The most affordable French Riviera towns for your next dream vacation

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Written By Candela Garcia

The French Riviera is one of the most sought-after holiday destinations in Europe. With its glamorous beaches, picturesque villages, and vibrant nightlife, it’s easy to see why people flock here for a luxurious getaway. But if you’re looking for an affordable trip to this stunning region, worry not – there are plenty of towns along the coast that provide great value without sacrificing any of the beauty or excitement!

From Menton and Antibes to Juan Les Pins and Cagnes Sur Mer, we’ll explore four of the most affordable French Riviera towns so you can visit the South of France on a budget without breaking the bank.

I created a completed guide with the average hotel costs as well as some of the best activities each town has to offer so you can decide which one is the best for you.

As always, if you are in a hurry you can use our table of contents to jump straight to the conclusion.

Let’s begin!

FROM THE AUTHOR: This guide is focused on mid-range and boutique hotels in cheap South of France towns. If you want to stay in a more expensive town such as Antibes of Cannes without splurging we also have a French Riviera hostel guide that you should heck


Menton, one of the most affordable French Riviera towns
Source: @w8asecondpls

Menton is the perfect place to explore the beauty of the French Riviera without breaking your budget. Located just a few kilometers from Italy, it offers an Italian-influenced atmosphere with stunning views and plenty of activities to enjoy.

Accommodation in Menton

With its stunning views and Italian-influenced atmosphere, there are plenty of affordable accommodation options available in Menton. From cheap hotels and hostels to camping sites and Airbnb’s, you’ll be sure to find a place that fits your budget without compromising on quality.

The cost of the accommodation will vary according to the month of your vacation but I made a list with the averages that you can expect in each season:

  • Spring (March to June):
    • Hotel: $90/night
    • Airbnb: $75/night
  • Summer (July to September):
    • Hotel: $120/night
    • Airbnb: $100/night
  • Fall (October to December):
    • Hotel: $80/night
    • Airbnb: $70 / night

Where to stay in Menton

Hotel de Belgique a Menton

While it’s true that the hotel is modest and lacks luxury amenities, it fulfills the basic cleanliness standards and has an amazing and welcoming staff. The best thing about this hotel is that it is located just in front of the train station which makes traveling around the Cote D’ Azur really simple, and if you are getting around by car most of the time free parking in front of the hotel can be found.

Le Vallaya Suites & Spa

This is my favorite budget-friendly hotel in Menton. It is a little more expensive than the Hotel de Belgique but offers incredible value for your money with renewed rooms, a beautiful terrace with outstanding sea views and a location just steps away from the beach.

Hotel Lemon

This amazing family-owned hotel is the perfect place to feel like you are in a Wes Anderson Film. I can speak about its amazing decoration or how convenient its location is, but honestly, the real gem of this hotel is its private garden with lemon trees, century-old palms, and a banana tree where you can have breakfast or relax after a busy day.

Things to do in Menton

  • Visit the Menton Old Town and stroll around its charming streets
  • Admire the art and sculptures at the Jean Cocteau Museum
  • Take a relaxing walk along on La Promenade du Soleil
  • Go for a swim in Garavan Beach or Paloma Beach
  • Explore some of the historic churches in town, including St. Michel Church
  • Enjoy incredible views of Italy from the top of Menton’s lighthouse
  • Check out one of Europe’s most colorful markets: The Cours Saleya Market
  • Relax with stunning mountain views at Parc du Val de l’Esteron

Transportation in Menton

The transportation options in Menton are quite diverse and reliable, making it easy to connect to other popular towns on the French Riviera. Bus services are operated by Lignes d’Azur, while the Gare de Menton Garavan provides access to nearby cities via regional trains. Uber and Taxis are also available if you want to reach more secluded parts of the town without renting a car.

Is it worth staying in Menton?

The great thing about Menton is that the town is well connected by train to other popular destinations such as Cannes, Monaco, and Nice, yet it is an interesting town to visit by itself, so you won’t feel bored if you decide to skip the day trips and relax at its beaches.

You can easily make your stay in Menton an unforgettable one by visiting its charming churches, and art galleries and immersing yourself in the Italian & French culture

Juan Les Pins

Juan Les Pins is a commune of Antibes located just a 30-minute walk from the Old Town of Antibes, which makes it a great place to base yourself and enjoy the best restaurants of Antibes with a view and the convenience of its train station for a fraction of the cost.

Something that I love about Juan Les Pins is that it’s also located nearby Billionaires Bay, one of my top favorite beaches in the region.

Accommodation in Juan Les Pins

Accommodation in Juan Les Pins ranges from hostels to mid-range hotels and vacation rentals – all of which offer comfortable stays at reasonable prices.

Some of the rates that you can expect to find are:

Spring (March-May):

  • Hotels: €100/night
  • Vacation Rentals/Airbnb: €70/night

Summer (June-August):

  • Hotels: €130/night
  • Vacation Rentals/Airbnb: €85/night.

Fall (September-November):

  • Hotels: €80/night.
  • Vacation Rentals/Airbnb: €60/night

Where to stay in Juan Les Pins

Hotel Les Strélitzias

This hotel is the most modern you’ll find within this budget range and has an incredible French garden where you can enjoy your breakfast before heading to the Plage de Juan Les Pins beach, which is only 300 meters from the hotel.

Sweet Inn Maison Blanche

The Sweet Inn is an apartment complex turned into a boutique hotel which means that each hotel room is actually a studio or one-bedroom apartment. From cooking your own meals to having a drink at your own private terrace, the flexibility of having an apartment for yourself while enjoying the benefits of counting with the hotel staff will make the best budget-friendly stay.

Hotel Juana

If you want to have an affordable luxury experience in the French Riviera then staying in Hotel Juana at Juan Les Pins is your best choice. While this hotel is not the cheapest around town, the luxury experience that you will have for as little as $350 is worth $500-700 per night at places like Cannes or Nice.

Things to do in Juan Les Pins

  • Take the Sentier de Tirepoil and hike the Cap D’Antibes path
  • Sail around the Riviera
  • Use the French Riviera Pass to visit the Picasso Museum
  • Visit the Garoupe lighthouse for incredible views of Antibes and its surrounding towns

Transportation in Juan Les Pins

Juan Les Pins is well-connected to other towns along the French Riviera, making it easy to explore the surrounding area. Its main train station, called Gare de Juan Les Pins, is just a 5-minute drive away and it offers regular services to towns along the Riviera, including Antibes, Cannes, Nice and Ventimiglia. It also offers direct connections to Marseille and Paris.

The town is also conveniently located near several bus stops so visitors can take advantage of public transportation to move around Antibes and between nearby towns.

Is it worth staying in Juan Les Pins?

Hotel prices in Juan Les Pins are typically lower than in other towns along the French Riviera, making it easier to stick within a budget. The town also boasts plenty of attractions that won’t break the bank and it’s home to numerous parks, including Parc Exflora and Villa Thuret Park, where visitors can enjoy nature walks and picnics.

The popular Juan Les Pins Beach is free to access and is perfect for beach days with friends or family. There’s also an extensive range of restaurants and bars that offer delicious food for affordable prices. In addition, there are regular events and festivals held throughout the year, such as the Juan Jazz Festival which brings together world-renowned jazz musicians every summer.

Whether you’re looking for cultural experiences or just want to relax in a charming town by the Mediterranean Sea, Juan Les Pins has something for everyone – all within your budget!

Cagnes Sur Mer

Haut de Cagnes in Cagnes Sur Mer, an affordable French Riviera town
Haut de Cagnes, the Old Town of Cagnes Sur Mer
Source @mark.trob

Located between Nice and Cannes, Cagnes Sur Mer offers stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea with medieval-style vibes and easy access to the most popular towns in the South of France.

Accommodation in Cagnes Sur Mer

Because of the medieval style of the town, it is not easy to find super modern hotels in Cagnes Sur Mer unless you are ready to spend a lot on a fancy hotel. However, most of the budget-friendly hotels and rentals in Cagnes Sur Mer have done an outstanding job mixing the best of medieval architecture with modern-style rooms.

Depending on when are you traveling to Cagnes Sur Mer, these are some of the rates that you can expect:

  • Spring (March-May):
    • Hotels: €80/night
    • Vacation Rentals/ Airbnb: €75/night
  • Summer (June-August):
    • Hotels: €100/night
    • Vacation Rentals / Airbnb: €90/night
  • Autumn (September – November):
    • Hotels: €70/night      
    • Vacation Rentals / Airbnb: €65 euros at night

Where to stay in Cagnes Sur Mer

Résidence Le Crystal

When I tell you that you can get affordable hotel prices in Cagnes Sur Mer this is what I mean! Residence Le Crystal is an apartment complex with one of the most amazing swimming pool terraces and free private parking… the best part? In September you can score rate as low as $80 per night for a one-bedroom with private balcony apartment!

Hotel Grimaldi

This is definitely a go-to option if you are looking for a modern room with a local touch. The Hotel Grimaldi is located in Le Haut de Cagnes, aka the Old Town, and is a medieval-style hotel with renewed rooms that offers the best of both worlds for a totally accessible cost. 

Things to do in Cagnes Sur Mer

  • Admire the charming medieval streets at the Old Town (Haut-de-Cagnes)
  • Visit the Chateau Grimaldi and explore its Musée de l’Annonciade with modern art from the early 20th century
  • Visit Renoir’s Home and Workshop and the Renoir Museum
  • Walk along the Promenade de la Plage and enjoy the views of the Mediterranean Sea
  • Attend a concert at the Hippodrome de la Cote D’Azur
  • Explore the traditional fishing village of Cros-des-Cagnes

Transportation in Cagnes Sur Mer

Cagnes-sur-Mer is a compact town with many attractions and amenities within walking distance. The Old Town (Haut-de-Cagnes) is particularly pedestrian-friendly, with its narrow streets and charming atmosphere. One of my favorite things about this town is that it is bicycle-friendly, you can rent bicycles to explore the town and its surroundings and enjoy the scenic views from your bike.

For moving around the Riviera, the town has its own train station served by the regional train network (TER), you can be in Cannes or Nice in 30 minutes. The local bus network operated by Lignes d’Azur is also a great option to move around, with buses connecting different neighborhoods within the town and providing links to nearby towns along the French Riviera.

Is it worth staying in Cagnes Sur Mer?

Like Menton, I feel like Cagnes Sur Mer is an attraction by itself. The town is one of the most charming ones around the South of France thanks to its medieval style and its home of many museums and cultural activities that can entertain you for days.

If you are still set on taking day trips, the town has a perfect location to reach Nice and Cannes, both the most popular cities in the Riviera.

Whether you want to slow travel and enjoy its own charm or are simply looking for an affordable French Riviera town to base yourself on during your trip, Cagnes Sur Mer won’t disappoint you.

Saint Raphael

Saint Raphael, South of France on a budget town
Source: @villesaintraphael

Saint Raphael is located on the eastern side of the French Riviera, between the cities of Cannes and Saint-Tropez.

From picturesque marinas and historic sites to fun activities like scuba diving and sailing, Saint Raphael offers something for everyone. Whether you are seeking relaxation or adventure, there’s sure to be something here that will make your visit unforgettable.

Accommodation in Saint Raphael

Saint Raphael is an ideal destination for budget travelers looking to experience an off-the-beaten-path side of the French Riviera. It has a wide variety of accommodation options ranging from affordable hostels and guesthouses, and because the town is not as popular as its neighbors, most of the time you don’t need to book far in advance to catch a great deal.

  • Summer (June-August):
    • Mid-range Hotels: €90-€150/night
    • Vacation Rentals (Airbnb): €80-€130/night
  • Spring (March-May) and Autumn (September-November):
    • Mid-range Hotels: €70-€120/night
    • Vacation Rentals (Airbnb): €60-€100/night
  • Winter (December-February):
    • Mid-range Hotels: €60-€100/night
    • Vacation Rentals (Airbnb): €50-€90/night

Where to stay in Saint Raphael

Najeti Golf Hotel Valescure

If resorts are your kind of holiday this is a great affordable luxury option. The hotel is located close to Esterel Mount and has an amazing outdoor swimming pool, hot tubes, spa services, and two different restaurants to unwind with a glass of wine after a day exploring the French Riviera.

Hotel Brise de Mer:

If you rather be close to the beach than the mountains, the Hotel Brise de Mer is the hotel I would be looking at, as it is located right in front of the marina of Saint Raphael, which is a great spot for dining out, and you have several beach clubs by walking distance.

The only downside of this hotel is that several travelers stated that, while the hotel is good on paper, it does not live up to its 4-star rate. Overall I think it is a great choice as long as you know what to expect.

Things to do in Saint Raphael

  • Have a snorkeling adventure on a scenic boat tour to the Esterel Volcan
  • Take a leisurely walk along the Promenade René Coty
  • Discover the Var region in a motorbike tour
  • Pay a visit to the neo-Gothic Basilica of Saint-Raphael, located near the town center
  • Visit the Archaeological Museum of Saint Raphael
  • Play Golf at the Valescure Golf Club

Transportation in Saint Raphael

Similar to the other French Riviera towns mentioned above, Saint Raphael offers various transportation options for getting around the town and connecting to other popular destinations along the coast, being the regional train (TER) one of the most convenient ways to explore the region easily.

Because Saint Raphael is located in the Var department instead the Alpes-Maritimes one (where Cannes, Nice, Antibes belong), the local bus network here is operated by the Zou! Regional transport network. The buses provide connections within the town as well as links to nearby towns along the French Riviera and you can find bus routes and schedules on the Zou website or at bus stops throughout the town.

In my opinion, the most interesting thing about choosing to stay in this town is its ferry access to the region. If you are looking for a scenic and enjoyable travel experience, Saint-Raphael’s marina offers ferry services and boat tours that connect to other towns along the coast such as Saint Tropez, and you can even venture further to the beautiful islands of Porquerolles or the Esterel Coves.

Is it worth staying in Saint Raphael?

Saint Raphael is an excellent choice if you want to explore the eastern side of the South of France on a budget. While Cagnes sur Mer and Menton are affordable French Riviera towns, they are closer to main cities such as Cannes, Nice, and Monte Carlo and won’t be a convenient base if you want to do a day trip to the luxury town of St Tropez. 

If you choose to stay in Saint Raphael, you will be only a 1-hour ferry away from Saint Tropez or 45’

Additionally, Saint-Raphael itself has much to offer, with its beautiful beaches, charming old town, and a range of affordable accommodation options including mid-range hotels and vacation rentals. 

Choosing Saint-Raphael as your base allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds—affordability, and proximity to the renowned attractions of the French Riviera.

Recap: What are the most affordable French Riviera towns?

  1. Saint Raphael
  2. Cagnes Sur Mer
  3. Menton
  4. Juan Les Pins

In conclusion, no matter if you are looking for a luxury but affordable vacation or simply trying to have a backpacking adventure with friends, the beautiful thing about the South of France is that it is the perfect destination to gather all kinds of travelers.

With endless budget-friendly towns on the French Riviera to explore, I hope this guide helped you decide on which ones are the best for you. Furthermore, I will link below some more articles about the region that I recommend you read when planning your trip:

  • Are you still trying to decide if the French Riviera is the right destination for you? Here we try to help you decide whether Amalfi Coast or South of France should make it to your next holiday.
  • If you are a foodie, don’t miss out on this list of the best restaurants in Antibes, especially if you are planning to base yourself on Juan Les Pins.
  • For museum lovers, we have a full article explaining where to buy the Nice Museum Pass and why you should do it.
  • If you are looking for a South of France without a car itinerary we have a full article explaining how the public transport works in the French Riviera and the best itineraries that you can do.

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