Which of these top ten French cities have you visited?

Can’t understand why Angouleme isn’t on there! No, really. The old town is beautiful! and there is some really amazing walks through hugh areas of beautiful woodland a stones throw away. Not to mention our lovely museum! :grin:


Where ?

…just kidding!! :slight_smile:


Angouleme is a small town in comparison, comparable to hundreds of similar sized towns throughout France, certainly a long way out of the ‘top ten’. I like it there, am involved in the Remparts event every year and am visiting this afternoon for the second time this week but could not consider it to be in the same league as the cities in the survey.

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I know right!!! Our teeny tiny City! Shes so cute!!! ahahahah

Awwwww, poor Angouleme! What about our comic strips though?! The world would be a dull place without themt! And PAPER!!!
Admittedly, she is a little ‘tired’ these days but in Elenors (of Aquitaine) day, she was…médiocre! ahahahahah

They’re all good, but I love my little village. - Quillan!

I agree… Quillan is a lovely spot.

We’ve visited a few times…especially love some of the old houses that back onto the river…I would love one of those !

None of them, very happy in Provence near Aix-en-Provence… :wink:

What do you say there Lis :confused:…I missed that.

Aix is a loverly city…but very expensive. You could argue that is the third best city to live in France :slight_smile:

You need to get out more Lis…:wink:

From a British perspective, Strasbourg is off the beaten track. From UK you’d go to Paris or the south. If you land in Brittany, you can’t avoid Nantes on the journey south. I’ve spent a lot of time in Strasbourg, because I have been visiting the Black Forest for 50 years but I haven’t covered all southern France, so missed Toulouse and Marseilles. Anyway, I hate cities. Ask me about regions instead! Anyone been to the Pays de Gex?

To be fair, the British have a very wierd perspective of France !!! …Or a non realistic perspective of France.

French city living is France.

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Now then Mark Alsop… generalisations like that don’t sound very “fair” to me … or are you just in wind-up mode tonight…:wink::wink:

Strasbourg is only off the beaten track if you don’t go that way. My in laws used to stop there every year on the way to Switzerland. I went there once, that was enough as, for me, Alsace and the Schartzwald have much more to offer.

French cities mean traffic jams and diesel air pollution, so I prefer rural France and der Schwarzwald but YMMV. Strasbourg is 500km from Paris, now less than 2 hours via TGV.

It was a tongue and cheek comment mostly aimed at the British media. Newspapers, French lifestyle magazines, tv programmes, news stories etc and how they report or describe France. Whatever they say or report on about any subject related to France tends to be universally wrong. The British ‘media’ view of France is strange and overly romantic and a lot of people believe France to be like that. My family in the UK included. Regardless of what I say to them and even that fact that I have been living here for nearly two decades and pretty much grew up here they still the believe cliches. LOL.

A nice suburb or even a run down suburb of any French city is the closest you will get to ‘French living’ bearing in mind of course that the majority of the French population live in or a suburb of a French city. Twenty per cent of the population in île de France alone. All my French family are scattered across France living in cities. No one I know has dreams of moving to the countryside and everyone I am talking about was born in a rural community.


Hi Mark Alsop… :smile: generalisation can be a waste of time…oh dear… that is a generalisation too :laughing:

'cos folk can be so different… my sister adores living in London and thinks the countryside is “dead”… whereas I have always felt claustrophobic unless I could see the sea or, at least, a far horizon… :innocent:

Here in our village…it seems that many of the “girls” went to work in Offices in Paris, returning on retirement (with or without a husband in tow)…whilst the “boys” stayed put, with the family farm or whatever. Today the youngsters have the benefit of their own transport… to enable them to find work , but most of them still live at home.

I can vouch for a very gentle trend away from the cities… thankfully by young families with small children (for our school). These folk want to return to the calmer (albeit harder, more physical) way of life…

My Grandma was born in the 8th Arrondissement… the heart of Paris…but her parents moved to the newly created suburb Les Pavillons-Sous-Bois… only 12 km from Notre Dame… but very, very rural in those days.

Grandma subsequently married an Englishman and happily raised her brood in the English countryside…

None so queer as folk… (is that another generalisation ???) :grin::grin:

Generalisation of course, but demographics and particularly population statistics suggests otherwise.

Also of course, property prices in cities are rising and in rural areas they are stagnating or going down.

Where we live, they are building loverly apartment blocks everywhere many for delivery in 2018-20 +++. They have all been sold. Older flats/houses here will be sold here within a day or max a week.

A lot of people we have met that have moved out of city/town have done so for financial reasons rather than choice. Of course there are people moving rural for a lifestyle change but that is I think against the norm and I guess many have a lot of money behind them. Many people of my generation would not consider it as it is to much of a gamble. We did actually move out of Paris once and went very rural and life was great. But it was not sustainable. Especially after we had kids. Since, the place has changed dramatically and looks very run down. All the shops in the local town centre have shut.

One person we know living in a city was unemployed for some time (managerial level) and eventually found a job in a rural area that is quite popular with expats. But selling up and moving there with his family was never on the table so he lives and rents during the week. That is quite common.

In the UK a lot people what to live rural and property prices reflect that. Not really the same in France. We have two rural houses in our family (one in charollais and one in the Vosges), both of which are only lived in a couple of weeks in the year for holidays. I would sell up move there, but nobody else wants to entertain the idea.

Articles in French magazines about ‘the best places to live/retire in France’ are always focused on cities. In the UK the articles are always focused on places like the Dordogne, Limousin, Bourgogne etc etc.

Different mindset.

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I know several people locally in their 30s and 40s who moved to Paris or other big cities when they were younger but have now moved back to their countryside roots. It takes all sorts. I don’t think that anyone can say one nationality likes living in the countryside and another in cities. I grew up in Britain but have spent most of my adult life in France and Germany. In all three countries I have found that different lifestyles suit different people. Thank God for that.

I had to google “RTFQ” got it now

I write it on my pupils’ work quite a lot.
F stands for ‘full’ , naturally.