Where best to live for UK expat Francophiles

Published:  22 Jun at 6 PM
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Tagged: France, Visas, Emigration
France has long been the choice for Brits looking for great weather, superb cuisine, fine wines and a huge variety of history and culture, but where’s the best region and town to settle?

A recent survey revealed a surprising first choice for overall quality of life linked with easy access to international air links, the coast, stunning countryside and even Paris. For all this and more, the Breton city of Rennes won out. Taking into account its 200,000 friendly residents, charming historic architecture and buzzing local markets, the small city beat even Bordeaux and Nantes into first place.

Known as the ‘smallest of France’s big cities’, Rennes will soon offer a 90-minute rail link to the capital and has a metro service and history of continuing public service investment. Every expat need is catered for, just as in a much larger conurbation, without affecting its cosy, small-town ambience. For incomers who love to party, Rennes is famous for its typically French bars and great choice of other nightlife options.

On the practical side of expat life, average monthly rents are as low as €470, putting Nantes’ higher rents in the shade. If starting a business is on the agenda, Rennes was recently voted as the best mid-sized city in France for start-ups and , unlike many other French cities, the local Bretagne accent is easy to understand.

Unless expats’ worst fears over Brexit come true, taking up residence in the city is straightforward for Brits yearning for a new lifestyle as no visas are required. Admittedly, getting essentials such as bank accounts, cellphones and a permanent address is trickier, and drivers will need to endure a French driving test including a written section in order to get a license. Learning French whilst you’re making preparations to emigrate is the best idea, especially if you made a start whilst at school.
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