Living in Paris: Top Pros and Cons

There're many reasons why you should live in Paris. The pros of living in Paris outweigh its cons, just like living anywhere, Paris has flaws too.


5 minute read
Updated on 18 Mar 2024

Paris is one of the best cities to live in France. Paris is rich in culture and art, has endless work opportunities, world-class universities, and so many life-changing opportunities. So it’s no surprise the City of Lights is a muse for many books, movies, and artists.

But we can’t lie and say living in Paris is always perfect. Just like living anywhere, Paris has some flaws too.

So let’s dive in and explore the beautiful Paris more!

Pros of living in Paris

  1. Paris has the 5th largest metropolitan economy in the world
  2. Paris has the biggest expat community in France
  3. Paris has an extensive public transportation network
  4. Paris has a thriving nightlife
  5. Parisians are the most English-speaking people in France
  6. Paris offers plenty to see and do
  7. Paris is well connected with the rest of Europe
  8. Paris is one of the top international culinary capitals

Paris has the 5th largest metropolitan economy in the world

Paris is responsible for ⅓ of France’s economy. The Île-de-France region (Paris Region) alone makes up 30% of the French GDP and 23.3% of France’s workforce. It’s also home to 1.1 million international and national businesses, including the top 10 French companies in the Fortune Global 500. So naturally, working in Paris opens doors to many career opportunities. Plus, Paris is the best option for finding English-speaking jobs and internships in France.

Have you found a job and are looking for furnished apartments for rent in Paris? You will have many different options.

Paris has the biggest expat community in France

As of 2021, more than 1.7 million expats are residing in Île-de-France (Paris region). This means about 14.2% of the population in the Paris region are internationals. There’re more than 100 expat groups, like American Club in Paris, Centre Culturel Irlandais, and AIA Continental Europe, which host dinners, parties, meet-and-greets, networking events, comedy nights, and more to make expats feel at home.

Paris has an extensive public transportation network

Whether you’re commuting from university to home or discovering the beautiful neighborhoods of Paris, public transportation is your best friend. With 16 metro lines and tram lines connecting inner parts of the city and 5 RER trains linking the city center with the suburbs, Paris public transportation network is well integrated and efficient.

Paris has a thriving nightlife

Scattered across different neighborhoods, the nightlife in Paris is unique, classy, and vibrant. Paris has something for everyone, from bars and clubs to cabarets and concert halls. No matter if you’re a student, a young professional expat, or just someone who’s young at heart, Parisian nights will bring unforgettable experiences and fun.

Parisians are the most English-speaking people in France

The language barrier in France is higher than in Spain or Germany. And there’re many reasons, such as their effort to preserve the French language. If you don’t know French yet (or aren't confident enough) and still want to live in France, Paris is your best choice as they have the biggest expat community in France, the highest number of tourists, and many international companies.

Paris offers plenty to see and do

From walking through the beautiful square of Place Des Vosges in Le Marais to exploring chics boutiques of Avenue des Champs-Élysées to exploring the parks and gardens, there’s so much to do in Paris that you won’t have a single boring day.

Art and history lovers will particularly love living in Paris. Throughout history, Paris has seen it all. You’ll see glimpses of ancient Roman remains, the extravagant Napoleonic era, the French Renaissance, and the beginnings of the Art Deco style. You’ll also be a stone’s throw away from over 130 museums in Paris, such as Musée du Louvre, Musée d'Orsay, Musée de l'Orangerie, Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac. They boast a collection of worldwide pieces spanning every historical era.

Paris is well connected with the rest of Europe

Paris has 2 significant and jam-packed railway stations, the Gare du Nord and the Gare de l’Est, serving easy commute to the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. So if you’re keen on exploring the rest of Europe, Paris makes for a nice homebase!

Paris is one of the top international culinary capitals

French cuisine is considered one of the best in the world. French pastries, cheese, bread, and many traditional dishes are world-renowned. And Paris is the best place to taste all of these yummy foods. Head to the Latin Quarter, Le Marais, Montmartre, and Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhoods to have the best food experiences in the French capital.

Ready to explore the french cuisine? Start to find Paris apartments for rent now!

Cons of living in Paris

  1. Paris is the 2nd most expensive city in the world
  2. Paris is overcrowded
  3. Paris has heavy-traffic jams
  4. Paris metro system is a maze
  5. Paris is very loud and hectic
  6. Paris isn’t always safe
  7. Befriending locals can be difficult

Paris is the 2nd most expensive city in the world

Living in Paris is very appealing, thanks to its pros, but nothing comes without a price. Paris ranks as the 2nd most expensive city worldwide. From sky-rocket accommodation prices to hefty leisure expenses, the cost of living in Paris is very high. While Paris has a higher average salary, Parisians still believe their pay is not competitive.

Paris is overcrowded

Paris itself has 2.14 million residents, while the whole Île-de-France region (Paris Region) has about 12,997,058 people. On top of that, each year, around 33 million tourists come to Paris. Then add 214.2 million passengers arriving at Gare du Nord every year, staying or passing through Paris to explore the rest of France or Europe. Between the tourists and the locals, finding a spot to sit anywhere is fierce competition.

Paris has heavy-traffic jams

Overpopulation leads to heavy traffic in the city. On your lucky day, expect to stay in a traffic jam for at least 2 hours. But, thanks to its extensive public transportation, you can avoid it.

Paris’ metro stations are huge and old

Speaking of public transportation, Paris’ metros are a maze because they’re so big. While the metro is a good option to avoid traffic jams, it’s possible you’ll lose time if you don’t know your way around the metro.

The Paris metro is one of the world's oldest metro systems; the first line opened in 1900. As a result, there’re still cracks and damages on walls, platforms, and ceilings. But the good news is that in 2022 the Paris metro began its biggest renovation program (un métro + beau) (a more beautiful metro), aiming to upgrade to a new modern metro.

Paris is very loud, polluted, and hectic

Swarms of cars, people, and neighborhoods filled with events make Paris a boisterous and hectic city. So if you’re living in a popular neighborhood, it’s possible your nights might not be as quiet and peaceful.

Also, Paris is polluted because smoking is still popular and the streets or the metros aren’t always clean.

Paris isn’t always safe

In 2021, The Economist ranked Paris as the 23rd safest city to live in. Overall, as one of the largest and most populated cities in Europe, this isn’t as bad as it looks. Yet, you might encounter or see unpleasant situations on touristy or shady streets, such as pickpocketers and countless homeless people. Especially during nights and on public transport, you may come across catcalling.

Befriending locals can be difficult

Parisian people are reserved and a bit difficult to crack down. And especially if you don’t know French, befriending locals can be difficult. But this doesn’t mean it’s impossible to make new friends. Just remember to go about it in the right way, be patient, and show your effort to learn French and the culture.

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