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  • "Week in the French Riviera. Top what to do in Nice, Marseille, etc."

Kirsty Marr

Aberdeen, United Kingdom

Week in the French Riviera. Top what to do in Nice, Marseille, etc.

Spending a week in the French Riviera area with my boyfriend, planning to stay in Nice and Marseille areas, perhaps visit Monaco and Antibes. Any suggestions? Top picks for a short amount of time? Beaches, food, drinks, and entertainment suggestions welcome. More in the cheap to moderate range rather than expensive. 

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  • Nice (city)

    Nice Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

    6 mentions

  • Monaco (country)

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  • Marseille (city)

    Marseille Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

    3 mentions

  • Jasper van der Meer

    top answer by

    Hi Kirsty! Good choice, French Riviera or Côte d’Azur as the French say it is a beautiful place, with a lot of sunshine and a lot of beautiful people, sightings and things to see.


    You can really make it as expensive or cheap as you want, really. I suggest you start out in Nice, as I assume you are landing there from the UK, but that can be in Marseille as well of course. Either way, I'm not very well known in Marseille, so I can't really help you there, but I do know a thing or two in the Nice to Monaco area, all the way to Menton .

    Sleep

    You need a place to sleep. Depending on how easy going and forgiving you are, you could choose a hostel. They're cheap, but they're just that: A hostel. Don't expect anything special, really. If you decide to go that way, I can recommend Ho(s)tel Paradis Paradis Hotel on 1 Rue Paradis, it's located right in between the Armani and Louis Viutton store, and it's cheap as heck :) We really had pleasant stays there, and the rooms are quite comfy even for such an old building. They got private rooms so you don't have to sleep in a bunk bed like in some other hostels :)

    Nice old town ( Centre Vieux)

    Really, this place is an attraction in itself. So much traditional French vibes going on there with ancient buildings, beautiful churches and cathedrals if you're into that, a lot of different influences, smells, faces, nationalities all packed together in really atmospheric, but sometimes at night a bit creepy small old streets, I love it. Do check out Maison De La Pizza located on 12 Rue Mascoinat and have a drink at bar De Klomp , both served us great. Also check out the ice cream vendor on the square with the church right in that old town, they've got like 100 different ice flavours :)

    Watch out for the restaurants on the fish market, they do offer cheap or relatively affordable food but have the balls to charge up to €8 for a simple Coke!

    Monaco

    Take the bus (line 100) from just around the corner at Nice Garibaldi to Monaco for just €1,50 (you can pay cash in the bus) and enjoy this great busride right over the coastline. There's one stop before the bus heads into a tunnel and it always stops there. Sit tight, the stop after that is right in the harbour of Monaco, and it's gorgeous. Get out at the Casino and feast your eyes on the casino building, surrounded by amazing and crazy expensive cars and overly posh people. it's an amazing 'point-and-oooh' location, so to speak :)

    From the casino you can walk down to the harbour again and have a drink over at Zest . They're not really expensive and offer a great view over the harbour of Monaco. This is of course especially beautiful with great weather!

    Be sure to walk over the Avenue Princesse Grace , right past the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort and the Monaco Beach if you want to see a beautiful, albeit small beach.

    All beaches are pebble beaches in that region, except for this fake beach in Monaco right next to the resort and Jimmy’z .

    This bus transportation system takes you everywhere in the region for dirt cheap, and the train system runs nearly flawless as well. We found that even the trainstation of Monaco is beautiful. Marble everywhere, it's crazy.

    So have a pizza, visit the old town, go on a bus and have a few drinks at de Klomp or any bar you prefer, there really are plenty. Do watch out: after 10pm CET prices usually go up.

    Enjoy! :)

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    • Kirsty M.

      Kirsty M.

      Thanks a bunch! Super detailed and very helpful :) · (1 likelikes)

    • Jasper v.

      Jasper v.

      you're welcome! :) Enjoy! · (0 likelikes)

    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. French Riviera (region)
    2. Côte d’Azur (region)
    3. Marseille (city)
    4. Nice (city)
    5. Monaco (country)
    6. Menton (city)
    7. Paradis Hotel (hotel)
    8. Maison De La Pizza (restaurant)
    9. De Klomp (attraction)
    10. Zest (restaurant)
    11. Avenue Princesse Grace (attraction)
    12. Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort (hotel)
    13. Monaco Beach (attraction)
    14. Jimmy’z (attraction)

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  • Courtney Robinson

    answered by

    Hi, Kristy,

    You're visiting one of my favorite parts of the world! My favorite part of Nice is called Vieux Nice which is the oldest part of the city. The architecture in this part of town is just amazing--it always looks like the set of Les Mis to me! The cafes here are also considerably cheaper than in other parts of town.

    My favorite thing about Nice is the Marche Aux Puces (flea market) on Monday mornings at the Cours Saleya which, even without the flea market, is a lovely town square. It's not the cheapest market I've ever been to, but the merchandise is excellent. There's also an incredible flower market there the other days of the week.

    I would definitely check out Monaco which is one of my absolute most favorite places in the world! There's not a lot to do there (unless you have a ton of money), but it's insanely beautiful and a really fascinating place. If you're interested in Monagasque history at all, you have to see the Prince's Palace of Monaco. You'll have to take a guided tour but it's worth it. I was fascinated to see the courtyard where all the royal weddings take place. The area around it is just tacky little souvenir shops but the view from up there is incredible. I've never gambled at the Monte-Carlo Casino but I've been in it and it is amazing!

    Personally, I am a HUGE Saint-Tropez fan. Yes, it's crowded and it's become incredibly commercial, but I still absolutely love it. Aside from being an absolutely stunning little town, the people watching is like no other place on the planet. It's mostly stores and restaurants (no one really goes to St. Tropez for the museums), but it really is the quintessential French Riviera town. You'll have to either drive there or take the bus and be warned--the traffic in and out of here is like no other traffic I've ever experienced--seriously be prepared to go two miles an hour for a long time. You can take a ferry for about $100 per person which will literally save you hours in drive time.

    So jealous--have a great time!!!

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    • Kirsty M.

      Kirsty M.

      Wow thanks for all the info! I'm looking forward to it :) · (0 likelikes)

    • Courtney R.

      Courtney R.

      My pleasure, Kristy! You're going to have so much fun there!!! · (0 likelikes)

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  • thomas harlay

    answered first by

    Monaco , Nice and Antibes are enough. Marseille is a bit further and not really worth a visit, unless you can visit the "Calanque d'en Vau". Inland "Provence" is a much better alternative, like around Draguignan . One of the best beach is just west of Monaco, small but pretty at Plage De La Mala, short walk from train station.

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    • Courtney R.

      Courtney R.

      I completely agree about Marseille--it's never been a big favorite of mine, either and not really worth the effort. · (0 likelikes)

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    2. Nice (city)
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  • Andrew Kamphey

    answered by

    a great way to see nature: Take the 1 euro train from Nice to Eze which lies between Nice and Monaco . Once at the train station there is an option of taking a bus from the train station up to the city of Eze Or you can take the trail.

    The Nietzsche Trail takes you up and up and up straight into the small town. Named so because Nietzsche himself walked the trail every day finishing Thus Spake Zarathustra. It takes an out of shape man such as myself about an hour to get up. But if you're in shape and run/jog, Only 29 minutes. It's a great view so bring your camera along.

    In Eze there are shops and cafes. Lots of tourists which prompted me to spend more time on the trail. Or you can take a bus from Eze straight back to Nice along the Middle Corniche.



    Another great town to visit it just north of Monaco . La Turbie has Trophy of Augustus or Le Trophée d'Auguste if you want to get fancy. You'll need to take the bus (1 euro) from the Train station.

    It's a nice little town, very few tourists make it past Monaco to here. Great little town to wander around as well. Just check the bus schedule well as there are only a few busses here each day.

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  • Seán O'Hara

    answered by

    In Nice, be sure and try socca! Sort of like a chickpea crepe, a Nicoise specialty! My wife and I stumbled upon it accidentally during our visit there and it was wonderful! Someday I hope to figure how to make it myself.


    The Best Socca In Nice

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    • Kirsty M.

      Kirsty M.

      Sounds interesting, thanks for sharing! · (0 likelikes)

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  • Jeff Mills

    answered by

    If you get a chance to spend a night in a small town, check out Le Lavandou it is a great smaller town and the atmosphere is perfect to just forget a day and wander, eat good food and have some nice wine.

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  • Jessica Mills

    answered by

    It ain't cheap, but a glass of champagne at the famed Le Negresco is a must. Even their bathrooms are on my top 10 things to see in Nice !

    http://www.hotel-negresco-nice.com

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  • Anthony Roux

    answered by

    Hello!

    For Nice you definitely have to see Place Masséna (by day and by night).

    You also have the Le Chateau that is beautiful in Nice!

    You can easily find many bars/restaurants in the old town. My favorite place to go out is Wayne's Bar (you can eat there as well). It's (for me) the best place to dance/drink. From 8:30pm-10:30pm you have a band playing acoustics songs. Then from 10:30 to 00:30 you have a rock band playing on stage and everybody is dancing on the table. And then from 00:30 to 2:00 you have a DJ.

    Some other interesting place to go out:

    - Sarl bulldog pub aka Pompeii (bar with a rock band).

    - Le Sansas (salsa bar).

    To eat I don't know many restaurants. You have La Maison de Marie. A bit expensive (you can find the menu on their website) but the place and the food are great.

    Around Nice you should take time to visit Eze and Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat they are beautiful and you have some bus to go there pretty easily.

    To stay I would advise to find a hotel around Masséna place or Nice Old Town (this is the place with all shops, restaurant, bars).

    Enjoy your stay here :)

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  • Denis Vaujier

    answered by

    Hello Kirsty, you can visit Promenade des Anglais (website) to Nice. Great place to walk, but be careful in evening, lot of problem with local people... In the day, it's very beautiful and lot of thinkg to do ;)

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    • Debbie L.

      Debbie L.

      Sounds lovely, Denis! Thank you for sharing. By the way, I'm a community manager here and I've helped you highlight the promenade in your answer on a map! In the future, you can do this yourself as you answer a question by simply typing the @-symbol followed by the name of the place. Take a look at your map next to your answer :) · (0 likelikes)

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  • David Mäki

    answered by

    I lived in Marseille as a part of my studies for 7 months and I found a lot of cool areas around the city.

    Cheap and good food as well as drinks can be found in the area Cours Julien, sort of the trendy, artsy area of Marseille, not far from Vieux-Port. Really liked the Bar/café Au Petit Nice, with cheap drinks and a lot of young people. Just at Vieux Port, one of the better bars to hang out with a big outside area is called The Shamrock, a very popular hangout for students and a lot of good beers and drinks.

    The beaches close to the city like the Plage du Prado are good and the area also has big public lawns, restaurants and bars.

    For a more adventures I would highly recommend the Massif des Calanques, taking bus 21 towards Luminy and walking for 30 minutes. Beaches as well as gorgeous scenary well worth the walk there!

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  • Ena Kukić

    answered by

    Hello Kirsty,

    just a quick tip: visit Château d'If when you're in Marseille. It's an island, mostly known as Monte Cristo's island (books, movies), very close to Marseille and easily reachable by boat. Enjoy!

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  • Caroline Reilly

    answered by

    Make sure to visit Monaco! It's super cute and very chic... You'll feel like a movie star!

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