Where to live near Paris

Where to live near Paris

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If you're looking to live in Paris, you'll also find beautiful towns and quiet suburbs outside Paris that offer a wider range of housing options.

Finding somewhere to live in Paris can be an ardous task, but if you add the outer suburbs and surrounding towns near Paris, your housing options will be greatly opened. With excellent rail links, it's easy to leave the hectic whirl, limited space and high prices of central Paris behind. If you're looking for a bit more space, a garden or simply a lower rent, then the towns and suburbs surrounding Paris provide accommodation of every kind. From the vibrant, urban tower blocks of Saint-Denis to the elegance of Versailles, there are many types of home to choose from.

Historically, the area west of Paris has been more fashionable, while towns to the north and east have been more working-class. A few towns have suffered from large-scale cheap housing developments without commensurate economic growth, but there are charming areas in all directions.

It is relatively feasible to work in the centre of Paris and live on the outskirts. The business district of Paris, La Défense, is generally accessible from most outer suburbs and surrounding towns near Paris. However, if you prefer to be in the heart of it all, see our guide to neighbourhoods in Paris.

Naturally, easy access to central Paris increases property prices, and towns along the local and national train lines have seen a boom in recent decades. Strikes and other disruptions occur relatively frequently, so be sure you have an understanding boss if you're relying solely on public transport.

Where to live near Paris: Great for nightlife and culture

Chatou
An elegant, vibrant town, Chatou is popular with Parisians looking for a bit more space without sacrificing the cultural life of the capital. Its numerous cultural and sporting venues mean there's always something going on. Once a haunt of impressionists, including Renoir, art is still a strong theme in the town.

Chatou at a glance:

  • Location: 10km west of Paris.
  • Housing costs: Moderate, typically EUR 9001,300 per month for a two bedroom apartment.
  • Commuting options: the local train takes just 15 minutes and bus connections also exist. It's an easy drive to La Défense.
  • Cars: owning a car is common, and homes usually have parking.  
  • Recreation: numerous events, bars and restaurants. A number of small parks and river walks provide green space.
  • Shopping: blend of traditional and modern shops around the old market square. 
  • Neighbourhood: largely single family homes with gardens and some apartments.
  • Read more on Chatou municipality website.

Where to live near Paris: Chatou
Versailles
Where to live near Paris: VersaillesOnce home to French royalty, Versailles now has a split personality. The area around the palace is a sea of tourists and coaches, while the rest of the town continues its daily routine mostly undisturbed. Hints of the decadent past remain, with excellent cultural events and many fine restaurants. Plus, an annual pass to the Palais de Versailles is affordable (EUR 50 in February 2014), making the gardens an excellent place for a run or walk.

Versailles at a glance:

  • Location: 20km south-west of Paris.
  • Housing costs: moderate, typically EUR 9001,500 per month for a two bedroom apartment.
  • Commuting options: local trains run into Paris. Easy drive to La Défense.
  • Cars: many homes have parking. Traffic is particularly congested during the summer tourist season.
  • Recreation: world-famous cultural attractions as well as concerts and events. The town is surrounded by forests and parks.
  • Shopping: all the souvenirs you could wish for around the palace, otherwise shopping is relatively mundane.
  • Neighbourhood: upmarket residential accommodation with both modern and classic homes.
  • Read more on Versailles municipality website.


Where to live near Paris: Great for students and tight budgets

Orsay
A university town on the outskirts of Paris, Orsay has a bustling nightlife and affordable accommodation.

Orsay at a glance

  • Location: 20km south-west of Paris.
  • Housing costs: affordable, typically EUR 7001,400 per month for a two bedroom apartment.
  • Commuting options: direct train line to central Paris. Driving is also common.
  • Cars: many buildings have parking and traffic is relatively uncongested.
  • Recreation: Bars, nightclubs and restaurants in the student quarters, as well as lectures and cultural events. Bois de la Cyprenne provides welcome green space.
  • Shopping: a mix of chain stores and independent boutiques, often with a low-budget focus. 
  • Neighbourhood: mix of affordable apartments and family homes with gardens.
  • Read more on Orsay municipality website.

Where to live near Paris: Orsay
Saint-Denis
Where to live near Paris: Saint-DenisRelatively low rents and a vibrant multicultural atmosphere make this a popular place to live for students, close to further education colleges. Saint-Denis has a rough reputation as it was home to urban slums for a long period. Urban renewal has improved the situation, and many areas are very pleasant with unusually affordable modern housing.

Saint-Denis at a glance

  • Location: 10km north of Paris.
  • Housing costs: affordable, typically EUR 8001,000 per month for a two bedroom apartment.
  • Commuting options: local train network and buses connect the area to Paris.
  • Cars: many apartment buildings have inadequate parking, but there is relatively low congestion.
  • Recreation: busy nightlife, cultural events in the historic centre and some charming parks.
  • Shopping: the cultural diversity is reflected in the shops and markets.
  • Neighbourhood: mainly low-budget, high rise apartment blocks.
  • Read more on Saint-Denis municipality website.


Where to live near Paris: Great for families

Saint-Cloud
Home of the American School in Paris and the International German School of Paris (DSP), Saint Cloud is popular with expat families. It retains its French charm, with bakeries, cafes and small shops in the town centre, but also has modern housing. If you are looking for a taste of Paris, and a house with a garden, this is a good place to start your search.

Saint-Cloud at a glance:

  • Location: at the western edge of Paris.
  • Housing costs: moderate, typically EUR 1,2001,700 per month for a two bedroom apartment.
  • Commuting options: metro and bus connections to the centre of Paris. Easy access to the ring road and La Défense.
  • Cars: driving and parking in the town are relatively easy. Most homes have parking.
  • Recreation: the large Parc de Saint-Cloud provides a welcome green space.
  • Shopping: independent shops in the city centre, look for larger shops and supermarkets on the periphery.
  • Neighbourhood: pleasant suburb. Many houses have gardens.
  • Read more on Saint-Cloud municipality website.

Where to live near Paris: Saint-CloudSt Germain-en-Laye
Where to live near Paris: St Germain-en-LayeA typically French town with a strong multicultural community attracted by the Lycée International Saint Germain en Laye. A local state school with an international focus, the Lycée immerses international students in French, while maintaining their mother-tongue. While all students learn French, 12 other languages are supported, and all students are expected to emerge bilingual.

St Germain-en-Laye at a glance:

  • Location: 15km west of Paris.
  • Housing costs: moderate, typically EUR 9001,500 per month for a two bedroom apartment.
  • Commuting options: local trains and buses link the town to central Paris. Driving is also popular.
  • Cars: owning a car is typical and most homes have parking.
  • Recreation: limited entertainment. Some nice restaurants and cultural events.
  • Shopping: mix of independent and chain shops, some with an international focus.
  • Neighbourhood: family-friendly suburbs.
  • Read more on St Germain-en-Laye municipality website.


Where to live in Paris: Great for peace and quiet


Neuilly-sur-Seine
Right on the edge of Paris, with great connections to the city centre, Neuilly-sur-Seine nonetheless has a quiet, suburban atmosphere. There are a number of lovely parks, and easy access to the Bois de Boulogne. Marymount, an American Catholic school is located here, and there's easy access to the international schools in the neighbouring 16e arrondissement.

Neuilly-sur-Seine  at a glance:

  • Location: At the north-west edge of Paris.
  • Housing costs: expensive, typically EUR 1,2002,500 per month for a two bedroom apartment.
  • Commuting options: bus, metro and local rail connections to the city centre. Very close to La Défense.
  • Cars: parking is limited and often expensive. Traffic often congested.
  • Recreation: easy access to the city centre and the Bois de Boulogne park.
  • Shopping: limited. Retains some independent food shops alongside the supermarkets.
  • Neighbourhood: primarily residential with many family homes.
  • Read more on Neuilly-sur-Seine municipality website.

Where to live near Paris: Neuilly-sur-Seine
Croissy-sur-Seine
Where to live near Paris: Croissy-sur-SeineA strong English-speaking community and the British School of Paris make this pleasant suburb particularly attractive to expats. The attractive town centre retains its old buildings, including a chateau, and the cultural events show the blend of local and multicultural tastes.

Croissy-sur-Seine at a glance:

  • Location: 10km west of Paris.
  • Housing costs: moderate, typically EUR 1,0001,400 per month for a two bedroom apartment.
  • Commuting options: local train takes just 15 minutes. Driving into Paris is typically congested.
  • Cars: owning a car is typical. Easy access to the motorways and a short drive to Paris.
  • Recreation: pleasant walks in the parks along the River Seine, as well as cultural events in the old town.
  • Shopping: luxury goods and grocery shops rub shoulders in the town centre.
  • Neighbourhood: affluent suburb. Most houses have gardens.
  • Read more on Croissy-sur-Seine municipality website.


Where to live near Paris: Great for being active

Sèvres
Sèvres is a quiet suburb with great leisure and sporting possibilities, known for its porcelain and its links to impressionist art. It's bordered on three sides by large parks, ideal for cycling, running and hiking, with the River Seine on the fourth side. The Sections Internationales de Sèvres offer bilingual (French-English or French-German) educations in several local schools.

Sèvres  at a glance:

  • Location: South-west edge of Paris.
  • Housing costs: moderate, typically EUR 1,0001,500 per month for a two bedroom apartment.
  • Commuting options: bus, train and metro links to the centre of Paris. Easy access to the ring road.
  • Cars: driving is common and many homes have parking.
  • Recreation: museums and cultural events cluster in the centre, while green spaces ring the town.
  • Shopping: up-market boutiques and chain stores in the centre.
  • Neighbourhood: mixed residential, with some large apartment blocks and some houses with gardens.
  • Read more on Sèvres municipality website.

Where to live near Paris: Sevres

Nogents-sur-Marne
Where to live near Paris: Nogents-sur-MarneNogents-sur-Marne is a pleasant commuter town with easy access to the Bois de Vincennes, and also has a dedicated sports park, with golf, tennis, football and more. The River Marne is popular for swimming and rowing. Traditionally, restaurants here were known for their riverside dance floors, and although the practice is declining, it's still a pleasant way to spend an evening.

Nogents-sur-Marne at a glance:

  • Location: 10km east of Paris.
  • Housing costs: affordable, typically EUR 9001,300 per month for a two bedroom apartment.
  • Commuting options: the local train takes approximately 15 minutes to reach Paris. Easy access to the motorways.
  • Cars: most homes have parking and driving is common.
  • Recreation: numerous sporting activities in the parks, and pleasant local restaurants.
  • Shopping: primarily chain shops and supermarkets.
  • Neighbourhood: quiet residential area.
  • Read more on Nogents-sur-Marne municipality website.

 

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Photo credits: Moonik (Chatou), Villemartin (Versailles), Cyrilb1881 (Orsay), Amirwiki (Saint-Denis), Myrabella (Saint-Cloud), Svenskasektionen (St Germain-en-Laye), Olivier Lévy (Neuilly-sur-Seine), Henry Salomé (Croissy-sur-Seine), Benjism89 (Sèvres), Geralix (Nogents-sur-Marne).

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1 Comment To This Article

  • Maddie posted:

    on 11th June 2015, 17:31:48 - Reply

    I'm wondering if anyone can help advise me of any decent websites/brit landlords that specialise in properties and apartments outside of central Paris, to the north-east. Any help would be so much appreciated!

    [Moderator's note: Please post questions on our forum]