Visiting Grasse has been on my bucket list of the South of France for a few years now. My friend Alexis mentioned visiting a few years ago for work and it has been on my radar ever since. It is the Fragrance Capital of the World. I have heard from other people there are fields of flowers growing everywhere. For our quick trip with two small kids, we skipped the countryside and took the train directly into the center of town.
The train was a little over an hour and let me first admit, we messed up on the train times which pretty much threw off the entire day. I did our usual run to grab coffee and croissants at our corner spot while the rest of the family slept. When we looked at train times, we missed the early one and the next closest train was cutting it close. We rushed to get ready and out the door. We walked from the apartment to the train station and literally made the train by a minute. Seven people traveling is never an easy thing.
We didn’t research much about Grasse before arriving and you have to take a bus to the top of the city from the main train station. It was hot and there were two buses to choose from that were parked outside the train station. I chose the bus that had the quickest route to the top and I chose wrong. (just in case a family member is reading this and thinks they chose right) There was some sort of issue with the driver and we sat on the bus for twenty minutes in the heat before having to get off and wait for another. You can imagine, some family members weren’t so happy about the extra wait time. (the other bus would have already been to the top)
We almost made it to the top on the bus and some of us got off one stop early. The other family members were still on the bus and the driver drove away. It was literally one thing after another at this point. We had to walk in the heat and try to find the next stop up the hill. At this point we were all Hungry (hungry + angry) and just wanted to stop for a good meal.
The town has one major narrow street going down it where you can find these pink umbrellas. I would compare it to the Champs Élysées in Paris. All of the food options were really bad. We all settled on a tiny spot serving pasta and crêpes. I will remember this as the worst meal of the entire trip. The only thing that could get me to forget it was good gelato and I don’t think we ever found it.
After lunch, we split up for 30 minutes. I had such a small amount of time to explore and shoot Grasse. I found the center square just five minutes from where we had lunch. It looked like a scene from a movie and I am pretty confident our lunch would have been much better.
I had only been away from the kids for a few minutes when I turned a corner and spotted Bobby and Emma down the street. Once they saw me, they started running towards me like they hadn’t seen me in months. I caught a quick video on my phone. It was the cutest thing. It just goes to show as much as we fought over a bad meal earlier in the day, the kids had a great time which is the most important thing of the whole day.
We had plans to take the kids on a train ride around the town of Grasse but made a last minute decision to go to the Perfume Museum. I am not the biggest fan of museums but there were videos, audio clips, and enough things to keep the kids entertained and happy. I wanted to explore more of Grasse before our train back to Nice. We couldn’t find our way out of the museum between floors, stairs, and elevators. We found our way on the bottom floor to a fun discovery. The museum had an activation center set up to make your own perfume.
Emma had the chance to create her own perfume with the help of my sister. It was such a cool experience for Emma and the price was included in the admission. For more information on the museum and booking tickets you can visit their site here. We walked in and had no problem getting tickets. The museum was empty except a few other people.
Instead of waiting for the bus to go back down to the center of town (we didn’t want to risk waiting too long) we walked down hill. For my dad, the hills and steps were a bit much on his knee. It was a steep climb down to the bottom. The signs weren’t so clear and finding directions on google maps almost left us in another argument but my brother in law saved the day getting us back to the train station.
Grasse wasn’t exactly what I expected but I would be happy to return back for another trip to explore more. Have you been to Grasse? Do you have any tips on what to explore next visit?