With trains, buses and roads running everywhere, Nice makes a great base from which to explore the French Riviera. Nearly every place on the Cote d'Azur can be a day trip from Nice, even distant Saint-Tropez. To narrow it down, I'll concentrate on places that are easily doable via public transport. In order of importance, here are the best day trips from Nice:
Glamorous Monaco is a world unto itself. Remember that Monaco is a country that contains two towns to see: Monaco Ville, site of the Prince's Palace and Monte Carlo, site of the famed Casino. It's an easy day trip that can be done by bus or train. See details on how to do a day trip from Nice to Monaco.
The yearly Film Festival is legendary but Cannes' elegant La Croisette beachside stroll makes it worth a visit any time of year. And, Cannes is one of the few Riviera towns with (artificial) sandy beaches.The train only takes 1/2 hour; the bus is much longer.
This coastal resort town sports a wonderful stretch of sandy beach, a harbour lined with restaurants and a delightful medieval town center.
Even without the Picasso Museum, this historic town would be worth a visit for the central Provencal Market and leafy Cap d'Antibes. There are plenty of trains from Nice and regular buses.
St Paul de Vence
Regular buses from Nice make St Paul the easiest of the hilltop villages to visit even though it is certainly the most touristy. The sweeping views from the walls and the first-rate art museum, Fondation Maeght make all the souvenir sellers worth withstanding. See details on how to do a day trip from Nice to St Paul de Vence.
This hilltop village makes a striking exclamation point on the Moyenne Corniche. This unique village is perched on a high hill with great views over the coast The medieval streets are lined with shops and cafes.
One of the Riviera's most legendary spots offers a spectacular coast and a town with fisherman cottages transformed into elegant boutiques. Read about the best way to get to St Tropez.