When most people think of France, they think of Paris, the city of love and because it is so famous for everything. There is so much more to do in France than just experiencing Paris, and if you go a bit further afield than the capital city, then you’ll get a feeling for a completely different France! The South of France has a different vibe and atmosphere to the bustling life of Paris, so if you’re looking for somewhere calm and glam to chill out with a glass of wine, then the South of France is for you.
Before you live your best Southern France life, though, you should book a visa appointment at a french consulate to make sure that you have all the correct paperwork and requirements fulfilled before you depart. There’s nothing worse than finding out at the last second that you need a special visa or pass to travel through Europe.
Nice is exactly what you expect from a city in the South of France – it’s a mix of urban living and coastal chic. Right on the French Riviera there’s an element of sophistication about the city. There’s a lovely artistic and cultural atmosphere to Nice as well, and there are a number of museums, galleries and historical sights to visit while you’re there. In particular, one of the great things to do is Terra-Amata, an archaeological site just outside Nice itself, which was established by the Greeks. Nice was originally founded by the Greeks too, and as you walk around you can see their influence in the architecture and surroundings.
Nestled between Cannes and Nice, Antibes is a bustling resort town with a great nightlife and a blend of coast and forest. If you love relaxing on the beach, there’s plenty of sandy shores for you to enjoy and if not then you can spend an afternoon wandering around the 5 hectare Exflora Park. If you’re looking to escape the heat of the sun, then there are plenty of indoor activities to enjoy including the Picasso Museum and the Absinthe Museum. Antibes has a really vibrant music scene, particularly for jazz, so you’ll experience a real taste for Antibes if you decide to embrace it all. You’ll definitely not be at a loss for things to do, see, hear and experience in Antibes.
Marseille is the second largest city in France, after Paris. The city is a large port city on the coast and is the crossroads of immigration and culture since its foundation by the Greeks in 600 B.C. The city is therefore a blend of history and modernity with its ancient past and vibrant present as a bustling port city that is a gateway to the rest of the world. No matter how long you’re in Marseille for, you’ll have plenty to do and you won’t be bored. The Old Town is the heart of everything and it’s in this area that you’ll find all the boats mooring and you’ll see all the fishermen bringing in their catch of the day. If you’re a fan of fish, then it literally doesn’t get fresher than the fish available in the restaurants around here. However, there’s an amazing variety of veggie options as well.
This is the only southern city of France that isn’t coastal, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to enjoy the sunshine. Bordeaux is located on the Garonne River, and has its own port, which makes sense given that it is a famous wine-growing region and exports a lot of its wine. So, if wine if your thing, then you certainly have to taste the local wares and see what true Bordeaux wine is like. You can then take a stroll through the streets to visit the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux, before soaking up the atmosphere of the Place de la Bourse. While there you can marvel at the Three Graces fountain and then take some time to ponder your thoughts at the Miroir de l’Eau reflecting pool.
Cannes is famous for one thing in particular: The Cannes Film Festival but the town itself is a resort popular with tourists. The town is very calm, collected and sophisticated, and the Boulevard de la Croisette is definitely worth strolling down. On this boulevard you can find lovely boutiques, stunning hotels, and a number of cafes and restaurants where you can sample some of the finest French cuisine. If you follow the street the whole way, you’ll make it to the sandy beaches where you can rent a deck chair and parasol and bask in the warmth of the sun. Just be mindful of your belongings, because like any popular area, there is the possibility of pickpockets targeting blissful beachgoers.