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Day Trips

Best things to do in St Paul de Vence and Vence

Vence

Discover Saint Paul de Vence

Saint Paul de Vence is the most visited village in France and one of the oldest medieval town on the French Riviera. The village has seen many celebrities pass through it’s streets and eat in it’s restaurants like Picasso, Roger Moore and Jean Paul Sartre to name a few. Saint Paul de Vence is well known for his art galleries. 

From Nice, it takes only half an hour to reach this sumptuous medieval village. It is an ideal excursion for a day if you like history and art.

What to see, what to do in Saint Paul de Vence?

It is a historic village to discover in all seasons. The small paved streets and fountains are typical of Provence. While walking in this village, you can discover the artistic heritage of the region. Follow your mood and relax on the terrace of a small cafe of Saint Paul de Vence and admire the superb view from the heights of Provence.

sunset village saint paul de vence

Take de time to visit Saint Paul de Vence, you will not regret it. Picture by temorkemo

One day visiting Saint Paul de Vence

The fortified village of St Paul de Vence is quite small. It takes only a few minutes to cross the village from side to side but you can spend a beautiful day discovering the fantastic views of the ramparts, the architecture of the houses, the different squares, the amazing art galleries, the museums and take the time to have a delicious french lunch in one of the best restaurants.

The village of Saint Paule de Vence

Walk through the streets to discover the porches, small gardens, arches, fountains that make all the charm of this beautiful village. Then take a little bit of way on the ramparts to see the sea view and on the other side on the mountain. You will not be disappointed !

stone facade with plant growing on it

Let yourself be carried away by the Provencal atmosphere of this beautiful village. Picture by Vemma

Art galleries of Saint Paul de Vence

Discover why the region was so popular with the Impressionists. The village is really an open-air gallery. You can see artists at work in their studios and staging exciting exhibitions while you wander in the streets of the Saint Paul de Vence. Just open your eyes to discover magnificent works.

 

Folon Chapel (or the chapel of the white penitents)

If art is your hobby, take a ticket to discover the “Folon Chapel”. The Belgian artist Jean-Michel Folon was also a great fan of Saint Paul de Vence. The chapel is his last work he created to pay homage to the brotherhood of white penitents in 2005. This is one of the most beautiful chapel you will ever had the opportunity to visit. Pastel colors, simple designs, modern windows do not leave indifferent.

statue of a man with a bird in his hand

This chapel perched at the top of the village of Saint Paule de Vence is definitely worth a visit. Picture by Tireloup

Fondation Maeght

The Maeght Foundation has one of the largest collections of paintings, sculptures, drawings and graphic works of modern art and contemporary artists in Europe with more than 13,000 references. Whether or not you appreciate modern art is not important. Definitely go there and enjoy the setting, the architecture and the great variety of artworks, canvases and images. You will see the great classics of modern art in large size in a place with mythical architecture and a beautiful garden with water basins.

moderne building white and briques

The fondation Maeght is a true living monument of contemporary art. Picture by Warner Bayer

 

Restaurants – La Colombe d’or

Located at the entrance of the village before the ramparts gate, “La Colombe d’Or” has a particular aura and character. The owner of the restaurant was very curious and interested about art and it attracted artists of all stripes, who became frequent visitors and some of the faithful friends. At the time, they would exchange their work against a few meals and now the place looks like a restaurant museum.

They say that Artists like Yves Montand and Simone Signoret met at “La Colombe d’Or” and married in the village! 

terrasse of a restaurant with tables and plant climbing the wall

The works of art on the walls, gifts from famous painters, attest to the exceptional quality of the dishes served. Picture by José-Arlindo S. DeSouza

 

Vence

To continue your visit, you can go to Vence which is the neighboring village of Saint Paul de Vence. It is the chic village in the hinterland of Nice. The town is located at the foot of Baous, between three rivers and there springs two sources. A little piece of paradise that has seduced for many centuries.

Away from the glitter of the Côte d’Azur, Vence has attracted many renowned artists who drew their inspiration quietly: Marc Chagall or Henri Matisse who built the famous Chapel of the Rosary. Today, workshops and artists’ galleries are still present in Vence.

street of Vence with a woman walking

Vence breathes the charm of Provence. Picture by Claude

Last tips

The village of Saint Paul de Vence is a popular tourist center even off season. We advise you to visit Saint Paul de Vence in the morning or in the evening to enjoy the streets less crowded. In summer, it will also allow you to survive the heat that hits well on the yellow stones of the ramparts.

Travel Tip

Take the 400 bus from The Albert 1re stop near the hostel.

Local guide tips
  • Wander through the streets of the village and drop in to some of the many art galleries.
  • The village is a great place to eat because there are many great little restaurants . Eat lunch at the famous Colombe D’or restaurant.
  • After visiting the village, head to The Fondation Maeght art gallery set in beautiful gardens and contains one of the biggest 20th-century art collections in Europe.
  • Take the bus one stop to Vence and wander around the maze of cobbled alleyways in the historical centre.
Villahostels, Nice

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