Villa in Ardeche, France
Villa in Ardeche, France
Villa in Ardeche, France

Living in France

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Dec 02, 2021

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees discuss what it is like to live in France: Cost of living, Finding a home, Meeting People and more.

GeoBlue International Health Insurance

What do I need to know about living in France?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to France, they said:

"Check out nancy.OnVaSortir.com to find out about events that are planned by locals (and therefore not promoted by any public methods), and follow the city on Facebook to get updates about festivals and other happenings around town," commented one expat who made the move to Epinal.

"Well, firstly - great to hear that there is nothing to wait for. Just start learning some French...take few documents with yourself as France seems to like red tape very much and you need papers for everything! Take some birth certificates for sure. Don't worry about the accommodation because here in Lyon you will get many estate agencies to help you out and they speak English! And mostly...read some blogs, forums, expats websites which will provide you with the up to date info! And if you have any question or want to explore more, have a look at my blog: shopaholicfromhome.com where I continue discovering France & Lyon," remarked another expat living in Lyon, France.

"This is France as you see it in black and white movies, it's like going back in time fifty years ago, sales people in stores always take the time to chat with you, the pace is not hurried, everybody takes a 2 hours lunch break. Serene, peaceful, beautiful, no tourists, not on the map, I love it," added another expat in Moulins.

"It is a big city and finding a place to live is fairly tricky (rent). However the weathers great and it is a nice place to live," remarked another expat who made the move to Toulouse.

"If he has a family it is a good place to live. If he or she is single, I can't advise them since I don't know the single scene here. There is a big university here so they may be able to connect with the students there but I don't know anything about the clubs or other diversions for single people," explained one expat living in Orleans, France.

"Be aware of the housing costs - extremely high by French standards, and most companies base their salaries and relocation offers on the standard French cost of living index. That might be fine in rural France, but housing and food costs here are astronomical by comparison with everywhere except Paris and Lyon. Be sure of what you're accepting before you accept it! The city is great if you like cities! The surrounding areas are beautiful and inspiring, and much less polluted. If you have children, I would avoid the city as it's unpleasantly hot and polluted in the summer. Don't go too high up the mountains into the middle of nowhere, though, or you will feel pretty isolated when the snows come. There's a reason why the towns of Meylan, Biviers, St Ismier etc are the most expensive - they're pretty, less polluted, good schools, and still completely accessible when the bad weather takes hold. The French take a while to get used to, and the bureaucracy can be overwhelming at first. Once you've got everything sorted, though, their systems are very efficient and the health care is excellent," said another expat in Grenoble.

Expats in France may get a free expat health insurance quote from our partner Allianz Care, whose plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Allianz's flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. Get a Quote

Expats in France may get a free expat health insurance quote from our partner Allianz Care, a leader in international insurance for expatriates. Allianz's plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Their flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget..

How do I meet people in France?

Please login to continue reading this article.

Not a member? Join Today (it's free).

allianz care expat health insurance

For expats in France, choosing an expat health insurance provider is an important decision. Get a quote from our partner, Allianz Care. Their plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Allianz Care's flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget.

Get a Quote

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000. Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Some of Joshua's more popular articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 8 Best Places to Live in Croatia and the Living in Mexico Guide. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Allianz Care Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

Living in France GuideLiving in France Guide

Guide to Living in France covering expat life, local culture, finding a home, diversity and more.

France Forum France Forum
Join our France forum to meet other expats and talk about living in France.

Contribute to France Network Contribute
Help other expats and newcomers by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in France.

Healthcare in FranceHealthcare in France

Expats often ask if health insurance is free in France or if you need health insurance to go to France. Here is basic information about the French healthcare system.

Cost of Living in FranceCost of Living in France

Expats offer insight into the cost of living in France.

Moving to FranceMoving to France Guide

Expats all over the world dream of someday making France their next destination. As with other countries, there is a lot of planning involved, and a lot of decisions to be made.

Real Estate in FranceReal Estate in France

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in France.

Pros Cons of Living in FrancePros & Cons of Living in France

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what expats have to say about the biggest challenges and the greatest rewards of living in France.

Retiring in FranceRetiring in France

Advice for people retiring in France.

10 Tips for Living in France10 Tips for Living in France

Expats offer tips on health insurance, renting in Paris, culture shock, meeting people and more.

Allianz Care Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

7-Tips-For-Working-In-Paris7 Tips For Working In Paris

Our working in Paris guide offers information and tips for expats and others who want to work in Paris.

Paris-Through-Expatriate-Eyes-Terrance-GelenterParis Through Expatriate Eyes' Terrance Gelenter

An expat interview with "Paris Through Expatriate Eyes" founder Terrance Gelenter

5-Affordable-Places-to-Retire-in-France5 Affordable Places to Retire in France

The word affordable and France don't normally end up in the same sentence, but it's all relative and more affordable villages and cities do exist! They are often some of the most charming places to retire in France. Here are 5 affordable places to retire in France plus advice on how to find others.

Thanksgiving-in-ParisThanksgiving in Paris

If you're living in Paris and in search of a place to dine on Thanksgiving, we have several suggestions. If you're cooking Thanksgiving dinner, find out where you can order a turkey.

Villa in Ardeche, France
Allianz Care Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

Living in France GuideLiving in France Guide

Guide to Living in France covering expat life, local culture, finding a home, diversity and more.

France Forum France Forum
Meet other expats and talk about living in France.

Healthcare in FranceHealthcare in France

Expats often ask if health insurance is free in France or if you need health insurance to go to France. Here is basic information about the French healthcare system.

Cost of Living in FranceCost of Living in France

Expats offer insight into the cost of living in France.

Moving to FranceMoving to France Guide

Expats all over the world dream of someday making France their next destination. As with other countries, there is a lot of planning involved, and a lot of decisions to be made.

Real Estate in FranceReal Estate in France

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in France.

Pros Cons of Living in FrancePros & Cons of Living in France

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what expats have to say about the biggest challenges and the greatest rewards of living in France.

Retiring in FranceRetiring in France

Advice for people retiring in France.

Contribute to France Network Contribute
Help other expats and newcomers by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in France.

10 Tips for Living in France10 Tips for Living in France

Expats offer tips on health insurance, renting in Paris, culture shock, meeting people and more.

Copyright 1997-2022 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal