Villefranche-sur-Mer is the essence of a romantic French storybook town. So if you’re looking for fresh inspiration for your France bucket list, look no further! This charming village along the French Riviera in Southern France makes a perfect day trip from Nice and a wonderful addition to any France itinerary. Come discover the best ways to travel to Villefranche-sur-Mer and the top activities in this picturesque French village. #francetravel #francetravelguide #villefranche

Plan the Perfect Day Trip from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer

Last Updated on November 13, 2021

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Villefranche-sur-Mer is the essence of a romantic French storybook town. So if you’re looking for fresh inspiration for your France bucket list, look no further! This charming village along the French Riviera in Southern France makes a perfect day trip from Nice and a wonderful addition to any France itinerary. Come discover the best ways to travel to Villefranche-sur-Mer and the top activities in this picturesque French village. #francetravel #francetravelguide #villefranche

Plan the Perfect Day Trip from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer

Last Updated on November 13, 2021

Share the love

Villefranche-sur-Mer just may be one of the best kept secrets of the French Riviera…

…At least until you discover how easy it is to do a day trip from the neighboring capital of Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer!

This former fishing village is everything you’d romanticize a quaint French storybook town to be, from its pretty pastel facades to its picturesque promenade.

Time seems to slow down in this sleepy harbor town, a welcome reminder that life was meant to be savored and enjoyed.

Villefranche is like a portal to France’s past, a glimpse of life before glitzy resorts took hold.

That said, it offers its own unique charms, including its status as home to one of the most beautiful bays in the world!

So if you’re looking for an authentic taste of local life along the French Riviera, a day trip from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer is definitely in order.

In a rush? Pin this post for later!

Villefranche-sur-Mer is the essence of a romantic French storybook town. So if you’re looking for fresh inspiration for your France bucket list, look no further! This charming village along the French Riviera in Southern France makes a perfect day trip from Nice and a wonderful addition to any France itinerary. Come discover the best ways to travel to Villefranche-sur-Mer and the top activities in this picturesque French village. #francetravel #francetravelguide #villefranche

Plan a Fun Day Trip from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer

Before we delve into the logistics of how to get from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer, let’s first discuss where it is and why it deserves a spot on every French Riviera itinerary.

Where Is Villefranche-sur-Mer Located?

Villefranche-sur-Mer sits atop a hillside in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, the French region of the Alpes-Maritimes department.

Villefranche-sur-Mer is the essence of a romantic French storybook town. So if you’re looking for fresh inspiration for your France bucket list, look no further! This charming village along the French Riviera in Southern France makes a perfect day trip from Nice and a wonderful addition to any France itinerary. Come discover the best ways to travel to Villefranche-sur-Mer and the top activities in this picturesque French village. #francetravel #francetravelguide #villefranche

It’s sandwiched between Nice on the east side and Monaco to the (south)west along the French Riviera.

Why Villefranche-sur-Mer Is Worth Visiting

One of the biggest draws of Villefranche-sur-Mer is its intimate, cozy, and local feel.

Unsurprisingly, the village is home to a tight-knit community, including families that date back multiple generations. As such, there’s an air of authenticity here.

It’s the kind of neighborhood where you can imagine that shopkeepers are on a first-name basis with the locals.

In fact, as you wander through the pastel-painted alleyways, you may half-expect a baker to pop his head out of a shop window and start crooning the opening chorus of “Belle” from Beauty and the Beast.

Unlike its flashier Monaco neighbor, Villefranche isn’t “putting on airs.”

On the contrary, the vibe is quite the opposite to that of a tourist trap. You may even feel for a moment that you’re a local wandering the narrow alleyways to your favorite café for a cup of morning espresso.

Separate from its over-developed surroundings, Villefranche is simply and unapologetically what it is, from its colorful homes with lovably crooked shutters to the gently peeling paint on its well-loved facades.

Villefranche-sur-Mer is the essence of a romantic French storybook town. So if you’re looking for fresh inspiration for your France bucket list, look no further! This charming village along the French Riviera in Southern France makes a perfect day trip from Nice and a wonderful addition to any France itinerary. Come discover the best ways to travel to Villefranche-sur-Mer and the top activities in this picturesque French village. #francetravel #francetravelguide #villefranche

So instead of getting lost amongst the crowds of Nice, for example, Villefranche is a welcome respite from the dizzying activity along the French Riviera.

It’s the perfect place to stop and savor, as no one is in any great rush here.

Rather, the pace of life is as meandering as the Plage des Marinières, the beach that snakes along the bay.

But if that’s not enough to convince you, the fact that the Bay of Villefranche is considered one of the most beautiful bays in the world should sway you!

Why Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer Is the Perfect Day Trip

Now, I’ll be the first to say that visiting Nice is a must while exploring the French Riviera.

After all, I’ve dedicated an article to the best things to do in the French Riviera’s capital city for that very reason!

However, while I relish the luxury to do all the touristy things in a city like Nice, I also appreciate the opportunity to wander off the beaten path while traveling.

So if a break from overstimulation also sounds appealing to you, then Villefranche will be right up your alley (no pun intended).

While the village feels remote (if not detached) from its larger “cousin” city, Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer is actually a practical day trip option.

Villefranche-sur-Mer is the essence of a romantic French storybook town. So if you’re looking for fresh inspiration for your France bucket list, look no further! This charming village along the French Riviera in Southern France makes a perfect day trip from Nice and a wonderful addition to any France itinerary. Come discover the best ways to travel to Villefranche-sur-Mer and the top activities in this picturesque French village. #francetravel #francetravelguide #villefranche

In fact, Villefranche is technically part of the district of Nice and under 15 minutes away by train!

Practical Information for Traveling from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer

How to Travel from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer

There are several different ways to travel from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer.

While each option offers its own benefits, your mode of transportation will ultimately depend on your itinerary, comfort level, and personal preference.

Regardless of how you travel, the town of Villefranche is close enough to Nice that you can get there and back before sunset, if you plan accordingly.

Getting from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer by Train

Traveling by train is definitely one of the easiest and best ways to reach the village.

Since the distance from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer is around two miles, the train ride takes only about 11 minutes, on average.

PRO TIP: Book your train ticket in advance to save money! The starting rate for a one-way, standard-class ticket purchased ahead of time is 1.99 EUR ($2.32 USD).

Alternatively, booking your ticket day of will typically inflate the price, depending on the route and time of day.

You can view the train schedule and book your tickets here.

Once you arrive at the station, you’ll see that it’s conveniently located just behind the main beach on Villefranche-sur-Mer.

From there, it’s a super quick walk to the heart of town.

 

Getting from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer by Bus

With an easy ride of only around 12 minutes, traveling by bus is another convenient way to get from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer.

There are two different bus routes you can choose from: Bus #100 and Bus #15.

Bus #100 departs from atop Nice Port every quarter of the hour on weekdays and every 20 minutes on Sundays (and French holidays).

Alternatively, Bus #15 leaves from the Promenade des Arts bus stop behind the Place Garibaldi Monoprix.

This line runs every 20 minutes on weekdays and every 30 minutes on Sundays (and French holidays).

The cost of taking either line is 1.50 EUR ($1.75 USD) or 1.00 EUR ($1.16 USD) with the 10-trip card. Tickets are available for purchase at any tram stop throughout the city.

PRO TIP: Alternatively, you can download the Lignes d’Azur app to easily locate the bus stop nearest you!

When you arrive in Villefranche, request a stop at “Octroi.” From here, you’ll follow the road downhill into town.

While traveling by bus is a convenient way to get from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer, taking the train is preferable for the return trip.

The main reason for this is that the trains run later than the buses. (Bus #15 stops running at 8:30PM, whereas Bus #100 stops at 8:00PM.)

 In addition, taking the train will eliminate the arduous uphill climb to the bus station when you leave Villefranche.

Trust me, after exploring all day, your feet will thank you!

Getting from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer by Car

Although getting to Villefranche-sur-Mer by car isn’t necessarily the most practical option, it will ultimately depend on where you’re traveling from.

For instance, my husband and I were visiting from the Italian Riviera city of Sanremo. Since we had a rental for several days, it just made sense for us to drive.

The drive takes only about 20 minutes from Nice.

If you’re also planning to arrive by car, you’ll have a couple of options in terms of parking.

The first option is to leave your car at Car Park Wilson for an hourly fee of approximately 1.80 EUR ($2.10 USD). (The first half hour is free.)

This large public lot is located at 11 Place Wilson. (GPS Coordinates: 43.7027681, 7.3117278)

Alternatively, you can leave your car along Avenue Albert just above the Old Town. (GPS Coordinates: 43.7040014, 7.3094317)

There’s also the option to park right along the Plage des Marinières for a small fee – which I recommend – provided there are spots available.

Getting from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer on Foot

While walking is obviously the most time-consuming option, the views alone will make it worth it!

So if you have the luxury of time while vacationing along the French Riviera, the scenic walk is a great way to get your steps in!

Without stopping too much along the way, the walk from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer will take roughly around 1 hour and 30 minutes each way.

However, keep in mind that you can always take the train back from Villefranche to Nice if you don’t feel like walking both ways!

Ideally, you’ll want to begin the walk at Nice Port and head east.

You can view the full walking directions for the hike on Google Maps.

What to Do in Villefranche

Wander the Ancient Streets

The pastel village of Villefranche-sur-Mer is home to some really pretty streets that are bursting with color.

The two main streets with colorful facades are Rue Volti and Rue Baron de Brès. You’ll find them up the steps behind the waterfront restaurants.

These 12th- and 13th-century buildings give new meaning to the term “eye candy.”

In fact, the facades remind me of those candy necklaces from childhood or rainbow sherbet!

Villefranche-sur-Mer is the essence of a romantic French storybook town. So if you’re looking for fresh inspiration for your France bucket list, look no further! This charming village along the French Riviera in Southern France makes a perfect day trip from Nice and a wonderful addition to any France itinerary. Come discover the best ways to travel to Villefranche-sur-Mer and the top activities in this picturesque French village. #francetravel #francetravelguide #villefranche

In addition, many streets are lined with plants and greenery, lending an earthy, jungle-like atmosphere to the town.

Villefranche-sur-Mer is the essence of a romantic French storybook town. So if you’re looking for fresh inspiration for your France bucket list, look no further! This charming village along the French Riviera in Southern France makes a perfect day trip from Nice and a wonderful addition to any France itinerary. Come discover the best ways to travel to Villefranche-sur-Mer and the top activities in this picturesque French village.

Plus, for those that enjoy a bit of dark history, there’s also Rue Obscure, a tunnel that snakes underneath the Old Town! How neat is that?!

The Old Town also offers a number of charming boutiques, from jewelry shops to clothing stores, if you’re looking to pick up a souvenir to take back home.

FUN FACT: Villefranche-sur-Mer holds a fresh market on Wednesdays and Saturdays in the park beside the tourist office. So if specialty cheeses and gourmet goodies are of interest, you may wish to plan your itinerary accordingly!

Stroll the Villefranche Promenade

Villefranche-sur-Mer dates back to the 14th century and was the most significant maritime port along the Riviera.

However, this all changed in the 18th century, when Nice’s harbor commanded this status.

Today, the Villefranche Promenade is probably the liveliest area you’ll encounter in the village. This coastal walkway extends to Plage des Marinières.

Villefranche-sur-Mer is the essence of a romantic French storybook town. So if you’re looking for fresh inspiration for your France bucket list, look no further! This charming village along the French Riviera in Southern France makes a perfect day trip from Nice and a wonderful addition to any France itinerary. Come discover the best ways to travel to Villefranche-sur-mer and the top activities in this picturesque French village. #francetravel #francetravelguide #villefranche

FUN FACT: While the bay appears to be average in size, it’s quite impressive in terms of its depth.

In fact, it has one of the deepest natural harbors of all the Mediterranean ports and is ideal for anchoring large boats and even cruise ships.

Enjoy Some Beach Time

Speaking of beaches, one of the biggest perks of visiting Villefranche-sur-Mer is to actually enjoy some sand!

If you’re at all familiar with the Mediterranean region, then you already know what a rarity it is to find a sandy beach.

(That said, the sand is intermixed with some fine gravel, so don’t expect Caribbean-level fineness here.)

The largest and most popular public option in Villefranche is easily Plage des Marinières, located on the city’s east side.

Villefranche-sur-Mer is the essence of a romantic French storybook town. So if you’re looking for fresh inspiration for your France bucket list, look no further! This charming village along the French Riviera in Southern France makes a perfect day trip from Nice and a wonderful addition to any France itinerary. Come discover the best ways to travel to Villefranche-sur-Mer and the top activities in this picturesque French village. #francetravel #francetravelguide #villefranche

Alternatively, there’s Grasseuil Beach, a stone beach that sits at the Cape Ferrat entrance.

Climb Up to the Citadelle Saint-Elme

History buffs will love exploring the Citadelle Saint-Elme. This 16th–century military fortress was built to protect the port back in 1557.

Citadelle Saint-Elme is located within walking distance of the port. It’s free to enter, visit the neighboring museum, and wander the park.

Where to Eat in Villefranche-Sur-Mer

Despite its intimate size, Villefranche-sur-Mer offers plenty of wonderful eateries! 

From charming terrace cafes and patisseries to beloved bistros, you’ll definitely not go hungry here.

Villefranche-sur-Mer is the essence of a romantic French storybook town. So if you’re looking for fresh inspiration for your France bucket list, look no further! This charming village along the French Riviera in Southern France makes a perfect day trip from Nice and a wonderful addition to any France itinerary. Come discover the best ways to travel to Villefranche-sur-Mer and the top activities in this picturesque French village. #francetravel #francetravelguide #villefranche

FUN FACT: A scene from the movie Ronin starring Robert De Niro was filmed at one of the cafés along the harbor!

In particular, the following restaurants come highly recommended:

I hope this handy guide has inspired you to take a day trip from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer!

This idyllic village is a welcome departure from some of the busier and more glamorous cities along the French Riviera.

So if you’re looking for a charming spot to unwind and experience a simpler France from bygone days, Villefranche is the place to be!

Have you ever visited Villefranche-sur-Mer? What was the highlight of the trip for you? Let me know in the comments below!

Ready to explore more French Riviera towns? Check out my other guides:

Did you find this post useful? Pin it to your boards!

Villefranche-sur-Mer is the essence of a romantic French storybook town. So if you’re looking for fresh inspiration for your France bucket list, look no further! This charming village along the French Riviera in Southern France makes a perfect day trip from Nice and a wonderful addition to any France itinerary. Come discover the best ways to travel to Villefranche-sur-Mer and the top activities in this picturesque French village. #francetravel #francetravelguide #villefranche
Villefranche-sur-Mer is the essence of a romantic French storybook town. So if you’re looking for fresh inspiration for your France bucket list, look no further! This charming village along the French Riviera in Southern France makes a perfect day trip from Nice and a wonderful addition to any France itinerary. Come discover the best ways to travel to Villefranche-sur-Mer and the top activities in this picturesque French village. #francetravel #francetravelguide #villefranche
Villefranche-sur-Mer is the essence of a romantic French storybook town. So if you’re looking for fresh inspiration for your France bucket list, look no further! This charming village along the French Riviera in Southern France makes a perfect day trip from Nice and a wonderful addition to any France itinerary. Come discover the best ways to travel to Villefranche-sur-Mer and the top activities in this picturesque French village. #francetravel #francetravelguide #villefranche

Villefranche-sur-Mer just may be one of the best kept secrets of the French Riviera…

…At least until you discover how easy it is to do a day trip from the neighboring capital of Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer!

This former fishing village is everything you’d romanticize a quaint French storybook town to be, from its pretty pastel facades to its picturesque promenade.

Time seems to slow down in this sleepy harbor town, a welcome reminder that life was meant to be savored and enjoyed.

Villefranche is like a portal to France’s past, a glimpse of life before glitzy resorts took hold.

That said, it offers its own unique charms, including its status as home to one of the most beautiful bays in the world!

So if you’re looking for an authentic taste of local life along the French Riviera, a day trip from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer is definitely in order.

In a rush? Pin this post for later!

Villefranche-sur-Mer is the essence of a romantic French storybook town. So if you’re looking for fresh inspiration for your France bucket list, look no further! This charming village along the French Riviera in Southern France makes a perfect day trip from Nice and a wonderful addition to any France itinerary. Come discover the best ways to travel to Villefranche-sur-Mer and the top activities in this picturesque French village. #francetravel #francetravelguide #villefranche

Plan a Fun Day Trip from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer

Before we delve into the logistics of how to get from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer, let’s first discuss where it is and why it deserves a spot on every French Riviera itinerary.

Where Is Villefranche-sur-Mer Located?

Villefranche-sur-Mer sits atop a hillside in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, the French region of the Alpes-Maritimes department.

Villefranche-sur-Mer is the essence of a romantic French storybook town. So if you’re looking for fresh inspiration for your France bucket list, look no further! This charming village along the French Riviera in Southern France makes a perfect day trip from Nice and a wonderful addition to any France itinerary. Come discover the best ways to travel to Villefranche-sur-Mer and the top activities in this picturesque French village. #francetravel #francetravelguide #villefranche

It’s sandwiched between Nice on the east side and Monaco to the (south)west along the French Riviera.

Why Villefranche-sur-Mer Is Worth Visiting

One of the biggest draws of Villefranche-sur-Mer is its intimate, cozy, and local feel.

Unsurprisingly, the village is home to a tight-knit community, including families that date back multiple generations. As such, there’s an air of authenticity here.

It’s the kind of neighborhood where you can imagine that shopkeepers are on a first-name basis with the locals.

In fact, as you wander through the pastel-painted alleyways, you may half-expect a baker to pop his head out of a shop window and start crooning the opening chorus of “Belle” from Beauty and the Beast.

Unlike its flashier Monaco neighbor, Villefranche isn’t “putting on airs.”

On the contrary, the vibe is quite the opposite to that of a tourist trap. You may even feel for a moment that you’re a local wandering the narrow alleyways to your favorite café for a cup of morning espresso.

Separate from its over-developed surroundings, Villefranche is simply and unapologetically what it is, from its colorful homes with lovably crooked shutters to the gently peeling paint on its well-loved facades.

Villefranche-sur-Mer is the essence of a romantic French storybook town. So if you’re looking for fresh inspiration for your France bucket list, look no further! This charming village along the French Riviera in Southern France makes a perfect day trip from Nice and a wonderful addition to any France itinerary. Come discover the best ways to travel to Villefranche-sur-Mer and the top activities in this picturesque French village. #francetravel #francetravelguide #villefranche

So instead of getting lost amongst the crowds of Nice, for example, Villefranche is a welcome respite from the dizzying activity along the French Riviera.

It’s the perfect place to stop and savor, as no one is in any great rush here.

Rather, the pace of life is as meandering as the Plage des Marinières, the beach that snakes along the bay.

But if that’s not enough to convince you, the fact that the Bay of Villefranche is considered one of the most beautiful bays in the world should sway you!

Why Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer Is the Perfect Day Trip

Now, I’ll be the first to say that visiting Nice is a must while exploring the French Riviera.

After all, I’ve dedicated an article to the best things to do in the French Riviera’s capital city for that very reason!

However, while I relish the luxury to do all the touristy things in a city like Nice, I also appreciate the opportunity to wander off the beaten path while traveling.

So if a break from overstimulation also sounds appealing to you, then Villefranche will be right up your alley (no pun intended).

While the village feels remote (if not detached) from its larger “cousin” city, Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer is actually a practical day trip option.

Villefranche-sur-Mer is the essence of a romantic French storybook town. So if you’re looking for fresh inspiration for your France bucket list, look no further! This charming village along the French Riviera in Southern France makes a perfect day trip from Nice and a wonderful addition to any France itinerary. Come discover the best ways to travel to Villefranche-sur-Mer and the top activities in this picturesque French village. #francetravel #francetravelguide #villefranche

In fact, Villefranche is technically part of the district of Nice and under 15 minutes away by train!

Practical Information for Traveling from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer

How to Travel from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer

There are several different ways to travel from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer.

While each option offers its own benefits, your mode of transportation will ultimately depend on your itinerary, comfort level, and personal preference.

Regardless of how you travel, the town of Villefranche is close enough to Nice that you can get there and back before sunset, if you plan accordingly.

Getting from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer by Train

Traveling by train is definitely one of the easiest and best ways to reach the village.

Since the distance from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer is around two miles, the train ride takes only about 11 minutes, on average.

PRO TIP: Book your train ticket in advance to save money! The starting rate for a one-way, standard-class ticket purchased ahead of time is 1.99 EUR ($2.32 USD).

Alternatively, booking your ticket day of will typically inflate the price, depending on the route and time of day.

You can view the train schedule and book your tickets here.

Once you arrive at the station, you’ll see that it’s conveniently located just behind the main beach on Villefranche-sur-Mer.

From there, it’s a super quick walk to the heart of town.

 

Getting from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer by Bus

With an easy ride of only around 12 minutes, traveling by bus is another convenient way to get from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer.

There are two different bus routes you can choose from: Bus #100 and Bus #15.

Bus #100 departs from atop Nice Port every quarter of the hour on weekdays and every 20 minutes on Sundays (and French holidays).

Alternatively, Bus #15 leaves from the Promenade des Arts bus stop behind the Place Garibaldi Monoprix.

This line runs every 20 minutes on weekdays and every 30 minutes on Sundays (and French holidays).

The cost of taking either line is 1.50 EUR ($1.75 USD) or 1.00 EUR ($1.16 USD) with the 10-trip card. Tickets are available for purchase at any tram stop throughout the city.

PRO TIP: Alternatively, you can download the Lignes d’Azur app to easily locate the bus stop nearest you!

When you arrive in Villefranche, request a stop at “Octroi.” From here, you’ll follow the road downhill into town.

While traveling by bus is a convenient way to get from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer, taking the train is preferable for the return trip.

The main reason for this is that the trains run later than the buses. (Bus #15 stops running at 8:30PM, whereas Bus #100 stops at 8:00PM.)

 In addition, taking the train will eliminate the arduous uphill climb to the bus station when you leave Villefranche.

Trust me, after exploring all day, your feet will thank you!

Getting from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer by Car

Although getting to Villefranche-sur-Mer by car isn’t necessarily the most practical option, it will ultimately depend on where you’re traveling from.

For instance, my husband and I were visiting from the Italian Riviera city of Sanremo. Since we had a rental for several days, it just made sense for us to drive.

The drive takes only about 20 minutes from Nice.

If you’re also planning to arrive by car, you’ll have a couple of options in terms of parking.

The first option is to leave your car at Car Park Wilson for an hourly fee of approximately 1.80 EUR ($2.10 USD). (The first half hour is free.)

This large public lot is located at 11 Place Wilson. (GPS Coordinates: 43.7027681, 7.3117278)

Alternatively, you can leave your car along Avenue Albert just above the Old Town. (GPS Coordinates: 43.7040014, 7.3094317)

There’s also the option to park right along the Plage des Marinières for a small fee – which I recommend – provided there are spots available.

Getting from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer on Foot

While walking is obviously the most time-consuming option, the views alone will make it worth it!

So if you have the luxury of time while vacationing along the French Riviera, the scenic walk is a great way to get your steps in!

Without stopping too much along the way, the walk from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer will take roughly around 1 hour and 30 minutes each way.

However, keep in mind that you can always take the train back from Villefranche to Nice if you don’t feel like walking both ways!

Ideally, you’ll want to begin the walk at Nice Port and head east.

You can view the full walking directions for the hike on Google Maps.

What to Do in Villefranche

Wander the Ancient Streets

The pastel village of Villefranche-sur-Mer is home to some really pretty streets that are bursting with color.

The two main streets with colorful facades are Rue Volti and Rue Baron de Brès. You’ll find them up the steps behind the waterfront restaurants.

These 12th- and 13th-century buildings give new meaning to the term “eye candy.”

In fact, the facades remind me of those candy necklaces from childhood or rainbow sherbet!

Villefranche-sur-Mer is the essence of a romantic French storybook town. So if you’re looking for fresh inspiration for your France bucket list, look no further! This charming village along the French Riviera in Southern France makes a perfect day trip from Nice and a wonderful addition to any France itinerary. Come discover the best ways to travel to Villefranche-sur-Mer and the top activities in this picturesque French village. #francetravel #francetravelguide #villefranche

In addition, many streets are lined with plants and greenery, lending an earthy, jungle-like atmosphere to the town.

Villefranche-sur-Mer is the essence of a romantic French storybook town. So if you’re looking for fresh inspiration for your France bucket list, look no further! This charming village along the French Riviera in Southern France makes a perfect day trip from Nice and a wonderful addition to any France itinerary. Come discover the best ways to travel to Villefranche-sur-Mer and the top activities in this picturesque French village.

Plus, for those that enjoy a bit of dark history, there’s also Rue Obscure, a tunnel that snakes underneath the Old Town! How neat is that?!

The Old Town also offers a number of charming boutiques, from jewelry shops to clothing stores, if you’re looking to pick up a souvenir to take back home.

FUN FACT: Villefranche-sur-Mer holds a fresh market on Wednesdays and Saturdays in the park beside the tourist office. So if specialty cheeses and gourmet goodies are of interest, you may wish to plan your itinerary accordingly!

Stroll the Villefranche Promenade

Villefranche-sur-Mer dates back to the 14th century and was the most significant maritime port along the Riviera.

However, this all changed in the 18th century, when Nice’s harbor commanded this status.

Today, the Villefranche Promenade is probably the liveliest area you’ll encounter in the village. This coastal walkway extends to Plage des Marinières.

Villefranche-sur-Mer is the essence of a romantic French storybook town. So if you’re looking for fresh inspiration for your France bucket list, look no further! This charming village along the French Riviera in Southern France makes a perfect day trip from Nice and a wonderful addition to any France itinerary. Come discover the best ways to travel to Villefranche-sur-mer and the top activities in this picturesque French village. #francetravel #francetravelguide #villefranche

FUN FACT: While the bay appears to be average in size, it’s quite impressive in terms of its depth.

In fact, it has one of the deepest natural harbors of all the Mediterranean ports and is ideal for anchoring large boats and even cruise ships.

Enjoy Some Beach Time

Speaking of beaches, one of the biggest perks of visiting Villefranche-sur-Mer is to actually enjoy some sand!

If you’re at all familiar with the Mediterranean region, then you already know what a rarity it is to find a sandy beach.

(That said, the sand is intermixed with some fine gravel, so don’t expect Caribbean-level fineness here.)

The largest and most popular public option in Villefranche is easily Plage des Marinières, located on the city’s east side.

Villefranche-sur-Mer is the essence of a romantic French storybook town. So if you’re looking for fresh inspiration for your France bucket list, look no further! This charming village along the French Riviera in Southern France makes a perfect day trip from Nice and a wonderful addition to any France itinerary. Come discover the best ways to travel to Villefranche-sur-Mer and the top activities in this picturesque French village. #francetravel #francetravelguide #villefranche

Alternatively, there’s Grasseuil Beach, a stone beach that sits at the Cape Ferrat entrance.

Climb Up to the Citadelle Saint-Elme

History buffs will love exploring the Citadelle Saint-Elme. This 16th–century military fortress was built to protect the port back in 1557.

Citadelle Saint-Elme is located within walking distance of the port. It’s free to enter, visit the neighboring museum, and wander the park.

Where to Eat in Villefranche-Sur-Mer

Despite its intimate size, Villefranche-sur-Mer offers plenty of wonderful eateries! 

From charming terrace cafes and patisseries to beloved bistros, you’ll definitely not go hungry here.

Villefranche-sur-Mer is the essence of a romantic French storybook town. So if you’re looking for fresh inspiration for your France bucket list, look no further! This charming village along the French Riviera in Southern France makes a perfect day trip from Nice and a wonderful addition to any France itinerary. Come discover the best ways to travel to Villefranche-sur-Mer and the top activities in this picturesque French village. #francetravel #francetravelguide #villefranche

FUN FACT: A scene from the movie Ronin starring Robert De Niro was filmed at one of the cafés along the harbor!

In particular, the following restaurants come highly recommended:

I hope this handy guide has inspired you to take a day trip from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer!

This idyllic village is a welcome departure from some of the busier and more glamorous cities along the French Riviera.

So if you’re looking for a charming spot to unwind and experience a simpler France from bygone days, Villefranche is the place to be!

Have you ever visited Villefranche-sur-Mer? What was the highlight of the trip for you? Let me know in the comments below!

Ready to explore more French Riviera towns? Check out my other guides:

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Villefranche-sur-Mer is the essence of a romantic French storybook town. So if you’re looking for fresh inspiration for your France bucket list, look no further! This charming village along the French Riviera in Southern France makes a perfect day trip from Nice and a wonderful addition to any France itinerary. Come discover the best ways to travel to Villefranche-sur-Mer and the top activities in this picturesque French village. #francetravel #francetravelguide #villefranche
Villefranche-sur-Mer is the essence of a romantic French storybook town. So if you’re looking for fresh inspiration for your France bucket list, look no further! This charming village along the French Riviera in Southern France makes a perfect day trip from Nice and a wonderful addition to any France itinerary. Come discover the best ways to travel to Villefranche-sur-Mer and the top activities in this picturesque French village. #francetravel #francetravelguide #villefranche
Villefranche-sur-Mer is the essence of a romantic French storybook town. So if you’re looking for fresh inspiration for your France bucket list, look no further! This charming village along the French Riviera in Southern France makes a perfect day trip from Nice and a wonderful addition to any France itinerary. Come discover the best ways to travel to Villefranche-sur-Mer and the top activities in this picturesque French village. #francetravel #francetravelguide #villefranche