All about Villefranche-sur-Mer

Add Remove


Villefranche-sur-Mer is privileged as it is located in one of the most beautiful harbors in France, at the end of a charming and deep bay of the Riviera, where ships of all sizes can drop anchor and enjoy the view of the city.

luftfoto af Villefranche-sur-Mer
Villefranche-sur-Mer is beautifully situated right inside the bay of Villefranche – ©

Great experiences await in Villefranche-sur-Mer

The small town of Villefranche-sur-Mer is one of the Côte-d’Azur’s most beautiful and charming towns. It was founded in 1295 and many buildings and other historical monuments from that time have been preserved.

In the modern district, there are several shops, including a supermarket, pharmacy, bakery, and greengrocer. There is also a lovely park with several small playgrounds, and, along the waterfront, you will find many inviting restaurants.

Flotte farvede huse i Villefranche-sur-Mer
Beautiful house facades characterize the small streets of Villefranche-sur-Mer – ©

Treat yourself to a stroll in the winding streets of the Old Town, where the yellow, ochre, and rose-colored house facades are saturated by the sun’s dominant presence in the Villefranche area. The warm colors of the houses contrast beautifully with the shades of the often-half-closed shutters, which testify of the calm and relaxed life of the inhabitants.

Rue Obscure I Villefranche-sur-Mer
In Rue Obscure, you are taken all the way back to the Middle Ages through the 130 meter long covered street – ©

Take a walk under the arcades and on the maze of stairs. Discover the street “rue Obscure”, which is a 130-meter-long, underground street built in the 1200s to facilitate the passage of soldiers through the city, and which was also used to store wine and protect livestock.

Sights & activities

Also visit the Saint-Michel church, which is easily recognizable by the façade’s sublime palette of white, pink, and pale-yellow colors. The church’s colors and baroque architecture date from the 1700s, and it houses one of the Riviera’s oldest organs, which was built in 1790. You can also admire a life-size reclining Christ, carved in fig wood.

Close to the fishing port, it is worth discovering the Saint-Pierre chapel, which was completely renovated and beautifully decorated by Jean Cocteau in 1957.

The southern end of the city is dominated by the city’s citadel, which for history buffs is a City-must-Xee. The fortifications were built by the Duke of Savoy in 1554 to guard the port. They are incredibly well preserved, and bears witness to the medieval glory of Villefranche-sur-Mer. Today, the citadel also houses the mayor’s office, Hôtel de Ville, and three museums.

Citadellet i Villefranche-sur-Mer
The Citadel is a great experience and with free entry – ©

A very special event has taken place in the city every year since 1902 in February – Combat Naval Fleuri (flowers naval combat). It is a carnival-like event where the boats are decorated with flowers and sail close to all the spectators at the harbor. Quite a spectacular experience, which fills the waterfront promenade with thousands of people every year.

Find links to all the sights at the end of the article.

The favorite of cruisers

Beautifully situated in the deepest bay of the Riviera, Villefranche-sur-Mer is a favorite destination for luxury cruise ships. They are usually anchored here for a day, from where cruise guests are often driven sightseeing in buses to Nice, Cannes or Monaco.

Many of the cruise guests also stay in Villefranche, but the city’s charm and atmosphere with its old buildings, alleys, squares, and promenades have not been compromised.

Where to stay in Villefranche-sur-Mer?

The best hotel in Villefranche is Welcome Hôtel, centrally located with the most beautiful views of the harbor and close to the beach. See all the options in the overview here:

Where to eat in Villefranche-sur-Mer

Villefranche-sur-Mer has several good restaurants, especially down the harbor promenade, where they are lined up, each with its own colorful awning. In the nearby square, there are also several restaurants.

The nightlife is relatively quiet, but there are several cafés and bars that serve drinks late into the evening.

It is a good idea to book a table in high season.

See the list of restaurants here:

The beach

Villefranche-sur-Mer has a lovely beach inside the bay. It consists of a mixture of sand and pebbles, and the water is crystal clear. Sun loungers are available for rent from where you can enjoy life and the incredibly beautiful view of the coast.

Photo gallery – Villefranche-sur-Mer

Villefranche-sur-Mer restaurants and hotels
Eat and stay well in Villefranche-sur-Mer. Find exactly what suits you in the overview here:
How to get to Villefranche-sur-Mer

With the centrally located train station, it is easy to travel between Villefranche-sur-Mer and the other towns on the French Riviera. There are also buses, from both Nice and Monaco, and, finally, you can walk along the beautiful coastal path from Nice.

By Tommy Sverre – 2024

Experiences in Villefranche-sur-Mer
Scroll to Top

Subscribe to newsletter