Attracting thousands of visitors yearly, Nice is one of the top destinations in France all-year-round. The capital of the French Riviera, it enjoys a prime location with a majestic view of the waters of the Mediterranean, pristine beaches, colourful buildings, and other charming spots.
How to Get There
Home to the third busiest airport in France, Nice Cote d'Azur Airport is the main one serving Nice. It is also the closest with it being only eight kilometres away from the centre. The trip takes around 20 minutes if you’re taking the bus service.
Get on the Nice Airport Express Bus, either bus numbers 98 or 99, depending on your hotel’s location. Take bus 98 (Promenade des Arts) if you are staying at Old Nice or the beachfront hotels.
On the other hand, hiring a taxi or renting a car means reaching the city faster. Some accommodations have airport-pick up service. Getting an airport transfer is also a convenient option. You can either book a private or shared transfer, with the first option allowing you to go to your hotel in Nice directly and the other means sharing with other passengers. Secure an airport transfer in advance for a hassle-free trip.
With major tourist destinations located within walking distance of one another, it’s very convenient to explore Nice on foot as well as better for your health. But if you’re planning to go out of the city centre, Nice’s public transportation system including the bus and tram is efficient. They also pass through the popular landmarks of Nice. Tickets cost 1.50 euros.
Driving isn’t recommended especially if you’re only touring the centre as traffic in the city and looking for parking can be frustrating. Besides, you would need to have an International Driver’s Licence before you can drive. Taxis are also notoriously expensive so it’s not an ideal option unless you want to.
As an alternative, you can ride a bicycle to explore. You can either rent from a bicycle shop or try their self-serviced bikes called Velobleu. Users have to be at least 14 years old to drive them.
Things to Do
Fill your days with visits to Nice’s amazing beaches, impressive architectural heritage, and charming open spaces. This beautiful French city has a lot to offer any type of travellers who are in much need of some relaxation.
Well-known as the location of the French Riviera, there are 20 public beaches and 15 private ones in Nice. This gives travellers a wide range of options to enjoy beach bumming. Opéra Plage, Castel Plage, and Ruhl Plage are some noteworthy private beaches if you are willing to spend money.
A visit to Vieille Ville, or Old Town, is always on top of every tourist’s list as you’ll enjoy walking around its charming streets, checking out its colourful markets, dining in one of its quaint shops, or shopping at a chic boutique. Some of its highlights include Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate, Palais Lascaris, and Cours Saleya Flower Market.
Next to it is the Promenade des Anglais (English Walk) or locally known as the Promenade or La Prom. This more than two-mile road along Baie des Anges provides a fantastic view of the Mediterranean waters and is perfect for a relaxing stroll.
Other spots to check out include the Place Massena to snap memorable photos, Avenue Jean Medecin for some shopping, and the Garden of the Cimiez Monastery to take a break from the hustle and bustle.
From classy wine bars at the Old Port to beach clubs Cote d'Azur to bustling nightclubs at Old Town, Nice has it no matter what you fancy. The city has an animated nightlife that befits is reputation as one of France’s most popular destinations. Summer nights in Nice are hands down the best with people partying until the wee hours of the morning especially at Old Town.
What to Eat
Niçois dishes are pretty special. They are influenced not only by the local taste but also by traditional Provençal and Italian cuisine. With Nice’s prime location in the Mediterranean, expect a lot of seafood specialties served in the quaint bistros and chic restaurants.
You can start with the quintessential street food in Nice - socca. This tasty pancake is made from chickpea flour and pairs well with any liquor. Most people like it with peppers. Another on-the-go snack would be the pan bagnat. It’s a tuna sandwich with egg, salad, anchovies, and other tasty ingredients that’s in a salade Niçois, another delicious dish.
Another local favorite is pissaladière. Made from bread dough, it looks similar to a pizza. The traditional toppings include caramelised onions, anchovies, and black olives. And while you’re here, you should try the ratatouille since it originated in Nice. Made famous by the movie with the same name, it’s a mix of vegetables and herbs.
Where to Stay
Whether you’re a budget traveler, a partyholic, or a family on a holiday, there are nice places for you to stay in Nice. From the lively and colourful Old Town to the small, charming neighbourhood of Gambetta, to the luxury hotels along Promenade des Anglais, and the low-key Libération also known as Le Port, it’s easy to find a great hotel in Nice.
The most central location, especially for first-timers in Nice, would be in Old Town. It’s rich history, hip establishments, and proximity to major tourist attractions is well worth the price tag. For budget-conscious backpackers or families, Le Port or Gambetta would be a great option. They are accessible and offers mid-range hotels that will fit your budget.
If you’re looking for a great holiday resort in Nice and are willing to spend more, check out the upscale accommodations in Promenade des Anglais. Its strategic location affords guests a panoramic view of the magnificent Mediterranean waters.
• Buses in Nice don’t automatically stop at the bus stops. Make sure to flag down the bus if you’re planning to take it on your return back to the airport.
• If you’re visiting in summer, having rosé wine is a must. It’s a classic accompaniment when having a French meal.