Bienvenue à Toulon: la vieille militaire. The city’s nickname (“the old military”) says a lot about its past, and its present. Toulon is a major naval center on the French Mediterranean coast, and has been an active military port since the 15th century. The city’s history is evident for anyone living in Toulon – the Old Town and the Tour Royale sea fort are standing monuments to the city’s eventful past. Local sights such as the Saint Marie de la Seds Cathedral and the Fontaine du Dauphin, located on the Paul Comte Square, are beautiful examples of French architecture and history, and well worth a visit by expats who are new to the city.
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Toulon is situated in the south of France, between Marseilles and Cannes. With its warm, Mediterranean climate and beautiful city center, it is no surprise that tourism is a major industry during the summer. In the summer, the temperatures can top 80F on a regular basis. Cool down in the sea, and remember to wear sun cream at all times. Toulon residents are well used to visitors and expatriates, but any expats moving to Toulon should be prepared to speak French on a daily basis. Take a few classes before you leave, and practice as often as possible once you arrive. If you are looking for somebody to practice your French with or need some tips on French slang and how to improve your fluency, speak directly to other expats living in Toulon or other parts of France on InterNations, the largest online expat community worldwide.
Toulon is still a vital naval hub for France, and houses the French naval aircraft carrier the Charles de Gaulle. Any expatriate who is living and working in Toulon will soon get used to the occasional military drills and constant stream of activity around the port areas. Toulon is also famed for its wine making, fishing and manufacturing industries, as well as tourism. Expatriates in Toulon should make sure they have the correct visas and work permits, and keep all their paperwork up to date and in order. France is a member state of the European Union, so any citizens of EU countries have the right to work there, but it is always worth checking up on any potential restrictions. For advice on maintaining your work visa, and working life in France in general, speak to other expats on the InterNations forums and check out the websites comprehensive content section.