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Paris, France

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The City Of Lights, Love, and Art: Paris, France

Today, the Marais is one of Paris’ most trendy and desirable neighborhoods. The Marais is also home to many restaurants, cafes, and boutiques, many of which stay open on Sundays, an unusual practice in France. The Marais still retains so much of the medieval character that was bulldozed in the 19th and 20th centuries for bigger and better structures in other parts of the City of Light—but thankfully not the medieval smell. The most prevalent smell these days emanates from the numerous seductive boulangeries (bakeries) and pâtisseries (pastry shops).

To live in the Marais is to live in the heart—geographic, cultural, historical, architectural, and social—of this city that is considered by so many to be the ground zero of refined western culture. The Marais oozes culture and history. The neighborhood has an excess of historical sites and museums.

Cost Of Living In The Marais, Paris

Of course this could-be utopia is not without its drawbacks. Paris is an expensive city and the Marais is one of its most expensive neighborhoods. For access to the heart of Paris, there is no better location. The cost of living for this prime location amounts to 2,860 euros per month.

Apartment or House Ownership Budget (for a couple) 

Expense Monthly Cost Notes
HOA Fees NA HOA fees are not typical in apartments in Paris.
Property Taxes 0.25% of apartment value There are two property taxes: taxe d’habitation (like an occupancy tax; paid by renter if property is rented) and taxe foncière (the actual property tax). Taxe foncière works out to about 0.1% (0.001) of the estimated value of the apartment. Taxe d’habitation is about twice the amount of the taxe foncière. In total, assume about 0.25% of the value of an apartment.
Transportation 50 3 euros for Vélib subscription, 33.80 euros for 20 metro/bus tickets, plus a couple car rides or allowing for some Vélib overages.
Gas NA Some apartments in Paris use gas for heating, but it’s not common.
Electricity 70
Water 10
Water 10
Cell Phone 20 Basic plan with unlimited calls, texts, and 4G data.
Internet and Cable 36 Cheapest basic package with fiberoptic internet speed.
Household Help 45 3 hours per week; 15 euros per hour.
Entertainment 620 A couple’s cost of eating out once a week at a mid-range, local restaurant: 40 per meal; drinks twice a week at a nearby watering hole: 8 euros per drink; movie theater trip twice a month: 11 euros per ticket.
Groceries 400 Basic items for a couple.
Gym membership 37 Basic gym membership.
Medical appointment 25 Basic clinic appointment; specialists usually charge 50 euros. Health care prices are regulated according to the public health care system and can range from 25 to 80 on the public side, but can be as high as 130 for a simple consultation on the private, non-regulated side.
TOTAL 1,313

Apartment or House Rental Budget (for a couple) 

ExpenseMonthly Cost Notes
Rent 2,500 A one- or two-bedroom apartment in Central Paris. With this budget, you’ll have plenty of options, but you can certainly spend less than this and still be very comfortable and centrally located.
Transportation 50 3 euros for Vélib subscription, 33.80 euros for 20 metro/bus tickets, plus a couple car rides or allowing for some Vélib overages.
Gas NA Some apartments in Paris use gas for heating, but it’s not common.
Electricity 70
Water NA Included in rent.
Cell Phone 20 Basic plan with unlimited calls, texts, and 4G data.
Internet and Cable 36 Cheapest basic package with fiberoptic internet speed.
Household Help 45 3 hours per week; 15 euros per hour.
Entertainment 620 A couple’s cost for eating out once a week at a mid-range, local restaurant: 40 per meal; drinks twice a week at a nearby watering hole: 8 euros per drink; movie theater trip twice a month: 11 euros per ticket.
Groceries 400 Basic items for a couple.
Gym membership 37 Basic gym membership.
Medical appointment 25 Basic clinic appointment; specialists usually charge 50 euros. Health care prices are regulated according to the public health care system and can range from 25 to 80 on the public side, but can be as high as 130 for a simple consultation on the private, non-regulated side.
TOTAL
3,803

Penny-Pincher’s Budget (for a couple, bare minimum costs for all) 

ExpenseMonthly Cost Notes
Rent: 1,300 Slightly farther from the heart of Central Paris; basic one-bedroom rental.
Transportation 15 Sticking strictly to Vélibs and using bus or metro only occasionally; 3 euros for Vélib.
Gas NA Some apartments in Paris use gas for heating, but it’s not common.
Electricity 35 Because you’ll have a smaller apartment, it will cost less to power it.
Water NA Included in rent.
Cell Phone 20 Basic plan with unlimited calls, texts, and 4G data.
Internet and Cable NA Using your phone plan, you can easily use the data to connect your home devices to internet instead of paying for Wi-Fi.
Entertainment 75 This would be for eating out minimally just once a week and always taking advantage of menu deals; visiting museums on free days and going to the movies during discounted hours.
Groceries 300 All local-brand items only, shopping markets and local vendors along with grocery stores.
TOTAL 1,745

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Real Estate In The Marais, Paris

The Marais is also a breeding ground for cafe culture, an epicenter of fine cuisine, and home to many a cozy bistro and open air market. Foodies will not be disappointed with the offerings within a stone’s throw of their front door.

Property prices, both for owning and renting, are sky high for very little space. With these heightened prices come more expensive groceries, boutiques, dry cleaners, restaurants—you name it—than in most other neighborhoods, with the notable exception of the other expat-invaded Parisian neighborhood, Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

Expats In The Marais, Paris

Roughly a quarter of the Marais’ population was born outside Metropolitan France, so as an expat living in this neighborhood, you will certainly not be alone. For some, it’s actually a negative that so much English can be heard in the streets, cafes, and restaurants of the Marais. But aside from the sheer numbers, the organization of the expat community is impressive. Few foreign cities have as strong and as established an Anglophone expat community as Paris.

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Is France Your Dream Destination? 

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