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Around 17,000 British expats live and work in Paris. But what’s life really like in the glamorous French capital?
The Internations Expat Insider City Ranking asked expats around the world to rank their city based on several important factors.
France’s City of Lights didn’t perform well and was ranked in a lowly 48th place out of 50 cities.
Expats found it extremely hard to find housing in Paris while over 70 percent said the price of accommodation was too high.
Space in Paris comes at a premium and many flats are very small and many single people live in studios.
Netflix’s Emily in Paris might have ditched accuracy in favour of drama, but one thing the series did get right is the lack of lifts in the French capital.
The majority of apartment buildings do not have an elevator so expats will usually need to tackle a lot of stairs to reach their flat.
Expats also struggled when it came to administration and found opening a bank account very complicated.
One expat said: “The administration system is complicated and slow, and there is little support for expats to navigate through it.
“Plus, there’s the language barrier and the illogically low salaries compared to the cost of living.”
Although many French people do speak English, expats will need to master French if they want to settle comfortably into life in Paris.
More than one in three expats thought that local residents weren’t welcoming to foreign newcomers and many found it hard to make French friends.
An expat from Lebanon said: “Social life in Paris will probably push many to form a support network consisting of people of their own nationality.”
The French capital is also one of the world’s most expensive cities, ranking in 9th place globally in the latest Economist Intelligence Unit research.
A pint of Fosters beer came in at a whopping eight euros (£6.88) while a cappuccino can cost as much as £4.50 in a cafe.
The cost of living was considered too high by over 60 percent of the expats surveyed and over 30 percent were unhappy with their financial situation.
But it wasn’t all doom and gloom. Paris ranked well on food and dining options, nightlife and culture, perhaps explaining why so many expats choose to put up with the cost of living.
An American expat said: “I love the quality of life, the food, the infrastructure, healthcare and ease of travel.”
With its long history of attracting artists and creatives, it’s unsurprising that Paris has some of the world’s best art galleries and museums.
French cuisine is commonly thought of as some of Europe’s best and expats will be spoilt for choice.
Paris is also a fairly walkable city and expats may find it easier to navigate than London and other capitals.
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