In order to get to the French Riviera, you will want to fly into the Nice airport. From there, you have a variety of options for where you want to stay and how you want to get to your accommodations. From the Nice airport, if you decide to stay in downtown Nice, there’s a bus that goes into the city center (the 98 goes to the nice Ville train station and the 99 to the center of town).
Trains run fairly frequently. Anywhere from 2-4 times an hour depending on the location. Do note that some transportation (buses in particular) might stop running at night.
We took a train from Nice Ville to Eze (there are 2 train stations in Nice but this was closer to us). It’s about a 15 minute train ride and costs about 2.80 euro. Then we chose to hike up to Eze (takes over an hour, maybe less if you are dressed appropriately. Note that we had no idea what we were signing up for when we decided to walk up. It was definitely a HIKE and we were not dressed for it). You can also catch the 82 bus from Nice and take it straight to the village (problem is it does not run that frequently so if you do not want to hike, I recommend just catching it originally in Nice) with a small walk up just to the quaint part of town where the exotic gardens are.
You can hike down or take the bus down and catch the train at the bottom but I would recommend taking the 112 bus from Eze to Monaco (takes about 30 minutes but then you do not have to worry about transitioning from bus to train). This costs 1.50 euro
Take a train or bus, but train is quicker and easier and worth the extra few euros if you ask me.
Take the train, it’s easy and quick (anywhere from 25-40 minutes depending on which train you choose)
The big places to hit are Nice, Monaco, and Cannes. We stayed in Nice for 2 nights and used it as our home base since it is a pretty central point. If you want to have a beach day, Nice and Cannes would be the best places to do that. We went in October so it wasn’t beach weather anymore. Antibes is supposed to be alright for the beach too. I would recommend hitting up Eze if you go to Monaco. Menton and Antibes are 2 other places you can check out too. To orient yourself and think about where to stay, the order of all these along the water (ignoring small places between) is Cannes, Antibes, Nice, Eze, Monaco, Menton
Sidewalk that runs along the main water
Main, busy street with lots of shopping
Short walk up for a beautiful view of Nice and the water
Central busier area
Area with lots of restaurants and nice to walk around briefly
Famous casino; note that you need a valid ID (drivers license or passport—NOT A COPY). It costs 10 to 20 euros to enter and it’s pretty small. If you go at night, you need to dress up to try to fit in.
There’s also a nice little Boardwalk with a view of all those expensive yachts behind the casino that is a nice quick walk
Palace and cathedral are here. The best part about this area was the panoramic view from the top of the hill
Monaco is beautiful and not too large so I would highly recommend stopping in the village of Eze on your way there. It’s a quaint little town on the top of a hill/mountain. Depending on the transportation you choose will depend on where you end up. We chose to take the train from Nice to Eze. This was great and quick, however it does not take you to the actual village, it takes you to the bottom of the area essentially. In order to actually get to the cute village, you can either take the 82 bus from the train station (or take that starting back from Nice and forget the train completely) to the top or you can HIKE up. I emphasize hike because we thought it would be a quick and easy walk so we decided to hike. However, it was uphill for just over an hour straight and none of us were dressed appropriately. I was in jeans, flat sandals and a tank top. I still enjoyed the hike but would’ve loved it if I were dressed appropriately and adequately prepared for it. There were some gorgeous views so if you’re up for it and it’s a nice day, I would highly recommend it. (We did not hike down, just up).
Only 2.50 euros with a valid student ID. The special part about these gardens isn’t the gardens necessarily, but the panoramic view at the top.
If you go down past some of the hotels and more into a less quaint part of the town, it is busier and there are a bunch more restaurants. There’s also a little perfumery to check out. Down here is where you get dropped off for the bus and can catch the bus.
This is a beach destination if you come during the summer months. It was rainy for us so we did not spend a ton of time here. We walked along the water and through the old town to the top and had another nice panoramic view.
Where a big movie festival is held and see the famous stairs.
If you like French pastries, we really liked the place called Jean Luc Pelé, about a 2 minute walk from the train station in Cannes
Restaurant in downtown Nice with tasty fries
Very casual place to get gyros
French spot in Old Town
Bar in Nice
Good spot for macaroons