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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
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
#2
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
#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
Chateau Font du Broc

Chateau Font du Broc

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Built on the Var heights between Esterel and the Gulf of St Tropez, the Château Font du Broc is set amid lush vegetation overlooking the sea. The grounds of this impressive wine farm are sprawled out over 250 acres that encompass vineyards and olive trees – and even an Olympic-sized arena for horses.Producing both wine and olive oil, the owner of Château Font du Broc, Sylvain Massa, insists on organic and traditional farming methods and restricts the volume of wine produced in order to ensure its quality.Although the beautiful surroundings and the building’s architecture are high points for some visitors to Château Font du Broc, for others it’s simply all about sampling the delicious wines. The tasting room welcomes visitors and sampling the local vintage is positively encouraged, either on its own or with locally produced cheeses, meats and other delicacies.More
#13
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
#14
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
#15
Port Vauban

Port Vauban

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The French Riviera reaches its glamorous pinnacle at Antibes' Port Vauban. Fortified by Louis XIV’s military engineer, Marquis de Vauban, in the 17th century, the harbor is now a hub for jetsetters and their superyachts. The port is home to the International Yacht Club Antibes, and is big enough to accommodate the record-breaking Dilbar superyacht.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

Monaco Tours from Cannes

Monaco Tours from Cannes

Provence Day Trips From Cannes

Provence Day Trips From Cannes

Top activities in French Riviera

Perfume Workshop in Grasse

Perfume Workshop in Grasse

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$82.92
Catamaran from Cannes

Catamaran from Cannes

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$66.62
French Riviera Sightseeing Guided Day Trip with Transfer from Nice
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Visit the fields of lavender and the gorges du verdon.
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French Riviera Cannes to Monte-Carlo Discovery Small Group Day Trip from Nice
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Monaco, Monte-Carlo, Eze Half-day from Cannes small-Group and Shore Excursion
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Ferry from Nice to St Tropez

Ferry from Nice to St Tropez

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$93.48
Eze, Monaco & Monte Carlo from Nice from Nice
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Monaco and Eze Small-Group Day Trip with Perfumery Visit from Nice
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Ferry from Cannes to St Tropez

Ferry from Cannes to St Tropez

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77
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$72.01
Nice Local Vineyards Small Group Half Day E-Bike Tour with Wine Tasting
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Monaco, Monte Carlo, Eze, la Turbie Full-Day from Nice Small-Group Tour
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Provence Countryside Small Group Day Trip with Grasse Perfumery Visit from Nice
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Classic Yacht Sailing in Cannes

Classic Yacht Sailing in Cannes

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$839.27
per group

Recent reviews from experiences in French Riviera

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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.
star-5
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.
star-5
Best tour
Monica_C, Mar 2022
French Riviera Sightseeing Guided Day Trip with Transfer from Nice
It is truly the best way to see the French Riviera in one day.
star-5
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.
star-5
A beautiful sampler of the French Riviera
Inmaculada_A, Apr 2022
French Riviera Cannes to Monte-Carlo Discovery Small Group Day Trip from Nice
I wanted to see as much of the French Riviera as I could and this is the perfect way to sample each one.
star-5
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.
star-5
Wonderful tour
David_H, Oct 2021
❤️ ⭐️ Walking Tour of Old Nice / Castle Hill Small-Group
Our guide, Chris, was amazing, had excellent English and was very knowledgeable.
star-5
Very enjoyable Riviera excursion
Cliff_K, May 2022
French Riviera Sightseeing Guided Day Trip with Transfer from Nice
This is great way to see the French Riviera in one day.
star-5
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.
star-5
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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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.
star-5
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.
star-5
Mesmerising French Riviera
Anu_p, Jan 2022
French Riviera Cannes to Monte-Carlo Discovery Small Group Day Trip from Nice
Our tour host Nadir was excellent he quickly understood what we wanted to see and explained everything so well and cleverly incorporated movie scenes in our tour around Monaco, Cannes and Eze.
star-5
A great day trip out to St Tropez on...
Leanne B, Sep 2014
Ferry from Cannes to St Tropez
A wonderful way to see the coastline of the French Riviera and beautiful Mediterranean Sea.
star-5
Great way to see the countryside of...
Abigail, May 2013
Provence Countryside Small Group Day Trip with Grasse Perfumery Visit from Nice
Great way to see the countryside of the French Riviera.
star-5
We thoroughly enjoyed our day with...
John M, Aug 2011
French Riviera Small-Group Day Trip from Cannes
Manuel was knowledgeable and very responsive to making our tour suited to what we wanted to see and do.
star-5
This is a must do when you're in the...
NINA, May 2011
Monaco and Eze Small-Group Day Trip with Perfumery Visit from Nice
Eze is a charming town and gives stunning views, can't wait to visit again.
star-4
Great condensed tour of the French Riviera!
Lilybeth E, Oct 2019
Best of the French Riviera with Cannes, Monaco & More shared guided tour
It was the best way to see bits of the French Riviera if you only have a day to spare.
star-5
As advertised
nnur89, Dec 2021
French Riviera Sightseeing Guided Day Trip with Transfer from Nice
There's not much to see in Cannes, just the red carpet (which isn't grand or nice).
star-5
I did not know what to expect on...
Ambernay T, Jun 2018
Côtes de Provence Small Group Day Trip with Winery Visits & Tastings from Nice
This tour was a great way to see some of the lesser traveled parts of the French Riviera and the Provence region.
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