What You Should Know Before Moving to Paris

Quick tips based on helping people relocate to La Belle Paris!

Paris – the City of Light and one of the most beautiful capitals in the world.  Everyone wants to visit, but not everyone is prepared to work or live there permanently.

We wanted to give a brief overview based on what we’ve heard from hundreds of expats.

But if you want a more in-depth analysis be sure to check out our Paris Area Report for more information.

French Greetings

Your first impression is very important! Learn some basic French phrases to get you started in your new home.  The French are very proud of their culture and prefer to speak French whenever possible.  A simple ‘bonjour’ when you enter a shop will go a long way.  

When you start to meet people in your new city, in less formal settings be prepared that they may initiate a kiss once on both cheeks as a greeting.  Be sure not to just kiss the one cheek and leave your friend hanging!

Work-Life Balance

Paris follows a more realistic circadian rhythm than other large cities.  There is a strong emphasis on working to live, not living to work.  The work-life balance is actually observed in Paris with 35 to 40 hour workweeks, long lunches, and a standard of 30 days of vacation per year.  This doesn’t even include the 11 bank holidays! 

Thanks to this rhythm there’s more time to enjoy the cultural centre of France when your assignee has settled into their role.  This can include the world’s most visited museum – The Louvre – or bringing the kids to France’s most visited attraction – Disneyland Paris – located just miles outside of the city.

Bringing the Dog

Unlike other major cities, there are no dog parks in Paris.  There are, however, playgroups scattered around the city that meet at designated places away from any traffic.  

The most central one is at Jardin des Tuileries and from there you can find out about others located around the city from your dog owner friends.

Despite the lack of dog parks, Paris has been rated the tenth greenest city in Europe (the city has more than 421 parks and gardens!) so expats desiring time outdoors won’t be lacking for green space.

Apartment Search

Searching for a flat in Paris can be quite a struggle.  Accommodation can be cramped, while rents can be very high if you don’t know where to look.  And without the help of an expert, you may be required to come up with a Guarantor who lives in France!

What we’re currently seeing for monthly average rents:

1 bedroom apartment, city centre (1&2 arrondissement): €3,900 pm

1 bedroom apartment, outside city centre: (14 arrondissement) €1,595

3 bedroom apartment, city centre: (1&2 arrondissement) €4,500 pm

3 bedroom apartment, outside city centre: (14 arrondissement) €2,910

Also, if the apartment you find is on a busy street, be sure to confirm that the windows are double-glazed (double vitrage).

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If you are responsible for relocating senior executives internationally, or if you yourself are being relocated, discover how top firms support the families they move overseas.  What relocation benefits do they provide and which support programs do senior executives expect?

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