France is becoming an increasingly popular choice for expatriates looking to move overseas.
The cultural and historically rich country has some of the most beautiful scenes in the world, whether that is the rolling landscapes, charming traditional villages, untarnished coastlines, iconic cityscapes and beyond, France is a much sought-after country and with good reason.
If you are considering relocating to France but you are not really sure to begin, we have rounded up our top 5 cities of where we think are the best places to live if you are moving to France from Canada:
Rennes was recently regarded as the best city to live and work in France for expatriates, but why is this?
Rennes is in the northwest region of Brittany, a city which many have called a faultless merging of city and small town life. Rennes has a traditional French town vibe to it and it is swamped with breath-taking architecture that dates back to the 18th Century.
France often gets a bad rep about being aloof with foreigners who move to France, buy Rennes totally goes against the grain with this stereotype and as a foreigner to Rennes, you certainly wouldn’t struggle to make friends with either locals or fellow non-natives from the large expat community.
Rennes has a large university presence in the city, with a student population of over 60,000, the perfect place for students moving from Canada to France. Don’t let this deter you if your student days are behind you. Rennes expatriate community has a wonderful assortment of old, young, professional and retired residents.
Extremely low rental rates, especially in comparison to the rest of the country, are appealing for expats with rent for a fairly luxurious property costing you an average of €470. Aside from this, Rennes unemployment rate was also fairly low and the city was regarded as the best mid-sized city in the country for business start-ups.
We will get the obvious choice out the way, but there are reasons to reinforce many expatriates decision to move to Paris from Canada.
Paris possesses a quirky amalgamation of rich cultural heritage and Parisian history, combined with its glamorous lifestyle and modernism of the 21st century. The captivating fusion of old and new is just one of the reasons why expats from the world over keep moving to Paris.
The fashion capital of the world boasts endless possibilities if you look beyond the tourist attractions, and living in Paris means you can enjoy exceptional cuisine, fine art and world-class wines on your doorstep.
Finding a job in Paris is far more straightforward if you are fluent in the language. This is usually the biggest obstacle for expats relocating to Paris, but an extremely beneficial prerequisite for our French-Canadians! Aside from the language hurdle, it is advised that you have a vast amount of experience and knowledge in your field before you move to Paris, with it being such a desirable city to live and work, the job markets are often competitive.
On the flip side, working in the cosmopolitan city does come with its perks. Paris, along with the majority of France, has a 35-hour working week and an average of 30 days annual leave, giving you plenty of time to explore the iconic streets of Paris.
Expatriates in Paris realise they find their bearings fairly quickly, this is partly due to the surprisingly small size of the city centre and also the fact there are 20 distinct numbered districts. Mix in the reliable, extensive public transport systems and Velib, a large bicycle-sharing network, and you will be navigating your new home city with ease in no time at all!
Nestled in the French Riviera between Cannes and Monaco is the idyllic city of Nice, ones of the best cities in the south of France for Canadian expats.
Similarly to Canada, the city on the Southeast Coast of France is heavenly French destination for lovers of the outdoors. The area of natural magnificence proudly boasts mountains, oceans and green landscapes so you can spend your weekends hiking, mountain climbing, swimming in the French Riviera and beyond.
The blossoming economy of Nice has been on a consistent ascent for many years and the rate of unemployment is extremely low. Much like the rest of France, the bigger career paths do strongly favour expatriates to speak the language when living in France, but Nice is largely based on tourism and so there are many jobs for English speaking expats to work in the tourism and hospitality industries. With the city having a relatively high cost of living, it is wise to have a job secured before you internationally moving to Nice.
Another benefit for international movers flocking to Nice, the city has a very large expatriate community and it is easy to meet likeminded individuals. You will be able to mingle with and appreciate a varied range of nationalities from around the world.
Due to the southern location of the Italian influenced city, Nice enjoys a Mediterranean climate which entices individuals to the city every year. Summers are warm with average temperatures of 25 °C and even winters remain mild at an average of 10°C to 15°C; a nice change from Canada’s -30°C.
The charming city of Bordeaux has a plethora of historical buildings, structures, classical and neoclassical architecture that transports observers all the way back to the 18th Century, just some of the reasons why Bordeaux has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Bordeaux has been seeing an influx of many years, and the friendly locals couldn’t be more welcoming. The on-going trend of expatriates relocating to the city proves the historic city remains popular amongst young professionals, largely due to the superb quality of life they are offered here.
However, Bordeaux is home to some of the finest educational establishments in the whole of France, making Bordeaux a premier choice if you are moving to France from Canada with a family. After a day of learning in some world-class institutions, your children can embrace their surroundings of mountains and beaches and spend their weekends exploring.
But how could we forget, for the parents, Bordeaux is the wine capital of France, with over 115 hectares of vineyards, so you can wind down with some world-famous wines as fresh as it comes.
Toulouse is often considered one of the most beautiful cities in France, who are we to disagree? The city is regularly known as La Ville Rose, ‘The Pink City,’ due to terracotta brick buildings and churches with ochre rooftops lining the streets of the picture perfect city.
Toulouse is the capital of the Occitanie region in the south of France and provides residents with an outstanding quality of life and a pleasant Mediterranean temperature the whole year round, so it is easy to see why the city is a sought after destination for expats moving to Europe from Canada.
If you have a career in aviation, Toulouse will offer you great job prospects since the aviation industry contributes significantly to the city’s economy. Toulouse has also earned its place as Europe’s leading space centre.
Although the city has a large presence of international families and retired individuals, there is a dynamic student presence with people flocking from across the world to attend some of the best business and engineering universities.
The culturally rich city has plenty to offer in your down time. You can spend your days cruising Canal du Midi, explore the quaint towns, indulge in fine wines and cuisine or if you are looking for a bit of excitement, the Pyrénées are within easy access where you can hike or ski depending on the season.