A dazzling destination between mountains and the mediterranean, Nice is alive with compelling cultural attractions and world-leading hospitality.
There are so many reasons to add Nice, the capital of the Côte d’Azur, to your next France itinerary: its stunning location between mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, creating an enticing, urban beach lifestyle. Its spectacular cultural offerings – from the Matisse museum to one of the world’s best jazz festivals each summer. Its new recognition by UNESCO as the
winter resort town of the Riviera. Bien sûr, there’s the delicious Niçoise cuisine. And better by the year is the city’s lean towards organic, biodynamic wines and produce, and great hospitality.
Food for thought
You can’t go to Nice and not sample the street food, found all through the Old Town. Bite into some socca (chickpea flour, oven-baked until golden), and Pissaladière (similar to an onion tart with black olives and anchovies). Find delicious Niçoise salads at the garden restaurant in the Hotel Windsor, and for seafood lovers, Le Plongeoir, perched precariously over the sea. For other local specialties, head to the charming Chez Acchiardo.
Tourte de Blettes (photo © J.Kelagopian / OTMNCA)
Get your walking shoes on and take in breathtaking mountains, Mediterranean panoramas and exotic vegetation while hiking in and around Nice. There are wide trails ranging from gentle city walks (strolling up to the Citadelle of Villefranchesur-Mer then marvelling at the sea or along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice), to full-day adventures (Cap d’Ail and Cap Ferrat trails wind along historic walkways created by grey volcanic rock, surrounded by lush vegetation).
Lake Millefonts (photo © H-265 Agence Media).
Time after time
At the Archaeology Museum in the hilly and tranquil Cimiez, discover the ruins of the Roman city of Cemenelum. Gaze up at 18th century palaces (Régina Hotel), well-to-do Belle Epoque era architecture (Negresco Hotel) and amazing places of worship (Notre Dame, Sainte-Jeanne-d’Arc Church, Russian Orthodox Cathedral). Don’t miss the Matisse and Chagall museums, the 1648-built Palais Lascaris (seventeenth and eighteenth century art and music) and the Massena Museum (history of Nice).
If you can, attend the world-famous Nice Jazz Festival (July). But there’s also many other dates on the cultural calendar such as the Carnival Flower Parades (February), European Heritage Day (September) and exquisite classical concerts in museums year-round. Get a tour of the stunning Nice Opera House!
Nice Jazz Festival in July (photo @ VDN)
Shop up a storm
For the ritzy Riviera shops, head to the city centre to the Carré d’Or area (Tiffany, Louis Vuitton, Chanel). Galeries Lafayette in Place Masséna is a must visit, and afterwards stroll up past dozens of boutiques on Avenue Jean Médecin to Nice Etoile centre. Combining modern architecture and shopping is CAP 3000, voted world’s best shopping centre 2022! Also just wandering the old town you’ll find gorgeous artisanal teas, soaps, liqueurs, shoes, perfumes and clothing.
Splashing out? The iconic Negresco Hotel is superb as is the Boscolo Nice Hotel & Spa (with its rooftop). There’s the new boutique hotel The Riviera Collection in the musician’s quarter and Sonder at Yelo is another newcomer, in a Haussmann-style building. Or try Monsigny for cosy rooms. For cheaper and cheerful, consider the Deck Hotel.
Hovering above the sea, Le Plongeoir (photo @ J.Kelagopian / OTMNCA)
Office de Tourisme Métropolitain Nice Côte d’Azur
www.explorenicecotedazur.com (External link)
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