French Riviera Secrets

×
{{parallaxPic.alt}}

Nice

Nice is the undisputed capital of the French Riviera. It has a long and rich history, and for several periods in the last two millennia it did not even belong to France. Instead, it was part of County of Savoy (from 1388 to 1718); in 1718 Nice became part of the kingdom of Sardinia, until 1793, when it was returned to France, only to become part of Sardinia again in 1814...
Finally, in 1860 Nice became part of France again, and has remained so until today!
There is still a strong Italian influence, and Nice remains very popular with Italian visitors.

Nice Airport is the second largest airport in France and serves as the main entry point for international visitors.


Vieux Nice (Old Nice)

Narrow street in the old part of Nice Narrow street in the old part of Nice

The old part of Nice, called Vieux Nice in French, is very picturesque, and worth a visit. Stroll through the narrow streets, and visit markets, eat in one of the many restaurants serving delicious local dishes, and marvel at the architectural wonders.
There are many shops along Avenue Jean-Médecin, which ends in Place Masséna, a very large, beautiful square.
Nice Castle, thanks to its elevated position on Castel Rock, offers a viewing platform, providing spectacular views on Nice and the Mediterranean Sea.
You can arrive by train, at Nice Station, and take the tram from there down to Place Massena; arriving by car, I recommend you park in the undergroundparking of the Palais de Justice, right in the heart of Old Nice.

In the old part of Nice A street in the old part of Nice
View on the old town of Nice View on the old town of Nice
Market in Cours Saleya Market in Cours Saleya
Nice, Palais de Justice Nice, Palais de Justice

From there, you have old of the old town in Nice within walking distance, including the famous Cours Saleya, where there is a market every day of the week.
There are plenty of restaurants around, for example a delicious Italian restaurant called la Voglia, very nice food, and very good value for money (it's also very popular, and since it won't let you book in advance, you may have to count on your lucky star, or be patient!
The beach (and the Promenade des Anglais) is only some 50 metres away.


Colline du Chateau

The Colline du Chateau or Castle Hill, sits right at the eastern end of the Promenade des Anglais.
Climb up the stairs to the parc sitting atop the hill (lift available too), and enjoy panoramic views across Nice, with the old town of Nice and the Mediterranean Sea sitting right at the base of the hill.
There is a parc at the top which is very nice to stroll through, and you will find the remnants of the ancient castle that once stood on this hill.

View on the old town of Nice and on the Promenade des Anglais View on the old town of Nice and on the Promenade des Anglais
One of many mosaics in the parc on top of Castle Hill

Nice harbour

Nice harbour Nice harbour

This famous boulevard stretches for 10km (6 miles) from the airport in the west, all the way to Vieux Nice, where it officially changes names into Quai des États-Unis. It was created by the English living on the Riviera, back in the early 19th century, hence its name. It is a real pleasure to stroll down a part of this beautiful street, bordered by the Mediterranean on one side, and, in places, magnificent buildings like the Negresco hotel, the Ruhl Casino an the Hotel Le Meridien. The beach is a shingle beach, but it still gets very busy in the peak tourist season. Outside that season, it is wonderful and relaxing to sit down on the pebbles and listen to the waves. In the mornings the sun comes up over the sea, and in the evenings it sets behind the mountains in the Nice hinterland, casting a beautiful diffuse light on the sea and the promenade.Strolling down the Promenade, either during the day, or in the evening after a delicious meal in the old town, still has a very relaxing effect, despite the busy traffic.


Promenade des Anglais

Nice Promenade des Anglais and old town Nice Promenade des Anglais and old town

This famous boulevard stretches for 10km (6 miles) from the airport in the west, all the way to Vieux Nice, where it officially changes names into Quai des États-Unis. It was created by the English living on the Riviera, back in the early 19th century, hence its name. It is a real pleasure to stroll down a part of this beautiful street, bordered by the Mediterranean on one side, and, in places, magnificent buildings like the Negresco hotel, the Ruhl Casino an the Hotel Le Meridien. The beach is a shingle beach, but it still gets very busy in the peak tourist season. Outside that season, it is wonderful and relaxing to sit down on the pebbles and listen to the waves. In the mornings the sun comes up over the sea, and in the evenings it sets behind the mountains in the Nice hinterland, casting a beautiful diffuse light on the sea and the promenade.Strolling down the Promenade, either during the day, or in the evening after a delicious meal in the old town, still has a very relaxing effect, despite the busy traffic.

Nice Promenade des Anglais at dusk Nice Promenade des Anglais at dusk

Place Massena

Place Massena is a beautiful and beautifully restored area, very close to the beach, and at the end of the famous shopping street Avenue Jean-Médecin.
Amire the architecture, wander through the narrow streets of old Nice, and shop around the many shops availalble, from the the large Galaries Lafayette department store, to many small boutiques.

Nice, Place Massena Nice, Place Massena
Nice, Place Massena, view up Ave Jean-Médecin Nice, Place Massena, view up Ave Jean-Médecin

Museums

The Matisse Museum is located in Cimiez, an up market area of Nice. It is housed in the Villa des Arènes, and contains an important part of Matisse's work, bequested by the painter to the city of Nice.

Adjacent to the Matisse Museum is the Archeological Museum; it contains, among others, finds from this very location, which is the site of the ancient Roman town of Cemenelum.

Address of the museum: 164 Avenue des Arènes de Cimiez, 06000 Nice .
More information on musee-matisse.org .

The Museum of Modern Art , known as MAMAC, in Nice, houses permanent and temporary exhibitions of the most famous names in modern art, local, national and international.
Address: Place Yves Klein, 06000 Nice.
More information on the MAMAC museum website.

French Riviera Blog
most recent posts:
Guest Blog
most recent posts:

Comments

Feel free to leave a comment!

Please enter your name
Comment field is empty

  • From: {{c.sender}} {{c.comment_timestamp}}


    {{c.comment}}


frs toast message!