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Map: See top 50 best French towns and cities to live in in 2022

The majority of towns in the top 20 are in Normandy, Brittany, Pays de la Loire and Nouvelle Aquitaine

The association Villes et villages où il fait bon vivre has published its third annual list of the best places to live in in France Pic:

The association Villes et villages où il fait bon vivre (Towns and villages where it is good to live) has published its third annual ranking of the best towns and cities in France to live in.

This year Angers (Maine-et-Loire) has come out on top, ahead of Annecy (Haute-Savoie) and Bayonne (Pyrénées-Atlantiques) in the association’s list of towns and cities of over 2,000 people. It is the same top three as last year but in a different order. 

The association ranks all 34,827 communes in metropolitan France based on nine categories:

  • Quality of life
  • Security
  • Transport
  • Shops and services
  • Health
  • Education
  • Sports and hobbies
  • Solidarity
  • Property attractiveness (a new addition to the 2022 study)

These categories are broken down into 187 criteria, with the data provided mainly by the national statistics bureau Insee as well as by official public bodies such as government ministries. 

Thierry Saussez, head of the association, said that this year’s edition highlights the popularity of medium-sized towns and cities.

“Since working from home became more developed, many people in France have aspired to have a bigger property with, if possible, a garden.

“The importance accorded to high-speed internet, one of the 187 criteria, also indicates a willingness, which we believe will be long-lasting, to disconnect from bigger cities while staying connected to a personal and professional environment,” he said. 

The main winners in terms of regions are Normandy, Brittany, Pays de la Loire and Nouvelle Aquitaine, which collectively have 14 towns or cities in the top 20. 

Big cities such as Paris, Lyon and Marseille all dropped places, going down 11, seven and eight places respectively. 

Our map below shows the top 50 towns and cities to live in in France in 2022, according to the association. Scroll over the dots to see the city name. 

The table below lists all 50 of the towns and cities in order.

See the association’s full study here (in French). 

Let us know what you think of the list. Do you agree or disagree? Do you live in one of the top towns / cities and want to share your experience of living there with us? Write to us at

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