When you look around for a road trip in the South of France, you might wonder: is Menton worth visiting? In short, we say yes! Is it a true pearl in France? And again, in short, we say yes! The city is beautifully located on the French Riviera and close to the Italian border. That surely already contributes greatly to a successful trip. Not even mentioning the beaches, botanical garden, viewpoints and incredible food. We think you deserve a better picture. Therefore we will share 17 reasons why you should visit and things to do in Menton. Altogether, it will all be a summary of a great travel guide for a one-day trip or for a longer time in Menton.
Getting to Menton
A reason why Menton is worth visiting is that it has great connections to other places in France and even Italy! Due to the variety of travel options, you can also consider travelling budget style. See below several ways to get to Menton:
- By car: the easiest option is to visit by car. No matter if it is your own or with a rental car. We did not experience any struggles finding parking in the city. But you do need to take into account costs of around 2 to 3 euros per hour.
- By train: multiple trains run through Menton. Above all, did you know that you can even visit from Paris? The train from Paris takes around 6-8 hours. However, if you want to visit from cities closer to Menton you can easily visit from Marseille (3-4 hours), Nice (30 minutes) or Monaco (15 minutes)
- By airplane: Nice is the airport that is closest to Menton and is often used as the airport to visit the French Riviera. From here you can easily take the train or arrange transport like a taxi.
- To Italy by train: really? Yes! You can easily visit Italy from Menton. The first train stop after the Italian border is Ventimigli. Not to mention that it is only 15 minutes away.
Note: our content may include affiliate links for products we love. This won’t cost you anything, but it helps us to keep this travel blog updated and live.
This way we can keep inspiring you to explore and discover the world with our recommendations
Is one day in Menton Enough?
It is perfectly fine if you want to visit Menton for a one-day trip. The city is relatively small, and therefore easy to explore in a day and even on foot. You can walk around for a day, plus take a dip in the sea! If you do want to make Menton a destination for a longer period, you should. It is easy to explore multiple cities and areas around. So it is recommended to use Menton as your home base. You won’t regret it!
Where to stay in Menton?
If Menton is your home base for your trip, where should you stay? There is a variety of options available, from budget to luxury. This also makes it interesting to stay if you are visiting more expensive places in the region. Like Monaco, which can be much more expensive for accommodation. In brief, see below some options with great reviews:
- Hotel Palm Garavan: more budget with a great location
- Hotel Napoleon: with sea views and a pool
- Villa Genesis: Royal feelings for a higher budget
- Studio with holiday vibes: a studio for 4 for a true “getaway” experience
17 Reasons and Things to do; Why Menton is Worth Visiting
1. Menton is located in the beautiful South of France
The South of France (also known as the French Riviera or Côte d’Azur) is one of the most admired regions in Europe. And that makes full sense once you see all the picturesque villages, the sunny weather and the refreshing Mediterranean Sea. And the charm of Menton makes this region even more exciting! The French Riviera yearly attracts many tourists from all over the world. Some even with their private yachts, as some cities like Monaco attract the rich and famous. Menton is less busy compared to Nice and Monaco but still has the picturesque vibes of Eze or Villefranche-Sur-Mer. Menton welcomes you!
2. It is perfect for Budget and luxury
To repeat, no matter what your budget is, Menton is open for budget and luxury travel styles. With some of the most expensive cities close by, Menton is cheaper to stay and enjoy your day. However, if luxury is your style, Menton is also worth visiting with some exclusive accommodations and Michelin stars available.
3. Menton is one of the prettiest Colourful villages
Menton is offering something that many LOVE: charming streets, colourful houses, attractive architecture and a gorgeous skyline. Yellow, red, and green, you will see it all while maintaining the historical touch. With some of the most jet-set cities in the region, Menton is, in contrast, “back to basic” – not full of the glitter and shine.
4. Stunning viewpoints
What we loved about Menton, and what makes it worth visiting, are the many viewpoints! From high as well as lower points, the views are good! The most spectacular is “Vue panoramique de Menton”. From here you can see the beautiful skyline of the city. Another viewpoint from the lower ground is the old port, “Port of Menton” if you enjoy boats and yachts. From higher levels, it is worth visiting the stairs next to Basilique Saint-Michel-Archange. With this in mind, the sea and the colourful architecture will make you obsessed with this village!
5. It’s all about lemons!
Did you know that Menton’s unique selling point is lemons? You will truly see and smell it all around in the shops (perfect for souvenirs, and they have many you wouldn’t expect!) and in restaurants. Limoncello is a must-try in Menton. And yes, some yummy signature dishes with lemon do exist! It’s even so big that they have a dedicated lemon festival every winter: “Fete du Citron”. Did you ever think you would see lemon sculptures? Well, during this festival it is all around! There is even a Golden Fruit Parade with music and decorated, rolling sculptures. In other words, it is comparable to the carnival! But then for lemons.
6. The pretty historical old town of Menton
A main attraction to consider if Menton is worth visiting is the historical Old Town. If you love picturesque cobblestone streets, small, narrow, small stairs and viewpoints, Menton is the place for you! The city is getting extra vibes due to the lemons, plants, flowers and palm trees. Truly, a tropical touch in the city! Remember, do not forget your photo camera. Especially when walking through Rue Longue, which is a real eye-catcher. For sure you will make some great holiday memories here!
7. Beaches to soak up some sun
Never skip an opportunity to jump in the Mediterranean Sea, right? In Menton, you have two beaches worth visiting. The first is “Plage Des Sablettes”. This beach is beautifully surrounded by the skyline of Menton and is known for its boulevard with many arches. The water is calm, so it’s perfect for swimming and families. A second beach is “Plage du Casino”.
8. Stroll around the Promenade du Soleil
Do you like to just stroll on boulevards in slow motion, feeling the wind through your hair and enjoying an ice cream? Bingo, we found another reason why Menton is worth visiting! The Promenade du Soleil is around 2km of fun walking. Definitely, you will be able to enjoy the sea views, soak up the sun, and enjoy the food around with palm trees lined up. And when the evening falls, you can enjoy the families or groups catching the refreshing evening breeze.
9. Daytrips in France
Generally speaking, day trips from Menton are very easy to arrange! You can travel from Menton to Nice, or from Menton to Monaco in 30 minutes by train. It will give you a great impression of the unique French Riviera. And big chances it will even make you want to come back anytime soon! Besides visiting other cities, there are also multiple tours available to discover the region more inland, the provinces or to have fun with, for example, wine tasting. Who can resist that?
10. Pleasant weather
One of the main reasons why Menton is worth visiting is the pleasant climate. You can enjoy yourself here all year round with more than 300 sun days per year! Generally speaking, the months we recommend most are from April to October. Spring, summer or autumn, it’s all worth it. Of course, the summer months are busier, you have more sun hours (with around 15 hours per day as the longest day) the sea is warmer and it can be pretty hot. But the city is alive at night. And therefore perfect for an evening stroll on the boulevard! Keep in mind that the city can have a “winter sleep” during the winter months, to regain new energy and rest before the next high season kicks off.
11. Italian Ice cream in Menton
Did we say Ice Cream? Surely, we did! Italy is only 15 minutes away, and that Italian ice cream speciality totally crossed the borders! Allow yourself to try all the different flavours. And while in Menton, do not forget to try the lemon ice cream right!
12. Gardens and tropical vibes
You will notice that there is quite some greenery around the city. This is due to tropical plants being imported from all over the world to give Menton a beautiful vibe. This also results in numerous gardens, some now a true tourist attraction. The most famous one is the “Jardin Botanique Exotique Val Rah“. In English, this means “The valley of tranquillity”. You can visit the garden with a variety of over 1000 plants all year long for approximately 7 euros per person. The garden is now part of the Museum of Natural History.
13. YUMMY Food
Menton is secretly a food heaven if you love fresh seafood and influences from France and Italian cuisine. We enjoyed delicious fresh gamba dishes, pasta and one of our favourites: Frito Misto! This is a mix of fried fish, often served in a takeaway box. If you love Michelin-star restaurants, Menton is even more worth visiting. With its 3 star restaurant “Mirazur“. No matter what you like, as long as it is Mediterranean you will eat your tummy full every day!
14. Iconic churches
The Basilica of St-Michael the Archangel shows up centrally in Menton since the 17th century. The yellow church with the iconic bell tower is beautifully located with great views over the sea. However, if you prefer, you can do a (self-guided) tour to hear more about its history.
15. The Jean Cocteau Museum
If you enjoy visiting museums during holidays, you can enjoy yourself at the Jean Cocteau Museum. The building is pretty unique as the museum is located in a Bastion. You can see paintings, ceramics and other artistic work from Menton’s famous Jean Cocteau for only around 5 euros per person.
16. Easy to visit Italy
Italy is so close, you can even walk along the coast to cross the border! If you are up to it, go for it. Otherwise, you will have great connections by car or train. The funny thing is that we quite quickly noticed the differences between Italy and France as soon as we crossed the border. Continue your road trip to Italy, like to Genua, Turin, Milan or Cinque Terre!
17. Perfect for a road trip to France and Italy
Now that you maybe understand why Menton is worth visiting, you also want to find the best itinerary for a road trip to France and Italy. Luckily we have this one for you! From our own experience, we recommend to you this epic road trip from St. Tropez all the way to Tuscany in Italy. This trip is for many a dream coming true as it has multiple highlights and bucket list destinations included.
Check it out now: Roadtrip Itinerary from France to Italy