The best cities to live in France

The Complete Guide to the “Land of Freedom”

If you are looking for a fresh start and are considering living in France, this could be an excellent choice.

Whether you are a student looking for adventure, a young worker seeking professional opportunities or a family looking for a new home, France has something to offer everyone.

But why moving to France? First, imagine strolling along the cobbled streets of Paris, then surfing the Atlantic coast and finally tasting delicious cheeses in the picturesque countryside of Provence.

France, lavender fields in Provence

Living in France also means enjoying high living standards: public transport is generally efficient, the cities are very attractive and there is a great emphasis on sustainability. In addition, you will have the opportunity to explore beautiful landscapes and experience a rich and diverse culture in the many sights and cities that offer art and culture from every period, starting of course with the capital Paris. 

Living in France is an incredible opportunity to discover a fascinating culture and enjoy unforgettable experiences. Whether you are a student, a worker or a family, houses and flats to rent in France are the key to starting this new chapter of your life.

So, if you have always dreamed of starting a new career abroad, renting in France could be the right choice for you. With a wide selection of rooms and flats available for rent, all you have to do is prepare yourself for an unforgettable experience.

But which are the best cities to live in France? Here’s an overview of the most welcoming and liveable cities in the ‘République’: discover them with the Spacest Team. À bientôt!

Paris: living in France in the city of love and the Eiffel Tower

Paris, Louvre

Paris, the City of Lights, of love, of the Eiffel Tower and capital of France, has always been a dream for many. But what does living in Paris in 2023 really mean? If you are considering moving in the French capital, whether for a short term or long term, here is everything you need to know.

Living in France offers a unique cultural experience, and Paris is undeniably its brightest jewel. The city is a perfect mix of history, art, fashion, cuisine, and modernity: find out more in our dedicated guide Living in Paris.

Renting in Paris

Paris, landscape

Living in Paris means walking by the Seine, visiting world-famous museums such as the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay, and enjoying freshly baked croissants in an outdoor café.

However, living for rent in France, and particularly in Paris, can present challenges. 

Rents in the capital can be very high, especially in the more central areas. But with a little more research, it is possible to find housing solutions to suit different needs and budgets: take a look at our best listings in Paris.

Living in Paris: pros e cons

Opinions on what it means to live in Paris may vary. While some love its cultural verve and vibrant nightlife, others may find the city hectic and expensive.

However, most agree that Paris has an unmatched charm.

The costs of living in Paris may be high. In addition to rent, you have to consider expenses for food, transport and leisure activities. However, living in the suburbs or in less central districts can help reduce the costs.

If you are a student, Paris offers many opportunities. The city hosts some of the most prestigious universities in the world and offers an inspiring environment for study and research.

If you are a family with children, living in Paris can be an enriching experience. The city offers numerous parks, educational and cultural activities, and a high-quality school system.

Lyon: living in France in the city beyond the Alps

Lyon, landscape

Among the best French cities, Lyon emerges as one of the most attractive destinations for those wishing to live in France.

Lyon, located on the shores of the Rhône River, is the third-largest city in France and a true cultural hub. Known for its history, architecture and cuisine, Lyon offers a perfect mix of tradition and modernity.

For those wondering where to live in Lyon, the answer is not easy. The city is divided into several neighborhoods (or Arrondissements), each with its own personality and peculiarities: take a look at the listings of rooms and flats for rent in Lyon in the best districts.

From the vibrant and historical Vieux Lyon, with its alleys and traboules, to the modern Part-Dieu district, the economic and commercial center of the city.

Living in Lyon: what to know


Living in Lyon may seem challenging, but with the right information and good preparation, the process can become much easier.

Prices can significantly vary depending on the neighborhood and the type of accommodation. If you are wondering how much it costs to live in Lyon, know that, as in all big cities, there are solutions for all budgets. From a student room to a luxurious penthouse with a view over the city.

For those interested in living in Lyon as a student, the city offers numerous opportunities. Besides being home to prestigious universities and research institutes, Lyon has a vibrant nightlife and cultural scene, ideal for young people.

Find out more about Lyon in our guide Moving and living in Lyon as an expat.

Living in Lyon: pros and cons

Like any city, living in Lyon has its pros and cons.

Among the advantages, Lyon offers a wide range of cultural, gastronomic and recreational activities. The city is famous for its cuisine, with numerous starred restaurants and typical bouchons. Moreover, its geographical location makes it ideal for exploring other parts of France or Europe.

On the other hand, among the disadvantages, some may find the city hectic during peak periods, and the climate can be variable, with cold and wet winters. Living costs are quite high, being a large city offering many services.

Marseille: living in France’s Mediterranean Pearl

Marseille, coasts and sea

Few French cities offer an experience as unique as Marseille.

Marseille, being the second-largest urban center in France, is a city with an unparalleled cultural diversity.

Its geographical location has made it a crossroads of cultures, traditions, and histories over the centuries. This fusion of influences is reflected in everything from its architecture to its culinary traditions.

Located on the Mediterranean coast, Marseille combines the charm of a port city with typical French elegance. But what does it really mean to live in Marseille?

Pros and cons of living in Marseille

Like any big city, living in Marseille has its advantages and disadvantages and aspects to consider:

Marseille, Château d’If


  • Mediterranean climate: sunny for most of the year, the mild climate is one of the main attractions of the Provençal city;
  • Culture: events, festivals and a vibrant arts scene keep the city bustling;
  • Cuisine: being a port city, Marseille offers a wide range of fresh fish dishes.


  • Traffic: like many metropolises, Marseille can have traffic problems, especially during rush hours;
  • Cost of living: although the living costs in Marseille may vary, in general, they can be higher than in other French cities.

Medium- to long-term rentals in Marseille

For those wishing to dive into the Marseille lifestyle, opting for medium- to long-term rentals may be the ideal choice.

This allows you to experience the city like a local, discovering hidden corners and establishing authentic ties with the community. Also, where to live in Marseille becomes a key issue: choosing the right neighborhood can make all the difference in your living experience.

Discover the most beautiful neighborhoods in our top rental listings in Marseille.

Toulouse: living in France in the “Ville Rose”

Toulouse, historic centre

Known as ‘La Ville Rose’ (the Pink Town) for its pink brick buildings, Toulouse is a young and cosmopolitan city that offers a unique combination of history, culture, and modernity.

Toulouse is France’s second-largest hub for students. With larger open spaces and a lower cost of living, it is a great choice for those who want to live in France while cutting down on rent and living costs.

And if you are interested in aerospace and science, Toulouse is an excellent choice. The city is an important center for the aerospace industry and offers numerous options for living in France without excessive costs.

But why should you live in Toulouse?

Toulouse, sunset over the Garonne

Among the many advantages of living in France in Toulouse we can mention:

  • Location: Located in the south-west of France, Toulouse is perfectly located between the Mediterranean Sea and Spain. This privileged setting makes it an ideal hub for travelling throughout France and beyond;
  • Economy: Toulouse is a centre of excellence for aeronautics and space industry. With companies such as Airbus based here, the city offers many job opportunities in cutting-edge sectors;
  • Cultural life: The city features many museums, theatres and art galleries. Music and theatre lovers will always find something interesting going on;
  • Education: Toulouse is home to some of the best universities in France, making it a popular choice among students.

Accommodation for rent in Toulouse

If you are considering living in France in Toulouse for an extended period, there are many rental options available. Whether you are looking for a flat in the city centre or a house in the suburbs, Toulouse has something to offer for everyone.

And for those looking for medium- to long-term rental solutions, there are many online platforms, such as Spacest, that can help you find the perfect accommodation: take a look at the best room and flat listings in Toulouse.

Bordeaux: living in France in the land of wine

Bordeaux, wine grapes

Living in France is a dream for many. And among all French cities, there is one in particular that is gaining more and more popularity among expats and culture lovers: Bordeaux.

When thinking of Bordeaux, the first thing that comes to mind is, precisely, wine. And no wonder: the Bordeaux region is world-famous for producing some of the best wines. But living in Bordeaux is not just about tasting great wines. The city offers much more.

Bordeaux, with its neoclassical architecture, vibrant riverfronts, and green parks, is a city that perfectly combines historic charm with modernity.

The streets are a mix of designer boutiques, cozy cafes and traditional markets where you can taste the true essence of French life.

Living in Bordeaux: pros and cons

But what are the advantages and disadvantages of living in Bordeaux? Find out with the Spacest Team.

Bordeaux, Place de la Victoire


  • Culture and history: Bordeaux is a city with a centuries-old history. Its historic center has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and walking through its streets is like stepping back in time;
  • Wine and gastronomy: known worldwide for its fine wines, Bordeaux offers a wide range of wineries and vineyards to visit;
  • Quality of life: living in Bordeaux means enjoying an excellent quality of life. The city offers numerous parks, green spaces, and an efficient public transportation system;
  • Location: located near the ocean and the Pyrenees, Bordeaux offers easy access to both the mountains and the sea.


  • Cost of living: like many major European cities, Bordeaux has seen an increase in prices, especially for medium- to long-term rentals;
  • Climate: although it benefits from a temperate climate, Bordeaux can have wet and rainy winters;
  • Tourism: the city’s popularity brings inflows of tourists, especially during summer, making some areas especially crowded.

Accommodation for rent in Bordeaux

For those considering living in France, Bordeaux is an outstanding choice. The city is well-connected to the rest of the country by its rail network and airport, making it easy to travel for business or pleasure.

Medium- to long-term rentals are an ideal solution for those who want to settle in the city and fully experience Bordeaux.

There are many options available, from modern apartments in the city center to traditional houses in the countryside: discover them in our best rental properties in Bordeaux.

Strasbourg: living in France’s rights capital

Strasbourg, glimpse

Strasbourg is one of the most fascinating and dynamic cities in all of France. Located in the heart of Europe, it represents a crossroads of cultures, languages, and traditions.

If you are considering living in France, Strasbourg may be the ideal choice for you. But what does it really mean to live in Strasbourg? Let’s find out together.

Strasbourg is known not only as one of France’s major cities, but also as the seat of European Parliament. That gives it a cosmopolitan and international atmosphere. The presence of numerous European institutes and organizations has led many people from all over the continent to choose to live and work in Strasbourg.

Learn more about Strasbourg in the dedicated guide Living in Strasbourg: the ultimate guide.

Pros and cons of living in Strasbourg

But what are the advantages and challenges of settling in this fascinating French city? Here we will explore together the pros and cons of living in Strasbourg, taking into account the needs of those looking for medium- to long-term rentals: discover our best rental properties in Strasbourg.


  • Location: Strasbourg is in a privileged geographical location, making it easily accessible from both France and Germany. This makes it ideal for those working or studying in both countries;
  • Cultural diversity: thanks to its history and location, Strasbourg offers a rich variety of cultural events, museums, and festivals. The city is a melting pot of cultures, where French and German traditions blend harmoniously;
  • Professional opportunities: for those wishing to live and work in Strasbourg, the city offers many opportunities, particularly in the field of European institutions and international organizations;
  • Quality of life: the city offers a wide range of amenities, parks and green spaces, making daily life pleasant and relaxing.


  • Cost of living: the presence of European institutions can affect prices, making city life slightly more expensive than in other French cities;
  • Traffic: like many other European cities, Strasbourg can be crowded, particularly during rush hour;
  • Language barriers: although French is the official language, the proximity to Germany means that many people also speak German. This can be a challenge for those who are not bilingual.

Living in France in Strasbourg

Strasbourg, European Parliament

Strasbourg is a city rich in history and culture. Walking down its streets, you can admire historic buildings, impressive cathedrals, and picturesque neighborhoods.

The city also offers a vibrant cultural scene with numerous museums, theaters and festivals throughout the year.

Living in France means diving into a rich and diverse culture. France is known worldwide for its cuisine, fashion, art, and history.

Choosing to live in Strasbourg allows you to experience all that France has to offer while maintaining a connection with the rest of Europe.

Living in France: the hidden gems

France, Mont Saint-Michel
France, sunset in Provence

These are just some major cities where to live in France, the ones that offer the most services, professional and academic opportunities. But it is not only the big cities that form the beautiful “République,” its history and beauty.

Here for you are some “hidden gems,” cities that are less popular but of equal beauty and opportunity for those who prefer more livable, human-scale places away from the chaos of big cities:


Nantes, Les Machines de l’île

Living in France is an experience that many desire to immerse themselves in the country’s rich culture and history. Among the many fascinating cities, Nantes, in Britannia, emerges as an ideal destination for those looking for a balance between tradition and modernity.

Living in Nantes means immersing yourself in a dynamic environment rich in art, culture, and innovation. The city offers an unmatched quality of life, with green spaces, historic monuments, and a vibrant cultural scene.

For those looking for medium- to long-term rentals, Nantes is an excellent choice, offering a wide range of housing solutions in distinctive and well-connected neighborhoods: discover them in the best rental properties in Nantes.

So, in a nutshell, living in Nantes is the perfect opportunity for those who want to explore the best of what France has to offer, in a smart yet authentic setting.


Nancy, cathedral

Living in Nancy stands out as an exceptional choice for those seeking a balance between tradition and modernity. This city, with its cobbled streets and majestic historic buildings, tells stories of bygone eras, while at the same time offering all the amenities of a modern metropolis.

For those interested in living and working in Nancy, the city offers professional opportunities in a variety of fields, making it ideal for medium- to long-term stays. If you’re considering moving to France, Nancy could be the perfect place to start your new chapter, especially if you’re looking for medium- to long-term rentals: check out the best rental listings in Nancy.


Montpellier, Grand Hotel du Midi

Montpellier, with its Mediterranean charm, offers a vibrant and cosmopolitan atmosphere, making it one of the most desirable cities in which to live in France. If you are wondering what it is like to live in Montpellier? The answer is simple: it is a place where tradition meets innovation.

The city claims a rich historical heritage, but it is also a center of research and development, with numerous universities and research institutes. For those looking for medium- to long-term housing, Montpellier offers several options, from historic neighborhoods to modern apartment complexes. Discover them in the best rental properties in Montpellier.


Reims, Notre Dame de Reims Cathedral

Among many charming cities, living in Reims stands out as the ideal choice for those who wish to immerse themselves in an environment rich in history and tradition. Located in the heart of the Champagne region, Reims features stunning Gothic architecture, luxuriant vineyards, and, of course, some of the best champagne houses in the world.

Living in Reims also means enjoying a balanced mix of urban buzz and the tranquility of the French countryside. For those looking for medium- to long-term rentals, the city offers a wide range of options, from the historic center to more modern residential areas, always ensuring a high standard of living typical of living in France: take a look at the best rental accommodations in Reims.


Grenoble, landscape

Grenoble stands out as one of the most desirable destinations for those wishing to settle in the heart of the French Alps. Living in Grenoble means being surrounded by majestic mountains, where the city offers an enviable quality of life, with a wide range of cultural, recreational and sports activities.

For those looking for a medium- to long-term housing solution, Grenoble is an excellent choice, combining the charm of living in France with the comforts and opportunities of a modern, well-connected city, as evidenced by the best rental properties in Grenoble.

In conclusion: is living in France a good choice?

To live in France you can find a rental solution that meets all your needs; although it can be difficult to adapt to living in a new country and in a new environment, finding rental accommodation in France is very easy thanks to the solutions available on our site. A new experience is waiting for you and we are here to make it as easy as possible thanks to our solutions and technology.

Visit our website and contact our Team of experts, who will be able to help you in these early stages of your research. Once you have figured out the secrets of living your new daily life in France, don’t forget to keep up to date by reading our blog, where you will always find useful advice and constant updates. 

If you are interested in learning more about all the opportunities you can take advantage of while living in France, further exploring the activities proposed in the region and news about events, we recommend that you don’t miss our sections entirely dedicated to tips on the best restaurants and the most interesting activities in the cities.

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