Visit French Riviera: Top 25 Things To Do and Must-See Attractions


Things to do in French Riviera: The 25 Best Places to Visit

You’re planning to visit the French Riviera (Côte d’Azur, in French), and you’re looking for the best things to do?

You’re at the right place!

Renowned for its world-famous seaside cities such as Nice, Monaco and Cannes, and its small picturesque villages in the hinterland, it’s the perfect destination in France to enjoy the sun.

In order to help you plan your stay, I have written this guide of the 25 best things to do in French Riviera, with all must-see attractions and points of interest.

In addition to the best places to visit, I will also give you my selection of the best hotels depending on your budget and all my best tips to make the most of your stay.

So, what are the best things to do in French Riviera? Where to stay?

Let’s find out!

Visit the French Riviera (Côte d’Azur): 25 must-see attractions

Before starting this list of the top things to see on the French Riviera, I want to discuss the “Côte d’Azur France Pass”.

This pass gives you access to 3 or 5 essential activities, to choose from a list of more than 100 sites. For example, you can:

  • Take the boat to the Lérins islands from Cannes
  • Take a guided boat ride from Nice in the harbour of Villefranche
  • Visit the Monaco Oceanographic Museum
  • Choose guided tours: Old Nice, Old Antibes, Grasse, Saint-Paul de Vence
  • Spend a day at the Antibes water park or visit Marineland
  • Go snorkelling in Fréjus
  • Take the hop-on hop-off buses or small trains from Nice, Monaco, Antibes or Cannes.

To buy your Côte d’Azur France Pass, you just have to click on the green button below:

1. Nice

You can start this list of the top places to visit on the French Riviera with one of the must-see cities: Nice. 

And since I was born there and spent more than 20 years of my life there, I know this city very well, considered to be one of the prettiest cities to see on the French Riviera. It can be visited in 2 days, during a weekend in PACA.

Here are my recommendations:

  • Stroll along the famous Promenade des Anglais. The most interesting part is the one from from Old Nice to the Negresco hotel, passing via the Albert 1 park and the Palais de la Méditerranée. This part can be traversed on foot, bicycle, scooter, roller-skates or even by Segway (book here!) .
  • Visit Old Nice with its charming houses with colourful façades and louvred shutters.
  • Visit the Cours Saleya market to stock up on local products.
  • Go up to the castle hill to admire a panoramic view of the whole city.

For more info about the best places to visit, you should read my dedicated article: The 17 best things do in Nice.

Voyage Tips - Advice

In addition to discovering this beautiful city, Nice is the perfect place to try watersports and activities such as parasailing or jet skiing.

place Massena Nice
Place Massena – Nice – Best places to visit on the French Riviera

2. Villefranche-sur-Mer

This pretty little town, located just next to Nice on the way to Monaco, is not necessarily one of the most famous sights of the French Riviera. Tourists prefer the neighbouring, better-known towns.

And yet, the Old Town, the most typical part, is really very pleasant to walk around with its cobbled streets and traditional houses.

Guests can also visit the Saint-Elme Citadel, listed as a historical monument, with beautiful views of Villefranche harbour.

If you like to walk, you must go from Nice to Villefranche on foot on the coastal path. Starting from Coco Beach, you can walk along the sea to the Darse de Villefranche in about 90 minutes to 2 hours.

You can then visit Villefranche and return to Nice by bus.

Voyage Tips - Advice

To have a clear panoramic view of the whole Villefranche-sur-Mer harbour and Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, go to the Fort du Mont Alban, which is located at Mont Boron.

To reach there from Villefranche, take the Escalier de Verre passage, located on the Boulevard Princesse Grâce in Monaco.

Sentier du littoral de Nice
Coastal hike from Nice to Villefranche

3. Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat – Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

Just after Villefranche-sur-Mer, you will arrive at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.

The peninsula is known for being home to sumptuous villas belonging to billionaires, including an unmissable spot on the French Riviera: the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild.

Built in 1907 following the decision of Baroness Beatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild, who fell in love with the place during her visit to Cap-Ferrat, this Renaissance-style villa has magnificent gardens.

You can explore the French garden, the Spanish garden, the Japanese garden, the exotic garden or the rose garden.

Inside the villa you can also visit:

  • The reception areas with: the patio, the Grand Salon and its Louis XV style furniture, the Petit Salon decorated with tapestries woven by the Gobelins Manufactory of Paris.
  • The apartments of Beatrice: her bedroom, boudoir, and even her bathroom.
  • The dining room and the porcelain salon have one of the most magnificent porcelain collections in France
  • The salons on the first floor, including the guest rooms, the tapestries room and the monkey room, where you will find this animal everywhere, on the woodwork and the porcelain objects.

All information to visit Villa Ephrussi during your tour on the French Riviera can be found on the official website.

After your visit, you must walk around Cap-Ferrat to discover sublime creeks with crystal-clear water where you can swim.

Voyage Tips - Advice

To get a glimpse of Villefranche and Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, you can also choose to take a mini cruise.

From Nice, you will follow the coast before passing through the harbour of Villefranche and around the peninsula.

To book this boat trip on the French Riviera, click on the button below:

rade de villefranche
View over Villefranche bay and Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat

4. Monaco

A holiday on the French Riviera cannot be complete without a visit to Monaco!

If you ask people what to visit on a trip to the French Riviera, I’m pretty sure that Monaco will be in the top three of cities with Nice and Cannes.

Here are some of the unmissable places in Monaco:

  • The Rocher de Monaco, which includes the old town and the Prince’s Palace where Prince Albert II lives. Visits to the palace are organised between April and October.
  • Saint Nicholas Cathedral, the wedding place of Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly
  • The Oceanographic Museum (tickets available here! ) which includes an aquarium and a gallery with several whale and dolphin skeletons
  • The Monte-Carlo district, home to the Casino, the Café de Paris, the Hôtel de Paris and the luxury boutiques
  • The exotic garden of Monaco for its view of the principality.

Voyage Tips - Advice

I have prepared my list of all things to see in Monaco in my other article: The 25 best things do in Monaco.

Rocher Monaco
Monaco – Best things to do on the French Riviera

5. Menton

I’ll continue my guide of the French Riviera with the pretty town of Menton.

By train, it’s only 10 minutes away from Monaco, and marks the end of this side of the French Riviera, as it is the last city before the Italian border.

The old town of Menton is worth a visit for the Basilica of Saint Michael and the Chapel of the Penitents.

Don’t miss the Place aux Herbes, where you can sit on one of the terraces for lunch and explore the 5 remarkable gardens: the Serre de la Madone (exotic garden), the Fontana Rosa (Valencian garden of the 20s), the garden of the villa Maria-Serena, the tropical garden of Val Rahmeh or even the olive tree garden in Pian park.

For lovers of cultural tourism on the French Riviera, head to the Jean Cocteau museum, which houses nearly 2,000 works by this French poet, cartoonist, playwright and filmmaker.

Voyage Tips - Advice

If you’re wondering what to do on the French Riviera in winter, you must attend the Menton lemon festival, which takes place every February and lasts for 3 weeks.

During this festival, which coincides with the Menton carnival, you can attend a parade of tanks covered with citrus fruit and whose theme changes every year: Bollywood, Around the World in 80 days, the regions of France…

If you decide to visit the French Riviera in winter, know that with the Nice Carnival, this is the second most tourist-oriented event of the season.


6. Eze Village

Eze Village is located on the mountains, equidistant from Nice and Monaco.

Perched on top of a cliff, its elevated position makes it one of the most beautiful places on the French Riviera to admire the view.

You must particularly visit the exotic garden of Eze, which, in addition to having dozens of succulent plants and cacti, offers a clear panorama of the Mediterranean Sea up to l’Esterel and the Gulf of Saint-Tropez.

Eze Village also has the Fragornard perfume factory, which you can explore and which also has a shop selling its flagship perfumes. If you book this activity in advance by clicking here , you can even create your own perfume!

One clarification: do not confuse Eze-Village with Eze-sur-Mer, which, as its name suggests, is located on the seafront and below Eze Village. If you arrive by train, the station is located on the seafront and you will then have to make the ascent.

A trail, Nietzsche’s path, connects the 2 (30 minutes downhill from Eze-Village or 1 hour uphill from the seaside) and allows you to enjoy beautiful views.

Voyage Tips - Advice

In Eze-Village, you can stay in one of the most beautiful 5* hotels on the French Riviera: “La Chèvre d’Or”.

Overlooking the village, it offers a spectacular view of the surroundings. Not to mention that its restaurant has been awarded 2 stars in the Michelin Guide.

To book your stay on the French Riviera, at the Hôtel de la Chèvre d’Or, just click on the button below:

hotel Chèvre d'Or Eze
La Chèvre d’Or Hotel – Eze

7. Antibes

After showing you all the places of interest on the French Riviera located between Nice and the Italian border, let’s continue with all the visits to make on the other side, between Nice and the city of Cassis.

And the first unmissable city on the French Riviera after Nice is Antibes.

Overview of the things to do in Antibes:

  • A walk in the old town and the fortified area
  • The Vauban port, considered the largest marina in Europe and with a dock specially designed to accommodate 19 of the largest yachts in the world
  • The guided tour of Fort Carré, a military fort dating back to the 16th century
  • The Picasso museum, located where Picasso painted for 2 months. He left twenty of his paintings and drawings to the city.
  • Enjoy the beaches and water activities: jet skiing , parasailing , flyboarding
  • Walk around the Cap d’Antibes (a 2 hour walk) and discover its beautiful mansions and small coves. A kayak trip around the Cap or a boat trip with a snorkelling stop are also on offer.
Voyage Tips - Advice

If you have decided to visit the French Riviera with your family, you can take your children to Marineland in Antibes. They can see killer whales, dolphins, polar bears and sharks.

This type of park is often subject to controversy, but this one being the most visited tourist site in the PACA region, it is difficult not to mention it in this list of the top “Things to do on the French Riviera?”.

To visit Marineland in Antibes, you must book your tickets in advance: there’s a special offer for online reservations right now!

You can buy official tickets online at the best price by clicking on the button below:


8. Cannes

Along with Nice and Monaco, Cannes is clearly the unmissable destination of the French Riviera in summer.

Here’s my selection of places to see in Cannes:

  • La Croisette, definitely one of the most famous walks on the French Riviera. On the seafront, it is bordered by beaches, luxury boutiques and mythical luxury hotels like the Majestic Barrière hotel or the Martinez hotel.
  • The Palais des Festivals in Cannes, to walk up the steps and the red carpet, symbol of the world’s largest film festival.
  • The chemin des Etoiles, where celebrities have their handprints on slabs just like the Walk of Fame in Los Angeles
  • The Suquet district, the oldest in Cannes
  • The tour of the painted walls, several frescoes paying homage to the seventh art and spread throughout the city.

You can read my article dedicated to Cannes by clicking here: The 20 best things do in Cannes.

And for those who are spending 2 or 3 days in Cannes, please read my article: A weekend in Cannes.

Voyage Tips - Advice

If you would like to organise a short stay to visit several towns on the French Riviera (Nice, Antibes, Cannes, etc.), you should really read my article: One-week itinerary on the French Riviera.

La Croisette, à Cannes
La Croisette, in Cannes – Best places to visit on the Côte d’Azur

9. The Lérins Islands

What if you made the most of your holiday on the French Riviera by visiting the Lérins Islands?

They are just opposite Cannes, a 20-minute boat ride away. You can choose to dock on one of the 2 islands (it’ss not possible to do both because there is no shuttle connecting them):

  • The larger island, Sainte-Marguerite.

Expect a minimum of 3 hours to walk around, but if you count the swimming breaks, photos, or lunch, you can spend an entire day there

For a family visit to the French Riviera, you can also add a visit to the Sea Museum, located in Fort Royal, and which housed a very famous prisoner: the man in the iron mask.

  • Saint-Honorat island is home to an abbey still occupied by Cistercian monks.

They organise tours and also produce an excellent wine sold at the shop.

You need to book your trip to the Lérins Islands in advance as there’s always a crowd of people at the ticket office and this is the only way to make sure you have a seat at the time of your choice:

And for those who have chosen to stay in Nice to visit the French Riviera, you can also take a sea shuttle to go to the Lérins islands. You need to book it here:

Voyage Tips - Advice

Cruises and kayaking trips around the Lérins islands are also available. Simply click on the orange links to view prices and book:

Iles de Lérins
Lérins islands – French Riviera

10. Mandelieu-la-Napoule

This name certainly doesn’t mean anything to you, and it’s not surprising because this port village is often overlooked in favour of its famous neighbour, Cannes.

However, if you go there, you must visit the Mandelieu castle (listed as a historical monument) and its park, classified as a remarkable garden.

This ancient mediaeval fortress, restored in 1918 by a couple of American art lovers, is now used to promote the arts.

The castle hosts various exhibitions and has a collection of sculptures by Henry Clews, the husband.

For only €6, the guided tour of the castle is also very interesting. You can visit the gardens for free.

Mandelieu la Napoule
Mandelieu la Napoule

11. Saint-Paul de Vence

During your trip to the French Riviera, you must visit Saint-Paul de Vence.

This mediaeval village is located between Nice and Antibes but in the Cagnois hinterland.

In addition to being picturesque and charming, it hosts many designers and artists. You will find a lot of art galleries, small unique shops and you can also visit the Maeght Foundation there.

This museum of modern and contemporary art displays a collection of paintings, sculptures and ceramics. The place is really beautiful due to its architecture and the highlighted works of art.

Information is available on the official website.

Saint-Paul de Vence
Saint-Paul de Vence

12. Grasse – the Perfume Capital

Not far from Saint-Paul de Vence, still in the hinterland, there’s another famous place to see on the French Riviera: Grasse.

And what made Grasse famous is its perfume industry. So much so, that the city became the Perfume capital of the world.

Not only can you visit the International Perfume Museum with its 3,000-year history, but you can also visit one of the 3 historical perfumeries known all over the world: Fragornard, Galimard and Molinard.

The guided tours are free and allow you to discover all the secrets of making a perfume, from collecting flowers, distillation and bottling.

You can even book a workshop session to create and bring a small vial of your own perfume. However, this activity is not free and can be booked using the button below:

Voyage Tips - Advice

For lunch in Grasse, you must try the local culinary specialty: fried zucchini flowers. 


13. L’Esterel and the Corniche d’Or

For me, the Esterel massif is one of the most beautiful spots of the French Riviera.

With its red volcanic rocks and its creeks with turquoise waters, it is one of the symbolic images of the region.

To explore this place from the sea, you can opt for a kayak trip, a snorkelling trip or a boat trip.

Over land, l’Esterel is the ideal destination to go on the French Riviera for hiking. There are many trails to explore the cliff on foot:

  • Hiking at the pic de l’Ours: a beautiful 90 minute walk to enjoy splendid views
  • The balcons du Cap Roux, a rather difficult hike lasting about four and a half hours but worth the effort for its magnificent landscapes
  • The rocher de Saint-Barthélémy, a 1h walk with a beautiful view of the sea.

More information on hiking trips at l’Estérel is available on the official website.

And if you are visiting the French Riviera by car, you must take the the Corniche d’Or or Corniche de l’Estérel road.

Connecting Cannes to Saint-Raphaël, it takes you along the seafront, bordered by red rocks and calanques. There are several car parks all along where you can stop and click great photos for your Instagram account.

It’s not for nothing that the Corniche d’Or is considered one of the most beautiful roads on the French Riviera!

Voyage Tips - Advice

If you are staying in Cannes, you can explore the calanques de l’Estérel via a boat trip with a small group.

The trip takes place onboard a zodiac boat and includes a swimming break and exploring several coves only accessible by boat.

Click here to book:

Esterel Corniche d'Or Ile d'Or
View over l’île d’Or – La Corniche d’Or

14. Saint Tropez

You just cannot make a tour guide of the French Riviera without mentioning Saint-Tropez.

Every summer, this small coastal town welcomes international celebrities and glitterati, who come to enjoy its lively nightlife, do some luxury shopping and go to the Pampelonne beach.

This is clearly the most trendy destination to go to the French Riviera in summer.

Voyage Tips - Advice

If you want to visit Saint-Tropez in 1 day and to avoid frequent traffic jams on the region’s roads, you can book a round-trip by boat from Nice or Cannes:


15. The Hyères islands (Porquerolles, Port Cros, île du Levant)

With the Lérins islands, the Hyères islands are the only islands on the French Riviera.

They are located towards Toulon, opposite the town of Hyères. Also known as the Golden Islands, there are 3 of them:

  • The island of Port Cros is the smallest and also the wildest. There, the entire visit must be done on foot along one of the 3 marked paths on the island. They also provide access to several beaches. 
  • The île du Levant, which is a bit special, as it is mainly reserved for naturists! You can keep your clothes on at the port and the village square, but naturism is obligatory on the seafront or on the beach. At least you’ll be able to travel light!

And you can end with the île de Porquerolles, which is the most famous and most touristy of the Hyères islands.

On the agenda are sandy beaches with translucent waters, accessible on foot or by mountain bike located in the North of the island, and the small coves, which are a bit hidden, towards the South.


16. Calanques of Cassis

Still wondering what to see on the French Riviera?

Why not take the visit a little further and make the most of it to discover the beautiful calanques of Cassis.

Set off on a cruise in the exceptional setting of the calanques National Park, which stretches between Cassis and Marseille.

You can choose from several circuits: 3, 5, 8 or 9 calanques passing through the Port Miou creek, Port Pin, the l’En Vau or Sugiton.

The duration of a trip varies from 45 minutes to 1 hour and 50 minutes and tickets are sold directly on the port every day of the year (except bad weather).

To visit the Calanques of Cassis, you can also opt for the more sporty version. You can choose between (click on the orange links for details):

Cassis Calanques
Calanques of Cassis – Best places to visit on the French Riviera

17. The best boat trips on the French Riviera

A boat ride is really an unmissable experience on the French Riviera.

You can peacefully and comfortably discover the most beautiful natural landscapes of the French Riviera coastline and even stop for swims. 

From the main towns of the region, you will be spoilt for choice in terms of the tours offered. You can even take a shuttle boat ride between 2 cities to avoid getting stuck in traffic, a common occurrence in this part of France.

Here is a small selection of the best boat trips on the French Riviera (click on the orange links for details and to book):

1) From Nice

2) From Monaco

3) From Antibes

4) From Cannes

Voyage Tips - Advice

And for a VIP experience without the crowd, you must book a private boat trip.

From many coastal towns on the French Riviera, you can choose a boat trip with a captain who will take you to discover the most beautiful places on the French Riviera.

And the great thing is that you will have a choice of different types of boats depending on your budget: zodiac boat, sailboat, catamaran, motor boat or even a yacht!

You must rent your boat with captain as early as possible, as you can imagine that this type of VIP day at sea is very much in demand, and it would be a shame if none are available!

You’ll find all the offers for a sea-trip with a captain by clicking on the button below:

And if you have a boat license, you can rent a boat for a great day at sea:

excursion bateau rade de Villefranche
Boat trip in the French Riviera

18. The most beautiful beaches of the French Riviera

Where to go on the French Riviera to spend a day at the beach?

Here’s my list of the most beautiful beaches and coves of the French Riviera:

  • The Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat coves + the Paloma beach and the Passable beach
  • La Mala beach at Cap d’Ail
  • The Buse beach in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin (between Monaco and Menton)
  • Sablettes beach in Menton
  • The Cap d’Antibes coves + the Garoupe beach via the path
  • The beaches and coves at Sainte-Marguerite island
  • The coves of the l’Estérel massif below the Corniche d’Or
  • The Estagnol beach and its view of Porquerolles
  • Porquerolles and Port Cros beaches
  • The Calanques in Cassis.
paloma beach Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
Paloma beach – Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat

19. The most beautiful villages of the French Riviera

I have already mentioned some beautiful villages in my list of places to visit on the French Riviera like Eze or Saint-Paul de Vence.

Here are other villages that also deserve their place in the list of the most beautiful villages of the French Riviera:

  • Gourdon, a hilltop village at an altitude of 700 metres, classified among the most beautiful villages in France for its castle, medieval houses and views
  • Peillon, another hilltop village just 13 km from Nice
  • Tourrettes-sur-Loup is famous for growing violets
  • Sainte-Agnès is the highest seaside village in Europe. Located above Menton, it offers impressive views of the coastline.
  • Mougins, overlooking the bay of Cannes and the Lérins islands
  • Saorge, a medieval village on the mountainside
  • Coaraze, also classified among the most beautiful villages in France, is nicknamed the village of the sun
  • Gassin for its view of the bay of St Tropez.

Voyage Tips - Advice

To discover all these villages, it’s better to visit the French Riviera by car, as they are not necessarily easily accessible by public transport.

Tourettes sur Loup
Tourettes sur Loup

20. Water activities to do on the French Riviera

A seaside holiday means water activities!

Here’s my selection of the best water activities on the French Riviera:

1) In Nice and its surroundings, I have already prepared a very detailed article containing all the activities. You can read it here: The 23 best activities in Nice.

You will find, for example: parasailing , jet skiing, flyboarding, scuba diving, snorkelling or paddle-boating.

2) In Monaco and its surroundings, there is:

3) In Antibes:

Parachute ascensionnel à Nice
Parasailing- Best activities in the French Riviera

4) In Cannes:

On the French Riviera in general, you can also practice all river descent activities, canyoning, rafting, or river sledding.

jet ski Nice

21. Sports activities on the French Riviera

Don’t want to get wet but still want to do some activities, discover the best outdoor and sports activities on the French Riviera!

1) In Nice, you can find them all here: The 23 best activities in Nice.

There is a Segway tour , driving a Ferrari or even the Via Ferrata.

You must also go for the paragliding experience to have breath-taking views! Click here to book:

2) In Monaco, you can choose from:

3) And in Cannes:

conduire ferrari Nice
Drive a Ferrari in the French Riviera

22. What are the thing to do on the French Riviera if it rains?

Unfortunately, if it rains during your stay on the French Riviera, don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of stuff to keep you busy!

In addition to the classic activities to do when it rains, such as going to the cinema, bowling or visiting the museums, here are some unique ideas for indoor activities.

Here’s my list of the best indoor activities on the French Riviera:

  • Spa day as a couple or solo:  seaweed wrap, massage, access to the swimming pool and the sauna
  • A perfume workshop: a one-hour workshop to create your own perfume guided by an expert.
  • A perfume workshop for children
  • An Escape room
  • A fighter aircraft simulator
  • A massage

Thai massage

3 Best things to do around the French Riviera

You now know where to go and what to do on the French Riviera! But if you’ve decided to spend some time in the area, you’ll probably have time to explore the surroundings a little more.

So here’s my list of the best things to do around the French Riviera.

23. Mercantour National Park

Less than a 2-hour drive from Nice, the Mercantour National Park is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the surroundings of the French Riviera.

To discover all the natural riches of the park and its landscapes, the best way is to go hiking. There is an extensive network of signposted trails for all levels and durations.

For example, you can discover the glacial lakes of Vens, the lofty Vallée de la Gordolasque, the Vallée des Merveilles or the col de Tende.

And if you have chosen to visit the French Riviera in winter, you should know that the park is home to several ski resorts like Isola 2000, Auron, Valbgerg or the small Boréon resort, close to Saint-Martin de Vésubie.

You can therefore go downhill and go hiking in snowshoes or cross-country skiing.

parc national du Mercantour
Mercantour National Park

24. The Verdon Gorges

Another very beautiful place to see close to the French Riviera: the Gorges du Verdon.

You can drive to the village of Castellane in 90 minutes from Nice. 

You will discover the largest canyon in Europe, an incredible natural site that offers truly superb landscapes.

You must particularly drive around the right and left banks of the Verdon to admire the beautiful views.

And of course, you can rent a canoe, a paddle boat or a small boat to reach the bottom of the Gorges or the lakes of Verdon.

Kayak Gorges du Verdon
Gorges du Verdon

25. Marseille

Bordering the French Riviera, Marseille is just a 40-minute drive from Cassis.

What are the things to see in Marseille:

  • The Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde (Basilica of Our Lady of the Guard) and its 360° panorama of the city
  • The Panier district, the oldest in the town
  • The Old Port 
  • The MuCEM: Museum of Civilisations of Europe and the Mediterranean
  • The calanques during a boat trip or hiking in the national park
  • The Frioul Islands and château d’If.

To know more about the main places of interest in Marseille, read my article: The 33 best things to do in Marseille

Notre-Dame de la Garde à Marseille
Notre-Dame de la Garde, in Marseille

Where to stay when visiting the French Riviera?

To discover the places of interest on the French Riviera that I just mentioned, there isn’t really a single place that will allow you to see everything.

But the most practical way to visit the majority of the places I talk about in this article is to stay in Nice. It is the most central city to visit the whole area of the French Riviera from Menton to Cannes.

Here is my selection of the best hotels to stay in Nice:

  • Hôtel Ozz by Happyculture: Located about 15 minutes from the beach on foot. Nice place, very friendly staff, great location and comfortable beds. Only 20€ per night in dormitory. Double room at 55€. This is the best hostel for a budget stay in Nice!
  • Hôtel Brice Garden: Located in the hear of Nice, 5 minutes walk from the beach and Promenade des Anglais. Very well furnished and clean room from 80€ per night. Excellent value for money. Friendly and welcoming staff. The best value hotel if you want to stay in the city center! Needs to be booked as soon as possible, lots of demand.
  • Hôtel le Saint Paul: Located 50 meters from the Nice harbor, in a quiet area, with an amazing sea view. Large bright room from 95€ per night, buffet breakfast for 12€. Plus: free private parking. My favorite in Nice!
  • Hôtel Le Royal Promenade des Anglais: Located right on the Promenade des Anglais in a historic building. Prestigious room decorated in a classic style, very bright, from 135€ per night, breakfast at 15€.
  • Hôtel Negresco: Located on the Promenade des Anglais, this exceptional hotel is simply the best in Nice. The rooms are magnificent, the view is stunning, the staff is amazing and the restaurant is one of the best in town. It’s the best choice for a luxury stay in Nice!

Of course, you can also choose to stay in another major city on the French Riviera, such as Monaco or Cannes. You can view my selection of hotels by clicking on the following links:

If you prefer to discover the part of the French Riviera between Cannes and Cassis, you can also stay at:

Voyage Tips - Advice

If these hotels are not suitable for you, you will find a wider selection of accommodation in these articles:

How to visit the French Riviera

Visit the French Riviera by car

The best way to see the most things, is to visit the French Riviera by car. As I told you, some villages or places are not accessible by public transport so without a vehicle, you won’t be able to go there.

If you have decided to visit the French Riviera by train or bus, and you do not have your own vehicle, you must rent a car. 

You can compare all car rental rates on the French Riviera (Nice, Monaco, Cannes etc) on the website Cars.

Modifications and cancellations are free.

Visit the French Riviera by train

If you only plan to visit the seaside towns of the French Riviera, you can also get around by train.

For example, Cannes is just 35 minutes away by train from Nice and Monaco is only 30 minutes away.

You must check train schedules and fares and book tickets here:

Voyage Tips - Advice

If you are planning a short stay to visit several towns on the French Riviera (Nice, Antibes, Cannes, etc.), you must also read my article: One-week itinerary on the French Riviera.

The itinerary is adapted to travelling using public transport or car.

French Riviera: tourist map

To help you visualise the region a bit better, I made you a tourist map of the French Riviera, listing all the best places to visit that I talk about in this guide of the French Riviera.

You can display the map legend by clicking the button at the top left, the one with a small arrow.

If you need help planning your stay on the French Riviera, don’t hesitate to ask me your questions in the comments section below.

Book your trip now and save money!

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French Riviera

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visit French Riviera Cote d'Azur
visit French Riviera Cote d’Azur

Creator of the Voyage Tips blog, travel and photography lover. I give you all my best tips to plan your next trip.

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