After living in Nice for almost 2 years, I have broken down each cost so you can know exactly how much the cost of living is in Nice, France. Although Nice is usually labeled as one of the more expensive places to live, I think some of these numbers will surprise you!
It’s not as expensive as you would think, especially compared to living in the USA and considering the quality of life and proximity to a beautiful beach and the rest of Europe. So here we go!
Also, the figures included in this blog post are in USD, and were the exchange rate when we were living there! The USD has been getting weaker against the Euro since then, so some of these prices would have gone up in the next year.
Cost of Rent in Nice, France
The first thing we need to cover is obviously rent. Renting in France is NOT easy, I have to add, however, we were able to find a place.
It was a bit out of our budget but it was also in a much better location than we were expecting and we were tired after a month of searching so we got it!
For a 49 meters squared, unfurnished, 1-bedroom apartment, 3 blocks from the Promenade in the Port of Nice, our rent cost $890.53 per month.
We got a discount for the first 8 months since there was construction nearby, but I’ve spoken to others who have said this was quite unusual.
After those 8 months were up, our rent went back to normal so that is the price I have included here.
Cost of Utilities in Nice
Our apartment did not have air conditioning, only a heater in each room. We decided that the first month we would live normally and just see how much the utilities came out to be, and we were quite surprised that they were pretty low.
Our utilities averaged out to be $53.42 per month, which covered heating the water for our showers, the electricity, and the heating. This is pretty low!
During the summer months, we kept the windows open at night (with mosquito nets we bought from Amazon) and bought a fan from Carrefour that got us through the hotter days and nights.
Also, we didn’t choose the company that we went with for utilities, it was set up through our landlord and they just switched the account into our name with our bank information.
Start learning French before you leave for France! I’ve been using italki (I’m taking 3 classes per week right now) for years and it helped me negotiate rent and much more during our move! Try out a class and you’ll thank me later. They’re usually $9 or less!
Cost of Groceries & Eating Out in Nice
This part is definitely something that will vary WIDELY depending on your lifestyle. For us, we eat at home every day and only go out to eat once or twice on the weekends.
Therefore, take these numbers with a grain of salt (or quite a few grains of salt if you love eating in restaurants!)
While living in France we spent $90.52 on food per week, or $362.08 per month (yes, I calculated this out exactly and averaged it, I’m a bit crazy!)
Keep in mind that this was also in 2020, when we were unable to go to cafes to meet up with people or go out for drinks or anything, so I would add a bit to this budget and estimate that during a normal year it would be closer to $450.
Internet Costs in Nice
We had to set up our own internet, which was definitely an adventure! We were told we could have fiber optic but when they showed up they told us that there was no fiber optic in the building.
Ironically enough, the day we were moving out of the apartment, the internet company was there installing fiber optic in the building lol.
Anyway, we ended up having to get a slower internet, around 10 download and 1 upload. It was stressful at first but it ended up working out okay. It cost us $47.49.
Cost of Phone Plans in France
Jake and I had different phone plans while living in Nice, which we almost always do since my phone usually holds a hotspot better and he doesn’t use his phone often outside of the house.
In this case, he got a $2.37 plan from Free Mobile which covered just some calls and texting with barely any data at all. I got a plan with Free as well, but it had much more data so that I could use it to blog while Jake used the main internet for teaching. My plan cost $23.74.
In total, for both of our phone plans, it cost $26.11 per month.
The hotspot worked really well and definitely saved us a bunch of times (I can’t say the same for SIM card hotspots in other countries like Bali or Mexico!)
Cost of a Bank Account in Nice, France
An unexpected cost we had to pay while living in France was a $10.57 monthly bank fee for Banque Populaire. This was required…trust me, I tried to get out of it by offering to not use an ATM card, but they insisted that this was non-negotiable.
Opening a bank account in France is incredibly difficult (I would say near impossible) so we didn’t have any other options to turn to. I am still SO grateful we were even able to get that bank account at all!
Cost of Home Rental Insurance in Nice
Now on to some non-monthly costs that we needed to pay in order to live in France. The first being the required rental insurance, which we got using an online company. It was actually one of the easiest things we did to move to France!
For one year of coverage, it cost $185.20, which we paid all at once. For the sake of a monthly budget, we’ll average that out to $15.43 per month.
Cost of Health Insurance & Healthcare in France
As a requirement for your Long-Stay Visa in France, you needed to purchase a 1-year health insurance plan with a $0 deductible. Ours cost us $702.62 for one year for the both of us (a great deal, Americans would say!)
We went with Insubuy Insurance for those interested! This would average to $58.55 per month.
Whatever isn’t covered on our insurance, we pay out of pocket. This is usually $25 for a doctor’s appointment and $100 for a procedure. Compared to the USA, this is insanely cheap.
Cost of Visas in France
For the visa application fee, we paid $235.18 for both of us, and for the taxes, once we registered our visa in France cost us $593.78 for both of us (this is called the timbre).
If you plan to renew your visa, there will be added costs as well such as getting your documents professionally translated into French, which costs over $150. However, since that doesn’t factor in yet, I will leave that out.
The total cost for one year of a visa in France was $828.78 for two people or $69.06 per month.
Cost of Professional Help in France
One other unexpected cost that I will add here but won’t be adding to the main total is professional help. Jake and I are SOOOO budget crazy and we love to do things on our own to save money.
However, France was a whole different beast altogether.
We started to realize that we couldn’t do it alone. (Like, LITERALLY, we could not do it, nobody would rent to us or open a bank account for us). So we decided to hire Adrian Leeds Group to help us find an apartment and open a bank account.
If you end up hiring Adrian Leeds Group, let her know Dayna sent you her way!
As someone who is INCREDIBLY stingy with her money, I will tell you that this was worth it 1000x over. We got a bank account and an apartment thanks to Adrian and Ella Dyer.
However, it did cost us quite a bit! It cost us $1,639, but I would do it again for sure. This time I would just pay that outright right away instead of trying my hand at it at all. Anyway, you get it.
It was a one-time thing though and definitely our choice to go that route, so I won’t include that in the totals. If you want to, you can add $136.58 per month to account for professional help.
Total Cost of Living in Nice France
The total cost of living in Nice France was $1533.24 per month.
However, you have to keep in mind that this is the BASE cost of living. Meaning, just to get you by.
For me, I would need to add a travel-around-Europe budget, a fly-home-once-a-year budget, my blogging costs, any doctor’s visits or medications, language class with italki, Jake’s ultramarathon races, public transportation, etc.
An estimate for me is that during a normal year of living in Nice, France, my real budget would have been closer to $2000-$2300 per month depending on the month and the trips planned.
On average, Jake and I spend around $300-$400 per month (if not a bit more!) on travel, day trips, and weekend trips each month. Plus, unexpected costs like a laptop breaking or going to the doctor would add a couple hundred onto each month’s budget.
How You Could Save More Money on the Cost of Living in Nice, France
The BEST way to go about cutting this budget if you really want to live in Nice but $2,300 is way out of your budget, then I would suggest renting an apartment further away from the ocean.
The public transportation in Nice is awesome and cheap, so living a bit further away can save you quite a bit on rent and you’d still be very well-connected to the city.
The best areas for this would be Riquier, Cimiez, or Liberation (Liberation being the worst of the three in my opinion and Cimiez being the furthest from the beach).
You might be able to find a good deal around the Port of Nice as well, but those will be a bit more expensive.
Are you planning to move to Nice? Let me know, I’d love to answer your questions!! I hope this budget helped you plan a bit better so you’re more prepared for a move to beautiful France! (:
Read More About Living Abroad:
- Is Nice, France Worth Visiting?
- The Advantages & Disadvantages of Living in Europe
- How to Avoid Exchanging Currency Abroad with Charles Schwab
- Why Koh Samui is a Great Place to Live
- The Harsh Truths of Life as an Expat
- Why Everyone Should Move Abroad at Least Once
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Working Abroad
Dayna Brockbank is a travel and language-learning blogger who has lived around the world but has now settled in Nice, France. She speaks 3 languages at varying levels of fluency: Spanish, Italian, and French, and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Spanish Education. She and her husband focus on making travel part of life by living cheaply and traveling on a budget.