Facing the incomparable Mediterranean Sea, in the heart of the French region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, is Nice. France’s fifth-largest city, a cosmopolitan town in the French Riviera near the border with Italy. Locals call this city, Nice la Belle, and it is in fact gorgeous. Everywhere you go, you will be amazed with its natural beauty and the warmth of its people. It was the inspiration of various painters in the world such as Arman, Niki de Saint Phalle, Henri Mattisse, and Marc Chagall. There are lavish and astonishing hotels, an endless number of incredible restaurants, a vibrant nightlife, a breathtaking green sea and more attractions that bring at least 4 million tourists annually. Nice has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate, enjoying mild winters with moderate rainfall which makes it perfect for a vacation at any time of the year. Take a look at WOW Travel’s Top 8 Things To Do In Nice.
Located in Old Town is the Cathedrale Sainte-Reparate, also known as Nice Cathedral, that houses the Diocese of Nice. Like much of the architecture in Old Town, it reflects the Baroque style of architecture that was injected into the area during Roman occupation.
Promenade des Anglais
I know people who have spent almost their entire vacation on the Promenade, strolling, smiling, then sitting to contemplate the vastness of sea and sky. The famous Promenade des Anglais spans the whole of Nice, offering miles of while beautiful sandy beaches. Nice is best experienced with a leisurely seaside stroll down the Promenade des Anglais, the historic “walkway of the English.” Relax, watch the sea, sunbathe on the beach, go jogging or rollerblading.
Russian Orthodox Cathedral
The cathedral was built by a Russian architect in 1912. Its 6 cupola with golden bulbs add a touch of the exotic to the Nice skyline and symbolise the importance of the Russian colony on the Côte d’Azur. The interior, in the shape of a Greek cross, with its décor of frescos, woodwork and icons show great goldsmith’s work. There is a sumptuous iconostas around the choir.
Opéra de Nice
Offers three types of performances: operas, ballets and classical concerts, and houses the Ballet Nice Méditerrannée and the Nice Philharmonic Orchestra.
Take a look at the glamourous yachts moored there as well as the brightly painted fisherman’s boats! There are plenty of restaurants and bars nearby to sit outside and enjoy a drink in the lovely surroundings.
The Old Town is pure Nice, the place where the local Niçois lived and worked, a real contrast to the sweeping Promenade des Anglais. The old quarter has a very quaint and atmospheric feel with narrow streets packed with unusual shops, restaurants, bars and night clubs. The next day you should have a morning coffee in the Cours Saleya (the Old Town’s flower market) and watch the hustle and bustle of Nice’s oldest market square.
Rue de France Pedestrian Zone
A pedestrian shopping street runs from the end of the Place Massena, roughly parallel to the seaside. This area is full of shops, including some exclusive clothing boutiques, and restaurants and cafes with outdoor terraces. The street has some unique shops and the Ducs de Gascogne store is a must visit.
Monaco is located on the French Riviera only 13 km (8 miles) northeast of Nice. Monte Carlo has arguably one of the most beautiful harbors in the world with the dramatic cliffs in the back and the multi-million dollar mega-yachts. Getting there is easy by car, bus, train (from downtown Nice) or even helicopter. There are plenty of things to keep you occupied for a day trip to Monaco – just depends on what interests you (museums, casinos, people-watching, swanning around). Check out our 10 Photos of Monte Carlo That Will Make You Want To Move There.
Just So You Know…
- Nice is one of the oldest human settlements in all of Europe, with archaeologists finding evidence of hominids living here dating back 400,000 years, and some of the first evidence anywhere of fire-making and habitat-building.
- On the hill directly above the Old Town, there once was perched a massive walled fortress that protected the chateau and the hilltop village. It was the strongest fortress on the Mediterranean coast and was thought to be impenetrable.
- Go inside the famous Negresco hotel situated on the Promenade des Anglais and have a hot chocolate.
Get Some Culture:
- Musée international d’Art naïf Anatole Jakovsky – Displays 18-to-21st century works specialized in naive art.
- Musée Marc Chagall – The biggest public collection of works by Marc Chagall.
- Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nice – With paintings and sculptures from the 13th to the 20th century: Van Loo, Fragonard, Dufy, Chéret, Impressionists, Rodin, Carpeaux. Closed on Monday.
- Musée d’art moderne et d’art contemporain – Also known as MAMAC, is the best museum for modern art and contemporary art.