The ultimate guide to the cost of living in Paris

Paris ranks 2nd worldwide for cost of living. Plan your budget better by finding out the cost of rent, transport, groceries, and more


6 minute read
Updated on 25 Apr 2024

As one of the world’s leading global cities, Paris is culturally diverse and offers plenty of entertainment, study, and career opportunities. Once named the cultural capital of Europe, Paris ranks 30th for quality of urban living worldwide and 9th for the best student city. This French city also benefits from the 7th best healthcare in the world.

Because of these, moving to Paris is appealing. But all of these benefits come with a hefty price tag. Paris ranks as the 2nd most expensive city worldwide. While Paris is an expensive city to live in, it’spossible to manage your budget well — especially if you don’t have a lavish lifestyle and if compare it to other expensive cities like London and Amsterdam.

Have you found your dream job or university and are ready to prepare for your life in Paris? Then to foresee how life will be in Paris, you need to know how much it costs to live in this city.

We’ve broken down the cost of living in the city of lights into 5 essential costs, so you’ll have all the information you need for planning a budget.

  1. Housing
  2. Grocery
  3. Health insurance
  4. Leisure activities
  5. Transportation

What is the cost of living in Paris?

How much you earn will affect how you allocate your budget towards your needs. In Paris, the average salary is €2,570 per month. Without the rent, your monthly costs will be around €1,092. The average rental price is high in Paris, so you’ll likely spend most of your salary on the rent.

The rental expenses in Paris

Here’s an indication of the average monthly rent in Paris based on our rental index 2024.

  • Furnished Private Room with utilities (best for students): €750.
  • Furnished Studio with utilities (best for singles, couples, or new graduates): €1,367.
  • Unfurnished Apartment with utilities (best for couples or families): €1,834.

These prices are just the average rental prices across Paris. Depending on which neighborhood you live in, prices will vary. If you choose to live outside of the center, you can find more affordable places.

With high rental prices and a dense population within the city, the accommodation hunt in Paris is quite competitive. So the best advice we can give you would be to start your housing search as early as possible.

But be cautious of rental scams! The competitive accommodation hunt makes the real estate sector vulnerable to fraudsters. To avoid rental scams, use a trusted service, such as HousingAnywhere and StudaPart.

For a hassle-free move in, you can easily find furnished apartments for rent in Paris.

Cost of groceries in Paris

The cost of groceries will vary depending on your eating habits, diet and which store you’re shopping from. The good news is that Paris has many options for you to shop from, depending on your budget. You can shop at some discount stores, such as Franprix, Aldi, or Lidl, supermarket chains, such as Carrefour or Intermarché, or niche stores for organic produce at Biocoop or NaturéO. Depending on where you shop from, expect to pay €200 to €300 for your monthly food expenses.

Below you’ll find average prices for common food products in Paris:

Food/BeverageAverage Cost
Water (1.5 liter bottle)€0.84($0.92)
Bottle of wine (mid-range)€8.00($8.72)
Domestic beer (0.5 liter bottle)€2.23($2.42)
Imported beer (0.33 liter bottle)€3.45($3.76)
Milk (1 liter, generic)€1.46($1.59)
Fresh white bread (500 g)€1.79($1.95)
Rice (white, 1 kg)€2.17($2.36)
Eggs (medium, 12 pieces)€4.36($4.75)
Local cheese (1 kg)€19.47($21.18)
Chicken fillet (1 kg)€13.84($15.06)
Beef (1 kg)€22.95($24.97)
Banana (1 kg)€2.29($2.49)
Apples (1 kg)€3.37($3.66)
Oranges (1 kg)€3.48($3.78)
Potatoes (1 kg)€2.18($2.37)

Cost of health insurance

Expats: Health insurance in France depends on residency, not employment status. So if you’ve a permanent residence (you’ll live in France for at least for 6 months), you’ve to get French health insurance within 3 months of your arrival. The French health insurance will cover about 70% of the doctor's costs and 80% of the hospital costs.

In France, the average cost of health insurance for one person is €40 per month. Of course, prices vary depending on the policy. Generally, basic coverage will cover basic dentistry costs too. But complex procedures will be on you.

International students: International students from the EU/EEA region can simply use their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if they’re temporarily in France. For more extended stays, all students (both non-EU and EU) must register with Student’s Social Security (Sécurité Sociale Etudiante). You’ll pay €38 per month for a complete package as a student. There’re also cheaper plans for those who make less frequent visits to the doctor and medical check-ups.

Cost of leisure activities

One of the many perks of living in Paris is benefiting from a wide selection of entertainment and leisure activities.

Whether you want to treat yourself by eating out or seeing a new movie, it’s always best to budget well so you won’t empty your bank account.

Restaurants: from Michelin star restaurants to small cafés specializing in cuisines from every culture, prices will vary:

TypeAverage Cost
A meal in an inexpensive restaurant€17.50($19.04)
Three course meal for two in a middle-class restaurant€70($76.17)
Cappuccino (medium)€4.08($4.44)
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle)€7.25($7.89)
Bottle of wine in a restaurant€12-€40($13.08-$43.61)
Croissant in a café€2($2.18)

Leisure time and personal care:

TypeAverage Cost
Cinema ticket€13($14.15)
Monthly gym membership€38.42($41.80)
Museum ticket€7-€20($7.63-$21.80)
Haircut female€40-€70($43.61-$76.31)
Haircut male€20-€50($21.80-$54.51)
Colouring roots€50-€80($54.51-$87.21)
Wet manicure€20-€50($21.80-$54.51

Transportation costs in Paris

Public transport: Paris has an extensive public transportation system that allows you to reach every corner of the city at an affordable price. A single one-way metro ticket will cost €2.10. But if you’re planning to use public transport regularly, opt for a monthly pass for €84. The monthly pass covers all the zones of the metro, bus, regional train, and tram trips.

Cycling: Cycling is still a common transportation method. You’ll find Vélib' public sharing bicycles throughout the city. Annual subscription fees start from €3.10 per month.

Or you can make a one-time investment by buying a bike.

BikeAverage Cost
City bike€340($370.65)
Electric bike€1,600-€3,000 ($1744.24-$3270.45)
Second-hand bike€70-€200($76.31-$218.03)

Taxis: Compared to other cities like Amsterdam and London, taxis aren’t too expensive. The base fare is €2.60 and then €1.65 per km.

Personal cars: A secondhand car can cost around €1,200, and a new car can cost upwards of €26,000. The gasoline price is €2 on average per liter. So expect to pay €80 for a full tank. Keep in mind that it’s cheaper to buy fuel from fill-up stations attached to supermarkets than the big service station. You’ll also need to pay an average of €4 per hour for public parking.

Still in need of a home? It's time to discover apartments for rent in Paris!

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