We’ll skip the obvious “go to the Louvre and take a walk along the Seine” recommendations, but it’s worth remembering that the Paris Region is bursting at the seams with cultural activities: from world-class museums and theaters to underground performance spaces and independent cinemas. Lesser known gems like Fontainebleau and Provins are only a quick train ride away from the center (and with much fewer tourists!).
Nature lovers will be surprised to learn that the Paris Region is 75% green spaces, lakes and rivers. The city center itself boasts more than 400 parks, making it the most forested European capital. What’s more, with one of the world’s most advanced transportation systems, the Paris Region allows people to seamlessly move between the historical urban areas and wilder outskirts, so it’s easy to take day trips and get some fresh air. The fitness conscious individual will enjoy an extensive public pool network, numerous bike paths, kayaking on the canals and — just maybe — stumbling upon an outdoor tango or salsa dance session along the river where anyone is free to join in.
Another advantage of living in the Paris Region is the ability to get anywhere in Europe quickly and easily. With 3 international airports, 7 high-speed rail stations as well as a state-of-the-art urban transit system, you can be in Geneva, London, Barcelona, Rome or Berlin in under two hours — to name just a few destinations (and let’s not forget the rest of France!). The current Grand Paris Express project will further expand the metro system and provide rapid links between the suburbs.
When you’re not jet-setting around on another international getaway, you might be tempted to explore the Paris Region’s effervescent gastronomy scene that is leading the local and organic food movement. Creative young chefs have chosen the Paris Region to cut their teeth thanks to a receptive population and access to high-quality ingredients (just south of Paris in Rungis lies the world’s largest fresh produce market). Or maybe you simply want to enjoy a cheese board with a nice glass of wine and friends at an outdoor café. Perhaps that’s not exactly what Hemingway had in mind when he said that Paris is a moveable feast, but you get the idea.
If you have a family, it’s only natural to consider how they might adapt to this new environment. Parents needn’t fear though, as the Paris Region has taken concrete steps to accommodate international families. There are 156 international language sections in schools in the Paris Region teaching 17 different languages, meaning your child can grow up learning both French and their native language. Younger children can go to a neighborhood childcare center until the age of three, when they can attend preschool. Children also enjoy four 2-week breaks during the school year, giving you time as a family to go on vacation.
Last but not least, there’s the subject of affordability. Many studies have shown that the Paris Region’s cost of living compares favorably to other international cities like New York, London, San Francisco or Geneva. That not only applies to personal costs like housing, education and healthcare — but also to business expenses like recruitment and office space.
Cinephiles and athletes, foodies and nature-lovers, art buffs and world travelers: life in the Paris Region offers something for everyone. So while you might have come for business originally, you just might stay for life.