Now, more than ever, we need to be nice to each other. So, why not visit the city of Nice that contains the best characteristic of its residents in its name?! Nice, on the Cote d’Azur is a wonderful place for relaxing, exploring and reconnecting with loved ones.
Nice has a venerable and interesting history. First founded as a colony of the Greek city-state of Phocis in 350 BC, the city was named Nike – which was the Greek goddess of victory. Over the centuries, ‘Nike’ became ‘Nice’ but, unlike most other ancient cities, the first name of this glorious community is still evident in its current one!
The Promenade is named after English Tourists!
Touch down at Nice Cote d’Azur Airport (NCE) and your holiday begins! The airport is conveniently close to central Nice, so the journey into the city can be made in less than 15-minutes by taxi. If you’re prefer taking public transport, consider the airport bus instead. The journey is of similar duration (though you may have to wait for the bus to fill up) but costs as little as €6 one way. Soon, a tram line, currently under construction, will connect the airport with the city, which would make the journey into town even more streamlined. Once in Nice, you’ll find the city is compact, so exploring on foot is easy. Uber, taxi, and public buses are all available if you’re looking to travel a little further afield.
Here’s a Pro-tip: For the best views of Nice, take a cruise along the Cote d’Azur (especially right before sunset) or climb to the top of Castle Hill. The Nice Observatory is also a great spot for panoramic coastal views and is just a short bus ride away from central Nice.
Art galleries, sweeping beaches, and a hilltop castle make the picturesque backdrop of Nice. Whatever your taste, there’s a little something for everyone in the city and below I’ve provided my favourite things to do in Nice:
- Promenade Des Anglais – You’ll likely have noticed the promenade on your ride in from the airport as this sweeping expanse of pebbled beach is pretty hard to miss. Take a stroll along the four-mile promenade and soak up city views. The promenade was constructed in the 1880s as a walking place for the many visiting English tourists and that’s how it was named!
Old Town offers great vieux!
- Old Town (Vieux Nice) – Explore the streets of Vieux Nice and you’ll be transported back to 16th-century kingdom of Savoy. Cafes and coffee shops line the streets, and it’s an excellent place for a spot of people watching.
- Castle Hill – Enjoy amazing views of Nice and the Cote d’Azur from Castle Hill, an 11th-century military citadel which perches high above the city.
MOMAC means mo’ art to love!
- Museum of Modern Art and Contemporary Art – MOMAC is an impressive museum dedicated to modern artwork created by both local and international artists. Inside you’ll find over 1,300 works by over 300 artists!
- Avenue Jean Medecin – Shop till you drop down this winding thoroughfare; a long street lined with big brand names and boutique stores.
Cuisine in Nice is traditionally southern French because of its Provencal roots. You can expect to enjoy dishes drizzled with olive oil and herbs, but Nice also enjoys a close proximity to Italy which provides luscious flavours to the mix. Don’t be surprised to find Italian influences on most menus! Here are my favourite places to eat in the city:
- Restaurant Le Chantecler – At least one of your nights in Nice should be spent indulging in fine food, and there’s no better place to do so than at Restaurant Le Chantecler. Every dish at this restaurant has been carefully paired with one of the 15,000 bottles of wine that line their cellar.
- La Roustide – Enjoy French cuisine with a twist at La Roustide, a quaint restaurant with a deeply rooted love for truffles. There are six versions of truffle used on the menu!
- Oliviera – Located in Nice’s Old Town, Oliviera is an olive-oil themed restaurant serving delicious Mediterranean dishes with a strong focus on seafood. Most meals at Oliviera begin with a complimentary olive oil tasting with the restaurant owner!
Olive more Socca please!
Beachfront bars, rooftop bars, and wine bars – what more could you want from a coastal city that knows how to party? Check out my favourite nightspots to see and be seen:
- Le Meridien – While the menu might be a little pricey, one drink at this iconic establishment is an absolute must while in Nice. Head to the 10th floor for spectacular views of the ocean.
- Shapko Bar – this bar sets the tone for an evening to remember as its one of the most animated live music bars in town. Live bands take to the stage here every night of the week and tend to play sets late into the morning!
- Les Distilleries Ideales – Step inside this cosy venue, and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back-in-time to the 18th-century. This old-world tavern is dark and cosy, and it’s the perfect place for a post-dinner martini.
Nice is divided into multiple neighbourhoods, but the four most popular are; the Old Town, City Centre, the Port, and the Beach Front. Check out my recommendations on where to stay in the city below:
- Hotel Suisse – Looking for an affordable boutique hotel just steps from the Old Town? Great news, Hotel Suisse is all that and more! Book a room with a view and enjoy breakfast on your private terrace overlooking the port.
- Palais Saleya – If you prefer a contemporary hotel that still doesn’t break the bank, consider Palais Saleya. While the hotel sits in an 18th-century townhouse, its décor and amenities are purely 21st Century. The self-catered apartments are particularly convenient!
- Boscolo Exedra – Cool off in the city at Boscolo Exedra, one of the only hotels in Nice to boast a rooftop pool with terrace, an onsite spa, and all-day dining.
Such a Nice view!
With a glorious 300 days of sunshine each year, gastronomy that covers two countries, and an old town that dates back to the 14th-century, it’s no surprise that travellers from far and wide flock to the sparkling shores of Nice. Nice is nice to visit, even with your niece!