Many people choose France for its exceptional quality of life. Expatriates, students, retirees, many foreigners come to live in France. So, can we really say that France is a good country to live in?
Cities where it is good to live
The website “Les communes labellisées – Villes et villages où il fait bon vivre” has just drawn up a list of towns and villages in France where the quality of life is the best. What are the criteria?
The site proposes 187 criteria, all grouped under 9 categories: quality of life, safety, transport, shops and services, health, education, sports and leisure, solidarity and real estate attractiveness.
Annecy offers a pleasant living environment in the mountains, while remaining in the city. Public services are functional. It is also worth noting that Annecy has a relatively high level of security, ensuring the peace of mind of its inhabitants. Its proximity to Switzerland and major educational and technological centres make it a city open to work.
Ajaccio. The climate is hot in the summer, mild the rest of the year. The beauty of the nature is everywhere, around the city, the sea, the beaches in the city centre. The historical heritage is important. The local shops, the narrow streets where it is good to live, good restaurants, good cafés. Safety and tranquility.
Angers has an exceptional cultural and historical heritage. The city has green spaces that allow locals and visitors to linger under a tree or rest peacefully. Angers seems to be a small but lively city, which is often the setting for artistic performances (theatres, concerts, etc.) and is situated in the middle of the Loire Valley, in the heart of the vineyards and its fame.
By the sea
La Rochelle. Judged on 187 criteria in 9 different categories, La Rochelle came fourth out of 34,827 municipalities. Its marina (Port des Minimes) and seaport (La Pallice) make it a coastal town easily accessible by all kinds of boats. On the land side, La Rochelle station offers daily TGV connections to Paris. In addition, many events are accessible, such as the Francofolies music festival, which attracts around 150,000 people each year.
Nice has everything to seduce… even the animals. The administrative agents of the city and the metropolis are encouraged to come to the office with their pets since December 2021. The Azur tramway lines are accessible to dogs free of charge. For the rest, Nice is known and recognized for its beach, its Promenade des Anglais. Nice is the first cosmopolitan city on the list. It also offers pleasures linked to its geographical location: close to the sea and the mountains.
Situated near the sea, Caen embodies the gentle way of life. The authentic beaches of the Côte de Nacre are within everyone’s reach. The beaches of Caen are fine sandy beaches, where you can practice sand yachting. In terms of nature, with its steep and wild landscapes, Caen is perfect for all outdoor sports activities (hiking, mountain biking, paragliding, climbing…). Dating back to mediaeval times, it was the presence of William the Conqueror that made the city an important site at that time.
Bayonne is home to a large number of important companies in its territory. Aeronautics, telecommunications, textiles and metallurgy are all important and promising sectors of activity. Living in Bayonne also means being able to take full advantage of nature thanks to the 40% of the city’s green spaces. Also note the proximity of the ocean and the Pyrenees.
Le Mans is a pleasant city, with numerous means of transport for its size, tramways, TGV, buses… Le Mans has an undeniable historical heritage. The Roman wall, the cathedral and the Plantagenet city are in a remarkable state of preservation. There are also elegant parks such as Tessé and the Jardin des Plantes. In addition, Le Mans has found an identity in street art, with walls that have become lively and colourful works of art.
Connected to Germany by a tramway line, Strasbourg is a cross-border city and therefore by nature open to the international scene with the presence of more than 70 European and international institutions. With its 344 hectares of parks and gardens, Strasbourg is a green city offering a serene and energising quality of life to its inhabitants. The city has the largest cycling network in France with 560 km of cycle paths.
The advantages of living in France
Life in France has many advantages. Whether you are studying, working or retiring, France has many advantages.
A diversity of population
The population of France is approximately 68 million. The country’s ethnic composition is diverse, but official ethnic statistics are not kept for reasons of equality and tolerance. In short, the official census of the population on racial and ethnic grounds is prohibited.
Many people from all over the world live in France. In this democracy, children are taught from an early age not to divide people by race and colour.
Similarly, despite a neutrality in religion, all faiths are accepted in the country. The principle of secularism requires only that people do not exhibit their faith or proselytise in public places and organisations.
Let’s talk about the benefits of working. In the public sector, you work 35 hours a week. What’s more, we get paid for our overtime! And the paid holidays are interesting, with five weeks of paid holidays per year. The RTT (reduced working hours) often makes it possible to take long weekends.
In France, the social protection system, housing assistance, retirement, in short, the social benefits you enjoy are a real attraction.
Education is cheap and this is particularly an advantage when you want to pursue higher education. French education is of high quality, and the degrees obtained here are renowned throughout Europe. Moreover, foreign students have the same admission rights as French students.
As far as travel is concerned, if you do it properly and book in advance, the train is a cheap way to visit other cities in our beautiful country. There are many unmissable destinations, such as Saint-Malo, the beaches of the South of France, Chamonix and its ski slopes.
Number one is the French cuisine. Yes, in France you will find as many specialities as there are regions… and many kinds of bread to try. In fact, the food in general remains the number one attraction. Cheese, croissants, coffee, crêpes… France is a country that makes you salivate. Yes, France is a great place to live… and to eat.
The morning markets give off an irresistible atmosphere of noise, scents and varied local products.
From a cultural point of view, as we saw with the previous ranking, there are plenty of museums to visit. The Louvre, the Rodin Museum, the great monuments everywhere, it’s a dream come true!
The cultural exception, while controversial in France, is widely recognised elsewhere. Our theatres, the French cinema, the Cannes festival, Jean Dujardin and the Oscars for The Artist, the great Netflix series like Lupin… … In terms of music too, France offers many artists. Daft Punk, David Guetta, Aya Nakamura…
In France, too, there are many exciting sporting events: the 24 hours of Le Mans, the Tour de France, football, of course…
Finally, but also very importantly, France has a comfortable living climate – marine, oceanic and continental. Because of the proximity of the sea, in summer the temperature rarely exceeds 32 and in winter it rarely falls below 5. In the mountains, of course, it is colder – there is a lot of snow and heavy frosts. But all this gives France a diversity of climates, nature and activities to do…
France has many assets that make it a popular destination. Its culture, the richness of its landscapes, the diversity of its cities but also its numerous social advantages, its education and health system make it a country where life is good. Whether to study, to work or simply to visit its many tourist sites listed as UNESCO world heritage sites, France is a country that you must visit!