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Things to do in the French Riviera

Things to do in  French Riviera

Welcome to French Riviera

Along the southern coast of France, between Provence and the Mediterranean Sea, is an area known as the French Riviera. This collection of seaside resort towns is famous for its gorgeous scenery, laid-back lifestyle, sandy beaches, boutique shopping, and beautiful people. The French Riviera, or Côte d'Azur, as it's more technically known, stretches from St-Tropez in the east all the way to the French-Italian border. The biggest city is Nice, and other popular destinations include Cannes, home to a famous annual film festival; Antibes, where visitors can see Roman ruins; the pretty hilltop town of Eze; and the independent city-state of Monaco. Spend time strolling the beachfront promenades, people watching from sidewalk cafés, or soaking up the sun on the beach. If you're looking for a taste of the high life, charter a private yacht from Cannes, fly over Nice in a helicopter, or get behind the wheel of a Lamborghini or Ferrari. While cities along this pretty coast are popular day trip destinations on their own, they're also good bases for exploring other parts of Provence. Travelers can head into the hills to explore the town of Grasse and its Fragonard perfumery, or see the ancient Roman aqueduct of Pont du Gard in Verdon Gorge. It's even possible to spend a day shopping in some charming Italian markets on a day trip from Cannes or Nice.

Top 15 attractions in French Riviera

Eze

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With its twisting cobblestone lanes, jumble of medieval houses, and shady courtyards lined with traditional cafés, Eze is a tranquil village high above the glamorous resorts and golden beaches of the Cote d’Azur. The hilltop town, traditionally written Èze, is undeniably picturesque, affording panoramic views over the Mediterranean, and its timeless charm has made it a firm favorite on French Riviera itineraries.More

Île Sainte-Marguerite

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A 20-minute ferry ride across the waters of the Mediterranean Sea transports travelers from the high-class commotion of Cannes to the tranquil Île Sainte-Marguerite, a small island with more pine trees than people. Bring your walking shoes and your love for the great outdoors for the perfect day trip away from it all.More

Palais des Festivals et des Congrès

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The colossal Film Festival Palace hosts high-profile media and business events, most notably, the Cannes Film Festival, which draws movie stars and media from all over the world for two dizzying weeks in May. Its privileged location, across from the sun-kissed Boulevard de la Croisette and the Mediterranean Sea, is appropriately glamorous.More

Promenade des Anglais

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A stylish walkway monopolizing four miles (six kilometers) along the Bay of Angels, the Walk of the English (Promenade des Anglais or La Prom) is a Nice icon offering stunning views, enticing pit stops, and the best people-watching in the city. Grab your bike, skates, or shoes—and don’t forget your swimsuit—for a sunny afternoon in Nice.More

Nice Old Town (Vieux Nice)

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A honeycomb of narrow streets dotted with baroque churches, lively markets, bustling squares, and a thriving nightlife scene, Nice’s Old Town (Vieux Nice) remains the buzzing heart the modern French city. This seafront historic center offers an atmospheric introduction to Nice.More

Verdon Gorge (Gorges du Verdon)

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With its dramatic limestone cliffs and azure waters, the Verdon Gorge (Gorges du Verdon) is one of the French Riviera's most delightful secrets. Escape the manicured glamour of St. Tropez and Cannes in favor of the canyon, which provides opportunities to swim, sail, sunbathe, and rock climb on routes that stretch as far as the eye can see.More

St-Tropez Citadel (Citadelle de Saint-Tropez)

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Though Saint-Tropez is famous for its glamour and glitz, the city also has a rich and eventful past. The St-Tropez Citadel (Citadelle de Saint-Tropez) is a prime example, having been the town’s crown jewels since the 17th century, and one of the few monuments of its magnitude to still stand today on France’s southern coastline. In fact, the Saint-Tropez Citadel is one of the city’s most visited historical and cultural sites, both for its history and its panoramic views over the Bay. The Citadel was built between 1602 and 1608, based on the drawings of engineer Raymond de Bonnefons. The building, composed of a thick-walled hexagonal tower, a concealed interior courtyard, towers with cannon openings, and a bastioned outer wall, was used to defend the strategic port of St-Tropez, the most important strongholds between Antibes and Toulon for centuries. Its location on a hill with slopes bare of vegetation helped the military spot and bomb all vessels that came too close to the walls of the city.More

Picasso Museum (Musée Picasso)

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One of the cultural highlights of the French Riviera, the Picasso Museum (Musée Picasso) is located in the heart of Antibes, between Cannes and Nice. Housed in the 14th-century Grimaldi Castle—where Picasso lived in 1946—the museum exhibits several hundred works by the modernist master.More

La Croisette Boulevard (Boulevard de la Croisette)

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The beating heart of Cannes, La Croisette Boulevard (Boulevard de la Croisette) is an oceanfront promenade lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants, and thronged with both vacationers and glamorous locals. Whether you’re stopping for lunch, dinner, or people-watching as you walk along, a stroll along this iconic street is a must-do for Cannes visitors.More

Castle Hill (Colline du Château)

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Rising up over the eastern end of Quai des États-Unis, the 300-foot Castle Hill (Colline du Château) affords fantastic views over the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Old Town of Vieux Nice, the Baie des Anges, and the glittering Côte d’Azur.More

Cours Saleya Flower Market (Marché aux Fleurs Cours Saleya)

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Nice's Cours Saleya Flower Market (Marché aux Fleurs Cours Saleya) is a veritable feast for the senses—floral fragrances rise in the air, vendors call out in French to mingling locals, and flower bouquets burst forth from every stall. Add the fresh produce market, sidewalk cafes, and weekly antiques fair, and it’s no wonder the market is a must while in Provence.More

Massena Square (Place Masséna)

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If you're spending an even remotely significant amount of time in Nice, then you'll soon become familiar with Massena Square (Place Massena). It's the massive, open square at the bottom of L'avenue Jean-Médecin; just a little bit past it is Vieux Nice and the Mediterranean. Walk under the porticos in foul weather, or enjoy the sun on its wide walkways. It ends in a gorgeous fountain framed by faded cherry-red buildings, a favorite with photographers of any ability.In the daytime, Masséna Square is a busy pedestrian/tram intersection, and it can seem like barely controlled chaos as people scurry, stroll or simply hang out along its dizzyingly tiled surface. At night it's a bit less busy, but many are more distracted as the large human-like sculptures high atop poles change color like lava lamps!Massena Square is also the site for many of Nice's most popular events throughout the year, from Mardi Gras to Fete de la Musique concerts to summer outdoor markets, exhibitions and performances of all kinds. And at Christmas, it's transformed into a village with artisanal gifts, games for kids, delicious food stalls and even a Ferris wheel.More

Port of Cannes (Port de Cannes)

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With a picturesque location on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, the Port of Cannes (Port de Cannes) is a gateway to both the cinematic glamor of Cannes and the rest of the beautiful French Riviera. Disembark here to explore the pretty town of Cannes itself or head to glitzy enclaves such as Monte Carlo, St-Tropez, and Eze.More

Tourrettes

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Tourrettes-sur-Loup, an ultra-charming fortified hilltop village in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France, consistently makes every list of day trips from Nice. In the tiny pedestrian-only medieval center, a warren of narrow streets are lined with stone homes, many ground-floor shops, art galleries, craft workshops, and open-air cafes.More

Gourdon

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Regularly ranked among France’s most beautiful villages, the medieval Gourdon is a sightseeing highlight of Provence’s craggy interior. Poised atop a dramatic, rocky spur, the village offers panoramic views stretching as far as the Mediterranean. Gourdon is also celebrated for its château and its elegant gardens.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 3 Days in Nice

How to Spend 3 Days in Nice

French Riviera Day Trips from Nice

French Riviera Day Trips from Nice

How to Spend 3 Days in Cannes

How to Spend 3 Days in Cannes

Provence Day Trips From Cannes

Provence Day Trips From Cannes

Monaco Tours from Cannes

Monaco Tours from Cannes

Top activities in French Riviera

Perfume Workshop in Grasse

Perfume Workshop in Grasse

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US$ 81.32
Monaco, Monte Carlo, Eze, la Turbie Full-Day from Nice Small-Group Tour
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Monaco, Monte-Carlo, Eze Half-day from Cannes small-Group and Shore Excursion
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Monaco, Monte Carlo, Eze, La Turbie half day from Nice small-group tour
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Molinard Perfume Workshop in Nice

Molinard Perfume Workshop in Nice

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US$ 81.32
Eze and Monaco Private Half-Day Tour
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Eze and Monaco Private Half-Day Tour

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US$ 428.01
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Nice City Segway Sightseeing Tour

Nice City Segway Sightseeing Tour

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US$ 37.45
Grasse, Gourdon, Valbonne and Wine Tasting Full-day from Nice Small-Group Tour
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Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in French Riviera

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Riviera Tour
William_M, Oct 2022
The Best of the Riviera Small group Guided full Day Tour
It was a long day but we saw everything we wanted to see along the French Riviera.
star-4
Great activities for family & group of friends👍
iarellano2004, Oct 2022
French Riviera Sightseeing Guided Day Trip with Transfer from Nice
2-4 days stay is recommended if you want to see the Best of French Riviera.
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BEST WAY TO SEE A LOT
Kev_B, Oct 2022
Eze, Monaco & Monte Carlo from Nice from Nice
I this is the most efficient way to see all of the great spots on the French Riviera.
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Superb
Victoria_F, Sep 2022
French Riviera Sightseeing Guided Day Trip with Transfer from Nice
Fantastic spots to see along the French Riviera .
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Megane was great!
Cooper_S, Sep 2022
French Riviera Cannes to Monte-Carlo Discovery Small Group Day Trip from Nice
Even on a rainy day, this was an excellent way to see a lot of the French Riviera.
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Amazing
CRISTINA_R, Aug 2022
Nice to St Tropez Ferry Ticket and Cruise
You get to see the beautiful French Riviera coast on the way to and back.
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French Riviera Delights
Elsa_J, Aug 2022
French Riviera Cannes to Monte-Carlo Discovery Small Group Day Trip from Nice
I got to see all that the French Riviera has to offer.
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Remarkable Sea Escapade
Lyly_P, Aug 2022
Ferry from Nice to Monaco
I cannot wait to visit this majestic city of Nice & the French Riviera again!
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Great way to see the Riviera in one day!
PeterJay_R, Jul 2022
The best of French Riviera Full-Day from Nice Small-Group Tour
This is a great way to see the French Riviera in one day: seeing all the sites we were hoping to.
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Amazing
Alec_L, Sep 2022
French Riviera Sightseeing Guided Day Trip with Transfer from Nice
Cecile was the best tour guide and we got to see the best of the french riviera.
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Transported Through Time
Assabi_I, Oct 2022
Monaco by Night Private Tour
An amazing experience, would recommend it to anyone who wants to see some history and glamour.
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Excellent Tour and Guide
Hitesh_K, Aug 2022
Monaco, Monte Carlo, Eze, la Turbie Full-Day from Nice Small-Group Tour
Highly recommend this tour to anyone who is looking for a way to see parts of the French Riviera.
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A Little Bit of Everything in the French Rivera
Kelly_M, Jul 2022
French Riviera Full Day Shared Tour from Nice
If you want to see a lot of the French Riviera in one day, this is the tour for you.
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See the Cote d'Azur from the sea! Don't skip this tour!
PATTI_K, Jul 2022
Mediterranean Coastal Sightseeing Cruise from Nice
What a great way to see the Cote d'Azur!
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Best tour ever!
Anja_R, Jul 2022
Private Customized French Riviera Half-Day Tour from Monaco, Nice, or Cannes
Be aware that the driver will not go with you but rather will bring you to the different stops and give you the best local tips to make the best out of every sight to see while he waits by the car for you.
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Highly recommended
Corina_S, Jun 2022
The best of French Riviera Full-Day from Nice Small-Group Tour
Very informative and diverse tour, covering all major attractions of French Riviera.
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Awesome, incredible French Riviera experience!
Rajeev_P, Jun 2022
The Best of the Riviera Small group Guided full Day Tour
He gave us ample time to visit each spot and guided us with his tips & recommendations at all the locations so that we could see some key spots with better time efficiency.
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Magot was extremely...
Ron_B, May 2022
French Riviera Private Full-Day Tour
We had a fantastic time experiencing all there was to see and do on the French Riviera.
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Great day in southern France!
Madisyn_R, Aug 2022
French Riviera Sightseeing Guided Day Trip with Transfer from Nice
This was the perfect way to see the French Riviera in one day.
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Wonderful tour
David_H, Oct 2021
★ Walking Tour of Old Nice and Castle Hill
Our guide, Chris, was amazing, had excellent English and was very knowledgeable.
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All about French Riviera

Currency
Euro (€)
Time Zone
CET (UTC +1)
Country Code
+33
Language(s)
French
Frequently Asked Questions
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