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Best Cities to Live in France 2024

Updated: Jan 8


Lyon is one of the best cities to live in France, it adapts to all ages and budgets, considered the gastronomic capital of France, university city, business city, city of culture and history, you can have fun in neighborhoods with different atmospheres, with architectures that review its history and development since Antiquity.

Lyon is a large, dynamic and modern city with a modern and fast transportation system, development projects and an active economy. Lyon offers an authentic and safe living environment: with less mass tourism than other destinations in France.

Lyon is an international crossroads, easily accessible (international airport, TGV), 2 hours from Paris and well connected to all major European capitals.

Lyon is cheaper than traditional tourist destinations: 30% cheaper than Paris or the South of France, your budget will be better spent and you will get better value for your investment.

Economic development

Lyon has always been characterized by intense industrial activity: in the past, thanks to the production and export of silk, and today by the presence of numerous petrochemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnological companies. Its strategic location, close to major cities and rail corridors, helps a lot.

In addition, the city has many prestigious universities and tourist activity that help to make the employment offer very high. This means that Lyon is one of the best cities in France to live in and a favorite for immigrants to settle in. It should also be noted that salaries are quite good and working conditions are favorable for its residents.


The city has managed to reduce traffic by optimizing its transportation system. Today Lyon has one of the most varied and technological, with a metro that connects the city through several lines, the tramway, electric car sharing and free bicycle rental. It also offers the option to monitor availability through a mobile app.

The atmosphere in Lyon is so fun and jovial that it offers its inhabitants an exceptional quality of life, making it one of the favorite destinations in the European country. However, now let's get to know the shadows that the city hides.


Toulouse is located in the south of France. The urban area of the "Pink City" is the fourth with the largest number of inhabitants and is also considered a prosperous city to live in France, presenting the most interesting demographic growth rate in recent years.

The high quality of life enjoyed by its inhabitants is something to take into account. In this city you can breathe clean air, where its citizens have many parks where they can go to read, have picnics or simply spend some time relaxing.

Given its enviable geographical location, the city offers a pleasant climate most of the year. To give you an idea, the region has an average number of hours of sunshine per year well above the national average.

One of the reasons why many choose Toulouse for a new start has to do with how cheap it is to find accommodation. In fact, in this place you can get an apartment that depending on the area where it is located we can say that they are within the reach of all budgets.

Work and salaries in Toulouse

The advantage of the city of Toulouse in this sense is remarkable, thanks to the fact that in recent years its economic growth has been very good.

The number of companies and businesses that have been born in the city or that have moved to it has been considerable and that, of course, translates into a greater labor supply.

Even if you are an entrepreneur and want to start a business you can do it, if we have to mention high priority activities in the city would be aerospace engineering, computer science and technology sector, also fields devoted more to science such as chemistry has a lot of movement and growth, this makes it one of the best cities to live in France.

How much does one earn in Toulouse?

In Toulouse the minimum wage is 1521 euros, but in general the population has an average income of 2149 euros.

  • A dentist can earn around 7701 euros per month.

  • An architect earns around 3150 euros per month.

  • Doctors can earn as much as 6262 euros per month.

  • Nurses have an average salary of 3188 euros per month.

  • Working as a plumber has a salary of 1691 euros per month.

  • Mechanical engineers can earn up to 3325 euros per month.

  • Systems and software engineers can earn about 3869 euros per month.

  • The monthly salary of a lawyer is 4706 euros.

  • Nannies or babysitters can earn 1030 euros per month.

  • Bricklayers can earn 1769 per month.

  • Farmers earn about 1147 euros per month.

  • Waiter or waitress jobs are paid 1399 euros per month.

  • Translators can earn 2236 euros per month.

Now that we have a clearer picture of salaries in Toulouse, we can move on to other issues such as rents and food costs.

Real Estate

You should look in different areas because as in every city, there are neighborhoods cheaper than others, but we repeat that advantage of the costs, adding also the fact that there is a lot of supply, variety and the chances of finding something that fits your needs and economy are very good.

You can find a good one-bedroom apartment in the center of Toulouse at 596 euros.

An apartment with similar conditions in a more distant area of the city can cost 435 euros per month.

On the other hand, if you need to rent an apartment with three rooms in the center, the cost is 1118 euros approximately.

An apartment with similar characteristics in an area far from the center can cost 792 euros.

Toulouse is one of the most pleasant cities as it offers its inhabitants an exceptional quality of life. You will not be short of activities: shopping, museums, walks along the banks of the river or the Canal, picnics in one of the city's parks.


Nice is one of the paradises of the French Riviera. It is one of the best cities to live in on the French Riviera. Whether it is for a short or a long season. Nice is by the Mediterranean Sea, close to the border with Italy (30 km) and Monaco (20km). It is the largest city on the French Riviera.

Nice is a multicultural city, the language par excellence is French but other languages are also spoken. The use of English because of the great tourism and Italian because it is very close to Italy.

There are a large number of foreigners who decide to settle and live in Nice. It is considered a city with a very youthful atmosphere, thanks to the fact that here is located one of the best valued European universities, the Université Nice Sophia Antipolis. Students from all over the world come to it. It is one of the French cities with the highest number of Spanish speakers and is considered one of the best cities to live in France.

In France many different dialects are spoken, and in Nice its variant is a little more "Spanish" than in the rest of the country. If you do not speak French perfectly, in this city you will find it a little easier to communicate with the natives, since, thanks to its proximity to Spain, some of them will be able to understand you.


Marseille has been noted for the busy work of its port, which is accompanied by a large number of bars, cafes and restaurants, whose windows point to the coast. Its strong working areas include industry, commerce, marine gastronomy, technology development and an excellent infrastructure in ports, roads and airports.

However, it is not its economy that is the main attraction of the place, but its landscapes and, of course, its climate. The city is shaped like an amphitheater, with a clean opening towards the sea to the west and a mountainous massif to the north and east, respectively. On the other hand, its climate according to the Köppen classification is Mediterranean. In Marseille you will always wear little clothing, as the summers are hot and dry, while the winters are mild and humid: the perfect combination for a permanent vacation.

Marseille is the second most populated city in France and the main economic and commercial center of the south of the country. Its port is the busiest in the Mediterranean and the third busiest in Europe.

The city offers excellent professional opportunities for those who wish to expatriate and work in one of the cities with more history and personality of the whole continent.


Marseille has its own airport, metro, bus company and several highways. There are also several bicycle paths, which is a very common form of transportation in this city. The single ticket for transportation is 1,50€ for any mode and the ticket is valid for one hour. If you wish to purchase a 10-trip voucher then you will have to pay 12,80€.

Real Estate

Marseille is one of the cheapest cities in France. The rent is 15% cheaper than in Nice and up to 30% cheaper than in Paris. The average rental price is about 530€ per month.

A 3-bedroom apartment in the city center can cost about 1100€ per month. As for the purchase of housing, the average price per square meter in the center of Marseille is around 3000 euros.


Although Paris is one of the most iconic cities in the world, there is a lot of difference between spending a few days as a tourist in the capital of love or staying for years.

Paris is the capital of an economically strong country like France, which means that you will have many job opportunities in different and varied sectors. In addition, working hours are a maximum of 35 hours per week, and salaries are generally quite good.

Paris offers an unparalleled entertainment offer, with hundreds of museums, exhibitions, theaters, cinemas and a long list of cultural activities to do. You can also enjoy the incredible Parisian nightlife by going to some of the many nightclubs and discos in the city.

The gastronomy of France in general (and Paris in particular) is of another level. Although food prices are very high, here you will notice that foods such as bread, chocolate, cheeses or wine acquire another dimension of flavor.

Public transportation

It is possible to live in Paris without having to buy a vehicle, since with the combination of bus + metro you will be able to reach any part of the city.

Most demanded jobs

  • Tourism: as mentioned above, Paris is a city that attracts crowds. More than 25 million tourists have taken selfies with the Eiffel Tower since January 1, 2018.

  • Communication: salaries start at around €26,000 per year for junior communication managers.

  • IT: as in the rest of the world, there is a high demand for computer technicians. For this reason, they can aim for a starting salary of €40,000 per year, which can increase rapidly.

  • Research: on average, researchers can earn around 45,000 euros per year.

  • Finance: stockbrokers can earn between 50,000 and 100,000 euros per year.

  • Medicine: nurses can earn around 1,600 euros per month.

Real Estate

Paris is an expensive city and this is particularly noticeable in rents, which are about €30 per square meter. The rent regulation law tried to limit prices, but it was finally annulled. The result: landlords are the kings. Finding your nest in the capital is not easy: competition is fierce and the documents required are increasingly demanding.

Another option is to live in the suburbs, which will allow you to have a larger apartment at a lower price, provided you spend more time on public transport. It should be added that, in most cases, you will also have to pay water and electricity costs.


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