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What are the largest business districts in France?

Laura Nieto
Laura Nieto
4 min2024-01-12

Central Business Districts (CBDs) are dynamic economic hubs where innovation and commerce thrive.

These zones, generally defined by a concentration of large buildings and commercial infrastructure, attract the largest national and international companies, who see an opportunity to become part of a global economic scheme.

In France and around the world, these neighborhoods are constantly evolving, adapting to new market trends and changing business needs. Having your offices there is therefore a real source of growth for your company.

Are you looking for a location for your offices? Would you like to find out more about France's biggest business districts? Deskeo dives into the heart of these strategic areas to help you identify the best locations for your offices!

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Focus on France's major business districts

France is one of the major economic hubs in Europe and the world. So it's not surprising that it's home to several major business districts (Montparnasse, Plaine-Saint-Denis, Euratlantique...).

But among the multitude of CBDs available in France, 2 in particular stand out:

Let's find out more about the specific features of each of these neighborhoods.

La Défense de Paris: A national and European benchmark

With its iconic skyscrapers and constant activity, the La Défense district is one of Europe's leading business centers.

Just a stone's throw from Paris, this district is easily accessible by public transport and is home to some of the world's largest corporations. This makes it an ideal setting for companies to grow and shine on the European and global stage.

Just take a look at its specifications:

  • Area: This commercial zone covers 560 hectares, making it the largest business district in Europe.
  • Ranking: With over 500 companies, including 14 from the CAC 40, it is the number 1 business district in France and Europe.
  • Importance: La Défense is a crucial economic hub. Its influence extends far beyond its borders, with an international reach that attracts investors and talent from all over the world.

La Part-Dieu in Lyon: A symbol of dynamism

Located in the heart of downtown Lyon, the Part-Dieu district is home to many innovative companies and is emerging as a powerful economic force. It can therefore be a real vector of development for companies setting up there.

In fact, its features are very appealing:

  • Area: Part-Dieu is home to a rich mosaic of businesses on a vast 177-hectare site.
  • Ranking: France's second-largest business district behind La Défense.
  • Features: Located in Lyon's city center and easily accessible by train, this dynamic district, steeped in a strong entrepreneurial culture, is the ideal location for companies seeking growth.

Transforming business districts

Central Business Districts are at the heart of the global economy. As such, they need to be at the cutting edge of innovation. That's why they are constantly evolving and embracing digitalization.

CBD & digitalization: an inevitable evolution

Digitization is an inevitable transformation that represents a major challenge for the future of business districts. With the rapid development of digital technologies, CBDs must adapt to new working methods and a new business model.

This impacts not only the way office spaces are designed and used, but also the way companies operate and interact with each other.

The impact of digitalization on business districts

The changes brought about by digitalization are numerous and are profoundly transforming business districts.

  • On the one hand, they encourage the development of new forms of work, such as telecommuting and coworking. This means that the way we work and occupy space in these neighborhoods could evolve.

In the long term, companies are likely to need fewer offices for their employees. This would free up valuable space within these economic hubs, allowing more companies to locate there.

  • On the other, they encourage innovation and the creation of new products and services.

Companies that know how to take advantage of this digital revolution have everything to gain. Thanks to these developments, they will be able to :

  • improve their productivity,
  • attract new talent,
  • optimize their spending,
  • and develop more effective solutions for their customers.

The 2 most attractive business districts in Paris

Paris is home to some of the world's most dynamic and attractive CBDs, 2 of which are particularly popular with businesses. Let's find out more.

La Défense: Europe's business center

Located in the Hauts-de-Seine department, this emblematic business district is not only a major economic hub, but also a mecca for innovation.

With its contemporary offices, green spaces and rich commercial offering, it's an ideal working environment. Many of the world's leading groups (Total, Areva, Cap Gemini, etc.) have been won over by the area's productivity-enhancing environment and the numerous development projects that are regularly carried out to make it even more attractive.

The Paris Bourse business district

Located in the heart of Paris, the Bourse business district is one of France's major innovation and digital hubs. It's home to numerous tech start-ups, business incubators and modern co-working spaces.

Influential companies in the digital sector, such as Facebook France and Blablacar, have also made the area their home, benefiting from an environment conducive to innovation and collaboration.

Professional networks and business districts: a crucial synergy

Setting up in a business district is not just a question of location. It's also an invaluable opportunity to develop your professional network and, consequently, your sales.

Expand your network in business districts

In a business district, networking opportunities are amplified:

  • Meet at one of the many restaurants or cafés nearby,
  • participation in local events,
  • collaboration on joint projects...

There are many opportunities to exchange ideas with other professionals, giving employees and companies alike the chance to evolve rapidly.

Boosting sales through business districts

An extensive and diversified network can translate into new business opportunities, fruitful collaborations and increased sales.

Locating in a business district also means making the strategic choice of commercial development.

To sum up, choosing the right business district to locate your offices is crucial. It's a decision that involves much more than choosing a location. It's also about seizing the opportunity to join a dynamic ecosystem, conducive to your company's growth and development.

  • France has several business districts (La Pleine Saint-Denis, Euratlantique, Montparnasse...), but La Défense and La Part Dieu are the 2 largest.
  • CBDs are constantly evolving, and digitalization could reshape their overall structure.
  • Central Business Districts offer great opportunities for companies to expand their network and sales.

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