10 Reasons to Move to Paris
Paris is the city of love. The love for good food and good drink. The love for romance and fairy tales. The love for good company and party. The love for life.
There are many things to be said about Paris and its lifestyle: memorable, elegant, outstanding, magnificent. It offers all kinds of attractions from Euro Disney to the Catacombs near the Gates of Hell. Along with the 13 million tourists visiting every year, Paris creates great opportunities for business and employment.
Currently, about 2.5 million people live in urban areas of Paris and another 12 million in the suburban areas. Paris is the capital of the second biggest European economy and one of the ten leading economies in the world. At least a quarter of France’s GDP is generated in Paris, and despite being relatively expensive, it’s still 20% cheaper to live there than London. That includes rent, transportation, food, entertainment and of course – shopping.
Here are the top 10 main reasons you should move to Paris:
1. Balance between work and free time
Every self-respecting Frenchman will tell you that “We work to live, not the opposite.” And you can see that best in Paris. The official country policy capped the working week to 35-hours and if you work a minute more – you’d be paid double. So, Parisians are making the most of their time spending it on long lunch breaks in the parks or touring the markets after work. Plus, you are allowed 5 weeks paid holiday and 13 public holidays. On average, the French work less, but they are still more productive than most of the employees in Europe. Maybe that’s why they also retire about 4 years earlier than British workers.
2. Social benefits, taxes and health care
Around 30% of the taxes paid in France go to welfare and social funds. The country is famous for its generous childcare and family allowances. If you’re not earning a lot, especially living in Paris, you can get up to €240 per month help for rent, which can be about €1,142 per month for a 45m2 apartment. Additionally, there is something called a double taxation agreement available for expats who live in Paris less than 183 days a year and receiving salary from abroad. That allows you to pay taxes in your home country and avoid being taxed once again in France.
The healthcare overall in the country is one of the best in Europe. Up to 70% of the cost is covered by the state. The access to the system is via “carte vitale” which includes social security, medical insurance and family information.
3. Parks and gardens
There are 421 municipal parks and gardens in Paris, covering more than three thousand hectares of the city’s territory. If you’re a nature lover, you’ll never get bored exploring those wonderful places with breathtakingly lovely flower arrangements, green-bush sculptures or just silent woods with ancient trees. Some of the city’s landmarks are the secret orchid fields in the Luxembourg Gardens, and the waterfalls and cliffs of Parc des Buttes-Chaumont grottos, right in the centre of the capital.
Building structures over 37 meters (121 feet) in Paris was banned between the years of 1977 and 2010. The ban was issued shortly after the highly disliked 210m (689 feet) Tour Montparnasse was built.
In 2010, the ban was increased even further to 180m (590 feet), however, the tallest building in the city still remains the Eifel Tower with its staggering 324m (1,063 feet) height. Paris architecture with its Beaux-Arts, Gothic and Romantic buildings, façades and small street passages always have something interesting to offer even for the non-enthusiast. And who knows, maybe the magic of the city will transfer you into another era, just like the character in Woody Allen’s film “Midnight in Paris”.
Good news! While living in Paris, you can save money on petrol by using the perfectly organised public transport system. There are 3 ways of moving around Paris -via the Metro, buses or the RER (Suburban railway system) which can take you anywhere within the city for as little as €1.80 for a single journey. There are options for obtaining combined tickets as well. If you need to go into the residential areas, you can take the commuter rail (Trains de banlieue in French). You can also use the train to visit other French cities or nearby European capitals such as Brussels. If you miss rainy London, just hop on the La Manche train or ferry and you can be there within 2 hours. The North of Spain isn’t too far away either, so if you are more adventurous, you can try the overnight bus, which for about €60.00 for a return ticket, gives you an opportunity to enjoy the stunning views from both countries while traveling. All possible routes and best ways to get to certain destinations, you can visit on the goeuro website.
Apart from the well-known fashion houses like Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent, Paris offers thousands of possibilities for finding your own clothing style in many shopping areas that are spread around the capital. If you’d like to discover your true Parisian self, then you can try one of the three favourite shopping areas that the Parisians love. Starting with Rue de Charronne, right behind the Bastille, you will fall into a world of small fashion boutiques and quirky independent shops.
The next place to visit is Canal Saint Martin, which is situated between Rue de Marseille and Rue Beaurepaire. This is the place for new brands and up and coming designers.
And finally, if you’re feeling your inner tailor calling you from within, the place to be is Marché St. Pierre in Montmartre – for a wide variety of everything you’d need for your own personal style.
When it comes to food, France, particularly Paris, is a place where even the most discerning foodies will be satisfied. From the baguettes you can buy from street vending machines, to the patisseries where chocolate is made using 150-year old techniques, Parisians celebrate the love for food on every corner of the city.
Being a new Parisian, probably the best way to understand the French love for good food is by visiting the food markets.
Here are 3 places to start with:
Marché des Enfants Rouges is a famous indoor market located on the Rue de Bretagne. It has a bit of a dark history of being an orphanage in the 16th century. After a renovation project in the late 90s, it opened as a food market. There you’ll find examples of African, Lebanese and Japanese cuisine. Fresh fish and fresh flowers are also offered, and if you have spare time you can always enjoy a lunch on one of the many terraces of the market.
The Marché Rue d’Aligre outdoor market is a local favourite. Apart from fresh fruit and veg, there are stands with take-away food and vintage clothes. The market is also connected to the covered Marché Beauvau market where you can find Parisian artisan cheeses.
Marché Biologique des Batignolles is one the first organic markets in Paris on the Boulevard des Batignolles, offering not only a wide range of fruits, vegetables, wines, essential oils, cheese and meat, but also the unique experience of meeting the farmers and producers themselves.
8. Culture and leisure
From sophisticated experiences, such as going to the opera and visiting art galleries, to open-area mime acts and artistic street performances, you’ll never get bored in Paris.
Le Lucernaire is definitely one place to go. With theatres, cinemas, bookshops and exhibition places with bars and restaurants, this cultural hub can provide all day activities for those gloomy days when sitting at home isn’t too appealing.
9. Finding new friends
Despite having the reputation of being a bit superior-minded, Parisians are actually very open-minded people who don’t judge by social status and financial means. If you are looking for a new social environment, you can visit meetupParis. It’s a platform where you can join hundreds of meetings with locals and foreigners living in the capital. Another great option is eatwith where you can visit someone’s home and spend a few hours enjoying good food and good company.
10. More reasons to move to Paris:
11. Dogs are allowed in restaurants
12. Doggie water fountains on the street
13. Amazing weather
14. People don’t get moving until 1 o’clock in the afternoon
15. Drinking is acceptable from the time you get up until the time you go to sleep