The cost of living in Paris is undeniably high, but the quality of life in this magical city more than makes up for it. Paris appeared in Mercer's Cost of Living Survey for 2021, ranking as the 33rd most expensive city out of the 209 expat cities surveyed, a major rise from the previous year's rank of 50th.

Expat salaries in Paris are also considerably less lucrative than the financial packages given to those who move to the Middle East or Asia for tax-free wealth or high-powered positions. That said, it's possible to enjoy an excellent quality of life on a budget, especially if expats choose to live towards the more affordable outskirts of the city. 

Cost of accommodation in Paris

Accommodation is frequently the most intimidating expense for expats. In fact, it can easily swallow a third to a half of their monthly salary, depending where in the city they reside.

That said, housing on the outskirts of the city is naturally much more affordable than those affluent and in-demand city-centre neighbourhoods.

Utility bills are comparable to those in the rest of Europe, with electricity and gas prices being rather average. 

Cost of clothing in Paris

A 20-percent sales tax in France makes everything slightly more expensive than in many other countries in Europe, and being one of the world's fashion capitals, Paris' clothing stores are notoriously and often prohibitively expensive. This means that expats must often choose between pricey boutiques, speciality stores or upscale department stores and low-priced, poor-quality goods.

Cost of transport in Paris

Paris boasts an impressive public transport system and expats will find that life without a car is easy. Expats who decide to drive may find that it isn't a pleasant experience, as the traffic is nightmarish and parking fees are exorbitant. Furthermore, many employers in Paris even subsidise a portion of transport costs – so expats should not be afraid to ask.

Cost of living in Paris chart

These are average costs for Paris in April 2022. Prices may vary depending on product and service provider.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

 EUR 2,700

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

 EUR 2,000

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

 EUR 1,200

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

 EUR 1,000

Food and drink

Milk (1 litre)

 EUR 1.13

Dozen eggs

 EUR 3.90

White bread (loaf)

 EUR 2.10

Rice (1kg)

 EUR 2.17

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

 EUR 10.50

Public transport

One-way ticket (local transport)

 EUR 1.90

Taxi rate per km

 EUR 1.65

Petrol (litre)


Eating out

Big Mac Meal

 EUR 9

Coca-Cola (330ml)

 EUR 3.20


 EUR 3.80

Bottle of beer (domestic)

 EUR 6.50

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

 EUR 60


Internet (uncapped ADSL per month)

 EUR 30

Mobile call rate (mobile-to-mobile per minute)

 EUR 0.16

Basic monthly utilities (electricity, water and refuse)

 EUR 185