Antibes is one of the French Riviera’s hidden gems. There are so many things to do in Antibes, however it is often overlooked for the glitzy beachside towns of Nice or Cannes.
Antibes is famous for its medieval ramparts and has origins that date back to the early Iron Age. It has been occupied by the Greeks, the Romans and is now, of course, one of the jewels in the French Riviera’s crown.
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How to get to Antibes from Nice
Assuming that you’ll likely base yourself in the main Riviera city of Nice, it is good to know that Antibes is very easily accessed on a day trip.
A drive between the city of Nice and the town of Antibes will take around 30 minutes and will take drivers around the French Riviera coastline through St-Laurent-du-Var and Cagnes-sur-Mer. There is little difference between taking the toll road or the free road between Nice and Antibes, so any route is workable here.
Taking the train is extremely easy and relatively inexpensive. Catch the train from Nice-Ville and you’ll either be able to get the express train which will take approximately 15 minutes between the two cities or the stopping all stations train, which will take around 30 minutes. Trains are frequent and will cost around 5 euros one way.
Whilst trains are quicker, buses in the French Riviera are the cheapest modes of transport at a mere 2 euros a ride. Bus 200 will take you to Antibes from Nice and leaves from the rue Verdun/Albert 1ere stop and will take you along the Promenade des Anglais. A bus trip will take twice as long as the train.
Where to stay in Antibes
Whilst I definitely recommend basing yourself in Nice when visiting the French Riviera as it makes it easy to hop between the many towns along the coast, there are also plenty of accommodation options in Antibes itself if you’re looking for something a bit different.
For those wanting to stay in Nice, it is hard to find better located or equipped accommodation than the Mercure Marché Aux Fleurs.
For Antibes accommodation, the Hotel la Villa Port d’Antibes & Spa is a great centrally located choice.
Things to do in Antibes
Walk the ramparts
Antibes is easily recognisable as a medieval city thanks to the fortress like ramparts that surround the town and the coast. A stroll along the sea side also collides with Picasso’s Trail, which features copies of paintings that artists have created of the very spot you’re standing. It is a fantastic, completely free activity to take part in and is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Antibes.
Visit the Musée Picasso
Pablo Picasso is one of the many artists who found incredible beauty in the French Riviera. Picasso actually stayed in Antibes in the Chateau Grimaldi for around six months, so it is fitting that the Chateau is now the home of the world’s first Picasso Museum.
Tickets to the museum cost around 6 euros and is free for children under the age of 18.
Have a beach day at Juan les Pins
Antibes is one of the French Riviera towns that actually has sandy beaches. You won’t find the grey pebbles of Nice here, only white sand that is soft underfoot. Take up a place on the beach and sunbake or go for a swim in the cool turquoise water of the Mediterranean Sea.
It will take around 25 minutes to walk from the centre of Antibes to Juan les Pins Beach.
Explore the Antibes old town
Antibes has one of the most beuatiful old towns of any of the villages along the Cote d’Azur. Stroll down narrow alleyways and enjoy the pastel painted buildings with coloured window shutters and a shock of flowers that tumble down from the window boxes that adorn the higher floors.
The old town also has plenty of markets and shops to try, including delicious patisseries that will have you absolutely salivating.
Visit the Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-la-Platea
This baroque-style cathedral is located in the old town right next to the Chateau Grimaldi. The external front of the church is painted in varying shades of orange, yellow and terracotta and the beautiful ornate doors on the church are stunningly beautiful.
Inside, there is plenty of artwork to keep culture-lovers happy.
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