RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PARIS AND THE FRENCH RIVIERA?

We’re less than ten days out from our trip to Paris and the French Riviera! We’ll be spending two and a half days around Saint-Tropez, two days in Nice, and three and a half days in Paris, one of which is to see the French Open for Will’s 30th birthday! I’m so excited to be back in one of my favorite countries for the first time since bringing Will to Paris and exploring Aix-en-Provence and Cassis with my brother Grayson, both in 2015.

You guys always have the best recommendations so I’d love to hear from you if you’ve been to either in recent years! We’ve done most of the touristy stuff in Paris (between trips with family members and studying abroad in Tours, I think I’ve been at least a dozen times!) but I’m always eager to hear about new restaurants, coffee shops, etc. And we don’t have much of an itinerary for our time on the French Riviera, so any tips on restaurants, beaches, etc. would be so appreciated! We’re flying into Nice and renting a car so I’m hoping we’ll be able to pack lots of adventures into our almost five days there.

*photo from my last trip to the French Riviera in 2015!

P.S. Do you guys follow any amazing travel bloggers? I love finding a new blog to obsess over!

35 thoughts on “RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PARIS AND THE FRENCH RIVIERA?

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  1. I spent 2 weeks along the French Riviera earlier this year. The walks around cap Ferrat and cap d’Antibes are out of this world, particularly cap Ferrat.

    1. Just wanted to add that I don’t mean simply wandering these two areas… both of these places have walks right along the water. I’d google or ask the hotel you stay at for details 🙂

  2. Make sure to spend some time in Monaco- It’s unreal! So beautiful and literally everything we ate there was divine. You have to go to Monte Carlo casino, and the shopping, site seeing, and people watching is fantastic! There’s a small Italian place there- run by the sweetest family it’s called Amici Miei Ristorante. Literally the best meal I’ve ever had in my life- I’m still dreaming about it.

    We also really love Cannes- The beaches are better than in Monaco (in Monaco they are rocky.) Cannes was also beautiful and full of neat history. I know this is super dorky- but it started raining and we it was the last day of our 10 day trip to France so my husband and I did the little train tour where you sit in a little train (I’m talking like a kids train they used to have in malls) and they take you all around the city and give you the greatest info! I wish we had done it at the beginning of the day- if we had we might have spent some more time in different areas of the town! Its a good way to see everything and scope it out before you start making decisions and you can get off at anytime! #supertourist but at that point we had no shame.

  3. You probably don’t need more Paris suggestions but I feel compelled to add a few since I love that city so much! Le Temps des Cerises for the cutest & tiniest quintessential Parisian spot with the most delectable escargot. Les Ombres for a to die for view of the Eiffel Tower. L’As du Fallafel in Le Marais for THE best falafel. And Carette on Place des Vosges – ridiculously amazing hot chocolate with Chantilly cream piled a mile high 🙂

  4. I’d highly recommend Menton, right on the Italian border a bit past Nice & Cannes (but a beautiful drive)! It’s a hidden gem and absolutely beautiful. You probably only need a day there but make sure you have at least 5 tartes au citron 🙂 The region is famous for their citrus fruit!

    1. I second Menton! My mother and I stayed here one night during a road trip from Paris to Florence and it was BEAUTIFUL!

  5. Ohalala you are going to have the best time!

    I recommend lunch at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc. You have to call ahead and make a reservation for lunch. It’s so dreamy, right out of a Slim Aarons photo because well, Slim Aarons took a famous photo there. 🙂

    http://kellygolightly.com/bestplacesineurope/

    We ended up loving Cannes as well. Biking along the promenade, eating at one of the beach clubs/restaurants, taking in the architecture.

    http://kellygolightly.com/wheretostayincannes/

    For Paris, rent a Vespa! We also love wandering the Marais, eating at Cafe Charlot, popping into Merci. And Ile’ St. Louis for strolling.
    http://kellygolightly.com/paris-in-august/

    Have the best time!

    p.s. Hit up Gray Malin and Stacie Flinner for more recs. 🙂
    https://stacieflinner.com/

  6. The best meal of my entire life was at Bistrot L’Estrapade. It’s the most beautiful, cozy restaurant (make a reservation) and absolutely delicious.

  7. In Provence, the Calanques near the town of Cassis are beautiful. If you have nice weather in Paris, go out to Versailles, rent bicycles in the gardens,, and ride out to Le Hameau de la Reine – Marie Antoinette’s little farm. Je vous souhaite un très bon voyage!

  8. I was just in Nice a few weeks ago! I recommend having drinks at the Hotel Negresco, especially a Kir Royale! The Chagall Museum is a must if you’re interested in 20th century art, the Old Port of Nice for strolling around, and the flower market, which is spectacular! If you’ve got time for a little half-day trip, Monaco is very worth the 40 minute bus ride to and from. Enjoy!

  9. Explore the little medieval villages near Nice like Eze, Villedranche, etc. The Matisse and Chagall museums are beautiful. Fennocchio gelato in Vieux (Old) Nice. The colour of the Mediterranean along the Cote D’Azur is unlike any other colour on this planet and will blow your mind. Have a beautiful time. It’s my favourite place on this planet 💕

  10. This is totally a post made for me, my fiancé and I spend 2 weeks each summer in the South of France (he’s French, so that’s become our big summer trip) and we got engaged in Nice last summer!

    We try to spend a few days just relaxing on the beach – because most of the beaches are hardcore rocky, there are a few “beach clubs” where you rent chairs and umbrellas for the day (most have full-service restaurants, waiters to your umbrella, DJ’s, etc.) – they are all up and down the Promenade. Bring water shoes if your feet are sensitive to rocks. Our favorite beach club is Plague Beau Rivage (right across the street from Jardin Albert), which had a good mix between relaxing and fun. You can get a sense of each of the vibe by strolling the Prom and checking out the menus at the top of the stairs; some cater to different clientele based on the language of the menus. I wouldn’t waste money on having a front row chair on the beach (they tend to pack the chairs in there, so the water comes up pretty high…) We like to get there early and book beach front massages, and pick our seats. Service can be slow if it’s busy, FYI.

    As far as food, socca is kind of like a chickpea pizza that’s popular for a quick lunch and I believe is native to Nice. Fiancé crushes moules frites while we are there (he claims they are the freshest in all of France, insert eyeroll here). He drinks a lot of Ricard (licorice flavored liquor), whereas I love Get 27 with soda water. The rose is unreal here, naturally. We always take a shopping list of hair/skin products, the above mentioned alcohol, Bonne Maman chocolate Madelines and Suchard to bring back to the states. We have cats, so we always end up grabbing them a bag of French cat treats (maybe Rory would like some French cookies as well, hah!)

    Dinners – you MUST go to La Cave du Fromage, it’s exactly what it sounds like… a tiny hole in the wall restaurant that focuses on cheese. It is my favorite restaurant in all of France (not even just Nice!) It looks unassuming on the outside, but oh my lord, please go. L’Oliviera is a restaurant focused around olive oil, make reservations now – it’s a tiny little restaurant where the owner is always buzzing around and interacting with guests. He makes his own olive oil and adores his life (which totally shows in the entire experience); we always order some olive oil for gifts and ship home. Bistro d’Antoine and Cote Marais are both also fantastic French cuisine. These are all probably 30e/per person, before alcohol. For pricier dinners, both Jan and Le Chantecler are Michelin starred, I think Jan has better food, but Le Chantecler is in the Hotel Negresso which is just quintessential Nice and is just divine. Sunday/Monday are dead days for restaurants, we usually do a final dinner at Cote Marais on Sunday nights and fly back on a Monday so just keep that in mind if you are trying to arrange your days ahead of time.

    If going to Monaco – Virge has beautiful views and food; we also spend lazy afternoons soaking up the sun and people watching over coffee at Café de Paris Monte-Carlo. Buddah Bar has great food but is definitely more of a scene than the others I’ve mentioned. Even though you’ve rented a car, don’t bother driving to Monaco, the train from Nice centrale to Monaco is about 30 minutes, super-cheap, and runs every 30 minutes or so. (Just make sure to validate your tickets – they definitely check on this route).

    I won’t touch Paris, except to say my favorite hole in the wall restaurant is le relais de l’entrecote and is always a must stop for us!

  11. I’d recommend an afternoon in Antibes which is quite close to Nice, as well as Nikki Beach in St Tropez.

    Enjoy your holiday to Cote d’Azur!

    Jen – A fellow Connecticut’er living in London

  12. Take a quick trip from Nice to Ville Franche Sur Mer! It’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever traveled to. The little town down (a lot) of steps is right on the water and has the best, most authentic French restaurants.

    1. Hey! Woahh thank you SO much Taylor for the recommendation! Woke up to find some new readers and sourced it back here. Really appreciate it!

      I studied abroad in Paris so a couple lesser known spots I’d recommend:
      Gustave Moreau museum
      Jaquemart Andre museum
      merci paris cafe
      piere herme macarons (much better than laduree!)
      sadaharu aoki for more dessert

  13. Le Club 55 on the Pampelonne beach is a must! It feels the most authentic of the beach clubs. Go in the morning to get a sunbed right on the water and make a reservation for their first lunch seating at 1:30pm. La Ponche in St. Tropez proper was our favorite dinner when we traveled there last May. Enjoy!