Location Guide: Paris
Welcome to Paris
Paris, the industrial, economic and spiritual heart of France. It is the centre of everything French and if like me you love Paris, it is the centre of everything cool and chic!.
The biggest companies and government departments are in Paris. It is the hub for all transportation within France, whether it be by train, bus or plane, or beyond France into Germany, Spain, Belgium, or flights across the Atlantic to the Americas or East to the Middle East and beyond.
It is a city full of culture, from sport and music to arts and international events. A population of 2.34 million makes it one of the most populace cities in Europe, up there with London, Berlin, Rome and Madrid. However, the areas around Paris which make up its suburbs, and the most cost-effective locations for relation contain over an estimated 10 million people, meaning that there will always be new people to meet and new connections and friendships to be made.
Working in Paris
As we said, Paris is the heart of the country, including the economy and all major industries. This also means that the salary of the average worker is a lot higher than other cities, with a national minimum wage of €9.61, and most of our clients offering base salaries notably higher than this. In total, the entire Paris region is estimated to provide almost 30% of the entire country’s income every year. Paris is also home to the La Defense, which is the largest business centre in Europe, and home to the largest of French-based companies, such as the petrol company Total and EDF Energy.
If you are relocating from the UK or other countries where tax is automatically deducted, please take note that French taxes are paid and declared manually each year and are paid back in instalments like a loan or mortgage. It can be somewhat confusing if you are not used to this method but here is a link for a detailed breakdown of the system.
It is well known that Paris, has one of the highest costs of living, but realistically it is on par with London in terms of accommodation and expenses and salaries are higher than other regions of France so this evens out. The centre of the city can cost as much as €1000+ for a studio flat, but much cheaper alternatives can be found in the suburbs. For example, the city of Gennevilliers, in the suburbs 5 miles from the centre of Paris, might offer shared accommodation for around €600 per month each and most employers provide transport vouchers.
Life in Paris
“Paris is always a good idea”, Audrey Hepburn
In 2013, France welcomed 32.3 million tourists to the Paris region, putting it just ahead of London as the world’s TOP tourist destination! For those living in or relocating to Paris, there is never a shortage of things to do. Paris is world-famous for its “traditional” tourist locations such as the Arc de Triomphe and the Tour Eiffel, or The Louvre. However, the Paris is overflowing with attractions for all people and any interest. And for the thrill seekers and young at heart a day trip to Disney is always a treat on a day off.
The clubbing scene in Paris is immense – it is called the City of Light! It’s a city you’ll find lit up every hour of the night. As soon as the sun sets, even the Eiffel Tower starts twinkling, with its sparkling LED lights, at the top of each hour.(P.S. there’s a champagne bar up at the very top of the Tour Eiffel. Just sayin’). Paris’s best nighttime venues are often hidden behind austere façades or tucked into the courtyards and anterooms of flashy establishments. It’s worth seeking them out as you’ll find that feeling of being on the in akin to being a bonafide Parisian, if just for a night. This is an all-hours town. It’s well within reason to take in a show at 9, dine après-theatre at midnight, then hit the bars or nightclubs from 1 or 2 a.m. until well past sunrise. Once a year the city even formally celebrates an all-nighter called Nuit Blanche during which the museums are open dusk ‘til dawn and offer free entry. And if you’re ever lucky enough to be in Paris on Bastille Day or New Year’s Eve, the fireworks and the street parties are free, for everyone, all night long.
If you enjoy sports, the French national stadium, Le Stade de France, plays home to the French national Football (soccer) team for any and all international games, as well as any Six Nation Rugby games in France. Euro2016 will be hosted in France next year and of course the world famous Roland Garros Stade hosting the French Open.
If you are interested in architecture or history, France holds an enormous variety of architectural styles and historical sites. Being one of the world’s superpowers for most the 1000-1500s, France has architecture ranging from the Gothic and Renaissance to modern design and skyscrapers in La Defense, as well as the famous Notre Dame cathedral, among other attractions. Paris is also less than 2 hours away from the Palace of Versailles and the trench sites of the First World War for history enthusiasts. In fact, nowhere in France is more than 2 hours from Paris thanks to its central location and extensive transport network, meaning you can easily take a day-trip to the other major cities such as Lyon and Marseille, or to the likes of Normandy for the history-lovers.
Paris’ position, both geographically and economically, as the center of France means that between its 7 major train lines and a staggering number of bus lines across the country, nowhere in France is more than two hours away, with major cities such as Marseille and Lyon just over an hour from the centre of the city. The major train lines also provide transport to many other European cities, including London, via the Eurostar train taken from Gare de Nord, right in the centre of Paris. Other lines can take you through Belgium and into the Netherlands, to Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and Germany. The Charles de Gaulle international airport provides flights all over the globes, to places like London, Belfast, Berlin, Moscow, the USA and more, as well as flights within France to other major cities. Likewise, Paris Orly provides similar air travel options, while Paris Beauvais can provide low-cost flights as well. With all three less than 30 minutes from the city centre and accessible via public transport, living in Paris, quite literally, allows you to travel to all corners of the globe.
France is famous for it’s quality cuisine and Paris does not disappoint. Eating out in the tourist areas such as Champs Elysees is very expensive, however the best prices and the best food can be found in the sidewalk cafes along the various Boulevards and medieval streets. Here are a few culinary destinations to check out;
- Au Forum: is a cheap and cheerful bistro which also specialises in French and Asian dishes where a high quality meal is rarely going to cost more than €10.
- American Corner: If the (in)famous snails and frog legs don’t appeal to you, American Corner provides the perfect spot for a tasty hot dog or bagel to get you through the day!
- Chez Toinette: Chez T is an extremely popular and welcoming restaurant specialising in traditional French cuisine, and with a class and elegance far above its menu prices! You’ll most definitely need a reservation because of how popular and busy the restaurant is!
- L’Ange 20: L’Ange 20 is an intimate little establishment in very centre of Paris. Hailed not only for its fantastic food and reasonable prices, but unanimously praised for the impeccable service and courteous waiters. Perfect a bite to eat with your new colleagues on a Friday night!
- For a little bit of luxury, try these
- Pur‘ – Jean-Francois Rouquette: Fancy treating yourself to one of the best meals money can buy? Pur is one of Paris’ very best, accredited with the coveted Michelin Star, and very expensive. If you are on a tight budget, maybe not the best idea, but every review says Pur is well worth every penny, and not a bad review in sight! With options for the standard three course meal, as well as an 8 course taster menu, and some of the finest wines available.
- Le Cinq: Paris has nearly 100 Michelin Star restaurants, but only 20 of those have managed to attain not one, but 2 of those prestigious stars, and Le Cinq is one of them! Be warned, the high quality of the service and food is matched only by the high prices. Your meal will cost upwards of €100, and could be as much as €300 if you feel daring! But even if you do have to sell your kidney to eat here, remember than you have two and you only live once! This is a once in a lifetime experience, and well worth it!
Check out this link for the best of Paris nightlife –
- Café Oz http://www.cafe-oz.com/bar-paris_14-5.html
- Le Petit Pont in St Michel area http://www.cafelepetitpont.com/site/
- Le frog and rosbiff at Étienne Marcel http://www.frogpubs.com/pub-rosbif-paris.phpLe sullivan’s on the grand boulevards http://www.osullivans-pubs.com/bar/osullivans-grands-boulevards-cafe-bar/
- Long Hop in the saint Michel area http://www.the-long-hop.com/
- Bastille area has loads of bars http://www.timeout.com/paris/en/things-to-do/bastille-area-guide