Cost of Living

Understand the living expenses you can expect in France...

The cost of living will depend very much on the region in which you live. In France the difference is particularly marked between the Paris region and the other regions (the provinces). Moreover, even in the same town, prices sometimes vary greatly from one district to another.


As in many countries of Europe, housing constitutes the main expense for most French households. In the Paris region, accommodation-related expenditure is, on average, 36% higher than that in other regions. Furthermore, the price of housing in the town centre is generally far higher than on the outskirts.

Food and Daily Expenses

The structure of the commercial network in France is comparable to that of the other countries of Europe: either small businesses in town centres offering a wide variety of products and brands, at rather high prices, or a network of highly developed large-scale distribution outlets (most selling goods online) on the outskirts, and which offer lower prices for mass market products.

Examples of Prices
  • Bread (French baguette): 1 €
  • a metro/bus ticket: 1.60 €
  • a cinema ticket: 9 €
  • a postage stamp at the normal rate: 0.56 €
  • a sandwich: 4 €
  • a meal in a restaurant: 12-20 €

Text last edited on: 03/2010

Source: European Union
C European Communities
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