Called the city of lights, is the home of more than 2 million people, this incredible city has a place for everything and is known for being an important center for politics, commerce, fashion, science, business, and art. It has many iconic locations including the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre.
Expense to live in
If you’re going to live in Paris as an ex-pat, you’ll be paying a pretty penny for the experience. According to our Cost of Living Index, which compares the prices of 13 different baskets in 780 global locations, Paris ranks among the top 10 most expensive cities in Europe today.
In our research, we compared the cost of basics like groceries, rent, and fuel, plus some extras like healthcare and transportation costs, to give you a well-rounded idea of what to expect from expatriate life in Paris. We looked at all those things in comparison with a city like New York City (which was assigned an index score of 100).
So what does this mean for you? Well, if you lived in NYC and had a monthly rent payment of $1,000 for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center (think: Manhattan), then your rent payment would be almost $964 per month if you lived in Paris. If you typically spent $100 per month on groceries back home, that same grocery haul would cost you $95.76 in Paris.
Rental Prices In Paris
There are a few things you should know, like the local language and culture. But there’s one more thing that’s probably on your mind: finding housing.
Being prepared for finding housing in Paris is important because there’s not a lot of it. With a population density of 21,000 people per square mile housing can be hard to come by. That’s why it’s so important to know what to expect when looking for an apartment in Paris.
While there are a few (generally more expensive) places for rent in Paris that are larger than 300 square meters, the average size of an apartment in Paris is around 70 square meters. These apartments typically have one bedroom and a living room and make up the majority of rentals available in Paris.
Here are the average apartment sizes in Paris:
- Studio: 9-35 m2
- 1-bedroom: 30-70 m2
- 2-bedroom: 50-120 m2
- 3-bedroom: 80-250 m2
- 4-bedroom: 120-300+ m2
Renting an apartment in Paris can be a daunting task. There are many factors to take into consideration, such as the arrondissement, floor, situation of the apartment, and any amenities included such as a terrace, balcony, parking spot, guard/concierge, et cetera. The estimated average price per square meter is 38€.
However, depending on any number of these variables, that figure can vary greatly. For example, renting a studio in central Paris generally begins at 800€ per month. It is not unusual to see studios in the 1 200€ price range.
Cost of Health Insurance in Paris
France has a universal healthcare system that is considered high-quality, or “one of the best” around the world. This means that all legal residents who meet residency requirements (meaning a person who has lived in France for three months with the intention of staying in the country for another three months minimum), including expats, are able to benefit from the healthcare system and health insurance scheme in France.
In France, both public and private services are available for medical care. The state offers healthcare through a public system, which is free at the point of use (no co-payments) for most people. Private care is also available and essentially works as an “opt-out” system, where you can choose to opt-out of using the public system in favor of private services. However, if you choose to opt-out of using the public system, you will be expected to pay your own medical costs.
Either option provides high-quality medical care, but it is important to note that not all healthcare expenses are covered by either system. Your health insurance will typically cover most costs, but there may be some costs that are not covered by your plan.
The average cost of health insurance in France is 40 EUR per month. The type and price of the insurance plan depend on your job, your age, and other factors. There are many types of health insurance policies, but one thing stays the same: you should know what you’re getting into before you buy. Shop around for recommendations, compare prices online, and find a plan that best fits your needs.
Driving and Transportation in Paris
Traffic jams, costly parking lots, hours spent circling the block: no one enjoys driving in a big city. If you’re bringing a car to Paris, make sure your apartment rental has a parking spot or a nearby garage–and prepare for some less-than-pleasant drives.
You may want to consider the logistics of bringing your car to the City of Lights. If you’re accustomed to driving in a large city, then Paris won’t be much different from home. But if you’re coming from a more rural area, you may want to think twice about bringing your car.
Paris is a city designed for walking, and its public transportation system is top-notch. The Subway has 16 lines and 373 stations, which cover every corner of the metropolis. It’s easy to get around Paris without a car.
Safety in Paris
You might be wondering if it’s safe—and the answer is a resounding yes! Paris is just like any other big city: as long as you use common sense, you’ll be safe.
If you’re considering renting an apartment in Paris, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure your bags are always closed and locked up and that your apartment door is locked. (This goes for anywhere you live, really) It’s also important to check if the apartment has a guard (building caretaker) who takes care of the common areas of the building and handles mail during the day.