Relocating to France from any country is easy due to the superb international connections the country has. However, this does not mean that there aren’t any factors that you need to consider before finalising your decision to make the move. That said, here are 5 things about France that we think you will find useful to know:
Cost of Living
While France certainly isn’t an inexpensive city to live in, it is relatively more affordable to live here than in Australia or Germany. It all depends on where you choose to make your home. Living in the centre of Paris will obviously be much costlier than living in the suburbs.
On average, the consumer price index is at 103.50. The rent index is at 36.82 while the groceries index is at 89.17. The restaurants index is marked is at 96 while the local purchasing power is at 90.03. What do these indexes mean? Before anything else it is important to understand that the aforementioned indexes are relative to New York City. For instance, the rent index of France is 36.82. This means that rent rates in France are 63.18% less expensive than in NYC; while an imaginary index of 110 would mean that rent rates are 10% more expensive than in NYC.
First things first, let’s talk about Paris. Paris has been described as the most romantic city in the world. When it comes to architecture, art and cuisine, one would be hard-pressed to find a city quite as iconic as Paris. Home to the Notre Dame and beloved Eiffel Tower, it’s no wonder everybody wants a taste of Paris.
Located in the southeast of France, Marseilles is the second most densely populated city in the country. Marseilles gives one an authentic French experience and the Longchamp Castle, Borely Park and Stade Velodrome are only some of the many landmarks that can be found here.
As the place where King Louis XIV once lived, it’s no wonder Versailles has no shortage of visitors. Gardens, fountains and restaurants are all very commonplace in this city and are well suited for people who have a taste for the luxurious and decadent.
Nice is another popular city in France. It is considered the capital of Cote D’Azur—France’s Mediterranean border district. This is the place to move to in Paris if beaches, relaxation and sophistication are your thing.
Customs and Traditions Unique to France
The French are generally quite formal people, much more than Americans or Britons. It is not uncommon for people at the office to shake hands with their colleagues, both upon arrival and at their departure. Greetings are traditional—it is polite and courteous to use bonjour (good morning/good day), bon soir (good evening), or salut (hello).
Social kissing is prevalent throughout France. Children will expect to be kissed. Wait for a woman to offer her cheek to you but generally it is customary for women to kiss women and men to kiss women. Bring flowers or chocolate if you are invited to a French person’s home. It may be best not to take wine as some hosts may interpret this as a sign that you do not trust their taste in wine.
The French customarily pour drinks for their guests. This is null only when it comes to water. Do not be alarmed when the French stand too close to you while engaged in conversation. This is just the way they are. It is impolite to ask a person you have just met what they do for a living as the answer is indicative of their salary.
5 Websites That Are Useful
1. British Embassy in France. For any concerns that may arise, whether major or minor, it is important to have the contact information of your embassy on hand. The British Embassy is located in Paris, the capital of France.
2. French Laws. A guide to French laws; the Constitution, Legal Guides, and other general sources that you might find useful.
3. TripAdvisor. There’s not a more reliable website out there for when it comes to travel advice. Whether you have a question about the least expensive method of transport to get to from one city or region to another or you want to do your homework on hotels in France for your holiday, this is the website to visit. It is sure to come in handy as you map out your French travels.
4. Essentials of Moving to France. Very informative website on how to move to France. Includes country facts and tips on employment, housing, education, kids, health and fitness, and more.
5. Moving to France Forum. Provides an avenue for you to ask about anything under the sun about France; the migration process, and anything else on your mind.
5 Landmarks to Visit in Your First Year
1. Eiffel Tower. Truth be told, this goes without saying. Built by Gustave Eiffel in 1889, few people think of Paris without this iconic structure coming to mind. Over 200,000,000 people around the world have visited the Tower Eiffel.
2. Versailles. Up until October of 1789, the Palace of Versailles was the official residence of the Kings of France. Amazingly, its beauty has been successfully preserved up to this very day.
3. St. Tropez. Wildly expensive and decadent, St. Tropez is well known for being a favourite destination of models and millionaires. In other words, it is the playground and getaway of the rich and famous. It is an extremely picturesque village with gorgeous beaches.
4. Louvre Museum. Whether or not you are an art enthusiast, there is something for you to see here at the Louvre Museum. Home to the iconic Mona Lisa, the Seated Scribe and the Large Sphinx, undoubtedly there will be something to keep you mesmerised.
5. Basilique du Sacre-Coeur. Located in the charming and idyllic district of Montmartre, this cathedral is one of the most visited tourist spots in all of France.
So if you are planning on relocating to France, be sure to keep all of this information in mind as you never know when it might come in handy. Bon voyage!