Seven suburbs around Paris you could potentially move to

While some are put off by life in the suburbs around Paris, here are seven "banlieues" that offer a change from life in the City of Light.

Published: Tue 7 Feb 2017 16:25 CEST
Seven suburbs around Paris you could potentially move to
The beautiful Issy-les-Moulineaux. Photo:
Why live in Paris when you can live in its banlieues? That's what many of our readers told us this week, anyway
But where to live? Here's a closer look at a range of well-known, interesting, or up and coming suburbs to keep your eye on (or maybe to move to).
1. Montreuil
Quick facts: 
Population: 104,000 
Location: East of Paris
Department: Seine-Saint-Denis
Connection: Metro Line 9
Montreuil is a thriving and artsy suburb to the city's east, perhaps best known for its popular flea market. 
The suburb is great for families, located just a stone's throw from the sprawling Bois des Vincennes park. 
It's also on the border of Paris, meaning residents are extremely well connected to the city without having to live in it (it's served by three Metro stations: Robespierre, Croix de Chavaux, and Mairie de Montreuil).
The area is proving attractive for companies too, with the head office of Ubisoft and the Paris office of Air France both calling the suburb home. 
Don't miss the markets - Les Puces de Montreuil - which have been around for centuries, and be sure to check in with some of the regular cultural events (the film industry has tight connections to the suburb).
Photo: ParisInfo
2. Saclay
Quick facts: 
Population: 3,000
Location: South west of Paris
Department: Essonne
Connection: RER B
Never heard of Saclay? Well it might be time to get used to the name. 
The small suburb, around 19 kilometres from the centre of Paris, is home to the brand new University of Paris-Saclay. 
The mega university started offering courses in 2015 and aims to be a top-ten institution that clusters in some of the top grandes écoles, public universities, and research centres of a wide range of fields.
The area is already known as the European Silicon Valley, and has seen around 28,000 jobs created between 2002 and 2012 alone (more than in any other suburb of Paris for that time period). 
While the suburb itself is currently quite hard to get to (you'll need to head 3 kilometres to get to Le Guichet on the RER B), this will change with the new Grand Paris project.
The project will see the new Metro Line 18 passing right by the small town (see inset map), meaning it will be just six Metro stops from the Orly airport. 
3. Saint-Germain-en-Laye
Quick facts: 
Population: 43,015
Location: North west of Paris
Department: Yvelines
Connection: RER A
This is a favourite suburb for affluent Anglophone families - largely thanks to the renowned international high school.
While it's not exactly next door to Paris (it's about 19 kilometres from the city centre), it still has decent connections with the RER A commuter line. 
Many people who live in the tree-lined suburb have a car to get around (after all, there's rooms for homes and driveways unlike in Paris). 
The town's website has been translated into English and offers all sorts of information from motorist tips to sporting and culture events. 
Saint-Germain-en-Laye has a fiercely proud sporting heritage thanks to the fact that it's represented by Paris Saint Germain - one of the top footballing teams in the French Ligue 1. 

And if you're only visiting as a tourist, be sure to check out the excellent chateau (see below).

Photo: JH Mora/WikiCommons

4. Pantin

Quick facts:

Population: 53,471
Location: North east of Paris
Department: Seine-Saint-Denis
Connection: Metro Line 5

This north eastern suburb seems to be getting renovations and new projects on every corner.

A great example of this is the BETC advertising agency, pictured below.

The company, which Forbes magazine called it the "Ad agency of the future" took over a derelict post-industrialisation building in the area, which was best known previously for its criminality than its architectural heritage.

It now has up to 1,000 people working in the building.

Other grand-scale projects set out in Pantin’s local newspaper Canal include a new school, total renovation of Diderot Park, an “eco-quarter” of green spaces, housing and economic developments and a futuristic library.

While Paris’s suburbs have a reputation for being unsafe, Pantin is prioritising the security of its residents, investing €1.8 million into the local police force and €300,000 into video surveillance.

And don’t miss the National Dance Centre on the Ourcq Canal - which is designed to showcase brightness and space, the building itself is worth a visit for its modern architecture, even if you’re not planning on seeing a performance.

Photo: AFP

5. Clichy

Quick facts:

Population: 58,489
Location: North of Paris
Department: Hauts-de-Seine
Connection: Metro Line 13

You might also see Clichy written as Clichy-La-Garenne, literally, “Clichy-the-rabbit-warren”, a name that dates back to the Middle-Ages.

Right at the border of Paris, this suburb is just a short ride, or walk, away from the winding, cobbled streets of Montmartre and you can get to the heart of Paris in under 30 minutes by Metro.

Some of France’s best known brands BIC, Etam and L’Oréal have made their home in Clichy, so the area brings in plenty of workers and is far from sleepy.

Don’t miss the Pavillon Vendôme art centre (pictured below) and its wild flower garden.

Photo: Ec.Domnowall/WikiCommons

6. Issy-les-Moulineaux

Quick facts:

Population: 65,662
Location: South west of Paris
Department: Hauts-de-Seine
Connection: Metro Line 12

Between 2006 and 2010, Issy was the fourth most popular destination for Parisians opting to move to the suburbs, with 5,300 people choosing to set up home in the suburb (nearby Boulogne-Billancourt was number one).

It's included in the route for the new Grand Paris Metro lines, so transport links are only going to get better.

Just over the Seine River from well-to-do Boulogne-Billancourt, Issy-les-Moulineaux may not have the same prestigious history, but has drawn in a cosmopolitan population.

A key draw, not only for Parisians but for people all over the world, is the wealth of big media and tech companies like Canal+, Microsoft and France24, causing the area to be dubbed “medialand”.

And largely thanks to these big companies, unemployment in Issy-les-Moulineaux is only 6.38 percent, compared to the national rate of 9.7 percent.


7. Sèvres

Quick facts:

Population: 5,985
Location: South west of Paris
Department: Hauts-de-Seine
Connection: Metro line 9

Sèvres is a quiet suburb but offers plenty of options if you’re into sports and outdoor activities.

Keen cyclists, runners or hikers would be at home in this leafy suburb as it's almost entirely bordered by forests or water. 

Renting here is reasonable, and you can get yourself a two-bedroom apartment for €1,000 to €1,500 a month. 
While public transport links are good, driving is common and many homes have parking (a welcome relief for anyone who’s lived in Paris with a car).
Historically, Sèvres is known for its porcelain and is sometimes referred to as the city of ceramics.

The porcelain factory (pictured below) is one of the biggest in Europe, and you can learn about its history in Sèvres’ porcelain museum. 

Photo: LLM/WikiCommons

By Oliver Gee/Rose Trigg



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