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Paris and Mediterranean

Hello!
I am travelling to France this June. I am spending 10 days in Paris and then 4 days on the Mediterranean. For the 4 last days I can't decide between Marseille, Antibes, and Nice. I really want to relax on a sandy beach but I also want great food, somewhat of a night life, access to museums and other pieces of history, and possibly fun/different activities. I'm okay with somewhat slower pace as long as it's not completely dead at night time or nothing to do during the day.. so I was thinking Antibes. What would you recommend?

Also what are the must sees in Paris? I plan on getting a museum pass so what are your favorite ones? I also want to go places that aren't super touristy, what neighborhoods, restaurants, etc. would you recommend?

Posted by
35 posts

Hello. How about Barcelona? My sister and I took the train from Paris to Barcelona last year and loved it. We did not make it to any sandy beaches, but there is plenty to do any time of the day or night. And the Sagrada Familia is a must see if you believe something can be a must see. One of my favorite museums in Paris is Musee de Montmartre. It is small and non-touristy and has a lovely garden. I also enjoy the neighborhood of Montmartre and have stayed at Terrass Hotel twice. Had a great view of the Eiffel Tower from my room last time and it has a roof top restaurant and bar with wonderful views. Bonus is a cemetery next door. If it is your first trip to Paris, it might be better to stay nearer the center, though.

Have a great trip!

Posted by
3658 posts

Also what are the must sees in Paris? I plan on getting a museum pass so what are your favorite ones?

The Orsay is one of our favorites because of the impressionist paintings. The building itself would be worth a visit even without any art in it. In addition (if you like impressionist) the Orangerie is a great museum.

We've taken several cruises on the Seine during the day and at night. The company know as Les Vedettes du Pont-Neuf is, in our opinion, the best. The night cruises when the lights of the city are on are much better than those during the day.

And don't forget to go to Luxembourg Gardens. A great place to relax, people watch and "just be".

Posted by
916 posts

I'm a big cruiser and I have heard repeatedly among the cruise community that between Cannes, Marseille, and Villefranche that the best port is Villefranche - for its ease of getting to other destinations and its appearance and laid-back-ness. I have also heard of those 3 that people tend to dislike Marseille the most. I know RS is a big fan of Nice.

Re: Paris...we of course really liked the Eiffel Tower. A more offbeat one I liked was Pere Lechaise cemetary (where Jim Morrison and a whole bunch of other famous people are buried; very cool old headstones). We also loved the Bon Marche supermarket and RS's Rue Cler farmer's market. The Louvre is really cool too. I found Notre Dame to be kind of "meh" (as compared to other European churches like St. Peter's) and also was kind of "meh" about the Orsay, but that's just my opinion. Of course it all depends on what you find personally interesting.

Posted by
21326 posts

Of the three French options, Nice wins the museums contest, hands down. It's also the transportation hub of the eastern Riviera, so it's easy to travel by train to other places along the coast as well as into the hills (generally by bus).

Antibes is on the rail line, so it's well-connected to other coastal towns. It is by far the smallest of the three, though it was lively when I visited it in the daytime.

Marseille would be a more convenient location if you wanted to concentrate on places more to the west, including Cassis and the Calanques. I was not impressed by the museums in Marseille, but YMMV.

Posted by
5 posts

Antibes sounds right to me.

Nice is great but doesn't have the sandy beach you require; Antibes and neighbouring Juan les Pins do.