One of the first questions asked by expats planning an international move is what is the cost of living in France? The cost of living in France varies enormously depending on your location.
As with most countries, the cost of living in Paris and other large cities such as Lyon, Strasbourg and Marseille, as well as desirable coastal regions and upmarket ski resorts is higher, with the most expensive property and rental prices. The same is true for dining and entertainment, with smaller cities and rural areas throughout the country offering more affordable living costs.
When weighing up the cost of living in France, food shopping costs less at larger supermarkets (hypermarchés) than smaller grocery shops (épiceries). It is still the norm in most places to buy bread and pastries from an independent boulangerie and meat from an individual butcher or boucher. There are a plethora of local markets selling fresh produce for reasonable prices too. There is 20% VAT added to most items (which is almost always already included in the listed price).
Numbeo is a useful online resource to help illustrate the cost of living in France and plan an estimated budget day-to-day based on real life purchases.
For more information and tips on moving to France, visit our useful relocation guide on MumAbroad.com.