I need some honest opinions please. I used to live in Paris for 7 years, 1 year in Sicily and now almost 8 years in Florida. I’m from Germany. I always loved Paris, but when I left there were some things that I didnt like (dirty, expensive, impossible to ever live in an apartment alone). But I still miss it. Especially art, museums, so many things to do, the metro, buses and so much more. I had 2 girlfriends there. 1 I’ve lost now and the other one went back to Germany. So, if I come back I’d be completely alone. But my question is, how is it now to live there? The gf that went back to Germany said that she wouldn’t come back. Too much crime now, and the terror danger. She was never a huge fan of Paris, she lived close to Disney and barely went to Paris. I know there are lots of people here who love Paris. Could you tell me if its really that bad? Le SMIC was at 9 euro something when I left. How is everything now? How is the job market etc? Oh and I have a dog now, a German shepherd. How difficult is it to find a room with a dog? Thanks in advance
«I’m Parisian, was born here and just moved back after 10 years in London. I live right in the heart of Paris, the Marais. No it’s not dirty, no more crimes than elsewhere, actually really secure now with soldiers everywhere 😉 As for the attacks, yes they may happen again but they may happen anywhere and you don’t base your life & choices on this. We don’t feel it in Paris and we still go out as usual, festivals are still being celebrated, no changes apart from the view of soldiers around.Re jobs, that’s way more complicated. It depends on the field and the position you are looking for of course. Luxury has really been affected by the attacks since the Chinese clientele barely comes now and there is a huge decrease in American tourists. It seems that tourists and foreigners living abroad are way more afraid than we are. Could it be due to the media?Life is fantastic in Paris. I have a cat. You can rent a place with a pet without any issue and you don’t have to specify you have one. It is illegal here to refuse a pet owner. It was way more complicated in London!
You can also rent holiday flats with your pet. No issues here in France. They are welcome in restaurants, hotels, etc. Hope it helps! Good luck on your decisions.N.B. I love the pace of life here, strolling around aimlessly, talking to people spontaneously. The main issue is the job market, really bad. But please it’s not dirty, I keep reading this which makes me laugh when I see London’s pavements being littered permanently!!! And one must compare a capital to another to be fair.»
I lived in Paris for five years, 1.5years in Paris and the remaining in Cergy as I was a student. I liked living there especially since towards the end i got a really good job and a good place to live in but i was never fan of the fact that its such a spoilt city and the charm is not there anymore. 3 yrs back, I quit my job and left Paris for good and moved to Australia (didn’t have a option as got married and hubby lives here). Since i mived here I have been desperate to go back as i missed paris sooo much so we recently made a trip and to my shock, things were even worse than before. More theft, dirtier, smellier etc etc if you ask me now whether I would trade living in canberra for Paris- well, I wouldn’t. Sadly, not any more. But i guess theres a little part of me that adores Paris so much
Same here, I adore Paris. Some people also told me to go to Australia, its kind of European life there but better. Never went there, but not sure if I could live next to spiders and all the other deadly animals 😉
I havent seen a single spider or a deadly snake or what not so far 😄 but we do certainly have bizillions of roos, you get to see more dead ones than living ones though.
Ive lived 34 years in Paris (as iam born there) and i wouldnt recommend it. It has become dangerous, it is so expensive and it is polluted. But the real problem of Paris are the people : So unfriendly, so not warm and welcoming like many places in the world. For culture tho it is the best place in the world. It depends what you are looking for. But if you want nature and space for your dog… Hope it helped. Good luck
I found the French to be very friendly and helpful.
it is not the French that are unfriendly, not welcoming or warm. It is the Parisians because of the way of life here. If you.Go to other provinces you’ll see the difference
Well I had friends who saw the blood of victims in November as they were around and I also had friends watching the fireworks in Nice. I don’t feel the insecurity and Parisians in general have made the choice to live and go out as usual. I live in a district where I see soldiers and police officers everyday, clearly it is even way safer now. And Paris is as unsafe as any other capitals or big cities in Europe or the US. That’s something we must live with nowadays. I don’t feel more unsafe here than in London or less secure on the Tube or Metro. But I do feel the positive vibes of people enjoying drinks at cafes and going to concerts as usual.
I think a lot depends in which area in Paris you live. We have a very nice flat close to la defense, very affordable and we keep pets. Also the area is clean and nice bit there will be many stinky and diirty places on Paris. I travel a lot around Europe for my work and compared with othwr big cities in UK, Austria, Germany or Poland, this is the dirtiest.If it goes about safety, I don’t experience any danger on the daily basis. Even big public events ( like Euro cup) are really well secured. I agree with Margareth that media is generating this picture a lot. I heard a lot of bad things about job market but it probabely depends on your profile and what you are loking for. I found my dream job here. It took me some time but was worth it 🙂 For me most difficult are people. Living in the hurry, not having time to invest in human relations or living here just for a short moment. I think being foreigner also doesn’t help.
I love living in Paris, an I have a dog too.
People always tend to say « it was better before». Personnaly I’ve been here 9 years, I haven’t quite seen a difference dirtwise or anything else. Paris «can» be dirty in some withdrawn dark places at night as people go pee there but it’s always been, and I’ve been to Ireland, UK and other places and seen worst, crime is in any capital but I’ve never had a bad experience with that in 9 years, and I think for a young person Paris really has something magical. People say the problem here are the people but I’ve been to other places in France and believe me in Paris are by far the most open people now of course French aren’t as loud and open as Americans or other cultures but that again has always been and probably will always be, but it’s also a very international city and there lots of amazing international meetups where you can meet people from all over the world. Hope that helps, you will always have people who don’t like a place, Paris doesn’t suit everyone.
Maybe come back for a vacation to see how it is? Rent an apartment in an area you liked before and see how it feels. You may be remembering it with rose tinted glasses, maybe not. Come back and see how it feels for yourself rather than ask opinions cos for every good one you hear, you’ll hear a bad one too.
Haha ‘is it THAT bad’? Depends what you like…might not be the cleanest or cheapest, but if you are in love with it like me, and feel like home, you will make it work….terror is a real threat but personally I’m not living in more fear than before. Finding a studio is possible but be ready to find sg in the suburbs – like one metro stop outside of Paris. Boulogne, Issy, Vincennes and Montrouge are lovely options. Work…depends on your French level but yes might take a few months to find. Having a dog is costy, vet is a fortune, but I guess you knew that when you had one. I’m a big fan of Paris so I’m looking on the bright side….;)
I’ve lived in Paris for 12 years, and all I’ve seen is more more homeless people, gypsies everywhere, no much improvement in the economy, it’s dirty, it smells like urine everywhere, the government is at its shittiest, having a dog in Paris it’s putting the poor animal thru hell, unless is a chihuahua, most people that «love» Paris see the good side of it, culture, beautiful buildings etc etc, that doesn’t pay my bills but for me as an entrepreneur and someone that likes progress and hates bureaucracy is not a great place. I had sadly too many bad experiences to say I like this place, I don’t. You need to come to your own conclusions, all I can add is even some Parisians hate the city now and are jumping ship.
If you find a nice little place in the 16th, near Exelmans or Auteil for example; you’re near a couple good dog parks, superb, quiet little hamlets with all the amenities, and Parc Boulogne; it’s very quiet up there, yet still close to the center. For some reason, that area is still a bit in reserve without a lot of the ickiness that definitely exists in other neighborhoods. Work is what you make it, and I still love Paris…. It’s up to ourselves to find our joy. I agree 100% with you…IT IS NOT DIRTY! Where do people pluck these rumours from I do not know. As for the terror attacks, Paris is doing all it can to protect the city. Police everywhere. The whole world is at risk, not just France. You can’t stop living your life due to these things. One must carry on.
I recently moved here and yes, I don’t find it very clean either – indeed other cities are not better, but I think the impression is worse, because everybody expects Paris to be the most beautiful city in the world with shining lights and wonderful architecture. London or Berlin etc don’t claim to be «beautiful» cities.
Rubbish doesn’t fit into this picture of Paris, and so I maybe recognize it more than elsewhere.
Paris is the 4th country I’m living in now and I have travelled a good part of the world, and my personal impression is that it is ‘not on the clean side’ (not everywhere but in many areas). In my eyes this is unnecessary and it spoils the picture of many visitors to this beautiful place. But just my personal opinion 🙂
You’re partly right but that’s due to people’s expectations of Paris based on a very romantic image. No cities could live up to this kind of high expectations so it’s quite unfair in the end. But again, there are way more important points to mention & debate on. We are incredibly lucky here – fair prices of shows, theatres, cinemas where you can get specific cards offering you a very interesting fare, affordable health insurance, no insane health & safety regulations, privacy not invaded by landlords, etc.
Dogs: we brought out dog from NY. Paperwork is not too difficult. Vets in Paris are super cheap in comparison to NY (but so is human healthcare). Parisians aren’t too keen on their dogs playing with others. They really just don’t understand it. No real dog runs here like in the US. Some parks allow off-leash walks like Bois de Vincennes, Bois de Boulogne, Tuilleries and a small section of Luxembourg Gardens, but other parks it is «Interdit aux Chiens». The upside is that dogs are legally allowed in cafes and restaurants and most of them are welcoming. Best to ask first, but the answer is normally «of course». No dogs in supermarkets, but most other shops are OK. Some shops require a muzzle, but that may just be FNAC. There are loads of dog walkers who will pick your dog up in a van and take them for an off leash pack walk in one of the Bois for about €30 (cheaper than NY daycare). There are a few apps and sites you can check out. «Club oscar», «Dogs Meeting» app, www.MonChienMaVille.com. And yes you need to pick up after your dog. It’s the only civil thing to do.
Our dog at 26kg is considered a big dog by paris standards whereas in NY she was medium sized. Your GSD may be considered large but not that it matters
Are dogs allowed in the metro or RER? I remember not seeing them when I lived there, but maybe am wrong?
I think technically they have to be carried, but we’ve often taken our pup on the metro many times. No other passenger or official has ever said anything except wanting to pat her. But the 1 hour of rush hour should probably be avoided.
Trains, TGV, RER etc, a dog is required to buy a ticket which costs half the price of a 2nd class ticket. Many people choose to only buy this onboard if asked. But it does mean you can take your dog for a trip somewhere. Geneva? Barcelona? Avignon? Lyon? Marseille?
Oh cool. Good to know I would love to ttravel here with the train, but dogs are not allowed on board unless they’re small and you can carry them in a bag
I organize a leash free dog walk in Vincennes every Sunday. The Bois there is leash free, clean and has streams and a horse riding center we grab coffee at after the walk. Check it out on meet-up.com
zxcellent. Is that the «Paris Dog Walking Meetup» at 11am each Sunday?
Yes it is
I moved here 3 years ago. Having a dog was never a problem although I doubt that my dog’s quality of life has improved since moving to Paris. Otherwise yes, this city is 100% Pet-friendly, absolutely.
Safe, well as safe as the next city nowadays. Beautiful city undeniably, there’s an abundance of things to do and places to visit. Yes metro stinks, I always opt for the bus, There is always an alternative.
People and jobs. Now these two could be way easier in other parts of the world… or before the euro zone crisis.
Pet friendly yes. Still beautiful architecture and fine food and wine. Dirty yes and lots of smokers polluting the already polluted air. Also Paris is very crowded and dense. Dense in the metros, on the streets.
Pet friendly yes, but for a big dog it could be stressful to live in small spaces.
Yes the strikes and also the protests that block whole areas and close some metro stops are very annoying and its almost a daily thing. I get sick of turning on the tv every day and hear all those protesting screaming people. How do people in other countries manage without striking all the time? They keep saying they are so proud they have the right to strike and I say, just because you have the right doesn’t mean you have to exercise that strike every day. I think its a real annoying part of Parisian living.
Actually size is not the thing to look at, energy levels and drive are more important. A Greyhound for example is a big dog that just wants to sit on the couch. A jack Russell is a farm dog that needs to run and to chase smells and things. A German Shepherd is not a very high energy dog that will struggle in smaller spaces. Also, given that paris is cheaper than other cities I have lived in (NY, London, Sydney), you can rent bigger places for less rent.
we have 4 German shepherds here (my roommate 3 and I have 1) and I can say they are high energy dogs. They’re good dogs and even if we dont play enough sometimes because of lot of rain or no time they dont chew up things or destroy anything. But especially my dog can play in the sun and doesnt get tired, I have to stop her and when playing now for example and in 10 mins she would love to go out again. ONly 1 time in her 4 years she was really exhausted, when a friend got a frenchie puppy and this one didnt stop playing with her. After a couple of hrs she didnt want anymore. I think every dog can live in a smaller space as long as they have their walks and their family.
I am also always weighing the pros and cons. If I move back to the US I will miss the good and inexpensive universal health care. That is important. The quality of the food. I will not miss the dirt, crowds, striking and protests and general constant complaining and people in very often a bad mood compared to a typical American’s sunny disposition, especially in customer service which doesn’t really exist here (the customer comes last)
If you didn’t like Paris before, it’s unlikely you’ll like it now. If you liked it before, you’ll still like it now. Paris is Paris. I think every city is what you make of it.. If you focus on the negative and want to complain about things, then you’ll find yourself surrounded by things to complain about. If you want to be happy and want to see the best in your city, you’ll go out and find the things that you like and the bad stuff will roll right off. I’m not saying you’re focusing on the negative, just that if you move back, it’s your mindset and personality that will determine whether it’s a positive or negative experience, not Paris itself. Personally I did not find Paris to be that dirty and I lived in an apartment alone and loved it, and knew many others who did the same. I had a large dog and it was great, Paris is the most dog friendly city in the world in my experience. I consider Paris one of the safest major cities you can live, when people say it’s dangerous I just have to laugh. Try comparing the violent crime rate to some major US cities. I also find it a relatively inexpensive place to live, the high rent is more than made up for by everything else being so cheap. I lived in one of the cheapest cost of living areas in the US and when I moved to Paris my monthly expenses went down by nearly two thousand dollars a month. Other than rent most everything else is pretty cheap, and lots of entertainment is free, plus travel is so much cheaper than in the US. Sure there are cheaper places to live, but IMO the tradeoff of cost of living in Paris with what you get by living there is one of the best values you can find in a major city. Paris is not for everyone, plenty of people just don’t like it and that’s okay, but there’s nothing wrong with the city itself. It’s just whether or not it’s the right fit for you.
In the US my husband and I had to have two cars.. Car payments of $350/m each, plus $200/m for insurance and gas. That’s $900/month. In Paris we rode our bikes everywhere or took a €1.30 metro ride. That alone saved us nearly a thousand every month. Health care saved us another $600/m. Mobile/TV/internet saved us another $400 or so. Our electricity bill saved us $500/m, lol, those electric bills in the Southern US are no joke! In Paris ours was capped at €23/m, I nearly had a heart attack. And our rent in Paris was the same price as our mortgage in the US so that didn’t really change. Taxes weren’t really that much higher, maybe 10%. Dining out and clothes shopping are pretty much the same, cheap or expensive depending on where you go. In Paris we did more free things like picnics or bike riding or drinking wine at Les Berges, whereas in the US we would do more expensive things like dinner and a movie. I’m sure there are other places in Europe that are much cheaper than Paris, but comparing an average major US city to Paris like the original poster is, for me Paris is the cheaper option by quite a lot.
If you think Paris is expensive, I think it’s you who needs to get off Ave. Montaigne 😉
I wonder when that happened because public transport doesn’t cost 1.30€ since a very long time
Having lived in Zurich and Luxembourg, which are amongst the most expensive cities in Europe, I must say that Paris is def not on the cheap end… I get it that you would pay less here than in the US in many areas, however you have to consider the average income of a French worker – if you are saying you cut down your expenses by 2000$ a month, consider that a lot of people here do not even have this amount to spend every month… it’s not cheap for everybody here
public transport costs don’t make for its poor quality and constant problems and taken that you can’t go out of the metro and ride a bus with the same ticket (like in some other countries) it is expensive, in the long run
Agree to disagree I guess. I saved so much money living in Paris, and I found public transport to be so cheap and very very reliable and safe and fast. Like I said, it’s all in your mindset, you can either see the positive or the negative to anything. And of course personal preferences vary as well. One person may see a 70€/m Navigo as pricey, another may see it as a steal! All depends on where you come from and what your own personal circumstances are.
I always loved Paris from the first time I saw it. And I know that in some parts its really dirty and the customer service is not the best. But I hear so many bad things in the news. I just want to hear it from real people how it is. Not that I’m super shocked when I return. Also I saw in the news that its really bad with the refugees, that there’s a camp in Paris somewhere. And yes its true there are some things really cheap or free. Like the museums once a month or nuit blanche and all the beautiful parks. I did a few times capoeira and sometimes in summer they have it for free in the parks. But then again I could never afford an apartment. For some people cheap is $1500, for me I cant afford more then 400-500 Euros. Plus if I work again at Disney they pay the SMIC and the landlords ask the salary 3 times higher than the rent. Maybe I can make money with my photography, but I dont even think about that for the moment. Am struggling here so bad. But I live in the wrong area for pinup shoots and I know Paris has a lot of people who love these kind of shoots
I think Paris is extremely safe with all the security around now. And I agree that people in other countries are much more scared. My friends in Australia always ask if I am scared. Ummm… non!
yes I’m still surprised when friends of mine living in NY or London ask me if my everyday life has not drastically changed and if I feel safe. These cities were not spared either unfortunately so that makes me wonder why this focus on Paris for them…
I have so many mixed opinions on this.
Personally, I am an American and even as an «étrangère» I had much better benefits than I ever would have had in the states AS a national. Being a native English speaker is hugely profitable, in the most beautiful city in the world. It is a city easy to date in, find friends in, and find lifelong personal/business connections. I have never been happier than I have been walking to my 9-5, after a morning workout and walking by the Eiffel Tower. Even if I’m tired after work and no one I know is available, I know 10+ places where I can get a good drink and meet an anglophone and/or French speaker to shoot the shit with. If I’m not feeling sociable, I can play PokemonGo along the most worldly famous tourist spots, simply awing over where I am. Especially because so many of my friends back home would kill for even a vacation here, let alone to be here for good. On the other hand, this is Where I was raped. This is where the company’s owners AND the national police did not care to process my case despite decent evidence. This is a worldwide problem so I do not hold it against Paris. However, this did open my eyes to how the most beautiful and amazing (IMHO) city in the world has its own dark secrets. It is not all magic. It is just as dark and corrupted as anywhere else in the world that you will ever live. However, the crowd it draws and the cycle it continues is unbearable. Due to pure tourism, I met the love of my life in Paris. From CDG I visited 10 countries. I counted centimes to buy a baguette in between jobs. Of course every European city will have a story like this. But despite being in London, Dublin, Berlin, Brussels, etc., I cannot think of a better redemption story than Paris. Surviving it is great, loving it is a whole different story.
It is NOT for everyone. Feel no shame for leaving. I left, for my own reasons. But Paris is my home. I hope you find yours.
Very sorry to hear that, but thank you for sharing your story. But happy for you that you found the love of your life. It seems like here I’ll never find the one. I have been single for over 3 years.
It’s a great place for dating–before I met my person I dated around a bit. Forget Tindr, go to Montmartre (NOT O’Sullivans), near St. Michel, the 14e, etc… People surprise you when you least expect it. And honestly, the French Match.com is quite good 😜Good luck to you my friend!
I’m here on a dating page and everybody’s interests are hunting, fishing and football (watching). When I go on a French page, the interests are reading, walking, history, exercise. I was on Match when I lived in Paris
I’m so incredibly shocked by your story & amazed by your courage!!! I’d have literally despised Paris if I had been you and run away. If there is someone looking on the bright side of life, it’s definitely you.
thanks! That was definitely the time I missed America the most, solely because without the cultural/language barrier I would have been able to sue everyone involved and/or report my story to local news outlets. I was so desperate to get justice that I unfortunately never saw. In some ways it was totally the fault of Paris/France. On the other hand, I’ve heard similar bad endings worlwide so at the end of the day I found a good counselor, a few good bars, and pushed through! loved Paris a lot. thank you for your comment
It’s a very cold, unsociable city. Expensive, lots of bureaucracy, foreign-unfriendly. People are beyond rude, the subway is hell and there’s no customer service culture. If you conform to the Parisian «values» you’ll be fine, if you’re looking for something a little outside the box you’re better off in other parts of Europe.
Literally everything is expensive (groceries, healthcare, transport, entertainment, you name it) and the services are not that great. Ultimately, you either love it or you hate it, I don’t think there’s a middle ground. You either fall in love with the idea of Paris like you see in movies and get blinded to the impracticality of living here or you’ll be pretty miserable most of the time.
I have the same experience. I feel like an alien here.If I don’t know how it was in other capital cities I lived I would think this is normal and nice. I don’t have very good experiences with people here and at the end of the day I end up hanging around with expats because the others are too isolated in their soirées privées with their closed group of friends of 10years ago.The group of my french boyfriend here took à long time to be genuinely friendly to me and integrate me.
The Healthcare is one of the best in Europe.
Paris is what you make of it but there are for sure inconveniences. If you can afford to live in the city center it’s a lot easier getting around and not having to worry about the stupid strikes and «social movements» that happen with the RER and suburban trains inconveniencing everyone!
I don’t find it less expensive than the US in any way. You still pay for the healthcare it just comes out of the long list of things that come out of your salary then you also pay income taxes that are pretty substantial. You can take a mutuelle but once again you do pay for it so in the end on comparison I actually had cheaper and better healthcare in the US (yes I know this is not the case for everyone just my experience) I actually find ibuprofen and things like that to be a lot more expensive. Here you pays 2-4 euros for an 8 pack but you can get 500 at Costco for the same price.
There is so much going on in Paris at all times and there is access to the things and products you miss from home. I loved it as a student when you are more carefree but as an adult I found it gets tiring. I should be able to smile and not get creeped on and I should be able to walk with my head up instead of looking down so I don’t step in dog poop.