2 Days in Nice & Villefranche-sur-Mer

Along with its stunning pebble beaches and charming old town, Nice has a city vibe. Nice is an excellent central location and a hub to reach other coastal towns if you’re planning a trip to the Riviera.

How to get there

On France’s southwest coast, close to Monaco and the Italian border, is the city of Nice. The only place along the riviera with an international airport and train station is Nice, thus getting there from overseas is an easy way to begin your trip along the French Riviera! Since Nice is the French Riviera town with the most passenger flow, the ports have space for cruise ships to dock.

Once in Nice, navigating the city is simple. If you want to take day trips to adjacent towns, you can rent a car, use bikes, take a cab or Uber, or walk within most of the city.

What to do

Put on some walking shoes! With its vibrant lanes, quaint shops, restaurants, and antique architecture that perfectly balances the French and Italian influences prevalent in this area, Nice’s Old Town is the most picturesque area of the city. One of France’s most beautiful and vibrant squares, the Place de Masséna makes you feel as though you’ve been transported to another era.

Take in views from castle hill

The French military once occupied Castle Hill as a fortification because it provides the best views of the city and the far sea. Because it provides breathtaking 360-degree views of Nice, it has become one of the city’s most visited attractions in recent years. You don’t want to climb to the top. Don’t worry; you can half ascend using the elevator.

Visit the Cathedral

Perhaps you mistook this location for a castle when you saw it on Instagram. Nope! It is a Russian Orthodox Cathedral, and it is exquisitely detailed in peach and aqua blue hues to create a priceless work of art! If you love architecture as much as I do, you should go! When visiting the St. Nicholas Cathedral, be respectful and dress modestly because this is a holy site.

Spend the afternoon at a beach club

Nice offers a good number of beach clubs, just like other riviera towns. Given that Nice’s beach is made out of pebbles, a chair, an umbrella, and some flip-flops or water shoes as you stroll into the sea are all you really need for a relaxing afternoon at the beach! In Nice, the Ruhl Plage, Opéra Plage, and Hotel Beau Rivage are great beach clubs.


This peaceful village is a treasure trove of pastels and a great spot to explore for a few hours. This village is close to Nice and may be reached by car in 20 minutes or less. Villefranche-sur-Mer is home to a plethora of gorgeous photo opportunities in addition to providing a calmer, more private alternative to Nice’s busy streets.

A great way to see villefranche-sur-mer is by boat as you have a large bay to explore with many great beach clubs and sandy areas to anchor at.

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

One of the more well-known sights on the Riviera is this villa. With six distinct gardens, a stunning interior, and breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea, this pink mansion is unique. An audio guide is included in the €15 entrance fee for the villa and gardens.