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The 20 Best Places to Live in France


France is a country that many people dream of their entire lives to visit even once. It is one of the more historical nations in Europe. It is known around the world. There are cities and towns, lakes and mountain areas. In short, there is so much to see and do in France that a simple visit there might not be enough. You may decide that you actually want to live there. That is the way it goes with many people around the world, so now is the time to start planning your move.

You will love researching the many options that you have when it comes to living in France. It really comes down to your own personality, your needs, and what you need out of your new home. If you have children, that might bring one set of needs. If you are retired, you might be looking for something different. That is why we have put together the following list of the 20 best places to live in France. Each city is on the list for various reasons, so take a look and see what place appeals to you the most and then start planning your move.

20. Ajaccio, Corsica, France

At number 20 on the list of best places to live in France is a French island. You will find that Ajaccio is actually the capital of Corsica. It is right on the Mediterranean Sea, so can you can just imagine how beautiful it is. Being on the western coast of the island, you benefit it from it being a port city. It has a rich history, This is where Napolean himself was born back in 1769. You will find a museum there in the place that used to be his home.

19. Chamonix, France

With Chamonix, you have a resort area that meets the junction of three countries: France, Switzerland, and Italy. Just think about the weekend getaways you can plan when living here. If you like skiing, you will love the fact that you live right near the base of the famous Mount Blanc. This is the highest summit in all of the Alps and it is open year round. The cable car ride will allow you to see the entire area. The quality of living here is excellent.

18. Rouen, France

If you love history, then you are no doubt already familiar with Rouen. This is the capital of the region of France known as Normandy. You will love living here if you fancy being on the river Seine. In fact, Rouen is a port city right on the river and it has been active dating back to the Middle Ages. You will get to see Gothic churches and walk along cobblestone pathways.

17. Annecy, France

Annecy will take you to the southeastern part of France. This is the place where Lake Annecy will actually empty in the Thiou River. Just imagine getting to look at these two great bodies of water whenever you feel the urge. You will also be able to walk along cobblestone streets that have been there for centuries. The houses are traditional and still maintain their medieval charm. You will find many historical components still present here, making it a surreal place to call home.

16. Biarritz, France

Words can almost not do Biarritz justice. This is a quaint town right by the seaside on the southwestern coast of France. We cannot imagine a more beautiful place to call home. The weather is fantastic almost the entire year, which is why it has been such a popular resort area dating back to the 1800s. In fact, this is where Royal families from across Europe frequently go when they need a break from the hectic schedule. This makes it a wonderful place to live and gets it onto this list as the 16th best place to live in France.

15. Dijon, France

Dijon is a famous city in France because it is the capital of the Burgundy region. You will find it in the eastern part of the country. It is also made famous because it is one of the main wine making regions of France. This demonstrates the great climate that it has as well, making it an ideal place to live. You will be able to sample the mustard that is made famous here as well. Yes, that is the mustard that carries the same name as the town.

14. Strasbourg, France

Here is another city that is the capital of a historical region. It is northeastern France. Strasbourg has a great infrastructure that provides you will all of the amenities you need to live comfortably in the modern world, while also maintaining its historic charm. Strasbourg is where the European Parliament used to convene, given its proximity to the German border. This means you notice a mix of German and French culture in Strasbourg.

13. Cannes, France

If you love films, then you are probably already well familiar with Cannes. This is where the famous international film festival is held every year. Just imagine living here and not having to worry about getting a place to stay during the festival! You will also benefit from living on the coast where the beaches are nice and sandy. There are also a number of upscale boutiques and the hotels here are world class.

12. Avignon, France

Avignon is a part of France that really has quite the story to tell. You will find that it was where the popes of the Catholic church were seated for much of the 14th century. It finally became part of France back in 1791. You will find the Popes Palace still standing here. It is a town that still has its medieval charm, with stone buildings still standing just about everywhere you look. Avignon is located in the Provence region of the country, in the Southeast of France and is located on the Rhone River.

11. Paris, France

You had to figure that Paris would appear on this list at one point or another. It is the 11th best place to live in the country. While it is a major city with a lot of congestion, you will also find that it has a great deal going for it. There is not much that you will not find here, which makes it ideal from a liveability perspective. It also benefits from being a transportation hub in all of Western Europe, meaning you can get almost anywhere you want with relative ease.

10. Lille, France

Lille is the 10th best place to live in France. If you live here, you will be in northern France right in the midst of the region known as Hauts de France. It is very close to the border with Belgium. With the border being open, you will have numerous opportunities for weekend trips over there. There is a lot of Flemish culture on display here, so you will get a much different perspective of Franch than you will in other cities.

9. Montpellier, France

As the 9th best place to live in France, you will find Montpellier in the southern part of the country. You will only be about 10 kilometers away from the Mediterranean sea, so you will get a nice coastal breeze throughout much of the year. This is a place where numerous Gothic cathedrals are still standing. There is also a modern component to the city, making it popular with digital nomads today. You will also love the artwork that is on display in various places across Montpellier.

8. Lyon, France

If it seems like you have heard of Lyon, it is probably because you have. It is one of the more popular areas of the country as it is the capital of the Alpes region. It is right at the intersection of the Saone and Rhone rivers and has more than 2,000 years of great history for residents to enjoy. You will be living in a cultural area that is the epitome of French culture.

7. Grenoble, France

Situated in the southeastern part of the country, Grenoble is the 20th best place to live in France because of all that it has going for it. You will love the cable cars that can run you from the town right to the top of La Bastille Hill. This used to a fortress that protected the region back in the 18th century. The city itself is right at the base of a series of mountains and is in between both the Isere and Drac Rivers.

6. Rennes, France

When you live in Rennes, you will be in the capital of Brittany. This is the northwest part of France and it has become the 6th best place to live in the country. There is a beautiful rose garden here that highlights the many reasons why you will love living here. There is a also a lot of history in the area, as reflected by the number of museums and other attractions that are here for you to enjoy. As a resident, you will have a selection of traditional houses to live in.

5. Bordeaux, France

Bordeaux is a city that almost needs no introduction, particularly if you love wine. This is the famous wine growing region and it still very active to this day. You will also notice that there are still many Gothic churches still standing here, along with a number of mansions that you can still gaze upon. There are also some famous art museums that you can visit with regularity. All of this and more is what makes this such a popular place in France to live in.

4. Marseille, France

Marseille is another port city that is still very much a great place to live in France. It is the southern part of the country. You will find that this area has been an active trade route dating all the way back to 600 B.C. That was when the Greeks were heavily involved in the region. Today, you will find a number of fishermen still plying their trade, while the ancient architecture on display is enough to keep you occupied for years. This is the fourth best place in France to live.

3. Nice, France

Now we are getting to cities in France that are all very livable. It is hard to choose the best, but Nice is certainly among them. This is a city that is located right on the French Riviera. In fact, it is the capital of the region. you love the pebbled shores that you can call home if you live here. It is a place that has attracted artists from around the world for centuries.

2. Nantes, France

Nantes is the second best place to live in France, so you know that it is a special place. You will find in the western part of the country. It has a storied history that dates back to the days when it was a major port and industrial center of the entire region.

1. Toulouse, France

As the best place to live in France, you will have a lot going for you in Toulouse. This is where many cathedrals are still standing, in addition to being so close to the Mediterranean Sea. You will never be lacking for something to do when you live in Toulouse.

So, now that you have this list of 20 of the best places to live in France it is time to start your serious research. Look through each of these cities and determine which of them should be on your shortlist. There are various strong points for each. Determine which of those attributes appeal to you the most and then go from there. You will certainly enjoy the journey involved in beginning your new life in France.

Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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