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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

#1
Île Sainte-Marguerite

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
#2
Eze

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
#3
Verdon Gorge (Gorges du Verdon)

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
#4
Promenade des Anglais

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
#5
Nice Old Town (Vieux Nice)

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
#6
Palais des Festivals et des Congrès

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
#7
La Croisette Boulevard (Boulevard de la Croisette)

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
#8
Picasso Museum (Musée Picasso)

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
#9
Cours Saleya Flower Market (Marché aux Fleurs Cours Saleya)

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
#10
Castle Hill (Colline du Château)

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
#11
Massena Square (Place Masséna)

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
#12
St-Tropez Citadel (Citadelle de Saint-Tropez)

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
#13
Gourdon

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
#14
St. Tropez Our Lady of the Assumption Church (Eglise Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption)

St. Tropez Our Lady of the Assumption Church (Eglise Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption)

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The Our Lady of the Assumption Church (Eglise Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption) in St-Tropez is in the Old Town of Saint-Tropez and is now considered to be one of the city’s emblems, with the ocher-colored steeple and bell tower being visible from miles around. Built in the Italian Baroque style, the church has a white limestone façade with distinct yellow and red accent hues that were selected to contrast with the blue of the sky and the sea. Construction took many years, ending in 1784. In 1820, the Archbishop of Aix-en-Provence Pierre-Ferdinand Bausset-Roquefort consecrated the church. Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption underwent extensive renovations and repair works in 1990, and was made a historic monument shortly after. Inside the church, visitors can see the bust of Saint Tropez (patron saint of sailors and patron saint of St-Tropez) as well as the bust of Saint Pierre (patron saint of fisherman and masons). The church is home to many events during the year, including the bravade (a religious and military festival held in May) and a renowned nativity scene in December and January.More
#15
Annonciade Museum (Musée de l'Annonciade)

Annonciade Museum (Musée de l'Annonciade)

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St-Tropez is known for its French luxury: massive yachts, picturesque fishing villages and stunning European villas. But travelers who make their way to this destination will find that St-Tropez is also home to one of the region’s most incredible museums—the Annonciade Museum (Musée de l'Annonciade).Despite its location in a tiny seaside village, the museum boasts an incredible collection of works from Matisse,Signac, Kee, Rodin and other iconic artists. Travelers will find its quiet galleries and beautiful displays the perfect respite from the bustle of St-Tropez, and the perfect place to spend a morning or afternoon taking in some truly incredible works of art.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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Ferry from Cannes to St Tropez
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Ferry from Cannes to St Tropez

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Monaco, Monte Carlo, Eze, la Turbie Full-Day from Nice Small-Group Tour
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Ferry from Nice to St Tropez
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Ferry from Nice to St Tropez

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Catamaran from Cannes
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Catamaran from Cannes

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French Riviera Sightseeing Guided Day Trip with Transfer from Nice
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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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Provence Wine Tour - Private Day Tour from Nice
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Excursion nautique - Estérel 2H30
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French Riviera Cannes to Monte-Carlo Discovery Small Group Day Trip from Nice
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Molinard Perfume Workshop in Nice

Molinard Perfume Workshop in Nice

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Nice Local Vineyards Small Group Half Day E-Bike Tour with Wine Tasting
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Ferry from Nice to Monaco
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Ferry from Nice to Monaco

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Recent reviews from experiences in French Riviera

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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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French Riviera in a Day!
Brent_S, Aug 2022
French Riviera Sightseeing Guided Day Trip with Transfer from Nice
Great way to see the French Riviera in a day.
star-5
Wonderful experience in the French Riviera
Prinolan_P, Jul 2022
French Riviera Sightseeing Guided Day Trip with Transfer from Nice
Great trip to see all the main cities in the French Riviera.
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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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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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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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Great day on the Riviera.
Joseph_D, May 2022
French Riviera Cannes to Monte-Carlo Discovery Small Group Day Trip from Nice
We were picked up at our hotel in Nice and we were afforded ample time to visit Cannes, Monaco, Monte Carlo and Antibes.
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It was just perfect to...
anama95, Oct 2021
The Best of the Riviera Small group Guided full Day Tour
It was just perfect to see some of the towns at the French Riviera, very well informed tour guide, we wish we could spend a little more time at Monaco since we didn’t get to see the palace or the town.
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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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Great experience
Sheila_T, Apr 2022
French Riviera Sightseeing Guided Day Trip with Transfer from Nice
Great way to see so many sights in a day.
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Pleasant boattrip !
Menno_A, Sep 2019
Mediterranean Coastal Sightseeing Cruise from Nice
It took us along the coast line of the French Riviera with very informative comments in the English and French language.
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Top Notch Tour Guide
Dina_S, Aug 2019
Cannes Shore Excursion: Private Tour of the French Riviera
We booked this tour off a cruise to see the french riviera and our guide Rene was Awesome!!
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A good way to see some of the French...
Simon R, Sep 2017
Monaco, Monte-Carlo, Eze Half-day from Cannes small-Group and Shore Excursion
A good way to see some of the French Riviera when limited for time.
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So happy we did this tour! Jenna our...
Dipali_S, Jul 2018
Monaco, Monte-Carlo, Eze Half-day from Cannes small-Group and Shore Excursion
Definitely, a nice way to see the French Riviera with so little time when taking a cruise.
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All about French Riviera

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