France, French Riviera

The BEST day trips from Nice, France

So you’re planning a trip to the French Riviera and have decided to base yourself in Nice? Great choice! I always recommend Nice as a great home base when visiting the French Riviera, also known as the Côte d’Azur. It is super central, has lots of food and accommodation options and, the best part is, you can take so many day trips from Nice to explore this region of France!

Here you’ll find a summary of the best day trips you can take from Nice, all of which can be achieved using public transit! For each destination, I’ll go over how to get there from Nice and why it is a worthwhile day trip to add to your French Riviera itinerary.

*Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking one of these links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.


Powered by GetYourGuide


Tips for visiting Nice

🚂 You do NOT need a car! The beauty of this region is that it is extremely accessible by public transportation. Mainly by train!! There are fast, reliable trains that stop at most cities along the coast and it is incredibly affordable! We always book our train travel in France using Trainline. You can find the schedules and prices laid out for you, so you can book the best tickets for you!

☀️ Shoulder season is the ideal time to visit. The French Riviera is insanely popular to visit during the summer season. It’s known for its beaches so it makes sense! But if you want to avoid the crowds, shoulder season, so spring and early fall, are great alternatives. We even visited in April and found it to be super comfortable and not too packed!

📆 Plan at least 4-5 full days to visit the Riviera. If you really want to have time to take some day trips from Nice, explore different towns, and get to know this region of France, give yourself enough time. You can easily spend 4-5 days here. I always recommend at least 1 day to get to know Nice and then give yourself a couple of days for day trips to visit other cute towns in France. Most of the towns I include on this list are super small so you can do most as a half-day trip! If you need help with your itinerary, click here!


Where to stay in Nice?

Hostel Ozz ($): The hostel has excellent reviews on Trip Advisor and has a coffee shop and game room onsite!

Hotel de France ($$): Awarded Traveller’s Choice on Trip Advisor in 2023! The space was recently renovated and looks really cute inside!

Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Mediterranee ($$$): Another property that was awarded Traveller’s Choice on Trip Advisor in 2023! On-site, you can find a pool, beach access, gym, and lounge!


Best day trips from Nice, France

Villefranche-sur-Mer – Closest to Nice

Left: the colourful streets of Villefranche-sur-Mer Middle: a girl smiling with bright yellow buildings behind her Right: a girl sitting at a restaurant with the harbour behind her

10-minute train ride from Nice

🚂 It’s roughly a 10-minute walk from the Villefranche-sur-Mer train station to the Old Town.

Villefranche-sur-Mer was one of my favorite day trips we took from Nice. This colorful town in France is still relatively underrated. Although not a huge town in the French Riviera, it is super quaint and charming. We fell in love!

On our visit, we spent the morning here and we found that was the perfect amount of time. In 2 hours, you’ll have enough time to walk around the quiet streets, explore along the beach, and maybe even visit the Old Citadel. The walk along the Citadel walls offers gorgeous views of the water! You can, of course, spend more time here if you’d like to grab a meal or enjoy the beach!

We loved it so much here that we even came back for dinner on a separate night. Since Villefranche-sur-Mer is a seaside, port town, we wanted to have a seafood meal right on the water. There were a few places to choose from but we opted for Lou Bantry!


Monaco – Most popular

Powered by GetYourGuide


20-minute train ride from Nice

🚂 Depending on where your first stop is, it’s roughly a 12-minute walk from the Monte Carlo station to the Monte Carlo Casino or a 20-minute to the Palais des Princes de Monaco.

I will say that Monaco was probably the busiest and most crowded of all of the day trips we took from Nice. Although it’s not a part of France and is its own country, it is still very easy to get there by train and it’s super popular.

Monaco is famous for its wealth. You can find the famous Monte Carlo Casino, rows and rows of yachts in Port Hercule, the Formula 1 racetrack as well as some of the most luxurious shops in the world!

The BEST thing to do in Monaco would be to head up to Monaco City. This is the Old Town of Monaco that is on the other side of the Port Hercule across from Monte Carlo. In Monaco City you can find alleyways of tiny streets, the Palais des Princes de Monaco, and some of the most beautiful views in the French Riviera!


Menton – My personal favourite

A girl walking through the bright yellow streets of Menton - my favorite day trip to take from Nice

35-40 minute train ride from Nice

🚂 From the train station, it is roughly a 10-minute walk to the Menton Promenade

My favourite of all of the day trips we took from Nice was to Menton. It is a little bit further down the coast, close to the border of France and Italy, so not many people opt for this day trip, but trust me it’s worth it! Menton, also known as the pearl of France, is famous for its lemons. So much so that they even have a lemon festival that takes place in February!

Whats unique about Menton is that it is a mix of both French and Italian cultures. You’ll find a lot of Italian influences, especially in terms of food, while the buildings still hold their French style.

What to do in Menton? You can’t miss the view of the city from the Vieux Port de Menton and the Plages des Sablettes. You also must walk along Rue Saint Michel and visit local shops and markets. My favorite stores were Maison Bremend 1830 and La Maison du Citron. Last but not least, walk up Rue de la Conception to visit the Basilica St Michel and admire the view of the Rampe Saint Michel!


Cannes – Film Festival fame

25-40 minute train ride from Nice

🚂 It is roughly a 10-minute walk from the Cannes train station to the Cannes Palais des Festivals

You probably recognize Cannes as the famous film festival! In fact, you can visit the Palais des Festivals to get the red carpet experience! For a great view, you can head up to Suquet, the older area of the town, and over to Eglise Notre Dame d’Esperance. You can also enjoy the promenade, the castle, and the luxurious shopping!

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Summer in France: the BEST places to visit


Èze – Medieval village

A girl looking at the French Riviera coastline from atop of the hillside town of Èze, one of the most popular day trips from Nice

30-50 minute bus ride from Nice

🚌 The #602 bus departs from the Vauban GR bus terminal. Make sure you get off at Èze Village.

Èze used to be the French Riviera’s best-kept secret but it has grown in popularity recently. This special town is a medieval village sitting on top of the mountain. From here you have spectacular views of the coastline and walking along the adorable streets is so picturesque!

I would highly recommend coming here early in the morning or even consider staying the night here so you can experience Èze without the crowds of tourists. It is a small, medieval town, meaning that it naturally feels a lot more crowded as the streets are already narrow.

To keep in mind: Do not make the mistake of taking the train to Èze. If you do, you’ll have to walk roughly an hour up hill to get to the actual town. The train does not go into the mountains but stays along the coastline. The best way to day trip to Èze from Nice is to take the bus or go by Uber!


Saint Paul de Vence – alternative to Èze

1-1.5 hour bus ride from Nice

🚌 You’ll be taking the bus from Parc Phoenix in Nice and getting off at St Paul Village. Here is the timetable for the bus! You can also take the train to Cagnes sur Mer and then take the bus from there (this is the fastest option).

If you loved how Èze sounded but weren’t too interested in battling crowds, Saint Paul de Vence is probably your best bet. This is another town that’s nestled in the mountains, filled with medieval history and cobblestone streets. This is one of the less common day trips from Nice and you’ll definitely enjoy the quieter side of France here. On your day trip, you’ll probably want to enjoy dinner with a view, wander the medieval town and its ramparts, and enjoy the local shops!


Antibes – most authentic

Powered by GetYourGuide


15-25 minute train ride from Nice

🚂 Its about a 15-minute walk from the Antibes Train Station to the Old Town.

Antibes is another underrated gem along the French Riviera. Compared to other day trips from Nice, this one actually might be a little less busy! Unlike other towns in this part of France, Antibes isn’t as luxurious and has a more authentic feel, which makes it much more laid-back and charming.

In Antibes you can visit the Cap d’Antibes if you love a nature walk, the Picasso museum if you’re an art lover, the Fort Carré if you love history, and the local market if you’re a foodie!

To keep in mind: You might notice that the ‘things to do’ in each of these day trips might start to sound the same. They all have the same basic experience; beach, old town, markets etc. What sets them apart from each other is the ‘vibe’. The vibe you get from Antibes is ‘authentic’, in Monaco it’s luxurious’, Villefranche-sur-Mer it’s colorful, and so on!


Saint Tropez – best nightlife 

2.5-hour ferry from Nice

⛴️ If you opt to go by ferry, it only runs once a day, leaving at 9 am from Nice Port and leaving at 7 pm from Saint Tropez. This option is only available from May to October! You can find more information here!

What’s funny about Saint Tropez is that it originally was a small, humble fishing village but now has become a world-renowned luxurious beach destination! If you’re looking for the best nightlife in the French Riviera you’ve come to the right place!

On your day trip, you can visit the Citadel, wander around the port, spend some time at the beach, or shop at the market. In my opinion, when we were researching day trips in Nice, we opted to leave France and head to Monaco instead. To us, it offered the same experience as Saint Tropez but was closer and more convenient!


Which stop are you going to first?

Best day trips from Nice

By now you have PLENTY of day trips from Nice that will take you all across this corner of France. Personally, I adored this part of France and really see why it has become so popular and loved all around the world.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Best train-friendly day trips from Lille

If you need help making the most of your trip to France, after living there for 2 years I have started to help people plan their trips. Whether you need help building your itinerary, have specific questions about visiting France, or are looking for custom recommendations, you can check out my services here! I’d love to help you have a memorable, incredible visit to France!

Share this!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

girl smiling in front of a castle

Caity Zagar

Travel Planner & Blogger

Welcome to CZ Phones Home! I’m here to help make your travels easier by giving you tips, advice and inspiration to make your trips memorable!

Featured Posts
Popular Posts