Living in Paris: A Lifestyle and Real Estate Guide to Paris, France

Paris—City of Enchantment and Light

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Everything You Wanted to Know About Living in Paris, France

The capital and largest city in France, Paris is situated on the river Seine, at the heart of the Île-de-France region in the north. With very few high-rise buildings, the quartiers making up the center of the city resemble a group of villages. The typical western European climate means that summer days are usually warm and pleasant with a fair amount of sunshine, though most agree that Paris is captivating at any time of year.

What to Do and See in Paris?

This is a city with perhaps more familiar landmarks than any other in the world. It goes without saying that the dual spires of Notre Dame or the Eiffel Tower spring into view unexpectedly as residents and travelers navigate a street corner. There is no better way to appreciate a breathtaking 360-degree view of the city’s winding streets from above than from the Eiffel Tower, preferably at nightfall.


With street names such as square Charles Dickens, avenue Marcel Proust, and rue Balzac, it is clear that literature is at the heart of Paris and is very important to its residents. The city is filled with quirky and atmospheric bookshops such as Shakespeare and Co., which run literary events throughout the year. The bouqiniste stalls lining the banks of the Seine sell secondhand and rare books, magazines, and postcards, and browsing and bartering for these is a part of Parisian life. Literature lovers can tip their hats to Oscar Wilde and other departed writers at the city’s famous cemeteries. Cimetière du Père-Lachaise is one of the most fascinating of these, with maps directing visitors to Wilde’s lipstick-covered tomb and those of other legendary Paris residents, such as Édith Piaf and Jim Morrison.


Of course, Paris is synonymous with fashion, having given birth to the enduring Chanel brand, and it is often cited as the fashion capital of the world. Whether via the opera or more recently, French cinema, fashion has always been an integral part of the culture. Avenue Montaigne, continuing the tradition of streets named for writers, honors Michel de Montaigne, a writer of the French Renaissance. It is home to several established fashion houses, most notably such famous and established luxury brands as Gucci, Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent, and Bottega Veneta.


Paris museums are widely held to be among the best in the world, encompassing wide-ranging genres. The traditional Louvre is the most visited art museum in the world, exhibiting art and decorative objects dating from prehistory to the 19th Century in the grand surroundings of the former Palais du Louvre. The Musée d'Orsay, housed in a former railway station, the Gare d'Orsay, exhibits Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works in a stunning environment. For fans of modern art and architecture, the Centre Georges Pompidou shows modern art in a post-modern steel structure designed by the architectural team of Richard Rogers, Renzo Piano, and Gianfranco Franchini.

What is the Architecture in Paris?

Many are familiar with the elegant, sweeping architecture that dates to the redesign of much of Paris in the 19th Century. However, single-occupant dwellings contribute to more than half the total number of households in central Paris. As a result, communal spaces such as parks, cafés, and restaurants provide living, dining, and garden space for many Parisians. Most Parisians shop at a series of small neighborhood shops, each with its own specialty—an important ritual of daily life. Narrow backstreets meander to the heart of the city, filled with the aroma of those Parisian staples, baguettes and coffee, wafting from corner cafés.

Where to Eat in Paris?

Parisians are known as enthusiastic gourmands and the city’s restaurants are world-renowned for their unparalleled quality and variety. Paris is famous for the combination of entertainment and gastronomy that be found at the traditional cabaret supper clubs, the best-known of which is Le Lapin Agile, dating back almost 150 years and where locals and visitors still go today to dine and sing together.

Where Are the Expat Communities in Paris?

Popular neighborhoods for foreign expats (called arrondisments) in Paris include the 16th arrondisment as well as Saint-Germain-des-Prés (6th arrondisment) due to the high quality lifestyle offerings in these areas and their proximity to top-tier international schools. Suburbs such as Saint Cloud and Saint Germain-en-Laye that reside northwest of Paris proper are also very popular among expat families. La Défense is the major economic hub of Paris, which is also positioned just outside of the city limit on the westside. In recent years, young expats have settled in the upbeat, creative neighborhood of Le Marais (4th arrondisment).

Can Foreigners & Non-Residents Buy a Home in Paris?

Yes. As of 2018, there are no restrictions on foreigners buying property in Paris. For a detailed explanation of non-resident buyer restrictions as well as financing and tax considerations, visit the Notaires of France.

How Many People Live in Paris?

Approximately 2,265,886 people live in Paris as of 2015.

What Language Is Spoken in Paris?

The official language of the Republic of France is French, it is the mother tongue of 87% of the population and used for all official purposes.

What is the Currency in Paris?

France is a member country of the European Union, and therefore uses the Euro as their currency.

Exceptionally beautiful, Paris stands as one of the world’s most fascinating and dynamic cities, with cultural and entertainment attractions catering to every taste. Explore our luxury properties for sale in Paris, France.

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