To tie up our month-long, site-wide focus on Paris, here’s a quick guide to making your relocation to the French capital as smooth a transition as possible.
As the month of February draws to a close, so too does our site-wide focus on the French capital of Paris. So far, we’ve investigated the companies that are hiring, the influencers you should be following and the start-ups worth watching in the French capital.
France has previously been described by Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella as a country at the global forefront of the modern technology age. The capital beat out London last year as the most attractive European city for investors.
Paris also successfully bid to be the new host of the European Banking Authority, which was forced to vacate its former London home amid Brexit. The French region of Île-de-France, which includes Paris, has been promised thousands of jobs as a result of Brexit. If that was enough to beguile you, you may now be preparing to up sticks and move to the ‘City of Lights’.
Relocating is a huge, daunting step to take, however. The best tool you can have in your arsenal to help you during the transition is researching your new home heavily. Here are some of the key pieces of information you’ll need to know if you’re moving to Paris.
You’ll be spoiled for choice culturally
Even if you aren’t hugely familiar with France, you likely won’t be surprised to hear that it has a vibrant cultural scene steeped in rich tradition. The word ‘culture’ actually comes from the French language.
Between museums, catacombs, cathedrals, the famous Palace of Versailles and towering sports stadiums, you’ll have plenty to keep you occupied in your downtime. When summer hits, you’ll be treated to an array of music festivals that are sure to sate all kinds of musical tastes.
Make sure you’re around Paris on 14 July so you can experience Bastille Day, the French national holiday that commemorates the Storming of the Bastille in 1789, a turning point in the French revolution. The oldest and largest military parade in Europe will take place on Paris’ Champs-Elysées to mark the occasion.
How much will accommodation set you back?
Anyone looking for a bargain apartment will probably be slightly disappointed as Paris is consistently ranked among the top 10 most expensive European cities for rental accommodation. If you want to buy property, the average price of a Parisian apartment is €400,000 and the average price per square metre is €9,300, according to Hays. If you’re transferring with a company, it may be wise to negotiate a relocation package to ease the pinch of housing prices.
How will you get around?
Paris has pretty excellent public transport that is often lauded as being among the safest and more efficient in the world, which explains why a staggering 93pc of the 12m Île-de-France residents use it to traverse their city, according to Hays. Between the Métro, the RER train, the tramway and various buses, you should be easily able to use transport to get anywhere you need to go.
Pick up a dictionary
It’s perfectly possible to survive in France with little to no French, but what fun would that be? Why come to a new city with a new language and refuse to engage? Plus, your experience in France will almost definitely be enhanced if you perfect a few key phrases. It’s best to start studying before you touch down and then further support your education by reading French magazines and watching French news channels so you can absorb the language and adjust to the pace of speaking.
Get your paperwork in order
Your start in Paris will be a lot smoother if you make sure to have paperwork in order in advance of your arrival. Hopefully, if you’re relocating with a company the firm will help you out with things such as visas, finding an apartment and more, but there are a few other bureaucratic hoops you need to make sure you jump through.
France has a celebrated and comprehensive healthcare system, yet you’ll need to make sure you have health insurance sorted out before you can access its much-praised facilities. Almost everyone (96pc of the population) in France is covered by universal healthcare, and a basic form of healthcare is pretty much mandatory for any French resident. You can access a basic plan for €10 a month via the French social security office.
Even if you are a European, Swiss or EEA citizen and therefore don’t require a French visa or permit, you may still need to register with French authorities once you touch down.