Where to Stay in Nice in 2024: Best Places in 10 Neighborhoods
French Riviera

Day Trip from Nice to Eze

Eze is one of the most popular day trips from Nice and for good reason. The Cote d'Azur has many perched villages but Eze is a standout for its dramatic position overlooking the coast. Plants, flowers and shrubs line the medieval streets and the views over the coast are unforgettable.

Street in Eze village

There are no trains from Nice to Eze village which stands at 427m above the sea. The most efficient way there is to take a bus from Nice to Eze village which takes about 30 minutes.

Buses From Nice to Eze Village

To take a bus to Eze village there are two options: Bus 82 run by Nice's city transport, Lignes d'Azur or bus 602 (formerly bus 112 which no longer exists) run by the regional Zou network. Both buses begin the journey at Nice's Gare Routiere (bus station) at Vauban. The bus station at Vauban lies on Tram line 1.

Frequency is not great on either line. Buses run every 45 minutes or so Monday to Saturday. Bus 82 runs hourly on Sunday and bus 602 doesn't run at all which is why it's best to avoid a day trip to Eze on Sunday if possible.

Here are samples of the 2024 bus schedules for lines 82 and 602 for informational purposes. (Check the latest bus 82 schedules on the lignesdazur website and the bus 602 schedules here).

Schedule line 82

Schedule line 602

Because Eze is one of the most popular day trips from Nice, these buses can be extremely crowded from June to September. I strongly recommend boarding the bus either at Vauban or at one of the stops before Bavastro (near the Port) in order to have any hope of getting a seat. The lines at the Bavastro stop can be long. The stop you want is "Eze village". Before heading to the village (across the street), check out the times for the return buses which are posted at the bus stop.

To return from Eze after your visit, try to prioritize line 82. Line 602 makes a loop to Monaco and back and traffic can be heavy into or out of Monaco. Lengthy delays on that line are frequent.

It's easy to continue on to Monaco before returning to Nice: simply hop on the next 602 bus to Monaco!

Note that you can pay for a trip on line 82 using your Lignes d'Azur card available for purchase at tram line ticket dispensers (more). Line 602 is run by Zou. Buy a ticket from the driver for €2.50 or from a ticket dispenser. Note that ticket dispensers sell a Ticket Azur for €2.50 which covers a bus or tram trip plus the trip on line 602.

Train and Bus to Eze Village

The town of Eze stretches down to the sea at which point it becomes Eze-sur-Mer, a stop on the Riviera's coastal train which runs from Nice to Monaco, Menton and Ventimiglia. It's possible to hike the steep path up to Eze Village but it's not for novices. Look for signs to the "Chemin de Nietzsche". The German philosopher regularly hiked this trail during his stays on the Riviera.

Otherwise, find bus 83 from the Eze-sur-Mer train station which will take you up to the village. Check the schedules carefully though as this bus is even less frequent than the others.

The train to the bus is a good solution for those wishing to check out the beach at Eze-sur-Mer before heading up to the village.

Practical Information

Mobility

While most reasonably mobile people will have no trouble climbing to and through the village, those with mobility issues may find it difficult. The steepest part is the short path leading up to the entrance. After that, the slope is more gradual. The village is not wheelchair accessible.

Tickets

To avoid lines at the entrance to the Exotic Garden, pick up tickets (€7) from the machine near the tourist office (credit card only). There's another machine down the path from the entrance to the Garden.

Exotic Garden ticket booth, Eze

When to Go

If visiting in the summer, try to get an early start to avoid the crowds which start to fill the village around 10:30am. Also, the Exotic Garden (open from 9am) is shadeless and can be less pleasant under the midday sun. Most shops and boutiques don't open before 10am though which is worth keeping in mind if your goal is to hit the shops.

things to do in eze

Shopping, historical monuments, breathtaking views, a splendid garden: Eze has it all! Here's a recommended itinerary to see all of Eze's sights in about 90 minutes:

The path up to Eze Village begins next to the parking lot. On your right you'll see the tourist office which is a good place to pick up a map. Not that you'll need it! Eze is small. Next to the tourist office are toilets.

Sign in Eze

Continue climbing. On your left you'll come to a sign indicating the Nietzsche path (Sentier Nietzsche) that leads down to the train station and the coast.

Beginning of Nietzsche path, Eze

The philosopher stayed in Nice from 1883 to 1884 and was fond of walking from Nice to Eze-sur-Mer and then hiking up to the village. He conceived of the third part of Thus Spoke Zarathustra while on this hike.

Eze village as seen from the Nietzsche path

Eze from the Sentier Nietzsche

 As you climb next to the sturdy stone walls you'll be treated to impressive views over the coast to Monaco.

Walls of Eze village

View from Eze village

Climb up to the sole entrance to the walled village.

The Poterne, Eze
Village entrance

In the 14th century Eze's rulers, the Dukes of Savoy, became concerned about the security situation in their perched village. The entrance to the village was reinforced with towers, a casemate for a cannon to the left and gatehouses within. The fortified ensemble is called La Poterne. Despite the effort a Franco-Turkish alliance breached the fortification and occupied the village in 1543.

(See more about Eze history in my Eze travel guide)

Follow the marked path uphill on the rue Principale. Notice the trompe l'oeil windows on the left. They date from the 18th century when the street was populated by wealthy families who wished to advertise their status.

Trompe l'oeil window, Eze

As you climb the stone streets, you'll notice that many of the medieval buildings now house shops and boutiques selling a variety of artisanal items from clothes and bags to jewelry and textiles. The shopping is great. If you see something you like, buy it! Don't assume you can get it elsewhere in the region.

Shopping street in Eze

Speaking of wealthy families, climb a little further to the Chateau Riquier.

Chateau Riquier, Eze

Chateau Riquier

The Riquier family was a wealthy, aristocratic family from Nice who built this outpost in Eze in the 13th century. In the 20th century the building was sold to American composer Samuel Barlow who restored it and also installed this fountain in this lovely square across the street.

Fountain, Eze village

The fountain only dates from 1930. Until then water had to be carried uphill to the village from a source near the sea!

A few steps up from the square on the right is the Chapelle de la Sainte Croix, where members of the White Penitents order met and arranged assistance to victims of the Black Plague. Dating from 1306, it's the oldest building in the village. It's also where Eze residents voted to become part of France in 1860.

Chapelle de la Sainte Croix, Eze

A few steps up the path you'll see a sign for the Chateau Eza, formerly known as the "Prince of Sweden Castle". Prince William of Sweden chose this sprawling medieval building as the royal family's holiday residence in 1923 and it remained royally occupied until 1953. Now it houses one of the finest hotels on the Riviera, the Chateau Eza, which also boasts a fine Michelin-starred restaurant. It's worth stopping by at least for a coffee or cocktail on the terrace.

Chateau Eza, Eze village

Follow signs to the Jardin Exotique (Exotic Garden), an unmissable sight at the top of the village.

Jardin Exotique, Eze

Dating from the end of WWII, it's a remarkable site that combines spectacular views with an artfully arranged garden landscape right under the remains of Eze's old fortress.

Ancient fortress of Eze

Only a few remnants are left after King Louis XIV destroyed Eze's 12th-century walls in 1706.

The gardens were planted in harmony with the local climate. The south side focuses on succulent plants from desert climes in the Americas and Mexico.

Cactus in Jardin Exotique, Eze

The northern side is shady and humid, perfect for myrtle, cistus, tree ferns from New Zealand and other typical Mediterranean plants. The west side shelters subtropical plants such as Cycas, Dicksonia, papyrus and ferns. Here, there's a "contemplative space" with teak lounge chairs next to a bubbling waterfall.

Contemplative space, Eze Exotic Garden

As you wander down the garden landscape, you'll be treated to jaw-dropping views over the coast and down to Eze-sur-Mer.

Coastal view from Eze

Along the way, enjoy another feature of the Jardin Exotique: sculpture.

Sculpture of woman in Jardin Exotique, Eze

Sculptures of women in Jardin Exotique, Eze

Artist Jean-Philipe Richard created terracotta and bronze sculptures of women to adorn the Jardin Exotique in 2003. Their graceful figures blend in perfectly with the landscape.

After leaving the gardens follow signs to the Eglise Notre Dame de l'Assomption.

Church of the Assumption, Eze

This baroque jewel was built at the end of the 18th century by the Italian architect Antoine Spinelli on the ruins of a much older church.

Interior of Church of the Assuption, Eze

There are 18 sun motifs in the flashy interior which may be an allusion to the worship of Isis, the Egyptian sun goddess. It's said that the ancient Phoenicians occupied this site even before the Romans and erected a temple to the goddess nearby.

Before heading back to Nice or on to Monaco, why not stop in a perfume shop to pick up a gift or learn about perfume production? Both Fragonard and Galimard have outlets in and around the village.

Recommended Experiences

 


Follow on Instagram Pinterest button Facebook button

Back to Top

©FrenchRivieraTraveller 2008-2024