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Ah yes, Bordeaux, the gateway to the grapes. One word, and one word only is synonymous with the beautiful city and that is WINE! The idyllic port city is situated on the Garonne River in south western France, in the department of Gironde. The actual municipality of Bordeaux is home to just over 239,000 people. The city only takes up just over 49 square kilometres of land. It is some 500 kilometres to the south west of Paris.
However, if the suburbs and satellite towns are included in the mix, the population jumps to well over 1.1 million people, with a land area of over 5,600 square kilometres. Bordeaux is the capital of the Aquitaine region. The male residents of the city are known as Bordelais, whilst the women are referred to as Bordelaises.
The city has two nicknames that have stuck with her. The first is the Pearl of Aquitaine, or in French, La perle d'Aquitaine, and the second being Sleeping Beauty, or in French, La Belle Endormie. The latter nickname was originally given in reference to the old centre of the city whose walls were black as soot due to all the years of pollution. However today, that is far from the case.
The primary form of commerce is wine. It is the world's wine industry capital. It also hosts the Vinexpo wine fair every year, which is the largest in the world. Each year the wine industry in Bordeaux makes more than 14.5 billion euros. It is also one of the world's oldest vineyard areas, with wine production dating back to the early 700's.
The main airport servicing the city is located in the suburb of Merignac, only 8 kilometres from the heart of Bordeaux. The airport is called the Aeroport de Bordeaux Merignac. The city also has exceptional public transport available including trains, trams, buses, boats and taxis.
If you love discovering the history and heritage of a particular city, you will love the number of museums in Bordeaux which include Musee des Beaux Arts, Musee d'Aquitaine, Musee du Vin et du Negoce, Musee des Arts, Decoratifs, Musee d'Histoire Naturelle, Centre d'arts plastiques contemporains, Musee National des Douanes, Vinorama, Musee Goupil, Casa de Goya, Cap Sciences and Centre Jean Moulin. The city also has some lovely parks which include Jardin botanique de Bordeaux, Jardin botanique de la Bastide and La Maison des Chameaux.
The main touristy things to see in Bordeaux include Esplanade des Quinconces, Monument aux Girondins, the Grand Theatre, Allees de Tourny, Cours de l'Intendance, Place du Chapelet, Place de la Bourse, Place du Parlement, Place Saint Pierre, Pont de pierre, Saint Andre Cathedral, Tour Pey-Berland, Eglise Sainte Croix, the gothic Basilica of Saint Michael, Basilica of Saint Seurin, Eglise Saint Pierre, Eglise Saint Eloi, Eglise Saint Bruno, Eglise Notre Dame, Eglise Saint Paul Saint Francois Xavier, Palais Rohan, Palais Gallien, Porte Cailhau, La Grosse Cloche, the Rue Sainte Catherine and the BETASOM submarine base.