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Moving to the French Riviera: What to expect from your new life

By LLM Reporters on 25th April 2017

The alluring beaches and clear skies of the south of France make the French Riviera a popular relocation destination for UK residents who dream about swapping the grey skies of Britain with up to 300 days of sunshine per year. While moving to the French Riviera certainly sounds like a dream endeavor, the novelty of the area and a 360-degree change in lifestyle may seem daunting. Here’s what you can expect from your new life in this French paradise.

Learning the Language
It is difficult to get by in France if you don’t speak the language, so it is essential to have at least a basic level of proficiency before leaving. Your life will be so much easier if you go beyond the lessons you remember from school. While social French is just fine for everyday life, you might want more than that if you wish to learn and talk about any specialist subjects. That said, if you are looking for properties for sale in Nice, you’ll find that thankfully there are English-language property services available.

Monaco boats port
Monaco is home to the super rich

Adapting to the Culture
If you have decided to move to the French Riviera because you have fallen in love with the French way of life, you have probably noticed that life is quite different over there. Adapting to the culture could take years, but you don’t have to actually change everything about yourself. It’s essential to be flexible an open-minded when moving to a new country in order to be able to integrate well in the society. You can, of course, hang out with the UK expat community, but if you plan on making France your new home, your experience will only be complete if you integrate well. Things that you will need to adapt to include, for example, the two-hour pause for lunch, when most banks, institutions, and shops close.

Finding a Home in Nice or Monaco
The French Riviera has had a booming real estate industry in the past decades, which is mostly due to its attractive climate, setting, and lifestyle. For this reason, there is no lack of properties, nor of real estate agents. If you are planning on buying a property on the French Riviera, you have a choice of cities and villages. There is something out there for most budgets, but keep in mind that apartments for sale in Nice or Monaco are generally more expensive than in lesser-known areas.

Organising Medical Care
Just like in the UK, medical care standards in France are high, but since you won’t be able to take advantage of the NHS benefits, you will need to take care of things such as health insurance. All foreigners who live on the French Riviera, and in France in general, need to have basic health insurance. The Pasteur Hospital in Nice, for example, offers very high quality standards of treatment.

nice in france
Nice, capital of the Alpes-Maritimes department on the French Riviera, sits on the pebbly shores of the Baie des Anges

Registering for Taxes
If you are not yet retired, you will need to check out the French tax system. Life in paradise may be quite expensive from this point of view, as France personal income tax is quite high, but still comparable to other Western countries. Just like home, you can take advantage of various tax credits and deductions, and your taxable income is reduced proportionally based on the number of people depending on your income, such as partners, spouses, or children.

Enjoying the Weather
This is probably the main factor that convinced you to make the move and call the French Riviera your home. Warm and dry summers await you here, with temperatures ranging between 20 and 26 degrees Celsius. What’s even better, winters are mostly sunny and you can expect temperatures to be around 10 and 15 degrees during the day. Rain is quite uncommon here, even in winter, and when it does rain, it usually clears up quickly.

Life on the French Riviera is relaxed and time seems to pass slower here, which is one of the main reasons people from all over the world decide to move here every year. If you are looking for a place where the sun shines most of the year, the ocean is a short stroll from the city centre and the mountains a quick drive away, then Nice is the city for you. For an even quieter experience that still looks and feels just like paradise, have a look at the suburbs or smaller towns such as Menton or Grasse. Here, you’ll no doubt find the paradise you’ve been looking for.