28 Best Places And Things To Do in Menton, France

Menton is a charming coastal town located in the French Riviera, near the border with Italy. Known for its pleasant climate, stunning landscapes, and rich history, Menton offers a range of attractions and activities that make it an ideal destination for travelers. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Menton, France:

1. Old Town (Vieille Ville)

Image Source: https://www.menton-riviera-merveilles.co.uk/menton-and-its-coastline/our-must-see-attractions/menton-old-town/

Begin your exploration of Menton in the enchanting Old Town. This picturesque neighborhood is characterized by narrow, winding streets, colorful buildings, and beautiful squares. Take a leisurely stroll, visit the local shops and boutiques, and discover historical sites like the Basilica of Saint Michel and the Jean Cocteau Museum.

2. Jardin Serre de la Madone

Image Source: https://www.jardinez.com/Parks-The-Garden-Serre-de-la-Madone_uk_1967

Nature enthusiasts should not miss the Jardin Serre de la Madone, a stunning garden created in the early 20th century by Englishman Lawrence Johnston. This botanical paradise features a diverse collection of exotic plants, rare flowers, and peaceful walkways. The garden’s serene atmosphere and breathtaking views make it a perfect spot for relaxation and contemplation.

3. Jean Cocteau Museum

Image Source: https://provence-alpes-cotedazur.com/en/things-to-do/culture-and-heritage/museums/jean-cocteau-museum/

Menton has a strong connection to the famous French artist, writer, and filmmaker Jean Cocteau. The Jean Cocteau Museum, housed in the Bastion building, showcases his eclectic works, including paintings, ceramics, drawings, and film screenings. This cultural gem provides a unique insight into Cocteau’s artistic vision and his relationship with Menton.

4. Promenade du Soleil

Image Source: https://visitthefrenchriviera.com/st_activity/promenade-du-soleil/

Take a stroll along the Promenade du Soleil, a palm-lined esplanade that stretches along Menton’s seafront. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea, soak up the sun on the pebble beaches, or simply relax in one of the many cafes and restaurants overlooking the water. This delightful promenade is a favorite spot for locals and tourists alike.

5. Saint-Michel-Archange Basilica

Image Source: https://www.france-voyage.com/cities-towns/menton-23174/basilica-saint-michel-archange-14418.htm

Marvel at the beauty of the Saint-Michel-Archange Basilica, a splendid Baroque church dating back to the 17th century. Admire the intricate architecture, ornate decorations, and the panoramic views of Menton from the bell tower. The basilica is also known for its stunning religious artworks and serene atmosphere.

6. Lemon Festival (Fête du Citron)

Image Source: https://francetoday.com/culture/music-festivals/fete-du-citron-2019-in-menton/

If you visit Menton in February, don’t miss the Lemon Festival, one of the town’s most famous events. This vibrant festival celebrates the region’s citrus heritage with massive sculptures and parades made entirely of lemons and oranges. It’s a unique spectacle that attracts visitors from all over the world.

7. Sablettes Beach

Image Source: https://beachsearcher.com/en/beach/250201424/plage-des-sablettes

For a relaxing day by the sea, head to Sablettes Beach. Located near the Old Town, this sandy beach offers a picturesque setting and clear waters. Rent a beach chair and umbrella, swim in the refreshing Mediterranean, or indulge in a delicious seafood lunch at one of the beachside restaurants.

8. Val Rahmeh Botanical Garden

Image Source: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g187231-d3175501-Reviews-Jardin_Botanique_Val_Rahmeh_Menton-Menton_French_Riviera_Cote_d_Azur_Provence_Alp.html

Just a short distance from the town center, you’ll find the Val Rahmeh Botanical Garden. This enchanting garden features a remarkable collection of exotic plants, including palms, cycads, and tropical flowers. Take a guided tour to learn about the diverse flora or simply enjoy a peaceful walk in this tranquil oasis.

9. Menton Casino and Gardens

Image Source: https://www.menton-riviera-merveilles.co.uk/offers/casino-barriere-menton-menton-en-3051279/

For a touch of glamour and entertainment, visit the Menton Casino. Enjoy an evening of gaming or catch a performance at the theater. Adjacent to the casino, you’ll find the beautiful public gardens with lush greenery and colorful flowers, providing a serene escape in the heart of the city.

10. Le Bastion Museum

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bastion_Museum

Located within a 17th-century fortress, Le Bastion Museum showcases the history and heritage of Menton. The museum offers fascinating exhibits that delve into the town’s past, including its connections with the House of Grimaldi and the creation of the Riviera tourist industry. Don’t miss the panoramic terrace, which provides stunning views of Menton and the coastline.

11. Cap-Martin

Image Source: https://www.menton.fr/Roquebrune-Cap-Martin.html

Just a short distance from Menton, you’ll find Cap-Martin, a picturesque peninsula known for its natural beauty. Take a leisurely walk along the coastal path, breathe in the fresh sea air, and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Mediterranean. Cap-Martin also offers secluded beaches and hidden coves, perfect for a quiet day of sunbathing and swimming.

12. Saint Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral

Image Source: https://visitthefrenchriviera.com/st_activity/st-nicholas-russian-orthodox-cathedral/

Pay a visit to the Saint Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral, an architectural gem nestled in the heart of Menton. The cathedral showcases stunning Byzantine-style architecture, adorned with intricate mosaics and ornate decorations. Step inside to admire the beautiful iconography and experience a moment of tranquility.

13. Menton Covered Market

Image Source: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g187231-d6538752-Reviews-Marche_des_Halles_de_Menton-Menton_French_Riviera_Cote_d_Azur_Provence_Alpes_Cote.html

Immerse yourself in the local flavors and aromas by exploring the Menton Covered Market (Marché Couvert). This bustling market is a food lover’s paradise, offering a wide variety of fresh produce, local delicacies, and regional specialties. Browse through the stalls, pick up some delicious treats, and savor the vibrant atmosphere.

14. Wine Tasting

Image Source: https://www.viator.com/tours/Nice/From-Nice-Half-day-in-Provence-with-a-tasting-of-6-organic-wines/d478-86512P60

Menton is surrounded by picturesque vineyards that produce excellent wines. Take a wine tour and discover the region’s winemaking traditions. Visit local vineyards, sample a variety of wines, and learn about the unique terroir of Menton. It’s a delightful way to indulge in the flavors of the region and appreciate the art of winemaking.

15. Water Activities

Image Source: https://www.menton-riviera-merveilles.co.uk/get-planning/things-to-do/sea-water-sports/

With its stunning coastline, Menton offers plenty of opportunities for water activities. Rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore the azure waters at your own pace. Alternatively, join a boat tour to discover hidden coves, snorkel in the crystal-clear waters, or try your hand at fishing. The sea around Menton is teeming with marine life, making it a paradise for water enthusiasts.

16. Excursions to nearby towns

Image Source: https://capturingourdays.com/unique-day-trips-from-menton/

Menton’s strategic location allows for easy day trips to other charming towns along the French Riviera. Visit the glamorous city of Monaco, just a short drive away, to explore its luxurious casinos, grand palaces, and the famous Monte Carlo district. Alternatively, head east to the picturesque town of Eze, perched on a hilltop, offering stunning views and medieval charm.

17. Regional and Local Cuisine

Image Source: https://www.menton-riviera-merveilles.co.uk/get-inspired/local-flavours/our-culinary-gems/

Menton is renowned for its delectable cuisine, influenced by both French and Italian culinary traditions. Indulge in the local specialties, such as the famous Menton lemons used in various dishes and desserts. Sample seafood delicacies like bouillabaisse and enjoy regional dishes like socca (a chickpea pancake) and pissaladière (a savory onion tart). Don’t forget to pair your meal with a glass of local wine or a refreshing lemon-based beverage.

18. Music and Cultural Festivals

Image Source: https://www.menton-riviera-merveilles.co.uk/get-planning/schedule/major-events/menton-music-festival/

Menton hosts a variety of music and cultural festivals throughout the year. The Music Festival of Menton, held in the stunning setting of the Basilica of Saint Michel, features classical music concerts by renowned artists. The Menton Classical Dance Festival showcases ballet performances by talented dancers from around the world. Keep an eye out for these festivals to add a touch of artistic flair to your visit.

19. Hiking in the Surrounding Hills

Image Source: https://www.menton-riviera-merveilles.co.uk/get-planning/things-to-do/treks/hiking/

Nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities for hiking in the hills surrounding Menton. Explore scenic trails like the Sentier des Douaniers, which follows the coastline and offers breathtaking views of the sea. The nearby Mercantour National Park provides an immersive experience in the Alps, with picturesque trails and diverse flora and fauna.

20. Shopping

Image Source: https://uk.hotels.com/go/france/fr-the-best-places-to-shop-in-menton

Menton offers a range of shopping experiences, from local markets to boutique shops. Explore the charming streets of the Old Town, where you’ll find artisanal crafts, antiques, and unique souvenirs. Visit the Rue Saint-Michel for upscale fashion boutiques and specialty shops. Don’t forget to pick up some Menton lemon-related products, such as jams, liqueurs, and cosmetics, to take home as delightful mementos.

21. Relaxation at the Beach Clubs

Image Source: https://www.gosouthfrance.com/best-beaches/menton-beach-france.html

Menton boasts several beach clubs where you can unwind and enjoy a luxurious seaside experience. Lounge on comfortable sunbeds, take a dip in the pool, and indulge in refreshing drinks and delicious meals served by attentive staff. Beach clubs like Le Beach and Le Galet offer a perfect blend of relaxation and seaside sophistication.

22. Day Trip to the Italian Riviera

Image Source: http://www.sunnydaysnice.com/full-day-trips/italian-riviera-markets/

Menton’s proximity to the border allows for easy day trips to the Italian Riviera. Take a short train ride or drive to explore the charming towns of Ventimiglia or San Remo. Stroll through vibrant markets, sample Italian cuisine, and soak up the unique atmosphere of these picturesque Italian destinations.

23. Excursion to the Gardens of Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

Image Source: https://perfectlyprovence.co/a-visit-to-the-fabulous-gardens-of-villa-ephrussi-de-rothschild/

Just a short distance from Menton, you’ll find the stunning Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. This elegant villa is surrounded by magnificent gardens that offer a visual feast of lush greenery, vibrant flowers, and exquisite sculptures. Take a leisurely stroll through the different themed gardens, including a French garden, a rose garden, and a Japanese garden, and marvel at the beauty and serenity of this enchanting oasis.

24. Menton Music Festival

Image Source: https://m-festival.biz/en/introduce/festival-musique-menton

If you have a love for music, be sure to check the schedule for the Menton Music Festival. Held during the summer months, this festival brings together talented musicians from around the world to perform a wide range of musical genres, including classical, jazz, and world music. Enjoy open-air concerts in beautiful venues, such as the gardens of the Palais de Carnolès or the Saint-Michel-Archange Basilica.

25. Explore the surrounding perched villages

Image Source: https://french-riviera-blog.com/2012/08/19/the-perched-villages-of-gorbio-and-sainte-agnes-in-the-countryside-behind-menton/

Menton is surrounded by picturesque perched villages that are worth exploring. Drive or take a scenic bus ride to villages like Gorbio, Sainte-Agnès, and Castellar. Wander through their narrow cobblestone streets, admire the charming architecture, and soak up the panoramic views of the Mediterranean coastline. These villages offer a glimpse into the region’s rich history and provide a peaceful escape from the bustling city.

26. Indulge in the Local Gastronomy

Image Source: https://luxtionary.com/places/michelin-starred-restaurants/

Menton is known for its excellent cuisine, and no visit would be complete without indulging in the local gastronomy. Taste traditional dishes like the Socca de Menton (a savory chickpea pancake), Pissaladière (an onion and anchovy tart), and Barbagiuan (a fried pastry filled with Swiss chard and ricotta cheese). Don’t forget to savor the delightful Menton lemons in various forms, from desserts to refreshing drinks.

27. Relax at the Thermal Baths

Image Source: https://www.tophotsprings.com/france-hot-springs/

Menton is home to the renowned Thermal Baths of Thermes Marins. Treat yourself to a day of relaxation and rejuvenation at this luxurious spa. Enjoy a range of wellness treatments, including hydrotherapy, massages, and beauty therapies, all designed to promote relaxation and well-being. Immerse yourself in the healing waters and let the stress melt away.

28. Participate in Outdoor Activities

Image Source: https://www.menton-riviera-merveilles.co.uk/offers/accompanied-sports-tour-of-menton-menton-en-3920904/

Menton’s beautiful natural surroundings offer ample opportunities for outdoor activities. Go hiking in the nearby mountains, explore the coastal trails, or rent a bicycle and ride along the scenic coastal roads. Engage in water sports such as paddleboarding, snorkeling, or sailing. The region’s diverse landscapes make it a playground for adventure seekers.