Woman sitting by pool with phone and computer.

Top 6 French cities for digital nomads

6 min read

Dreaming of working as a digital nomad by the sea or in a café? It’s time to pack your bags and discover the best cities in France for working remotely.

What is a digital nomad?

Being a digital nomad isn’t a status or a profession—it’s more of a way of life. There’s basically only one requirement for becoming a digital nomad: 

  • You’re able to work from anywhere in the world with nothing but a computer and stable internet connection.

Digital nomads may come from a variety of professions, but generally hail from more digitally-focused careers—graphic designers, web developers, community managers, web marketing professions, infopreneurs, etc. And because being a digital nomad means that you don’t necessarily need to be tied to a company, most nomadic workers are self-employed or freelance, whether in France or abroad. But with working from home on the rise, digital nomadism could soon become an option for employees who don’t need to be physically present in their company.

Though freedom and travel are often the main motivating factors for digital nomads, the lifestyle can sometimes lead to loneliness. To combat this, an increasing number of co-working spaces are popping up to meet the need for connection among freelancers, in France and abroad!

So now that you know the basics, let’s get down to business! If you’re wondering where you should live in France if you’re a digital nomad, then we’ve got the most digital-nomad-friendly French cities, ranked according to cost and quality of life.

 1. Marseille—for city-dwelling digital nomads who crave sunshine

Fancy sun, swimming, and singing cicadas—all in a hip, urban setting? Head to Marseille, which has much more to offer than its “Old Port”! Not least because the city is home to the largest business incubator in the South of France, Marseille Innovation, but also because loads of co-working spaces have begun to flourish in the city center in recent years. And if you’re into arty surroundings, be sure to take a walk along the colorful Cours Julien or get lost in the bohemian art center of the Belle de Mai.

 Co-working spaces in Marseille : The Babel Community , Now Coworking, Café Coworking Mangrove

What’s the cost of living in Marseille?

Average price for a 1-bed apartment in the center: around €600 Cost of a monthly public transit pass: around €50 Meal out in a restaurant for 2 people with starter, main course, and dessert: around €50 Average net monthly salary: around €2,200

Source: Numbeo

2. Toulouse—for digital nomads who like the good life

Halfway between the Mediterranean, Spain, and the Pyrenees, Toulouse and its pretty city center will delight nomadic workers who want to enjoy all the advantages of a city while staying close to nature. Living in Toulouse as a nomadic worker is an excellent idea if you're looking for an animated, relaxed atmosphere—plus, the “Pink City” is the rugby and fine dining capital of the South-West!

 Co-working spaces in Toulouse: Harry Cow, Lab’Oïkos, L’Eurêkafé

 What’s the cost of living in Toulouse?

Average price for a 1-bed apartment in the center: around €620 Cost of a monthly public transit pass: around €50 Meal out in a restaurant for 2 people with starter, main course, and dessert: around €55 Average net monthly salary: around €2,200

3. Montpellier—for digital nomads who love la dolce vita

Between the Mediterranean atmosphere, Haussmannian architecture, beaches, and the title of official “French Tech” city since 2014, the capital of Hérault allows digital nomads to get a daily shot of vitamin D without leaving French soil. Living in Montpellier as a digital nomad gives you access to a multitude of cozy cafes nestled in the charming maze of alleys of the historic city center, as well as classic co-working spaces.

Co-working spaces in Montpellier: Café Hybride, Deli’s Coffee, Bureaux And Co

What is the cost of living in Montpellier?

Average price for a 1-bed apartment in the center: around €630 Cost of a monthly public transit pass: around €55 Meal out in a restaurant for 2 people with starter, main course, and dessert: around €55 Average net monthly salary: around €2,200

4. Lyon—the city for creative digital nomads

The capital of the Gauls is a must for any self-respecting creative! Digital nomad or not, living in Lyon means enjoying a rich music, food, and cultural scene. Lyon is also home to many startup incubators and a wide choice of co-working spaces, found mainly throughout the Presqu’île district. Between the colorful houses of the hilly district of Croix-Rousse, typical bouchon restaurants and epic evenings out enjoying the city’s electronic scene, Lyon will charm nomadic workers looking for a dynamic, multifaceted city.

Co-working spaces in Lyon: Sofffa, Le Simone, We Réso

What’s the cost of living in Lyon?

Average price for a 1-bed apartment in the center: around €700 Cost of a monthly public transit pass: around €65 Meal out in a restaurant for 2 people with starter, main course, and dessert: around €50 Average net monthly salary: around €2,300

5. Bordeaux—for ocean-loving digital nomads

Escape the frenzy of Paris and head for the Atlantic coast! Less than an hour from Lacanau—the closest beach—and right next to the country’s most prestigious vineyards, Bordeaux offers an enviable quality of life. With an elegant, updated city center, the emergence of trendy alternative venues (Espace Darwin), and a strategic location just one hour from Arcachon basin and two hours from the Basque Country, living in Bordeaux as a digital nomad allows you to appreciate the refined charm of the South-West.

Co-working spaces in Bordeaux: Now Coworking Bordeaux, Le Seven, L’Anticafé Bordeaux 

What’s the cost of living in Bordeaux?

Average price for a 1-bed apartment in the center: around €700 Cost of a monthly public transit pass: around €45 Meal out in a restaurant for 2 people with starter, main course, and dessert: around €40 Average net monthly salary: around €2,300

H2 6. Paris—for nomadic digital entrepreneurs

Paris isn’t just the capital of love—each year, more than 300 startups are funded, making the City of Light the leading network of European incubators. For you digital nomads, this means there are as many alternative workspaces as there are metro stations! If you want to live in Paris, don’t forget to explore the other side of the capital—the 18th and 19th arrondissements are home to contemporary and alternative cultural spots that contrast beautifully with the historic center.

Co-working spaces in Paris: We Work Lafayette, L’Anticafé du Louvre, Be Coworking

What’s the cost of living in Paris?

Average price for a 1-bed apartment in the center: around €1,200 Cost of a monthly public transit pass: around €75 Meal out in a restaurant for 2 people with starter, main course, and dessert: around €60 Average net monthly salary: around €2,900

Are you a digital nomad? N26 is here to help!

N26 makes your life as a digital nomad easier than ever by offering a fully mobile banking experience via our smartphone app. N26 Business accounts (Standard, Smart, You and Metal) allow you to sign up for a professional account at a lower cost and enjoy services tailored to entrepreneurs on the go. Make payments for free in all currencies, get real-time transaction tracking, cashback, travel insurance (with N26 Metal), and create Spaces sub-accounts with any premium membership. These are just some of the perks we offer our freelance customers. Compare plans now to find the one that fits you best! 

By N26

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