Bordeaux is an economic, commercial and industrial center, but its principal source of income is the wine trade. Bordeaux wine has been produced in the region since the eight century, and the area now has about 116,000 hectares (287,000 acres) of vineyards with 10,000 wine-producing châteaux and 13,000 grape growers. The annual production is about 850 million bottles of wine, most of it everyday wine, but some of it among the most expensive wines in the world
Bordeaux is built on a bend of the river Garonne, and it is divided into two parts: the right bank to the east and the left bank in the west. Historically, the left bank is more developed. In Bordeaux , the Garonne River is accessible to ocean liners. Bordeaux has many shopping areas. In the heart of Bordeaux is Rue Sainte-Catherine, a pedestrian only shopping street with 1.2 kilometers of shops, restaurants and cafés.
Bordeaux is located some 500 km (312 mi) southwest of Paris and can be reached in three hours from Paris by the TGV fast speed train. Bordeaux is also served by an international airport, Aéroport de Bordeaux Mérignac, located 8 km (5 mi) from the city center in the suburban city of Mérignac.
Most tourist hotels are close to the railway station, that is close to the Quais. There are some luxury hotels close to Cambetta square and Quinconces square, which are very nice but rather expensive. Bordeaux also has a recent built youth hostel close to the railway station.