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Hello there,

I recently posted on here regarding our possible move to France and have just found out that if my husband were to take the job in Paris, it would be in La Défense area of the city.

With that in mind, and also the fact that we won't be on any expat package, could anyone recommend relatively affordable areas that I could look at, to get some idea of rentals, that would be in commuting distance of La Défense?

I spoke before about eco-living, but think now that's probably a bit too unrealistic. :eek:

Maybe somewhere with a bit of green for us to hang out in, and some cultural goings-on (not true suburbia please!). Also an area with good (and friendly!) local primary schools is very important.

Sorry for the too-ing and fro-ing. I do hope someone can help.

Thank you in advance.
 

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Actually, if your husband will actually be working in La Defense, you probably want to situate yourselves along one of the direct train, metro or other transport lines that feed into La Defense. (It's the changing of trains in the Paris area that wastes all sorts of travel time.) The traffic in and around La Defense is just awful at rush hours and to the extent that you can avoid driving in and out, probably best to do so.

Take a look at the RATP interactive map here: Plan Interactif des transports en Ile-de-France La Defense is off to the left a bit (move the map around) and you can see all the train lines and RER and metro lines that feed into La Defense. The lines run all the way out to Versailles (which is an option, though not a terribly cheap one) and beyond. You probably want to stay to the west of Paris - though the area can be expensive, it beats having to traverse the city at rush hour.

The local schools are all a function of where you live. Most mairies these days have websites, so google the town names along the most direct transit lines and there should be information about the schools serving the various towns. (Though the French schools are pretty uniform - thank a centralized curriculum and centralized control of the schools.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Actually, if your husband will actually be working in La Defense, you probably want to situate yourselves along one of the direct train, metro or other transport lines that feed into La Defense. (It's the changing of trains in the Paris area that wastes all sorts of travel time.) The traffic in and around La Defense is just awful at rush hours and to the extent that you can avoid driving in and out, probably best to do so.

Take a look at the RATP interactive map here: Plan Interactif des transports en Ile-de-France La Defense is off to the left a bit (move the map around) and you can see all the train lines and RER and metro lines that feed into La Defense. The lines run all the way out to Versailles (which is an option, though not a terribly cheap one) and beyond. You probably want to stay to the west of Paris - though the area can be expensive, it beats having to traverse the city at rush hour.

The local schools are all a function of where you live. Most mairies these days have websites, so google the town names along the most direct transit lines and there should be information about the schools serving the various towns. (Though the French schools are pretty uniform - thank a centralized curriculum and centralized control of the schools.)
Cheers,
Bev
Thank you so much for the reply, Bev.

We would definitely be looking to use public transport as we won't have a car, I don't think. That would also probably affect the choice of towns we live in as they would need good transport links.

Thank you so much again Bev - this is a bit daunting! Despite years of doing this I still get terribly nervous!
 

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Looking at the map, the obvious choice is the town of Neuilly (Neuilly-sur-Seine), which sits between Paris and La Défense. It's one of the richer suburbs and I imagine the rents will tend to be quite high. (But the schools are probably good. :) ) The western parts of Paris proper (16th and 17 Arrondissements) also tend to be upscale and expensive.

What I've seen of the towns on the western edge of Paris (Suresnes, St Cloud, Garches, Nanterre, Rueil-Malmaison, etc.) is quite variable. There are*gray parts and suburban parts within most of those towns. I haven't seen areas that seemed scary, but mostly have only been on bigger through streets.

I remember from trying to do some research before we moved that it's very hard to get a handle on this without actually being here and wandering around the neighborhoods for a day or two.

Google Maps can be helpful--you can use it to look for parks, and you can use StreetView to poke around in specific areas. If you click on a public transit station (M, RER, etc) it'll show you which lines go through that station and where they go.

There's also the website Mappy (fr.mappy.com) which is a public transit trip planner... it'll give you an idea how long it takes to get from A to B and by giving it different constraints you can see what the alternate routes are.
 

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Hi there,

I would try Suresnes, quite a few expats live there because it's just a short tram ride to La Defense. I have a friend who's been living there for a long while and really likes it, I have always enjoyed going there to stay, you get a really lovely view of Paris as it's up on the hill.

Neuilly is expensive, I lived there for a while - it's nice and feels safe.

I also lived in the 16th and 17th but not sure I would recommend them if you're after somewhere with a bit of green! Depending on whereabouts in the 17th, it can also be quite a way out on the metro on the 'not so nice' lines (I witnessed a few dodgy incidents late at night when living there).

Lizzie
 

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I'd recommend Vincennes (South-East just outside Paris).

Been living here for about 6 months now, very nice community feel (with a massive forest nearby...) and lots of families around here.
Amenities are good and prices are a little less than Paris, and most importantly feels safe.

Also on the RER (Line A), 6 stops to La Defense and takes me around 30 minutes direct.

Kind regards,
Sam
 
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