There’s a reason that this sunny slice of Southern France is nicknamed Nice la Belle. With its balmy Mediterranean climate, crystal clear coastline and impressive backdrop of the rugged French Alps, it’s a city that’s long been associated with beauty, relaxation and luxury. The jewel of the Cote D’Azur, it’s gone from an ancient Greek settlement to a Victorian winter retreat, and it continues to be a highly popular vacation hotspot to this day.
Forming part of the glamorous French Riviera, Nice has been a rejuvenating and inspiring destination for many over the centuries. From the twisting cobbled streets of the old town to the extensive promenade that fringes the impossibly blue ocean of the Bay of Angels, it’s easy to see why Nice is such an attractive location. Being just a few hours by plane from the UK, it makes the ideal destination for both a sophisticated weekend jaunt as well as a longer break.
If this beautiful spot sounds like a slice of heaven to you, get your sunglasses on and slip into some comfy shoes to discover just why it’s so nice to be in Nice.
It’s nice to…
Spend the day along the Promenade des Anglais
Stretching across 7km of beautiful Mediterranean coastline, the Promenade des Anglais is one of the most picturesque places to visit in Nice. Popular with tourists and locals, it’s perfect for a long afternoon stroll or a stress-free cycling adventure. Soak up some sun on the pretty stone beaches, have an afternoon snooze in a cabana or enjoy one of the many events that take place here throughout the year such as the energetic Nice Carnival in February or the vibrant Prom Party in July.
Explore the nooks and crannies of Vieux Nice
With its labyrinthine alleyways and array of fascinating tight-knit shops, restaurants and attractions, it’s no surprise that Nice’s Old Town is top of so many people’s to-do lists. Filled with history, this small area of the city dates back to medieval times and is where you’ll find pretty patisseries, traditional wine bars and quirky antique shops. Take your time exploring the cluster of tiny streets before cooling off with a refreshing drink or a delicious ice-cream at Place Rossetti.
Admire the art work at one of the many museums
Not just known as a place to enjoy some R&R, Nice has also long been associated with inspiring some of the world’s best creatives. Flooded with natural light and benefiting from fair weather all year long, Nice has been a draw for many sculptors and painters including Henri Matisse and Niki de Saint Phalle. Its artistic connections are seen through the many art galleries scattered around the city, including the Matisse Gallery in the Cimiez neighbourhood and the Musée des Beaux-Arts which houses over four centuries of wonderful artwork.
Take a day trip to glamorous Monaco
Just a short drive or train journey from Nice is glamorous Monaco. Known for its casinos, clubs, sophisticated royal family and status as a tax-haven, it’s just 200 hectares in size but nevertheless packed with fascinating attractions. Take in the skyscrapers and superyachts of cosmopolitan Monte Carlo before heading to the Le Rocher district to admire the majestic Prince’s Palace and the pretty Old Town. If you’re visiting in May, you might catch the Monaco Grand Prix too.
Enjoy a meal and a glass of wine in Place Massena
No trip to Nice is complete without sampling some of the mouth-watering local cuisine, and one of the best places to do just that is the Cours Saleya. It’s one of Old Nice’s most vibrant streets, boasting a regular morning market and plenty of local restaurants and bars. Tempt your taste buds with a salade niçoise, ratatouille or some freshly caught fish, and don’t forget to try a socca – a local pancake made from chickpea flour. Washing your meal down with a carafe of fine French wine is a given.
Soak up the panoramic views from Parc du Chateau
If you’re craving some greenery as well as some excellent photo ops, the short climb to the Parc du Chateau should definitely be on your itinerary. Better known as Castle Hill, it’s the site of an old medieval castle that was destroyed in the 18th century by Louis XIV. Now a beautiful public park, visitors can enjoy unbeatable views across the Old Town, the Promenade des Anglais and the harbour. It also features a calming man-made waterfall and a free lift from the seafront if you don’t fancy walking up the steps in the heat.