Real Cost Of Living In France As Digital Slowmad

Are you planning on visiting France and wondering how much money you may spend there? We were also wondering about that before our stay there, especially since France is considered one of the most expensive countries in Europe. Numbeo.com claims that a single person’s average monthly cost is €853.84 without rent. So spending more than €2000, for two people, sounded quite expensive, at least for us. How was it really? What’s the real cost of living in France in 2022 as digital slowmad? Stay with us, and we’ll reveal that “secret”.

Important notes.

This post was written mostly for digital nomads/slow travelers staying for longer in one place. Lately, post was updated in January 2023.

Average prices used in the post are valid for the period May-June 2022, and October-January 2022/2023 and are accurate for the Haute-Savoie, Cote d’Azur and Pyrénées-Orientales departments in France. 

Real Cost Of Living In France In 2022 As Digital Nomad

Real Cost Of Living In France As Digital Slowmad

Accommodation in France

In France we lived in Thonon-les-Bains, Villeneuve-Loubet, and Saint-Cyprien. We used Airbnb to find our temporary home. As digital nomads we have specific requirements that each place must meet: 

  • a whole place for ourselves,
  • fully equipped,
  • with great Internet,
  • with a place to work,
  • a parking spot is a must too, as we are traveling by car.

All of this translates into a higher price we have to pay for a place.

Our average monthly accommodation cost in France: €1145

Of course, the price will depend on various factors – for example, you’ll pay less if you’ll be satisfied with only renting a room instead of the whole apartment.

Cost of Accommodation in France for digital nomad
Whaaat? How much money did we spend in France?!

Grocery costs in France

We do our shopping in supermarkets. In France, you’ll find stores like Carrefour, Intermarche, Auchan, Lidl, Casino, Leclerc, or SuperU. Generally speaking, we found shops in the south of France regions cheaper than ones in Haute-Savoie (where we experienced a bit of a shock when we paid about €100 for basic products for one week). We also recommend checking if supermarkets offer club cards, like Lidl Plus.

Our average monthly groceries cost: €405

It’s the price for vegetarian groceries as we don’t eat meat. In France, or at least in the regions where we were staying, the selection of veggie dishes was really poor, it was very hard to even find simple tofu.

Below you can take a look at sample receipts and photos from stores so you can check out the prices of various products for yourself.

Cosmetics in France

Cosmetics are mostly sold in supermarkets, so look for them there. From our observations, prices are very similar to those in other European countries. 

Our average monthly cosmetics cost: €25

Going out in France

Restaurants in France

In France we found quite a nice and wide variety of restaurants and bars. You’ll find many places wih local cuisine, but also international. Prices of course also depends on the place and region/city. 

Our average monthly going-out cost in France: €80

Here are sample prices from places in towns we’ve visited: 

Cinemas in France

We love going to the cinema so we have to mention it here too. Ticket prices are quite high – about €10 per person. A huge plus for playing movies in the original language (VO).

Cost of transportation in France

We’re traveling by car so the only thing we need is gasoline. In May-June 2022 on average we paid €2/L (95), and later in October-December €1,65/L. One almost whole tank (~45L) costed us about €70 on average.

Of course, prices vary a lot depending on the gas station. From our observations, the cheapest prices were at gas stations belonging to stores like Intermarche or Carrefour. The highest prices were on highways (sometimes even +€0.3).

When traveling by car, you also need parking. We always look for free ones first. It can be quite a challenging task, but not impossible – especially if you arrive early in the morning. We even found a free spot in the highly popular Chamonix. The average price per hour is around €1.5. 

If you’re traveling by plane we advise you to rent a car as it’s a very comfortable way of discovering France. You can use websites like rentalcars.com or look in local rental offices. The cheapest options we’ve found cost about €1000 per month, of course, plus fuel.

Another option is public transport, but here we can’t say anything from the experience. From what we saw, France is well connected by trains. For example, according to rome2rio.com, a train from Thonon-Les-Bains to Lyon will cost €40-77, to Chamonix €17-65, and €8-39 to Geneva in Switzerland. You can also choose to travel by bus, which will take you to even more places than trains.

Tourist attractions in France

Prices depend on the place. In our opinion entry fees are quite expensive, at least compared to Spain or Portugal.

Here are some examples of prices for one adult (January 2023):

  • Château de Ripaille €10
  • Le Palais de I’Île €3.9 
  • Gorges du Fier €6
  • Chateau de Montrottier 10€ 
  • Chamonix → Aiguille du Midi cable car €73
  • Musée Matisse €10
  • Musée océanographique de Monaco €19
  • Le Jardin Exotique in Eze €7
  • Musée Picasso €8
  • Salses Fortress €8
  • Les Orgues d’Ille-sur-Tet €5
  • Palais des rois de Majorque €7
  • Royal Castle of Collioure €7
Cost of tourist attractions in France
Chamonix → Aiguille du Midi cable car
Cost of tourist attractions in France, Rhone-Alpes region
Gorges du Fier
Tourist attractions in France in Rhone-Alpes region
Tramway Du Mont-Blanc

Going to the doctor in France

Fortunately, we didn’t have to use any doctor’s services in France. If you’re from one of the EU countries (and insured in your residential country) you can use a free EHIC card (European Health Insurance Card) to receive treatment in another member country for free or at a reduced cost, if that treatment becomes necessary during your visit.

But EHIC doesn’t cover a lot of things so more important is to have travel and/or health insurance. Its prices may vary a lot depending on your country and your needs. We’re using one offered by a Polish company, which cost us about €70 per month for two people. We highly recommend buying good insurance as you never know when you’ll get sick or something bad will happen. Also, you probably won’t be happy with paying thousands for hospitalization, treatments, etc.

You can take a look at special insurance for digital nomads, like SafetyWing. Prices start from $42 per month.

Internet Costs in France

We already mentioned at the beginning that we always look for a place with a good Internet connection. Outside the apartments, we use roaming data plans (in very small amounts). Another popular option is to get a local prepaid SIM card. Here’s a great article comparing lots of various prepaid options in France.

What can you save on while traveling?

Looking for savings during traveling? We’ve prepared a whole post where we’ve listed tips on how to save money while traveling. Check it out:

💰💰 20+ Tips On How To Save Money While Traveling 💰💰

Summary of the cost of living in France as digital slowmad

Looks like the cost of living in France for digital nomads may be quite expensive.

To sum up… Our average monthly cost of living in France was about €1750. 

Quite a lot compared to Portugal (€1500) or Spain (€1250), and we didn’t go crazy with any expenses. To our surprise, the biggest and most significant difference was during grocery shopping – and this cost was the main reason for such a high final result.

Cost Of Living In France As Digital Nomad and Traveler

Oh, one more thing! For us living in France was still almost twice cheaper than the numbeo.com claims. So always take this kind of information with a grain of salt.

We hope you found this post useful and it will help you plan your expenses or even convince you to start your own journey shortly.


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2 thoughts on “Real Cost Of Living In France As Digital Slowmad”

  1. A brilliant post – absolutely not aimed at me, but it’s still very fascinating to read, and I’m sure very useful to people looking into slow travelling. The details are amazing, especially with the receipts.

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