Bordeaux, France - Stein Travel
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Bordeaux

Bordeaux is sited on the Garonne River, 20 miles (32km) in from the Atlantic Ocean, and is France's fifth largest city with a population of nearly 700,000. In days of yore it started out as a Roman trading post, and passed into the hands of the English who owned it for some 300 years, imparting a British influence on the French flair of the city and surrounds. Many of the grand chateaux in and around the city are still in English hands and are open to tourists.

Most travellers who visit Bordeaux are here for one thing: wine. Wine connoisseurs looking to take home some of their favourite wines will do best to buy directly from the wine farms, but shops such as La Vinothèque on cours du XXX Juillet, or L'Intendant and Badie on allées de Tourny are also good bets.

There are other things to see and do in Bordeaux besides wine, however. The city centre has undergone a remarkable upgrade in recent years, restoring many of its centuries-old buildings. Don't miss the view from Les Quais, including the beautiful Aquitaine Bridge; the historical monuments and lively student bars of La Victoire; and the lush and peaceful Botanic Gardens. Bordeaux also has several interesting museums, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Musee D'Aquitaine, which exhibits Gallo-Roman statues and relics dating back 25,000 years.

Information & Facts

Climate

Bordeaux experiences a temperate, oceanic climate with warm summers and mild winters. Bordeaux weather is influenced by its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean as well as the Gulf Stream which has a warming effect. Summer rainfall is common in Bordeaux when average daytime highs reach around 25°C (77°F) while average winter temperatures hover around the 10°C (50°F) mark.

Language

French is the official language.

Money

The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in France. Currency can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and some large hotels, though you will get a better exchange rate at the ATMs. Major credit cards are widely accepted, as are travellers cheques, particularly in major tourist destinations. Foreign currency is not accepted.

Shopping

Most travellers who visit Bordeaux are here for one thing: wine. But since Bordeaux is located in one of the most fashion-conscious countries in the world, it's not surprising there are plenty of other great shopping opportunities to enjoy before settling into the delicious wines.

Wine connoisseurs looking to take home some of their favourite wines will do best to buy directly from the wine farms, but shops such as La Vinothèque on cours du XXX Juillet, or L'Intendant and Badie on allées de Tourny are also good bets.

Bordeaux's streets are lined with some of the most exclusive boutiques and designer stores in France, and cours Georges-Clemenceau is where emporia and brand names such as Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Mont Blanc and Christian Lacroix can be found.

Bordeaux is also famed for its fabulous antique shopping and areas such as the Rue Notre-Dame in the Chartrons district and Rue Bouffardwill come up trumps for those looking for something unique and special, while the Village Notre-Dame is home to at least 30 antique stores.

But the main point of interest for shopaholics has to be Rue Sainte-Catherine, a pedestrian only shopping street stretching just short of 1 mile (1.2km) featuring around 100 boutiques, shops, restaurants and cafés - the longest shopping street in France! Start with the more affordable stores down near the Place de la Victoirbefore working your way up to the Grand Théâtre, where the shops become increasingly more expensive and exclusive at the Cours de l'Intendance- a must for all fashion lovers.

Time

Local time is GMT +1 (GMT +2 between last Sunday in March and last Sunday in October).

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