Nice is gorgeous! Perched right by the beautiful Mediterranean Sea and basically the gateway and most well known beach town along the French Riviera, Nice is bliss for any beach and sun lover. It’s laid back lifestyle is what makes it the perfect spot to take some time out to relax, soak up the sun and enjoy the beachy vibes.
I drove from Switzerland via crossing over into the Italian border and back into France to reach Nice, and so by that point I was itching for some warmer weather and to feel the sea breeze in my hair! Unfortunately I didn’t get a whole lotta time to spend in Nice, but my short two night stay was the perfect amount of time to unwind and invigorate
Here’s some of the things I crammed in what felt like about 48 hours!!!
WHAT TO SEE
Castle Hill is a must do experience in Nice and the nearly 300 feet of stairs climb to the top is totally worth it for the sweeping 360 panoramic views of Nice overlooking the beach and promenade and also the Port. There are also other cool things to see and do up here as well so be sure to pack some snacks and plenty of water and enjoy the view and activities.
Vieille Ville, or Old Town
The Cours Saleya flower and fruit market are here, so definitely check that out as the flowers are so gorgeous and the fruit is super fresh.
That aside, Vieille Ville is considered the ‘old town’ of Nice and in my opinion, was one of my favourite and one of the most beautiful parts of Nice. The tiny and windy streets are packed with cute boutiques and some great authentic French restaurants in this area too. You could easily spend an afternoon here or come at dusk for an evening dinner and shop!
Place Massena is the city square in Nice, and if you’re looking for a place to get some shopping done,Jean Médecin is the street to check out.
There are stores for every budget, and you can find plenty of bargains along the way (I did anyway!). There are also many quaint little cafés nearby and from here, you are only a short walk to the Promenade, beach and the Old Town.
The promenade des Anglais
A walk along the promenade is mandatory! Not only are you within arm’s reach of the beautiful ocean and cobble stoned sand, the promenade is lined with many bars, restaurants and bike hire places. If you want the ultimate Nice experience and don’t mind paying a little bit extra, grab some food or a drink and enjoy the beach views at one of the eateries.
Cours Saleya is an open-air flower, fruit and veggie market open every morning (except Mondays they sell ultra cool antique stuff instead of the fruit and veg) from 6am and you absolutely cannot miss these markets! I loved walking through the markets and seeing all the fresh produce and bright, colourful flowers on display. There are rows of fresh flowers and plants that smell heavenly as does the food stands selling everything from fruit, vegetables, honey, olive oil, cheeses, cured meats, fish, and tourist knickknack stuff! Tip: to avoid the crowds as it can get pretty full on, I recommend going earlier in the morning before 8-9 when it generally starts to get packed with people.
Cathédrale Sainte Reparate de Nice
The cathedral was consecrated in 1699 and the interior has been really well maintained over the years. If you are interested in History or would like to take a peek inside to see know how the city used to look you will enjoy this!
The beach in Nice is beautiful to make sure you take some time out to take a dip in the cool water or sun bake along the stony sand. I recommend taking a tick towel and some shoes with you if you are thinking about laying on the beach as the rocks aren’t that rough or jagged, but they are just pretty big! There is no soft sand here.
Hire a bike
There are plenty of self service bike rentals for as little as 1-2 euro a day! This can be a great way to see lots of Nice without using public transport and in a short time. They are many cycle paths to use.
You can easily visit Monaco from Nice and spend 1/2 to a full day exploring Monte Carlo or alternatively check out the nightlife and casinos Monte Carlo is so famously known for!
If you visit during the day, catching a bus is easy and assessable and I would say the best and cheapest option too, however if you are looking to venture there at night I would probably opt for a taxi which is a lot more expensive but the buses don’t run that late at night.
Get lost in the narrow streets of Vieux Nice, lined with galleries, cafés and shops. you wont even be mad!
FOODS TO TRY
Aside from the obvious pizza, pasta and gelato, here are some different (and healthier alternatives) things you may like to try!…
Farcis nicois – A dish made from vegetables such as tomatoes, zucchinis and mushrooms and stuffed with breadcrumbs and meat fresh
Socca – A type of pancake made from chickpea flour
Salade Nicoise – There are many different varieties of this but usually along the lines of fresh veggies such as fresh tomatoes, green beans, olives and sometimes eggs and tuna