Welcome to Bordeaux !
Capital of Aquitaine, Bordeaux is mostly known for its various wines, which are considered among the best in the world. However, it is also a very nice place to visit... For other reasons.
The city itself is one of the 5 biggest cities in France, having close to 1 000 000 people, counting the surroundings. It is a very lively place, with a lot of students (Bordeaux Campus is the biggest in France) and big foreigners communities.
People and culture
It is considered as a very tolerant place, no one there will bother you about your political beliefs, religion, or sexual orientation.
The cultural, artistic, and musical local scenes are very active.
People from Bordeaux sometimes feel, for some reason, jealous of people from Paris - Bordeaux has this nickname of "Little Paris", so if you go around and meet locals, you will find sometimes heated arguments (who said "flame wars" ?) on that topic.
Football (soccer) is a very popular sport in Bordeaux, as the F.C. Girondins, the football club, is one of the best in France (and I don't recommend you talking football in the city, it's another sensitive subject).
If you are a sport-lover, Bordeaux is a very nice city for practicing roller-skating (or roller-blading) and other "skating sports".
A bit about geography now. Bordeaux is a huge and flat city, surrounding the end of a river, the Garonne, which merges a dozen kilometers below the city with another river to form the Gironde, the biggest estuary of the country.
The ocean is around 60 kilometers west.
The city center is located west and south of the river. To the east are the few and only hills of Bordeaux, delimitating the beginning of an industrial zone and suburbs.
There are no skyscrapers in Bordeaux, just a few tall buildings, which explains it is very extended in space. The center of the town is mostly made of nice-looking stone mansions, which are probably the reason of the city nickname "Little Paris".
Modern buildings can be found west (administrative center) and south (university) of the city.