There are so many amazing places to visit along the French Riviera, but often it doesn’t make sense to stay at them all, rather basing yourself in one place and doing day trips. Nice is a great base along the French Riviera as it has everything you could need in one place. It has great restaurants, a fairy floss blue beach, a beautiful old town and so much more. Here are some unforgettable day trips from Nice France.
Saint Paul de Vence
Saint Paul de Vence is a beautiful hilltop village in Provence. It’s only about an hour by bus from Nice, or you can hire a car. This small village is magical, it literally feels like you’ve walked into a movie or another time when you arrive. Think cobblestone paths, quaint buildings, a walled village on top of a hill overlooking beautiful greenery. If you can forget about the tourists that will fill the streets, or get there early enough that it’s not an issue, then you will fall in love with this town.
If you only have time to do one hilltop village, you may find yourself choosing between Saint Paul de Vence or Eze? We have only visited Saint Paul de Vence and chose it on the advice of our Airbnb host. In his words, if you want more to see and walk around then go to Saint Paul de Vence, as Eze is pretty tiny. After visiting Saint Paul de Vence and seeing how small it is, I feel like we made the right choice. But from what I can tell, both would be a more than worth a visit. Saint Paul de Vence was one of my favourite day trips from Nice France.
Saint Paul de Vence can be visited in a half-day or more if you desire.
Bus No. 400 from Nice will take about an hour (only 1.50€ which can be bought on the bus). We got on at the Albert 1er stop on Avenue de Verdun in Nice.
Go early in the morning to see Saint Paul de Vence with fewer crowds, but be prepared for a steady flow of people to arrive during your time there.
Read More: A Day In Saint Paul de Vence France
Monaco is just one of those places you have to see. From James Bond to mega yachts, it peaks your curiosity before you even arrive. I’m not sure what I expected from Monaco, and I’ve also heard mixed reviews from people visiting. But, I have to say that I loved it. Monaco is a place like no other, with a fairytale old town (wait til you hear the palace bells), to the ultra luxurious Monte Carlo, to the harbours filled with mansion yachts. And being only 20 minutes away, it’s one of the easiest day trips from Nice France.
Try the Barbagiuan at Marche de La Condamine.
See the changing of the Guards at the Princes Palace at 11.55 am.
The train from Nice is only 20 minutes.
Read More: A Guide To Monaco: Eat, See, Do, Stay + Essentials
We actually stayed overnight in Cannes, and I left feeling a little mixed. Although I did enjoy Cannes, and I think it’s worth a visit, It’s not somewhere I think I would choose to base myself in the French Riviera as I feel there are better choices (although as a location it’s actually pretty perfect as a base for day trips!). But a day trip is perfect, and of course, that’s only my opinion. Things I loved about Cannes were walking along La Croisette and exploring the markets and the old town.
Have dinner or lunch at L’Assiette Provencale.
Try some fried courgettes at the Marche Forville (markets).
The train from Nice is about 30 minutes.
Read More: Mini Guide To Cannes
Villefranche Sur Mer
Villefranche-sur-Mer is fairly close to Nice, you can actually walk there. We did a coastal walk to Villefranche-sur-Mer and loved it. The views were stunning. Otherwise, you can get a bus or catch the train. The village is worth a look around, and the Citadel. But make sure to pack your swimmers as there is a beautiful sand beach here. From here you can also continue a walk to Saint Jean Cap Ferrat if you have the energy. Walking to Villefranche-sur-Mer was one of my favourite things to do in Nice.
Read More: A Walk From Nice To Villefranche Sur Mer
More Day Trips From Nice France
There are so many more amazing places you can visit as day trips from Nice France; St. Tropez, Antibes, Eze, Grasse, Menton. You can even go to Italy and visit Sanremo and Ventimiglia. Cassis would also be possible but probably more doable as a day trip from Marseille. So as you can see there are so many amazing day trips to do from Nice France, the hard part is deciding which ones to do as Nice itself deserves so much time too.
See more suggestions from Nice Tourisme.
15 Incredible Things To Do In Nice France