As the capital city of France, Paris is one of, if not the busiest city in the country. As well as one of the busiest in the world. This is to be expected since it has a population of 2.148 million people, and those are the residents alone. What more when the hordes of tourists go here? Of course, French is the dominant language here, and if you don't know why, you don't have to worry. The city has many language schools on offer to teach you. As for the currency, they mostly use the Euro here.
Paris is one of those cities that's just so beautiful, it'd look good no matter the season. However, spring in Paris is practically other-worldly. When the trees and flowers are in full bloom, they not only freshen up the air in this bustling metropolis, but they bring about a magical exuberance as well. And as Audrey Hepburn said in the 1954 film, 'Sabrina,' you must have rain on your first day in Paris. According to her, the damp chestnut trees make the city smell its sweetest. And while that may be up for debate, there's no denying that a dewed-up Paris, after a nice April shower, is also something else!
Choosing a place in Paris to settle down can be a bit tricky. Despite what you've seen of the city from the outside, Paris is a lot more diverse than you might think. The neighborhoods and districts are very different from each other, each with something unique to offer. Le Marais, for instance, is among the trendiest areas of Paris. Home to great shopping and great food, it's full of hotspots that make the French capital such a bustling metropolis. Montmartre, on the other hand, is a more humble district with a lot of history and heritage. Even when it's filled with luxury rental apartments now, it has retained its authentic bohemian vibe.
You have to know that Paris is made up of 20 arrondissements. And within those arrondissements are the diverse districts of the city. Each presents a different side to the French capital, some you might have already seen in movies and on TV, while others you'll only know when you visit them yourself.
Among the must-visit places, the iconic Champs Elysées is definitely on the top of the list. It's one of those famous streets that genuinely captures the essence of the city. But if you want to see the bohemian side of Paris, the districts of Montmartre and the Latin Quarter are right up your alley.
If you think going to Paris is already pricey, wait until you have to budget your costs when you're here. Though the French capital isn't exactly the most expensive city in the world, it's definitely up there. Renting alone would already cost you around €850.00 to €3,500.00 a month. And if you plan to own your home here? You'll be spending approximately €10,000.00 to €15,000.00 per square meter! Fortunately, however, all the other basic costs, from utilities and food to leisure and transportation, are not as expensive.
Contrary to stereotypes, the French, Parisians, in particular, aren't that snooty or snobby. But they are very particular when it comes to manners. Most especially table manners. Eating is a very special part of the Parisian lifestyle and how you serve and host others, as well as how you act at the table, matters.
For instance, if your glass was poured wine first and you take a sip before all the others have gotten their glasses filled, expect some nasty stares to go your way. And if you're hosting people for dinner, make sure you prepare everything yourself. They expect and would better appreciate the meal if they know you exerted the effort!
As Paris is a bustling city with millions of people, it's nice that the public transport here is alive and well. The underground metro, for instance, is perhaps the busiest system of them all. Traveling across all arrondissements and with very cheap fares, it's both the most accessible and the most affordable for most people. Though the buses and the taxis are just as efficient, and while they may cost more, riding them does allow you to still see the beauty of the city while you're in transit. And they're easier to navigate with the help of a few good transportation apps!
As long as you're a resident in France, French healthcare isn't that big of an issue in Paris. But if you're just a tourist, you might want to go for travel medical insurance, particularly those from international providers like Allianz Care and Cignal Global. Even with this sort of coverage, you'll still get access to many of the efficient hospitals in Paris. And there are a lot of them too! The Gustave Roussy Hospital, the Bichat-Claude Bernard Hospital, and Saint Anne Hospital are just some of the noteworthy ones, but the city has many more that you can easily get to as long as you're insured.
With a moniker as notable as the 'food capital of the world,' you probably have high expectations of the food here, right? Well, get ready to have those expectations destroyed because Paris truly goes above and beyond with its cuisine. You'll know it in the many notable restaurants here, many of which are perfect for all occasions, ranging from romantic dates to corporate dinners.
Their pastries are sweet and classic, ranging from the iconic croissant to the lesser-known (but still delicious) St, Honoré cake. Their world-famous bread, the baguette, is both unique and versatile, pairing well with all sorts of spreads and meats. And the cheese? The many fromageries in the city offer delectable slices of different types of the dairy product your taste buds won't soon forget!
As a dominantly Roman Catholic country, Paris celebrates most Christian holidays. Christmas Day, Easter Sunday, and the like. They even go beyond sometimes, adding other holidays to their calendars such as Easter Monday, Ascension Thursday, and more. But Paris, and France as a whole, don't just celebrate religious holidays. They also have their own national ones that are important to their history, culture, and tradition. The most famous of which is, of course, Bastille Day. And here in Paris, they celebrate it with a big military parade and fireworks by the Eiffel Tower! You'll love to see it!
Finally, if you're relocating to Paris, you might want to check out our guide. It details most of what you need to know about moving and actually living here. As well as a few tips you'll find incredibly useful.