Saunders 1865 | Moving to Paris

Moving to Paris

Are you moving to Paris? If you’re moving to Paris, you’ll want to learn all you can about the best parts of the city, which is a great place to live for both singles and families.

Our free, in-depth Moving to Paris report includes info on:

• Rental prices in different parts of Paris

• Some of the excellent schools in Paris

• Transportation in the city

• The 20 arrondissements and what they offer in terms of accommodation

Our free, in-depth Moving to Paris report includes info on:

• The best areas to live
• The good schools
• The average monthly rental prices
• The excellent public transport system in the city


Putting Paris on the Map

Paris is located in the north of France, on the banks of the River Seine, in the centre of a region known as the Île-de-France. The city itself covers approximately 100 square kilometres, with the wider Paris Region covering 12,000 square kilometres.

Paris is certainly France’s most important transport hub.

  • The city is served by two major airports, Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly, and 12 minor airfields and landing strips
  • Charles de Gaulle is one of the world’s busiest airports
  • The Paris Métro has 16 lines, 300 stations and transports 9 million passengers every day
  • There is large ongoing extension programme to take the Métro further into the suburbs
  • London can now be reached by train in two and a quarter hours on the Eurostar
  • The city is surrounded by three orbital roads, the Périphérique, the A86 and the Francilienne motorway
  • Paris has more than 2,000 kilometres of motorways and highways and is a major hub in the European motorway network
  • The city boasts 440 kilometres of cycle paths and cyclists have the right to ride in both directions on certain one way streets
  • On average, there are 10 commercial or movie shoots in Parisian streets every day. Fees for shooting are only paid to the city if they are shot in swimming pools, museums or gardens
The Arrondissements

Paris is the eighth most expensive cities in the world in terms of property prices, though it’s not quite as expensive as London! There are approximately 1.3 million residences within the city and the majority of these are studio and two-room apartments. Furthermore, a greater proportion of Parisians rent their home than own it.

Paris has 20 arrondissements, spiralling out from No 1 in the centre to the higher numbers in the outer suburbs. As a densely populated, historic city, Paris has seen little building activity in recent years, resulting in a high demand for properties in attractive areas and in turn, higher rents. This means there is little leeway for negotiation and landlords have their pick of tenants. If you want to live reasonably close to the centre of the city, you will need to look for an apartment. Detached houses with gardens are luxuries of the outer suburbs. However, if you’re lucky, you may find yourself in a beautiful high-ceilinged period building overlooking an iconic Parisian boulevard.

1st and 2nd – Louvre and Bourse

These two arrondissements represent the central business district. The apartments you find here command a premium price—upward of €3,900 per month for a furnished one-bedroom apartment and €4,500 per month for a furnished two-bedroom apartment. It’s also not the place to live if you wish to keep a car—parking is scant and expensive and is generally scarce, hence the vehicles with lift belts on the bonnet and boot. Both areas are quiet and deserted at night.  The shortest street in the city is the rue des Degrés in the 2nd, at only 6 metres long.

3rd and 4th – Temple and Hôtel de Ville

This area is more commonly referred to as the Marais, and is one of Paris’s most historic areas north of the river. It also includes the Île de la Cité, home to Notre Dame, and Île Saint-Louis. Living on either of the two islands is highly desirable and, naturally enough, expensive.

5th – Panthéon

The 5th is the Latin Quarter, south of the Seine. As home of the Sorbonne, the area has long been popular with students—it’s a little bohemian and offers some cheaper options as far as accommodation goes. The Jardin des Plantes and Natural History Museum give it family appeal.

6th – Luxembourg

The heart of the Rive Gauche, Luxembourg encompasses Saint-Germain-des-Prés, which is now one of Paris’s most expensive and desirable neighbourhoods. Drawn by its bohemian past, sophisticated Parisian society has made it home and now it has become quiet, elegant and restrained.

7th – Palais-Bourbon

Here you’ll be living close to the Eiffel Tower, but you’ll pay extra if you want a view of it. This area is home to the Bilingual Montessori School of Paris and the American University, so it’s attractive to expat families. However, it’s pricy and the accommodation mainly comprises of apartments in beautiful older buildings.

8th – Élysée

To the west of the Louvre, this district is named after the Champs Élysées and is home to the presidential palace, the jet set and swarms of tourists. It’s a busy area, with good nightlife and shopping, though there are plenty of quiet, leafy residential streets as well.

9th – Opéra

The 9th is more of a business area, though there are of course some more residential corners. It also includes the noisy and rather touristy area of the Moulin Rouge. A little less prestigious than the more central areas, it’s still convenient to the centre of town.

10th and 11th – Saint-Laurent and Popincourt

These are multicultural residential areas that are gradually being gentrified. Prices vary across a wide range depending upon the precise address. The area isn’t particularly convenient for any of the international schools.

12th and 13th – Reuilly and Gobelins

If you’re interested in sport, head for the 12th and 13th. Here you’ll find the Palais Omnisports for spectating, and running tracks, rowing, cycle paths and a floating pool in the Seine. Both are quiet residential neighbourhoods, and Gobelins is home to Paris’ Chinatown.

14th and 15th – Observatoire and Vaugirard

Dissected by the rails coming into the Gare de l’Ouest, these are quiet and fairly affordable residential areas, with easy access to the ring roads surrounding the city. The Montsouris Park area is popular with families.

16th – Passy

This appears to be the arrondissement of choice for Americans in Paris and is home to the International School of Paris and the Eurecole, which offers French-language immersion programmes. It’s smart, expensive and quiet with excellent shopping and restaurants. It’s also a popular location for international businesses.

17th – Batignolles-Monceau

Accommodation in this quarter spans both the very expensive and the affordable, along with a choice of family-sized apartments. Look out for the Collège International Honoré Balzac, a state school that offers courses in foreign languages as well as French. Families favour accommodation near the Park Monceau.

18th – Buttes-Montmartre

Clustered in the shadow of Sacré Coeur, the narrow alleys of Montmartre can become crowded with tourists. However, the rest of the area is a quiet suburb that may be the place to look if you’re on a limited budget.

19th and 20th – Buttes-Chaumont and Ménilmontant

These areas are melting pots for workers of all nationalities. Rents here are cheaper and apartments bigger but parts can be noisy and low-cost housing dominates the residential market.

Who Lives in Paris and Why?

While the city of Paris has a population of approximately 2,241,316 million, the wider metropolitan area is home to over 10,5 million people. This accounts for 18 percent of the population of France, and the region’s GDP represents 30 percent of France’s entire output. The city is the second largest in Europe, after London, though fewer people live here now than at its peak in 1921—since then, people have moved out to the suburbs in a quest for more space. Gentrification, de-industrialisation, the conversion of houses into offices and the increased affluence of working families have all contributed to reducing crowding in the centre of the city.

Approximately 23 percent of residents are foreign born, with the highest concentration of foreigners coming from Algeria, Portugal, Morocco and Tunisia. The British and American expat communities are relatively small, both less than 20,000.  41.3% of children born recently have at least one foreign parent.

Reasons why people choose to live in Paris:

  • Per capita GDP in the Paris region is the fourth highest in Europe
  • The Parisian economy focuses on service industries such as finance and IT, and high-tech manufacturing, such as electronics, aerospace, automobiles and optics
  • Paris is certainly the cultural centre for France and, arguably, for mainland Europe
  • The city has never faced destruction through war or natural disaster and even today part of the original layout of the city can still be discerned
  • The banks of the River Seine have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Haussmann’s remodelling of the city in the 19th century laid out a template for modern city planning
  • The height of new buildings is carefully controlled, particularly in the city centre
  • The city is home to a number of iconic landmarks—the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame, Sacré-Coeur, to name but a few
  • Paris is one of the world’s four big fashion epicentres, hosting the hugely influential Paris Fashion Week twice a year.  Paris is the only fashion city in the world that presents haute couture shows
  • Violent crime is rare in the city centre, though political demonstrations are frequent
  • Paris has been rated as the tenth greenest city in Europe
The Best Bits

Paris is certainly one of the world’s most beautiful cities and, as such, it also ranks as one of the world’s top tourist destinations. Of course, you’ll want to make the most of your time to see the iconic sights—the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame—but you’ll also be able to explore the fascinating parts of Paris that the tourists don’t get a chance to see.

Here are some of the best things Paris has to offer, but the list is by no means exhaustive!

  • The Louvre is the world’s most visited museum, with around 7.4 million visitors per year
  • However, France’s most visited attraction is Disneyland Paris, just 20 miles from the centre of the city
  • The Palace of Versailles to the west of Paris is a UNESCO World Heritage Site—its Hall of Mirrors is simply spectacular, as are the gardens in summer
  • Eating out in Paris offers you a choice of more than 9,000 restaurants, including nine which hold three Michelin stars
  • The city has more than 421 parks and gardens, with more than 470,000 trees – they counted
  • Paris has originated some of the most influential artistic movements in history, including Romanticism, Impressionism, Art Nouveau, Symbolism, Fauvism, Cubism and Art Deco. Numerous galleries around the city contain examples from each school
  • Paris has two opera houses and numerous theatres
  • The city loves books, with more than 150 book shops in the 5th arrondissement and 250 book stalls along the banks of the Seine
Bringing the Kids

Paris is a wonderful city for children and living here is an education in itself. However, to find the necessary space at an affordable price, families should look for accommodation a little further from the centre. The trick is to identify appropriate international schools for your children and then assess where it would be most convenient to live.

  • The Île de France area contains 9,000 schools and educational institutions, from primary through to higher education
  • The Sorbonne was founded in the 12th century and was the scene of mass student demonstrations in 1968
  • Paris boasts a number of France’s most celebrated high schools, including the Lycée Louis-le-Grand, the Lycée Henri-IV, the Lycée Janson de Sailly and the Lycée Condorcet
  • There’s a wide range of international schools to choose from, some of which are run under the French system and some of which operate to specific country curriculums
  • The American School in Paris offers an American model of education
  • The British School in Paris utilises the English curriculum
  • Marymount is a private Catholic school, running an American programme
  • There are a number of French schools that offer immersion programmes to enable foreign children to enter the French education system
  • There are also German, Japanese, Spanish, Russian, Italian and Swedish schools in the city
Relocating to Paris

As the capital of France and one of the world’s major cities, Paris is a top-knotch place for an expat posting. Wide elegant boulevards, royal palaces, gourmet cuisine and high fashion may attract tourists, but also make it an interesting place to live and work. Space may be cramped, particularly in the centre of the city, but the centre is the beating heart of French culture and society. The outer suburbs are more spacious and peaceful, and there are good transport links into the centre as well as connecting to the rest of Europe. And if you’re planning on bringing the whole family, you’ll have an excellent choice of both international and bilingual schools. It may be an expensive city to live in, but we believe you’d be hard pressed not to fall in love with the place!

At Saunders 1865, our teams of experts combine local knowledge with first-hand experience to pinpoint the right area and the right property that will tick all your boxes. Do you have children that need to be enrolled in school? Are the transport links convenient for your needs? Does this location fit with your expectations of expat life and is the space configured in a way that suits your requirements? We can bring expertise to all these factors and help to arrange smooth, efficient and stress-free relocations – to Paris and other destinations across Europe and the world. Our services include home finding assistance, school finding, lease negotiations, temporary accommodation and move management. Don’t hesitate to contact us to find out how we can help you.


Beautiful Houses
Good Schools
Great Transport
Museums & Galleries
Average Monthly Rent - Paris
1 bedroom in city centre €1,163.19
1 bedroom outside of centre €820.41
3 bedrooms in city centre €2,545.00
3 bedrooms outside of centre €1,726.16
Contact us for a free initial consultation about your specific situation.
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