On November the 14th 2007 Eurostar moved to its new home in London at St. Pancras station and meant that another twenty minutes was taken off the journey time from the UK to Paris. This was exciting news for all those contemplating buying property in France, the realities of Euro commuting and either living in the UK and working in France, or perhaps better still, living in France and working in the UK!
The twenty minute shorter journey time between the capital cities of France and England is not where the exciting news stops however, thanks to the fact you can now link up to some of the fastest and most efficient train services across Europe once you arrive in Paris, property in France for Euro commuters can be purchased in regions as far away from the UK as Alsace and the Rhone Valley for example.
In this article we’ll highlight four towns and cities for buying property in France that would-be Euro commuters can consider for relocation. Each has good connections with trains in Paris, each is therefore a relatively comfortable journey time from the UK, and each is reachable without the need for air travel and all the associated hassle such as check in times, baggage handling, increased security and of course, the carbon footprint problem.
Starting with Strasbourg in Alsace, this is the home of the European Parliament and therefore an employment hotspot for those thinking about living in the UK and working in France during the week. The city is now far more swiftly accessible thanks to the extension of the TGV Est line and it is possible, if you get the right connections, to travel from St. Pancras to Strasbourg in just over five hours. You have to change stations in Paris from the Gare du Nord to the Gare de l’Est, but it’s a five minute, well signposted walk.
Strasbourg and the surrounding areas around the city such as the Petit France region are fascinating, beautiful and feature far more than just the European Parliament! Job opportunities abound, accommodation is not cheap, but then this is because of the availability of employment in the city. Pushing up property prices is the TGV link, this has had a profound effect on all the major cities where the service has been upgraded. Having said that, if you’re happy to live outside the city you can find some affordable pockets of property in the countryside…
If you prefer the thought of living in France and working in the UK, then as a Euro commuter you might prefer living in Lyon. The city is in the Rhone Valley and famous for its fantastic food and wine and although we may well be biased, we think Lyon is one of the best places to live and therefore buy property in France! The city is home to seriously fascinating museums, art galleries, architecture and markets, it has an abundance of excellent cafes and restaurants, the vibe is sophisticated yet fun, and you can reach Lyon in under five hours from London.
The property market has again been positively impacted in price terms by the TGV, and unless you’re seriously wealthy you’ll want to avoid even viewing property in the 6th Arrondissement! Look outside the city limits for affordable apartments.
If around a five hour journey time is too excessive for you as a Euro commuter you can come in around the four hour twenty minute mark if you look at perhaps Tours? This is another stunning French city with medieval and gothic architecture, plenty of chateaux, over thirty markets and vineyards aplenty! Situated on the banks of the Loire, if you venture outside the city limits you can find honestly affordable property for sale.
Finally, a shorter journey time will see you arriving in Reims. The city is accessible in three hours and forty two minutes if you get the right connections and change in Paris. Reims is famous for champagne and for being a traditional French city with plenty of chateaux, brilliant restaurants, markets, cafes and an abundance of culture.
Because the city is so accessible from Paris and the UK it has seen property price increases in the last year, but again, step outside and perhaps south of the city and you will find affordable homes for sale.
As a Euro commuter, the upgrading of the Eurostar and TGV services means that ore of the European mainland is accessible to you – look carefully at achievable journey connections and attractive commute times and you’ll soon discover swathes of France, Belgium, The Netherlands and even Germany are accessible to you.