France

Allo! You are coming to a country which has it all. Food, culture, history along with first class living . So lets start exploring;

Paris

Accommodation

The city is fairly small , so the main question is if you want to live in the midst of all the action or move into the surbubs for a calmer life. Being in the city is definitely easier from an expat point of view, although you would have to settle for less space.

The language barrier will be less. No need to drive as the public transportation is amazing and access to many international schools. The 15th, 7th and 16th arrondissments are quite popular with the expat community.

The one suburb that is quite popular is Neuilly-sur-Seine. It is almost attached to the city. Proximity wise amd at the same time it’s fairly close to the La Defense- a major business district in the city.

http://www.seloger.com/

Transportation

Public transportation is amazing within the city and few kms out. Between the metro , buses and trams, you can take your pick. The metro is faster and better connected than the buses. However, if you fancy a nice view, have time/kids /strollers, then bus might be your best bet.

You can buy a pack of tickets or daily/weekly/monthly pass. Tickets average EUR 2 per journey. Ubers and Taxis available, but much more expensive.

With regards to cars, driving within the car is fairly tough. The streets are narrow and almost packed. Parking is expensive and not as readily available.

Shopping

For groceries, Carrefour is your best bet. Affordable prices and are all over the city. For a more premium experience, Monoprix is great.

There are several street markets all over the city where you can score some of the freshest produce you have probably ever seen. Ranging from fruits and vergetables to egg and cheese, seafood to flowers, you will find it all.

If you are looking for items from a particular country , then there are several hotspots around the city. The 13th is famous for its many Asian stores. Gare Du Nord is another area that is popular amongst Indians, Pakistanis and Srilankans.

Apart from this, there are many shopping malls around the city , as well as stand alone stores in popular neighborhoods such as Montparnasse.

Schooling

The public schools in the city are amazing, not to mention mostly if not completely free. The language used is ofcoarse French and so is the curriculum.

If that is not the route you want to take with your child, then there are many bilingual schools around the city with few options where English is the predominant language with a few hours in French.

Private schooling is super expensive but can be looked into if your company is paying or you have extra cash to spare.

Medical

Healthcare is provided by the state with a small bridging amount paid by your employer. Healthcare cards called Amelie are provided to you once your residency is sorted, where as private bridging insurance is called Mutuelle.

Dining & Recreational Activities

The city is full of things to do. With a click of a button, Google will send you on a historic roller coaster. From century old parks to museum and history , all at your doorstop. Lots of natural beauty to explore outside the city.

For dining, look no further than your local Boulangeries and Patisseries; the mouth watering delicacies simply cannot be matched.

DONT’S

  1. Beware of pickpockets, especially in touristy areas and around the metros. A crossby bag is your best friend.
  2. Be courteous. The French are big on being polite so don’t forget to greet your neighbor or the salesman in the store with a customary “Bonjour” or a “Bonsoir” depending on the time of the day . Leave with a “Merci , “Au revoir”.
  3. The pace of the city is fast and people are impatient. Don’t linger on sidewalks and entrances.