7 of the best day trips from Nice: see more of the Côte d’Azur

7 of the best day trips from Nice: see more of the Côte d'Azur

Explore more of the Côte d'Azur with these day trips from Nice © Chalffy / Getty Images

With its mix of real-city grit, old-world opulence, year-round sunshine, vibrant street life and stunning seaside location, there is no place in France that can compare to Nice. However, there are many incredible places on the doorstep, so don't miss the chance to venture outside the city on a day trip. 

Using the efficient local bus and train services, you can easily experience many places nearby and still get back in time to enjoy sundown. Here are the best day trips from Nice.

Join the high-rollers in Monaco, the world's second-smallest country

Monaco is the world’s second-smallest country and a magnet for high-rollers and hedonists since the early 20th century. Despite its prodigious wealth, it's far from being the French Riviera's prettiest town. World-famous Monte Carlo is dominated by high-rise hotels, super yachts and apartment blocks that rise into the hills. 

Spend a few hours people-watching at the likes of the Casino de Monte Carlo soaking up the casino's glitzy history. Make sure to visit Palais Princier de Monaco whetting your appetite for royal living in the Grimaldi family's sprawling ancestral residence and see the chapel where Hollywood royal Princess Grace is buried.

How to get to Monaco from Nice: Train is the best way to get to Monaco from Nice, with frequent departures taking under 30 minutes. There is also a regular bus service, but it's very much in demand and getting on is not guaranteed. 

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7 of the best day trips from Nice: see more of the Côte d'Azur

Have your heart stolen by the lovely old town of Antibes © Alf / Getty Images

Have a leisurely lunch in the medieval lanes of Antibes

With its boat-bedecked port, 16th-century ramparts and narrow cobblestone streets, it's no surprise that Antibes has stolen the hearts of so many. Artists and writers such as Graham Greene and Max Ernst loved it here. Picasso featured the town in many of his paintings, and a collection of his works can be seen at the dedicated museum.

Only Antibes' attractive old town would be recognizable to any of its famous former residents. The modern town, like many along the Riviera, has sprawled rather unbecomingly along the coast and inland, so the best vantage point is from the sea – ideally in one of the many posh yachts that pull into port throughout summer, or from the long series of beaches south of town. Beyond the city limits, save some time to explore beautiful Cap d'Antibes, a wooded cape of 4.8km (3 miles) studded with seaside mansions and pretty walking trails.

Vieil Antibes is the place to eat, both for the atmosphere and for its diversity of restaurants. To build your own picnic, hit Antibes' Fromagerie l'Etable for cheese and deli products, and dazzling morning market Marché Provençal for everything else.

How to get to Antibes from Nice: The Nice–Cannes bus service (route 200) operated by Lignes d'Azur has a stop just west of Antibes' train station. Alternatively, take the train.

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