french riviera | d.s. weekend guide

côte d'azur, france

 

the last time i was in the french riviera was four summers ago and the memory that immediately comes to mind is that time when our car got towed in nice.

this time around, i visited the coast to wrap up my paris rotation with my friend joan. we stationed ourselves in an airbnb in nice and made day trips out to villefranche sur mer, monaco, menton, and antibes which were incredibly easy and affordable using uber and the tgv trains that run along the coast.

during the late winters, these cities become sleepy and quiet port towns that are almost unrecognizable to all that they become during the peak of summer. joan and i were lucky enough to catch a rare warm spell that made our spontaneous trip in february seem as though we were visiting during the early summer months. the sun was beaming down on our backs, the beach was warm, and to top it all off - it felt like we had these cities to enjoy with the locals.

speaking of locals, i asked my pals in the office who are natives to nice and corsica what to do, what to eat, and i planned our entire itinerary off of what they recommended.

where we stayed: a lovely airbnb on rue paganini in nice

the airbnb had the sweetest personal touches of handwritten recommendations on what to do in the city and was decorated with antiques that immerse you into the shabby chic soul of the south of france.

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what we ate: socca and italian food

the majority of restaurants in the french riviera reflect more of a mediterranean diet with strong influences coming from italy. another thing to try in nice is socca, a crepe-ish pancake made out of ground chickpeas. here are some recs for restaurants:

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what we did: walk around

nice today is a town that inhabits service people in the french riviera so it differs from its neighboring resort town cities. the old town is a bit touristy but still carries so much charm if you decide to chart off into an empty alleyway. we missed the outdoor market, cours selaya, this time around but it’s definitely something you should check out if this is your first time in nice!

day trips: villefrance sur mer, monaco, antibes

all of these cities are accessible by the TGV train from the nice train station and the tickets can be purchased at the station and are between 2-10 euros one way. villefrance sur mer is a really small town with quaint homes and alleyways perched on a hill. monaco wasn’t my favorite because it’s laden with casinos, yachts, and ferraris but it was still worth a trip for the views. antibes was hands down my favorite. the beaches are accessible by foot. joan and i cried happy tears walking around in antibes because it’s such a peaceful and beautiful corner on this planet.

villefranche sur mer

monaco

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antibes

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