I had heard so much about Saint Paul De Vence. Pretty. Arty. Touristy. Some people say it’s too touristy, some people say it doesn’t matter. I’d seen the beautiful pictures. And I was struggling with the same question everyone else seemed to be… Saint Paul De Vence or Eze? I kept going back and forth until our Airbnb host recommended Saint Paul De Vence. He said it was bigger than Eze with more to see. So Saint Paul De Vence it was.
From Nice it took about 1 hour on a bus to get to Saint Paul De Vence. Another option is to take a train from Nice to Cagnes-Sur-Mer (15 minutes) and then get the same bus from there for 15 minutes. This seemed more logical to me until I started reading that the bus can be full by the time it gets to Cagnes-Sur-Mer and you will also have to get to the train station then the bus station and have waiting time in between. So the bus it was and it was actually really easy.
Exploring Saint Paul De Vence
As soon as I walked through the gates to Saint Paul De Vence I felt like I had entered another world and another time. It was so beautiful, with tiny cobblestone streets and buildings that felt like they should only exist in novels or movies.
Immediately, all I wanted to do was explore, and didn’t worry about ticking a list of things off. We spent the morning exploring, walking through the little inside streets, and walking around the outskirts with the beautiful views.
We probably only spent about 3 hours here, which we felt was enough, although you could spend more or less. Hearing that Saint Paul De Vence was bigger than Eze, I was surprised how small it was.
Where To Eat In Saint Paul De Vence
Due to the timing of our trip, we didn’t actually have any meals there. If we were there for lunch we liked the look of Le Tilleul. Another option if you just want a casual lunch was La Fromagerie, a small shop selling cheese and meats but also make sandwiches which looked good. One thing I did want to try which was unfortunately closed when we went was the gelato at Dolce Italia… there’s always next time ;)
Is It Worth Going To Saint Paul De Vence?
I was a bit of a skeptic before going, thinking it would be over-touristy and over-rated. There were a lot of tourists but we got there early in the morning so we could avoid the masses. I’d recommend going early because it progressively got busier throughout our time there.
The village was so beautiful that I was so happy to have seen it, even though it was touristy. It was also completely different to other places you may visit as a day trip from Nice, such as coastal towns you may visit along the French Riviera.
Saint Paul De Vence is definitely a beautiful village in Provence. If you’re based along the French Riviera, as Saint Paul De Vence is relatively close, it’s a great way to add some variety to what you see especially if you’re not exploring more of Provence. If you’re based somewhere in Provence, there are so many beautiful villages to visit that although Saint Paul De Vence is worth the visit, I think it would depend largely on how close you were.
Tips For Visiting Saint Paul De Vence
Get there early if you want to avoid the crowds
#400 bus from Nice to Saint Paul De Vence was easy, 1 hour and only 1.50€ (which can be bought on the bus)
You can also continue on the bus and see Vence too if you want to see more.