The French Riviera is the stretch of coastline between Provence and the Mediterranean Sea in the south of France. This cluster of coastal communities is well-known for its picture-perfect landscapes, easygoing culture, sandy beaches, upscale boutiques, and gorgeous people.
The French Riviera, often known as the Côte d’Azur, begins in the east at St. Tropez and continues all the way west to the border with Italy. The main city is Nice, and other tourist hotspots include the principality of Monaco, the city of Antibes with its Roman remains, the picturesque hill town of Eze, and the principality of Cannes with its world-famous film festival.
Take a leisurely stroll along the beachside boardwalk, people-watch at a sidewalk café, or relax on the sand. Rent a private boat from Cannes, ride above Nice in a helicopter, or take the wheel of a Lamborghini or Ferrari to experience the finer things in life.
The towns located along this beautiful coast are not only great places to visit for a day but also excellent jumping-off points to see the rest of Provence. You might visit the hilltop town of Grasse, famous for its Fragonard perfumes, or the old Roman aqueduct of Pont du Gard in Verdon Gorge. From Cannes or Nice, you may take a day excursion to some quaint Italian markets for some retail therapy.
Top 10 tourist attractions in French Riviera (Côte d’Azur)
Here’s a list of the best 10 tourist attractions to visit in the stunning area of the French Riviera.
- Villa & Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild
The beaches and resorts of St. Tropez have been a popular destination for the rich and famous since the 1950s. It hasn’t lost any of its charms and is still popular today. This magical city is one of the several charming lands located on the French Riviera. St. Tropez is a charming medieval port on the Mediterranean near both Cannes and Nice. Its historic district and narrow streets are paved with cobblestones.
At the same time, though, its port is full of gorgeous boats, and it has upscale, exclusive beach clubs that cater to the requirements of the affluent and famous. Guests visiting St. Tropez will undoubtedly want to spend some time lounging on one of the city’s renowned beaches, the most famous of which is Pampelonne. St. Tropez also has a thriving nightlife scene and several places to eat and shop.
Even though it shares borders with France on three sides, the small principality of Monaco has a personality of its own along the French Riviera. In the minds of the public, the very word of the principality brings up pictures of multimillion-dollar boats, cash-draining casinos, and luxurious hotels.
Gambling establishments are largely responsible for making Monaco a popular tourist destination along the French Riviera, with the casino in Monte Carlo continuing to draw in many visitors to this day. Guests may also see the guards change at Monaco-Ville, a palace converted from a medieval stronghold, and visit the city’s aquarium.
Nice is a gorgeous city and the biggest resort on the French Riviera as well as a significant port for France. Being the sixth biggest city in France, it naturally has a wide variety of attractions and amenities to offer guests, including some of the best dining and shopping in all of France.
Visitors planning to visit Nice may spend the day taking in the sights along the city’s pebbly beaches, strolling along the Promenade des Anglais, or exploring the city’s historic core. The city of Nice really comes to life after dark. Visitors may dance the night away at one of the city’s clubs or just spend the evening at one of the numerous bars.
Once a little fishing hamlet, Cannes has transformed into a beautiful coastal city thanks in large part to the annual Cannes Film Festival, which has been held there since the early 20th century. Every year in May, the city of Cannes organizes the annual Cannes Film Festival, where hundreds of films are shown to thousands of fans who line the red carpet outside the Palais des Festivals to get a glimpse of Hollywood’s celebrities as they make their way up the stairs.
La Croisette is the stunning waterfront promenade that leads up to the Palais des Festivals and is surrounded by palm trees, high-end hotels, and restaurants, as well as luxury boutiques like Gucci, Chanel, and Dior. People come to the Promenade des Anglais to sunbathe on the beaches and to walk, rollerblade, and ride bicycles along the promenade. Also, the area is home to a wealth of historical and cultural landmarks worth seeing.
Villa & Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild
Formerly owned by Baroness Beatrice de Rothschild, the coastal villa is known as the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild. It’s a wonderful house with a setting on the Cap Ferrat Peninsula with beautiful landscaping all around. This rose-colored home, also called the Villa Ile-de-France, looks out over both the Bay of Villefranche and the Bay of Beaulieu and is a sight to see.
After the baroness passed away, she left behind the home and its furnishings to the Institut de France’s Academie des Beaux-Arts. The Ephrussi de Rothschild Villa is now available for tours, and it is one of the best attractions on the French Riviera.
- Address: 1 Av. Ephrussi de Rothschild, 06230 Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France.
- Timings: every day from 10 AM to 6 PM.
Overlooking the stunning Mediterranean Sea from an elevation of 430 meters (1,400 feet) lies the medieval town of Eze, which has been fortified. Eze is a picturesque village with its bougainvillea-draped mansions and narrow, winding lanes located on the French Riviera and considered one of its best attractions.
Le Jardin Exotique d’Eze is a garden full of exotic plants and gorgeous sculptures that also gives some of the greatest views of the surrounding region and is worth a visit while in Eze, as are the Galimard and Fragonard perfumeries, both of which have been open to the public since the early 20th century.
This lovely village, perched high on a rocky outcrop, is best discovered through the Nietzsche trail, a network of narrow lanes and sturdy stone homes (named for the German philosopher who once lived here).
Menton, on the Mediterranean coast of France, is the closest city to Italy and has a moderate temperature all year. This city is one of the best attractions to visit on the French Riviera. The sunshine and warmth help the growth of colorful blossoms and juicy oranges. Vieille Ville (Old Town) in Menton has a strong Italian flavor, which is fitting given the town’s Mediterranean setting.
Menton is a charming town known for its subtropical environment and breathtakingly gorgeous gardens, and it opens out to the brilliant green waters between Monaco and the Italian border. The citron de Menton originates here, and you may sample some during the springtime La Fête du Citron festival or on the city’s expansive La Citronneraie lemon grove. The fragrant, flower-covered Fontana Rosa Garden is another great spot for nature enthusiasts.
This beautiful beach resort between Nice and Cannes was historically a Greek commercial port. Nowadays, this small town is one of the French Riviera’s top attractions to visit. Antibes has preserved many features from its past for modern tourists to enjoy, including its fortifications and winding, cobblestone alleyways. Antibes, the second biggest town on the French Riviera, is home to many historical landmarks, but it is also home to many modern attractions.
One of the best harbors in the Mediterranean may be found there as well. The famed artist Pablo Picasso spent 1946 in Antibes, and the town’s Musee Picasso is devoted to his life and work. The museum may be found in what was once the grand residence of the illustrious Grimaldi family—the Chateau Grimaldi.
Saint-Paul de Vence is a medieval hilltop town that is well-preserved and attracts many visitors every year as it is one of the best tourist attractions all over the French Riviera. You’ll find a wide variety of museums, galleries, and artist studios in this cultural hub, including the renowned Fondation Maeght.
In fact, Marc Chagall, a renowned painter, spent around 20 years of his life in the picturesque town of Saint-Paul de Vence. Saint-Paul de Vence is a picturesque village situated on a hilltop with picture-perfect vistas of the sea, the surrounding countryside, and the Alps.
Cassis is a picturesque, pristine beach town known for its Calanques, which are small limestone bays backed by towering cliffs, the most renowned (and most difficult to get to) of which is Calanque d’En-Vau. Cassis is one of the best attractions you get to visit on the French Riviera.
The resort’s meandering alleyways are home to some of the unique shops on the Riviera, and the picturesque harbor is a hive of activity with brightly painted fishing boats called pointus. All of this is set against the dramatic backdrop of France’s highest cliff, the 394-meter Cap Canaille.