10 Best Places to Stay in the French Riviera

Last Updated on

by Neota Langley

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. That means if you click a link and make a purchase, we may make a small commission. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, see our privacy policy.

The French Riviera, also known as the Côte d’Azur, spans the breathtaking coastal region from Menton to Saint-Tropez along the sunny south coast of France. Home to picture postcard hilltop villages, golden Medditerainian sunshine, astounding beaches, charming medieval cobbled streets and a rich history to discover. With so much on offer, finding the best places to stay in the French Riviera can initially seem overwhelming.

We’ve narrowed it down to the 10 best areas with a destination to suit everyone, from families to couples, luxury jet setters, to budget travellers. 

Where to Stay in the French Riviera

Nice – Best for Big City Vibes

Nice is a varied city, effortlessly blending the old-world French charm with a modern vibrancy. This city has a breathtaking coastline with crystal-clear azure waters, beautiful beaches, and the iconic Promenade des Anglais.

Wander through the maze-like streets of the historic Old Town, where colourful buildings, bustling markets, and charming French cafes welcome you with traditional French cuisine. 

A true all-rounder, Nice is one of the best cities to stay in the French Riviera. The perfect destination for both families and couples.

As one of the largest cities on the Riviera, Nice offers a mix of historical sites, entertaining museums and stunning beaches. There is something to suit everyone, no matter your age, in this city, and considering its size, it has a safe and welcoming vibe. 

If you are planning on exploring the French Riviera using public transport, Nice is the destination for you. The city has an international airport with regular flights to major cities, making it easy to get to no matter where you are travelling from.

Staying in Nice also provides the opportunity for day trips to nearby destinations. You can easily visit Monaco, Cannes, Antibes, and other picturesque towns along the French Riviera, thanks to their close proximity and accessible public transportation options.

Where to Stay in Nice

Nice Garden Hotel – This central, 3-star hotel is perfect for mid-range visitors to Nice. Offering many different rooms, the location is also perfect for exploring all this gorgeous coastal metropolis has to offer.

Palais Saleya Boutique hôtel – Those looking for a luxury stay on the French Riviera will love this boutique hotel in Nice. They offer spacious rooms along with countless other wonderful amenities and a great location.

Aparthotel AMMI Vieux Nice – If you’re after self-catering accommodation while in Nice, then this aparthotel is a great choice. Offering fully furnished flats, they have a central location, an airport shuttle and daily breakfast available.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Nice hotels!

View of Old Port of Nice
View of Old Port of Nice

Cannes – Best Area for Nightlife

Cannes, the epitome of elegance on the enchanting French Riviera. Renowned for its glamorous film festival, this vibrant city exudes sophistication and luxury. With its pristine sandy beaches along the iconic Boulevard de la Croisette, Cannes provides a picturesque setting to relax and indulge.

Immerse yourself in the city’s rich cultural and historical tapestry, exploring the Film Festival Palace, the charming Old Town, and captivating museums. 

Often compared to Nice, Cannes is another must-visit destination along the coast. There are a few key differences between the two cities to note before deciding on where to stay in the French Riviera. Cannes is more suited to the luxury traveller, with boutique designer stores, Michelin Star restaurants and spa hotels.

Whilst this city is suitable for everyone, there is a vibrant nightlife scene with several chic rooftop bars, clubs and casinos, so those travelling with young families may prefer to stay in the quieter city of Nice. 

Cannes has excellent transport links to and from nearby destinations along the coast. If you are relying on public transport for the duration of your stay, you will find several buses, trains and guided day tours that will whisk you away along the Côte d’Azur. 

Where to Stay in Cannes

Villa Claudia Hotel Cannes – Mid-range visitors who have decided to stay in Cannes will love this little hotel. Centrally located, they have bright rooms to choose from, breakfast available each morning and a lovely garden for guests to enjoy.

Hotel Splendid – Those looking for luxury in Cannes can’t go wrong with this opulent hotel. If you’re looking for a splendid time on the French Riviera, this hotel has countless beautiful rooms and plenty of plush amenities to enjoy.

La Bastide de l’Oliveraie – These suites are a great option if you’re looking for a bit of an alternative to a traditional hotel room in Cannes. Located in the centre of the city, they have several rooms and suites available (all with spa access) and there are also countless other great amenities.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Cannes hotels!

Beautiful Cannes
Beautiful Cannes

Antibes – Best for Art Lovers

Next, we travel along the coast to the peaceful town of Antibes. Exuding charm and tranquillity, this picturesque town boasts a perfect blend of history, art, and natural beauty.

Wander through the narrow cobblestone streets of the Old Town, admiring the colourful facades, art deco architecture and lively markets before heading down to the picturesque sandy beaches, ideal for soaking up the Medditerainian sunshine. 

Antibes has a strong link with art, making it a captivating destination for art enthusiasts. One of Antibes’s most prominent art attractions is the Musée Picasso, located in the Château Grimaldi. This museum houses an extensive collection of artworks by the world-famous artist Pablo Picasso.

In addition to the Picasso Museum, Antibes is home to a thriving modern art scene. The town features numerous art galleries showcasing works by local and international artists. The artistic community in Antibes provides ample opportunities to discover contemporary art through exhibitions, installations, and events, including the annual Antibes Art Fair.

This peaceful town is an excellent base for families and couples alike. The high street and beachfront can become crowded during the day, but as the sun sets and the coaches return to nearby cities, you will have the charming cobbled streets to yourself.

Antibes is the perfect destination for those who want to experience the authentic Mediterranean lifestyle and enjoy the gorgeous Cap du Antibes away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.   

Where to Stay in Antibes

La Place Boutique Hotel – This boutique hotel is an excellent place to base yourself in Antibes. They have an array of rooms to choose from (some have a balcony) an on-site terrace and restaurant and a great location for hitting the beach and exploring the town.

Hôtel La Villa Port d’Antibes & Spa – For those after a luxury stay on the French Riviera, then this hotel is a great option. Well-located in Antibes, they have plush rooms on offer along with a swimming pool and buffet breakfast in the morning.

Les Remparts – Those looking for a self-catering option in Antibes will love these beachfront apartments. They have fully furnished flats available, all air-conditioned and equipped with everything you may need for your stay.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Antibes hotels!

Antibes coastline
Antibes coastline

Eze – Best Area for Couples

Perched atop a dramatic cliff overlooking the sparkling Mediterranean Sea, Eze is a mesmerising hilltop village that transports visitors to a bygone era.

This fairytale destination exudes medieval charm and breathtaking beauty. Wandering through its narrow cobblestone streets, you’ll encounter picturesque stone houses covered in vibrant blooms and quaint artisan shops.

A certain romantic ambience surrounds this enchanting village, making it the best area for couples to stay in the French Riviera. The intimate atmosphere provides an escape from the bustling city centres, with secluded gardens to explore and plenty of romantic spots to watch the sunset.

Eze is also home to several world-class luxury hotels, such as the renowned Château de la Chèvre d’Or, the ideal destination for a special occasion.

While Eze is a peaceful village, it is conveniently located near popular destinations such as Nice and Monaco.

You can easily venture out for day trips to explore vibrant cities and cultural attractions or indulge in coastal adventures, returning to Eze’s calm and romantic atmosphere in the evenings. Several bus routes serve Eze, but hiring a car may be a better option if you want the freedom to explore at your own pace without feeling beholden to timetables. 

Where to Stay in Eze

Hôtel Eze Hermitage – This delightful little hotel is perfect for those looking for a romantic place to stay in Eze. They have several lovely rooms on offer along with plenty of great amenities for guests to take advantage of.

Chateau Eza – If you’re looking for luxury then this is going to be one of the best hotels for you to stay in. They have a range of rooms to choose from (with sea views), an on-site gastronomic restaurant and a wonderful swimming pool.

La Perle d’Eze – Those who want their own self-catering space in Eze will love this aparthotel. Offering a range of fully-furnished flats, they have an excellent location in the village along with a delightful swimming pool to enjoy.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Eze hotels!

Village of Eze
Village of Eze

Monaco – Best Area for Luxury

The entire Côte d’Azur has a certain luxurious feel to it, with super yachts in every bay, grand hotels and designer stores along every boulevard, but if it is opulence you want, Monaco should be at the top of your list.

This tiny yet prestigious city-state is a haven for the elite, offering a world of luxury, elegance, and sophistication. Home to the iconic Monte Carlo Casino, magnificent yachts, and prestigious events such as the Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Staying in Monaco is mainly suited to the luxury jet setters, those of you who appreciate the finer things in life.

Whilst more budget-friendly accommodation options are available, the average price per night for a hotel in Monaco is around the £500 mark. For most travellers, one day in Monaco is plenty to soak up the atmosphere, so don’t feel like you have to spend the night to make the most of this vibrant city. 

Driving a car around Monaco can be tricky, with one-way systems, heavy traffic and extortionate parking fees. If you are staying in Monaco, plenty of public transportation options open up the rest of the Riviera, including the train station in the city centre.

The city is easily reached from nearby Cannes or Nice by public transport, so if you plan on taking a day trip to Monaco, it may be best to leave the hire car behind. 

Where to Stay in Monaco

Hôtel de France – Located in the centre of Monte Carlo, this hotel is great for those looking for a mid-range place to stay in the microstate. They have several rooms to choose from along with a great location for exploring all Monaco has to offer.

Hôtel Columbus Monte Carlo – This chic and modern hotel is another excellent choice in Monte Carlo. With a sea-front location, they have a range of bright rooms to choose from along with plenty of luxe amenities for guests to enjoy.

Port Palace – This 4-star boutique hotel is another excellent option for those looking for another luxury choice while in Monaco. They have an array of gorgeous rooms to choose from along with spectacular views over the Mediterranean Sea.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Monaco hotels!

Walking around Monaco
Walking around Monaco

St Tropez – Best Area for Beaches

This one is for beachgoers, lovers of sun, sea and sand. A playground for the rich and famous, Saint Tropez has humble beginnings as a quaint fishing port and still retains some of the original Provencal charm.

This seaside town is home to several idyllic sandy beaches bathed in turquoise waters, where you can while away your days basking in the Mediterranean sun or relaxing at the vibrant beach clubs. The town’s warren of cobblestone streets are lined with boutiques, art galleries, and chic cafes, creating an atmosphere of sophistication and style. 

Saint Tropez is known to have one of the best nightlife scenes in Europe, with private beach clubs, celebrities and yacht parties. For this reason, it may not be best suited to young families, but if you are a solo traveller or a couple who likes to spot celebrities at exclusive parties, Saint Tropez is the perfect place to stay.

This vibrant town is on the western edge of the French Riviera, a two-hour drive from Nice. If you want to spend most of your holiday relaxing on the beach, then Saint Tropez is the perfect option, but if you are planning on exploring the rest of the Côte d’Azur during your stay, you would be better off basing yourself in a more central location such as the equally luxurious Cannes.

Where to Stay in St Tropez

Hotel La Romarine – Mid-range travellers looking for a good base in St Tropez will love this 3-star hotel. They have a great swimming pool, tennis courts and, of course, a range of lovely rooms to choose from.

Le Pre de la Mer – Those looking for luxury in St Tropez will love this swanky hotel in the centre of the town. Boasting many plush rooms, there is also a swimming pool, breakfast available, and a spa/wellness centre, as well.

Appartement centre St Tropez – This fully-furnished flat is perfect for those who are looking for a self-catering option while based in St Tropez. It has a great location for seeing the site and comes equipped with everything you may need during your stay.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more St Tropez hotels!

Port of Saint-Tropez
Port of Saint-Tropez

Villefranche-sur-Mer – Best Area for Families

Villefranche-sur-Mer is one of those places where it feels like a painting has burst into life in front of your eyes.

Its deep azure bay is surrounded by colourful facades and terracotta rooftops, medieval architecture and quaint artisanal boutiques. This off-the-beaten-path destination is a true hidden gem, making it perfect for travellers that want to relax in the peaceful ambience. 

Located to the east of Nice, it is the perfect base for exploring the coast and getting to the best places to visit on the French Riviera. From Monaco to Cannes, it’s conveniently located for various day trips.

If you want to explore the French Riviera in style, there are several boat trips departing from Villefrache-sur-Mer every day, where you can visit the neighbouring towns of Nice, and Monaco, explore the Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat peninsula or even take a trip to the charming village of Èze.

There is also a train station in the village with direct links into Nice in just 6 minutes, so this is the ideal place to stay if you want to be within touching distance of the city lights but enjoy quiet evenings away from the hustle and bustle. For this reason, this is the best area to stay in the French Riviera for families. 

Where to Stay in Villefranche-sur-Mer

Hotel La Regence – Located in the centre of Villefranche-sur-Mer, this makes for an excellent place to stay in the village. They offer lovely rooms to choose from – including family rooms – along with on-site parking and a bar.

Hotel Provencal – This hotel is a great option for those looking for a slightly more upmarket hotel in the South of France. They have a range of rooms to choose from (some with sea views) and a lovely terrace to relax on.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Villefranche-Sur-Mer hotels!


Saint-Paul-de-Vence – Best for a Secluded Escape

The French Riviera is known for its jaw-dropping coastal scenes but head slightly inland, and you will discover quaint hilltop villages such as Saint-Paul-de-Vence. Nestled in the picturesque hills, Saint-Paul-de-Vence is a captivating medieval village that instantly transports you back in time.

Encircled by ancient ramparts, this enchanting destination offers panoramic views, artistic legacy, and timeless allure. Meandering through its narrow cobblestone streets, you’ll discover quaint art galleries, museums, charming boutiques, and inviting cafes. 

The most secluded of our towns to stay in the French Riviera, this charming village is the perfect place to take a romantic holiday with your significant other without the crowds you’d find in places like Nice or St Tropez. Saint-Paul-de-Vence is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, making it ideal for romantic walks.

Explore the picturesque countryside, vineyards, and olive groves, or take a stroll along the fortified walls while enjoying breathtaking views across the valleys.

There are several fine dining restaurants based in the village, offering romantic settings and delectable cuisine. Enjoy a candlelit dinner on a terrace, savouring French gastronomy and local Provençal flavours, accompanied by local wines.

Although the village is connected to nearby towns and cities by bus, hiring a car would give you more freedom if you decide to stay here. The buses are not frequent so you could find yourself having to rely on expensive local taxis if you want to explore the coast or go out for dinner in a nearby city.

Where to Stay in Saint-Paul-De-Vence

Hotel Les Messugues – Boasting a beautiful swimming pool and spacious rooms with balconies, this is the perfect place to get away from it all on your trip to the French Riviera. They have several rooms to choose from and plenty of other amenities.

Hôtel La Grande Bastide – If you’re looking for luxury in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, then this is one of the best hotels for you. Offering a gorgeous swimming pool, plush rooms, an on-site bar and room service, you’ll want for nothing in this hotel.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Saint-Paul-De-Vence hotels!

Village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence
Village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence

Grasse – Best to Get Off the Beaten Path

Forget the duty-free, if you are in the market for a new scent, our next destination is the perfume capital of the world. This charming town is home to a blend of fascinating history, culture, and natural beauty. Explore the Old Town’s narrow streets, adorned with colourful facades and artisan shops.

Discover the art of perfumery at iconic perfume houses and learn about the intricate process of creating irresistible fragrances and have a go at creating your own scent.

Grasse’s idyllic hilltop location provides panoramic views of rolling hills, lush fields of flowers, and the sparkling Mediterranean Sea in the distance.

Set high in the hills, Grasse has a more secluded feel than the nearby Cannes or Antibes but is easily accessible due to its convenient rail connections. This town is well connected by direct trains to Nice so it is ideal for all manners of travellers.

If you are searching for the perfect blend of connectivity and seclusion, this is the best town to stay in the French Riviera.

Where to Stay in Grasse

Auberge les Aromes – Situated a few kilometres outside the centre of Grasse, this hotel is a great choice for those who want a local place to stay to get away from it all. They have a few comfortable rooms to choose from along with parking and an on-site restaurant.

Bastide Saint Antoine – This 5-star hotel is an excellent choice for those looking for a perfect, luxury stay in Grasse. Boasting countless amenities, they have a range of opulent rooms to choose from and will leave you wanting for nothing on your trip.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Grasse hotels!

Old Town of Grasse
Old Town of Grasse

Menton – Best for a Cultural Blend

When it comes to where to stay in the French Riviera, we’ve saved one of the bests until last. 

Due to its proximity to Italy, Menton has a unique blend of cultures and can often feel more Italian than French. Shuttered villas, colourful Baroque buildings, terracotta roofs, lemon trees, and, not forgetting, delicious Italian cuisine.

With an average of 316 days of sunshine per year, this coastal destination is perfectly suited to sun-seekers and is considered one of the warmest locations on the whole south coast of France.

Menton is recognised worldwide for its lemons and the various lemon products produced by locals, such as soap and liquor. Trees with pops of yellow fruit line every avenue, park and all over the surrounding countryside. If you happen to be visiting in February, don’t miss the annual lemon festival, Fête du Citron.

If you are still deciding between a holiday on the coast of Italy or France, this is the best of both worlds. The deep blue Medditerainian sea, shadowed by the final whispers of the Alps in the distance. 

Despite its proximity to the more glamorous Monaco and Nice, Menton has a more relaxed, quieter feel and is much more budget-friendly than its chic neighbours. It is the perfect base for all travellers to explore the Riviera and even beyond into Italy if you want to extend your trip. 

Where to Stay in Menton

Hôtel De Londres – Located just 25 metres from the beach, this hotel is an excellent choice in Menton. They offer modern and chic rooms to choose from along with private parking, a lovely terrace and a superb breakfast each morning.

Villa Genesis – This gorgeous hotel is an excellent option for those who are looking for an upmarket place to stay in Menton. They have an array of opulent rooms on offer, a swimming pool, bar and breakfast along with a great beachside location.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Menton hotels!

Beach in Menton
Beach in Menton

The French Riviera is home to some of the most glamorous destinations in the whole of Europe, but it’s not all glitz and glamour. Discover romantic hilltop villages, and artistic havens along the coast and soak up the glorious golden sunshine from pristine sandy beaches.

Where you stay on the French Riviera is up to you, but we hope this guide gives you the inspiration you need for a holiday you’ll never forget.

Are you visiting the French Riviera? Wondering where to stay? Let us know in the comments!

Like It? Pin It!
Neota Langley

Neota is a writer for The World Was Here First. Born and bred in Cornwall, she can usually be found with hiking boots on, ready to embark on an adventure. For the last 6 years, she has travelled throughout Europe in her self-built campervan with her trusty canine companion, Ivy. She loves exploring France, the Nordics and spending time in Alpine destinations.

Leave a Comment