Europe,  Travel Guides

Nice and the French Riviera: Tips & perfect day trips

If there’s a place you should live like a local and stay in an Airbnb, it’s the south of France. The French Riviera is full of quaint, oceanside towns, with food that’s locally inspired and grown within the region, and culture that permeates music, eclectic shops, and relaxed way-of-life. 

With that, if you’re staying in Nice, here are a few travel tips to make your journey easier.

Stay in an Airbnb

Yes, you can stay in a traditional hotel, but honestly, it takes away from the experience and can get really expensive really quickly. The south of France is full of local flare, so get a taste of it and stay at an Airbnb, like this one with beautiful views of Old Nice and live inside a piece of history. 

If you decide to go out, enjoy the offerings at the Hotel Negresco as they often host events, DJs, great drinks, food—all oceanfront. It’s the best of both worlds.

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Airbnb Experiences and food tours

One of my favourite ways to get to know a city is through food. You can sign up for some great local tours through Airbnb Experiences, but get to know some of the surrounding areas as well!

Some of ours include Èze and Monaco. Both are less than an hour’s drive outside of Nice and is accessible by public transportation.

Driving around

Speaking of getting around, you can either rent a car and park (parking isn’t the cheapest in the south of France but can be economical if you have a whole family) or take transit. Nice has a great train system that takes you along the towns on the Riviera (more below) but will tie you to a train’s schedule.

The beauty of Nice is that you can hit up multiple towns in a day if you’re efficient with your time. 

Great day trips and favourite towns to visit

Aix-en-Provence

This is a great day trip. As part of this, we went up to Luberon and Gordes to see the lush lavender fields. Depending on the time of year, it can be really hot, so this is a great way to head north and up to catch the breeze. Aix-en-Provence also has a beautiful morning flea market and lovely winding old town full of quaint restaurants for lunch and dinner and local shops for treats and souvenirs. 

Cannes

A different kind of a day trip, Cannes is a short drive from Nice along the coast, featuring a star-studded town known for its film festivals and elegant shopping. Whether you’re there for a day of shopping, celeb spotting, or just to stroll around, the beachfront town is perfect to explore the sights and sounds of a place known for doing things up big.

On the way to Cannes, makes sure to stop by Antibes for a walk through their marina.

Monaco 

My last and one of my favourite day trips was to Monaco. It’s a small country nestled along the Riviera, but one you can’t miss. Only an hour outside of Nice, Monaco is famous for the rich, abundant with casinos, Italian labels, and mountainous terrain looking out to the stunning blue hues of the ocean.

Even if you’re not a gambler, make sure you head out just to walk around and eat at one of their restaurants. One of my recommendations is seafood at Les Perles de Monte-Carlo. 

Winston is currently a freelance technology and travel broadcast journalist, consultant, and is the creator and founder of Master Travellr—Canada’s destination for travel news, guides, and budget recommendations.

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