Top 5 Finance Districts to Live and Work - Paris
This is part 3 of a 5 part series where we take a fine tooth cultural and working comb to the major financial centres around Europe. Today, it’s Paris. You can find more information on relocating in our Guide to Relocation and Country Information here.
“You can’t escape the past in Paris, and yet what’s so wonderful about it is that the past and present intermingle so intangibly that it doesn’t seem to burden.”
Paris is a cultural and business powerhouse
It’s the home of some of the world’s most famous writers, philosophers, artists, academics and revolutionaries; it’s the capital of the one of the world’s most powerful countries; home to the world’s most visited art museum the Louvre; home to the Basilica, Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower, but it also plays home to global mega-companies such as Axa Insurance, BNP Paribas, Danone and LVMH. It’s a city of 6,100 streets; it contains a vibrant history of counter-cultural thought and is one of the most visited cities in the world.
To live and work in Paris is to live and work in the heart and soul of modern history. Its dynamism as a city is only matched by its boundless creative heart. Despite it being the home of French government, a global creative hub and a terminus to an enormous global travel trade (outside of COVID), it is a city forever tied to its vibrant, violent and spirited past.
Geography and Travel
- Paris is one of the most accessible and connected of European cities. It’s served by three airports – Charles de Gaulle, Orly and Beauvais, and has the busiest train station in Europe: Gare Du Nord. Flights from major cities like Berlin (approx £60) and London (approx £50) are frequent. At the centre of Paris is the River Seine, and the city is split into twenty arrondissements, or administrative districts. The city itself sits in the middle of the Petite Couronne – the “Little Crown” – of 3 larger regional administrative districts.
- Paris is known as the “City of Lights” – whether this refers to its position as a city full of revolutionary thinking, or as the first city that had working streetlights, Paris is widely known as the beating heart of European culture, fashion, cuisine and art.
- Paris is the home of Chanel, Dior, Hermes Louis Vuitton and haute couture; French and specifically Parisian fashion is effortless, chic, global renown and highly coveted.
- Many of history’s most renowned artists (such as Monet) and chefs (Alain Ducasse) are Parisian in name and legend. But tucked into the winding Parisian streets are the signs of hundreds of years of culture, built around each other, the gothic mixing with the Roman, the renaissance with the Art Deco, the sprawling noise of the Champs-Élysées aligned with the trendy Le Marais.
- There is a significant international schooling system built around the domestic education institutions: French, British and the International Baccalaureate curricula is a staple of the international school system, but typical schooling offers the “Option Internationale du Baccalaureat” (OIB).
- Famous schools such as International School of Paris, Lycee International and Marymount School are fee paying (from €4,000 a year to €34,000 a year). 78% of adults aged 25-64 have completed upper secondary education in France, which parallels a global OECD
- For further education, Paris sports an envious list of universities. The QS Top Universities list contained 12 universities located in Paris, including: Université PSL, Institut Polytechnique de Paris, Sorbonne University, Université de Paris and Sciences Po.
Property prices and Living
- Paris is formidably expensive to live in. It recently reclaimed the Most Expensive City to Live In (alongside Zurich), overtaking Hong Kong and New York: the average price per square metre is over €10,500. The average “comfortable” amount to live on in the city (minus rental costs) is €850 to €1000 a month.
Business Sector and Financial Cityscape
- There are 5 main business districts in Paris: La Défense (the largest business district in Europe and 15 of the world’s 50 top companies are based here), Bourse de Paris, Opéra, the CBD, Saint-Denis Pleyel. France has the 3rd largest economy in Europe, and the 6th largest by GDP in the world. The Sophia Antipolis technology park has the highest concentration of technology engineers outside Silicon Valley and investment is eagerly sought.
- However, Parisians are famous for their strict labour laws – there are high employer taxes to pay and employers should be incredibly cognizant of the hierarchical, rights-based and work-culture nuances of the French workplace.
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