When I first moved to Paris from London, I thought things would be different, but I didn’t realise quite how different things would be. There are definitely things I wish I had known before moving here, and I’ve tried to narrow them down to my top 5 in this blog post for you.
- It’s expensive. This probably goes without saying, and I did not expect Paris to be cheap, but it is far more expensive than I even imagined it would be. Good luck going out for dinner and spending less than €20 a head! There are a few cheaper places, but they’re very few and far between. Food shopping is also expensive too, and this is coming from a Londoner!
- The metro stops are really close together. If Citymapper is telling you to take the metro for 2 or 3 stops, just walk it! You can even sometimes see the next stop from the platform of the stop before
- Changing metro stops. This is so much more complicated and time-consuming than it may seem. All the signs seem to be pointing to opposite directions, and it can take at least 15 minutes if you decide to change metro lines at Chatelet (be warned!). If you have to get off a stop early, or change at a smaller station, do it. Save yourself the stress!
- The arrondissements are really different. Paris is divided up into arrondissements (there are 20 of them), and each one has its own distinct character. Make sure you explore them all, as they have their own things to offer (I love the 6th to wander around in and feel like a fancy Parisian, the 10th to sit by the Canal and enjoy a bottle of wine, and the 3rd to explore the amazing shops).
- Rent is not cheap. Again – this is probably anticipated, but the rent really is expensive. It is also almost impossible to find an apartment, and you’re likely to find yourself in a vicious cycle as you don’t have a French bank account, and you can’t get one because you don’t have a French address, but without this address you can’t get a bank account! It is a totally ridiculous system but if you can somehow find a way to get one of these variables, things will be far easier for you. Most landlords also require a ridiculous document called a ‘dossier’, including information on a guarantor, which is so longwinded and excessive, but a requirement nonetheless.
Whether you’re planning to move to Paris, or are simply interested in what living in this city would entail, I hope this post has helped you and given you some insight into the complex yet exciting process!