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The Real Cost of Living in Paris (January to March 2016)!

The Real Cost of Living in Paris (January to March 2016)!

Ever wondered what it would cost to live in Paris these days ? As residents, we have experienced this first hand. In order to come up with the figures below, we looked into different aspects of life here, including Paris grocery chains and malls; music and movie sites; various transportation modes; State information for insurance; available online cost of living data; and the findings of other expats who’ve also lived here for an extended period of time. Basically, We analyzed a large amount of Data, combined it with our daily-consumer experience and here's what we concluded was the real cost of living in Paris (from January to March 2016).

All in all, I hope you’ll find this helpful.


Personal Care

Whether it’s a haircut, personal hygiene products or the common cold, when you live abroad, the cost for these things isn’t always what you expect. In some ways, Paris is reasonably priced; in others, not so much.

One chain of interest with over twenty stores is called Monoprix. It has an excellent selection of grocery items, as well as personal care products, clothing and accessories. It is priced for the Parisian, short-term and long-term resident looking to stretch money as far as possible and still be fabulous.

Below is an idea of what you may encounter during your sojourn here.

Items                                                                    Avg. Price
A man’s haircut                                                       23.00 €
A woman’s haircut/wash (depending on the salon)      65.00 €
Cold medicine                                                         7.00 €
Toilet paper, pack of 6 rolls                                      2.44 €
Hair shampoo, 12 ounces                                         3.30 €
Hair gel, 5 ounces                                                   2.83 €
A tube of toothpaste                                                2.52 €
Hair relaxer kit                                                        8.82 €
Maxi pads (thin), pack of 18                                     1.74 €
Q-tips, pack of 160                                                  0.72 €
Shaving cream, 2.5 ounces                                      2.05 €
Shower gel, 3.38 ounces                                          1.33 €
Lotion, 6.7 ounces                                                   3.14 €

Now, if you’d like to throw healthcare into the mix, then a doctor’s visit may cost at least 26 euros, the rest of the amount usually reimbursed through your carte vitale. Typically, you’ll get up to 70 percent back from the State. It may take a few days, but if you have “top up” insurance, this may be a moot point. Trips to the pharmacy and hospital are treated the same way.



In this category, it depends on whether you’d like to live in the lap of luxury, or are a bit adventurous. Within the Paris city limits, rent for a one-bedroom apartment can start at 900 euros (usually higher), and it goes up from there. Many like to live in the arrondissements that are highly prized, but those can run you up to 3,000 euros or more.

The outskirts are cheaper, and with that comes the issue of transportation. You will need to weigh your options as to availability of the Metro, bicycles and taxis, or using a car and paying for fuel just to get a deal on housing. It may be half dozen of one, six of the other.

Bear in mind, too, that unfurnished can mean no stove or refrigerator, and you may need to fix the place up a bit for it to be livable. It depends on the landlord. If you’re looking for a place to rent in Paris, here’s an idea of the prices:

Items                                               Avg. Per Month
A furnished two-bedroom house           2,200 €
Unfurnished two-bedroom house          1,900 €
Furnished two-bedroom apartment       1,500 €
Unfurnished two-bedroom apartment    1,000 €

Let’s add a paragraph here mentioning rental prices facts in Paris. The latest Clameur data, as mentioned by Camelia Pierre of Happy Place Paris on her website, underlines that residential mobility in Ile de France has been rising slowly (0.5% to 1.5% per year) to reach 23,1% and 17.5% in Paris compared to 30,9% for France (all regions included). It has declined more that 10% from 2009 to 2015 and more than 20% since 2000. This situation is particularly tense because of the strong housing demand in IDF and the implementation of capped rents in Paris.

The “ decrease of rental prices is a general phenomenon, continued in the first 20 cities of France since 2006. In IDF, the market rent decline is less rapid than the rest of the market (-0,4%). In Paris,the market rent fell by 1,3% in 2015”? writes Camelia.

This decline in rents has also been accompanied by weaker efforts of housing improvements or renovations. Apparently, in the year 2015 in Paris, only 23% were renovated against 44,2% from 2009 to 2014. The measures related to the implementation of capped rents in Paris haven’t reassured landlords especially at the moment when the real estate market has just started recovered from crisis.


Graphic courtesy of Happy Place Paris

As for utilities, expect to spend around 200 euros each month. It roughly breaks down into Internet at 30 euros; cell phone calls/data per minute at 0.18 euros; electricity, water and trash pickup at around 110 euros.

13 things I wish I knew about rentals when I moved to Paris Six years ago.



Whether you’re frugal and go to markets, cheap cafés and bistros, or you prefer expensive restaurants, there is something that will fit your needs in Paris. Below is a table with some useful information. Also check out the Monoprix website mentioned above to get more specific details.

Restaurants                                                                Avg.               Range
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant                                         13.00 €        10.00-15.00
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course     50.00 €        40.00-60.00
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal)            8.00 €          7.00-9.00
Domestic Beer (1 pint draught)                                       6.00 €          5.00-7.00
Imported Beer (11.2 oz small bottle)                               5.00 €          4.00-7.00
Cappuccino (regular)                                                     3.44 €          2.50-4.00
Coke/Pepsi (11.2 oz small bottle)                                    3.23 €          2.00-4.00
Water (11.2 oz small bottle)                                            1.97 €         1.00-3.00

Markets                                                                      Avg.    
Milk (regular), (1 gallon)                                                3.94 €        3.03-5.68
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb)                                     1.27 €        0.91-1.81
Rice (white), (1 lb)                                                        0.82 €        0.45-1.11
Eggs (12)                                                                     3.32 €        2.20-4.00
Local Cheese (1 lb)                                                       6.75 €        4.54-9.07
Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1 lb)                   4.91 €        3.63-6.80
Beef Round (1 lb) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat)       9.33 €        6.80-11.34
Apples (1 lb)                                                                1.15 €        0.91-1.36
Banana (1 lb)                                                               0.88 €        0.68-1.13
Oranges (1 lb)                                                              1.00 €        0.91-1.21
Tomato (1 lb)                                                               1.17 €        0.91-1.36
Potato (1 lb)                                                                 0.65 €        0.45-0.91
Onion (1 lb)                                                                  0.71 €        0.45-1.09
Lettuce (1 head)                                                           1.09 €        1.00-1.50
Water (1.5 liter bottle)                                                   0.74 €        0.40-1.00
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)                                            7.00 €        5.00-8.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle)                                      1.80 €        1.50-2.00
Imported Beer (11.2 oz small bottle)                              1.57 €        1.00-2.00
Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro)                                        7.00 €        7.00-7.50

As a side note, markets are a good way to save money on groceries. You get to mingle with the locals and practice your French, too.


With France being a leader in fashion, one should expect the price of clothing to mirror that. You may be able to find deals and discounts, but be prepared to spend a fair amount for your outfits. Places like Au Printemps, which opened in 1864, and Galleries Lafayette, which opened thirty years later, are locations to see and be seen. Their prices are mid-to-high range. Monoprix, however, is a worthy rival if you’re looking to be thrifty.

Here is an idea of some prices you may encounter:

Clothing And Shoes                                                  Avg.            Range
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar)                            86.75 €        50.00-100.00
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...)         37.26 €        30.00-50.00
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range)                     88.10 €        70.00-100.00
1 Pair of Men’s Leather Shoes                                      121.36 €       100.00-150.00
1 Scarf (lightweight) Women’s                                      15.99           9.00 to 55.00
Women’s underwear                                                    9.99            3.00 to 50.00
Women’s dress shoes                                                  49.99           24.00 to 245.00
Men’s underwear (set of two)                                       19.99           7.00 to 60.00


Paris has a really robust public transportation system. Buying and the general upkeep of having a car might be the most expensive option for getting around, depending on where you live and how often you need to travel. If you’re looking for a deal on rent for a house or apartment, living on the outskirts of Paris is definitely cheaper, but then you also need to consider modes of conveyance.


Screenshot of the ratp transport ticket prices’ webpage.

Riding the bus is about 1.80 euros (half price for children aged four to nine years) if bought individually and 14.10 euros for a book of 10 tickets for adults. Depending on the time of day, a taxi within the city limits is 1 euro per kilometer, and a little more at other times. A combined rail pass is definitely cost effective.

You can also rent a bicycle for cheap. The Velib: bike share scheme puts over 23,000 bicycles at everyone’s disposal to get around town. There are some 1800 stations throughout the city, available 24/7. You can purchase an annual subscription that gives you unlimited access, and either the first 30 or 45 minutes of use free. Cost for a day ticket is 1.70 euros. A year’s subscription is anywhere from 19 euros to 39 euros depending on your needs. Tickets may be purchased at a terminal, or online. Most rental places will require a deposit. You will need identification and a bank card/credit card.

Here are some other options for bicycle rentals:
Au Point Vélo Hollandais 
Gepetto et Vélos
Paris à Vélo, C’est Sympa

Here’s a summary of transportation costs:

Transportation                                     Avg.           Range
One-way Ticket (Local Transport)             1.80 €          1.60-1.90
Monthly Pass (Regular Price)                    70.70 €        70.00-70.00
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff)                         5.00 €          2.60-6.00
Taxi 1 mile (Normal Tariff)                       2.00 €          1.69-2.41
Taxi 1 hour Waiting (Normal Tariff)           33.00 €        32.00-38.00
Gasoline (1 gallon)                                  5.13 €          4.54-5.68
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline
(Or Equivalent New Car)                          20,000.00 €   15,000.00 to 23,700.00


Below is an example of what you can expect for a fitness or sports club, or to go and see a film.
For a more, check out this comprehensive list of gyms, for dance centers and so forth.

Sports And Leisure                                       Avg.         Range
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult                 50.36 €        30.00-80.00
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend)            14.41 €        9.00-20.00
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat               10.00 €        9.00-12.00

A concert can be anywhere from free to 90 euros, depending on the act, per person. Theatre: anywhere from 13 to 41 euros depending on age and the show being seen. An example of such shows may be found on Comedie Française. A show at the Comedie des Boulevard starts at around 20 euros. Theatre prices begin at 20 euros or so. You can also see anything from Cats, 39 euros, to the Moulin Rouge Cabaret, 129 euros.


Regarding the music scene in Paris - some helpful sites: (there are lots of free concerts, too)
Time Out
Music, business, concerts, lessons: Cité de la musique

To get tickets:
Events website:

Major music festivals are held in Paris from May to November. The online music community might also be an option for you: ZikinfOazik and Easyzic may lead you to other music lovers like yourself. Also, check out Craigslist.

There are cinemas and art housesAllocine gives you a list of what is currently playing. You can buy a membership for 20 euros a month or go to see whatever film you’d like. If you bring a friend, he or she will get a discount.

If art films are your thing, check out the Grand Action or the Filmothèque du Quartier Latin. No discount cards here, but there are festivals, revivals, and so on. Cost starts at around 9 euros, depending on the venue and day of the week. At the Cinématheque Française, you may even see a director or actor in the audience. It also features regular exhibitions and has a permanent collection on display.


To summarize, what can you expect to spend in Paris, per month? It’s likely that if you lived here, you would spend anywhere from 1,200 to 1,800 euros as a single person, on average. This means for three months, you’re looking at an average of 4,500 euros. On the outskirts of Paris, rent goes down and you may be able to spend a lot less, but you may have to supplement with a car or carpool.

It’s all in the choices you make.


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Last modified onWednesday, 19 October 2016 09:37
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