Road Trips

Enjoy this Scenic Paris to Nice Road Trip – Itinerary & Best Tips by Locals

07/07/2021

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Paris to Nice by Car

Best Road Trips France

There are many ways to travel from Paris to Nice, all with their advantages and inconveniences. However, if you are looking for a great French road trip and you have some time, then hit the road for a fun Paris to Nice road trip.

Driving from Paris to Nice is straightforward. Also, this scenic Paris to Nice drive is one of the best road trips in France as well as one of the best road trips from Paris. The Paris to Nice drive distance is 930 kilometers, with some memorable stops along the way depending on the route that you choose.

If you decide to try this Paris to Nice road trip, give yourself a week to 10 days to enjoy it. Of course, this road trip from Paris to Nice can be driven a lot faster, but why rush? For this Paris to Nice road trip, the journey is just as interesting as the final destination.

This Paris to Nice road trip is one of the best road trips in France. Read more about road tripping in France:

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Paris to Nice Drive Overview

  • Start: Paris
  • Finish: Nice
  • Duration: 9 days
  • Suggested Route: Paris – Beaune – Lyon – Avignon – Marseille – Nice
  • Total distance: 994.3 km, 10 hours in total
  • Regions covered: Ile-de-France, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur
  • Best for: sightseeing, landscapes, small towns, food, and wine.

Paris to Nice Road Trip – Map

Paris to Nice Road Trip Map
Paris to Nice Itinerary made with Google My Maps

Click here to view the Paris to Nice Road Trip Map on Google

Drive from Paris to Nice – Itinerary

As this road trip begins in Paris, take this opportunity to explore the French capital before hitting the road. There is no road trip travel on the first three days of this Paris to Nice road trip, but we have included recommendations on what to visit and where to stay.

For this road trip from Paris to Nice, you will need the car only from days 4 to 9. If you need to return to Paris, you could rent your car in Paris and drop it off in Nice.  Then, you can take a flight from Nice to Paris or take the train from Nice to Paris, via Marseille instead of the Nice to Paris drive back. Check out our tips for hiring a car in France.

Click here to rent your car in Paris

Day 0 | Arrival in Paris

The first stop in your Paris to Nice road trip is Paris. Before driving from Paris to Nice take your time to visit the French capital, which really needs no introduction.

How many days in Paris? We recommend a minimum of two full days to get a feel of what the city has to offer, plus an additional day trip to visit the Palace of Versailles and its Gardens.

If you have the budget, go for a hotel with Eiffel Tower views. A good (and cheaper) alternative is the Handsome Hotel by Elegancia in Paris 1. Located just 800 meters from the Louvre, this hotel offers its guests great facilities and always gets the best reviews.

Click here to book your stay at Handsome Hotel by Elegancia

TIP: Welcome Pickups offers a great door-to-door transfer service from the airport to your hotel at a fixed price.

Days 1 and 2 | Paris

Paris - France

For your days in Paris, be sure to cover the city’s main highlights such as Cité, the Louvre Museum (check out how to visit the Louvre in 2 hours or less), Montmartre, the Latin Quarter, and of course the Eiffel Tower. You can also have a look at this list of 50 iconic things to do in Paris and choose your favorite ones.

A good idea for short stays in Paris is this top-rated Paris Highlights Full-day Tour. Do more in six hours than most people do in three days with this fun-filled tour.

Day 3 | Day Trip to Versailles

Most Beautiful Castles in France - Château de Versailles

On the third full day of your French trip, grab a train, or take a guided tour to visit the amazing Château de Versailles and its surrounding gardens.

A trip to Versailles deserves a day in full. You can decide to visit just the Palace and the Gardens or do the Palace plus the Trianons, with the Queen’s Hamlet.

There’s so much to see and do in Versailles that we recommend planning this day trip well in advance. Check out this Versailles guide to find the best way to visit Versailles for you.

Day 4 | Paris – Beaune

This Paris to Nice itinerary crosses the beautiful region of Bourgogne, world-famous for its wines. Bourgogne (Burgundy) is also home to picturesque small cities, towns, and villages, and most of these small villages in Burgundy are listed as ‘Beautiful Villages of France.’

Morning in Auxerre

Auxerre - Burgundy

Instead of heading directly to Beaune, we recommend taking your time and visiting a couple of places in Bourgogne for beautiful architecture and delicious regional specialties. We recommend a stop at Auxerre, the fourth-largest city in Burgundy, bisected by the river Yonne.

The historical center is made of beautiful medieval and Renaissance-style buildings, and it is protected as a historic city. Wander the old town with its beautiful churches, half-timbered houses, and its iconic Clock Tower.

Afternoon in Beaune

Hotel Dieu, Beaune - Burgundy

Beaune is another must-see city in Burgundy. It is famous for the Hôtel-Dieu, a wonder of Burgundian architecture, but there are also other beautiful sights such as Notre-Dame Basilica or the Museum of Fine Arts.

Beaune is an excellent place to spend the night, especially because it is the capital of Bourgogne wines.  We recommend you park the car for the afternoon and take part in some Burgundy wine tastings!

For a night in Beaune, we suggest something special. Stay at the boutique hotel the Abbaye de Maizieres, a 12th-century former Cistercian Abbey, located in the heart of Beaune’s historical center. Enjoy the unique atmosphere with all the comforts for the modern guest.

Click here to book your stay at Hotel Abbaye de Maizieres

Day 5 | Beaune Lyon

The next stop of this Paris to nice Itinerary is Lyon, where we recommend spending one night. The drive from Beaune to Lyon is only one hour, so if you leave early in the morning, you will have a full day to explore Lyon.

Don’t know where to stay in Lyon? The Hotel de l’Abbaye is an authentic spot, intimate, and full of charm.

Click here to book your stay at Hotel de l’Abbaye

Lyon is a bustling city that’s also a cultural hub. Situated in the country’s east, near the Alps, Lyon is France’s third-largest city and a major tourist destination that offers yet another side to France.

Park your car for the rest of the day (there’s a public parking near the recommended hotel for Lyon) and visit the city on foot. If you only have one day to visit Lyon, spend it walking through the streets of Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon), the city’s most popular area to visit. This district has been the best preserved of all of Lyon’s neighborhoods, with beautiful Gothic and Renaissance architecture and some fascinating cultural museums.

You can use some ideas of things to see and do in Lyon from this Lyon itinerary.

Afternoon at Fourvière Hill

Lyon - France

In the afternoon you can climb the Fourvière Hill for great views of the city and for a short visit to the Fourvière Basilica, which overlooks Lyon. The church is the focus of the famous Fête des Lumières, which occurs at the start of December every year. The climb up to Fourvière Hill is an easy walk up from Old Lyon, but you can also take the funicular from the cathedral.

Lyon has also been recognized as France’s food capital (and the world according to some!), so be sure to taste some local specialties!

 Day 6 | Lyon Avignon

Avignon - France

The next stop of this Paris to Nice road trip is Avignon, the first destination in Provence of this road trip from Paris. This charming historic city on the South Bank of the Rhône River was home to seven popes. The Papal Palace, where they lived, is a jewel of civil gothic architecture and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Enjoy one day in Avignon. Here everything is within walking distance, and you can easily explore the city while strolling through its small cobblestone lanes. Be sure to visit the Palace of the Popes and wander along the Pont d’Avignon (the famous bridge) or admire it from afar.

For your night in Avignon, book at the Hotel Cloitre Saint Louis Avignon. This hotel is located in a beautiful 16th-century building with original arches and vaulted ceilings surrounded by a beautiful garden and an outdoor swimming pool.

Click here to book your stay at Hotel Cloitre Saint Louis Avignon

Day 7 | Avignon Marseille

Marseille - France

Marseille is the capital of the region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA between friends) and a famous port city. It’s quite different from Avignon and Nice, both in PACA, and an exciting city to explore.

For your night in Marseille, we recommend the Hotel La Résidence du Vieux Port, a charming hotel with the perfect location right on the banks of the Old Port.

Click here to book your stay at Hotel La Résidence du Vieux Port

One day to visit Marseille is tight but feasible. The city is best explored in two days, but if this is not possible, look at this Marseille 2-day itinerary and pick the sights and activities you like most.

You can also decide to wander around the picturesque port of Marseille and then take a catamaran cruise with lunch to explore the wonderful Calanques of Marseille – Cassis. The catamaran stops at spectacular coves for a swim and snorkel.

Calanque Port Miou

Days 8 and 9 | Marseille – Nice

Hotel Negresco - Nice

The drive Marseille – Nice takes two hours, and if you leave early in the morning, you will have almost two full days to explore Nice.

The last stop of this Paris to Nice by car is Nice, the French Riviera capital (Côte d’Azur). Nice is also located in the PACA region, but it is definitely more glitzy and glamorous than Marseille or Avignon.

Take your time to explore the Old Town, taste some provençal specialties, and of course have a stroll on the famous Promenade des Anglais! Nice also has some of the best French Riviera beaches, and their turquoise waters are calling for a dip.

For your two days in Nice, we recommend this Nice 2-day itinerary, which also comes with some restaurant suggestions for your dinners in Nice.

For your stay in Nice, book at the Hotel La Pérouse Nice Baie des Anges. This 4-star hotel is nestled into the Colline du Château, and it comes with Nice’s best view over the Baie des Anges. Rooms are huge, with elegant Mediterranean décor and a bathroom of Italian marble. Some of them also come with a private balcony with great ocean views. 

Click here to book your stay at Hotel La Pérouse Nice Baie des Anges

So, what are you waiting for? Book your French road trip Paris to Nice today!

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