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Written by Bala Vignesh on June 25, 2021 Share on

Things to do for free in the French Riviera: The Best Guide!

The French Riviera, or the Cote d’Azur, spans from Cassis in the west to Monaco in the east. The Riviera began as a health retreat in the 18th century. Then evolved into a playground for nobles in the 19th century, and then into a summer playground for the affluent and famous in the 1920s. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Rudolph Valentino, and Gertrude Stein were all known to visit the sun-drenched region, adding to its enviable reputation.

There are a plethora of sites to visit throughout the summer and beyond, from the must-see beaches and boardwalks of Cannes and Monaco to the lavender fields of Grasse and the medieval villages of Provence. Continue reading to learn about eight must-see places to visit on your next vacation.

Also read : French Festivals – Celebrate Love, Light and Beauty

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The Best Time to Visit

The French Riviera, like Provence, has a warm Mediterranean climate all year. It is the warmest around the time of July and August. The beaches are often busy and accommodation rates are higher during the summer months of July and August. It is when the weather is at its warmest. As the Cannes International Film Festival in May and the Nice Jazz Festival in July, summer is a very popular season to visit. You could also visit the Riviera during the Winter and the Off-Season because the temperature is moderate as well.

Glamourous France escapade for the fashionistas

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The Best Way to Get Around

You can rent a car since it provides you more freedom and allows you to take more scenic photos riving the winding roads and locating parking can be less than glamorous. Going by train is in fact faster, safer, and less expensive than traveling by car. Train travel between cities is rapid and efficient, and it takes no more than an hour to get from one location to another. Walking is the greatest way to move around if you plan on staying in one city.

Things to Do for Free

1 . Nice

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  • The Promenade des Anglais, which hugs the Baie des Anges, is France’s most famous length of the seashore. “La Prom,” named after the English aristocrats who spent their winters in Nice, is a popular shopping, eating, biking, and strolling destination for locals and tourists alike
  • Vieux Nice is the city’s historic center and a true delight to explore. neighborhood hood hasn’t altered much since the 1700s which also has unique Italian flavour. Make a point of stopping at architectural marvels like the Cathédrale Ste-Réparate, Chapelle de la Miséricorde, and Palais Lascaris as you go around.
  • Cours Saleya, an open market in the heart of Vieux Nice, is a great site to witness daily life. Peruse colorful wealth of fresh fruit, flowers, and local handicrafts under the shelter of lovely striped awnings. You could even get to sample local specialties like socca, a thin chickpea cepe if you’re lucky.
  • Place Massena, located between Vieux Nice and the city’s newer areas, is a popular gathering spot day and night. Dine at one of the many restaurants situated beneath the arcades or shop at the boutiques to take in the vista.

2. Cannes

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  • Promenade de la Croisette in Cannes is a fashionable thoroughfare surrounded with 5-star hotels with designer boutiques, and alfresco restaurants that are similar to Nice’s Promenade des Anglais. The Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, which hosts the Cannes Film Festival in May, is located on the Croisette.
  • Le Suquet is a lovely ancient area as is it perched high above the sparkle and glamour of the promenade. Le Suquet which dates back to Roman times is a charming blend of cobblestone streets, bougainvillea-draped balconies, and locals-only cafes. Chateau de la Castre, constructed by monks in the 12th century and today, housing a modest museum showing old antiques and artworks is one of the must-see places.
  • Marché Forville is a big covered market that is a local institution which is located at the foot of Le Suquet. The market is open Tuesday through Sunday and sells everything from freshly harvested tomatoes to Italian cold meats.

3. Monaco

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  • Visit the final resting place of several Grimaldi family members Saint Nicholas Cathedral. Admire the Roman-Byzantine architecture of the cathedral from the outside. Admire the Episcopal throne made of Carrara white marble on the inside. The Monaco Boys Choir and the Monaco Cathedral sing mass happens every Sunday at 10 a.m. from September to June.
  • The Monte Carlo Casino is entirely free to admire the beautiful facade and grounds! The casino is designed in the Belle Époque style has accommodated everyone from royalty to James Bond. In the summer, play freely at the Salle Blanche & Terrasse tables while taking in the spectacular views of the Riviera.
  • You can join the crowds in front of the Prince’s Palace to observe the daily Changing of the Guard which is also known as the Carabiniers du Prince. The procession hasn’t changed in almost a century, starting at exactly 11:55 a.m.

Saint-Tropez

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  • Pampelonne beach is a three-mile stretch of golden sands backed by scrub-covered dunes located a few kilometres down the town. At first appearance, the beach’s reputation as the spot to party for the beautiful people appears to be at odds with this natural, relatively unspoiled location. In reality, there has been very little growth here, and the local authorities wish to maintain it that way.
  • La ponche hotel is currently the cultural hub of the neighbourhood. Past the old fishing village of La Ponche, which was once the heart of Saint-Tropez before it became a jet-set destination.

Antibes

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  • The Picasso Museum is housed in a historic fortress built by the Grimaldi family, who controlled Antibes from 1385 to 1608, and houses 300 of the artist’s works. Picasso utilised one of the rooms as a workshop, producing paintings and drawings, many of which he donated to Antibes. Enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding coastline and distant mountains from the castle.
  • The Absinthe museum which opened in 1994, attempts to recreate a cafe from the Belle Epoque era, a period in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries when France—particularly Paris—reached the pinnacle of fashion and leisure. Poets, artists, and other bohemians drank absinthe in fashionable European cafes, referring to it as their muse.

Well there you go, these are the things you could do for free in the French Riviera. Check here for some amazing tour packages at Pickyourtrail.

Also read: Top 9 Places In The South Of France – Exploring The Unexplored

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