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17 Top French Riviera Packing List Items for 2022 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring

what to pack for the french riviera
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If you want to dip your toe into the lavish lifestyle while taking breathtaking views of the cliffy Mediterranean coast, you’ll find everything you’re looking for in The French Riviera. The chain of coastal towns in the South of France has been a luxury destination for decades.

With a roster that includes towns like San-Tropez, Antibes, and Cannes, all favorite resort towns of the rich and the famous. The French Riviera has earned its reputation for being a place for glamour and glitz. Since this isn’t your average beach vacation, deciding what to pack can be tricky. That’s why I’ve put together a complete packing list for what to wear, and what not to wear in the French Riviera.

What to Pack for the French Riviera – 17 Essentials

  • 1. Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    The beaches are undeniably the highlight of the French Rivera— but there’s much more to do than lay on the white sand. Bringing along a quick dry towel will make your life much easier when you go from the beach straight to sightseeing. something like Fort Carré in Antibes. After 15 minutes in the sun, your towel will be dry and will easily fit into your beach bag.

  • 2. Portable Charger

    In the French Rivera, you can hop from Nice to Antibes and then over to Cannes in less than an hour. Throwing a lipstick-sized portable charger like the Anker Power Core in your purse or daypack will ensure you always have a charge to capture the beautiful scenery as well as to navigate back to your hotel at the end of the day.

  • 3. Packing Cubes

    The hotel rooms in the French Riveria aren’t exactly spacious— so being organized is key. Rather than making a mess digging through your suitcase to find your swimsuit cover-up or your quick dry towel, use packing cubes. This way all you have to do is grab the packing cube with your beach stuff and you’re good to go.

  • 4. Life Straw Water Bottle

    The French Riviera isn’t exactly budget-friendly— a bottle of water at a restaurant could run you up to 5 euros. Rather than having to pay a premium on water, bring your self-filtering water bottle. That way you can save some euros to spend on the things you can’t get for free— like juicy olives from a street market.

  • 5. Neck Wallet

    The airport can be stressful when you’re juggling your passport, boarding passes, credit cards, and your phone. Rather than having to worry about putting everything back into separate bags, using a Neck Wallet that was designed with travel in mind will make your airport experience smooth— and most importantly make sure nothing of value is left behind at the check-in counter.

  • 6. Travel insurance

    You don’t want to have any shoulda, coulda, woulda moments on your trip— and that includes when it comes to getting travel insurance. Don’t wait till your luggage doesn’t show up on the carousel or after your flight is canceled to think about travel insurance. Make sure you’re fully covered before checking in. We use TravelInsurance.com to compare policies from top companies and find the best option for our family and travel plans.

  • 7. Universal Travel Adapter

    For most travel abroad, you’ll need to have an adaptor for the outlets. Don’t make the mistake I’ve done in the past, forgetting to buy them in advance and having to pay double for them at the airport. I like to get the Hero Travel Adapters in a 3 pack because at some point on your trip you’ll want to use more than one electronic at a time— think charging your phone while curling your hair.

  • 8. Universal Waterproof Phone Case

    Swimming in French Rivera is something like a dream. It’s not the warm Mediterranean water that makes it magical, but rather the view of the shore from the water. The colorful villages lining the cliffy coast are perfection. While it’s an image that will stay in your mind forever, it’s something that should be captured, and you can if you bring a waterproof phone case.

  • 9. Cooling Towel

    Summers in The French Riviera can get pretty hot. When you’re climbing to the exotic garden on the top of the hilltop village of Eze, or Saint Paul de Vence you’ll be happy to have a cooling towel with you. All you have to do is add a little bit of water and you’ll have a nice cool towel for 20-30 minutes or until you add more water.

  • 10. Daypack

    A day in the French Riviera can lead you on all types of adventures— who knows you might even end up in another country with Monaco being a short drive away. Having a daypack with all the essentials for the day will make sure no adventure is missed because of being ill-prepared.

  • 11. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    It doesn’t rain often in the Summer months in the French Riviera but when it does it comes down hard. Getting caught without an umbrella would put a damper on your day. To avoid that, throw a windproof travel umbrella in your daypack so you have it ready if you need it.

  • 12. Hanging Toiletry Bag

    Don’t mistake the tiny coastal villages for being your usual laid-back beach town, the French Riviera is nothing sort of glamorous. You’ll want to make sure you bring all of your toiletries and cosmetics with you so you can get dolled up. Packing them in a hanging bag like the Mossio Hanging Toiletry Bag will keep your bathroom organized and tidy.

  • 13. VPN

    We tend to think that pickpocketing happens only on the streets, but today it can happen digitally too. Public wifi networks are extremely easy to hack. To avoid having your credit cards compromised during your trip, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to keep your connection secure.

  • 14. Deodorant Wipes

    Even if you’re the type of person that hails a cab whenever possible, there will be a lot of walking to be done while you’re in the French Riviera. Between the hills and the heat, you’ll be sure to break a sweat at one point or another. Having a pack of deodorant wipes handy will make sure you feel and smell fresh, even when you’re not.

  • 15. Tote Bag

    One of the best things about being in the South of France is the incredible street markets. With fresh produce and delicacies like cheese and olives, they are something that can’t be missed. You’ll want to make sure you have a tote bag with you because, by the time you make it to the end of the market, your hands will certainly be full.

  • 16. Sandproof Beach Blanket

    With all of your goodies from the market with you, it’s the perfect opportunity for a beach picnic. Having a soundproof beach blanket will help keep the sand away from your fresh strawberries and cheese. This blanket is the perfect size for spreading out all of your market goodies, with room for you to sprawl out and soak in the beauty that surrounds you.

  • 17. Floating wrist strap

    Imagine, you have your phone in the water with you thanks to your waterproof case, you’re snapping pics and having a blast. Suddenly a big wave comes and knocks you over— you’re ok but your phone slipped from your hands and is now sinking to the bottom of the ocean. Sound like your worst nightmare? It can be completely avoided with a floating wrist strap that will keep your phone safe from sinking.

What to Wear in The French Riviera


The French Riviera is nothing short of glamorous. I’m not sure how they do it, but all of the women look like movie stars with an effortlessly chic look. To fit in you’re going to want to bring along some stunning looks that are equally easy to move in. During the summertime, light and breezy linen clothing will help you fit right in and keep you cool. During the winter you’ll want to bring warm layers for mornings and evenings.

What Should WOMEN Wear? – (Click to expand)

Below is a sample women’s clothing list. (All items link to Amazon.com for your convenience).

Jeans aren’t off-limits but should be a bit more refined than your old dusty blue jeans. You can’t go wrong with a white dress and a pair of cute and comfortable flats. Even in the height of the summer months, the evenings can get a little chilly. A chic striped pullover will keep you warm when the cool wind blows.

What Should MEN Wear? – (Click to expand)

Below is a sample men’s clothing list. (All items link to Amazon.com for your convenience).

French men put just as much care into their looks as the women— so if you want to fit in, leave the cargo shorts and sports fan t-shirts at home. Instead, pack a nice pair of shorts that can be dressed up or down. A playful short-sleeve button-down is a great go-to for a day of sightseeing. For the evenings make sure to pack a nice pair of white jeans and a loose pullover to throw on when it starts to get chilly.

Dressing for the Seasons

SPRING – March, April, May


During the springtime, the temperature in the French Riviera can fluctuate almost 10 degrees within a couple of hours. Layers are key for staying comfortable while exploring the South of France in the spring season. The mornings and evenings can be pretty brisk during these months, so make sure to have a sweater with you.

Temperatures in the spring range on average between 55°F to 68°F (10°C-20°C)


SUMMER – June, July, August

Don’t let the cool, laid back vibe of the French fool you, the summer in the French Riviera is hot. When you’re not taking a dip in the Mediterranean you’ll want to make sure you have breathable clothes that are loose and easy to move in.

Temperatures in the summer range on average between 70°F to 80°F (22°C-27°C)

FALL – September, October, November


One of the best times to be in The French Rivera is the Autumn months. The weather is still warm during the day— but the evenings cool down and you won’t have to fight globs of tourists. You’ll want to wear something breezy like a breezy white dress, but bring along a light jacket for when the sun sets.

Temperatures in the fall range on average between 55°F to 80°F (20°C-28°C)


Winter – September, October, November

The French Riviera has been blessed with a mild winter. It doesn’t drop below 46°F often which means you’ll be comfortable in jeans and a sweater during the day, and at night you’ll just need to layer on a light jacket. Beware that the locals might be a little more bundled in a light puffer jacket— they’re not used to the cold after all.

Temperatures in the winter range on average between 46°F to 57°F (7°C-14°C)

Dressing Appropriately for the Activity – (Click to expand)

Coastal Road Trip
One of the absolute best things to do in the French Riviera is to take a drive along the Corniche d’Or or Golden Coast. It’s a 20-mile long route down the coast of the Mediterranean, that offers breathtaking views and hairpin turns. To do it right rent a convertible, wear a pair of loose jeans that are comfortable to sit in, and throw a headscarf and sunglasses on for an effortlessly old-school glamorous look.

Beach
Whether you’re hitting the beach in Antibes, Nice, or San Tropez you’re going to want to step up your normal beach look. Chic one-pieces are in vogue, especially paired with a simple, yet stunning coverup. French men like to wear shorter colorful swim trunks paired with a breezy shirt.

Markets
The street markets in the French Riviera are some of the best in the world. The fresh olives, bread, and of course the cheese is incredible. For a day exploring markets like Nice’s Cours Selaya, you’ll want to keep it casual in a pair of jeans and a nice top. Make sure to bring your market tote with you for all the goodies you buy.

Island Hopping (Iles d’ Hyeres)
Off the coast of the French Riviera, there’s a group of Islands that offer unforgettable views and delicious seafood. For a day exploring the Islands wear something that will match the scenery for incredible photos. A white dress and Platform Espadrilles will look great with the blue water and white-washed houses. The ferry ride over can get a little windy, so make sure to bring a sweater along.

Hilltop villages — Saint Paul de Vence/ Eze
The French Riviera has many small village towns, and a couple are built into the hills, namely Saint Paul de Vence and Eze. Both of the towns are perfect for spending a day discovering the winding streets. Being a hilltop town the roads can get pretty steep, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes and something breathable like shorts and a t-shirt.

Villa Touring ( Ephrussi de Rothschild)
Spread across the French Rivera there are many impressive villas that you can tour. The most famous is Ephrussi de Rothschild. While visiting an extravagant home, you’ll want to look the part. Wear a pair of elegant trousers with a show-stopping top top.

Monaco
While Monaco isn’t technically France, it is oftentimes considered to be part of the French Rivera. If you decide to go to Monaco while you’re traveling, you’ll want to wear the best things you’ve packed. The country has strict dress codes, men will need pants and closed-toed shoes to get into places like the Monte Carlo Casino.

What NOT to Bring to The French Riviera

  • 1.DON'T Bring Cargo Shorts

    If you don’t want to be pegged as a tourist immediately, leave your cargo shorts at home. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a Frenchman in a pair of cargo shorts.

  • 2.DON'T Bring Valuables

    Although this is a luxury destination, you shouldn’t bring anything that you wouldn’t want to lose. With so much wealth clustered in one area, it can attract the not-so-nice people who are looking to take advantage.

  • 3.DON'T Bring Preconceptions About French People

    The French often get a bad reputation for being standoffish and rude, however, the people in the South of France are extremely hospitable and friendly.

  • 4.DON'T Bring Revealing Clothing

    The French have a way of being sexy without being too showy. Don’t bring anything too revealing unless you want to get a lot of weird looks and unwanted attention.

  • 5.DON'T Bring Dollars

    The French Riviera is part of Europe, meaning they use Euros. Dollars or any other currency will be useless while you’re there, so leave any extra cash you have at home.

  • 6.DON'T Bring Heavy Books

    You’ll likely be doing a lot of walking in the French Riviera. Don’t weigh yourself down with heavy novels or guidebooks. It’s best to download them onto your phone, tablet, or e-reader.

What NOT to Wear in The French Riviera – (Click to expand)

If you want to fit in with the “it” crowd while you’re in the French Riviera you should leave your more casual wardrobe at home. Means no jean shorts, cargo shorts, sports t-shirts, or wearing athletic wear (unless you’re doing something active). You’ll also want to leave any uncomfortable shoes at home, it’s a coastal area that is hilly and requires a lot of walking, so comfortable shoes are the way to go.

FAQs about The French Riviera

  • 1. What's the difference between Côte d'Azur and The French Riviera?

    The Côte d’Azur and The French Riviera are both referring to the same thing. The French refer to what we consider The French Rivera as the Côte d’Azur.

  • 2. What are the best beaches in The French Riviera?

    • Pampelonne Beach
    • Cornich Esterel Beach
    • Plage De La Garoupe
    • Paloma Beach
    • Almanarre Beach
    What are the best beaches in The French Riviera?
  • 3. What Cities are part of The French Riviera?

    There are over 30 towns that are considered part of the French Riviera, however the most famous are: Nice, Antibes, Saint-Tropez, Cannes, Eze, Menton, Villefranche-sur-Mer, Saint Paul de Vence, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Cassis, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, and Grasse.

  • 4. How can I save money while in The French Riviera?

    You can save money by going during the offseason, which is from September to April. You can also buy food from the markets and picnic rather than eat in restaurants. As well by bringing your water bottle to avoid having to pay for water. There are also plenty of budget accommodations like hostels and cheap eats that still do French food justice. A baguette and fresh cheese are just as delicious as fine-dining!

     How can I save money while in The French Riviera?
  • 5. What sea is the French Riviera located on?

    The French Riviera is located on the Mediterranean sea.

  • 6. What is the best way to get around the French Riviera?

    The world’s fasted train is located in the South of France, it connects a lot of the towns of the French Riviera. While you’re in the cities you can use public transport in the bigger cities, in smaller towns walking is your best bet. By walking you get to experience so much more of the French Riviera. You’ll notice how the majority of locals enjoy moving around on foot or by bike.

    What is the best way to get around the French Riviera?
  • 7. What Language do they speak in the French Riviera?

    French is the official language, some people will speak English but it’s best to bring along your french phase book or have google translate at the ready.