Saint-Tropez On a Budget
Predating St-Tropez' citadel are three medieval towers guarding the port: Portalet, Jarlier and Suffren, the oldest building in St-Tropez, dating from the 15th century.
Sweet-chiming Eglise de St-Tropez is a quintessential St-Trop landmark, built in 1785 in Italian baroque style. Inside is the bust of St Torpes, honoured during Les Bravades des Espagnols.
SightsMuch of the top sights in Saint Tropez is the area itself with the beautiful beaches and harbor town, but there is plenty more here to see as well. One major sight is the Citadelle de St. Tropez. Built in 1602 to defend the coast against Spain, the citadel dominates the hillside overlooking St-Tropez to the east. The views are fantastic. Its dungeons are home to the excellent Musee de l'Histoire Maritime, an all-interactive museum inaugurated in July 2013 retracing the history of humans at sea, from fishing, trading, exploration, travel and the navy.
NeighborhoodsIn La Ponche, Saint Tropez's old fishing quarter, you can get away of some of the hustle and bustle of the busier areas and enjoy a stroll, taking in some sight such as the Eglesi de St. Tropez, a St-Trop landmark built in 1785 in Italian baroque style. Inside is a bust of St Torpes, honored during Les Bravades in May. Then follow rue du Portail Neuf south to Chapelle de la Misericorde, built in 1645 with a pretty bell tower and colorful tiled dome.
The Place des Lices, St-Tropez' legendary and very charming central square, is studded with plane trees, cafes and petanque players. Simply sitting on a cafe terrace watching the world go by or jostling with the crowds at its extravaganza of a twice-weekly market, jam-packed with everything from fruit and vegetables to antique mirrors and sandals, is an integral part of the St-Tropez experience.
ActivitiesSaint-Tropez has a couple of exciting events each year. Les Bravades de Saint-Tropez is an annual celebration held in the middle of May where people of the town celebrate their patron saint Torpes of Pisa and their military achievements. One of the oldest traditions of Provence, it has been held for more than 450 years, since the citizens of St Tropez were given special permission to form a militia in order to protect the town from the Barbary pirates. During the three-days celebration, the various militias in costumes of the time, fire their muskets into the air at traditional stops, march to the sound of bands, and parade St Tropez's bust. The townspeople also attend to a mass wearing traditional Provencal costume.
The other event, Les Voiles de Saint Tropez, is held at the end of each September. It is a regatta in the bay area. This is a draw for many yachts, some up to 50 meters in length. Many tourists come to the location for this event.
You could also visit one of the town's fantastic museums, including the all interactive history museum. Or maybe rent a yacht for the day or go for a boat ride. There are plenty of exciting things to do in Saint Tropez.
Food and DiningSaint Tropez has plenty of great dining options and it can be hard to decide what to try, but there are a few dishes the area is well-known for, including: Bouillabaisse, Riviera, which is a fish stew; Gateau des Rois, which is the cake of Kings; and Tarte Tropez, which is the one and only sponge cake made in Tropez. A few restaurant ideas to help you get started include: Hotel de La Ponche, a great place for seafood lovers; Le Sporting, for some great locally sourced traditional French meals; and Table du Marche, a contemporary bistro and gourmet bakery.
TransportationThe best prices for buses and trains in France can be found on Omio (formerly GoEuro). They let you search across all train, bus, and plane routes throughout Europe.
The closest main airport is in Nice, but flights into Nice are limited, so Lyon may be a better option. Saint Trope does not have any rail stations, but it is possible to take the rail to nearby towns such as Saint Raphael and then take a bus from there into Saint Tropez. Driving is probably the easiest way to get into Saint Tropez, but be aware that during the busy summer season, the roads can be very busy. Public transport in Saint-Tropez includes mini buses, which maintain a shuttle service between town and Pampelonne beaches. Other means of transport include scooters, cars, bicycles and taxis. There are also helicopter services, and boat trips. Because of traffic and short distances, walking is an obvious choice for trips around town and to the Tropezian beaches.