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Best Places to Live in France: the experts decide

Best Places to Live in France: the experts decide

Jan 21st, 2004, 09:39 AM
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Best Places to Live in France: the experts decide

The January 9 issue of Le Point included an extensive report on the best places to live in France, based on several criteria.

The top 10 in the overall category are:
1. Nantes
2. Dijon
3. Strasbourg
4. Orleans
5. Lyon
6. Rennes
7. Vannes
8. Toulouse
9. Angers (our favorite)
10. Tours
Paris finished 15th, dragged down by the high cost of living and crime (it topped the categories for culture and dynamic business climate)
The bottom of the barrel were:
96. Sete
97. Montlucon
98. Boulogne-sur-Mer
99. Beziers
and...
100. Calais
Best college towns (for those of you who are or know students who'd like to study abroad) are Aix-en-Provence, Brest, La Rochelle, Nancy, Annecy, Metz, Lyon, Vannes and Tours (although Paris tops for having the "grand" universities, like Sciences Po, it's not the best academic environment for the average student).
BTilke is offline  
Jan 21st, 2004, 09:46 AM
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Some funny bits about Provence and the Riviera--they rank very high for their "agreeable" lifestyles, things to do, etc., but are worst in terms of property crime (I guess houses are easy to rob when everyone is off partying or at the beach).
The worst towns for property and personal crime were:
90. Frejus
91. Montpellier
92. Lille (an exception to the fun and sun correlation)
93. Paris
94. Nice
95. Perpignan
96. Cannes
97. Antibes
98. Beziers
99. Marseille
100. Avignon (Avignon also has the worst rating for bad drivers, accidents, traffic violations, etc.)...
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Jan 21st, 2004, 09:51 AM
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Guess I got to see some of the best & worst in France last year. I was in Nantes and Montlucon in 2003.

I really didn't think Montlucon was all that awful, but I don't live there.
indytravel is offline  
Jan 21st, 2004, 10:05 AM
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How was Nantes? I haven't been there for years.
BTilke is offline  
Jan 21st, 2004, 10:29 AM
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Nantes was clean, pretty. Had a lot to do. There was a Christmas market going on when I was there the firt part of December. The old city was pretty for walking around. A lot of boating stuff is available, even managed to catch one of the last lunch cruises on the Erde (sp?) river.

The city had a youthful feel due to a large university presence. It has more of the limestone & tiled roof look to it rather than the half-timbered look that is more prevalent in the eastern half of France.

The old LU Biscuit factory has been converted to a very lively arts center with a restaurant (didn't eat there,) a bar (nice bustling place for a cocktail,) and a couple of performing stages.

I liked that Jules Verne house/museum. It's a bit dry if you aren't a fan, but I am. The botanical gardens was very pretty. There are several other nice small museums about. The art museum didn't have any major works that wow-ed me, but it was good too.

Plenty of great shopping to be had. There's a huge Galleries Lafayette with a food store in the basement.

The tram system was very easy to use. I really like trams better than subways. You can see stuff as you go by.

I was only there 2.5 days. I felt I barely scratched the surface.
indytravel is offline  
Jun 16th, 2004, 09:35 AM
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Nantes sounds lovely! How is the weather there in the summer? I know that the north of Brittany can be very chilly and foggy, but have heard that the south is more temperate.

Beth
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Jun 16th, 2004, 09:43 AM
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Interesting--I was just reflecting about Beziers the other day. We have friends there and had been warned that it was gritty, industrial, and uninspiring, but we actually liked it quite a bit (and we even spent some time in an industrial zone on the outskirts of town).

I mean, it's not Paris (or even Lyon or Toulouse or Avignon), but it's still in the South of France, which can't be all bad.

I lived in Angers for a while as a student, but haven't been back. . . must get to the Loire Valley SOON!
elle is offline  
Jun 16th, 2004, 10:47 AM
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Merci, BTilke. I've stayed in the same family-run hotel in Nice five times since 1994. On my last visit two years ago, Madame Colette and her son were talking about how bad the crime had gotten in Nice. When I was there in 1999, an English couple staying in the hotel had their car broken into while parked at the Matisse Museum. I've never felt physically unsafe there, however.

Of the top 10, the three I most want to visit are Strasbourg, Lyon and Toulouse.



Author: BTilke
Date: 01/21/2004, 01:39 pm
Message: The January 9 issue of Le Point included an extensive report on the best places to live in France, based on several criteria.

The top 10 in the overall category are:
1. Nantes
2. Dijon
3. Strasbourg
4. Orleans
5. Lyon
6. Rennes
7. Vannes
8. Toulouse
9. Angers (our favorite)
10. Tours
Paris finished 15th, dragged down by the high cost of living and crime (it topped the categories for culture and dynamic business climate)
The bottom of the barrel were:
96. Sete
97. Montlucon
98. Boulogne-sur-Mer
99. Beziers

capo is offline  
Jun 16th, 2004, 11:59 AM
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Well we are in Angers right now and going to Nantes for the day on Saturday...will be taking in two of the top ten! Angers is one of my favorite places in France...beautiful climate, lovely people, great food, relaxed pace. We're playing with the hotel's wifi before heading out for dinner.
BTilke is offline  

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