Every country has a place people go to forget about their problems and daily life. For the French, Nice is a natural getaway spot. With delicious rose wines, rocky beaches, and deep blue water, the French Rivera captivates its guests.
Most outsiders think this part of France is reserved for high-class celebrities with oversized yachts. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. A day in Nice can be inexpensive and will create memories that last a lifetime.
Nice is one of the oldest human settlements in the world dating back to the Lower Paleolithic age. This area of France is heavily influenced by Italian and French history. It was a part of the struggle between Francis I and Charles V. For years Spain, France, and Italy fought many battles for its port. The city was given to France and Napoleon III for helping the Sardinian’s in the Second Italian War for Independence. Nice also suffered like many cities in Europe under Nazi rule. After all this, the French Riviera is still one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Place Masséna is a modern looking square. It’s a small-scale park with fountains and art, making it a nice place to relax. In this area, travelers will find pricey shops along with a bustling city. It serves as a large crossroads between several of the main streets including: avenue Jean Médecin, avenue Félix Faure, boulevard Jean Jaurès, avenue de Verdun and rue Gioffredo.
Known as Vieille Ville or Vieux Nice, old town is filled with cultural experiences. The famous Place du Palais and its old clock sits just on the outside of old town. While walking, you can smell food being prepared by locals that have their windows open. The narrow streets are peaceful and quiet. This area is for visitors that enjoy witnessing what daily life is like in Nice. The market at Cours Saleya is a collection of locals selling fresh flowers, fruit, candies, vegetables, and bread. All around the market are cafes where you can relax and take in the excitement.
Check out Place Rossetti, which is in the middle of old town. It’s a great place to grab delicious food at any one of the many restaurants. Also, you can get really good ice cream in this part of the city. If you like to party at night the square is illuminated by lights making it a fun place to hangout.
In Southeast old town there is a park on top of castle hill. The castle is no longer here but you can see most of the city from this spot. It’s a splendid view. All around Vieux Nice there are little shops to buy locally made goods. This area is also known for having top quality restaurants.
Promenade des Anglais.
The Promenade des Anglais is 7km long and runs from Old Town to Nice Airport. It goes along the seafront of the Baie des Anges. There couldn’t be a more perfect spot to take a stroll. At some point during your walk you will see the port of Nice with its many fishing boats. The Hotel Negresco, which is a classic French hotel built in 1912 is also on the promenade. It’s a great walk anytime of the day and will lead you to other parts of the city.
Nice is a great place to stay for two or three nights. It’s a 35-minute train ride to Cannes, Monaco/Monte Carlo, a 40-minute scenic bus ride, and a 60-minute train/bus ride to Villefranche-sur-Mer.
Cannes is home to the world’s most famous film festival. When the festival isn’t going on, Cannes is a quiet little city on the ocean. It’s much smaller than Nice and is a great place to shop, swim, and take in the wonderful weather.
Monaco/Monte Carlo is an experience you will never forget. It’s one of the wealthiest areas in the world. Every year they host the Monaco Grand Prix in the streets that run through Monte Carlo. They have an awesome castle with a neighboring palace that overlooks the city. There is also a casino if you’re interested in trying you luck.
Villefranche-sur-Mer is your old classic beach town with cafes, shops, and restaurants. It’s a great place to take a deep breath of fresh air.
Sometimes in our travels we are so busy learning and trying to find culture that we forget to just relax and have fun. Nice is a beautiful city that has culture, but it’s also a great place to unwind.