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Visit Nice, French Riviera
Nice is also a great place to base yourself for exploring more of the French Riviera on day trips. Because of its international airport, Nice is also a good starting point for a French Riviera road trip.
There’s no bad time to visit Nice. Because of its mild winter temperatures and famous carnival, we have listed Nice as one of the best places to visit in France in winter, but you will enjoy the city all year round.
Stay two days in Nice to visit the main sites and enjoy the beach, more days if you plan to visit other places nearby on day trips.
If you are wondering what to do in Nice, French Riviera, go on reading. This article lists the best things to do in Nice, France, and our best tips for your sightseeing in Nice.
How to Get to Nice, France
Nice-Côte d’Azur (NCE) airport is one of the busiest international airports in France, with many international flights to /from Europe, Africa, Asia, America, and the Middle East. The flight from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport to Nice takes 1,5 hours.
You can also travel to Nice is by TGV train, usually with a stop in Marseille. All the French Riviera is connected by TGV or regional trains too.
Where to Sleep in Nice
Being one of the top tourist destinations in France, Nice does not disappoint in terms of accommodation, with a wide choice of furnished apartments and hotels of all kinds to suit all the budgets.
If you visit the city in the summer, look for a hotel in Nice with a pool. Although Nice has beautiful beaches, a hotel with a swimming pool offers much-needed refreshment after a long day out.
For your stay in Nice, we recommend staying central, close to the proposed sights. The area between the train station and the sea is central and safe.
Hotel La Pérouse Nice Baie des Anges, is one of our favorites. Nestled into the Colline du Château, this 4-star hotel comes with the best view of Nice, over the Baie des Anges. Some rooms come with a private balcony with great sea views. The pool area and patio restaurant are also beautiful.
Other good hotels in Nice France worth checking are:
- Hotel Négresco (luxury)
- Hotel Villa Victoria (luxury)
- Hotel Florence (mid-range)
- Hotel de France (mid-range)
Best Things to Do in Nice, France
Here are the best things to do in Nice, France. From glamourous beaches to traditional markets, there’s something for every traveler.
Enjoy the Views from La Colline du Château
La Colline du Château (Castle Hill) is a rocky hill located at the Eastern side of Promenade des Anglais, overlooking Old Nice and its port. This hill is one of the best places to visit in Nice, and it offers incredible views of Nice, the Baie des Anges, and the Alps in the distance.
In the 11th century, a citadel occupied this hill, but King Louis XIV’s soldiers entirely dismantled it in the 18th century. Today, it is a wonderful park great for a stroll. Don’t miss its surprising waterfall!
The access to La Colline du Chateau is through stairs. There’s also a free elevator located at the end of the Promenade des Anglais.
Visit the Old Port
The Old Port, located in Old Nice, is another wonderful place for a stroll. Nice’s Old Port is a colorful and busy place, with about ten quays and various markets selling local products.
Built in the 18th century, this port is one of the French Riviera’s main infrastructural hubs. It accommodates both the ships operated by ferry companies and private yachts for tourists.
Get Lost in Nice’s Old Town
Vieux Nice is the city’s historic district, an ensemble of narrow streets, colorful architecture, and picturesque piazzas.
In Vieux Nice, you will also find some cultural venues, beautiful Baroque churches, and many shopping opportunities and restaurants.
The list of beautiful places to visit in Nice’s Old Town includes the Cathedral Sainte Reparate, the notable museums of Lascaris Palace and Galleries des Pochettes, and the Opera of Nice.
Visit Cours Saleya’s Markets
Located in the historic district, Cours Saleya is the largest pedestrian area in Vieux Nice and one of the few places that still keeps its local and traditional charm. The place is great for a stroll, and it is well known for its colorful flower markets (our favorite part), but there are also stalls selling antiques and food.
Stroll Along the Promenade des Anglais
Promenade des Anglais is one of the best things to do in Nice, French Riviera. This seaside promenade is Nice’s main landmark, with a fame that goes beyond the French borders.
The name of this promenade honors the English aristocracy, who in the 19th century acquired a taste for spending their vacations in Nice, and had the idea of building this 7-kilometer avenue by the sea.
Along the Promenade des Anglais, you will find Nice’s beaches with their legendary blue lounge chairs, the Museum of Asian Arts, the Palais de la Mediterranee, and the equally mythical Hotel Negresco.
The Promenade des Anglais is also used to host popular city events like the Prom Classic or the Carnival of Nice.
Lazy Day at the Beach
The city’s seafront is bordered by pebbled beaches, public or private, and they are a great place for a lazy day sunbathing and a couple of dips. To avoid contact with the stones, the beaches are fitted with lounge chairs – Nice’s iconic blue chairs – and it is highly recommended to use special shoes to walk on the beach or take a bath.
The pubic beaches offer limited facilities, while the private beaches have luxurious amenities (changing cabins, towels) and bars and restaurants with seaside service. Some of these private beaches, like the Blue Beach or the Castel Beach, are amongst the most glamorous beaches on the French Riviera.
Visit the Museums of Cimiez Hill
Cimiez Hill is another district of Nice interesting to explore. It is located 2km north of Vieux Nice, and it’s a calm place with a serene atmosphere far from the Old Town’s hustle and bustle.
Cimiez is a beautiful place for a stroll, but it also has some interesting attractions, like the Cimiez Arenas and Gardens, the Archaeological Museum, and the Matisse Museum. The historical monuments of Valrose Castle and Regina Palace are located in Cimiez too.
Cimiez also hosts popular city events like the Gourd Festival or the Nice Jazz Festival.
Consider a Day Trip from Nice
Nice is also an excellent base for exploring other beautiful places in French Riviera nearby. The list of beautiful day trips from Nice includes Villefranche-sur-Mer – with a picturesque old town and beaches with pebbles on the small side -, Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, or Monaco.
So, what are you waiting for? Book your trip to Nice, France today!