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The major differences between the North and South of France

If you’re considering relocating to France, you may be wondering where to start your search. For many, the choice starts with whether to head north or south, but even this can be tricky decision. But luckily for you, we’re here to help. Our relocation experts are on hand to discuss the major differences between the north and south of France to help you decide.

The two regions of France are heavily influenced by the surrounding countries and the weather. While many aspects of Northern France are reminiscent of Germany and Belgium, such as the architecture, Southern France feels more Mediterranean, sharing many features with Spain and Italy. The lifestyle and culture varies between the two regions, so it’s important to know what kind of lifestyle you are looking for when choosing where to live. With that in mind, here is some information about the differences between the North and South of France from our relocation experts.

The weather

The weather is partially responsible for the differences between Northern and Southern France because the lifestyles of the people are affected by it. Northern France tends to have weather quite similar to England and Belgium. Although it gets quite warm and sunny during the summer, it tends to be rainy and cloudy for the rest of the year. On the other hand, summers in Southern France can be scorching hot and the temperatures tend to be consistently higher than northern france for the rest of the year too. The beautiful weather in Southern France attracts as a large number of holiday tourists every year.

The food

While most people in France share a love of red wine, cheese, great bread and seafood, there are some considerable differences between the cuisines of the Northern and Southern regions. In Northern France you’ll find that butter and cream are quite common ingredients in the food. The food is rich, warming and filling, which offers people comfort on particularly cold days. Meanwhile, the cuisine of Southern France is a savoury wonderland, with a more mediterranean influence. Dishes tend to be quite simple, consisting of fresh meats and vegetables, to complement the warm weather. You’ll also find that they use oils in their cooking rather than butter, to keep dishes light and to maintain the natural flavours of the ingredients.

The work

The weather has had a strong influence over the working hours in the different regions of France. Working hours in Northern France tend to be the traditional nine to five. You’ll find that many companies located in Northern France are at the forefront of their industry and exceptionally modern. However, in Southern France, people want to get outside as often as they can to soak up the sunshine and cool off, so the working hours tend to be shorter and more relaxed. A lot of Southern France is rural and so you’ll find that the jobs are more leisurely and tend to be aimed at locals.

The culture

Around France you will find that most of the people are friendly, but in certain regions French people have different ways of interacting. While rude Parisian waiters are a common source of gossip amongst tourists, the truth is that foreigners just aren’t accustomed to the culture of Northern France.

In Northern France most people tend to be quite honest and blunt, but they also tend to form much deeper relationships with people. While many parts of Northern France are densely populated, it tends to be difficult to get out and socialise. So, while it might be difficult to meet people at first, you’ll find that the friendships you form in Northern France will be deep and strong.

In Southern France, socialising is much easier. People go out in the sunshine all the time and locals are all friendly with each other. You’ll find that conversing with strangers is much easier in this region, but not always. In some of the more remote towns and villages locals tend to be a bit wary of tourists because they don’t receive many. The easiest way to make friends in Southern France is to speak the language. If you get to talking to a local in French you’ll find yourself quickly collecting new friends.

If you’re interested in moving to France and would like some advice on which areas in France would suit you the most, you can get in touch with a member of our local team today.

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