The cost of living in Paris is undeniably high, but the quality of life in this magical city more than makes up for it. Paris appeared in Mercer's Cost of Living Survey for 2022, ranking as the 35th most expensive city out of the 227 expat cities surveyed.

Expat salaries in Paris are also considerably less lucrative than the financial packages given to those who move to the Middle East or Asia for tax-free wealth or high-powered positions. That said, it's possible to enjoy an excellent quality of life on a budget, especially if expats choose to live towards the more affordable outskirts of the city.

Cost of accommodation in Paris

Accommodation is frequently the most intimidating expense for expats. In fact, it can easily swallow a third to a half of their monthly salary, depending on where in the city they reside.

That said, housing on the outskirts of the city is naturally much more affordable than those affluent and in-demand city-centre neighbourhoods.

Utility bills are comparable to those in the rest of Europe, with electricity and gas prices being rather average.

Cost of clothing in Paris

A 20 percent sales tax in France makes everything slightly more expensive than in many other countries in Europe, and it being one of the world's fashion capitals, Paris' clothing stores are notoriously and often prohibitively expensive. This means that expats must typically choose between pricey boutiques, speciality stores or upscale department stores and low-priced, poor-quality goods.

Cost of transport in Paris

Paris boasts an impressive public transport system, and expats will find that life without a car is easy. Expats who decide to drive may find that it isn't a pleasant experience, as the traffic is nightmarish and parking fees are exorbitant. Furthermore, many employers in Paris even subsidise a portion of transport costs – so expats should not be afraid to ask.

Cost of groceries in Paris

Parisian food is top quality thanks to France's strict food regulations and the pride the French take in their cuisine. Parisians typically shop from fresh goods markets, bakeries, butcheries, groceries and cheesemongers for their fresh produce. Quality aside, the cost of living in France is quite high, and this extends to food as well.

Cost of entertainment and eating out in Paris

Paris leads the country in terms of the cost of eating out, and France, the birthplace of the modern restaurant, is known for the price and quality of its dining experience. Expats will probably have to budget carefully and prioritise which aspects of the Parisian lifestyle they want to experience.

For price-conscious exats, though, there are many free and budget-friendly entertainment options. There are many things to see and do for free, like visiting one of Paris's many public parks and historical sites, and museums and galleries are generally affordable. Expats on a budget will have no problem soaking in the city's rich culture, especially if they keep abreast of the many events in this cultural capital.

Cost of education in Paris

For citizens and residents, public education in France is free, and some public schools, known as Sections Internationale, are specifically designed to help non-Francophones integrate.

Expat parents might enrol their kids in a private school for a greater fee, though parents should be aware of the distinction between privately funded and state-sponsored private schools; the latter have a better reputation.

Paris is home to the majority of international schools in France, which are very pricey.

Cost of living in Paris chart

These are average costs for Paris in November 2022. Prices may vary depending on product and service provider.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

 EUR 2,900

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

 EUR 1,900

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

 EUR 1,300

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

 EUR 940

Food and drink

Milk (1 litre)

 EUR 1.52

Dozen eggs

 EUR 5.09

White bread (loaf)

 EUR 2

Rice (1kg)

 EUR 2.09

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

 EUR 10

Public transport

One-way ticket (local transport)

 EUR 1.90

Taxi rate per km

 EUR 1.82

Petrol (litre)


Eating out

Big Mac Meal

 EUR 12

Coca-Cola (330ml)

 EUR 2.72


 EUR 3.66

Bottle of beer (domestic)

 EUR 7

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

 EUR 60


Internet (uncapped ADSL per month)

 EUR 23

Mobile call rate (mobile-to-mobile per minute)

 EUR 0.20

Basic monthly utilities (electricity, water and refuse)

 EUR 168