Best Cities to Learn French in France

Best Cities to Learn French in France

by Lingoda Team

Updated November 9, 2022

The importance of the French language and the benefits of learning it are undeniable. Together with other languages such as English, Mandarin Chinese or Spanish, French is one of the most widely spoken languages on the planet. It’s estimated that around 270 million people speak French either as their mother tongue or as a foreign language. It’s an official language in countries all over the world, and also in many international organizations – you can find more info about the French-speaking Countries here.

If you are learning French, spending some time in a city where French is spoken will drastically boost your knowledge, especially when it comes to understanding the spoken language and gaining confidence in your ability to speak. Instead of just using English to speak to foreigners, even in the biggest cities in France, people are understandably keen on speaking in their own language. This means that if you move to France for a while, you will achieve a true immersion and will be pushed out of your comfort zone.

A few weeks ago we talked about the best cities to learn Spanish in Spain, and now it’s France’s turn. In this article we present you 6 of the main cities in the country and the reasons that make them a good place to improve your knowledge of the French language. Apart from the cities we mention below, there are also many other cities you could choose from, including Rennes, Nantes, Montpellier, Lille, Rouen or Grenoble.

Additionally, if you wish to learn French elsewhere, there are also other places you could visit all around the globe, such as: Brussels in Belgium, Geneva in Switzerland, Quebec in Canada, Dakar in Senegal, the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe or Reunion, a small island in the Indian Ocean.


Where to Learn French


1. Paris

Region Île-de-France
Situation Northeast
Population 2,229,621 people

Paris is the capital of France and one of the most important cities in the world. If you visit Paris, you will soon understand why it’s dubbed “The city of light” and “The city of love”, as the charms Paris has to offer are unique and make almost everyone who visits it fall in love. Paris is an international metropolis with a great cross-cultural environment and the possibilities for learning French in Paris are very broad. Equally huge is the variety of cultural and leisure activities that you will be able to enjoy. On the downside, in comparison with other French cities, Paris might be an expensive destination to travel to.


2. Lyon

Region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Situation East
Population 500,715 people

Those who want the advantages of Paris at a lower price make a good choice in Lyon. This city in the east of France is considered the capital of gastronomy (which is quite an achievement in a country so famous for the quality of their food), so not only will you have the chance to fill your brain but also your stomach. In the last few years the number of students in Lyon has increased a lot, which means you will be able to enjoy a young atmosphere and many entertainment options all year around.


3. Marseille

Region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur
Situation Southeast
Population 852,516 people

Marseille is the second largest city in France after Paris and it’s a true Mediterranean gem which boasts of a sun kissed coastline. Its lovely environment and its pleasant climate make this city very popular among tourists, immigrants and international students, which results in a colorful society with people from all over the world. Near Marseille you will also find the charming cities of Aix-en-Provence and Toulon.


4. Toulouse

Region Occitanie
Situation South
Population 458,298 people

Toulouse is the 4th city in France in terms of population, which accounts for a lively lifestyle and a rich culture, without being as overwhelming as Paris can be. It’s one of the most typical student destinations within France, and also popular for international students. It might not be on the coast, like Marseille or Nice, but it has a great location close to the Pyrenees and the border with Spain.


5. Bordeaux

Region Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Situation Southwest
Population 241,287 people

Bordeaux might not be a very big city, but its universities have a high reputation and it’s well known for being very welcoming to visitors and immigrants. This picturesque town is one of the world’s wine capitals and is famous for its gastronomy, so it would be the perfect destination for wine and food lovers. What could be better than practicing your conversation skills whilst enjoying a delicious glass of red Bordeaux?


6. Nice

Region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur
Situation Southeast
Population 343,629 people

Similarly to Marseille, Nice welcomes people from all over the world, that come attracted by the sun and the wonderful coast and stay because of the rich culture and well-being. In Nice you will find a lot of international students, but prices are not as affordable as in other cities, since the Côte d’Azur in the southeast of France is a predominately luxurious area. It’s located very close to Monaco and to the border with Italy. Cinema lovers will also value the fact that it’s less than an hour away from Cannes, home to one of the most important film festivals.


Learn French with Lingoda and get ready to discover France!

If you are planning to move to France for a while, whether to live or to study, you can brush up your French beforehand following one of our online French courses. All of our teachers are native speakers, so you will be able to become familiar with the different accents and the way French is spoken in real life, not only in textbooks.

Likewise, if you are already living in a French speaking country and need to improve your level, you can benefit from the flexibility of our courses. We offer classes every day and at any time, so you can learn at your own pace and design a schedule according to your lifestyle. Last, but not least: if you are back home after living in France and wish to keep improving your knowledge in a way that doesn’t interfere with your already busy everyday routine, Lingoda is the perfect solution for you!

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