FranceCastleYou Get What You Pay For

France would never feature on a list of the world's bargain destinations; still, outside Paris, this country can be much more affordable than you might imagine...and even Paris doesn't have to be hyper-expensive. Plus, you have to remember what you're buying. Paris is, in our opinion, the most beautiful and romantic place on earth. And Paris is only the beginning of this story. There's a reason, after all, why more tourists seek out France each year than any other country on earth.

Furthermore, Paris is also a lifestyle play that can double as a solid investment, as apartment values in some arrondissements continue steadily up. A piece of Paris real estate is a hard asset worth holding.

In addition, beyond Paris, it can be possible still to indulge your French farmhouse renovation fantasies for well under $100,000.

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Population 65.6 million (July 2012 est.)
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) $2.214 trillion (2011)
GDP Per Capita $35,000 (2011)
Inflation Rate 1.7% (20010 est.)
Currency Euro (EUR)
Exchange Rate Versus U.S. Dollar 0.7107 euro = 1 U.S. dollar (2011 est.)
Language French
Capital Paris
Population of Capital City 2.211 million  
Time Zone GMT plus 1
Seasons Inland: hot, wet summers; cold, dry winters
South: hot, dry summers; cool, wet summers
West: wet, mild winters; wet, cool summers
International Dialing Code 33
Electricity 230V / 50 Hz; Plug Type: E, C
Name and Party Affiliation
of Current Leader
Nicolas Sarkozy, Union for a Popular Movement
Income Tax Rate for Residents 10% to 48.09%
Property Tax Variable
Capital Gains Tax 0% to 16% resident or European Union citizen;
0% to 33% non-EU citizen and non-resident
Inheritance Tax 5% to 40%
Rental Income Tax 7% for residents; 7-25% for non-residents
Transfer Tax 3% to 5.08%
Sales Tax 19.6%
Restrictions on Foreign
Ownership of Property
Local Chamber of Commerce
45 Avenue d'Iéna BP 3003
75773 Paris
Tel: 33 (0)1 4069 3700
American Chamber of Commerce
156 boulevard Haussmann
75008 Paris
Tel: 33 (0) 1 5643 4567
Primary Exports Machinery and transportation equipment, aircraft, plastics, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, iron, steel, beverages
Residency and Visa Requirements Tourist Visa: automatic 90 days upon entry
Residency: visitor, student, employee, self-employed, trader, scientific, cultural/artistic, temporary employee, private/family visas
Citizenship: fixed residence for 5 continuous years
Special Benefits for Foreign Residents or Retirees None, Residents are taxed on worldwide income. 
National Airline Air France