Seine Saint Denis (93): Living in the Northern Suburbs of Paris

Seine Saint Denis (93): Living in the Northern Suburbs of Paris
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Editor’s note: If you haven’t read the first of this series, Paris and its suburbs, head over there now. We’ll go through the criteria that we selected to compare, what benchmarks we’re using, and a note of caution about how to interpret the results. You won’t want to miss it!

We the North! This is Seine Saint Denis, just north of Paris, the unloved suburb that tourist are afraid to go to. But this was a royal town, with its famous Cathedral holding to tombs of Marie Antoinette and other French Kings and Queens.

With the Charles de Gaulle International airport nearby (Roissy to her friends), this might be the neighborhood for you, if you travel often. Or work in the airline industry. Or just like the sound of planes buzzing overhead. Let’s have a look, shall we?

Certain people will tell you that it has a “reputation”. This is quite unfair as although there might be some “neighborhoods to avoid” in Seine Saint Denis, two streets over, you could have a lovely quality of life.

There are a lot of lovely communes which provide a great housing options and good transport links. Not to mention, that finding a home is generally a bit cheaper here, so you get more bang for your buck.

And then there is the presence of the national stadium, Stade de France, and Plaine-Saint-Denis, the business area that is trying to rival La Défense in the West. With this much investment flowing in from the government and multinational corporations, the area is definitely on an upswing.

Best Suburbs in this area

Popular towns on the North are Les Lilas, Saint-Ouen, and Aubervilliers, which is just outside of Paris. They all have good public transport links for easy access into Paris. In addition, the towns of Le Raincy and Gournay-sur-Marne recently won acclaim as being great towns from the daily newspaper Le Parisien.

Similar to the East, there is only one bilingual public school in the department, which is at Noisy-Le-Grand. The Lycée Evariste Galois , Lycée international de l’Est-Parisien , Collège international de Noisy-le-Grand all have recently opened and offer a certain level of bilingual education. (I say certain level, because depending on the program, it could vary between anywhere from 3-6 hours a week.)

☞ READ MORE: Demystifying the French Education System

Zoom in below to see towns and their closest public transit options. Note: the Map and the Comparison Table are best viewed on computer and large tablet.

The large and most popular suburbs for families have been highlighted below.

All information has been provided for entertainment purposes only, and we are not responsible for verifying the accuracy of the figures noted below. Caution: Use at own risk !

1. Brevet scores will vary from classroom to classroom and school to school, and year to year. Calulation is a “rough average” of Public school data, which is subject to interpretation and changes over time.

2. Population Data is from Insee Public Statistics and is subject to change.

3. Metro, RER and other public transport links are based on current state of public transportion (Oct 2019), and not future plans that under construction.

4. Greenery distinctions include “Fleurie” designation by the “Site officiel du Label Villes et Villages Fleuris” and is subject to personal interpretation.

Seine Saint Denis (93) by Commune - Comparison Table

Public Transport

While the other suburbs we covered were all about the famous RER A train line that goes from East to West across Grand Paris, here in the North, it is all about RER B, C D and E. There are also several towns like Les Lilas, Bobigny and Saint Ouen that have direct metro access into Paris. So it is an area that has good public transport links (subject to strikes, train outages and other interruptions of course!)

Like the other suburbs, there are several public transportations in the works at the moment that are expected to be finished over the next few years:

  • Four new metro lines and three existing metro line extensions.
  • Three new tram lines running around Grand Paris.

Nevertheless, on average, over 62% of households have at least one car around here (compared to 35% in Paris).


There are plenty of small little parks in each neighborhood, so as for the other suburbs on the East and West, I have noted the Ville Fleurie distinction that was given by the government association Le Conseil National des Villes et Villages Fleuris. They denote if the town has received the designation, and how many plants (1-4) the town has received.


Decisions, Decisions. Decided on your favorite Parisian suburb yet? If you are not sure, you can always go back and have another look at our other neighborhoods: Paris, Val de Marne, Hauts-de-Seine, and Yvelines.

And if you would like to contribute to the article and share your own experience, we would love for you to fill out a quick 5-minute survey.

Thank you for your contribution and à bientôt!

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. Seine Saint Denis (93): Living in the Northern Suburbs of Paris

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