Published On: Sun, Feb 4th, 2024
Travel | 4,286 views

The underrated European city that’s a ‘cheaper, friendlier version of Paris’ | Travel News | Travel

A Parisian getaway isn’t something to be sniffed at. The prospect of a weekend in the French capital conjures images of bustling bistros, cobbled streets and cuisine to die for. The other image it evokes is crowds of tourists and disgruntled locals.

But you needn’t contend with the hoards of people drawn to Paris to get your French culture fix. Enter: Bordeaux.Situated in the south-west of the country by the Garonne River, Bordeaux is much smaller than the capital but no less beautiful.

The notable differences between the two cities, beyond the size and number of tourists, is the weather and the price of visiting. Both favour Bordeaux.

At 310 miles north of Bordeaux, Paris has a cooler average temperature and is less humid. In the summer, temperatures in Bordeaux really crank up, so those averse to the heat may be better off elsewhere.

But for sun worshippers, Bordeaux is as good as it gets in France.

The city is also reported to be a lot cheaper than Paris. According to, the average cost of an overnight stay in a 4-star Parisian hotel is £221. In Bordeaux, according to the same site, the average price of a room in a four-star hotel is £138.

Bordeaux is also considered to be friendlier than Paris. Locals in the French capital are famed for taking a dim view of the legions of tourists that flood the city the year round.

However, with fewer visitors, Bordeaux’s residents are more hospitable. No discussion about the reasons to visit Bordeaux can take place without talking about wine. Bordeaux is this nation’s wine capital and its vineyards are ripe for visiting.

According to Tripadvisor, the number one vineyard to pop in to is Château Pape Clément. With astonishing neo-Gothic architecture, it’s a treat for the eyes as well as the mouth. Situated on the outskirts of a the city, it is a must-visit, boasting 60 hectares of vines.

One rave review said of the vineyard: “My wife and I had a wonderful wine tasting experience at this beautiful château. We did a two hour tour which included nice views of the vineyards, a trip to the cellars and a thorough explanation of the wine making process.

“We then got to try a lovely selection of wines from all over France. Our host was extremely knowledgeable and friendly and it was an authentic experience. I’d highly recommend.”

Airlines easyJet, Ryanair and British Airways all offer direct flights from London and it’s an eight hour drive from Calais, where Eurotunnel trains arrive and cross-Channel ferries.

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