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Living in France: gastronomy, culture, and travel

Verhuizen naar Frankrijk

Enjoying the sun from your spacious home with a garden full of lavender and a glass of wine in hand? Are you increasingly dreaming of a life in France? Then you definitely want to read our blog. We provide you with an inspiring example of what life in France can look like.

Living in France: Is it for you?

You already know France quite well from visits to La Douce France during your holidays. Lately, you find yourself daydreaming more and more about building a life in France. Make your dreams come true by moving to France. But what should you imagine about living in France? Does it differ significantly from the country where you currently reside?

In this blog, based on a conversation with Bert Spierenburg, who has been living in the middle of France in the Auvergne since March 2019 after 12 years in Curaçao, you can read about this and more.

Bert: "It is more relaxed here in the countryside of Puy de Dome, where we live in France. The people are very helpful, perhaps a bit less so in the big cities. I work a lot less. Doing odd jobs is my hobby, and we have converted an old hay barn into a house. So, we basically do what we enjoy, especially enjoying the surroundings, nature, and the cozy terraces."

Climate, versatile landscape, and the Burgundian lifestyle

Symbolic of living in France is the joy of life or "joie de vivre." And, of course, don't forget the abundant choice of wine offered everywhere. The Burgundian lifestyle that is inseparably connected to this is a significant reason to consider living in France.

In addition, the French landscape is very versatile, making it a delight to explore. You can climb mountains, but also enjoy small villages and beautiful coastlines.

The French favorites in the Auvergne of Mr. Spierenburg are the charming town of Vichy with its spa resorts and beautiful buildings, the volcanic area Puy de Dome, and the congenial city full of old streets and museums, Clermont-Ferrand. Who wouldn't want to live in France?

Experience cultural life in France

The French lead a rich cultural life. Monumental buildings in big cities are numerous, with a rich history to discover.

When you move to France, it is essential to handle local traditions respectfully. You probably already consider it your second home.

Sometimes you have to get used to traditions when living in France. Many shops are still closed from 12:00 to 14:00 here. It is getting less common, but we still occasionally run into this issue; it remains a thing. Fortunately, the practice of writing checks at supermarkets and the like is becoming less common, but sometimes we still have to send a check for a specific payment, says Bert.

Living in France: the language

Learning the French language might not be the most enjoyable activity you think of when considering life in France. However, living in France is different from a vacation. Learning the language is crucial for your social contacts. The better they are, the faster you will feel at home in French life.

How does Bert Spierenburg experience this? He still finds French a challenging language, but they can manage well. Bert: "People are helpful, as long as you start in French ... and if it becomes too technical in French, they often look for someone who speaks English. In the big city, it's different, but overall, there are more and more people who speak English (or try)."

Can I just live in France?

You might wonder: can I, as a Dutch person, also live in France? As an EU citizen, you have the right to live in France if you meet these requirements:

Show a valid passport indicating that you are an EU citizen. Stay in France for a maximum of three months. For a stay longer than 6 months: registration certificate at the town hall of the place in France where you live. Moreover, for opening a bank account in France, registration with the municipality is often not used; instead, a 'justificatif de domicile' is often required. This is the bill for gas, water, or electricity, indirectly proving that you are established in France.

If you plan to live permanently in France, the Dutch government requires deregistration from the Personal Records Database (BRP) if you stay in France for more than 8 months in a period of one year.

Where is the (best) place to live in France?

France is a popular country to live in. Many Dutch people leave for France every year after much deliberation. In the French countryside, people are often happy when you start living there. Your purchase of local products keeps the local bakery and butcher in business and ensures that it remains livable.

Where is the (best) place to live in France, you ask? We are happy to list a few popular places for you:

Côte d'Azur

Voilà! Does it appeal to you to live in France, and have you already arranged all your affairs? Then De Haan removals is happy to take care of the move for you. So, you can already start dreaming about the sun, a glass of wine, and the delicious French cuisine.

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