10 Best Places to Visit in The French Riviera

10 BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN THE FRENCH RIVIERA

Southern France is a dream destination of many, but what are the best places to visit in the French Riviera? We will uncover it in this French Riviera travel guide.

French Riviera is famous for glamorous beach resorts, beautiful medieval towns, delicious Mediterranean cuisine, 5-star luxury hotels, and unforgettable sea views.

Sounds pretty amazing, right? Well, I want you to experience it all and plan your perfect trip around the most charming places that French Riviera has to offer.

In this article, you will find only the best places to visit in the French Riviera that you have to add to your itinerary for the South of France. Most of these destinations will include extra travel tips, itineraries, and the best things to do.

I am sure that after reading this article, you will put together your ultimate French Riviera itinerary and enjoy your dream vacation in the Côte d’Azur.

Nice

Nice, South of France, French Riviera

Nice is the heart of the South of France and this is where the journey of the French Riviera usually starts. It’s been the playground of the rich since the 18th century and now anyone can experience that lifestyle.

If you haven’t been to Nice before, think about sunny Mediterranean weather, endless beach, lively promenade, delicious seafood in luxury restaurants, and vibrant street life topped with an Italian heritage.

You should certainly visit the old town of Nice, make a stop in Place Massena, admire the beauty of St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral, and have a walk on the Promenade des Anglais.

Don’t miss the Matisse Museum and Museum of Fine Arts if you like museums and have time.

If you don’t like to change hotels, you can use Nice as your main base and travel from here. Use other destinations as a day trip option. However, I highly advise you to make an entire road trip out of this list and to make the most of your time.

Here are some useful Nice travel guides to help you with the preparation process:

Are you a foodie visiting Nice? You will love these Nice food guides:

Menton

10 Amazing Day Trips from Nice by Train or Bus

Menton is certainly one of the best places to visit in the French Riviera! It’s a mix of small-town, lively streets, and beautiful views – a combination made in heaven. It is known as the city of Lemons – so if you are planning to visit Menton in February, don’t miss the Lemon Festival.

Make sure you walk the Promenade du Soleil and sit on the rocks for those perfect postcard views. You can visit the Musée du Bastion Jean Cocteau and discover French art.

Climb up to the Basilica of Saint Michael Archangel and get lost in the tiny streets of Menton. Go shopping in Rue Saint Michel and buy local goodies or just relax on the beach and swim in the Mediterranean Sea.

You don’t need to pack your itinerary, however, this guide will help you plan one day in Menton. I shared some of the highlights, but you can simply wander around this magical town and experience the French charm.

You can combine it with Roquebrune Cap Saint Martin – it offers wonderful views over Menton and Monaco.

Villefranche-sur-Mer

Guide for Villefranche-sur-Mer, France

The Bay of Villefranche is reputed as one of the five most beautiful bays in the world. So it certainly deserves a visit, right?

The port, the Citadelle, the old town, and the gentle curve of the coast all contribute to the beauty of the village. With its colorful fishing boats and nets, the port is both a base for fishermen and tourists, offering numerous cruises in the summer.

I strongly advise you to visit the old town, see Chapelle Saint Pierre, and take a walk on the promenade. You might recognize Chapelle Saint-Pierre from Emily in Paris! Read more to discover all the best things to do in Villefranche-sur-Mer.

Beautiful Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild is located nearby, so you can visit it together with Villefranche-sur-Mer.

If you are still wondering if Villefranche-sur-Mer is worth visiting, check out these 20 photos to inspire you to visit Villefranche-sur-Mer.

Èze

Visiting Èze in France

Èze is a stunning hilltop village located between Monaco and Nice. It is famous for its steep streets, village vibes, and unforgettable views. 

I visited Èze many years ago and it was still considered a hidden gem, but nowadays you will find many tourists around here. So I recommend spending a half-day in Èze, but you should arrive early to avoid crowds, especially in summer.

I highly suggest having lunch in Château Eza. It is a pricey option, but the food, the views, and the service is excellent. Just like you imagine it would be in the South of France.

If you are looking for a unique experience, you can visit the Fragonard factory. It is one of the oldest perfumeries in France and the brand is well-known around the world. The perfume factory tour includes a visit to the cosmetics laboratory and it is completely free!

Also, include Jardin Exotique. Views from here are stunning! Make sure you don’t miss anything and check these best things to do in Eze, France.

Marseille

best photo spots in Marseille

Marseille is another famous attraction and must-see when discovering the best places to visit in the French Riviera.

It is the oldest city in France and a major trading port that plays an important role in the French economy. If you ask me, modern identity takes away the charm and glamour, but I still think that you should visit Marseille during your time in the South of France.

Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde together with Cathédrale La Major are probably the highlights of Marseille. Also, The Palais Longchamp deserves a visit.

The Château d’If is a fortress and former prison located on the Île d’If, the smallest island in the Frioul archipelago, situated about 1.5 kilometers offshore from Marseille. If you have time, don’t miss it!

I advise you to plan more than one day in Marseille and add it to your French Riviera itinerary.

Antibes

What to see in Antibes, France

Antibes is one of the most beautiful towns on the French Riviera. Famous for being home to the Spanish painter Pablo Picasso, Antibes certainly saw its fair share of glitz, glamour, and a touch of the avant-garde through the 20th century.

Despite that, it has a very traditional vibe that is hard to find in other towns of the French Riviera.

Since I mentioned Picasso, here you can find Musée Picasso. Fort Carré is a 16th-century star-shaped fort of four arrowhead-shaped bastions, that stands on the outskirts of Antibes and adds a certain charm to the place. Also, don’t miss Salis Beach!

Cannes 

10 BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN THE FRENCH RIVIERA

I bet you have heard about the Cannes Film Festival – it attracts many famous people, actors, and singers, so the place has to live up to certain standards. And don’t worry, the French know how to deliver and exceed your expectations.

Walking around Cannes feels like taking part in a Hollywood movie and it’s something that you don’t want to miss. La Croisette is the place to be, that’s where you can find the fanciest hotels, luxury brands, and elite restaurants.

Luxury is fun, but my heart belongs to Le Suquet – the old town of Cannes. Steep cobbled alleys, Marché Forville’s food stalls, and candy-colored cottages all around. Your little getaway from the busy life in Cannes.

Next to Cannes, you will find the island of Sainte-Marguerite. It takes 15 minutes on the ferry to get there and you can discover a different kind of Riviera. Raw, untouched, and wild.

This one-day Cannes itinerary will help you discover all the beautiful attractions and more!

Saint-Tropez

fun things to do in Saint-Tropez, France

Saint-Tropez is famous for its exclusive private beach clubs along the Pampelonne and unforgettable parties. If that’s not your thing, you can still find a lot of entertainment in Saint-Tropez.

Apart from the fascinating azure blue seas, the city also has a lush countryside of olive groves, pine trees, shrublands, and cypresses.

You should certainly visit The Vieux Port, Citadel, and Château Suffren. Or enjoy a relaxing day on the beach. It has many famous French Riviera beaches – public and private.

La Ponche is the old town of Saint-Tropez and if you have been reading carefully, you already know that this is my favorite place in Saint-Tropez.

Saint-Tropez is a must-visit and one of the most beautiful places on the French Riviera.

Aix-en-Provence

Aix-en-Provence. France

Technically, Aix-en-Provence is not on the French Riviera, but I still wanted to add it to this list. It’s located close to Marseille and this is one of the best places to visit in the South of France.

Aix-en-Provence is a student town, so more down to earth compared to the rest of the area and fancy locations. Visitors come here to see the art, relax, shop in a local market, and enjoy the simple things in life.

In the old town, you will find many beautiful churches like Paroisse Cathédrale Saint Sauveur Aix-en-Provence, Eglise Sainte-Madeleine, Église Saint-Jean-Baptiste du Faubourg.

Visit Place des Cardeurs – an area that offers many restaurants and bars. A lot of budget-friendly options for local standards.

Cagnes Sur Mer

Cagnes Sur Mer

In Cagnes Sur Mer you will find many famous French Riviera beaches. Most of them are public and can host big crowds, so not as overcrowded as other places. You can do many water sports and beach activities here as well.

This medieval quarter is full of tiny streets, stairs, little restaurants, and old houses that gradually descend and blend with the modern lower city.

As a matter of town, it’s not very busy and alive. But if you want to relax on the beach for a couple of days, make sure you visit Cagnes Sur Mer.

In conclusion…

10 BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN THE FRENCH RIVIERA


I hope that after reading this article you have found the best places to visit in the French Riviera and can’t wait to hit the road. I believe that this list will help you plan your time in the South of France and visit the places that you will remember forever.

I would love to hear your thoughts, so if you have any feedback or additional tips, leave a comment below. Also, check out my Instagram for regular travel videos and travel inspiration. Or explore other destinations on this travel blog.

Pin it for later and save the best places to visit in the French Riviera!

10 BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN THE FRENCH RIVIERA

10 BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN THE FRENCH RIVIERA


96 Comments

  1. I’m dying to visit the French Riviera, it looks so colorful and gorgeous! Wonderful photos!

  2. Lovely photos. This post really makes me wanna visit some day!

  3. Chantelle says:

    Your photos are absolutely stunning! What a beautiful area! It looks like there are so many wonderful places to choose from in the French Rivera!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      The list is long, you are absolutely right. And I’m so glad you liked it, thank you!

  4. Wow, these photos and towns are stunning! I’d visit any one of them in the French Riviera ❤️

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you! And glad you liked these😍

  5. I love Nice and Cannes! Wow- this post makes me want to return and see more of the French Riviera!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Sorry not sorry haha! Sounds like you should 😍

  6. You’ve convinced me to visit the French Riviera. I wasn’t sure where to start planning when it came to my France trip, but Southern France looks absolutely gorgeous. I especially love how colorful Villefranche-sur-Mer looks!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Oh yay! So happy to read that! And I’m sure you will have a wonderful time the South of France 😍

  7. I love all of the colors in these places. But, I will have to say, the photograph of Antibes by the water had me wanting to transport there right now.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Sounds like a perfect plan, the question is… when? Haha

  8. Ohh so many beautiful places. Can’t believe I haven’t made it there yet. You did an awesome job with this blog post and I’ll definitely save it for later!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much! And I really hope you can visit one day ❤️ It’s amazing!

  9. I really loved Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild and Villefranche-sur-Mer back when I visited French Riviera, hope to travel again one day! Your photos are so beautiful!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you! And I really hope you can go back soon! ❤️

  10. Tutte località da sogno, bellissine le foto! La riviera francese è stupenda

    1. lasma.plone says:

      È vero? Grazie mille ❤️

  11. So many amazing places to visit! I cant decide which one I’d go to first!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      It’s a hard one, right? ❤️

  12. These photos are stunninggg!! *books flight right now* thanks for all this information! I can’t wait to visit Marseille and Cannes some day!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Aww, thank you! And hopefully very soon ❤️

  13. I have only been to Nice and Marseille so I can see I have soooo many more beautiful areas to explore on the Frech Riviera. I loooove the look of both Villefranche-sur-Mer and Èze – they both look soooo beautiful in the summertime.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      I see you have a thing for small towns, so you certainly should come back to South of France and see more! Thank you so much ❤️

  14. Absolutely stunning pictures. I’ve been to Marseille and Cannes, but definitely haven’t spent enough time in the French Riviera! Thank you for sharing, saving for a later trip!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thanks, Melissa! Sounds like you had a great start, so have to come back for more. ❤️

  15. I haven’t been to any of these places, but I wish to after seeing these incredible photos!! Menton looks like something straight out of a fairytale *insert starry eyed emoji* ! Love love love this post <3

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much, Lana! Glad you liked it and I really hope you can visit soon ❤️

  16. Why have I never visited the French Riviera?! It looks utterly stunning and I would be absolutely spoilt for which one of these ten to pick!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Haha, sounds like I convinced you to visit French Riviera? Glad to read that! ❤️

  17. I love the French Riviera and you have captured its essence perfectly in these photographs.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much, Angela! ❤️

  18. Your photos are gorgeous and everything about this post makes me want to travel to the French Riviera! I’ve never been there before but it’s definitely on my bucket list now 🙂

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much! Makes me so happy to read feedback like this – hopefully very soon 🤞🏻

  19. The French Riviera look so beautiful! I love your photos & I can’t wait to go! Thanks so much for sharing your tips!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      It’s my pleasure! And thank you so much, glad to see you liked it! ❤️

  20. Your photos are just beautiful! One of my favorite places in the world! I guess I need to put Cagnes Sur Mer on my list for next time!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much! And I’m so happy to see that you found something new to visit in the area ❤️

  21. I haven’t heard of most of these places, but they look so quaint and idyllic – just how I imagine the French Riviera! Absolutely stunning!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Right? And they certainly deserve a visit! ❤️

  22. Wow all of these places are AMAZING and I have yet to visit any of them!! Do you help Travelers plan trips here?

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much! I just share my travel tips and itineraries, but I’m not a travel agent ☺️

  23. I would love to visit all of these places! I am visiting France for the first time this year. I’ll have to make another trip for this!!! Your photos are so lovely!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      I have some posts for Paris as well if you are heading North! Have a wonderful time in France ❤️

  24. Your post makes me long to head back to the French Riviera. I love those beautiful towns and cities to wander through. And the sea views! Thanks for stroking my wanderlust!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      My pleasure haha! We all need a little push once in a while and maybe this one was yours? Thank you Linda ❤️

  25. Oh my goodness! These photos are jaw-droppingly STUNNING! I want to visit ASAP!!!! I swear reading about these places and looking at these photos put me in the best mood this morning. Keep it up! Thanks for sharing! ❤️

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Aww, that makes me so happy! So grateful for your kind feedback! ❤️ And really hope you can visit soon!

  26. This is just beautiful! Your photos are wonderful too! Can’t wait to visit these places! Thanks for your recommendations!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Glad you liked it, Kate! And thank you so much for your kind feedback ❤️

  27. I adore the colors in the French Riviera. You’ve captured them so well!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much 😊

  28. Stunning photos! Definitely adding all of these to my “to-go list”. Loved Marseille when I went.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much! Hopefully, you can go back and see more ❤️

  29. Awesome pictures! And great recommendations. Especially, the smaller towns with those lanes and alleys, I love to stroll around there. French Riveria made it to my list! Thanks for that! 😀

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much, Pia! I love small towns as well, so I bet you would love this are of France ❤️

  30. Love this – there’s a few places on this list eg Cagnes Sur Mer and Menton that I’ve not heard of before – they look stunning, I’m now looking at flights!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Yay! Happy to read that!! And glad to see that you discovered something new as well ❤️

  31. Nice is the only one I’ve been to but they all look so lovely I’d just love to go back to that region. Aix-en-Provence would have to be next on my list out of these places – but it looks like you can’t go wrong with any of them

    1. lasma.plone says:

      That’s so true, each of these places would deserve a visit at some point! Such a beautiful part of our world! And Aix is waiting for you ❤️

  32. I was in Costa Brava for several months, just a stone’s throw away from the French Riviera but I didn’t travel there. These cities look beautiful. I did manage to go to Toulon for a day.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      It’s a cool destination as well! Hopefully, you get another chance to visit at some point in your life!

  33. Simplyjolayne says:

    I just wish that I could visit all of these amazing places. France is one of my happy places.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Sounds like a plan haha! Hope you can visit at least some of these places soon!

  34. Your photos from these locations look absolutely stunning! Everywhere seems so vibrant and full of life. I can’t wait to visit this part of France – so many places to cross off the bucket list!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much! And I hope you found something new & inspiring for your next trips!

  35. I’ve never really given France much consideration, no idea why. But reading this blog and seeing your amazing pictures makes me realise it is probably time to spend some time with our neighbour!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Why not? I hope I managed to change your mind and soon you will visit France! Especially these little tows in the South.

  36. I’ve been to a few of these spots, but everything you featured here looks incredible! I would love to go to Menton sometime and see all those colors! Stunning photos and lovely post, thanks for sharing!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you for your kind feedback! Hopefully you can go back and see more ❤️

  37. I am definitely saving this!!! I’m hoping to be in Europe later this year. So many awesome ideas here and your photography is absolutely amazing

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much! I hope it works out for you and I hope you can visit some of these places!

  38. Menton and Èze look so amazingly beautiful and picturesque! I also love the beauty of Antibes. All of these places are definitely bucket-list-worthy!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      I see we have a similar taste! You are absolutely right, so many beautiful places in the South of France!

  39. WOW! These are stunning photos. I am saving this for when I am able to travel there someday. Just a beautiful area.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you! And hopefully you get a chance to visit soon!

  40. WOW these photos are so beautiful – I’m saving for my upcoming trip to Europe

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much! And hopefully this can help you with planning ❤️

  41. Absolutely stunning photos! I’ve always wanted to visit Nice and Cannes, but your guide has opened up my eyes to more locations to add to my list. Saving for later!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Yay! So happy to read feedback like that.. thank you so much ❤️

  42. Wow your photos are stunning. I’ve been to Marseille ans Aix but didn’t realise they were part of the riviera. So many beautiful spots thanks for sharing

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Marseille is, Aix technically isn’t but it’s so close that I decided to add it! Always happy to share ❤️

  43. The French Riviera looks so beautiful! I’d love to visit all these places, but Menton looks especially pretty! I love the colourful streets! Thanks for the great guide!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      I think Menton is on the top of my list as well! And the good thing… it’s not as popular as other places in South of France! Always happy to share ❤️

  44. Cannot get over the brilliant colors in these photos of the French Riviera! Sigh. Gotta get there one day – thanks for this great list of ideas.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Right?! Looks like a painting everywhere you go, so I hope you can visit soon! ❤️

  45. Oh my gosh! These photos are absolutely stunning. Antebes especially looks like a postcard. I’ve never been to the French Riviera but have always wanted to go. This was a great post to read, I’ll be sure to save it for when I plan my own trip!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you! And glad to see you liked Antibes the most ❤️ And I hope you can visit soon!

  46. I can see why you fell in love with Menton! It’s a beautiful city. I can’t believe I’ve never heard of it before. Thanks for sharing!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      It’s not very popular destination, but maybe that’s another reason to visit it? Thank you!

  47. Your photos are gorgeous! And now I have a major case of wannagoitis! Amazing places to visit in the French Riviera.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much, Cris ❤️ I’m glad to see that I convinced you to visit French Riviera!

  48. Marseilles seems so exotic and so beautiful. I’d love to visit some of the perfumeries as well. What a cool list to getting outside of Paris.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Sounds like a great plan! And yes, Paris is stunning, but South of France has a different charm and certainly deserves a visit!

  49. It seems like we should visit French Riviera again! I really want to go now after reading all this! There is something to do for everyone 🥰 my favorite place though is still Nice, can’t beat it! Maybe I should give another chance to Marseille, which was not my favorite destination when i visited the first time!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Sounds like a plan! I can understand… Nice is the heart of French Riviera, so it’s easy to fall in love with it ❤️ Hope you can go back soon!

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