The medieval rabbit warren of the old town, the Italianate facades of modern Nice and the rich, exuberant, fin-de-siècle residences that made the city one of Europe’s most fashionable winter retreats have all survived intact. It has also retained mementos from its ancient past, when the Romans ruled the region from here, and earlier still when the Greeks founded the city. In addition, its bus and train connections make Nice by far the best base for visiting the rest of the Riviera.
It doesn’t take long to get a feel for the layout of Nice. Shadowed by mountains that curve down to the Mediterranean east of its port, it still breaks up more or less into old and new. Vieux Nice , the old town, groups about the hill of Le Château , its limits signaled by boulevard Jean-Jaurès , built along the course of the River Paillon. Along the seafront, the celebrated Promenade des Anglais runs a cool 5km until forced to curve inland by the sea-projecting runways of the airport. The central square, place Masséna , is at the bottom of the modern city’s main street, avenue Jean-Médecin , while off to the north is the exclusive hillside suburb of Cimiez .
Chemins de Fer de la Provence
The Chemins de Fer de la Provence runs one of France’s most scenic and fun rail routes from the station on Nice’s rue Alfred Binet, ten minutes’ walk north of the gare SNCF (or buses #4 or #5). The line runs up the valley of the Var between Nice and Digne-les-Bains, climbing through some spectacular scenery as it goes. Four trains run daily, year-round, and the whole journey takes 3hr 15min, and costs 218F/¬33.25 (for more information call 04.93.82.10.17, or look online at perso.club-internet.fr/dandesme ).
Food of Nice
Nice is a great place for food indulgence, whether you’re picnicking on market fare, snacking on Niçois specialties or dining in the palace hotels. The Italian influence is strong in all restaurants, with pasta on every menu; seafood is also a staple. For snacks , many of the cafés sell sandwiches with typically Provençal fillings such as fresh basil, olive oil, goat’s cheese and mesclum , the unique green salad mix of the region. If you want to buy the best bread or croissants in town, seek out Espuno, 22 rue Vernier, in the old town.
Excellent restaurants can be found throughout most of Nice. Vieux Nice has a dozen on every street catering for a wide variety of budgets; the port quaysides have very good, but pricey, fish restaurants. In summer it’s wise to book tables or turn up before 8pm, especially in Vieux Nice
Nightlife in Nice
Given the city’s staid, affluent population, the late-night scene tends to be dominated by luxury hotel bars . But pubs are popular with the young, and Vieux Nice has a wide choice of venues for drinking and dancing, though the music tends not to be very novel. A good place to set out is along rue Central in the old town, where many pubs have early evening happy hours. As for Niçois nightclubs , bouncers judging your wallet or exclusive membership lists are the rule.
Getting to Nice
Arriving by air , you can get different buses into town: bus #23 to the gare SNCF (8.50F/¬1.30); a speedy navette (taking 15min; 26F/¬3.97); or a bus (every 20min, 23F/¬3.51) from outside the end door of Terminal 1 to the junction of avenue Gustav V and the promenade des Anglais, or on to the gare routière , which for once is very central, close to the old town beneath the promenade du Paillon on boulevard Jean-Jaurès (tel 04.93.85.61.81). The gare SNCF is a little further out, a couple of blocks west of the top end of avenue Jean-Médecin (bus #12 to place Masséna). Both the bus and train stations have left-luggage counters.You’ll find the main tourist office beside the gare SNCF on avenue Thiers (daily: June-Sept 8am-8pm; rest of year 8am-7pm; tel 04.93.92.82.82, www.nice-coteazur.org ). It’s one of the most useful, helpful and generous of Côte tourist offices and has annexes at 5 promenade des Anglais , another at Nice-Ferber, further along the promenade des Anglais near the airport, and a third at Terminal 1 of the airport (daily: June-Sept 8am-8pm; rest of year 8am-10pm; tel 04.93.21.44.11). Any of these offices can supply you with a free listings magazine, Le Mois à Nice .
Buses operate frequent services around the city, running until 12.15am, with four lines running until 1.10am. Fares are flat-rate and you can buy a single ticket on the bus (8.50F/¬1.30) or a carnet of ten tickets (55F/¬8.38). There are also one-day (25F/¬3.81; available on bus), five-day (85F/¬12.96) or weekly passes (110F/¬16.77), all of which can be bought at tabacs , kiosks, newsagents or from Sunbus, the transport office at 10 av Félix-Faure, where you can also pick up a free route map. Bicycles, mopeds and motorbikes can be rented from Nicea Location Rent at 12 rue de Belgique (tel 04.93.82.42.17, [email protected] ), just by the gare SNCF .
Incredible Attractions in Nice
Nice is the perfect place that balances between a cosmopolitan city and a seaside resort. This beautiful town serves as the ideal spot for a vacation on the French Riviera. Nice is known as being a popular travel destination since the 18th century and features a mild Mediterranean climate, a beautiful Old Town district, and a rich culture. Moreover, Nice homes a beautiful shoreline bordered with grand hotels. Tourists will also find charming architecture, colorful marketplaces, and several museums. Here are three beautiful places that you can visit in Nice.
Promenade des Anglais
This beautiful place is known as a seaside boardwalk that runs along the Baie des Anges. Promenade des Anglais has an incredible history because when hard economic times hit Nice, some wealthy Englishmen proposed paying workers to build a walkway along the beautiful and rocky beach. Well, it looks like they haven’t created it without a reason, because, today this is one of the most famous seaside promenades found on the Mediterranean. Promenade des Anglais is lined with beach cabanas, palm trees, luxury hotels, and chic cafes.
Place Masséna is recognized as being Nice’s largest square and the main gathering place for seasonal festivals and community events. After designing the square as a pedestrian-only zone, this place is filled with beautiful pieces of art installed by Jaume Plensa, a Spanish artist. These incredible pieces include sculptures atop tall pillars placed around the plaza. Moreover, tourists can find a huge fountain with a statue of Apollo situated in the centerpiece of the square.
Nice homes more museums than any other city in French. Musee Matisse is a 17th-century villa located in the hills of Cimiez. This building comes to an expansive and incredible collection of works by Henri Matisse, a French artist. Musee Matisse was opened in 1963 and has hundreds of gouaches, paintings, sculptures, and prints made by the famous French artist.
Nice if a beautiful French city that homes incredible attractions and several museums. What is your favorite attraction in Nice?