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Best Day Trips from Nice, France

The French Riviera is often the subject of vacation dreams, and the region’s romantic capital is an ideal base. The best day trips from Nice are a breeze to get to by train, car, bus or guided tour within an hour or two of the city. Plus, your options for destinations include those worthy of global travel bucket lists.  

Pack for sun-kissed days on the dazzling beaches of the Côte d’Azur. Expect to get your steps in strolling around medieval villages and promenades framed by luxury yachts. Culture vultures are spoilt for choice with museums and art galleries, while foodies hop from wine-making towns to markets spilling over with succulent fresh produce. 

Close your eyes and pick any of these top places to visit around Nice. You simply can’t go wrong. 

Related Reading: Best Things to do in Nice


Famous for its flavourful lemons and themed yearly festival to suit, Menton is an easy day trip from Nice on the edge of the Italian border. Spend the day strolling around pastel-coloured buildings, just as aristocrats have done since the time of Queen Victoria.

Walk up from the seaside through the postcard-pretty streets of the medieval Old Town. You’ll come to the baroque Basilica de Michael Archangel resplendent in yellow in the centre of town. 

Perched high atop the hill, the Cemetery of the Old Chateau features tombstones and statues framed by dazzling views. Wind your way back down, poking in and out of alleyways as you go, to the Jean Cocteau Museums. At the Bastion, you’ll see how the artist and film director designed the layout as a revolving door, with revolving exhibitions to match. 

Read More: Best Things to do in Menton

Nature flourishes in the historic surrounds, especially at the Serre de la Madone Garden and the Jardin Botanique Val Rahmeh-Menton. Discover olive trees and water gardens before a refreshing swim at Plage des Sablettes just steps from the old town. When hunger strikes, the palm-dotted promenade hosts plenty of restaurants to choose from.

To get there: Drive or catch the train for the 40-minute trip from Nice Ville Station to Menton. Or book this tour that takes in Menton and an Italian market over the border.


Boats and beautiful beaches characterise Antibes, with its 16th-century ramparts and the atmospheric Old Town adding to the inspiring scene. So inspiring, in fact, that it impressed the likes of Picasso and Graham Greene.

Delve into the cobbled, flower-filled streets complete with stone arches and brightly painted doorways. Snap some selfies with the Cathedral Notre-Dame, then set out to visit the Musee Picasso in the 14th-century Chateau Grimaldi. 

Time for a splash? Cool off in the sheltered cove of Plage de la Gravette beneath the ramparts, and squish your toes in the white sands of Plage de la Salis. Go boating from Antibes Yacht Club and laze on neighbouring Plage du Ponteil. If you fancy a touch of luxury, sink into a sunbed with waiter service at a beach club on Plage de la Garoupe.

To get there: Trips from Nice, France to Antibes only take around 20 minutes on the train, which is great as you’ll want all day to make the most of it. You can also drive the coastal road west of Nice and get there in double the time. Alternatively, book this French Riviera tour that spends time in Antibes.


Clinging dramatically to a mountainside overlooking the Mediterranean sea, Èze could easily be mistaken for a fairy-tale movie backdrop. Amble through the maze of medieval streets up to the ruins of castle walls and the Jardin Botanique d’Èze. Otherwise known as the Exotic Garden, it’s home to cacti, succulents and jaw-dropping views over the Gulf of Saint-Tropez and the Esterel mountains. 

You can’t miss the 18th-century Église Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption on the Place de l’Église. Pop inside to see the Egyptian cross before settling in at an enchanting restaurant in the village for a bite to eat.

If you’re in the mood for shopping, delightful souvenirs await. Perhaps none more so than the fragrant kind at Galimard, where tours showcase the perfume and soap-making process. 

Read More: Best things to do in Eze

When you’re in the mood for a gorgeous stroll and swim, head out on the Nietzsche trail in the footsteps of the philosopher of the same name. In around an hour, you’ll reach the end of the trail and signs to Plage d’Èze. After a relaxing float in the calm water, Avenue de la Liberté delivers your next round of food and drinks at beach clubs and restaurants.

To get there: Eze village is about an hour by car from Nice. Alternatively, catch the bus or train which is a little slower, but you’ll thoroughly enjoy the scenic ride. If you do take the train, be warned that you’ll face a steep walk up to the hilltop village from the seaside train stop.

=> You can also book tours, like this one, that will take you to Eze as part of a day trip from Nice.


The backdrop to many a movie scene, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat has long been a favoured vacation spot for royalty and the elite. This exclusive peninsula (commonly penned as the Peninsula of Billionaires) is dotted with luxury villas hidden behind beautifully manicured gardens, and tranquil coves with gently lapping shores.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be rich to visit this idyllic cape for yourself. Stroll the Sentier du Littoral for the best views of the shimmering shoreline, before settling in at a beach of your choice. The famous Paloma beach resides here, and is where you’ll find the seafront restaurant of the same name.

A short stroll away, the port is an elegant place to pass the time, with upmarket boutiques rubbing shoulders with refined restaurants. This is the main commerce centre of the peninsula, and you’ll have no trouble parting with your pennies!

Before you leave, pay a visit to the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, a stunning mansion-come-museum that was built in the early 20th century to house Beatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild’s expansive art collection. Wander through the fantastical themed gardens, dine like a dame in the tea room, and take in the exquisite collection of art, furnishings and architecture on display.

To get there: Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is a short drive from Nice, being just 11km from the city centre. You can take the train directly to Beaulieu-sur-Mer and walk from the train station back to Cap Ferrat, or jump on a bus. Alternatively, if you’re staying on the eastern side of Nice, you may enjoy the coastal walk around the headland and past Villefrance-sur-Mer.

=> If you’re up for something a little different, you can book a bike, E-Car, or boat tour of the peninsular such as the ones listed below:


Nice day trips take you to some of the most beautiful towns in southern France and this one’s a harbourside beauty. Villefranche-sur-Mer blends the deep blue of the sea and colourfully-painted houses with a backdrop of green hills.

Explore the cobbled stairways and lanes lined with flowerpots. Particularly interesting is Rue Obscure, an underground street once used for soldiers. 

The exquisite pastel colour scheme of the Church of St. Michael ensures it’s a standout for photos. Inside, see an organ that dates back to the late 18th century.

The sparkling harbour is always competing for your attention, and you’ll find La Citadelle on the water’s edge. Built between 1554 and 1559 to defend the gulf, it’s now home to museums and gardens. 

Just make sure you leave plenty of time for a leisurely meal at a waterfront restaurant and a splash in the stunning bay at Plage des Marinières.

To get there: This Nice day trip is one of the easiest, as public transportation or driving only takes around 15 minutes from the city centre. Alternatively, strap on your walking shoes and scale Mont Boron on the way over for spectacular views, or take the coastal path.

=> For a fun option, hire a 3-wheel vehicle to whiz around the coast.

St-Paul de Vence

Lose yourself among atmospheric cobbled lanes that inspire artists high in the hills on excursions from Nice. Saint-Paul de Vence pays homage to the likes of Matisse and Picasso who favoured the medieval village for its exquisite scenes dressed in enchanting light.

Not surprisingly, you’ll get your fix of gallery hopping among centuries-old stone cottages. The most famous is Fondation Maeght, with a treasure trove of works from 20th-century artists. 

Visit the St-Paul de Vence cemetery to see the resting place of many famous people, including artist Marc Chagall who lived in the village and painted local landscapes.

In the heart of the village, it’s not hard to imagine 17th-century locals fetching water in Place de la Grande Fontaine. Branch off from here down intriguing lanes to find chapels, charming cafes and surprise views.

To get there: Travel time is around 40 minutes from Nice by car. Alternatively, you can visit the village as part of an organized tour (that includes wine tasting) from Nice.


Classic Riviera glamour characterises this seaside town, with its red carpet Cannes film festival taking place in the Spring, and celebrity visitors. However, the glitz is just one reason Cannes is one of the most popular places to visit near Nice.

Start your day with a picturesque beachfront walk on La Croisette. There’s not much that doesn’t take place here, from morning jogs to seafood lunches and sunset cocktails. Plus, you’ll flit in and out of fashion boutiques between lazing on sunbeds with waiter service by the sea. 

Get a change of scenery in Le Suquet, the old town reached via steep roads and steps on a range of scenic routes. Soak up the views while savouring wine and charcuteries from the Forville market, and pop into Musée de la Castre. The medieval castle is home to musical instruments and collections of primitive arts from across the world. 

Back to that famous glamour, and you’ll find more of it among the rows of luxury yachts at the old Port. A perfect place to see and be seen, take your pick of waterfront bars and keep an eye out for famous people. More time for shopping? Even if you’ve stretched the budget, window shopping alone is a treat along the designer-brand-packed Rue d’Antibes.

To get there: Getting to Cannes is a breeze in around 30-45 minutes by train, bus or car. Alternatively, book a day tour such as this one that takes in Cannes and Antibes.

Île Ste-Marguerite

If you feel like some island-hopping, day tours from Nice make it possible. Part of the Lérins Islands, Île Ste-Marguerite and Île St-Honorat are just a 20-minute ferry or private boat ride from Cannes.

The former is home to the 17th-century Fort Royal, where the famous Man in the Iron Mask was held. Check out the underwater archaeology and shipwreck relics in the Sea Museum.

Then, set off on marked trails through pine and eucalyptus forests with dips in the turquoise sea between walks.

A similar traffic-free, serene experience awaits on pocket-sized Île St-Honorat, which belongs to the monks of Lérins Abbey. Follow the coastal trails and cross inland through umbrella pine trees. Along the way, discover the Cistercian abbey where monks tend to vineyards.

To get there: Take the ferry from Quai Laubeuf in Cannes. You can book your ticket in advance here.


Day trips from Nice, France by train transport you to Saint Tropez, famous the world over for spellbinding glamour. From celebrity-hunting paparazzi to designer boutiques and glittering nightlife venues, the red carpet lifestyle isn’t a myth.

Dive right into the scene or keep your comfy shoes on for exploring. Start at the colourful Vieux Port amid superyachts and cafes for spectacular people-watching.

Read More: Best things to do in Saint-Tropez

Venture into the postcard-perfect old town to meander around streets, squares and markets spilling with olives and cheeses. For a history fix, head to La Citadelle. The 17th-century fortress provides the ideal spot for panoramic photos, along with the Maritime Museums in the dungeons. 

Cool off at Plage des Graniers and Plage des Canoubiers in the company of white sand and crystal clear water.

Read More: The Best Beaches in Saint-Tropez

To get there: It’s possible to book a boat charter for a scenic trip from Nice of around two and a half hours. Alternatively, drive in around an hour and 30 minutes, or combine a train and bus trip to visit Saint-Tropez. 


In terms of places near Nice, France, Grasse is the sweetest smelling! The region basks in ideal conditions for fields of jasmine, rose and myrtle among many other flowers harvested for fragrances. Renowned since the 18th century for the famous perfumes of Provence, factories here offer guided tours for you to learn some insider secrets. The best thing is you can concoct your own signature scent at workshops.

Visit Musée International de la Parfumerie to delve into the aromatic history while admiring antique perfume bottles crafted by master glassmakers. The Fragonard perfumery is one of the oldest, and tours highlight where fragrances are distilled and bottled. Then, take your pick of scents to take home. 

Nearby is Musée Provençal du Costume et du Bijou with fabulous displays of period costumes. Wander into the labyrinth of narrow streets in the old city centre to dine at enchanting cafes dotted along the cobblestones.

To get there: Grasse is an easy 60-minute train trip from Nice, or you can drive there in around the same time. Alternatively, book this guided tour from Nice for a worry-free trip.


Among a number of ‘perched villages’ in the Nice hinterland, medieval Peillon is a photographer’s dream from every angle of its sheer clifftop vantage point.

If this sounds like you, the village is petite and pedestrian-only. Therefore, take as much time as you like framing up weathered doorways, vaulted passageways and stone balconies dripping with flowers. 

You’ll find sweeping views of the valley from the Church of Saint-Sauveur, recognisable by its yellow steeple. Short walks take you to other viewpoints, including from the Saint Roch Church. Though you’ll find a handful of hotels and restaurants, the beauty of Peillon is that it’s free of all the tourist trappings.

To get there: To visit this living outdoor museum, it’s about a 30-minute scenic drive from Nice. Beware that the last stretch is very steep and winding! It’s possible to catch the bus to Peille Village, have a look around, and take a lovely half-hour hike to Peillon. 


Monaco is an easy day trip from Nice

A Nice to Monaco day trip is virtually obligatory! Claims to fame include being the world’s second-smallest country and the host of the Formula One Grand Prix. That’s without mentioning the superyachts and high rollers zipping about town in extravagant fast cars.

This is a place where the glamour of the French Riviera meets James Bond-style opulence – all on the backdrop of sparkling seas and palm trees. 

A must is the lavish Casino de Monte Carlo where chandeliers and onyx columns greet you, along with the red and gold Salle Garnier theatre designed after the Paris opera house. Admire the white-stone Monaco Cathedral then settle in for a swim on Larvotto Beach. It’s just a stroll from Avenue Princess Grace for swish shopping.

To get there: Drive or take the bus for coastal views between Nice and the Principality of Monaco, but the train ride takes less than a half hour if you want to save travel time. Or book this tour to take in the splendor of Monaco once the sun goes down.

From the Promenade des Anglais to avant-garde art and watersports, there’s a little bit of everything nice in Nice. The city’s location ensures day trips near Nice deliver more show-stopping beaches and medieval wonders within easy, almost effortless reach. The only problem you’ll have is choosing the next destination… and the level of French Riviera glamour you’d like to indulge in.

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