Travel Guide: Nice & Villefranche-sur-Mer, France - Tay Meets World

Travel Guide: Nice & Villefranche-sur-Mer, France

12:54:00 PM

Last year I travelled to Europe with my mom and sister for the second time. We ventured to London, Paris, and finished in the South of France. I loved London - already daydreaming of my next trip back. Having been to Paris previously, I was able to cross off more items off my list. It's still, to this day such a romantic and beautiful city. I was most excited about the South of France...and my oh my was it spectacular. I loved that we ended the trip with a more relaxing destination as we had clocked in 6-10 miles each day. 
I do wish, we had more time for the French Riviera - it's on my list to go back and venture to Saint Tropez, Cannes, and cross through Provence on the way there (I'm dying to see the Lavender fields). If you are headed to the South of France however, here is a great little guide to get your planning started. 
Since we were in Paris, we took the train down to Nice. We used Rail Europe to book our ticket and left from Paris Gare de Lyon and arrived in Nice Ville. Once we arrived in Nice, hop in the line for a taxi (have your address ready!) and head to your place of stay. 

  • Private Beaches
    • You will have to pay for these beaches but (in my opinion) it's worth it. Rentals come with a chair, umbrella, and towel. We brought our own drinks and snacks but you can also order drinks and meals from the café on each beach.
  • Walk around the local market
    • This was one of our favorite things to do. Every morning, vendors and artists from all around the area bring goods to the market center. From fresh produce, bread, cheeses, and meats to artists selling their paintings. It's spectacular. 

  • Marc Chagall Museum 
    • Even if you are not a museum go-er, this is still a must see. From paintings to his mosaic work, his pieces are so vibrant and they all tell a story. In this particular museum, his work was all scenes taken from biblical times. 
    • Take the metro bus - you will literally get off at the Musee Chagall bus stop!
  • Travel to nearby towns (we went to Villefranche-sur-Mer & Monaco)
    • You will depart from Nice Ville. Trains that go through Nice Ville will take you virtually anywhere. It's only 15 minutes to Villefranche-sur-Mer and another 15 min. or so to Monaco. 
    • Monaco is a must-see. Simply for the fact that it looks like it's a propped set our of Hollywood. The amount of money there too - wow! Quite the sight. 
  • Shopping in downtown Nice
    • There are so many fun boutiques and handmade goods. It was fun to walk through it all! 
  • Run/Walk along the beach
    • There is a perfect path that follows the coastline. I ran here a few times and I must say, those were the best runs I've ever had. What's more comparable to a beach front run? Salt in the air and the ocean breeze = heaven.
  • Visit Nearby villages. 
    • We stayed in Nice but took travel days to Villefranche-sur-Mer and Monaco. 
    • I highly recommend going to both. Villfranche-sur-Mer was the sweetest town. I could live there! It's quaint, a the colorful homes that line the hillside are so picturesque. We stopped for some lunch and gelato and ventured to the beach there for an hour of R&R. The beach there was more "rocky sand" then rock beaches so I recommend a beach day there if you absolutely hate the rocks! 
**Villefranche-sur-Mer largely reminded me of the 'Southern' version of Honfluer, France. Check out my travel guide for Honfleur!
Stay in an Airbnb! Our apartment (on the 5th floor I might add so pack very light) was only 2 blocks from the ocean. It was spectacular. We were right next to the best gelato shop and minutes from all the private beaches. We were only 1 block from the market and all the restaurants. 

  • Mussels 
    • You can get order mussels from virtually every restaurant and they can be ordered in a variety of "broth." They are so good we had them every night we were there. 
  • Seafood of any kind
  • Frites (French fries)
    • Do not go to France without ordering French fries
  • Pain au chocolate (Chocolate Crossaint - to die for)
  • Lightweight fabrics during the day (linen, cotton, etc.) and layers at Night
  • Dresses & skirts
  • Hats
    • My mom, sister and I wore a hat everyday. We also found the best hat shop, La Chapellerie, you MUST go. They have the greatest selection of hats and the sweetest workers. Address: 36 Cours Saleya, 06000 Nice, France
  • Comfy Sandals 
    • I wore two pairs of Cole Haan sandals and my feet were just fine! Both pairs have a lot of cushion so walking on the cobblestone and walkways were not an issue. 
  • Swimsuit
    • Don't forget your swimsuit when you go! I brought two one-piece suits and wore them under my dresses. 

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