Located on the river Seine, Paris is the capital and largest city of France. It is the fifth largest city in the European Union and is considered as a financial and cultural hub in the region.
In terms of weather, Paris boasts a mild climate. The summers are warm and sunny with average temperatures between 15 ºC and 25 ºC. July is the hottest month while January is the coldest. The city receives frequent rainfall except during the spring (March to May) which is fairly dry.
Living in Paris
Geographically, Paris is divided into twenty districts called arrondissements. These districts are named numerically and spiral out clockwise from the centre of the city.
The first, second, third and fourth arrondissements are located on the north bank of the river Seine while the fifth, sixth and seventh arrondissements are situated on the south bank. The eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth arrondissements are also on the north bank but they’re above the central arrondissements. Similarly, the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth are on the south bank (above the fifth, sixth and seventh arrondissements) whereas the sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth arrondissements are the outer most districts on the north side of the city.
Choosing where to live depends on your preferences. The central area (first, second, third, fourth and tenth arrondissements) is expensive and offers a variety of amenities including designer boutiques, five-star hotels, art galleries, restaurants and cafes.
The arrondissements on the south side (fifth, sixth, seventh, thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth) are residential areas and also boast some modern buildings. The eleventh, twelfth, nineteenth and twentieth arrondissements are popular with the young working class because these areas are more affordable as compared to other parts of the city.
The city of Paris is an important transport hub in Europe. The Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport is the second busiest international airport in the region. The city is home to six major railway stations and also has active waterways which facilitate the transport of cargo and tourists via the river Seine.
Public transport in the city consists of the bus, metro, RER and tram service. The Metro is the most efficient means of getting around the city. A single ticket costs €1.90 and can be bought at the station. The RER runs on five lines and connects the city to the outer suburbs. Trams run on three lines and connect to the Metro/RER. The city also has night buses which run after the regular buses and metro close down.
The city of Paris offers a wide variety of leisure activities to suit all tastes and budgets. It is home to a number of world-famous monuments including the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame and the Champs-Elysees. The Eiffel Tower alone gets millions of visitors each year.
The Louvre Museum houses over 30,000 works of art and is the most visited art museum in the world. The city is also famous for its beautiful parks which include the Luxembourg Gardens, the Jardin des Tuileries and the Jardin des Plantes. Visitors can also enjoy concerts and shows at the Theatre de Mogador or the Opera Bastille and even take a sightseeing cruise on the Seine.
Working in Paris
1. Jobs Prospects
Paris has a serviced based economy which is run by several industries including finance, IT, electronics, tourism and high-tech manufacturing.
Many people (over 350,000) are employed in business services. Hotels and restaurants offer work to around 14% of the population while 19% are employed in government offices and educational institutions. The tourism industry generates over 230,000 jobs and is seen as an important part of the city’s economy. Experienced professionals are always needed sectors such as marketing, IT, real estate, finance, medicine and civil services.
2. Starting a Business
In addition to great job opportunities, Paris is also an ideal city for starting a business.
The government provides generous incentives for startups and information regarding taxes, registration and essential paperwork is freely available.
You can structure your venture as a Sole Trader or as a Company. Some businesses such as vets, hairdressers, accountants and builders are regulated so be sure to check with the APCE website before registering. Check if your company name is available on the INPI website and then move on to registering it at the Centre de Formalités des Entreprises (CFE) or online at www.guichet-entreprises.fr.
Once registered, you will receive a SIREN, SIRET and an APE number. The SIREN identifies your business, the SIRET refers to your business location and the APE number shows your business activity.
3. Finding Office Space
The most popular areas for offices in Paris includes La Defense, the 1st arrondissement, 8th arrondissement, 9th arrondissement, 12th arrondissement, 14th arrondissement and 16th arrondissement.
La Defense is the biggest purposefully-built commercial district in Europe and has over 70 skyscrapers. Home to more than 1500 corporations, the area has excellent amenities and is well-served by the Metro and rail networks.
The 1st arrondissement is popular with luxury brands and the 8th arrondissement houses several embassies. Insurance companies and business services can be found in the 9th arrondissement while the 12th and 14th arrondissements enjoy quick links to the rail service. The 16th arrondissement is one of the most expensive areas of Paris and boasts offices of multinational corporations, accounting firms and embassies.
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