Things to Know Before Moving to Paris, France

Posted Country Guides / November 15, 2021
Anastasia Hill

Apart from being the next fashion icon, Anastasia is also a freelance writer and expert on moving (and packing clothes).

Are you looking forward to moving to Paris? We can’t blame you, who could? The city of lights and love is undoubtedly one of the most romantic and charming places in the world. It offers something for everyone with its rich history, amazing architecture, interesting food, nightlife, and extravagant fashion. So, what does it take to have an adventure, just like Emily in Paris?

Is Moving to Paris a Good Idea?

Paris is always a good idea – you probably heard this saying a million times. This line is actually said by Audrey Hepburn in the movie “Sabrina,” and it is the name of Jenn McKinlay’s novel about a woman looking for love. But no matter how romantic it seems, this place is much more than a honeymoon destination. But if you were wondering if relocating to the City of Light is a good decision, let us tell you that Miss Emily Cooper would definitely agree. After all, after binge-watching this highly popular Netflix show, most of us wished to live our own fantaisie française.

You don’t have to worry about overcoming the culture shock. Its incredible energy and mix of cultures is something that attracts people from all over the world – you can fit in quite easily, no matter where you come from, and that’s what makes it so unique and irresistible. But surely, there are a ton of things you should understand before packing everything and shipping overseas.

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Is Paris a Good Place to Live?

Yes, this is an excellent place for living, but if you got a chance to visit it before, don’t get carried away dreaming about an Eiffel Tower view from your bedroom. Most locals prefer living further away from the city center because it is often overcrowded with tourists and that can be really annoying sometimes.

Apart from that, this place offers very interesting business opportunities in IT sectors, engineering, and obviously arts and fashion. It is still a great inspiration for many young artists and people who want to show off their creativity and untamed spirit.

How to Move to Paris? Do I Need a Visa to Move Here?

Relocating to France might seem dreamy, but what about documents needed to travel abroad?  If you are a US passport holder, you can stay up to 90 days, as long as your passport is valid for at least 30 days after your return to the US. For any longer stay, there are different types of visas you can apply for, depending on your situation:

  • Spouse visa – for those who are married to a French citizen,
  • Au Pair visa – for people between 17 and 30 who like children,
  • Work visa – for those lucky enough to find a job online,
  • Student visa – for those looking to get a French degree,
  • Visitor visa – for stays longer than 3 months without working.

Documents Needed to Move to France if You Plan On Moving to Paris From the US

Depending on the reason for your move, which can be related to work, studies, training, special purposes, or any other cause, you’ll have to prepare some specific documents for your application. These can vary, especially during the Coronavirus pandemic and ever-changing restrictions, so it is best that you contact the French embassy directly and find out what are the current requirements for the type of visa you’re applying for.

There Are Twenty Arrondissements, so Carefully Research the Best Areas for Living in Paris

Yes, this is one of the best cities to live in Europe, but depending on your personal preferences and budget, you’ll have to decide which specific neighborhood and area will suit you perfectly. The city is divided into 20 arrondissements municipaux – administrative districts.

Most of these recommendations are nearby galleries, charming restaurants, coffee shops, and museums, so it will be easy for you to explore something new daily and adjust to a new country. Our top suggestions for newcomers include:

  • Charonne – area offering village-like feel with winding residential streets, charming gardens, and cobbled passageways, but also a hip nightlife.
  • Montparnasse – a well-known artistic hub with iconic brasseries and cafes as well as sculptures and interesting shopping places, including chain stores and chic indie boutiques.
  • Le Marais – home of Renaissance mansions, Picasso’s museum, and beautiful art galleries can be your home too if you choose this chic neighborhood.
  • Montmartre – one of the most iconic landmarks known as a special part of the Parisian landscape. This area has a rich history and authentic village ambiance that will definitely steal your heart.

How Much Should I Save Before Moving to Paris? Budget and Finances

Moving across the world can have a significant impact on your finances, especially if you’re on a low budget. It is important that you stay well informed about the cost of living in Paris if you plan to relocate. France isn’t very expensive, compared to European standards in general, but this place is one of the most expensive areas in this country for various reasons.

As any capital and major tourist destination, it’s understandable that prices here are higher than in the rest of the country. This is also related to business opportunities – you can find more of them here, so incomes are also higher than in some other French cities.  When you’re planning how much to save for your move, you have to consider the following factors:

  • Your current income and savings,
  • Relocation services from an international moving company,
  • Visas for moving internationally,
  • The number of persons relocating with you,
  • Are you going to buy or rent real estate,
  • Food, utilities, and transportation,
  • Annual salary,
  • Deposit,
  • Furnishing of your new home.

How Much Money Do You Need to Live Comfortably in Paris?

According to Numbeo statistics, estimated living costs here for a single person per month go up to $1,100. For a family of four, this amount gets up to $4,000, and both amounts don’t include the rent. If you plan on renting an apartment around some decent areas, you’ll have to pay almost $1,500 a month for a one-bedroom apartment.

If you are relocating with your entire family and want a bigger place to stay, the price for one month can go up to $3,200 without utilities. However, if you decide to search for housing a bit further from those hip locations, you can save around $1,000. The good news is that the average monthly net salary after tax is about $3,300.

Understand French Health Insurance for Expats Before Moving Overseas

France requires that all expats and long-term visitors have health insurance coverage. The Protection Maladie Universelle (PUMA) grants all residents in France, including expats, easier access to healthcare as long as they live in a country for three consecutive months on a regular basis and will continue to do so for at least 183 days per year in the future. The French healthcare system is regarded as being of excellent quality. As an expat, typical documents you need to apply for this include:

  • Proof of identity and legal residence (passport and visa),
  • Birth and marriage certificates,
  • Proof of three-month residence in France (utility bills or rental agreements)
  • Employment contracts,
  • Bank statements,
  • Evidence of incomes,
  • Déclaration de médecin traitant (registration with general practitioner).

Once you organize all the necessary documents, you can take them to a local CPAM office. After being registered, you’ll receive a unique French social security number, and it will be your Carte Vitale as a key for accessing health care and gaining reimbursements. Until you get your permanent card, you can use a temporary one. For medical treatments, you can book whichever doctor you want, although, for special examinations, you’ll sometimes have to wait longer than a month.

There Are Many Job Opportunities for Expats, Especially for Those Who Speak French

In case you wonder how to find a job once you move to another country and start working in Europe as an American, you should probably learn French for starters and shape your résumé or CV to fit European standards. Begin your search by exploring the market and the current online offer. Some studies show that areas that are looking for the most employers are:

  • Health and social care,
  • Manufacturing,
  • Wholesale and retail trade,
  • Food sector.

Although learning a new language might be hard, it is highly recommended that you try to break the language barrier and start learning a language abroad or even before relocating because it will undoubtedly increase your chances of getting a job around here.

France Is a Great Place for Raising Children, and Schooling Options Are Excellent

Looking for some moving to Paris tips when you have kids? First things first – the French education system consists of three stages – primary, secondary, and higher education. Daycare is available from the age of two. Paris is known as the home of some world’s highest-rated schools and prestigious institutions, such as the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.

Public schools are free for expats who can provide proof of residence, while private schools and universities can cost a lot. If your children don’t speak French, there are many bilingual and English-speaking schools they can attend, at least until they learn the language. France might be one of the best places to live abroad because of its safety and incredible opportunities when it comes to education.

Before You Employ an Overseas Shipping Company, Know That Public Transportation Is Reliable and Well Connected

What is the best way to get around the city without getting stuck in traffic? If you’re an American moving to Paris, France, keep in mind that the Metro can be one of the most convenient options, especially if you often commute for work or other purposes. However, the city is very walkable, which makes it great for pedestrians. The public transport system is run by RATP and consists of the Metro, Tram, RER suburban express train, bus, and Noctilien (the night bus).

Metro Might Be the Most Efficient Way to Get Around Once You Start Living Here

Metro is without a doubt the cheapest, most efficient, and fastest way to get around the area. It offers 16 lines and 300 stations – the entrance points are always marked by a large yellow letter “M.” If you plan on using this method of transportation regularly, we recommend getting Navigo monthly and weekly travel passes for about $20 per week. It allows you unlimited use of public transit in the zones you have selected. Check out this ultimate metro guide video and learn everything about this method of transportation before relocating.

American Living in Paris Will Get To Enjoy the Abundance of Things to Do Around the City of Lights

In case you’re relocating to this country for love, you might just hit the jackpot. This city is undoubtedly one of the most romantic places in the world, and it will help you spice up your love life. Options for romantic partners are numerous, but this doesn’t mean you’ll get bored if you’re relocating alone. Some of the most popular things to do are:

  • Visiting popular historical sites such as the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Château de Versailles, Champs-Élysées and the Louvre,
  • Make yourself feel like a celebrity and go window shopping at Faubourg Saint-Honoré,
  • Relax at Île Saint-Louis,
  • Enjoy the nightlife and visit the famous Moulin Rouge or Pigalle,
  • Admire street art in Belleville,
  • Lounge like true Parisians at the Jardin du Luxembourg,
  • Spend a memorable afternoon in Le Marais.

If You’re Moving to Paris From NYC, Local Cuisine Will Blow Your Mind

Guessing you don’t want to live on croissants for the rest of your life, you’ll probably want to try some delicious Parisian specialties at well-known restaurants around the city. One of the authentic meals you have to try is Escargots – yes, we’re talking about snails served on their shelves and stuffed with delicious combinations of herbs and garlic. It is a national dish, so don’t skip this one if you like experimenting with food. L’Escargot Montorgueil might be a perfect place to try them as well as the famous Fouquet’s located in Champs-Élysées, overlooking Arc de Triomphe.

For those with a sweet tooth, Ladurée should be the first stop. Not only does it offer a cute interior, but it also serves the most delicious macaroons in the world. You should also try Steak Tartare at Le Severo and traditional onion soup at Bistrot des Vosges. Also don’t miss one of the best Italian restaurants in the center – Gran Caffe Convivium.  It offers amazing dishes and prices are more than affordable.

Living Here Might Be a Dream Come True, so Moving to Paris Is Always a Good Idea

Relocating to the capital of the best European countries can be a dream come true. Not only will this place inspire you, but you’ll also be able to explore numerous exciting sites, admire art around every corner, and meet many interesting people from all around the world. Business and schooling options are outstanding, so living in Paris might be a good option for students and people looking for good job opportunities. The only thing you have to take care of to avoid any relocation stress is getting international moving services. Jump on to your visa application right away, contact an overseas moving company, and turn all of your dreams into reality. And who knows? maybe you’ll find love, and your own version of Lucas Bravo is waiting just for you! Ooh La La!


What Are the Requirements for Moving to Paris?

Moving to Paris can be a thrilling experience, but it also requires a certain level of preparation. In order to make the move to Paris, you should ensure you have a valid passport and visa, secure housing or accommodation arrangements ahead of time, and all necessary paperwork such as proof of financial solvency and insurance policies. You may also need to prove that you speak French fluently for certain applications. Moving to Paris requires taking care of the details before you go.

How Can I Find Housing in Paris?

If you’re moving to Paris, finding housing can be a daunting task. It is recommended that you start your search as early as possible and make sure to do your research before committing to a place. Options for housing in Paris include renting an apartment, staying with a family member or friend, subletting, or using other services such as Airbnb. Additionally, there are many websites dedicated to helping people find accommodation in Paris, so exploring these resources can be helpful in finding the right place for you.

What Is the Cost of Living in Paris?

The cost of living in Paris can vary significantly depending on your lifestyle and location. Prices for groceries, basic necessities, and entertainment can be higher than in other parts of the world, but it is possible to live comfortably on a budget. Rent will usually make up the largest portion of expenses, but transportation costs, health care, and dining out can also add up quickly. It’s important to research the local market prices before committing to a place so that you know what to expect when budgeting.

How Do I Navigate the Paris Public Transportation System?

Navigating the Paris public transportation system may seem challenging, but with a bit of planning it can be a breeze. The transit network is comprised of trains (Metro and RER), buses, boats, trams, and suburban rail services. Before traveling, make sure to purchase the right pass or ticket for your journey. There are a variety of options to choose from such as Mobilis passes or Navigo cards. Additionally, it is a good idea to use apps or look up maps online in order to plan ahead and find the fastest route to your destination.

What Are the Best Neighborhoods to Live in Paris?

Paris boasts many beautiful and diverse neighborhoods, each with its own unique atmosphere and charm. If you’re looking for the best places to live in Paris, consider the hip Marais district for its lively nightlife or Saint Germain for its café culture. Other excellent options include the Latin Quarter for its history and architecture, Montmartre for its artistic atmosphere and picturesque views, or Belleville for its multicultural vibe. With so much to choose from, no matter what neighborhood you decide to call home, there is something special waiting just around the corner.

How Do I Obtain Healthcare in Paris?

To obtain healthcare in Paris, you must register with the state health insurance system, known as Social Security. This can be done at a local hospital, doctor’s office, or CPAM (Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie). In order to complete registration, you will need to provide your passport and proof of address. Once registered, you will receive a Carte Vitale card which gives access to medical coverage and reimbursement for services obtained from French healthcare providers.

What Are the Visa Requirements for Moving to Paris?

Foreign nationals wishing to move to Paris must obtain a visa before entering the country. The type of visa you need depends on your nationality and the length of stay, as well as your purpose for visiting. Short-term visas include Schengen Visas, Airport Transit Visas, and Long-Stay Visas, while long-term visas include Student Visas and Work Permits. Applicants should contact their local French embassy or consulate for more information specific to their situation.

What Is the Job Market Like in Paris?

The job market in Paris is competitive, but there are opportunities for those with the right skills and experience. The most in-demand sectors include finance, technology, and healthcare. For foreigners looking to work in Paris, it is important to have a good command of the French language. Many companies also require proof of qualifications and work experience.

What Is the Culture Like in Paris?

Paris is a vibrant and culturally diverse city. The city is home to some of the world’s greatest art, literature, music, and cuisine. People in this city tend to lead busy lives and value social etiquette. There is an emphasis on quality of life and taking the time to appreciate beauty and aesthetics. Paris also has a thriving nightlife with a variety of bars and clubs for visitors to explore.

How Do I Learn French for Living in Paris?

Learning French for living in Paris can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. The best way to learn is to immerse yourself in the language and culture by visiting France or taking online courses. Courses are available through language schools, universities, and other educational institutions. It is also important to practice as much as possible with native speakers and read materials written in French.

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