The Mediterranean coast of France, often called the French Riviera or simply the Cote d'Azur is one of the world's most glamorous and iconic seaside destinations. From its chic beaches and luxury hotels to its designer bars, belle epoque villas, and red-rock headlands, there is something for everyone on this stunning stretch of coastline. Beyond the coast, you can find beautiful hilltop villages, mountain scenery, and vineyards galore. And, of course, no visit to the Cote d'Azur would be complete without a stop in Cannes for the film festival or Saint-Tropez for some yacht-watching.
There's no place in France quite like Nice, Côte d'Azur's capital
It's the perfect place to experience what life was like in the belle-époque
This Mediterranean city has been a tourist magnet since the 1700s. Take a stroll along the Promenade des Anglais, and you'll find many of the same attractions that drew Europe's aristocrats to visit horse-drawn carriages. Even now, nothing compares to spending a balmy beach day here. Whether you're skating, kayaking, swimming, or fighting for your spot on one of the famous blue chairs overlooking sunsets over the Mediterranean Sea, everything is centered around the water in Nice.
Once part of Italy, Italian culture still dominates every corner of Vieux Nice: Tall-shuttered houses tinted ochre that they brought from Portofino; Fresh pasta shops on every street corner; the local Nissart dialect colored by Ligurian Italian as much as Occitan French.
Nice is home to several significant art museums. One of the top attractions is the Musées Matisse, which houses works by Henri Matisse, Marc Chagall, and Joan Miró. The Musée Chagall also pays tribute to other artistic giants in southern France. So among Côte d'Azur residents and lovers of art, it's considered one of the most important museums in this part of France.
It's easy to enjoy food in Nice. The city lives up to its name, with delicious street snacks like chickpea pancakes and pizza full of caramelized onions. If a cozier dining experience is what you need, cafes offer everything from a traditional salade niçoise to pasta studded with pistou.