You have decided to move and come to live in France. This is a great decision since, besides the overwhelming discoveries, the amazing visits, the incredible monuments, and museums, etc., Paris is again at the top of the favourite cities for expats! It is true that it is good to live in the French capital.
Why Paris is in the top 5 favourite cities of expatriates?
In the eyes of foreigners, moving to Paris remains a must in terms of quality of life. According to many international and global surveys, Paris is among the top five of the most welcoming cities.
But why so much love for the French capital?
6 expats out of 10, who have chosen Paris as their home, particularly appreciate the dynamism and richness of the cultural scene. Paris joins the very select club, of cities appreciated for their culture and quality of life, behind its neighbours Berlin and London, but also New York and Buenos Aires. Expats, of course, appreciate with passion the French gastronomy. Yeah, Paris is still the city of Europe with the most Michelin stars.
The local language is useful. Another interesting news is that one out of two expatriates feels that it is easy to integrate into the French capital, and nearly 9 out of 10 learn or speak French, which is one of the biggest stats in Europe.
In any case, Paris remains attractive for a lot of expats, that often meet in some bars around town … Here is Paris!
Discover Paris in details for an expat
Paris is a very cosmopolitan city where all the nationalities and communities mix since the different waves of immigration of the ’70s. The proof with the multiple districts that the city shelters!
The best districts in Paris
In 2017, Paris had more than 16 million visitors, making the French capital one of the most popular destinations in the world. There are many reasons why French people today, as well as foreigners, come to stay in Paris, be they family, tourist, but above all for business. The quality of life in Paris is such that each time it welcomes more expatriates to discover the City of Light, for a stay of a few months to a few years.
Here are the 5 favorite Parisian districts of expatriates:
The 16th district
It is the largest district of Paris in addition to being the greenest of the capital, with the no less famous Bois de Boulogne. Somewhat distant from the center of Paris, it remains nevertheless one of the most bourgeois arrondissements of the capital. Staying there allows having a breathtaking view of the Eiffel Tower.
The 15th district
Located in the western part of Paris, it is the most populated district of the capital, also known as the district of Vaugirard. Traditional, bourgeois and innovative, the most famous neighborhoods, Vaugirard and Necker, are home to the high Montparnasse tower, a multitude of museums and theaters and many health centers around the world.
The 17th district
Every time more popular with families, this district of North-West of Paris does not miss of assets. The presence in particular of a multitude of markets, local shops, and green spaces are part of it. Borough with many faces, neighborhood life is rich and of very good quality.
The 11th district
It extends mainly from the Place de la Bastille to that of the Republic and the Nation. It is, without a doubt, one of the richest districts in restaurants and places to go out in the evening. The 11th arrondissement is known for its “popular” soul, offering a very urban and lively, for a trendy population.
Located in the small crown of Paris. The south of Hauts-de-Seine is home to large groups and business centres. This is thanks to the presence of the district of La Défense. The posh cities of Neuilly-sur-Seine, Boulogne-Billancourt, and Levallois-Perret will be an excellent compromise for business travellers. In addition, expatriates wishing to stay close to their place of work make the choice of this borough.
The best bars in Paris
Many expatriates who choose to settle in a new country bring with them their culture, way of life and language. Paris, cosmopolitan metropolis, is no exception to this rule and is full of places where the language of Shakespeare is at ease. But still, it is necessary to know them … Here are some of the best bars in Paris, that will allow you to meet English speakers in a relaxed atmosphere.
The Red House
If you are looking for a typical American bar in the heart of Paris, it’s at the Red House that you have to go. Joe, the owner of the place, landed his native Texas fifteen years ago to open, on the Bastille side, a southern bar as found at his home in Houston. The Red House is an Arkansas motel-style décor, a buffalo skull above the bar, a pinball machine, old 60’s rock, and a manager who is happy to speak with his American accent.
The Hemingway Bar at the Ritz
Another place, another atmosphere! At the Hemingway, one of the three bars of the renowned Ritz Hotel on Place Vendome, you’ll enjoy a cozy drink and an intimate atmosphere while listening to the guests chat in their native language. Armchairs in leather, woodwork, and carpet, sculptures and manuscripts of the American writer. This mythical boudoir, with the tunes of the library, remains faithful to its history while preserving integrally its original decoration.
The Highlander, Scottish Pub
Over 100 whiskeys offered by this pub located close to the Pont Neuf, in the 6th arrondissement. Highly frequented by the expatriate Scottish population, The Highlander has the authentic Scottish Pub with barrels, woodwork, medieval weapons on the stone walls, and a map almost entirely filled with Scottish drinks such as beers, whiskeys, and cocktails. Thanks to the six televisions spread across the bar and permanently connected to Skysports, you can watch the rugby matches, the national team football games, or the Scottish Premier League, in a warm and noisy atmosphere.
Pub crawl in Paris: the best way to meet expats
The problem is that for many people it is very difficult to make friends once a new expat in Paris, out of your comfort zone. Traveling has taught me to become much more open and sociable in everyday life and to naturally go to others.
Thanks to the best pub crawl in Paris, such as the one proposed by Riviera Bar Crawls and Tours, I was able to meet lots of great people and live totally new experiences in Paris; and some of these encounters have even turned into lasting friendships.
This advice is, I think, destined for the newcomers, the single ones, or the young couple without kids. A pub crawl in Paris is a good way to make friends quickly. This consists of linking 4 or 5 different bars in the same evening while making friends over some drinks. But this is also the best way to discover some of the best bars and clubs in Paris.
The best restaurants in Paris
The Michelin Guide has unveiled its selection of Michelin-starred restaurants. These star-studded restaurants tickle our taste buds, but we often seem unthinkable and too far from our modest budgets. But we do not like to see you frustrated, so here are the top Parisian Michelin stars restaurants you can afford as an expat in Paris.
Le Violon d’Ingres
Come savor the dishes of the very famous chef Christian Constant who handles the recipes of the Southwest with modernity in this 1-star restaurant. Fan of traditional cuisine, it displays perfect dishes such as veal sweetbreads braised with wine, celery raspberry mousse with butter hazelnut, duck foie gras seared with gingerbread, etc. You will even find a lunch menu for 50 euros.
La Dame de Pic
Anne-Sophie Pic is simply one of the most starred chefs in the world. Yeah anyway. So, as much as telling you that going to lunch at this 1-star restaurant in Paris is a great opportunity to have some of the best French food in Paris. For lunch, and for less than 60 euros, you can enjoy snails of the Ardèche with candied Charlotte potatoes, accompanied by a Parmentier cream and sweet garlic, but also a red mullet, or the roasted livers with wine sauce and shallots confit.
Nestled in the magnificent setting of the Hotel George V, under a magnificent glass roof, the Orangerie is a haven of peace, right in the heart of Paris. Chicken egg smoked, Imperial caviar, Pigeon in a crust and turnip, truffle, black olive or Artichoke veal sweetbreads, etc., the lunch menu is to die for. Just go for it, as it is only 75 euros set lunch.
L’Atelier Etoile de Joël Robuchon
Speaking of a Michelin-starred restaurant in Paris, Joel Robuchon has the biggest record in the history of culinary art, with 30 Michelin stars. It is, therefore, a little part of the myth to taste one of his creations. And the craziest is that it is accessible with a full lunch menu at 49 euros.
Penati al Baretto
What is exceptional with this Italian star-restaurant, is that it is more than affordable. The two-course menu is under 40 euros €. The chef Alberico Penati is a very inspired Milanese chef. A la carte, everything is extremely appetizing, with the highlight of the three types of meat ravioli with beet fondue and pioppini mushrooms.
Some cool walks to discover Paris as an expat
Because it is not only outside pleasant to walk the Parisian streets, here are some great ideas of nice hikes, off the beaten track, to do during the summer, during a weekend, or just for the pleasure to discover Paris another way, and to step out of the famous touristic tours.
Street art walk in Paris
Nothing better to brighten up a day too grey than a stroll among the colourful graffiti of the beautiful French capital. There are many itineraries in different parts of the capital, but here are some of the best sites to visit in Paris.
Start in Rue Henri-Noguères near the Ourcq canal, where an entire wall is devoted to street art. On the way, the Jean-Poulmarch street wall along the Saint-Martin canal, the crossing of rue Lucien Sampaix and the Quai de Valmy, and of course the unmissable rue Denoyez, the Mecca of Parisian street art. Then you will arrive at the Café Green Square, rue Oberkampf, where colourful frescoes adorn the wall.
The night walk
Because the night walks are often the most beautiful, here is a small route for a night wandering.
Start at the Palais de Tokyo, where you can drink a cocktail in Les Grands Verres. Then head to the nocturnal exhibitions of the Palais de Tokyo, until midnight, before enjoying the monuments along the banks of the Seine, ad stop for a break at the swimming pool Suzanne Berlioux, in which you go yourself to take a dip since it remains open until 11 PM. You can then finish at the Pied de Cochon, the mythical restaurant of Les Halles district, open all night, for a well-deserved night meal.
The romantic stroll
Paris is the city of love. Yes, it’s cliché, but we will prove to you that there is a romantic life in Paris. Make yourself beautiful, this is a ride to make a romantic night … to be sure to conclude at the end.
Start from the College des Bernardins, for a bit of culture in one of the most beautiful medieval buildings of Paris. Then go to the Shakespeare & Co bookstore, with its cosy nooks for a duet reading. Head to the pretty place Dauphine, away from the tourists, before finding the square of Vert-Galant, near the river, right in the centre of Paris. You can then finish at the magnificent Pont Neuf bar, to sip a cocktail with a view.
The reasons why you should be an expat in Paris
Moving to Paris is a real challenge, especially if you have chosen to go alone. Your adventure will only really start the moment you set foot in French capital.
Contrary to popular belief, an expatriation does not mean just leaving work, packing your bags, buying tickets and flying! In most cases, there will be plenty of formalities to complete, which implies that you will need a lot of patience and determination.
An expatriation is synonymous with a challenge: leaving behind friends and family, and finding a new job, a new house, adapting to a new environment, making friends, etc. Going to meet the stranger can be one of the best experiences of your life, no matter what your age, allowing you to realize your full potential, and Paris is definitely one of the best cities in the world to live the expat life.
For more fun things to do in Paris, check out this article.