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Guide Expats Bordeaux

Expats moving to Bordeaux :
The Ultimate Guide !

Comprehensive Guide for Expats Moving to Bordeaux

Bordeaux, a city renowned for its wine, rich history, and vibrant culture, is an enticing destination for expats seeking to settle in France. As you embark on this exciting journey, navigating the ins and outs of relocating to Bordeaux can be daunting. From finding the perfect neighborhood to understanding the local culture, this guide aims to provide expats with a comprehensive roadmap for a smooth transition to life in Bordeaux.

  • 1 - Understanding Bordeaux


Bordeaux's charm lies in its rich history, evident in its well-preserved architecture and cobblestone streets. Take time to explore the city's historic center, known as the "Port of the Moon," with its UNESCO-listed landmarks like the Place de la Bourse and the Pont de Pierre. Embrace the city's cultural heritage by attending events like the Bordeaux Wine Festival or visiting museums such as the Musée d'Aquitaine. Engaging with locals and learning basic French phrases can enhance your experience and foster connections within the community.

  • 2 - Navigating the Housing Market

Bordeaux's housing market offers a range of options to suit different preferences and budgets. Consider factors like proximity to public transportation, schools, and amenities when choosing a neighborhood. The city center, including districts like Saint-Pierre and Saint-Michel, offers a vibrant urban lifestyle, while suburbs like Le Bouscat and Talence provide a quieter residential atmosphere.


Get in touch with me at ArteCita, your rental/buyer agent in Bordeaux, and I will navigate you through the town.

If you read a little bit of french you can also get a feeling about the various Bordeaux districts in this blog post.

  • 3 - Legalities and Documentation

Moving to France as an expat entails fulfilling certain legal requirements. Depending on your nationality and the duration of your stay, you may need to apply for a long-stay visa or residence permit. Familiarize yourself with the documentation required for these processes, including proof of accommodation, financial stability, and health insurance coverage. The French government's official website,, provides detailed instructions and resources for navigating immigration procedures.

  • 4 - Settling In

Adjusting to life in Bordeaux involves acclimating to local customs and routines. Take advantage of resources like expat forums and social media groups to seek advice and connect with fellow expats. Explore your neighborhood's offerings, from markets and cafes to parks and community centers. Engaging in cultural activities, such as wine tastings and cooking classes, can deepen your appreciation for Bordeaux's rich heritage and culinary traditions.

  • 5 - Navigating Transportation


Bordeaux's public transportation network is extensive and efficient, comprising trams, buses, and trains operated by TBM (Transports Bordeaux Métropole). Purchase a rechargeable TBM card for convenient access to all modes of transport within the city and its surrounding areas. Consider investing in a bicycle to explore Bordeaux's bike-friendly streets and scenic waterfront paths. Familiarize yourself with the TBM website for route maps, schedules, and ticket purchasing options.

  • 6 - Education and Childcare


Finding the right educational and childcare options is essential for expat families relocating to Bordeaux. Research international schools and bilingual daycare centers in advance to determine the best fit for your child's needs and interests. Consider factors such as curriculum, language instruction, extracurricular activities, and proximity to your home. Attend school open houses and meet with faculty members to gather firsthand information and insights.

  • 7 - Healthcare Services

Accessing quality healthcare services is paramount for expats settling in Bordeaux. Familiarize yourself with France's healthcare system, which offers universal coverage for residents through public and private providers. Register with a local general practitioner (médecin traitant) to establish a primary care relationship and access medical services as needed. Research healthcare facilities and specialists in your area to ensure comprehensive coverage for preventive care, emergencies, and specialized treatments.


  • 8 - Exploring Bordeaux's Cultural Scene

Immerse yourself in Bordeaux's vibrant cultural scene by attending events and exploring local attractions. Visit iconic landmarks like the Palais Rohan and the Grosse Cloche to admire the city's architectural splendor. Explore the city's diverse museums, including the CAPC Contemporary Art Museum and the Musée des Beaux-Arts, to gain insight into Bordeaux's artistic legacy. Stay informed about upcoming cultural events and exhibitions through websites like Bordeaux Tourism.

  • 9 - Embracing the Gastronomic Delights

Bordeaux's gastronomic scene is a feast for the senses, offering a tantalizing array of culinary experiences. Indulge in the city's world-renowned wines by embarking on wine tours and tastings in nearby vineyards like Saint-Émilion and Médoc. Sample local specialties like foie gras, oysters from Arcachon Bay, and Bordeaux's famous canelés pastries at traditional eateries and gourmet shops. Explore neighborhood markets like the Marché des Capucins to discover fresh produce, cheeses, and artisanal goods.

Relocating to Bordeaux presents an exciting opportunity for expats to immerse themselves in a vibrant cultural tapestry and enjoy a high quality of life. By understanding Bordeaux's rich heritage, navigating the housing market, and embracing local customs, expats can embark on a rewarding journey of discovery in this dynamic city. ArteCita, as a trusted real estate agency specializing in Bordeaux, is committed to facilitating a seamless transition for expats. Contact us today to begin your adventure in Bordeaux with confidence.

Olivier d'ArteCita - Property Hunter Bordeaux & bassin d'Arcachon

Email :, Tel :  +33(0)677222978

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