The city of Nice is special for many interesting reasons. It is the large city on the French Riviera and one of the country’s top destinations for visitors. The city offers a proper mix of striking seaside resorts and the lushness of a European cosmopolitan place.
And if you are expecting to have the area’s luxury of the French Riviera, a prolonged vacation here will be a brilliant idea. Nice’s astounding charm is from the 1800s mansions on the city’s boulevards and promenades. From its Italianate quaint quarter and the rough natural landscape that offers unlimited amazing vistas.
Professional and amateur artists are fond of these panoramic views, enhanced even further by the special light. The city of Nice is among the best places to visit on the continent for art galleries and high-profile exhibitions, with museums in tribute to Matisse and Chagall.
Here Are Some Of The Best Things you Should Do In Nice:
Stroll Along Promenade des Anglais
The Promenade des Anglais offers no ordinary seaside walk experience. Next to the Mediterranean, it has been part and parcel of Nice’s life since the construction of its embankment in the 1820s.
While couple skateboarders, joggers, and families pass here all year long, parades for the lively Nice Carnival is held in February. The attractive promenade curves for seven kilometers and is bounded by 1800s majestic palaces on the eastern side. Visitors can sit on the benches and find cover under palm trees and pergolas as they relax.
Check out Vieille Ville
This is the oldest part of Nice and is a change from the city’s wide boulevards and expansive squares like Place Masséna. Vieille Ville is an interlock of alleys with restaurants and shops, marked by towering ochre-painted residential buildings and the Colline du Château to the east.
Crêperies, cafes, and glaciers all connect in the squares, which are usually active till the early hours/ The architecture and setting here has a strong Italian connection (Nice used to be an Italian city until the 1860 draft of the Treaty of Turin).
See the View at Parc de la Colline de château
Just at the hill’s top in the park on the east side of Nice, visitors will be greeted by some of the area’s great picturesque settings. They can look back over the city and the blue sea in the Baie des Anges, a sight one will want to admire for long.
Visitors can choose all the landmarks, like the port to the east and the Hotel Negresco. Reaching the Vieille Ville’s top can be a daunting task for som. Which is why there is an elevator on-site to help.
See Arts’ Finest at Musée Marc Chagall
Chagall, the illustrious French painter, was thoroughly involved in this museum’s design that he determined where each work from his collection should be placed. He also assembled the layout of the gardens, and in the concert hall, he designed the stained-glass windows. In many ways, Musée Marc Chagall is an ordered artwork by itself.
At the museum, visitors will be reminded that the museum was created to house the 17 paintings of Chagall’s series with biblical references, sectioned into the Old and New Testament. Part of this collection is the popular Resistance, Liberation triptych, resistance, painted pre, during, and post-World War 2.
Reckon the Nice Cathedral
Situated in Vieille Ville center, the outside is unassuming, except the cathedral’s dome that is patterned. A casual visitor to the place might not realize that the place is Nice’s cathedral. Inside the place, one needs no telling that it is an iconic destination.
The cathedral was built in the 1600s with lots of baroque design, made up of ten ornate chapels with gliding, paintings, and sculptures. The buildings here are Italian styled.
Shop at Cours Saley Market
Another prominent place in the city’s old quarter is the bubbling fresh produce and flower market, Cours Saley market. Except on Mondays, this market opens every day when it is replaced by a flea market.
If you are looking to cook while on vacation in Nice, the market is a perfect place to get all you need. Regional delicacies like socca, fresh produce, a wide range of ingredients. Also, flowers got from the Alpine area and the Provence are sold at Cours Saley market.
Be advised that many sellers will attempt to tempt you with free samples; so you properly know what you are buying. The flower shops cannot be missed and are open till late in the evening, long after other sellers are gone. To beat the crowd, visit as early as possible.
Marvel at the Musée Masséna
The Duke of Rivoli gifted this 1800s villa on the Promenade des Anglais in 1919 on the premise that it will be opened to the public as a local history museum. Visitors come in their drove to see what it is like inside one of Belle Époque mansions. Edouard Andre designed its gardens like the ones he did at the Monte Carlo Casino.
There is a spellbinding assortment of curiosities inside the museum, like a tiara belonging to Empress Josephine, Napoleon’s wife. Napoleon’s death mask and an array of 1800s French art on the second floor.
Savor Delicious Local Delicacies
Nice has contributed immensely to French cuisine, and there are many local dishes visitors cannot leave the city without tasting. Salade Niçoise is a Nice native, and you can start with it. It is a hard-boiled egg, anchovies, green beans, and tomatoes, and goes along with whites from Bellet or Bandol’s rosé.
Socca is a more casual food that you can get from the street. It is a blend of flatbread and pancake prepared with chickpea flour and sold by food vendors in the streets of the old quarter.
Ratatouille is another option on most menus in restaurants. It is a popular vegetable stew prepared with aubergine, peppers, courgettes, and tomato. Among the long list of food here are also onion tart, fougasse bread, and Daube Nicoise, a braised beef stew with red wine, tomatoes, and bacon.
Watch the Animals at Parc Phoenix
Entry to the Parc Phoenix costs as low as three euro. This is a great bargain considering the features on the 7 hectares on the western side of the Promenade des Anglais’s end. But children can go in for free. This place is one of the few spots in the city where fun is guaranteed even for adults.
There are about 20 themed zones comprising of 2500 plant species in a greenhouse and in different types of gardens. Visitors will also find animal terrariums and enclosures, with otters, tropical spiders, and turtles, while Chilean flamingos, mandarin ducks, and iguanas, meander freely in the greenhouse.
Relax at the Beaches
The city’s beaches are shingly, and even though they are stunning to stroll past, they may not be to every visitor’s preference for sunbathing. Providing the luxury and comfort of sun loungers, there are private sections that you can check out.
One can still pass a chilling afternoon in the sun, but the currents may be a tad strong for children. For the little ones, a particular beach is sure to delight them. It is located on Mont Boron’s other side at Villefranche-sur-Mer, where the waters are less shallow and draped from the open sea by the forelands at Cap-Ferrat and Cap de Nice.
Climb the Monastère de Cimiez
Established by the Benedictines in the 800s, the Monastère de Cimiez is an elevated monastery, north of the center. Visitors will get along the Boulevard de Cimiez, one of the city’s most cracking thoroughfares, with incredible 1800s mansions and hotels.
Adorned with 14th and 15th-century styles, the gothic monastery buildings are with complex frescoes from the 16th-century. Most tourists climb this place for one reason: to see the phenomenal gardens, with flower beds, geometric lawns, topiaries, pergolas, and a terrace with a fantastic view of Nice. Designed in 1546, these gardens here are the oldest ones on the Côte d’Azur.
Walk Along the Cap-Ferrat
Synonymous with old money and Riviera luxury, Cap-Ferrat is just 20 minutes east of the city, on the picturesque Boulevard Napoleon III. Visitors come here to be mesmerized by the impressive turn-of-of-the-century buildings.
Ephrussi de Rothschild is one of the dazzling mansions. It is open to visitors and furnished with treasured paintings, furniture, and sculptures. Like the popular path as Cap d’Antibes, Cap-Ferrat is likewise hemmed around by a coastal trail with photo-friendly chances of the Massif de l’Esterel and the Riviera’s extraordinary rugged coastline. The path is the easiest way to reach some great beaches on the east.
Celebrate with fans at OGC Nice
OGC Nice is the city’s darling football club. If you visit from August to May, you might want to do something different on your Nice trip; you can watch a live football match at the new Allianz Riviera stadium. It is located just a few minutes west of the city. This nice stadium, which has a seating capacity of 35,000, is among the stadiums built for the EURO 2016 tournament.
Things To Do In Nice – Summary
You can get the most out of your stay at Nice by navigating around popular sites. Cycling around the city, observing interesting day trips, and much more, as you immerse yourself in the city’s rich history. When next you are planning a visit to the French Riviera, make sure activities in Nice tops your itinerary. It is too magical to miss!
Read: Nice Travel Guide