ask us about how we can help you rent or purchase in Bordeaux!

A bientôt,

Adrian Leeds at a cafe in BordeauxAdrian Leeds
The Adrian Leeds Group®

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