The French prefer to stay in France, where they don't have to use a foreign language, travel too far or make compromises. The French Riviera, also known as the Cote d'Azur, has something for everyone! Lovers of luxury or history, but also those who can't afford to spend all their savings on a vacation, will be satisfied here. The coast offers beautiful long beaches, clear sea, delicious cuisine as well as walks full of history.
In 2013, Marseille was declared the Capital of Culture in Europe. The city is perfect for explorers. Be sure not to miss the old port, visit the Opera, the Muceum (Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilization), the Hôtel de Ville, and make a stop at the Quai des Belges at the end of the port, where a fish market is held daily. Discover the Porte d'Aix - a triumphal arch that resembles the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, and the Notre-Dame de la Garde Basilica, which is located on a hill, offering stunning views of the entire city and the sea. There's something for football enthusiasts, too: the Velodrome stadium. It is one of the main European football cathedrals with a capacity of 67,000 spectators. If you book a guide, you'll get to see all the nooks and crannies of the stadium, including the changing rooms of the players. And not to forget, you have to taste Bouillabaisse while in Marseille. You might break your tongue trying to pronounce the name of this delicacy, but you won't regret it once it's standing in front of you. This fish stew is their favorite food!
The largest city of the Riviera is Nice, and it's slightly more affordable than Monaco, Cannes or Saint Tropez. As a result of that, many French tourists choose this destination; another reason for its popularity is the close proximity to the Nice Côte d'Azur Airport. Nice offers the French a taste of the exotic, some of the longest and most beautiful beaches in the country and plenty of entertainment options. If you visit Marineland, you'll find out that it's not an attraction reserved solely for children. Trust me, even adults will be stunned by the magnificent show with sea whales in the main role. You will fall in love with the leaping and dancing killer whales, dolphins and seals. Marineland is the most visited Zoo in France. The architecture of Nice differs from the typical French style and the atmosphere of the city is not the same we know from Paris and the like either. Rather than that, it evokes the feel of Italy. You'll be able to communicate with the locals in Italian, French and possibly even English without issues. If you take a stroll through the old town of Nice, you'll really feel like you've crossed the Italian border. Pasta is even the favorite food here!
But the architecture of Nice was also affected by the approximately 500 Russian families who lived here in the 19th century. That's why you'll find temples reminiscent of the architecture in Moscow here. The most famous is St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral, which was opened in 1912. And if you fancy a breath of Greece as well, check out Villa Kérylos.
One of the most luxurious views of the French Riviera can be experienced from a yacht moored in the port of Monaco. This breathtaking view of the millionaire rocks is spectacular. But Monaco offers more than the sophisticted floating toys of the rich. The kingdom spreads over an area of only two square kilometers, on which you can find property worth hundreds of millions of crowns. Start a shopping trip at the famous Monaco Square and discover boutiques of the most luxurious designers. Interestingly, you can pay with all debit or credit cards here, and most places even accept Bitcoin. If you imagine you vacation dream spot as being surrounded by luxury, Monaco is the place to go.
Enjoy walks in the port, taste fine menus of the best restaurants, discover places to relax and, last but not least, have some fun at the Monte Carlo Casino or watch Formula 1 racing. If you stop at the Monte Carlo Casina, you'll get a great view of cars with the strongest motors, and as a bonus, there's a good chance you'll spot a celebrity walking out of the casino.