Occasionally, clients who dream of a life overseas ask if France is a good place to live? Of course, our answer is yes, but as with everything, expats must consider the pros and cons. After all, there is no such thing as a utopia. Nevertheless, expats who last the distance have gained an overall view of life abroad, and they learn to navigate the tough times while enjoying the good. In this article about France, we will discuss those, and compare the country to other destinations. We have also collected stats and figures from other publications to put aside our biased viewpoints (yes, we passionately love France). So, let’s delve in.
Is France a Good Place to Live?
1: Good French Health System
From paid parental leave to childcare to dental care and hospitalisation, foreigners who move to France can’t believe the level of healthcare they receive. France is renowned for how they treat anyone in need of medical assistance, and in expat annual surveys and quality of life indexes, it always comes out on top for healthcare services. Could this be the reason the country also ranks for long life expectancy?
2: Working Life in France
France continues to be one of the world’s leading economies, so it would be natural to think life is serious and jobs are grinding. Yet, it is an easy country with the shortest amount of work hours and longer paid days holidays. Granted, to enter the workforce, knowing the language is essential but workers can expect to work an easy 35 hours a week. In France, the easy work process also accommodates leisure and play time.
3: Good Family Life Experiences
France often ranks highly in travel magazines for the number of family-friendly activities. For example, many interactive museums make learning fun, and national museums are free of charge for those under 18s. Head to the French Alps, and many ski resorts are proud to hold the title of family-friendly, an accolade only given by France’s official tourism board. From beaches to mountains and prominent metropolis places, families love living in France, because keeping the kids entertained is an easy job for parents.
4: UNESCO World Heritage Places
With 49 official UNESCO sites, France ranks fifth for the most amount in the world. UNESCO sites are a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization project. They want to preserve historical sites that highlight the diversity of culture across the world. France has applied for and received the status for so many sites, proving its dedication to multiculturalism and preserving the past.
5: French House Rent Prices
Rather than buying, to rent a house when you arrive in France, Numbeo says you will pay lower rent prices than the UK. Numbeo, a number-crunching website that collects the cost of living worldwide, says house rent prices in the United Kingdom are 23.91% higher than in France and rent prices in the United States are 68.31% higher than in France. With house rent being a significant part of our monthly expenses, especially those in capital cities, this is quite a saving for the UK and American expats.
6: Ideal Place to Live in Europe
As part of Europe, France’s geographical location and status makes the country strategically placed in the world. Bordering other countries, like Switzerland and Spain, it is quickly done if you want to travel or fly back home to see friends and family. France also connects to the UK via the channel tunnel, making it a firm favourite for English expats looking to live abroad.
7: French Food and Drink Culture
France’s cuisine is known worldwide, from delicious cheeses to crusty baguettes and odd dishes like frogs’ legs and snails. It is not just for show, though. Food and drink are ingrained into society from a visit to experience the café culture, sit down family meals to stipulated lunch breaks from work. So, if you decide to visit or move to France, one of the best ways to learn about your new adopted country would be to taste local and countrywide dishes. Also, tour the countrywide Michelin Starr restaurants to find out why France excels in fine dining.
8: Places for Living
From the French Alps to scenic countryside, the Turkish riviera and large, glorious cities like Paris, visiting local places around France is an absolute delight thanks to different landscapes. So it should come as no surprise that France is one of the world’s top destinations for tourism, hosting foreign nationalities worldwide. Likewise, if you are not living here for work, you have many local metropolises, towns, and villages to choose to live in.
9: Shopping Sales in France
Stores can only hold local sales according to France’s law. Naturally, this gives them massive hype. Called the Winter Sales’ Soldes d’Hiver’ and Summer Sales’ Soldes d’Ete, they occur during July and January. So, to buy anything significant, hold on for those best countrywide deals when you live in France all year round. In addition, remember Paris is an iconic place for French fashion, so that would be an excellent time to consider shopping for your new wardrobes and outfits.
10: The Best of Living in Paris
For culture and arts in France, Paris sets trends and breaks barriers. Parisian culture and mass of local museums, theatres, and art galleries pay homage to French expertise for many decades. Moving past the traditional Coq Au Vin, Paris features the world’s most esteemed restaurants like Shangri-La hotel’s L’Abeille. Although there are many more reasons to buy property in Paris, old and new Parisian architecture screams of standards and aesthetic beauty. Without a doubt, Paris is an excellent place to live or visit.
10: Living the French Language Experience
So, as mentioned before, France is a great place to live, but residents need to manage the cons, and the first is that not knowing the language can hamper your daily life. In many towns and villages of other countries where expats live, like Spain or Turkey, expats do not speak the language, and locals are quite forgiving about this. However, the French do not take the same attitude. So, if you want to move to the country of France, consider learning to speak the language now.
11: Red Tape Process and French Bureaucracy
Everyone the world over groans at everyday red tape, checks and bureaucracy but deal with paperwork because we must. However, France takes massive paper systems to another level. Even simple needed tasks like registering utilities are nightmarish and expensive. If you do not speak the language, you need a translator because nothing is simple or black and white. Do not even get us started on renewing the country’s resident visas.
12: Taxes in France
So, France is known for its quality lifestyle, pleasant working conditions, and excellent healthcare system. However, money needs to come from somewhere, therefore get used to paying high taxes, especially those with a job. In addition, employers must pay taxes. So, every month seems like another huge tax bill to pay but check the easy benefits.
13: French Strikes
France has had rail strikes every year for 72 years. People on the internet often ask, why are the French always striking? Despite this, many French people always get behind strikes and fully support union workers standing up for themselves. We think something has been engrained in them for centuries since the history of the French revolution. So, rather than rely on transport to get around, consider buying a car.
More Information About France
Property in France: If you plan to buy property in France, see our portfolio of French homes for sale. Each listing contains everything to know, including price, garden, location, home features, and contact details to find out more or arrange viewings.
Regions of France: Before 2015, there were 22 French regions, but some merged, and now there are 13 and five overseas regions. This article looks at the primary 13 regions within France itself. All of which break down into separate boroughs and communities, with something unique. Altogether France covers 550,000 square kilometres, borders two seas and an ocean, and includes five mountain ranges.
Major Cities in France: When asked to name famous cities in France, most people respond with Paris. And why not. The iconic city of France stands out globally. Known for rich historical timelines, French cuisine, arts, culture and fashion, Paris often tops lists of most visited international cities. But this article looks at Paris and more cities and why they rank among people asking is France a good place to live?