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Planning on visiting Lyon, Marseille, and Nice and wanting to know if 3 nights in each is enough.

We are traveling in Europe for 7 weeks and I'm stuck on what there is to see and what area to stay in in Lyon, Marseille, and Nice. We are traveling by train and arriving after 3 nights in Paris, and after we leave Nice we will be heading on to Italy, Switzerland, and Germany before flying out of Brussels. We love architecture, water, quaint places, and quaint reflection picture opportunities. In our earlier travels we did the museums, etc, in the big cities. Now we want to see the other side of Europe. We loved Strasbourg, France with its beautiful churches and river ride under bridges, etc. just for some background into our likes.

When going to trip advisor I didn't find it helpful in seeing where to stay that would be central to the attractions. Also, when I tried to find out about Nice hotels it took me to hotels in Marseille. What is there to see in all 3 cities would be a great help and what area of town is the best neighborhood to see these places, and is it navigable via train and metro once we have arrived with our 4 prices of luggage, between us with 2 being carry ons.

Posted by
516 posts

I would take a look a Villa Franche Sur Mer right outside Nice. We prefer to stay in this area and bus back and for to Nice. Lots of hotels in Nice. My favorite area is the old town around the flower market. If you search for hotels in Nice try Nice Vieux. This should help. Marseille look for hotels around the harbor. Safe and lots of people around. Beautiful too. Lyon again look for Lyon Vieux.

Posted by
3662 posts

You might consider a night's stop in Avignon, easily done on the train from Lyon to Marseille. The walled city has great views of the Rhone River, tours of the famous papal palace, an appetizing daily market (mornings), several decent art museums, restaurants (and the tourists that go with them.) If coming from Lyon, the regional train rather than the fast TGV has some views of the Rhone valley and its steep vineyards, and arrives at the edge of the city core rather than at the TGV station on the city outskirts.

Posted by
4125 posts

I am not going to knock Marseilles, where I wish I had spent more time than an afternoon. But it sounds as though you are not familiar with the area. If so, you might want to consider the Rhone valley/Luberon part of Provence.

That area includes magnificent Roman antiquities and lovely small towns. Marseilles is a grittier urban destination and not well situated as a base to the Rhone attractions.

I'd suggest you spend your 3 days in a small city like Arles or a town like Isle-sur-la-Sorge. All have good rail connections to other attractions. You won't really be able to spend time in the hill towns without a car, alas, but there is a lot to see on train and bus lines.

Nice is about 3 hours from there by rail.