The Best Day Trips from Nice

Nice is the perfect hub for a diverse range of day trips. Here’s where to go, how to get there, how long it will take, and what to do once you’re there!

Map of day trip ideas from Nice

Day trip to Monaco

A glamourous daytrip from Nice, Monaco is the mythic playground for the rich and famous.  See the Palace and old town, the port full of super-yachts, glittering Monte Carlo, do a little gambling in the casinos, see the famous Monaco Grand Prix hairpin turn… the selfie photo opportunities are epic.  With interactive map.

See also 30 ways to do Monaco on the Cheap

Day trip to Eze Village

This little perched village above Monaco is one of the most picturesque mountain villages on the coast, with the most amazing views. Here’s what to do in Eze, including what to see, what to skip, and some star-studded lunch options. Wear walking shoes as the 1000-year-old cobble stones are uneven and worn slick.  Can easily be combined with the Monaco day trip.


Day trip to Cannes

With everything in such close proximity to the train station, Cannes is an easy day trip from Nice.  Besides the Cannes Film Festival mystique, Cannes also boasts sandy beaches, great shopping, a tiny arty old town, and a plethora of restaurants.

Day trip to Antibes

Antibes has a lovely covered morning market, an Absynthe museum and tasting room off the market, the renown Picasso Museum, and the famous Port of Antibes with some of the world’s biggest yachts; keep going and the boats keep getting bigger and bigger!  One of the prettiest villages on the coast.

Day trip to Nice’s Bellet Wine Region

On weekends from June through September, Nice runs a special shuttle bus that does a continuous circuit of 6 of Bellet’s wineries.

Day trip to Grasse

The perfume capital of the world is an easy train or bus ride from Nice.  The train ride is more scenic, but the bus drops you off right in town.  With interactive map.

Day trip to Saint Tropez

Saint Tropez seems to be on a lot of peoples bucket lists, but they are often underwhelmed once they get there: it is a tiny port full of giant yachts and pricey cafés, extremely difficult to get to, and you won’t even get to see the famous Brigitte Bardot beaches unless you take a 15-minute cab ride.  But if you really have your sights set on going, here is how to get there and how to make the best of it once you’re there.  With interactive map.

Day trip for Island Adventures

For the opposite of Saint Tropez, take the shorter and less expensive boat ride to a more earthy experience, the Iles des Lerins, off Cannes.   Sainte-Marguerite island has miles of eucalyptus forest to explore, plus a museum with shipwrecks and the cell where the ‘Man in the Iron Mask’ was held.  The smaller island is Isle Saint-Honorat, where you can visit a still functioning 2000-year-old Monastery and sample the wine made by the monks.  Easy to get to by boat, the hard part is choosing which island to visit!

Day trip to Italy

Friday market day in Ventimiglia is famous: stall after stall of cheap clothes, lingerie, jewelry, leather goods of all kinds, kitchen gadgets, and of course fake designer scarves, bags, sunglasses and watches… and it goes on all day.    It’s so close to Nice, why not get a taste of Italy as well?  Or go in to Sanremo and spend a day e-biking the Italian Riviera?

Day trip to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and Villefranche-sur-Mer

Dotted with some of the richest real estate in the world, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat boasts a couple of world-class seaside walks, plus the majestic Villa Rothschild Villa and Gardens.  You can take the flat and beautiful walk to the village (30 minutes) or hike all the way around.

Then explore Villefranche-sur-mer, which is pure Instagram catnip.  Visit the fortress, wander all over this most picturesque of villages, and be sure to find ‘rue Obscure’ the hidden street under the village.  The beach is sandy, so bring your suit and a towel.

Day trip to Vence and Saint-Paul-de-Vence

A stunningly beautiful walled village with great shopping and art galleries, and an unbeatable view.  The museum Fondation Maeght is just outside the city walls, and a little farther is the village of Vence.

Day trip up to the Mountains

When you’re tired of sea and sun, head up to the mountains for a very different experience.  Two different mountain trains go up distinctly different valleys, and there are also city-sponsored hiking buses in summer.

Day trip up to the Ski Slopes

From Nice you can go from seashore to ski slopes in less than 2 hours.  Here is the local’s vote on best area ski resorts, what each is known for, how to get to each one from Nice, plus links.

A General Guide to Getting There

Map of day trip ideas from NiceAs a general rule, your best bet is to take the bus if you are going to:

  • Eze Village (30 minutes)
  • Saint Jean Cap Ferrat (20 minutes)
  • Ski Resorts in Winter (2 hours)

The train is more convenient for:

  • Italy (1 hour to Ventimiglia)
  • Menton (1 hour) also good for Monaco 
  • Antibes (30 minutes)
  • Cannes (30-45 minutes)
  • Mountain Villages in Summer (varies)

Bus OR Train, or Train/Bus Combo  (toss up) for:

  • Monaco (45 minutes)
  • Villefranche-sur-Mer (5-15 minutes)
  • Vence and/or Saint Paul de Vence (45 minutes)
  • Grasse (1 hour 15 minutes)

Take the boat from Nice (or train then a shorter boat) for:

  • St Tropez (2 1/2 hours)
  • Islands off Cannes (1 hour)

Back up to main Home Page/Blog   

Photo credits:   Cannes by Rita Molnar, Ventimiglia by Gilber Bochenek, all licensed under Creative Commons.

Comments are closed.