Cost of living in France: Updated Prices, Comparison With Other Countries

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Cost of Living in France : Expenses Guide

As an international student studying in France, you will have to plan for your education, living expenses, transportation, and healthcare. The cost of living in France is determined by your lifestyle and the city you choose to reside in. Going for the high life in Paris, for example, will cost you far more than living in moderate tranquillity in a smaller French city such as Nantes, Montpellier, and Grenoble.


France not only has top-class universities but also offers a recreational environment as well as a reasonable cost of living. In this blog, we have explained the cost of living in France in detail for your reference. Let’s get straight to discussing the cost of living in France.

Cost of Living in France Overview

On average, the cost of living in France per month for one person is approximately EUR 946 without rent. However, a one-room apartment rental cost can be around EUR 500 to EUR 1400. Understanding the expenses of living in France is important for students to balance their budget according to their desired lifestyle.

The cost of living for an individual in France depends on many factors, such as housing rent, transportation costs, grocery prices, utility bills and some other essential costs. While France is a more affordable country, its cost of living can vary according to student preferences and lifestyle choices. Here are some categories that drive up the cost of living in France:

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Cost of Accommodation in France

Finding a suitable home or accommodation in some of France’s major cities, such as Paris, Toulouse, Marseille, France, or Lyon, might be challenging if you are on a tight budget. The average cost of living in France will vary depending on the type of housing you choose. Here is an overview of the different types of accommodation in France along with its cost.

Renting a Studio in France

For international students living alone, renting a studio flat is a reasonable choice. Renting a modest flat in some of France’s smaller cities may cost you up to EUR 400 while staying in Paris would cost you around EUR 800.

University Residential Halls

The university residence halls in France are managed by CROUS, which are publicly owned local centres for student services. They provide some of the most affordable housing alternatives, and about 13% of international students live in student houses. In France, the average monthly cost of living in most cities is roughly EUR 200, except for Paris, where rooms are available for around EUR 400.   

Shared Apartments 

Choosing to live in shared apartments is one way to cut your living costs in France. Splitting the bills can help you save money on rent and utilities. Renting a flat might range between EUR 400 and EUR 700 on average. As a result, staying with two extra individuals will save you money.

Costs of rent for Separate Apartments

You can get a one-bedroom apartment in France for around EUR 777 per month for one person in the city area, while a three-bedroom apartment can cost up to EUR 1449. However, the price of an apartment depends on its location and size. You can understand the average housing cost in France inside and outside the city centre by looking at the table below:

Apartment LocationApprox Monthly Cost
Single-Bedroom ApartmentCity CentreEUR 777
Three-bedrooms ApartmentCity CentreEUR 1,449
Single-bedroom ApartmentOutside the CentreEUR 588
Three-bedrooms ApartmentOutside the CentreEUR 1,152

Cost of Transportation in France

France has an expansive transport system that connects many regions and cities. The Paris transport system is so well-connected that it will astound you. A monthly pass is useful for overseas students in France. A monthly bus, tram, or metro pass costs between EUR 30 and EUR 86. Transportation costs are an important part of the average cost of living in France.

Taking a cab in Paris is quite inexpensive, costing roughly EUR 1.80/km and costing between EUR 7 and EUR 10 for a short journey. You can rent a bike through France’s Vélib bicycle rental programme, with Bordeaux being the nation’s most bike-friendly city. To go around different cities in France, you can ride the TGV, which costs about EUR 30 per trip.

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Cost of Grocery in Cleveland

Grocery prices in France reflect a mix of affordability and variation, helping consumers find options that suit their needs and budget. Grocery costs are primary and important if you plan to prepare meals at home and these costs can affect the cost of living in France as preferences and quality may vary. For your convenience, the average price of groceries in France is shown in the table below:

Grocery ItemApprox Cost
Milk (regular), (1 litre)EUR 1.13
Eggs (regular) (12)EUR 3.76
Apples (1kg)EUR 2.75
Banana (1kg)EUR 2.03
Oranges (1kg)EUR 2.92
Tomato (1kg)EUR 3.34
Potato (1kg)EUR 2.02
Onion (1kg)EUR 2.07
Lettuce (1 head)EUR 1.37
Cheese (1kg)EUR 17
Rice (white), (1kg)EUR 2.18
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g)EUR 1.74
Water (1.5 liter bottle)EUR 0.70
Source: numbeo

Additional Expenses in France

To acquire an idea of the expense of living in France, you must consider the costs spent on additional items such as clothing, food, cellular bills, electricity charges, and so on. For your reference we have given some of these costs in the table below:

Expenses TypeApprox Cost
Basic Utility (Water, Electricity, Cooling, Heating and Garbage) for an apartment EUR 176
Monthly Mobile Phone Plan (Calls and 10GB+ Data)EUR 26
One Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar)EUR 86
One Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, …)EUR 37
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range)EUR 88
Cinema, International Release, One TicketEUR 12
Fitness Club MembershipEUR 32
Source: numbeo

Education Cost in France

The system of Universities in France, which offers education to 2.5 million students each year, is well-known for its diverse education, excellent education delivery, and dynamic study environment. In France, there are about 3,500 universities, both public and private, where you can pursue undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral degrees. Tuition costs will be a big component of your expenses if you are an overseas student.

Tuition rates vary from one college to the next depending on the courses you choose. In France, the average tuition for a bachelor’s programme at a Public Universities in France is roughly EUR 170 per year. However, if you choose an engineering degree, you will need to spend roughly EUR 620 every academic year, whilst annual tuition expenses for medical education might reach up to EUR 450. In France, the average tuition expenses for obtaining a master’s degree are EUR 260 per year and EUR 396.

Cost of Living in France Compared to its Cities

In comparison to major metropolitan cities in France, it offers an affordable cost of living across the country. However, living expenses in France vary depending on the city. For your reference, we’ve given the cost of living in France’s cities (without including the rent) like Paris, Lyon, Toulouse, Grenoble, and Dordogne. Refer to the table below for more details.

Cities of FranceAverage Cost of Living 
Cost of Living in ParisEUR 1,087
Cost of Living in Lyon EUR 1,011
Cost of Living in ToulouseEUR 953
Cost of Living in GrenobleEUR 906
Cost of Living in DordogneEUR 1150

Cost of Living in France Compared to Other Countries

France is generally considered a relatively affordable country to live in compared to some countries, offering a high-quality of lifestyle and economic stability. Additionally, the cost of living can vary greatly from country to country. So to give you an idea of ​​how the cost of living in France compares to other countries, we’ve given the cost of living (not including rent) in other countries. Please have a look:

Country NameAverage Cost of livingComparison with Cost of Living in France
Cost of Living in the USAEUR 1077Higher than France
Cost of Living in the UKEUR 947Approximately equal to France
Cost of Living in AustraliaEUR 1020Higher than France
Cost of Living in IrelandEUR 982Higher than France
Cost of Living in GermanyEUR 972Higher than France
Cost of Living in CanadaEUR 974Higher than France
Cost of Living in CaliforniaEUR 1250Higher than France
Cost of Living in SpainEUR 701Lower than France
Cost of Living in ItalyEUR 855Lower than France
Source: numbeo

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Cost of Living in Orleans, France: A 2024 Guide on Expected ExpensesCost of Living in Dijon, France: A Guide
Cost of Living in Marseille, France for International StudentsCost of Living in Regina: Food, Room Rent & Transportation

FAQs on Cost of Living in France

Q 1. What is the Cost of Living in France?

Ans: The average cost of living in France without rent is around EUR 946. However, depending on the area and a person’s preferences, living expenses and rental fees can change.

Q 2: How much does it cost to live in France?

Ans: The cost of living in France depends on where you choose to live. You will have to spend approximately 946 euros every month, excluding rent. However, this may vary according to the region and preferences of individuals.

Q 3. How much does rent charge in France?

Ans: Rent in France is determined by the type of accommodation chosen. While staying in student housing is far less expensive than renting a separate flat, you may also rent a room to lower your living expenses in France. In France, the average rent of a room apartment varies between EUR 500 to EUR 1400.

Q 4. Which cities are a little more affordable in France?

Ans: Cities such as Grenoble, Montpellier, and Nantes are comparatively affordable in terms of cost of living. Paris and Lyon are costly cities in France.

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