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Visit Saint Paul de Vence Top things to do in Saint Paul de Vence

Visit the hidden gem of Saint-Paul-de-Vence, in France

Up on a hilltop in beautiful Provence,… you’ll find a pretty medieval village with fortified walls overlooking one of the most beautiful regions in the South of France.  It is called:  Saint-Paul-De-Vence (or just Saint Paul).

Visit the hidden gem of France Saint Paul de Vence Travel and Home
What is Saint Paul de Vence famous for?

The most well-known reason would be the fact that famous artists like Picasso, Modigliani, Dufy, and Matisse all lived in Saint-Paul-de-Vence for a while. Marc Chagall (an artist who died here in Saint Paul on 28 March 1985) also lived here and is buried in the pretty local cemetery. 

Why should you visit?

These days the village is filled with fabulous art galleries and studios.  If you love art this is the place to visit.  It is a pleasure just walking down the main road (Rue Grande) which is filled with art studios.  But for all the rest it is a beautiful well-preserved town, that is clean, interesting, and almost like something out of a fairytale storybook.

How to get there:

SaintPauldeVence is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of Southeastern France.

It is only a 1-hour bus drive from Nice, between Cagnes-sur-Mer and Vence, and it is actually a good idea to take the bus here, as the village is a vehicle-free zone in any way.

Should you hire a car, Saint-Paul-de-Vence is about 34 min (19,6 km) via Voie Pierre Mathis/Voie Rapide by car from Nice.

Best things to do in Saint Paul de Vence France
Top things to do and see in Saint Paul de Vence is it worth a visit
Iteresting things about Saint Paul de Vence

The pedestrianized streets of Saint-Paul-de-Vence and the fact that is a really tiny little village, make it easy to explore on foot.  

Travel Tip:  Bring your best walking shoes as you’ll have to walk a bit uphill at times and there are a few steps, but nothing major.

The cobblestone streets are all like artworks themselves and all along your walk you will be mesmerized by the beautiful sandstone buildings, which have been beautifully restored and cared for.  The village is really one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe, and dare we say also one of the most beautiful villages in France.

You don’t have to worry about getting lost.  The village is clearly defined by the wall surrounding it, so you don’t even need a map to navigate and explore.  Just enjoy walking around and having a look at all the pretty shops and buildings.

Top Best Things to do in Saint-Paul-de-Vence

  • Saint-Paul-De-Vence has a few fabulous places where you can delight your taste buds with the best Crepes in the region – This is something you MUST try.
  • Do some French wine tasting – La Petite Cave de Saint Paul is an authentic 14th-century cellar, which you cannot miss on your way through the village.
  • Walk the rampart and take in the lovely view over the rampart wall toward the sea and the surrounding beauty.
  • Some sights you can look out for:
    • THE COLLEGIATE CHURCH (Built from 14th to the 18th Century)
    • FONTAINE DE SAINT-PAUL-DE-VENCE ( a monumental stone fountain right in the middle of the village dating back to 1850.)
    • THE CEMETERY (Yes, the cemetery, because this is a beautiful cemetery with a view.)
The best souvenir ideas when you're in St Paul

France is synonymous with the best fragrances in the world:

  • Buy a fabulous bottle of French Perfume from Maison Godet.
  • Or something by the famous Fragonard Perfumery, from the Choisy boutique.
  • You can buy signed artists’ creations from one of the studios. Printed versions of Saint Paul on canvas.
Visit Saint Paul de Vence

Travel Tip(s)

  • Taking some side lanes, you’ll stumble on some fabulous little gems, which are often also beautiful photo opportunities.  Almost every lane makes for beautiful photos with its stone walls.
  • You’ll notice that the area is cat and dog-friendly.  Take some time to say hello to the cats – and yes, more photo opportunities.  🙂
  • Keep a lookout for, and take the staircase leading up to the wall which has a viewing platform.  From there you’ll have spectacular views for yet more beautiful photos.

Visit Saint Paul de Vence in France
How much time do you need?

And When Is The Best Time To Go

You can explore the village in about 2 hours without rushing everything – BUT we would recommend spending a bit more time.  You can even overnight in the village which will give you more time to explore.   (Recommendations below)

Travelers say the best time to visit St Paul de Vence is during November & December if you’re looking for some quiet time, however, you might find that some places are closed during this time.

Therefore we would recommend October.  Taking into consideration that >2.5 m people visit St Paul during the year, it is also a good idea to start exploring early in the morning before the rush.

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There are still more to explore
Best things to do top things to do in Saint Paul de Vence France

You actually cannot get lost in this village, but should you need one, the tourism office will be able to provide you with a map of the village that includes all the main tourist sites.  Then you can follow the heritage signage from the Tourist office – in correspondence to the map.

As you explore, you’ll find lots of fabulous restaurants.   Stop to buy some olive oil and perfume, and visit the craft shops, gifts, ceramics, herbs, and more.  There are fabulous shops of the highest quality and you definitely have to buy some freshly baked panini.  (Especially if you’re there for the day, or buy some on your way home for a snack.)

Just outside of Saint-Paul-de-Vence, you’ll find more adventure:

  • You can visit the art museum – Fondation Maeght, or
  • Enjoy an authentic French late afternoon lunch at a beautiful outdoor restaurant.  

Now that is how you end a day…

Book your trip

The best places to stay in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France

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Bastide les 3 Portes

Lovely places to stay in Saint Paul de Vence France

Some units have a terrace and/or a balcony with beautiful mountain views.

The bed and breakfast offers an à la carte or Full English/Irish breakfast.

Best place to stay in Saint Paul de Vence France

Hotel Le Saint Paul

Stay overnight in true French style and luxury in this 5-star hotel in Saint Paul de Vence.  This is the place to be – check out the link above for more photos.

Where to eat

Hotel Le Saint Paul is also an excellent option when it comes to deciding where to eat.  Serving light Mediterranean meals.

Best place to eat in Saint Paul de Vence France

Only a 25 minute drive from Antibes.

La Petite Maison

Holiday home to rent in Saint Paul de Vence

A beautiful holiday home with gardens and fantastic views.

This house located in Saint Paul de Vence offers an outdoor pool as well.

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In and around Saint-Paul-De-Vence(Photo: Appartement de charme)

Travel to Provence (Read more…)