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Expat Exchange - 7 Tips for Living in Dordogne 2024
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Bergerac, Dordogne, France


7 Tips for Living in Dordogne

By Betsy Burlingame

French Riviera House Hunting - FRH
French Riviera House Hunting - FRH

Summary: Advice for people moving to Dordogne or thinking about moving there.

This is a must read if you're moving to Dordogne or thinking about moving there.

Living in Dordogne as an expat or digital nomad can be an exciting adventure. This region, known for its picturesque landscapes, rich history, and delectable cuisine, offers a unique blend of rural charm and cultural sophistication. However, to make the most of your time in Dordogne, it's important to understand the local customs, lifestyle, and practicalities. Here are seven key tips to help you navigate life in this beautiful part of France.

1. Learn the Language

While many people in Dordogne speak English, learning French will greatly enhance your experience. Not only will it make daily tasks easier, but it will also help you connect with locals and immerse yourself in the culture. Consider taking a language course or using language learning apps to get started. Remember, locals appreciate even the smallest effort to speak their language.

2. Understand the Cost of Living

Dordogne is generally more affordable than larger French cities like Paris or Lyon, but it's still important to understand the cost of living. Rent, groceries, dining out, and transportation can add up. Plan your budget carefully and consider living in smaller towns like Bergerac or Sarlat-la-Canéda, which offer a lower cost of living without sacrificing charm or amenities.

3. Explore the Local Cuisine

Dordogne is a food lover's paradise. Known for its truffles, foie gras, and Bergerac wines, the region offers a plethora of culinary delights. Don't miss out on local restaurants like Le Vieux Logis in Trémolat, La Table du Marché Couvert in Bergerac, and L'Imparfait in Sarlat-la-Canéda. These establishments offer a taste of authentic Dordogne cuisine.

4. Get to Know the Neighborhoods

Dordogne is made up of several charming towns and villages, each with its own unique character. Sarlat-la-Canéda, for example, is known for its medieval architecture and vibrant market. Bergerac, on the other hand, is famous for its wine and has a lively arts scene. Spend time exploring different neighborhoods to find one that suits your lifestyle and preferences.

5. Embrace the Outdoor Lifestyle

With its stunning landscapes, Dordogne is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The region is home to the Dordogne River, where you can enjoy canoeing, fishing, and swimming. There are also numerous hiking and biking trails, as well as beautiful gardens like the Jardins de Marqueyssac. Embrace the outdoor lifestyle to stay active and enjoy the region's natural beauty.

6. Navigate the Healthcare System

France has one of the best healthcare systems in the world, but it can be complex to navigate as an expat. Ensure you have adequate health insurance that covers you in France. Familiarize yourself with the local healthcare facilities in Dordogne, and understand how to access services when you need them.

7. Get Involved in the Community

One of the best ways to feel at home in Dordogne is to get involved in the local community. This could involve joining local clubs or societies, attending community events, or volunteering. While we won't list specific organizations here, we encourage you to research groups that align with your interests. This will not only help you make friends, but also deepen your understanding of the local culture.

In conclusion, living in Dordogne as an expat or digital nomad can be a rewarding and enriching experience. By learning the language, understanding the cost of living, exploring the local cuisine, getting to know the neighborhoods, embracing the outdoor lifestyle, navigating the healthcare system, and getting involved in the community, you can make the most of your time in this beautiful region of France.

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We are the best possible negotiator to help our expatriate clients to safely, efficiently and effectively find the right property in the right place in the French Riviera. Whether buying or renting, French Riviera House Hunting's objective is to find the best place for you, making sure that there are no hidden problems in the acquisition or renting process!
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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


French Riviera House Hunting - FRH
French Riviera House Hunting - FRH

French Riviera House Hunting - FRH
French Riviera House Hunting - FRH

Bergerac, Dordogne, France

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