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Top Ten blog posts I wish I read before I moved to Paris

Top Ten blog posts I wish I read before I moved to Paris

Moving to Paris is probably the biggest decision I have ever had to make. It was both fun and life-changing at the same time. 

I could barely catch a wink of sleep the night before my flight as I anticipated what was in store for me in the world’s most revered city. 

The City of Light.

The Hub of global fashion. 

I could barely wait to see the Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, Moulin Rouge and the Notre Dame. And finally, to taste the first class cuisines I had heard so much about.

But most of what I knew then was just basic knowledge. 

Even though I have come a long way after living in Paris for six years, my first year was kind of hard. 

It was difficult understanding how the city was arranged and where to get a particular thing I needed and all of that. 

But I recently thought of some blogs about Paris and that brake down so many vital knowledge that would come in handy for a foreigner or for a newbie.

Some of them were written by us here at Expats Paris and other by other influential Paris-based expatriate bloggers.

Well, if you’re planning on moving to Paris or even just coming for a visit, a vacation or what have you, do not miss out on these blog posts:

1) The Social Anatomy Paris: A Breakdown of the 20 Paris Arrondissements


An arrondissement is an administrative district of some large French cities.

In this article, the twenty arrondissements of Paris are explained one after the other. 

The article also explains how a postal code can help you identify an arrondissement. 

For example, 75003 would refer to an area in the third arrondissement. 

The twenty of these arrondissements are arranged in a clockwise spiral and starts right in the middle of Paris. 

For every arrondissement that the article talks about, there is a brief history, a list of the quarters, points of interest, and also where to eat and drink. 

For example, the fourth arrondissement, (called The Marais) is the smallest in Paris and caters to the somewhat rich and trendy members of the society. It is a multi-cultural area that contains a lot of old buildings. 

There are also many cafes, cabarets, nightclubs and shops in this section of Paris. The points of interest include Notre Dame de Paris, Centre George Pompidou, La Bastille, Hotel de Ville and several other unique tourist attractions. 

If you find yourself here, places to eat include la Perla, Un Piano sur le Trottoir etc. 

Places to drink are also endless. 

As you can see, this is a very important article that will ensure you do not get missing or lose your way in Paris. 

Read more about it here.

2) The Top 6 Major Expat Communities in Paris and how they help Parisian Expatriates


Moving into a new city especially one as big and fast as Paris, you’re probably going to experience some culture shock as you will meet people who are probably totally different from what you are used to. 

There is also that giddy feeling that is sometimes accompanied with fear and confusion because you are trying hard to take it all in and acclimate in this new city. 

Well, when it comes to Paris you don’t have to worry so much because we’ve got you covered. 

There is no better way to adjust to city than hanging out with an expatriate community

Long-term residents have been where you are, are aware of all the problems that newbies face and so on therefore they can guide you through it all.

There are 6 top expat communities that have been of immense help to foreigners and they come highly recommended. 

They include AngloInfo Paris, InterNations Paris, Expatriates Magazine or our every own Expat Paris and so on.

Read more about that post here.

3) The Complete Anatomy of Pole Emploi: Understanding The French National Employment Agency.


Moving into a new city is hard but imagine being in a new city with no job and no money and then with no information on how to go about getting yourself employed

My friend will call that double tragedy but you don’t even have to worry about that with Pôle Emploie. 

It tells you all that you need to know about getting a job (especially the kind that you want) and also how to equip yourself to better your chances out there.

For example, there is a unique tip like making sure that your curriculum vitae is written in French. 

Find more here.

4) The Anatomy of the French Income Tax Return


This blog post will get you started on understanding how the French tax system works and all that it entails. 

Getting your tax sorted can be quite an inconvenience but it is very important that you do so. 

Being a resident of Paris means that you have to have your taxes covered. 

Therefore if you want to have a nice life remember to pay your taxes! 

This article gives a brief history of the taxing system in France, the types of taxes, what to declare, tax forms, income shares and so on. 

It has proven to be a very useful information for expats and comes highly recommended.

Find more about this article here.

5) 13 Things I wish I Knew About Rentals in Paris When I arrived 6 years Ago


I arrived in Paris 6 years ago, starry-eyed and excited about being in this wonderful city that I took a lot of things for granted. 

For example, I assumed it would be easy to find a place and settle down so I concentrated more on sorting out my papers and finding my way through town. 

Well, I soon realized that finding a good accommodation wasn’t easy at all

With this blog post however, newbies can learn all they need to know about rentals in Paris and how not to lose an arm and a leg in trying to find a decent place to settle down in.

Read the article here.

6) How I Got My Carte Vitale: Bienvenue to Life in the Land of Bureaucracy.


As a newcomer in Paris, you have to get your papers in order. 

In order to get a permanent visa or a carte de sejour (CDS), which is the official residency card in France, you have to go through the French Office of Immigration and integration (OFII). 

This must be done within the first three months of arrival to avoid deportation. 

This article will take you through the information you need to keep at your fingertips and how to avoid getting scammed by frauds who can smell your desperation from over hundred feet away. 

Read more here

7) 5 Things your Embassy or Consulate Can’t Do For You


A study by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office revealed that the number of people who have knowledge of what embassies and consulates do has decreased to the lowest in three years among young people 9 aged 16-24), from 62% in 2011 to 55% in 2014. 

This finding inspired this particular blog post as it is essential for foreigners and newcomers in Paris to be not only aware of their embassies or consulates can do for them, but also what cannot be done for me by these institutions. 

Find more here.

8) Oh My God


This article (by David Lebovitz) is one you would find very hilarious as it deals with true stereotypes among newcomers and residents as well. 

I nearly spilt my coffee reading this and hopefully it will help you as a newcomer avoid situations that might leave you feeling really uncomfortable and embarrassed. 


9) An American in Paris and Lessons learned After 13 Years

sweet-life-in-parisA book to be found on Amazon

This is a very interesting life from a long term resident. 

You might have to subscribe for this anyway. 

Elena BERTON of The Wall Street Journal takes a look at the story of an American turned French pastry chef, David Lebovitz  who moved to Paris 13 years ago following the death of his partner.

Here’s the entire piece.

10) 5 Skills I learned From Living in Paris.


Last but not the least, this beautiful article by the seasoned writer, Allison Lounes, unravels the beauty of living in Paris. As she wrote, Living in Paris- or anywhere in France- is not all crepes and fromage blanc. You find that you are now living with people who communicate and reason differently from you and from what you’re used to. You eventually learn patience, persistence and when you can’t beat the crowd you join them by indulging from time to time. LOL.

Here’s the post.

These are the best blog posts you will find anywhere about how to adjust and excel in this beautiful city you have moved into and we have taken the pain of bringing them together for you. I hope you take full advantage of them! Are there blog post you’ve recently written or read that you’d recommend a newbie to read?

Image Sources: Expats Paris, Pixabay, Amazon


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Last modified onThursday, 22 December 2016 05:05
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