best places to live in France

13 Best Places To Live In France (Local Tips!)

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best places to live in France

Moving to France? Here are the 13 best places to live in France for you to know before you start packing!

Attracted by the french cuisine, a great job opportunity, or maybe just cheese? There are many reasons for you to live in France. But where to go? Want to know more about the best places to live in France?

So here are a few places to consider before choosing a french city that suits you whether you are moving to work, study, retire, or just a change of air.

WWB Writer Marine has found the best places to live in France from the most affordable place to the safest city in France and more.

Here is a summary of the best places to live in France :

  1. Best place for nightlife: Paris
  2. Best place for affordability: Marseille
  3. Best place for the Cuisine: Lyon
  4. Best place for retirement: Limoges
  5. Best place for families: Bordeaux
  6. Best place for students: Montpellier
  7. Best place for expat: Toulouse
  8. Best place for skiing and outdoor activities: Grenoble
  9. Best place for beaches: Côtes d’Azur
  10. Best place for the countryside: Luberon
  11. Best Landscape: Annecy
  12. Safest place to live in France: Rodez
  13. Bonus: Corsica 

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13 Best Places To Live In France

best places to live in France
  1. Best Places to live in France: Nightlife: Paris

When wondering where to live in France you might come to think Paris is the best city. 

France’s Capital is known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Its traditional and classic architecture charms every eye. 

Everything is possible in Paris, ordering exotic food, going to concerts, visiting Museums, watching independent movies, shopping the latest “mode”. Paris has everything you want. 

Especially when it comes to nightlife. Paris never sleeps.

 Yes, you heard me. If Paris is known for being the capital of the culture at day, entertainment doesn’t end past bedtime! Once museums’ gates are closed, Paris nightlife opens its doors. 

Some of the best nightlife districts in Paris 

  • Pigalle, known as the Red Light District Pigalle is the nest of cabarets and cool bars.
  • Oberkampf, the popular district since the mid-90s.
  • Le Marais, the historic district, has its own charm with bars and clubs. Also, scene of lesbian and gay nightlife.
  • La Bastille, youngsters quarters, it’s a lively district with bars and clubs.
  • Les Champs Elysées, for your parisian-chic soirée.

Some of the famous clubs in Paris  

From wine bars to nightclubs and restaurants, here is a Paris nightlife guide you should check before going out. 

One thing to know about Paris: its cost. 

It’s certainly the most expensive city to live in France. So here is a list of the many bars and places in Paris to go out on a budget.

  1. Best Places to live in France: Most Affordable: Marseille
best places to live in France

If you want to enjoy the big city vibe without the pricey lifestyle, Marseille comes first. 

Whether you like food, art or music, you will always find something to do in the second-largest city in France. And all that at a much more decent price than other french cities.

Living costs of Marseille

When it comes to houses, Marseille is one of the cheapest cities in France. The average price for a one-bedroom apartment would be around 550€ per month. 

The cost for groceries and utilities is very decent, for a single person the estimated living cost is 1275€ per month – counting rent. You need a minimum of 2000€ per month for one single person to live in Paris.

What to do in Marseille

Marseille is far from being boring. It’s a melting pot shaped by its diverse population. You can enjoy arts, food, nightlife and beaches on the same day. 

Activities to do in Marseille:

  • Museums, art galleries and concerts
  • Bars, cafes and restaurants
  • Clubs and nightlife
  • Outdoors activities such as hiking or water sports
  • Going to the beach
  • Flea Markets and Shopping

Best spots in Marseille:

  • MUCEM, Museum of Mediterranean civilization. Impressive architecture on the seafront’s promenade. 
  • R2 is a rooftop club to listen to DJ sets with a beautiful view of the sea.
  • Les Docks des Suds is a concert hall.
  • Au Petit Nice is a small popular bar very chill with loads of kinds of beers.
  • The Parc National des Calanques, 16km away from Marseille, discover a wild footpath on the southern cliffs alongside pebbled beaches. It’s the perfect outdoor activity when you want to escape the city.

Important note about Marseille

If you do plan to go live in Marseille you please research and plan the best neighborhood that suits your needs.

You can read online how picturesque Marseille can be. 

But to be honest, Marseille can be a dangerous city. Especially in the suburbs, but even from one district to another the atmosphere changes from street to street. So it’s important to choose the right neighborhood.

  1. Best Places to live in France: Delicious Cuisine: Lyon
best places to live in France

Anywhere you end up in France you’ll enjoy amazing food and drinks but if there is one place known for its cuisine, it’s Lyon. 

If the gastronomic capital of France is well-known for its Bouchons and Michelin Stars, it also has plenty of great restaurants, bistros and food markets

Where to eat in Lyon ?

Paul Bocuse

One of the most famous restaurants in Lyon is L’Auberge du Pont des Collonges known as Paul Bocuse’s Restaurant. A two-star Michelin, famous for its foie gras and truffle. He is also the founder of the Paul Bocuse Institute.

Bouchons

The famous Bouchons are traditional cosy restaurants that serve typical Lyonnais dishes such as Grattons, Quenelle, Lyonnais Saveloy. They offer more decent prices than famous restaurants. Here are the 10 Best Bouchons in Lyon.

Michelin Restaurants

Lyon is well-known for its Michelin Restaurants that certify the top of the gastronomy. They offer a large variety of Cuisine from traditional to international and creative. Chef Christian Tetedoie’s restaurant is one of them.

Non-traditional Cuisine

There is more to Lyon than its traditional Cuisine. Lyon can satisfy any adventurous gourmet with its must-try local restaurants.

And one of the most appreciated cuisines is the French-Asian combination. La table Wei and Takao Takano are two places you must visit if you’re a fan of Asian fusion.

Besides being the best place to enjoy great food, Lyon is the third biggest city in France with the advantage of not feeling like a crowded city. It’s filled with history, art culture and wide parks and streets.

To a fin gourmet (foodie), Lyon is certainly one of the best places to live in France.

  1. Best Places to live in France: Retirement: Limoges
best places to live in France

When it comes to retirees, people usually think of old people in a rocking chair on the porch of their house doing nothing. But in France retirees are very active and Limoges is perfect for combining peace and dynamic.

Why you might like to retire in Limoges

  • The lush green countryside

Limoges is known for having one of the purest air of France. That combined with its forest, hills, lakes and river you got the perfect place for outdoor activities and relaxation. 

The climate

Limoges has one of the best climates in France: warm summer but not too hot and mild winter, not too cold but wet.

Porcelain, Ceramic and Enamel

Limoges is famous for its Porcelain industry. You can visit the National Porcelain Museum Andrien Dubouché. And it’s very easy and cheap to attend lessons to make your own enamel at La Maison D’Email. 

The daily markets

Thanks to that greenery Limoges gets to offer its best produce from beef meat to goat cheese and fresh local veggies and fruits. Its local markets are a true pleasure to go to.

The cost of living

Limoges is an affordable place to live with an average cost of €1,160 per square meter for apartments.

Kids Activities

You have plenty of parks and activities nearby when the grandchildren come around.

  1. Best Places to live in France: Families: Bordeaux
best places to live in France

Stunning architecture, immersive culture and wine are the first things that come to your mind when you get to know Bordeaux. But it has forged itself in many ways to be the best place to live in France with a family.

The quality of life

Bordeaux is a peaceful and relaxing city to live in where people have a healthy balance between work and family

It has a lot of open green spaces and parks to enjoy spring and summer around a picnic and family games. It’s also a bicycle-friendly city to embrace the slow life experience with more than 200 kilometers of cycle lane.

One of the best cities to work in

Bordeaux is one the best cities to work in France with its amazing work-family balance. It has a dynamic economy with a booming tourism industry and a specific hub in aeronautic, military and space

And let’s not forget the vines and wine! It’s also now only 2 hours away from Paris by rail.

Multinational community

Bordeaux is a welcoming city with a growing expat community and networking groups from foreign students and international families

You can easily find tips and help from other expats on Facebook groups and websites. And due to its expat community and tourism, it’s easy to find people who speak English in Bordeaux.

Good education

Bordeaux can be described as a university town with a reputation of high standards proposing different institutions. The well-known are the College of Science and Technology and the Institute of Vine and Wine Science.

There is also an international school where classes are held both in French and English.

Beautiful surrounding countryside for a perfect getaway

The surrounding countryside offers plenty of opportunities for getaway and holiday with the family. Cycling, hiking, canoeing, you name it! Always something to enjoy with the family.

Don’t miss the must-see Dune du Pilat, the tallest sand dune in Europe.

Bordeaux is also close to the Atlantic Ocean coast, the perfect getaway during the warm summer.

Even though Bordeaux is cheaper than some big European cities like London, it’s still expensive, especially for groceries. It’s the second most expensive city in France, after Paris. But one attractive point if you’re moving with your loved ones is the low crime rate, with very pretty little incidents.

  1. Best Places to live in France: Students: Montpellier
best places to live in France

Montpellier, located in the south of France is close to Marseille and the Spanish and Italian borders and only minutes away from sand beaches.

When its Mediterranean climate, natural charm and almost exclusively pedestrian center are a perfect match for anyone’s lifestyle. 

Its buzzing student life, the excellent reputation of its universities and its dynamic culture are definitely making Montpellier one of the best places to live in France when you’re a student. 

City of youth

Since its universities are one of the city’s main draws, Montpellier welcomes a significant student population, around 70,000 each year. Making it the 3rd national rank regarding the student population in France.

With 50% of the population under 30 years old, Montpellier is definitely the “city of youth”.

It also attracts a lot of foreign students in France, nearly 15,600 students in total.

Universities and institutes

Montpellier has an excellent reputation with several higher education institutes and large universities

Its faculty of medicine is one of the oldest in the world.

While most courses are taught in French you can find some English-taught courses here.

Year-round cultural events

Bars, restaurants and festivals have made the city young and dynamic.

  1. Best Places to live in France: Expats: Toulouse
best places to live in France

Toulouse being the 4th biggest city in France is the perfect combination between countryside and metropolitan city. Voted 4th best city to live in France for foreigners it has many advantages for expats.

Location and climate

Located in the south between the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts, Toulouse is the perfect place for the one enjoying getaway weekends and coastal activities.

It’s also close to the Pyrenees, a great spot for hiking and skiing.

And crossing the border to enjoy the Spanish ambiance will take you only 3 hours. 2 pmPerfect temperate weather through the year with a warm summer and mild winter but can get rainy during autumn and winter.

Job market

Toulouse is an important technology and science hub dominated by aeronautical and space industries. 

It’s known as being the home of aeronautics. The Airbus headquarters and the factory are located within the city. Same for the Intel headquarters.

And with its incredible economic growth, a lot of opportunities in tourism are booming.

La Plaine in the south of Toulouse is a business district and home of main international companies such as Orange, Fiducial, Capgemini, Intel, or Continental.

In the north is Eurocentre, a multimodal pole and major economic hub for small enterprises and big companies.

The start-up scene is significantly growing, following the city’s growth.

So Toulouse definitely has plenty of working opportunities. You can find a lot of job offers for foreigners.

Foreigner friendly

You will find a strong expat community with a lot of English-speaking people in Toulouse. When going out for a drink you easily bump into Americans, Irish and English people.

Toulouse Area English Speaking Forum is a good resource for you to connect with other expats.

Attending French classes is a good way to meet up with expats and perfect for you to improve your french and start to hang out with locals.

Culture and activities

The center of the city has kept its natural character with narrow cobbled streets, small shops, bars and restaurants. But behind that rural aspect is a dynamic metropolitan city. It’s perfect if you like the charm of a small town with an exciting lifestyle.

  • Cafes, restaurants and shops.
  • Natural History Museum
  • Green spaces such as the Botanical garden, squares and parks
  • Nightlife, especially students

Travel in-out

Toulouse has its own airport connected to many European cities and some overseas destinations.

It is also well connected to the rest of France by rail.

  1. Best Places to live in France: Outdoor Activities: Grenoble
best places to live in France

Most Grenoblois (people living in Grenoble) would tell you that Grenoble is one of the best places to live in France if you like outdoor activities and sports.

Located on the east side near the French-Italian border, Grenoble offers a variety of opportunities from skiing, hiking, rock climbing, cycling … you name it!

Skiing

The best advantage of living in Grenoble is the opportunity of one-day-ski-trip with plenty of ski resorts less than three hours away from Grenoble.

You can either go by car or take a bus.

Hiking

Hiking and walking around is the most appreciated activity in Grenoble. Since most of the trails are easily accessible from the city you have no excuse to put your shoes on and go.

From simple passers-by to experienced hikers anyone can be pleased by the profusion of trails surrounding Grenoble.

Cycling

Cycling around Grenoble is a nice way to enjoy nature and discover the surroundings.

Montée de l’Alpes d’Huez an Bourg d’Oisans have many loops for both cycling and road cycling.

You can check this interactive map of the best cycle routes in Grenoble.

Sports

Sport is certainly the main activity of Grenoblois and when it’s not hiking you can find them in places dedicated to it such as sports clubs.

  • Swimming pools
  • Sports clubs such as football club, hockey, rugby …
  • Gyms
  • Indoor and outdoor rock climbing
  • Sports arenas with stadiums, ice skating rink, running track …

But if you don’t want to subscribe or be part of a club you can always exercise in public places such as Paul Mistral Park and La Bastille. Two places where you can practice in green spaces, especially joggers.

Lifestyle

Grenoble is a very green city. You can find a lot of shared gardens, green spaces and organic food as well as local fresh markets

Tip: you can wait until the end of the markets around 1-2pm and get free food from the sellers at the market.

When commuting people mostly cycle or use public transport. There are plenty of buses and trams.

There is a big student community too with a lot of foreign students who meet in bars and clubs at night. 

It’s also very affordable to live in Grenoble whether it’s for the accommodations or groceries.

  1. Best Places to live in France: Beaches: Côtes d’Azur
best places to live in France

The Côtes d’Azur coastline stretches for over 120km with almost 700 beaches. So the French Riviera is definitely the place to go for sun-seeking expat.

The best cities to live in Côtes d’Azur :

  • Cannes, home of the famous Festival de Cannes, movie festival. Cannes is beautiful and close to Nice and Menton. But they are all very expensive places to live in.
  • Cap Ferrat, amazing estate on the rocky shore. Most people living there are quite fortunate, famous or European elites. The beautiful Paloma beach owes its name to Picasso’s daughter.
  • Antibes, halfway between Cannes and Nice it’s perfectly located by the beach for water and sun cravings.
  • St Tropez, the famous and glamorous city of the Mediterranean coast St Tropez attracts people from all around the world. 
  • La Ciotat, dynamic town by the sea with beautiful spots at Les Calanques. Only 40km away from Marseille.
  • Cassis, far from the celebrity culture of St Tropez and Cannes. It’s a typical slow-paced provincial city where you can have amazing seafood at the local markets on the port. The property market is much more affordable, especially inland.
  • Hyeres, with Port Cros and Porquerolles dreamy islands in the National Marine Park, is a perfect place for people practicing diving. It’s also more affordable.

Note that the Côtes d’Azur is not the most affordable place to live in France but the inland is always a good deal when looking for properties.

Here are some of the best beaches in Côtes d’Azur :

best places to live in France
  • Plage Paloma, Cap Ferrat Small beach with a beautiful view on the bay. Most of it is private so you’ll need to rent sunbeds.
  • Calanque d’en Vau, Cassis Small estuary down a cliff and crystal clear water.
  • Plage de l’Escalet, Ramatuelle Nice small beach next to St Tropez. Can be overcrowded.
  • Plage de Pampelonne, Ramatuelle Clear water and white sand next to St Tropez.
  • Calanques des Anglais, Saint Raphael Secret pebbled beach surrounded by red rocks and turquoise water. 
  • Palavas-les-Flots, Montpellier Popular beach where it’s easy to rent a kayak, get sailing lessons or try kitesurfing.
  1. Best Places to live in France: Countryside: Luberon
best places to live in France

Looking for peace and simple life along endless walks in the idyllic countryside? Then Luberon might be the place you’re looking for.

Unlimited nature

Luberon is located within the Parc Naturel régional du Luberon,  a UNESCO-listed reserve of 120, 000 hectares of forest, fields, valleys, mountains and small perched villages.

An abundance of nature offering unlimited sports opportunities such as walking, hiking, canoeing, cycling, rock climbing … 

Even during winter, you can enjoy skiing at the nearest station Mont Ventoux, less than a two-hour drive.

All the beautiful villages and activities in Luberon are easily accessible by car since they’re all about 10-30km apart only.

Here is a list of hiking and walking trails in Luberon.

Life of tranquility

best places to live in France

And if you miss the city …

If you miss the dynamic of the city you can always attend some of the best events within Luberon:

  • Luberon Markets are fresh local markets held every day of the week in different villages. You can find there cheese, wine, fresh veggies and fruit and even clothes.
  • Menerbes Truffle Market, every year in December at Menerbes.

Or visit the nearest cities such as :

  • Aix-en-Provence (40 min drive away from Luberon)

The historical center of Provence known as the city of fountains is a charming city to enjoy a drink and go shopping.

  • Avignon (40 min drive away from Luberon)

Well known for its covered marketHalles d’Avignon – Avignon is one of the best foodies destinations when visiting Provence.

  • Marseille (1-hour drive away)

Marseille, the third biggest city in France, is the perfect getaway. Affordable with many activities such as shopping, clubbing, visiting Le Port de Marseille and going to the beach. One of the best things to do is walking the trail of Calanques de Marseille.

  1. Best Places to live in France: Landscape: Annecy
best places to live in France

Located on the shores of a lake, Annecy is an alpine town surrounded by beautiful snow-capped mountains.

Only 35 km away from Geneva the city is appreciated for its high wages and employment opportunities from Switzerland

With stunning scenery and a peaceful lifestyle, Annecy is one of the best places to live in France when you’re looking for beauty at your doorstep.

The Old Town

Annecy is a compact old town making it easy to walk from the historic center to the lakefront and the mountains.

The city owes its name The Venice of Alps to its Old Town’s charm. 

The pebbled streets and canal

Cobbled streets and arches are what make the beauty of Annecy with its small alleys and walk paths alongside the canals. Almost every walkway has a picturesque view of the lake or a typical alley.

Summer walks are perfect since you can find a lot of shades and beautiful flowers all over the town.

Château d’Annecy

A castle museum on the top of a small hill, easily accessible from the center of the old town. You can visit the castle as well as the exhibitions but the main draw from this place is the amazing view of the lake and the mountains.

Entrance fees for adults: 5.5euros.

Palais de l’ile

Located in between two canals, this fortified palace is certainly the most photographed building in Annecy. Old prison, which now hosts exhibitions about Annecy’s heritage and architecture.

Churches

Annecy has plenty of charming churches you can visit. They are also a great shelter from the heat during summer.

The Lake

best places to live in France

Being Europe’s cleanest lake, Lac d’Annecy offers a beautiful spot whether you’re looking to relax or enjoy water sport activities such as water skiing, wakeboarding or paddleboarding.

The best time to enjoy the beautiful crystal clear waters of the lake is certainly during summer.

The lake is also a great place to cycle and hike, with trails and greenways for cyclists.

The best spot for swimming and sunbathing are the beaches.

Here are the best beaches in Annecy and around the lake:

  • The beach of the Imperial, on the Avenue d’Albigny. Paid beach.
  • Marquisats beach, on the west bank of the lake. Free access
  • Albigny beach, the main beach on Lake Annecy. Free access, in Annecy-le-Vieux.
  • Saint-Jorioz beach, featuring a diving board, pontoons and toilets/showers + first-aid post. Paid beach in summer.
  • Angon beach, a well-shaded beach crossed by a stream. Private beach.
  • Talloires beach where there is a paddling pool, ideal for small children. Paid beach.
  • Menthon Saint-Bernard beach with playground, volleyball and petanque courts. Paid beach.

The Mountains

Mont Veyrier

The hike starts from Annecy le Vieux. Very appreciated during summer since most of the paths are in the forest. It also offers an amazing view of Lake Annecy.

La Tournette

Hike around Annecy for experienced hikers. It offers a great view of Lake Annecy and Mont Blanc.

The Gorges du Fier

It’s a short walk in a natural site with walkways and bridges suspended above a beautiful river canyon. One path is also leading to a natural pool where you can sunbathe and swim. It’s about 10 km from Annecy. Entrance fees: 5.70€ for adults

Typical festivals in Annecy

Annecy has plenty of lively festival throughout the year 

  • Venetian carnival (borrowed from the Italian city)
  • International Animated Film Festival with a movie projection every evening on the Paquier lawn.
  • Fête du Lac, festival around the lake with huge fireworks
  • Italian Film Festival 
  • Christmas market 

Annecy’s downside is the high property prices, which become affordable only if you are employed in Switzerland. But it’s a fair price for this amazing lifestyle.

  1. Best Places to live in France: Safety: Rodez
best places to live in France

When about to move into a new neighborhood, safety is certainly one of the primordial concerns. One of the best places to live in France should certainly be the safest, Rodez.

Its low rate of crime makes Rodez the third safest place in mainland France to live.

Rodez is a diverse and unusual place.

A lively capital of the southern slow-paced Aveyron, Rodez is one of these French cities that can mix the old and the new very well. Whether it’s art, architecture, gastronomy or culture. 

While the city is located in the south in the region Aveyron, Rodez gives a strong northern feel through its gothic and renaissance architecture inspired by the northern city Rouen.

The ultra-modern Musee Soulages standing in front of the historical gothic Notre-Dame cathedral is the perfect expression of the combination of modern and medieval art.

Aveyron, the region

Besides Rodez and its museums, cathedrals and parks, other cities in Aveyron are a must-see for tourists and locals!

Viaduc de Millau

The world’s most impressive motorway viaduct, over the Tarn valley.

Belcastel

A stunning village on top of a hill, Belcastel is one of the most beautiful villages of France. Everything is made of stones, even its beautiful castle. Only 200 inhabitants live in Belcastel!

Conques

Home of a romanesque abbey listed at the UNESCO World Heritage, Conques is a picturesque village in between the vineyards and on the old pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela.

Roquefort 

Is home to the famous blue cheese. You can visit the underground caves where they mature and store the cheese.

Les Gorges du Tarn

Running between Aveyron and Lozère, the Tarn gorge, is a dramatic deep limestone gorge, one of France’s grandest natural sites. You can observe magnificent vultures flying above the gorge.

If Rodez is the safest place to live in France it also comes with great activities to do with kids in Aveyron. What a great place to live with your family!

  1. Best Places to live in France: Bonus: Corsica 
best places to live in France

When looking for a place to live in France, people rarely suggest Corsica. And it’s a bad mistake! 

Between Italy and the French coast, Corsica is an idyllic French island called L’ile de Beauté, The Island of Beauty in French.

The island has taken the best of France and Italy and turned it into an enchanting place to live. Not just a vacation paradise, Corsica has a lot to offer to anyone wanting to live here.

Landscape diversity

Spectacular scenery made up of mountain peaks, dense cooled forests, perched hilltop villages and turquoise bays fringed with white sand beaches. Corsica is certainly the most diverse land in France. 

Seaside towns and typical island villages will be your best hosts.

Climate

Its geographical diversity offers warm weather on the shore and cool temperatures inland, perfect for hiking and activities during hot summer. 

You can have a hot day at the beach and drive 30 min away to the forest in the mountains and feel a 20 degrees difference!

Food

Corsica has many typical delicacies that you won’t find anywhere else.

  • Mussels and fries
  • Pietra, Corsican beer made of chestnuts
  • Civet de sanglier (Wild boar casserole)
  • Veau aux olives (Veal with olives)
  • Agneau Corse (Corsican lamb)
  • Cured meat such as Figatelli (liver sausage) and Fromage de tête – “head cheese” (made from seasoned pigs’ brains) and Prisuttu (smoked ham)
  • Cheeses such as Brocciu
  • Wines
  • Fiadone (chestnut kind-of-cheesecake)

You can also find homemade thin-crust Pizza everywhere!

No McDonald’s, but you will definitely enjoy delicious burgers in many of the local restaurants.

Lifestyle

People from Corsica are bon vivants, meaning they enjoy life, food and wine. Corsican are happy people, with a positive mindset and upbeat attitude with care for families. 

Some say it can even be laid-back.

From outdoors activities to food discoveries there’s a lot to do but never in a rush!

Winter and summer are night and day here, during summer a lot of tourists invade the island while some villages in Winter won’t go over 300 inhabitants!

Best Spots In Corsica

best places to live in France
  • Plage de Palombaggia, a beach famous for its wide sand shore and crystal clear turquoise waters. Situated in a sheltered bay, ideal for swimming.
  • Bonifacio, a well-preserved fortified town perched on a steep limestone cliff with stunning sea views.
  • Porto Vecchio, an old port town with an impressive ancient citadel.
  • GR20 Trail offers an extreme hiking trail that goes from the North to the South of Corsica. Breathtaking views.
  • Valdo Niello Forest, an unspoiled forest of Corsican pine trees. Within the forest stands Monte Cinto, a snow-capped mountain even in summer. The site offers walking paths and hiking trails.

One thing is that English is not widely spoken.

Why Is France The Best Place To Live?

The French Culture

Food and Wine

Delicacies and good wine are part of the french culture. They’re meant to be enjoyed and the French know how to!

Traditional French cuisine is characterized by its cheeses, wines, bread, and sauces

If it used to be heavy traditional meals, the new chefs of France are shifting towards a modern and light Cuisine. And often proposing a fusion with the rest of the world’s Cuisine.

Lifestyle

A popular destination for immigration and expatriation, France is a melting pot of different nationalities.

Most people are attracted by the healthy work-life balance.

Art Celebration

If there’s one thing French love the most after cheese and wine it’s Arts. 

It has major museums, concert halls and traditional events and festivals.

Year-round celebrations that you don’t want to miss :

On June 21, the day of the summer solstice, Fete de La Musique takes part, an all-day musical celebration about all genres and varieties of music. Thousands of musicians gather in the streets, parks, bars, and cafés giving free public performances in every city of France. They play everything from rock and jazz to hip-hop and electronic music.

France takes part in the European Museum Night, where museums open free of charge at night. Most museums offer special activities through the night such as storytelling tours, concerts, workshops for children, screenings, …

For four days, Lyon lights up to pay homage to the Virgin Mary with thousands of candles in windows and on balconies. setting Lyon in a beautiful and magical atmosphere. The city’s buildings and bridges come aglow with multi-colored lights. Various light installations created by artists from all over the world also help to light up Lyon.

Famous Cannes Festival, an international cultural event in France dedicated to Films taking place in Cannes and attracting actors, movie professionals, film fans and tourists.

French see anything as a good opportunity to celebrate. France is also known for Le Tour de France, a famous cycling event.

Is France A Safe Place To Live?

Plus France is a safe place to live in, with a low crime rate. Even though, like everywhere, you should still avoid coming back home late and alone or taking any risks when you are traveling alone.

How Much Does It Cost To Live In France?

Living costs in France depend on your lifestyle and where you decide to live. France has one of the highest standards of living in the world.

If Paris is certainly the most expensive city in France it’s still cheaper than London, New York and Madrid. 

While Marseille is the cheapest but also a dangerous city, you have a wide range of cities with great lifestyles that are totally affordable in France. Inland cities and the countryside offer an amazing quality of life for a small budget.

But France, as well as many European countries, offers a great social security system.

Rough amount of cost of living for one single person without rent :

  • Best place for nightlife: Paris 1000€ (USD 1200)
  • Best place for affordability: Marseille 750€ (USD 910)
  • Best place for the Cuisine: Lyon 830€ (USD 1000)
  • Best place for retirement: Limoges 945€ (USD 1150)
  • Best place for families: Bordeaux 830€ (USD 1000)
  • Best place for students: Montpellier 805€ (USD 980)
  • Best place for expat: Toulouse 810€ (USD 990)
  • Best place for skiing and outdoor activities: Grenoble 810€ (USD 990)
  • Best place for beaches: Côtes d’Azur 890€ (USD 1080)
  • Best place for the countryside: Luberon 830€ (USD 1000)
  • Best Landscape: Annecy 950€ (USD 1160)
  • Safest place to live in France: Rodez 700€ (USD 850)
  • Bonus: Corsica 800€ (USD 975)

Healthcare System

One thing that balances the cost of living is that France provides healthcare to anyone living legally in France for longer than three months, even foreigners.

You need to register with a French health insurance company and a doctor. Around 70% of medical costs are covered meaning when you’re visiting the doctor you registered, you are refunded 70% of the bill. 

In some cases, such as having a baby, diabetes or cancer, 100% of costs are covered by the French healthcare system. 

If you want 100% coverage you have to subscribe to private health care insurance.

Want to know more about healthcare in France, check this resource.

Childcare System

Kindergarten in France, called crèches, is the first childcare center people would look for. 

Since 80% of them are usually state-funded they fill up quickly. 

There are also private daycare centers and so they are not funded. But once a child is two years old they are eligible for free nursery school state-funded.

You can also get child benefits – financial help from the government for every child in your household – around 390 euros (USD 475) per month.

Education System

The public french education system offers free schooling from 2 years old to 18 years old, aside from school trips and materials. Then state universities are very affordable, around 200 euros (USD 240) per year.

But parents who want to have their children following English or bilingual education will have to apply to private schools. Annual school fees would start at around 2000euros (USD 2430).

The same goes for private universities and institutions.

If you’re looking for more information about the cost of living in France, here are two good resources from Numbeo and Expatica.

How Do I Get A Visa To Live In France?

The right to live, work and study in France depends on your citizenship.

If You Are European Union And European Economic Area Citizen

Being a European citizen gives you and your family members the right to live and work in France. You don’t need to obtain residency or a work permit.

If You Are A Non-European Citizen

If as a non-European citizen you desire to stay for longer than three months you will need to apply for visas known as Carte de Séjour or Titre de Séjour. You must apply before you leave your current country.

For more information about requirements and steps to get a visa in France.

Isn’t France the best place to live?

So pack your belongings and let us know which city will be your next home!

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Hi there. My name is Aisha Preece. Founder and owner of Women Wandering Beyond.

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