Nice may not have the same glitz and glamour that it’s neighbors (Monte Carlo and St. Tropez) has, but it is one of the liveliest coastal towns you can find. It also makes for an ideal reprieve from Paris and a great spot to explore the beautiful waters of the French Riviera. How do you get to this iconic French town? If you are not hitting up Paris during this France trip, we recommend flying into the Nice Cote d’Azur Airport is located southwest of Nice and actually serves as the tourist platform of the entire French Riviera, Monaco included.
Best Times to Visit: To avoid crowds the May-June and September periods are the best times to go. But since Nice is a beach town, most people like to travel in the summer when temperatures peak and the Mediterranean beaches are most compelling.
Things to do:
Take a walk down Old Town (Vieille Ville). As local and tourist favorite this spot is boasting with plenty of awesome French restaurants and shops to explore during your time in Nice!
Get your steps in climbing Castle Hill. Really more a hill than a castle, the original Colline du Chateau crumbled away over the years. But if you want a panoramic view of the city, this is your spot! The park is free to visit and if you don’t want to climb, there is also a free lift that will carry you about 75 percent of the way up!
Check out English Walk. The Promenade des Anglais (English Walk) runs parallel to the pebbly shore of Nice’s beachfront, stretching for more than 2 miles the coastline. This is also where most of the city’s main attractions stem off of so this is a great spot to kick off your trip!
Soak in the sunshine. It is obvious that the beaches are a major draw for most travelers when going to the French Riviera. There are a mix of public and private beaches so if you are looking for an umbrella, towel, and chair beachside be ready to spend a couple Euro. However, there are still plenty of free places to spend an afternoon as well.
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Feature Hotel: Hotel Nice Riviera, Westminster Hotel & Spa, Hotel Le Negresco
Brush up on your French. Often times the French get a bad reputation as being “rude” when really they just prefer you to try your best to speak their language. Don’t just blindly assume everyone will speak English back to you.
These are not sandy beaches. Unlike America, the beaches in this part of France are pebbly not sandy so plan accordingly!
Pack comfy shoes. The whole country of Europe is very walking-friendly and Nice is no exception. Traffic in the city center can be busy at all hours of the day so make sure to pack comfy walking shoes – plus this is truly the best way to see the city!