Why move to France? Check out the benefits of living in France and why so many UK expats choose to move there.
Why move to France? A lot of Brits have made the move across the channel with many more wanting to follow suit. Moving to France may be harder since Brexit, but with so many advantages on offer, people are not put off. Whether it be the lower cost of living, escaping the rat race in the UK or the appeal of a new culture, there are so many reasons why Britons move to France.
It’s extremely easy to fall in love with France. The country serves as a muse to writers, poets and artists. The French countryside is the birthplace of Impressionist art – Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night” was inspired by the view from the asylum window where he spent a year. France has some of the best food in all of Europe, as well as some of the finest wines.
In France, there are approximately 2 million British expats, with the Ile-de-France area being the most popular. The region has a combined population of 12 million people and 944,000 firms, making it one of Europe’s most economically active districts. The fact that the region includes Paris, which is rich in culture, makes it a desirable location.
Want to get an idea of the cost of moving to France? Try our free PSS International Removals Cost Calculator.
Here are 26 of the top reasons why you should consider relocating your family or yourself over to France.
1: Beautiful landscapes and amazing views
France is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, offering everything from mountains and castles to beaches and cities. One of the best ways to see it is by driving from the capital, Paris, through to the region of Provence in the South of France, up to Bordeaux and then Normandy. Whether you are an adventure seeker or just want some time away from work, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful country!
2: Enjoy a healthy work-life balance …
France is a country with a healthy work-life balance. The average French worker is entitled to five weeks of paid vacation per year, and they get an additional nine or eleven paid holidays. In addition, they receive paid sick leave at 100% of their wages, as well as parental leave until the child is three years old.
The French people work to live rather than live to work. They do not focus all their time on business success or career advancement in the same way. Rather, they hold more focus on things like family, friends, and leisure.
3: …As well as longer lunch breaks
In France, they have perfected the art of enjoying free time. Lunch is an important part of the day, and they take it very seriously. Lunch breaks often last anywhere between an hour and a half to two hours, which is a lot of time to catch up with friends and enjoy food together.
4: Authentic French cuisine
Nothing beats authentic French cuisine. The French are known for their gastronomy all over the world and there is no better place to explore it than France itself! This is a country that takes its food seriously, whether you enjoy fine-dining at three Michelin-starred restaurants, or prefer more simple meals.
The food is always amazing when you move to France. There is something on the menu in France that will satisfy your taste buds. From baguettes and croissants to bouillabaisse and bourguignon, French food has a little something for everyone.
5: And don’t forget the wine!
If you love your wine, then France is the country for you. In France, you will find more vineyards than any other country in the world. It alone accounts for almost one-sixth of all the wine produced worldwide! Whether you love red wine or white wine, you will find something to make your taste buds happy.
6: Mediterranean climate
France has a Mediterranean climate, which means the summers are hot and dry and the winters are cool and wet. Overall temperatures in France vary according to elevation and distance from the coast. The north of France has a marine climate with cooler summers and milder winters than the south.
The south of France, where many people choose to move to, has a particularly pleasant climate all year round. Perfect for country walks, al fresco dining or enjoying the beautiful beaches.
This means, no matter the time of year, you can always travel to a part of France with nice weather.
7: Stunningly beautiful and great value properties
Looking for a chateau in Provence, a villa on the Riviera, a farm in the Dordogne or a stylish Parisian apartment? No matter where you choose, you’ll be spoilt for choice with so many character properties in beautiful settings. Paris aside, you’ll still be amazed at how far your budget will go compared with most of the UK.
8: Quality healthcare
The French have a lot of pride in many things—their wines, for example, or their pastries. But perhaps the thing they are most proud of is their healthcare system. As the World Health Organization found in its 2000 study, the French healthcare system is globally ranked as one of the best in terms of quality and efficiency. It ranked first on the list.
The French government spends a higher percentage of GDP on healthcare than any other country in the European Union besides Germany (11.6% compared to Germany’s 11.3%). Even today Numbeo ranks France 4th in the world and 1st in Europe.
The country’s strengths do not stop there: they’ve also been pioneers in particular aspects of healthcare, such as developing treatments for cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
9: Great for children
Have you ever thought about raising your children in France? You might want to consider it. Not only is the country beautiful and full of things to do, but it’s also a great place for children to grow up.
France have great value properties and chalet houses. Bordeaux, for example, is ideal for raising a family due to its lower cost of living and culture. If you’re looking for a place to raise a family, France just might be the ideal spot.
10: Immerse yourself with the café culture
The French café culture is a long-standing tradition in France. Cafés are very popular among the citizens of France because they are considered to be the places where people can meet and share their views on different topics.
11: Living costs are lower
Living in France is less expensive than living in the United Kingdom—even in Paris, the capital city. Rental prices are lower, but it’s also cheaper to eat out, go out, and get around town. The cost of living in France has fallen by 3% since last year!
It is good news for Brit expats as the cost of living in France is about 5% lower than in the United Kingdom.
12: The opportunity to embrace a new culture
The culture is rich and highly regarded. France is home to numerous world-class museums like the Louvre, important historical sites like Versailles and stunning architecture such as Notre Dame de Paris or Lyon Cathedral. Each city has its unique character and charm – you can easily spend a day walking around admiring all the beauty that surrounds you.
Moving to France means getting into an artistic scene with deep roots in tradition. When you live in France, you’ll be able to participate in art, theatre, dance and more!
13: Learning a new language
Moving to France is a great opportunity to learn a new language. You probably learnt some French at school and here’s your chance to master one of the most romantic languages in the world!
You’ll be fully immersed in the culture and language, which will help you pick it up much faster. There are also a lot of classes and programs you can take that will help you learn.
14: The home of fashion
France is the home of fashion. There is no other place on earth where style reigns as supreme as it does in Paris. Paris is famous for being a hub for all things stylish. French people have a reputation for being effortlessly chic and this is something that will become very apparent.
Everyone from young children to the elderly seems to exude an air of elegant cool that can only come from years of exposure to French culture. The good news is it’s not too hard to join in with all this French style.
15: Rich in history and diversity
France is a land of rich history, culture and diversity. It’s a country that boasts beautiful people and stunning scenery. It has so much to offer from its bustling cities and quaint towns to its beautiful countryside.
The French people are known for their laid back attitudes and impressive appreciation for food. France has produced many famous artists, writers and historians who have helped shape the world we live in today.
16: Local fresh food markets
The local food markets in France are an experience to behold. Rows and rows of vendors selling produce, flowers, houseware and more make these markets the go-to destination for those looking for a taste of authentic Normandy.
The markets normally include locally sourced products that have been grown or made by the vendors themselves. In addition to food products, you can usually find clothing, jewellery, accessories and much more!
17: So many opportunities to travel
France offers so many opportunities to travel as it is one of the largest countries in Europe, with a total surface area over 643,801 km2, and many different landscapes and climates to explore. Normandy, for example, offers rich history while Provence is famous for its scenery and food. There is always something new to explore while living in France.
18: Skiing and hiking in the French Alps
France is home to some of the best ski resorts in Europe, if not in the whole world! From Chamonix Mont Blanc to Val d’Isère, you will be able to find a resort that suits your level and budget. The French Alps are a great place to go skiing or snowboarding. Whether you’re an expert on the slopes or a beginner, you can’t go wrong with the snow-capped peaks and breath-taking views. If you’d rather be hiking, there are more than 100 trails to choose from in the area.
19: More free time
Living in France, you will have more free time than you are used to. French people value their own time and want to make sure they’re using it well. They work fewer hours than anyone else in the EU.
This extra free time means you can use your evenings and weekends for whatever you like—a hike, a picnic with friends, a book club… The world is yours!
20. Great for children and great education
The French education system is not just dedicated to giving children a quality education as early as possible, but also to making that experience as positive and exciting as it can be. The goal is for children to want to learn more about the world around them—and that includes information about their own country!
There are plenty of resources available for families in France, including day care centres, preschools, and a public school system that’s well-established and offers an excellent curriculum
21: It’s still possible to move there even after Brexit
Despite the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, it is still possible to move to France. You don’t need a visa if you’re staying for up to 90 days in any 180-day period – ideal for holiday home owners and people looking to escape the English winter.
There are also options for different types of visas if you wish to stay longer or permanently. Brits can apply for a carte de séjour visa for a variety of purposes including work, study, staying with family members, extended tourist visits, and retiring to France.
Once you have been living in France for over 5 years, you can apply for a permanent residence permit. You can find out more on the France visa website.
22: Experienced removal companies to help you with your move
Although just a few hours’ drive through the Channel Tunnel, moving your belongings to France is not quite as easy following Brexit. However, if you choose an experienced international removal company such as PSS, you should find the whole process stress free.
It’s really important to choose the right method of moving your international belongings. If you’re moving abroad with PSS, we offer a full door-to-door service with shipment protection options to keep your belongings safe. We will even handle all the new customs arrangements for you so that all you have to do is organise where your items will be delivered in France.
In addition, we can help you figure out what items to take with you when moving abroad. Our international removals team can give you advice on how best to move your things and what the process is like from our end. All you have to do is ask!
23: Beautiful Vineyards to start exploring
When you think of France, you probably think of food, wine, and joie de vivre—and you’d be right!
We’re hardly shocked that French wines are well-known over the world. Since the nation has so many varied climates and grounds, there are so many different varieties of wine: red, white, rose, and even champagne… a drink only created in France! Discover some of the world’s most stunning vineyards and sample real wines.
And all of these amazing wines are available at great rates. In the UK, tax accounts for 75% of the cost of a bottle, but in France, it’s a different story. You may drink as much as you want of those world-class wines.
24: Stunning coastlines and beaches
France has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. From the white cliffs of Étretat to the bright blue water of Saint-Tropez, the country is a true paradise for anyone who loves lying on a sandy beach and swimming in clear water. The entire coastline of France is around 3,000 kilometres long, with thousands of kilometres of sandy beaches and secluded coves. There’s no shortage of places to sunbathe in France.
25: You can easily travel to see family and friends back home (or they can enjoy a holiday with you)
It’s easy to visit family and friends back home because France is just a short flight away. With a flight time of only 1 hour and 15 minutes to Paris from London Heathrow, France is perfectly positioned for travel to and from the UK. You can quickly travel back when you need to.
You can even invite your friends and family over to visit. It’s easy for your loved ones to come and holiday with you in France.
The relaxed pace is ideal for expats moving to France. If you want to slow down and take it easy, move to France for a more relaxed pace of life. After all, what could be better than spending your days drinking coffee at cafés?
26: The perfect country to find a tranquil place to retire
With all the benefits listed above including healthcare, low cost of living, beautiful countryside and laid back lifestyle, it’s no wonder that France is such a popular country to retire too.
And with so many Brits making this choice you’ll find a whole industry and community ready to assist you. From pension and financial advice to English speaking real estate agents and solicitors, you’ll find everything a breeze.
Also with friendly locals and a welcoming British expat community, adapting to retirement life in France will be a pleasure.
Moving to France after this? PSS International can help.
We hope that you now feel that moving to France is the right choice for you. It is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and it has a real culture of joy. If you’re considering a move abroad, we recommend seriously considering France—it could be the best decision you ever make!
We have found that an excellent work-life balance and a quality standard of living is why France is a highly attractive location to live in. Those who live in France enjoy more breaks and more paid holidays to ensure that they can spend more time with friends and family. France are also known for their café culture, and classic dishes such as bourguignon and cassoulet are sure to delight those who live in France.