The optimal location of Nice allows discovery of other cities and sites in the area. While I stress the importance of getting to know Nice, there are some unmissable places to explore along the coast.
Saint Paul de Vence
About an hour bus ride from Nice, this medieval town with a rich history is perfect for a quick trip. We visited this quaint village during orientation and enjoyed its cobblestone streets, protective fortifications, and amazing views.
The street of Saint Paul de Vence.
A small but worthwhile visit, Eze lies between Nice and Monaco. With beautiful scenery, charming shops, a garden, and the perfume factory Fragonard, the hilltop town makes you feel at home.
A map of Eze village.
The closest Italian city, Ventimiglia is easily accessible by train. I visited here one of my first weeks in Nice to get a glimpse of Italy. We took a look at the market that occurs every Friday, dined on delicious pasta, walked the beach, and climbed up the hill to the old town.
View from Ventimiglia.
Notorious for the Monte-Carlo casino, this area of France exudes luxury. Some main sites are the port, racetrack, museum, prince's palace, and casino. While you can enter the first part of the casino for free, I would recommend paying to go inside at least once.
Monte Carlo Casino.
Similar to the feel of Monaco, Cannes radiates glamour. This town is best for a beach walk, shopping, and peeking at the site of the film festival. While I did not get to visit there, I also heard the boat trip to Ile Sainte-Marguerite from here is something to check out.
Promenade de la Croisette in Cannes.
Known for its beaches, Antibes is perfect for a relaxing day. You can take a trip to the market and explore the shops that line the streets. There is also a large port with yachts.
Beach and mountains in Antibes.
Closest to Nice, Villefranche-sur-Mer impresses with its colorful homes, sandy beach, and breathtaking bay. The gem of Villefranche is its authenticity. It hails as a quiet, charming French town that has captivated many with its beauty.
Hiking Saint Jean Cap Ferrat is encouraged and yields the reward of stunning cliff views. If you pick the longest path, I would recommend going with a friend, wearing proper shoes, and bringing water. The famous Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild museum also stands out. My favorite part was the array of gardens.
Hike in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.
There is a lot to do around Nice and even more to explore, like Menton and Verdon Gorge. An abundance of opportunity awaits when you study abroad in the French Riviera.
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<p>My name is Emma Desjardin and I'm traveling to Nice, France, but my French last name is spelled wrong. Desjardins translates to "of the gardens" but somewhere in the past I lost the "s" and my green thumb. I love language and am excited to write about my experiences. I hope that in my adventures abroad I can find myself and learn a little bit about where that "s'" went.</p>