The perfect work-life balance is a bold ask. But if ever there were a country that could achieve it, it would be France. And if ever there were a Region, it would be Paris Region. Let us tell you why.
What It’s Like Working in France
First of all, the "right to disconnect" mandates companies to regulate the use of digital tools and respect the boundaries between work and life ౼ especially off hours and during vacation. French companies also sponsor a wide range of professional training programs, giving each employee the opportunity to gain new skills and develop throughout their entire career. Many companies even help employees find and finance childcare for their young children. Add to that a minimum of five weeks of mandatory vacation time per year (plus national bank holidays) and the balance between work and life already feels more than adequate. But the perfect work life balance is about more than just time off, it is about time off well spent. And Paris Region has that in spades.
Where to Live in Paris Region
The daily commute was a big part of life for many Paris Region workers ౼ whether they worked and lived in Paris Proper, in the ‘burbs, or made daily crossings between the two. Today, more than 50% of French employees work in hybrid mode. In recent years, major coworking spaces such as WeWork, Wojo and Morning ౼ as well as countless independent spaces ౼ have cropped up all across the capital and in the surrounding suburbs to cater to hybrid workers as working from home has become commonplace in most companies.
When companies began adopting permanent work-from-home policies, many workers found even more freedom. Being allowed to work from home several times a week, coupled with an extensive public transportation system, gave some Parisians the little nudge they needed to consider new living spaces in nearby suburban communities. These communities often offer an amazing quality of life for the entire family, tend to be closer to nature and living space is generally larger and more affordable than in central Paris.
Regardless of which neighborhood you choose to call home, there are countless resources to help you make a smooth entrance into this diverse and exciting Region.
How to Spend Your Time in Paris Region
Whether you live in Paris Proper or within The Grand Paris; whether you’re living alone or with a family of five; whether you’re looking to reconnect with nature or to dance until dawn, you’ll find countless ways to spend your time. First, you’ll have to figure out what defines you.
The City Dweller
It’s safe to say that you’ll never run out of things to do in Paris Region. As you walk the streets in The City of Lights, it probably comes at no surprise that Paris beats out the entire world for the number of cultural venues. In fact, Paris Region is home to 4,000 historic monuments, 150 museums, 300 cinemas, 360 theaters and opera houses. And if you’ve worked up an appetite after all that exploring, treat your tastebuds to a gastronomic experience at one of 435 Michelin starred restaurants within the city limits.
The Nature Lover
If connecting with nature is more your scene, you’ve come to the right place. In fact, 75% of Paris Region is green space, lakes, and rivers. So whether you want to bike ride through the vast Rambouillet Park, take a boat ride on the Canal Saint Martin, or just stroll through nature, you’ve got a lot of options. You can even get to more than a dozen of these walks and hikes via public transportation!
And if your green lifestyle goes beyond just enjoying nature, you can feast on it as well. Paris Region is home to the largest urban farm in the world ౼ stretching across Paris Expo Porte de Versailles’ 14,000m2 rooftop in the south of Paris ౼ supplying produce to the surrounding neighborhood and even renting plots to anyone wanting to put their green thumb to the test. Smaller farms in Saint-Denis, Bobigny and Nanterre have popped up in recent years as well. And if you’re looking to get your hands a little dirty, you can harvest your own local produce at the Cueillette de Cergy or the Cueillette de Bailly.
The Culture Seeker
On top of the cinemas, museums and theaters, Paris Region is home to five UNESCO World Heritage Sites sites, deemed to be of cultural, historical or scientific significance. You can walk in the footsteps of The Sun King, Louis XIV, at Château de Versailles, explore the iconic home of world-renowned architect Le Corbusier, stroll along the banks of the Seine as the city’s iconic monuments tower overhead, visit the former home of Napoleon at Château de Fontainebleau or take a journey back in time within the ramparts of the medieval city of Provins. The Paris Region Tourist Board even created a free treasure hunt for families to take their explorations to the next level. "Paris Region Adventures" can be downloaded onto your mobile devices (available on Google Play and the App Store)
The Family (Wo)Man
Not only is Paris Region renowned for its culture and landmarks but it is also incredibly family-friendly. Those with young children will find several childcare options that allow both parents to continue on their professional journeys, as well as a world-class education system (with many international schools). On top of education, Paris Region is also home to countless neighborhood parks with carousels, swings and climbing structures that instantly boost quality of life for kids of all ages. If you’re looking for a real adventure theme parks such as the Jardin Acclimatation, Disneyland Paris and Parc Asterix are a short car/bus/train ride away. Parks and museums also often feature kid-friendly exhibits and activities as well ౼ including La Cite des Enfants at La Villette, various exhibitions at the Natural History Museum and a seasonal light show at Jardin des Plantes.
Whichever neighborhood you land in, Paris Region offers a wide range of affordable leisure activities ౼ for the young and the young at heart. From music to sports, dance, painting, theater and even coding courses or bilingual activities…the list goes on ౼ all at very affordable rates.
How to Get Around Paris Region
Getting around Paris Region has never been easier. The public transportation network currently includes 13 regional train lines, 14 metro lines, 12 tramways and dozens of buses. For commuters or explorers, you’ll want to get the monthly pass, which grants you unlimited travel on every line. Paris Region is currently home to Europe’s largest urban development project, known as Grand Paris Express, which contributes to the Region’s sustainable expansion. The project will add lines and extend others, making Paris Region even more accessible to everyone. Once the project wraps in 2030, travelers will be able to get from the Charles de Gaulle Airport to La Défense in just 34 minutes (compared to the current 53 minutes). And students at Paris Saclay University will be able to reach their campus from Orly Airport in just 15 minutes, instead of the current 66 minutes.
And if your adventurous spirit calls you outside of Paris Region for a weekend getaway, you can get to popular French destinations including Normandy and Bordeaux quickly and easily by train, while every major European city is less than a 2-hour plane ride away!
Choose Paris Experts
Olivier AllegretHead of Client Solutions