Nestled in the heart of France, Limoges is a quiet but culturally rich city which sometimes feels like one of the country’s best kept secrets. Unlike nearby cities La Rochelle, Nantes and Bordeaux, Limoges does not attract a steady influx of foreign tourists, meaning that the city has maintained its identity as an archetypal French “ville”, complete with cobbled streets, locally-managed shops, and ancient architectural delights such as the 10th century Abbey of St. Martial, and the remains of one of the largest Gallo-Roman amphitheaters. As a result, expats living in Limoges will find their stay a truly immersive experience, devoid of the frenetic turnover of day trippers, and seasonal workers. This is a city for expatriates who wish to really live in France. If you aren’t sure what to expect from a traditional French experience, ask an expat who has already been through the transition. France is a perennially popular choice with expats, and InterNations’ discussion boards and forums are full of stories and tips on settling into the French lifestyle.
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Limoges is a typical French city, so it is pretty much essential that you learn the language before moving to Limoges. English, German and Spanish are typically taught at the local schools, but you will struggle to assimilate into the local community without at least conversational French. Language skills are often among the biggest concerns for would-be expats. Even if you know the language of the country you are relocating to, local parlance can sound very different to the formal version you learned. As one of the biggest online expat communities in the world, InterNations is well-placed to advice on picking up a new language and improving your fluency. Join a thread in one of our discussion boards, or start chatting to France-based expatriates to pick up some tips, share some of your own, or simply practice your French.
The Limoges economy is famous for one thing: porcelain. Limoges was one of the first European towns to produce porcelain at a Chinese standard, reducing the European dependency on this expensive foreign product. Limoges continues to be known as “La Capitale de la Porcelaine", or “The Porcelain Capital”, and details of the industry can be seen in the city’s Adrien-Dubouché National Porcelain Museum. Today, expatriates in Limoges will find that it has as varied an economy as any French city. If you are working in Limoges, it would be useful to have a car so you can drive around the nearby lakes and forests, but don’t forget to drive on the right hand side of the road! But non-drivers need not worry, it is easy to get around the city using public transport – in fact, the famous Limoges trolleybuses are clean, quiet and handy options for the daily commute, with stops throughout the suburbs and city center.