Comparing the cost of living and quality of life in Nice for expats

For many British expatriates, living and working in Nice is a great experience, offering a high quality of life and the opportunity to develop a strong career in Europe from the sunny climes of the French Riviera.
For expats moving to Nice, we explore the cost of living, the quality of life and how they compare to living in London.

Living the Nice life

Nice is a prime location for expatriates. It’s situated on the stunning Côte d’Azur, giving access to miles of attractive beaches. It’s also nestled at the bottom of the Alps, close to the Italian border and only a short distance from the Principality of Monaco. It’s not hard to see why it is considered such a desirable city to relocate to for British professionals.
The quality of life is high. There is a lot on offer to suit all extracurricular interests and pursuits. With a warm Mediterranean climate, a lot of time can be spent outside on the beaches or in one of the many attractive parks, playing sports or enjoying family picnics. The all-year-round holiday vibe can be infectious, with both tourists and residents alike enjoying a relaxed lifestyle – two-hour lunch breaks from work are commonplace. There are also plenty of chances to immerse yourself in the local culture, with a strong music and dance scene, particularly jazz, and high-quality restaurants serving the best the region can offer.
The weather and all the opportunities that it brings is one of the biggest draws for British expatriates moving from London. While Paris remains a popular expatriate location for business, Nice is a more attractive proposition when searching for a better work-life balance. However, it is not a sleepy, seaside city; quite the opposite. It is the fifth-largest city in France, with a booming economy and an ever-growing metropolitan area. The work culture here is the same as in other major French cities.

What’s the cost?

There is no escaping that the cost of living on the French Riviera is high. Securing an apartment is a top priority, as homes in the most exclusive areas of Nice go quickly, particularly close to the port or in Vieux Nice (Old Nice).
The cost of living in Nice is among the most expensive 20 percent of all cities surveyed by Teleport. Things like taxis, eating out, club memberships and supermarket shopping are all towards the top end of European cities and higher than the average in France. However, for those moving from London, the difference is more marginal, given that London is also among the higher-end cities to live in. In fact, according to Numbeo, the world’s largest database of user-contributed information, the overall cost of living in Nice when directly compared to London is lower.
The difference in lifestyle and culture accounts for some of the reasons why the cost of living in Nice is often cheaper than London. For example, many residents and expatriates use the popular markets and shops selling local produce to select high-quality foods, which is cheaper than pre-selected and pre-packaged supermarket items. The drier days and warm sunshine encourage more people to travel to work on foot or on bike, plus the public transport system is effective, clean and well-used – there is less need to use a car for the daily commute.
If you are planning a move to France from London, find out more about how Cadogan Tate can help you plan for every step of the process.