There’s nothing better than a warm and sunny destination for your summer holiday.
With one foot in the water and another one in the mountains, the city of Nice is a perfect destination for great summer holidays with family or friends.
Located in the South of France near Italy, on the French Riviera, Nice has been a popular destination for quite a long time.
City of Nice
Nice is the second most visited city in France after Paris, and well-known worldwide for its famous ‘Promenade des Anglais’. This old city is full of color and its carnival is the oldest and largest in France.
Explore this wonderful city, it will bring you pleasure and awaken your senses.
As it is not always easy to know what to do on a day in an unfamiliar city, here is an example for spending a nice day in Nice!
The sun begins to shine, the cicadas (crickets) and seagulls start making noise … it is time for you to get up and leave your hotel in Nice in order to make the most of your day.
Start your day enjoying a French breakfast at the “Pietonnerie” (Rue Massena / Rue de France). Here you will find many sorts of coffee served, and they offer a very copious breakfast.
From there terrace you can enjoy the city that’s slowly waking up.
Now that you’re a little more awake too, you’ll be able to see more of the charm and beauty that Nice has to offer.
Start at “Cours Saleya“: wander through the beautiful and vibrant flower market. It was classified by the National Council of Culinary Arts as one of the most beautiful French markets. The colors and smells awaken your senses, no doubt about that!
Next up: take advantage strolling through the old town nearby when it’s not yet that busy. You can admire the charming old town with its ancient facades of yellow & orange that recall the colors of close by Italy. This is also an opportunity to discover many shops selling local products such as olive oil, spices and local vegetables. The admission to the Palais Lascaris, an ancient aristocratic palace in Nice, is free. It now houses the municipal museum of popular arts and traditions since 1970.
Old Nice and Flower Market
As you are in the old town anyway, I can recommend “Place Garibaldi” for a visit, it’s very close – in the north.
This place was once called “Place Vittorio” and it’s one of the many iconic locations in Nice. You can admire magnificent architecture that is inspired by the royal squares typical of Baroque urbanism.
After a few hours of walking around and enjoying the charm of the old town, you will definitely start to feel hungry.
You can then find a small restaurant in the old town or you can go to the seaside “La Rotonde“. This upscale brasserie is part of one of the most beautiful and famous hotels of Nice, the Negresco hotel. You can sample local dishes in a unique decor. You will be immersed by the magical carousel with wooden horses, and musicians will keep you company. But if you prefer to admire a beautiful view during your meal, you simply go to the new terrace, which was especially designed for a look over the beautiful “Baie des Anges” (Bay of Angels). For those unfamiliar with the “Baie des Anges”: it’s a bay that stretches from the Mediterranean city of Nice to Cap d’Antibes.
After enjoying a good meal and spending a relaxing time at the restaurant of this wonderful 5 star hotel, it is time to leave, to continue your discovery of the city of Nice.
Get out of the restaurant and experience an essential moment in Nice, walking along the “Promenade des Anglais“, with the sea on one side and palm trees on the other.
After a short while, you arrive at the “Quai des USA”, which follows on the Promenade des Anglais. You will at some point see a flight of stairs, which allow you to climb to the top of the hill where the Castle of Nice is located (you can also use a lift or the little train!). After this effort, you will be rewarded on the top: first with the very beautiful waterfall of the Castle, then with a magnificent view over the harbor, the city of Nice and the “Baie des Anges”. Enjoy this moment and this view which is – according to some people, one of the most beautiful panoramas in the world. Then you will lose yourself in pleasure, in the castle park, in a maze of greenery, especially during the warm summer, with the freshness of the woods and mist of the waterfall.
Waterfall of the Castle of Nice & View of the city of Nice
It is now time to discover a new neighborhood of Nice. The old district of Nice is the end of the “art walk”. This neighborhood built in the 90s houses the Museum of Modern Art and Contemporary Art, the Natural History Museum and the National Theatre of Nice.
Those who are not a fan of museums, but rather go shopping, there is the nearby “Nice Etoile“, a 3-storey mall in the heart of Nice.
Those who still feel the courage to walk can visit other monuments:
-In the west of Nice, the Russian Orthodox Cathedral “St. Nicolas”, is one of the most beautiful Russians cathedrals in the world located outside the Russian territory.
-In the Northeast of Nice, the hill of Cimiez, former winter residence of Queen Victoria, is where you also find the Franciscan museum, Cimiez monastery and the Matisse Museum.
Take an opportunity relax a little in your hotel in Nice, before enjoying the charm of Nice in the evening – with the always lively old district and the rest of the city, it is totally different (but still wonderful!) during the night.
City of Nice by Night
The coming days, it is the perfect time to enjoy the stone beach of Nice!
If you prefer a sandy beach, you will have to travel outside of Nice, for example by train or bus to St. Jean Cap Ferrat (6km) or Beaulieu sur Mer (5km), or be adventurous and hunt for a white sand beach or magnificent cove yourself.