Welcome to the pearl of the beautiful Cote d’Azur: Nice. The largest city on the coastline of Southern France, and an all-season destination. If it’s not there already, Nice is a city you should definitely put on your bucket list.
With the convenience of having its own international airport and being part of a great regional transportation system, getting to Nice is a breeze.
Once you arrive, you will be stunned by the beautiful buildings, the vibrant colors, and most of all the azure blue Mediterranean Sea. Whatever you enjoy doing when you are traveling, Nice can offer: city sightseeing, history, beaches, shopping, exploring, you name it. In this beautiful seaside city, you are also on the foot of the Alps, offering beautiful hikes up to medieval villages during summer and some of the best ski resorts in Europe during the winter months. Like I said, Nice has it all.
What to See in Nice
Take a stroll down Avenue Jean Medicin to Place Massena, and enjoy a coffee or one of the delicious juices from SO Green. Take in the breathtaking buildings in their vibrant pastel colors, or venture down in the evenings to see the sculptures scattered around the lit up square.
A recently added attraction is the Promenade du Paillon park, offering playgrounds for children of all ages, or a spot of grass to sit on and enjoy a sandwich. Right next to the park is the Old Town, where you can explore the flower market on weekday mornings, or get lost in the little winding streets full of boutiques and restaurants.
Once you make your way out of Old Town, you should find yourself on the beach promenade offering a gorgeous 7 km walk along the Mediterranean Sea. Along the beach promenade, you can also enjoy the view of the historical Art Décor hotels dating back to the 1920s.
If you have the energy to burn, walk the 371 steps up to Castle Hill — there is also an elevator for tourists with tired feet. From Castle Hill, you will have a beautiful panoramic view of Nice town, and of the port. You can also take a rest on a shaded spot in the green area or explore the nearby ruins dating back to the 11th century.
Walk down the back side of Castle Hill to visit the port and see the many stunning luxury yachts. Walk back to town via Place Garibaldi — a beautiful open square full of restaurants and surrounded by the characteristic pastel Nice buildings. The tram also stops here if your feet are too tired to make the walk back.
Where to Shop in Nice
You will find a lot of beautiful street shops on Avenue Jean Medicin. On Place Massena is the Galeries Lafayette department store. For high-end shopping, walk down Avenue de Verdun where many of the luxury brands have storefronts.
Where to Eat & Drink in Nice
Nice is full of many incredible restaurants and cafés. Walk into Old Town or down the pedestrian street, Rue Massena, and you will have more choices than you could ever desire. One of my personal favorites, with a quiet atmosphere, is Restaurant Don Carlo on Rue Paul Déroulède. It’s a great pizza and pasta restaurant with a wood burning pizza oven In the middle of the restaurant.
A trip to Nice wouldn’t be complete without sampling some of the local Provence rose wine. For the daytime, go to the sea front and enjoy the lively vibe of the Waka Bar.
In the evening head to Old Town and visit La Petite Loge, a wine bar with an amazing cellar. They have a great selection of wines to taste, and also offer cheese and meat platters, please do yourself a favor and try the parmesan crusted truffle sausage.
Take a Day Trip From Nice
If you are in Nice for a week or longer, take a day to explore the surrounding area. You can easily catch the train to Cannes or Monaco, and explore the playgrounds of the rich and famous.
You can also take the bus #82 up to Eze, a perched medieval village — the bus ride itself is very scenic. Walking into Eze is like stepping back in time, and much of the village looks like it hasn’t been touched for centuries. Both the church and the exotic botanical garden are worth a visit.
If you are interested in art, the village of St Paul de Vence is definitely your cup of tea. The city is another beautiful medieval village at the foot of the Alps, but it is now home to many modern and contemporary art museums and galleries.
Author’s Favourite Travel Gear
AcousticSleep SleepPhones: These are a must for me when I travel. The super soft fleece headband has earphones inserted in them, so you can be completely comfortable when you listen to music or audio. They come in very handy when you are flying or sleeping in a noisy environment such as a hostel.
Brita Sport Water Filter Bottle: The tap water in France can make your stomach upset if you are not used to it. Bring a water bottle with a Brita filter in it so you can fill it up in the hotel and avoid spending money on plastic water bottles when you are out. I probably don’t need to say this but it’s much better for the environment as well.
Anker PowerCore Mini: We all use our phones while we are out, to find our way, look up restaurants, or post our latest vacation pictures on social medias. With a lightweight, mini portable charger like this, you do not need to worry about running out of battery while you are out exploring.