Find out how you can live in France

Live in FranceWe invite you to find in this article all the information you need to live in France. Indeed, if you want to work in France, you will first need to know some essential points.

Moreover, even before negotiating your salary and signing your employment contract, you must first have some information on life in France.

Moreover, we invite you to discover all the useful information to enable you to work and live in France.

  1. Discover France
  2. The cost of living in France
  3. Find accommodation
  4. The cost of housing in France.
  5. Opening a bank account in France
  6. Banks in France
  7. Driving in France with a foreign license
  8. Discovering the school system
  9. Mobile subscriptions
  10. Telephone operators in France
  11. ISPs in France.

It was considered that its information is essential to know for anyone who wishes to live in France. So you will have an overall idea of ​​life in France and what awaits you. You will be able to prepare yourself before your trip and your new life in France.

In fact, to be able to live in France, you must be familiar with all the points listed above. Moreover, before leaving to work in France, you must have an idea of ​​the cost of living in France. Next, an expense that is considered to be the biggest is accommodation in France.

Thus, you must have an idea about accommodation in France in all these aspects.

In addition, you must also have an idea of ​​the banks in France. The majority of transactions, if not all transactions, must go through your bank account. And finally, you must have an idea about the different operators in France.

As We mentioned before, in order to be able to live in France, there are certain points that you must master.

Indeed, we will present you with more details on each of these points.

1. Discover France to better live in France

France in a few figures:

  • Area: 633,186 km²
  • Population 68 million
  • Capital: Paris
  • Official language: French
  • Currency: Euro (EUR)
  • Form of State: Constitutional Republic
  • Founding member of the European Union
  • Member of the UN Security Council, NATO, OECD, OSCE, G8 and G20
  • Time: UTC/GMT + 1 hour in winter – UTC/GMT + 2 hours in summer
  • National holiday:July


Large Cities:

  1. Paris : 2,254,262 inhabitants
  2. Marseille : 855,393 inhabitants
  3. Lyon : 500,715 inhabitants
  4. Toulouse : 458,298 inhabitants
  5. Nice : 342,295 inhabitants
  6. Nantes : 292,718 inhabitants
  7. Strasbourg : 275,718 inhabitants
  8. Bordeaux : 243,626 inhabitants
  9. Lille : 231,491 inhabitants



The climate in mainland France is temperate, with fairly marked regional differences. Temperatures are relatively mild and rainfall is distributed throughout the year.

Regional variations are due to latitude and greater or lesser proximity to the sea or the mountains.

On the French coasts, the temperature variations are less than in the rest of the country but the rainfall is higher.


2. The cost of living in France

Before leaving to work in France, you must have an idea of ​​the different budgets that you must plan for. Moreover, the cost of living in France is among the highest compared to other European countries.

Several services and budgets are much higher than in other countries in Europe!

Anyone wishing to settle in France will quickly earn the cost of living in order to prepare the appropriate budget.

To live in France, it is desirable to have a monthly budget of 800 and 1000 Euros to cover the costs of food, transport and accommodation etc…

Moreover, to have an overall idea of ​​the cost of living in France, you should focus on the following:

  1. Food
  2. Budget Rent
  3. Budget Transport Budget.
  4. Health
  5. budget Leisure budget
  6. And finally, the clothing budget

We invite you to find more details on the cost of living in France.

3. Finding accommodation to live in France

Before leaving to work in France, you should know how to find accommodation in France?

Finding accommodation in France is an essential step for anyone wishing to work and live in France. Indeed, you must have a global idea on several essential points concerning housing.

So, here are the points you will discover:

  1. The types of accommodation in France.
  2. Rental prices in France.
  3. The list of real estate agencies in France.
  4. The list of accommodation sites in France.
  5. Types of rental agreement.
  6. The insurance.
  7. Housing tax in France

So, we invite you to find more details on housing in France.

The search for accommodation is an important step in making a successful settlement in France. Different solutions are possible to find new accommodation:

  • Relocation agency : company specializing in supporting expatriate executives and their families to settle in France. Its mission is to facilitate the arrival in France of a family. The services rendered can range from obtaining the necessary official documents (visa, work permit, residence permit, etc.), to finding a new home or schools for the children, or even a job for the spouse. , through learning the language;
  • Apartment hunter : professional specialized in finding apartments or houses. After an in-depth interview on the needs of the person or the family, the apartment hunter searches, on his behalf, for the ideal property;
  • Real estate agencies : when the owner decides to use a real estate agency, the fees are shared between the latter and the future tenant. To find a real estate agency, you can get closer to professional federations ;
  • Specialized websites : present existing offers on the real estate market. The search is done by criteria (location, area of ​​the property, price, number of bedrooms, etc.). The best known sites are:


We now invite you to know the conditions for opening a bank account.

4. Open a bank account in France

Before leaving to work in France, you should know that you will probably need to open a bank account in France.

Opening a bank account in France can be very useful, especially to pay your bills (electricity, telephone, rent) and your subscriptions (transport, Internet).

Not only because it will allow you to put your money in safety; but also, because you can pay for all your purchases by credit card.

Thus, we will focus on the following points, namely:

  1. Online banking or Neobank?
  2. Documents required to open an account.
  3. How to open a bank account in advance?
  4. Choosing the right bank in France.
  5. What if the bank refuses to open an account?

So, we invite you to find more details on how to open a bank account in France.

For any opening of an account, whether individual or joint, you must be able to present a valid identity document with photograph and proof of your residence.

As an indication, here are the documents that you may be asked

  • for: identity document (passport);
  • residence card;
  • proof of address: electricity, gas, water or landline telephone bill, or certificate of accommodation free of charge with a copy of an invoice and the identity document of the person hosting, or possibility of using, for some banks, proof of residence of the previous address abroad;
  • proof of resources: payslip, tax notice;
  • 3 last bank statements;
  • foreign tax identification number.

If the requested bank agrees to open an account for you, you will have to sign an account agreement indicating the conditions of use and operation of your bank account.


5. The best banks in France

Before leaving to work in France, you should know that you will probably need to open a bank account in France.

Having a bank account in France is essential to make your life easier.

Almost all financial transactions in France, purchase, bill payment etc… require a bank account. By opening a bank account, you can then apply for payment cards and credit cards to carry out your day-to-day transactions.

But before proceeding to open a bank account, you should know that there are three types of banks in France, namely:

  • Traditional banks.
  • Online banks.
  • And finally, the Neo Banks.

So, we invite you to find more details on the best French banks.

Another important point is whether you will be able to drive a car.

6. Driving in France with a foreign license

It is possible to drive in France under cover of a license issued by a foreign authority in the following cases:

  • In the event of possession of a driving license issued by a member state of the European Union , of the European Economic Area : these permits are indeed valid in France without time limit;
  • In case of possession of a driving license issued by another State during the first year of stay. These permits are valid in France for a maximum of 1 year:
    • From the start date of validity of the first residence permit in France;
    • If the permit holder has a VLS-TS, from the date of validation of this visa by the French Office for Immigration and Integration, the OFII (vignette and stamp on the passport).
  • holders of a “Student” residence permit, regardless of the country in which the driving license was issued, benefit from recognition of their foreign driving license throughout the validity of their “student” residence permit;


If the duration of the stay exceeds one year, it will be necessary to exchange the non-European driving license, subject to eligibility conditions. It is advisable to find out about this procedure as soon as you arrive in France. To be able to exchange your original license for a French license, the State that issued the license and France must have signed an exchange agreement. Find more information in our dedicated sheet “Exchanging a non-European license”.

For the driving license to be recognized in France, the following conditions must be met:

  • The license must be valid;
  • It must be used in accordance with the medical information (compulsory wearing of glasses, for example) which is included therein;
  • The license holder must be of the minimum age to drive (18 years minimum for a B license);
  • The permit must still be valid in the country of issue (no suspension, no cancellation, no restriction of use).

For non-European nationals, the permit must also:

  • have been issued in the country of normal residence of the holder before his arrival in France;
  • be written in French or be accompanied by an official translation;
  • have been obtained before the start date of validity of their residence permit in France or before the validation of their visa by the OFII.


For the organization of family life, you will also have to know the school system and how to enroll your children in school.

7. Discover the French school system

The Ministry of National Education defines the teaching programs. It is organized around:

  • 17 academic regions responsible for ensuring the consistency of national education policies;
  • 26 metropolitan academies ;
  • 5 overseas academies in charge of the public service of education (strategic definition, management of establishments and personnel in particular).
  • 17 rectors from academic regions.
Good to know : The academies of Guadeloupe, Guyana, Martinique and Reunion are academies operating identically to metropolitan academies. The creation in Mayotte of an academy and a rectorate on January 1, 2020 makes it possible to set up an appropriate administrative organization.

In France, school is compulsory for all children aged 3 to 16. Some schools have opened classes for children aged 2 years. There are also schools with international sections. 

There are three types of educational establishments:

  • public establishments, which depend on the State;
  • private establishments under contract, subject to State control. These establishments must respect the conditions set out in the contract that binds them with the State. In return, the State finances teachers’ salaries. Local authorities finance these establishments in the same proportions as public establishments;
  • , non-contract private establishments subject to state inspections. These inspections are administrative and educational. The French authorities ensure that the management and teaching team have the required diplomas. The education provided must comply with the law of education and must meet the minimum standards of knowledge required. For any additional information, please contact your embassy, ​​which has a list of bilingual schools


Finally, you will need to know the mobile and internet operators.

8. The best mobile operators in France

Before leaving to work in France, you must communicate and stay in touch. France concentrates a large number of operators in mobile telephony.

If you decide to use a French laptop, the most obvious question is indeed ‘what to choose’. Contrary to what one might think, there really isn’t a better operator.

All operators offer almost the same level of coverage. Indeed, no one can stay in our time without a mobile phone. So, we invite you to find more details on the best French mobile operators.

9. The best telephone operators in France

The Telephone Operators in France offer several services which may interest you.

Indeed, before leaving to work in France, you must communicate and stay in touch. Moreover, the least of things, to have access to an ADSL or VDSL subscription, you must have a fixed line.

Indeed, for your fixed telephone subscription, you can turn to many telephone operators in France.

So, we invite you to find more details on the best French telephone operators .

10. The best Internet providers in France

To have an internet subscription, you must know the best Internet providers in France.

In addition, Internet service providers in France offer tailor-made packages according to your needs.

In addition, the options offered are varied, the services bordering on infinity.

The use of the Internet in France is very widespread today, moreover the offers vary from one supplier to another.

So, we invite you to find more details on the best French internet providers .


Thus, to conclude our article, before leaving to work and live in France, there are certain points that you absolutely must know. Indeed, in this article, we have focused on the following points, namely:

    • The cost of living in France
    • The cost of housing in France.
    • Opening a bank account in France
    • Banks in France
    • Mobile Subscriptions
    • ISPs in France
    • And finally, Telephone Operators in France