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Moving to Paris

Expats moving to Paris will discover that the City of Lights holds many delights, from grand boulevards and quaint cobbled streets to the pretty River Seine and museums and galleries galore. It is one of the most romanticised cities in the world, and expats relocating to the French capital will soon learn why.

Living in Paris as an expat

One point that expats can count on is the city’s thriving, robust economy. As a home to a number of Fortune 500 companies as well as global humanitarian and financial organisations, Paris is one of continental Europe’s largest economies and produces over a quarter of France's total GDP. Well-qualified French-speaking expats will therefore find plenty of job options available and can take advantage of the famous 35-hour workweek and large allotment of holiday time. Non-EU nationals will usually need to organise a work permit prior to arrival through an employer sponsor. 

Expats moving to Paris will find it one of the easiest cities in the world to navigate. Orientation is simplified by the 20 numbered arrondissements, and an extensive system of buses and trains provide accessible and affordable public transport. A private car is a luxury that only businesspeople and status-seekers confess to needing. The city also has a large-scale bicycle-sharing system in place called Velib.

Those with the intentions of learning the local language, aggregating career skills or furthering their education can reap the benefits of the city’s impressive infrastructural assets and social services.

Cost of living in Paris

One downside to the many upsides of living in Paris, however, is the high cost of living. Accommodation is particularly expensive. Expats on a budget should be prepared to downsize and live outside the city centre if they want to cut costs. Apartment hunting can also be very challenging. Expats should expect to compete with large numbers of people for a living space that they may not be particularly passionate about.

Families and children in Paris

The French healthcare system is among the best in the world. Those who contribute to social security or who have reached retirement age in their home country can often benefit from the fantastic public health insurance system, which is funded by tax deductions and can cover up to 70 percent of healthcare costs.

Many of the best educational institutions and schools in the world are located in Paris. Foreigners enrolling their kids in Paris public schools will find it a rigorous and high-quality educational environment, and the capital is also home to many excellent international schools.

Climate in Paris

The climate in Paris is pleasant, rarely peaking above 25°C (77°F) in summer or dropping below freezing in winter. With so many fantastic activities to enjoy, restaurants to sample, museums to meander and parks to explore, there's very little reason to spend too much time at home.

On the whole, expats are sure to have a magical time in the City of Lights, for however long they decide to stay.

Weather in Paris

The weather in Paris and the surrounding Île-de-France region is the result of a temperate climate, which translates into cold, but not freezing, winters and warm pleasant summers.

Though the capital claims France's lowest rate of annual rainfall, showers are nonetheless a consistent feature of life in Paris. Expats will quickly learn not to leave home without an umbrella. Thunderstorms tend to be short and sweet, and the sun usually pushes the clouds away in no time.

August is the hottest month in Paris, and January the coldest. Summer temperatures average around 68°F (20°C), although August temperatures can rise to 95°F (35°C). Winter temperatures average around 41°F (5°C). Many Parisians leave the city in August, when the weather is warm and muggy.


Pros and cons of moving to Paris

Although it's easy to see why Paris is a popular expat destination, there are also drawbacks to living in this city. It's therefore important to learn more about some of the ups and downs of expat life in the French capital before taking the plunge. 

Below are a few pros and cons of moving to Paris.

Accommodation in Paris

+ PRO: A broad range of accommodation options

Expats moving to Paris will find a variety of accommodation options. Chambres de bonne and apartments are the most prevalent options in areas close to the centre of Paris. However, expats looking for larger apartments and houses will find more on offer in the suburbs. 

- CON: Properties are small and expensive

Space is limited in Paris, especially in the city centre. As such, expats often find that properties are smaller than they are accustomed to. It's also eye-wateringly expensive; even the smallest chambre de bonne isn’t actually cheap.

Lifestyle in Paris

+ PRO: Amazing food scene

Parisians pride themselves on their cuisine. Expats are sure to enjoy feasting on French delicacies throughout their stay. The French capital is also home to a huge number of restaurants serving international cuisine from across the world, so new arrivals won’t struggle to find options when it comes to eating out in Paris.

+ PRO: There is a large expat community 

Paris is a global hub and as such new arrivals will find that there are many people who’ve recently moved to the city and face similar challenges. This often provides common ground on which to build new friendships.

+ PRO: Communal spaces make it easy to socialise

Most people in Paris live in small apartments and take advantage of communal spaces such as the city’s gardens or public gyms/swimming pools. These places provide great opportunities for meeting local people and striking up conversations with those with common interests. 

- CON: Parisians can be unfriendly 

Some expats find it hard to integrate into Parisian society. Even French people from other parts of the country often say Parisians are rude and unfriendly. However, this is somewhat subjective. Learning to speak at least a basic level of French is likely to be a good first step towards making friends in Paris.

Working in Paris

+ PRO: An excellent work-life balance

Expats looking for professional advancement in Paris won’t have to forgo having a life outside the office in order to climb the career ladder. The workweek in France is capped at 35 hours and the minimum annual leave allowance is five weeks, which is generous in comparison to many other countries. 

- CON: The language barrier

Paris is a cosmopolitan city and while it’s possible to find a job without speaking fluent French, expats who have language skills will certainly have an advantage over their counterparts. Speaking French will also make a difference when it comes to networking and forming solid professional relationships with colleagues.

Kids, family and education in Paris

+ PRO:  Great range of schooling options

Expats moving to Paris with children will find a range of good schooling options in the city to suit all budgets. Expats do have the option of sending their child to a public school at no cost, but these schools aren’t suitable for all students. Paris is also home to a wide range of private French and international schools, which means that expats will have plenty of other viable options to explore.

+ PRO: Paris is a family-friendly city

Expat families in Paris will find that the French capital has a range of attractions for parents and children to enjoy together. Not only is Paris home to the world-famous Disneyland, but the city also hosts a range of theme parks, museums and various outdoor attractions.

Cost of living in Paris

- CON: Cost of living in Paris is high

Paris is one of the most expensive cities in the world. Essentials such as fuel, food and clothing don’t come cheap. Plus, rents in Paris are notoriously high. Expats will need to make sure that they negotiate a generous employment package to ensure that they can live comfortably and get to enjoy all that Paris has to offer.

+ PRO: A dynamic economy

Many international companies choose Paris as the location for their French operations, so there are plenty of work opportunities in the city. Expats with experience in sectors such as finance, information technology, media, education and transport will find lots of scope for career progression here.

Healthcare in Paris

+ PRO: World-class healthcare

Paris's healthcare is exemplary – among the best in the world. Those covered by the public health insurance system enjoy its substantial coverage, as up to 70 percent of medical costs are covered.

Getting around in Paris

+ PRO: Getting around is easy

Transport in Paris is excellent. Metro and bus networks are easy to navigate and can get city residents almost anywhere. For those who prefer a bit of fresh air, Velib Metropole, Paris’ public bike-sharing scheme, offers a great alternative. In addition, excellent train networks and the presence of many low-cost airlines allow residents to explore Europe.

- CON: Lack of convenience 

Apart from the odd pharmacy, there are few shops or services that are open 24/7 in Paris. This can seem inconvenient for those moving from places where services operate around the clock. Parisians work to live rather than live to work, and as such new arrivals will find many independent retailers changing their opening hours on a whim.

Working in Paris

Despite France's position as one of the foremost economies in Europe, finding a job in Paris isn't easy. The majority of expats in Paris relocate as a result of an intercity transfer through their company. While it's possible to find a job through one's own efforts, it's beneficial to do some networking and make use of personal contacts in Paris.

Job market in Paris

Paris is one of the most visited destinations in the world and, as a result, skills in the tourism industry are well-respected and in high demand. Expats with experience in the hospitality and service industries will encounter no shortage of job opportunities.

Paris is also the corporate centre of France and is home to the headquarters of many top international firms. Expats wishing to move to Paris are advised to search for international organisations from their home country that may be interested in employing foreign nationals in France.

The average working day in France is from 9am to 6pm, but this can vary between industries. Those in the tourism industry work different hours and may even be subject to shift work. Expats working on a contract can expect a fair amount of leave and two extra cheques a year. Expats can expect approximately 25 percent of their income to be deducted for tax purposes.

Finding a job in Paris

Getting a job can be difficult for expats wishing to work in Paris. A degree of fluency in French is vital to fill even the most basic entry-level position in most companies. That being said, there are a number of jobs expats can do until they have a better grasp of the French language. English language teachers and au pairs can make enough money to live off until their French becomes sufficient for them to enter the mainstream working environment.

Most people find employment through networking and alumni organisations, as well as through classified listings on the internet. Sending a CV is usually the first step in applying for a job in France, followed by an interview. The French expect persistence, so it can be useful for an expat to follow up an application with a number of calls enquiring as to when an interview will be arranged.

Work culture in Paris

Expats will find that the work culture in Paris is formal and hierarchical. Locals usually also place great value on physical appearances. While Parisians tend to see deadlines and meeting times as being flexible, expats should nonetheless try to be punctual.

The high level of bureaucracy in France can also have an impact on the work culture in Paris. French businesspeople enjoy spirited debates and can at times come across as hot headed. However, they usually see value in arguments that are based on sound logic. Parisians will also generally appreciate any efforts made by expats to speak the local language.

Cost of living in Paris

The cost of living in Paris often reaches dizzying heights, but the quality of life in this enchanting city more than makes up for it. Paris appeared in Mercer's Cost of Living Survey for 2023, 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, living the Parisian dream on a budget is feasible, especially if expats embrace the city's more affordable outskirts.

Cost of accommodation in Paris

The cost of accommodation in Paris can devour a significant portion of an expat's income. 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 city's outskirts is naturally much more affordable than those in affluent and in-demand city-centre neighbourhoods. Affordable gems await discovery in the suburbs, nestled away from the city centre's opulence.

Utility bills are comparable to those in the rest of Europe, offering no surprises, with electricity and gas prices being rather average.

Cost of groceries and clothing in Paris

Parisian food is top quality thanks to France's strict food regulations and the French's pride in their cuisine. Savouring exquisite Parisian fare comes at a price, but it's worth it for the culinary delights that abound. Shopping at local markets, bakeries and cheesemongers guarantees top-quality produce.

A 20 percent sales tax in France makes purchasing general goods slightly more expensive than in many other European countries. With Paris as a global fashion epicentre, Paris is home to notoriously expensive clothing stores. Expats may need to choose between pricey luxury boutiques with high-quality clothing and economical, lower-quality options.

Cost of transport in Paris

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

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. Dining out in Paris can be a pricey affair, and expats will probably have to budget carefully and prioritise which aspects of the Parisian lifestyle they want to experience.

For price-conscious expats, there are numerous 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 most of the international schools in France, which are very pricey but are often favoured by expat parents because they allow their children to continue with a familiar curriculum in their home language.

Cost of healthcare in Paris

In France's capital, expats will find a world-class healthcare system that balances quality and affordability. Paris boasts a robust public healthcare network called Assurance Maladie and an array of private clinics and hospitals catering to a more exclusive clientele. The public system, funded through social security contributions, offers universal coverage for all French residents, including expats. However, it only covers some medical expenses, leaving the individual responsible for the remainder. Many expats purchase complementary health insurance, a mutuelle, to bridge the gap and ensure peace of mind.

But la vie en rose is not without its peculiarities. Parisians take their healthcare seriously, and the capital's dense population can lead to long waiting times at some hospitals or clinics. Moreover, while there are English-speaking doctors, they may be hard to find. Expats may find that investing in private healthcare alleviates these inconveniences, providing swift access to premium care, often in luxurious settings. In any case, whether exploring the public or private healthcare sectors, expats should be prepared to navigate this labyrinthine system with patience, determination and a keen understanding of their insurance needs.

Cost of living in France chart

These are the average costs for Paris in April 2023. Prices may vary depending on the product and service provider.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre

EUR 2,800

Three-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

EUR 1,920

One-bedroom apartment in the city centre

EUR 1,310

One-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

EUR 940

Food and drink

Dozen eggs

EUR 5.80

Milk (1 litre)

EUR 1.59

Rice (1kg)

EUR 2.16

Loaf of white bread

EUR 2.08

Chicken breasts (1kg)

EUR 14

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)


Eating out

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

EUR 65

Big Mac Meal

EUR 12

Coca-Cola (330ml)

EUR 2.97


EUR 3.77

Bottle of beer (local)

EUR 2.65


Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)

EUR 0.23

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

EUR 20

Basic utilities (average per month for a standard household)

EUR 184


Taxi rate/km

EUR 1.86

City-centre public transport fare

EUR 2.10

Gasoline (per litre)

EUR 2.06

Accommodation in Paris

Paris is a densely packed city with many neighbourhoods, each with a distinct flavour and personality. Expats searching for accommodation in Paris should take a walk through the city and explore each respective area before securing housing.

The public transport infrastructure in Paris is also one of the densest in the world, so it can be more difficult finding a place off the grid than on it. Choice of location is therefore generally a matter of price and taste more than transit convenience.

Types of accommodation in Paris

The kind of accommodation available in Paris largely depends on its location. In and around the city centre, expats will mostly find apartments and studios, while there are more houses and cottages further into the suburbs.

The main types of accommodation in Paris include:

Chambre de Bonne

A chambre de bonne is the smallest and cheapest type of accommodation in Paris. Former maids' quarters, these charming abodes are usually fully equipped with modern amenities and are often occupied by students or young professionals. It is not uncommon for a chambre de bonne to share bathroom facilities with its neighbouring apartment.


By far the most common form of accommodation in Paris, apartments are available at a wide range of prices which depend on size, quality and location. It is not unusual for people to share a multi-bedroom apartment, not only to dilute expenses but also to account for the incredibly high housing demand. Expats looking to rent an apartment in Paris can expect all the amenities associated with modern living, but older units may not include parking or central heating.

Facilities are one of the most important measures of an apartment’s quality. It's usually worth paying extra for an apartment that is individually heated, as some landlords turn off a building's heating when they go to bed.


Houses are a common choice of accommodation for expats living in the suburbs of Paris. They are frequently multi-storey and often include a garden, but can be considerably more expensive than apartments. Houses in Paris are more commonly bought than rented, but an experienced househunter shouldn't have too much difficulty finding both options available.

Finding accommodation in Paris

Finding accommodation in Paris is no different from finding a place to stay elsewhere in France. However, prices are inevitably more expensive and the competition is fiercer.

Expats looking for accommodation in the city will most likely have to deal with smaller-than-average living quarters, in spite of particularly high costs. Those on a budget are advised to either look outside the city or consider sharing an apartment.

It can be invaluable for expats searching for accommodation in Paris to connect with people over social networking sites. High demand and the unpredictable nature of classifieds lead to many property owners only advertising through their social network, so expats using their contacts or making new connections through online groups will have an edge over their competition. 

Renting accommodation in Paris

Expats living in Paris will most likely rent their accommodation, and there are several things to keep in mind while deciding whether to sign a lease.

Furnished vs unfurnished properties

Both furnished and unfurnished accommodation is available in Paris. Furnished options are inevitably more expensive and likely to be available for short-term rental. Unfurnished accommodation rarely includes appliances such as a fridge or stove. It is always important to take a full inventory of the apartment's condition on arrival. This not only simplifies matters for both tenant and landlord but also demonstrates responsibility.

Making an application

Expats seeking accommodation in Paris will need to act swiftly once they find a place because of the intense competition and demand in the city, with listings commonly being taken down minutes after going up.

A good impression with a prospective landlord can be the difference between signing a lease and having to continue the search, especially when there are dozens of other eager candidates. Expats should come prepared with all the necessary documents so they can get the ball rolling as swiftly as possible.


Standard leases in France are generally for 12 months. It is possible to negotiate shorter leases directly with the landlord, but most property owners are reluctant to do so.

The law in France mostly favours the tenant, meaning that eviction or raising the rent can be a difficult task for a landlord. A letter must be sent to the tenant at least six months prior to a rental increase, informing them of the landlord’s intentions. The landlord also has to show that the rental increase is in line with the market value of the property.


When signing a lease, expats should be sure to read the paperwork carefully in order to understand what is included in the rental price. Tenants are usually responsible for paying their own utility bills, but in the case of short-term rentals, these could be included.

French law also requires tenants living in apartment buildings to take out inexpensive rental insurance to protect against theft, fire and damage to the communal areas. The local town hall can provide more information on what this involves.


The deposit for an apartment is usually one month's rent, with the expectation that the tenants will provide two months' rent in advance in addition to this. Tenants wanting to move out must provide at least three months’ notice to the landlord, but a clause can be added to the lease to shorten this requirement. If the inventory upon the departure of the tenant shows no damage, the full deposit should be returned.

Areas and suburbs in Paris

The best places to live in Paris

Choosing an area in Paris is one of the most difficult parts of an expat's housing search. This can be a stressful process, but those who are persistent will find that there are plenty of options available to suit nearly every taste and budget.

Paris is made up of 20 neighbourhoods or arrondissements that spiral out in a snail-shell pattern from the Île de la Cité, the city’s historic centre. Parisians routinely refer to the arrondissement numbers, so expats should familiarise themselves with these.

Before spending time searching for accommodation in Paris, it’s important that expats consider exactly what they want from their Parisian neighbourhood, as the housing available in each arrondissement can differ tremendously. 

City living in Paris

Areas and Suburbs in Paris

Young professionals or expats who move to Paris for a short period often choose to make the most of their time in the city by finding accommodation in central areas. The advantage of living close to the city centre is that one can be close to major attractions and entertainment venues and also avoid a long commute to work. The downside of living in these sought-after parts is that accommodation is rather costly, small and not always easy to find. These are some of the most popular neighbourhoods for expats.

Paris Islands: Île de la Cité and Île Saint-Louis (1st and 4th arrondissements)

These two islands serve as the epicentre of Paris, with the 4th arrondissement being home to the legendary Notre Dame Cathedral. The lifestyle in these neighbourhoods is more laid back and less prone to the hustle and bustle characteristic of the rest of Paris. A lot of elderly people live here, attracted by the peacefulness and picturesque scenery along the Seine. Prices may be high but are often worth the expense.

Bourse (2nd arrondissement)

Widely thought of as the financial district, this area of Paris offers good value for money. Prices for apartments are reasonable, and it's less touristy than other areas, but it's still busy and crowded with workers travelling back and forth during peak hours. The 2nd arrondissement boasts plenty of stacked buildings, meaning more top-floor apartments and fantastic views over the city.

Saint-Germain-des-Prés (6th arrondissement)

This little gem on the left bank of the Seine is home to the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens. Apartments are on the expensive side due to its central location, views of the river, parks, famous cafés and proximity to the popular 7th arrondissement. Haussmann-style architecture reigns in the district, whereas quirkier apartments can be found in the Germain area.

The Lennon Bilingual School is situated in the 6th arrondissement.

Suburban life in Paris

Areas and Suburbs in Paris

Expats looking for a quieter life and a more authentic Parisian expat experience should explore living options in the suburbs of Paris. Here, expats will find a greater range of accommodation options that are more spacious and generally better value for money. Areas further away from the city centre also tend to be more suitable for families because of the proximity to schools and outdoor spaces. Luckily, those who choose to live in the suburbs won't need to miss out on the fun of city living. Paris's excellent transport network makes it possible for them to access all the facilities and attractions on offer without too much hassle.

9th arrondissement

While the 9th arrondissement isn't full of the typical attractions, expats will get a real insight into Parisian life. It may not be as charming as other parts of the city, but there's a good choice of apartments in this residential area. With the Opera and the Galeries-Lafayette department store on one end, and the edge of Montmartre on the other, this neighbourhood is a great base when it comes to exploring Paris. The 9th arrondissement is also home to authentic Parisian cafés and bars, so residents won't need to travel too far for entertainment.

Bastille (11th arrondissement)

The 11th arrondissement is a lively area that offers a bit of everything. To the east are the Place de la République and the Bastille, joined by the tree-lined Boulevard Richard Lenoir which offers a large market and numerous children’s parks. The more prestigious apartments are found to the west of the district. Prices around the Bastille area are on the high side, due to its popularity. To the east, apartments are more affordable.

Passy (16th arrondissement)

With its Haussman-style apartments, peaceful streets and wonderful parks, this area is extremely popular with families. The district boasts one of the city’s largest green spaces, known as Bois de Boulogne, and the Jardins du Trocadero with its beautiful gardens, just across the Seine River from the Eiffel Tower. Expats in particular are attracted to the highly regarded international schools in the Passy area which include the International School of Paris, the Marymount International School, Svenska Skolan (the Swedish School) and the Eurocole school. The American School and the German school are a short drive away, across the Seine. The 16th arrondissement is one of Paris’ most expensive districts.

Belleville (19th/20th arrondissement)

Belleville may have historically been a working-class neighbourhood which was home to a range of different ethnic communities, but it's fast developing into a popular place to live in Paris. As is the case in major cities across Europe, Paris is gentrifying, and Belleville has become a zone for artists and entrepreneurs looking for an affordable base. Expats will find that rental prices are lower here, but residents certainly won't lose out when it comes to the exciting atmosphere and great dining options, as it has a fabulous range of affordable ethnic eateries. This is the place to be for an adventurous expat.


Croissy-sur-Seine is a historic and scenic town 6 miles (10km) to the west of Paris. It affords easy access to the city while also offering more affordable housing. T​he excellent RER A train line gets passengers into the city centre in just twenty minutes, and to La Défense in less. There is a large English-speaking community, and the British School of Paris makes this pleasant suburb particularly popular with British expats. The pretty town centre retains many of its old buildings, including a château, and there are several parks, many along the Seine. 


Saint-Germain-en-Laye is situated in the western suburbs of Paris, in the department of Yvelines, 12 miles (19km) from the city centre, and just 30 minutes away by train. This historic town is still dominated by the château, which was the birthplace of kings of France until Louis XIV moved the royal court to the newly built Versailles. The town centre is largely pedestrianised and is packed with interesting boutiques and fantastic restaurants. With the nearby parks and forests, there are loads of things to do for families with children.

Expats can choose to live in a charming house with a garden in a residential neighbourhood or in a beautiful apartment in the centre. Rental prices in Saint-Germain-en-Laye are well above the average for Yvelines, but compared to the centre of Paris they are very affordable. The best time to look for a rental property is in April and May, when many families give their notice ahead of the new school year.

Many expat families choose to live here due to the proximity of the Lycée International de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, which is a public school that offers a unique bilingual education system that has programmes for native speakers in 14 nationalities, including American and British sections. The nearby suburb of Maisons-Laffitte is home to the Ermitage International School of France, which offers a fully bilingual French/English program from preschool through to high school. It follows the French curriculum and also has an English IB program. The nearby Forest International School offers education that is inspired by the Waldorf-Steiner and Montessori systems. The British School is situated in Croissy-sur-Seine, which is a relatively short drive away.

Healthcare in Paris

As in most of France, healthcare in Paris is exemplary and often flagged as a benchmark for both developed and developing countries. The World Health Organization rated it as one of the best in the world, and both locals and foreigners regularly attest to the high standard of care received efficiently and affordably.

Expats living in Paris will find a comprehensive network of public and private healthcare facilities available. Those who qualify for the state-sponsored public health insurance system can enjoy the substantial coverage it offers.

Expats are free to choose their doctor in Paris. Most practise privately but uphold rates negotiated by the national government. A few may charge over and above this, especially if they are specialists addressing a niche medical matter.

Below is a list of prominent hospitals in Paris.

Hospitals in Paris

American Hospital of Paris

Address: 55 Bd du Château, 92200 Neuilly-sur-Seine, Paris

Hertford British Hospital
Address: 3 Rue Barbès, 92300 Levallois-Perret, Paris

Hôpital Foch
Address: 40 Rue Worth, 92150 Suresnes, Paris

Education and Schools in Paris

Paris is home to many of the world’s top-rated schools and educational institutions. Expats placing their children in schools in Paris will find a high-quality and demanding level of education. Public schooling in France is free for expats who can provide proof of residence, and private schools and universities are often subsidised. Non-residents may have to pay tuition fees as the schools are financed through tax.

Schooling in Paris is an official requirement from age six, but many parents send their children to school much earlier. The collèges cater for children 11 to 15 years old, with lycées for the 15 to 18-year-olds. The baccalaureate, or le bac, is the finishing diploma for schooling in Paris, and performance in this exam determines access to higher education.

The schooling culture in Paris emphasises academic excellence and usually allows the teacher to preside over their domain with little input from parents. This may be difficult for expats to adjust to, and parents would do well to discuss these differences with their children before they enter into the schooling system.

Public schools in Paris

Expats legally residing in France are entitled to send their child to a public school in Paris at no cost. However, few expats take advantage of this option, partly because of the language barrier and also because most expats only move to the city for a few years.

For those looking to settle down in Paris for the longer term, it's worth exploring this option. Beyond monetary considerations, the most significant advantage of enrolling an expat child at a public school in Paris is that it allows them to become fluent in French, which in turn helps them integrate into French society faster.

That said, picking up a new language is easier for younger children. Older children who don’t already speak French often find attending public schools in France overwhelming because of the language barrier. While some schools do offer extra language classes to help bring foreign students up to speed, this remains relatively rare.

The standards of public schools vary considerably in Paris. Better schools tend to be located in more affluent areas. Generally, class sizes at public schools are large, and one teacher for 30 students is quite common.

Private schools in Paris

Private schools can be a great middle-ground option for expats, especially as many of these provide classes taught in English as well as in French. There are two types of private schools in France: those that have contracts with the government and those that don't. A private school may ease a child's transition into French culture, especially for those from substantially different backgrounds.

As fees can be subsidised by the government, expats find that private school fees in France are often cheaper than those at an equivalent school in their home country.

International schools in Paris

Paris is also home to several international schools. These are popular among expats who are only in Paris for a short period and have plans to return to their home country. International schools in Paris offer a range of curricula including British, American and International Baccalaureate.

The benefit of sending expat children to international schools is that it allows them to have a degree of continuity in their studies, which can ease their adjustment to life in a new country. It also allows them to mix with other expat students who might face similar challenges.

Standards at international schools in Paris are excellent. These also offer a wide range of extra-curricular activities including sports, music and art. Fees at international schools in Paris tend to be high, so expats should negotiate an allowance to cover these within their employment contract, if possible.

Homeschooling in Paris

Homeschooling, or l'école à la maison, is legal in France. That said, expats wishing to pursue this option must register annually with the school inspectorate. Parents who choose to homeschool their children will also be subject to yearly inspections by the local education authority to ensure that students are receiving an adequate standard of education.

Several support groups and homeschooling organisations assist those who choose to homeschool their expat children in Paris.

Tutoring in Paris

The private tutoring industry in Paris is on the rise. While most tutors offer one-on-one sessions, some services provide small group sessions. The French government has taken steps to regulate the private tutoring industry, but parents should work through a reputable tutoring agency to ensure that the teachers are properly equipped to teach their children.

Finding a tutor suitably qualified to teach French and International Baccalaureate curricula is fairly easy in Paris. However, fewer tutors can assist with other national curricula, such as the British or American. 

Parents will find that their children’s school and other expat parents may be a good starting point for sourcing qualified private tutors. Axiom Academic is a global tutoring database which offers access to many tutors throughout Paris.

Special-needs education in Paris

The infrastructure in place to support people with special needs in Paris is fairly well established. Where possible, both public and private schools in France try to cater to the needs of students with special needs through the use of specialist teaching assistants. The Maison Départmenetale des Personnes Handicapeés (MDPH) is the organisation charged with evaluating a child's special needs. They work with the Commission des Droits et de l'autonomie des Personnes Handicapeés (CDAPH) to create a personalised learning plan.

When a special-needs student can’t be accommodated at a mainstream school, there is the option of a specialised school or private tutor. The availability of additional staff and facilities to cater for students with special needs often depends on the school as well as the area in which it's located. It is therefore important for parents of students with special needs to investigate the availability of appropriate facilities when selecting a school in Paris.

Tertiary education in Paris

The French tertiary education system is divided into grandes écoles and universities, with the former being more prestigious.

Unlike many other countries, universities in France are specialised rather than general. This means that students choose to attend universities based on their subject choice. For example, the École Polytechnique is an engineering school, while HEC Paris is a business school. The University of Paris is a world-leading tertiary education institution specialising in the humanities.

Public institutions such as the Polytechnique have set fees and receive subsidies from the government, so costs are kept relatively low. For private universities in Paris, such as HEC Paris, costs can be significantly higher.

International Schools in Paris

International schools in Paris cater to expats from all over the world, offering the curricula of various countries. The International Baccalaureate is popular, as are the American High School Diploma (including the SATs and Advanced Placement) and the English National Curriculum (including the Cambridge IGCSE and A-levels).

Most international schools in Paris have a diverse student body, with a range of nationalities represented. This means that, even if parents prefer their children to continue with a curriculum from home, they will still have a unique multicultural experience in Paris. Another advantage of international schools is the high standard of facilities, teaching and support resources, particularly for non-English speakers.

Applications are accepted year-round at international schools, but space isn't always available. Places at the best schools fill up quickly, and it's a good idea to get in touch with them directly and apply as early as possible. The high demand for places means that the best schools can also charge steep fees.

Many of the best international schools in Paris are located in the western part of the city, in the 7th, 8th, 15th and 16th arrondissements. The popular, affluent suburb of Saint-Germain-en-Laye also has a cluster of international schools.

Below is a list of popular international schools in Paris.

Best international schools in Paris

American School of Paris

The American School of Paris has more than 70 years of history. Facilities are top-notch, giving students all the resources they need for a high-quality education. Small class sizes come standard, allowing teachers to give students individualised attention. Read more

Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: American and International Baccalaureate
Ages: 3 to 18

The British School of Paris

Founded in 1954, the British School of Paris was France's first UK-curriculum school. Today, the school continues to offer high standards of education across two campuses in Croissy-sur-Seine. The school's extra-curricular programme is packed with variety. Students are encouraged to explore areas such as sport, theatre, music, art, community service and student leadership. Read more

Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: English National Curriculum, Cambridge IGCSE and A-levels
Ages: 3 to 18

Internationale Deutsche Schule Paris

Situated in the lush suburb of Saint-Cloud, Internationale Deutsche Schule Paris offers the German national curriculum as well as a blended German-French curriculum. Students can earn the AbiBac, a dual-diploma consisting of the German Abitur and the French Baccalauréat, or they can elect to earn just the German Abitur. German-language support is available for non-native speakers. Read more

Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: German and French
Ages: 4 to 18

Svenska Skolan Paris

Svenska Skolan Paris teaches the national curriculum of Sweden from preschool through to upper secondary school. The school aims to expose students to French society, culture and language while offering a proudly Swedish education. Svenska Skolan Paris is especially popular with families from Nordic countries. Read more

Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: Swedish
Ages: 3 to 18


This unique school offers a trilingual education where students are taught in three languages daily, beginning in preschool. The languages available are French, English and German or Spanish. For pupils not proficient in French, there's a comprehensive French as a Foreign Language programme, which consists of daily one-on-one tutoring. Read more

Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: French
Ages: 3 to 18

Forest International School

Forest International School's child-centred approach to education is ideal for expat parents looking for an individualised and personalised experience. The language of instruction is English, with French as a compulsory additional language in preschool and primary school. Read more

Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: English National Curriculum,  International Primary Years and International Middle Years
Ages: 2 to 15

International School of Paris

A prestigious school with more than 50 years of history, the International School of Paris is a diverse school with no one dominant nationality. The student body is made up of more than 65 different nationalities and has a good mix of local and international students. Read more

Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: International Baccalaureate 
Ages: 3 to 18

Lennen Bilingual School Paris

Teaching at Lenne Bilingual School Paris is done in a mix of French and English from preschool right up to the end of primary school. The school's child-centred philosophy nurtures academic progress alongside other personal aspects of development with the goal of producing well-rounded, self-assured students. Read more

Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: Independent
Ages: 2 to 11

Marymount International School, Paris

This not-for-profit school is part of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary network of international schools. Marymount International School offers fully accredited standards-based Catholic education from Pre-K to Grade 8. Read more

Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: American (Catholic)
Ages: 2 to 14

Lifestyle in Paris

Paris offers a famously romantic and exciting lifestyle for expats to enjoy, with hundreds of first-rate restaurants, some of the best shopping in the world and a stylish nightlife scene. Expats in Paris will have no trouble at all finding places to see or things to do in the city.

Nightlife in Paris

The City of Lights truly comes alive at night, with many distinct areas catering to their own type of night owl. Expats looking to dress the part and try their hand at getting into swanky high-end clubs should meander down the famous Champs-Élysées, a notable stamping ground of Parisian wealth and beauty.

Those after a more relaxed atmosphere should head to Marais and Bastille, which are host to a wonderful selection of bars and clubs and popular with the city’s international community. The more alternative expats in search of live rock and industrial atmosphere may prefer the Grands Boulevards, which have a variety of great venues.

As a general rule, bars in Paris start filling up around 10pm and are open until around 2am, whereas clubs tend to pick up around midnight and continue until 4am.

Expats wanting a uniquely Parisian night out could catch a cabaret show at the world-famous Moulin Rouge, located in the city district of Pigalle, or a production of l’Opera National de Paris at the Palais Garnier.

Shopping in Paris

Paris is a perfect destination for shopaholics, as it presents plenty of opportunities to peruse aisles and lighten wallets. Expats can browse the boutiques along Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré for some of the best in haute couture, or stroll down the Rue Étienne Marcel for chic high-end fashion.

The Champs-Élysées area is home to the famous Guerlain Parfumerie as well as several malls. Les Halles underground mall features cheap knock-offs and trendy wares. There are several fantastic flea markets near the city gates to explore, as well as open-air markets trading in fresh produce, flowers and clothing.

Eating out in Paris

Paris has plenty of restaurants and cafés to suit all palates. As one of the world's culinary capitals, Paris is famed for its gourmet eateries. The city’s many pâtisseries also prove that food as an art form is alive and well.

The French are famous for their food, but those expats who've had their fill of croissants and crème brûlée won't struggle to find restaurants offering international cuisines such as Chinese, Indian, Italian and Thai.

Outdoor activities in Paris

With a culture as serious about its leisure time as the French, it's no wonder that Paris has plenty to offer those looking to spend the day outdoors. The city’s climate is highly seasonal, though, so the outdoor activities available often depend on the time of year.

Paris is home to many parks in which expats can enjoy leisurely strolls throughout the year. Parc de la Villette is a particular favourite, as throughout the summer months a large screen is put up for Parisians to relax and watch classic films. The selection usually includes English as well as French cinema, and a screening can be a great place to enjoy a picnic. While open-air movies aren't available in Paris during the winter, expats wanting to spend time outdoors during the frosty months can instead enjoy numerous ice-skating rinks around the city.

Meeting people in Paris

Making friends in a new city can be daunting. One of the best ways to start meeting like-minded people is to join a local club or meet-up group. Here are a few suggestions.

The Immigrant Book Club

Joining a book club is the best way for book lovers to make friends in Paris. The Immigrant Book Club meets monthly to discuss contemporary English literature.

Les Restos du Coeur

What better way to meet good people than by volunteering? Formed in 1985, 'The Restaurants of the Heart' is an association devoted to helping the poor, particularly in terms of distributing free meals, and they're always looking for helping hands.

Let's Run Paris!

Joining a running club is a great way to stay in shape and meet people at the same time. Founded by marathoners and half-marathoners, Let's Run Paris now trains for races starting from 5km to full marathons, and participants can join a variety of pace groups.

Expats in Paris – Solidarity Facebook group

With over 50,000 members, Expats in Paris is a great public group for expats to ask for and provide each other with help.

Kids and Family in Paris

Expat families in Paris will find that the city has a wonderful selection of attractions for parents and kids to enjoy together. Indeed, with a range of theme parks, museums and outdoor attractions, France's capital city has something for everyone.

Entertainment for kids in Paris

Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris first opened in 1992 and consists of two parks: Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios. Those who have been to either Disneyland or Disney World in the US might be disappointed by the size of Disneyland Paris. However, it still offers plenty for the whole family to enjoy and is well worth the cost.

Just outside the gates of the theme park is the Disney Village, which leads to one of four resorts. A number of special events are held in the park for annual festivities, such as Halloween and Christmas. Walt Disney Studios is also geared towards children. Kids can ride on almost all the rides without adults.

Musée Grévin (Paris Wax Museum)

The Musée Grévin is one of Europe's oldest wax museums and currently boasts several life-sized wax figures, from Leonardo da Vinci to Marilyn Monroe and former French president Nicolas Sarkozy. This is a fun and unique outing for kids and parents to enjoy. The museum's Kids Discovery tour allows the young ones to learn about how wax artists bring famous personalities to life.

Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie (Museum of Science and Industry)

Parc de la Villette, in the northern tip of the city, is a vast museum dedicated to having fun while learning about science. The Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie regularly curates exhibitions designed to capture children's imaginations and adults' curiosity. Special exhibitions for younger children and young adults guarantee that no one in the family will be bored.

Jardin d'Acclimatation

This amusement park and garden hosts a house of mirrors, an archery range, a miniature golf course, zoo animals, a puppet theatre, shooting galleries and La Prévention Routiere, a miniature roadway operated by the Paris police. Expats worn out by all the attractions can always enjoy the garden, which is full of beautiful flowers and grassy areas to picnic, as well as a lagoon where boats can be rented.

Gaîté Lyrique

This modern cultural institution is devoted to exploring mixed media and digital art forms. Located within a beautifully restored 19th-century theatre in the Marais neighbourhood, the Gaîté Lyrique has a rotating calendar of events ranging from music and multimedia performances to design, fashion and architectural exhibitions. There is even an interactive room dedicated to video games. Older kids will enjoy the colourful and stimulating exhibits that often focus on aspects of play.


Not far from the Eiffel Tower sits this state-of-the-art aquarium, which boasts the largest tank in France. Complete with projection rooms, live shows and hands-on workshops, children and parents alike will be entertained and educated about underwater life.

See and Do in Paris

Expats moving to Paris will certainly be familiar with some of the city’s iconic landmarks, but there is much more than meets the eye in this romantic city. The City of Lights has so many hidden treasures and an impressive array of activities to pursue.

Expats can cruise along the Seine, spend an hour over coffee and cake at a sidewalk café, or watch the street performers in any of the many city squares. There are also some lesser-known museums and galleries to visit, as well as beautiful gardens to enjoy. 

Recommended attractions in Paris

Eiffel Tower

The first stop for any expat in Paris has to be the world-famous Eiffel Tower. Stunning panoramic views of the city can be enjoyed from its top observation deck.


Dating back to 1163 AD, the Gothic cathedral of Notre-Dame is a quintessential Paris landmark and is a wonderful attraction for expats to spend the day exploring. Renovations after the devastating fire in 2019 are well underway, and the iconic cathedral will, if all goes to plan, be restored to its former glory by 2024.

Musée du Louvre

One of the world’s most famous art museums, the Louvre is a fascinating place for expats to discover the beautiful paintings, sculptures and antiquities that have made their way here from all over the globe.

Arc de Triomphe

The impressive Arc de Triomphe is a must-see for expats in Paris. The landmark is set within a star-shaped arrangement of picturesque avenues.

Musée Rodin

This museum features a collection of Auguste Rodin’s marble sculptures, some of the most famous being The Kiss and The Thinker. Paintings by Van Gogh, Renoir and Manet are also on display at the museum.

Jardin des Plantes

The expansive Jardin des Plantes is a beautiful botanical garden for expats to relax in. The more adventurous can also explore its labyrinth maze.

Les Invalides

Built by Louis XIV in 1670, Les Invalides dome is the burial site for many of France's war heroes, including the famous Napoleon Bonaparte.

Pompidou Centre

The ultramodern Pompidou Centre is home to the Musée National d'Art Moderne, as well as cinemas and theatres that host a variety of arts performances.

Musée d'Orsay

This is the place for expats to see a vast collection of art from the 19th and early 20th centuries, including art-nouveau, impressionist and post-impressionist pieces.

What's On in Paris

The City of Lights is alive throughout the year with a variety of festivals, events and celebrations. Below are some of the best annual events to attend in Paris.

Annual events in Paris

World Circus Festival of Tomorrow (January/February)

Some of the world’s best circus performers gather at the World Circus Festival of Tomorrow (Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain), held in the early year, to put on a great show for young and old alike.

Paris Marathon (April)

The Paris Marathon welcomes runners from all around the globe who descend on the city to run 26.2 miles (42.2km) through famous landmarks such as the Champs-Élysées, the Tuileries garden and the Place de la Bastille. For the less athletic expats, it's still worth being a spectator at the event.

Fête de la Musique (June)

This annual celebration commemorates the summer solstice by turning all of Paris into one big party. Countless bands and performers take to the streets, cafés and bars throughout the longest day of the year and the following night to celebrate music, life, love and all things Parisian.

Bastille Day (July)

Commemorating the French Revolution, Bastille Day is celebrated on 14 July each year with ceremonies, dancing, parties and balls at venues throughout the city.

Tour de France (July)

In July each year, the eagerly anticipated and much-publicised Tour de France cycle race rides into town. Spectators line the streets, and the atmosphere in the city is always electric during this famous race.

Paris Banlieues Tango (November)

This vibrant festival transforms Paris into a tango extravaganza throughout November. Expats can enjoy numerous performances by some of the world’s best dancers, and they can also don their best dancing shoes and partake in the many lessons and workshops available around the city.

Frequently Asked Questions about Paris

Although Paris is often seen as a dream holiday destination, moving to the city on a long-term basis can be daunting. Here are some frequently asked questions posed by prospective expats who are considering a move to Paris.

How safe is Paris?

Pickpockets are the most common danger in Paris, especially as they tend to target foreigners. When one person bumps into another in a public place, they may well be searching them for valuables. If spending a considerable amount of time in prime tourist areas, expats should keep smaller amounts of money in several places, such as an ankle pouch, bag and wallet, to avoid flashing too much cash. Taxis are also notorious for ripping off tourists, so agree on a fare before getting in or insist that the driver use the meter. The city experienced horrific terror attacks a few years ago, and visitors and expats can't discount the possibility of it occurring again, but Paris is generally considered much safer nowadays.

Do I need a car?

No. Paris and France have the highest density of public transport in the world, making cars a real luxury. If personal transport is needed, the Velib bicycle-sharing system allows for rapid movement in areas not otherwise covered. Bicycles are well respected and accommodated on the roads. Using a combination of public transport services can move a pedestrian around Paris faster than by car.

Is Paris expensive?

The cost of living in Paris is one of the highest in the world. However, it must be said that a resident who knows the tricks of the city can live reasonably well without paying the same prices that tourists face. Salaries tend to match the high cost of living, and expats who manage to find employment in Paris will enjoy lucrative salaries in France.

Do I need to be able to speak French?

While the large majority of people in Paris speak English, learning French will certainly help expats have a more fruitful experience. Locals will appreciate the effort, which will help when it comes to building a social circle. Moreover, fluency in French is essential to success in the working world. While being able to speak a foreign language is a valuable skill, fluency in the local language gives expats the ability to form worthwhile interpersonal relationships and greater social networks in Paris.

How do I get around the city?

The train system is split in two. The Metro covers the city centre, and the RER travels out into the suburbs. The Navigo smart card has replaced the Carte Orange that used to be the standard month-long pass. This pass allows the user onto any of the Parisian transport systems, including the subway, express trains, trams, buses and can even be used for the Velib bicycle system.

The Navigo can be linked to a bank account which is then charged every month, or it can be used as a pay-as-you-go smart card. A month pass for the whole of Greater Paris, Zones 1–5, costs around EUR 125, but the price may vary according to which zones are crossed. For most expats living close to the city, a cheaper ticket for only Zones 1 and 2 is sufficient.

Are Parisians rude?

Disturbing or interrupting Parisians often elicits a rude response, but they're generally not rude by nature. Stopping people on the street also sometimes elicits an irritated reaction. However, if help is needed, approaching a local store clerk in basic French will prove worthwhile and will usually make for a congenial encounter.

Parisians do not generally enjoy conversing in English. Expats are advised to learn as much French as possible. At a minimum, one must be able to say 'Bonjour, parlez-vous Anglais?' (Hello, do you speak English?). More often than not, this will elicit a helpful reply and will show the locals the respect they expect.

Getting Around in Paris

Getting around in Paris is easy and relatively inexpensive on the city’s extensive and efficient public transport network of buses, trains, Metro and trams. With public transport covering all corners of the city, there's really no need for expats to own a car in Paris. It's also worth noting that driving in Paris can often be a hair-raising experience. 

Public transport in Paris

Most of the transport network in Paris is run by government-subsidised RATP (Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens). The rest of the RER and Transilien are run by the state-owned SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français), whose rail network covers the whole of France. Using the different transport systems interchangeably is relatively easy, as tickets are usually valid across all systems.


Public transport in Paris is divided into six zones, and prices vary depending on how many zones one travels across. Various packages are available. Which one an expat chooses will depend on the length of their stay in the city and the frequency of their travel on public transport.

For those staying in Paris for the long term, the most cost-effective way of using public transport is to get a travel card that allows unlimited travel on the Metro, RER and buses. These can be loaded on a weekly (Navigo Découverte) or monthly (Navigo Mensuel) basis and can be recharged at Navigo machines found in most Metro and RER stations. To buy a Navigo card, travellers need proof of their Parisian address and a passport photo.

Tickets are also sold at kiosks and automated machines in Metro and RER stations. It's usually more economical to buy a package of 10 tickets (carnet de dix). Tickets have to be inserted at the turnstiles in the subway and RER stations or shown to the driver on a bus. Children under the age of four travel free, and kids aged four to 10 years are charged half price.


The lauded Paris Metro (Metropolitan) is one of the most extensive in the world, consisting of 16 lines and around 300 stations across the city. Metro stations are marked with a big 'M' or 'Metro' sign. Exits from stations are indicated by the white-on-blue sortie (exit) signs.

Metro lines are identified on maps by number and colour, with the direction of travel indicated by the name of the destination terminal. Parisians usually refer to the line number. The Metro runs from 5.30am to 12.40am from Sunday to Thursday and 5.30am to 2.30am on Fridays and Saturdays.

Metro cars aren't air-conditioned, so they can be uncomfortably hot during the hot summer months, especially during rush hour when they are packed with commuters. Metro lines 1, 4 and 13 are normally the most congested during this time.


The RER (Réseau Express Régional) is a network of regional trains that run through the heart of Paris into the suburbs of the city and throughout the wider Île-de-France region. The RER has five lines in Paris, labelled from A to E. Different branches of these lines are labelled by number.

The RER trains are faster than the Metro, but this is mostly because there are fewer stops along the way. This system runs daily from 5.30am to 1am, and links up and shares stations with the Metro in places.

In addition to the RER system, there are many suburban train lines (Transilien) departing from the main train stations.


Paris has a well-developed bus network, interconnecting all suburban areas. Bus routes are numbered, and buses usually run from 6.30am to 9.30pm, though some lines also run till midnight. Although buses cover a wider area than the Metro, they have to contend with traffic and can take considerably longer to reach their intended destination.

Night buses, known as Noctilien, typically operate hourly between 12.30am and 5.30am and every 30 minutes over weekends. Most of the lines leave from Place du Châtelet and serve the main Metro and RER stations as well as major streets.


The tram network in Paris has undergone development in recent years. The city currently has 13 tram lines, some of which travel far into the suburbs.

Taxis and ride-sharing services in Paris

Taxis in Paris are comparatively cheap and easy to hail on the street. They are visible by the sign on the roof of the car, which is lit up if they are vacant. There are also numerous taxi stations throughout the city, and they can be booked ahead of time over the phone. Expats should be aware that the meter may start running from the moment the taxi driver heads to the pick-up point.

Ride-sharing services such as Uber are readily available in Paris. These can be a particularly helpful option for expats who can't speak French, as they lower the risk of miscommunication with drivers.

Cycling in Paris

Paris has become a cyclist-friendly city, and cyclists are generally respected on the road. The city’s Velib bicycle hire scheme has made over 20,000 bicycles available at hire points across the city. A bicycle can be picked up at one point in the city and returned to another. Bicycles can be hired for a day or a week, allowing for an unlimited number of journeys during that time. More recently, the scheme has expanded to include electric bikes in an attempt to encourage a broader demographic to take up the more environmentally friendly option.

Driving in Paris

Driving in Paris can be a scary experience. Traffic is often congested, and finding parking can be frustrating and expensive, especially in popular tourist areas. Most Parisians don’t own cars, rather opting to use the city’s extensive public transport network. Expats driving in Paris who want to park on the streets will need a Paris Carte (prepaid card), as parking meters don’t take coins.