Top 5 Towns To Visit on the French Riviera

If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you may know by now that I was lucky enough (see also: dumb enough with my money) to spend two glorious summer months in the South of France in 2022.

We were based in Nice for the entire trip, after deciding we wanted to have a solid base where we wouldn’t run out of things to do. Let me just say – we spent a LOT of time at the Nice train station. Like, so much that apparently I became a pro at the ticket machines and tourists were asking for my help every time we were there? Must have been my invisible SNCF badge.

Anyway, the station was basically our portal into all of the towns we wanted to visit along the French Riviera, with the exception of Saint-Tropez… but more on that later.

The trains for the coastal towns run every 30-minutes, and will take you as far as Ventimiglia, on the France/Italy border, and to Marseille before it starts to head inland.

We travelled to several towns, but I CERTAINLY had my favourites.

Monte Carlo, Monaco

Yes, I know Monaco is it’s own country and nottt part of France, but omg. What a place.

We travelled to and from Monaco several times throughout the trip, because we just couldn’t get enough – and it was only 25 minutes away from Nice. The entire city was so chic, elegant and a first-hand look into the world of the luxurious upper class. And whilst we certainly didn’t belong there (yet..), we found the locals to be extremely kind and down to earth.

The best weekend of my life was spent at the Monaco Grand Prix, which you can read about here, and the rest of our time in the small city was spent eating, drinking, making new friends, and getting lost taking the several lifts between streets. If no one has ever warned you that Monaco is built into a hill and it’s hard to naviagte at the beginning – consider this your warning.

For the complete Monaco experience, be sure to make a dinner booking at Buddha Bar, and head to Jimmy’z for a late night drink and dance.

If you’re visiting in summer, a dip at Nikki Beach at the Fairmont Hotel is the ultimate touch of luxe, and if you find yourself staying a little longer, you cannot skip out on the casino and Hotel de Paris.


The way this town made me feel like I was living in a dream reality, I genuinely will be booking my accommodation here the next time I get to the Riviera. It is so special.

Villefranche is a tiny town filled with narrow cobblestone streets, surrounded by colourful apartment buildings and charming cafes and eateries.

The beach at the end of town is packed during the warmer months – for good reason. The calm, turquoise waters famous in the area are the best way to keep cool, and this beach is no exception. It is only a 5 minute walk from the nearest strip of restaurants, and about 10 minutes from the train station.

Less than 15 minutes from the main station in Nice, this is a town not to be missed. You can see it all in a day.


I was devastated to only spend one day here towards the end of our time in France. It didn’t help that the day we chose to visit was 35 degrees and Ness was fighting a horrific chest infection.

Despite the fact we could only explore for a couple of hours, I LOVED this town. It was so charming and full to the brim with places to eat, bars to drink at, galleries and bookstores, gelato shops and French boutiques.

You’re bound to see some impressive super yachts while you’re here too – many of the yachts dock in at Antibes as most of the crew are based in the small town.


I WISH I could have spent more time exploring this picture-perfect town. We were lucky to be there during the Cannes Film Festival, and somehow snagged an invite to an event for Campari at Palais Beach Club. It was glitz, it was glam, and it was really, really fun.

We only had the early evening to get a feel for the town before heading to the event, and it was truly divine. Obviously it was full of people, but the vibe was immaculate. Everyone seemed happy and excited to be there. We made our way to the main street for dinner beforehand, and our toughest decision for the day was which alfresco area we wanted to sit at.

Now, we did get stranded in Cannes at 2am – partly our fault not realising the trains stop at 11pm – and it was pretty sketchy at night, BUT, we were fine in the end and just had to get a cab back to Nice. I think being in other countries always makes you appreciate your safety back home a LOT more.


This one crept up on us as a favourite! Again, we only spent a day here, but we actually reflected on how much we loved it after we left. It was soooo so gorgeous, the beach was stooning (as they all are) and the main street had an LA feel to it, being lined with tall palm trees and boutiques.

As with any town in the South of France, make sure you have working Google Maps. One wrong turn and you can end up at the wrong end of town, away from the beach or the best spots to eat.

There are so many incredible spots to see along the French Riviera, and this is only scratching the surface. I genuinely believe each town offered something unique, and everyone will find something they love.

If glistening ocean, luxurious beach clubs, delicious, fresh food and crisp drinks in the sun sound like your thing – then you’ll probably really love the South of France.

Now, just a quick note on Saint-Tropez

Before we wrap up – I am putting this in here because it is the place everyone knows, and wants to hear more about.

It was absolutely beautiful, but it was so unreasonably expensive – more than Monaco by a mile – that I was annoyed the whole time. I guess it is the playground for the rich and famous after all. I wlll say Saint-Tropez was not what I was expecting. It was so incredibly.. cute? The designer stores tucked into the alleyways was unlike anything I had ever seen.

We took the ferry from Nice – as there is no train line to this particular town – and it took 2.5 hours each way. It was a little long, especially on the way back, but we did see a whale on the way which made up for it.

Wherever you go, be sure to order a cold glass of rosé for me!


Kelly x

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