Nice is an absolutely gorgeous place, the fifth biggest city in France and it attracts a lot of visitors every year. There is so much to do here, such as the beautiful Promenade des Anglais where you can stroll along beside the sea, many museums (Musée Matisse, Musée des Beaux-Arts), cathedrals (Cathédrale Ste-Reparate), palaces (Palais Lascaris), and gorgeous beaches. There is something for everyone here; a very active nightlife for those interested, lots of family adventure, beaches for relaxing and taking a cool dip in the blue-green Mediterranean.
The old city is a must, and always one of the first places to visit when you arrive in Nice. It is just lovely to stroll around through the small narrow streets, but do remember to look up every now and again, as you will be surprised how, all of a sudden, you can be stood in front of a church or other impressive architecture that has somehow been squeezed into these narrow streets!
The port of Nice is also a lovely place to visit, especially in the early evening when the light makes this area particularly magic. You have the sea side, the Promenade des Anglais, along the old city and the central part of Nice where you can enjoy the sea view, the beach etc, by foot, by rollerblade or by bicycle…. (There are bicycles and rollerblades available for rent.)
Nice has its own language, Nissart, but don’t despair, they speak French and English too. The city’s oldest garden is the Jardin Albert 1er which leads into the Espace Masséna and the Promenade de Paillon in the town centre. The Jardin des Arénes de Cimiez in the northern district is a lovely old olive grove where traditional festivals often take place.
Between Nice and Menton, where the pine-forested mountains drop to the sea, one of the best panoramic views can be found. Carved into the mountainside are three roads: the Grande Corniche at the top, the Moyenne Corniche in the middle and the Basse Corniche along the coast.
The Grande Corniche is indeed inspiring and climbs to 550m above sea level. This is where the Mediterranean meets sky on one side whilst on the other it is interspersed with rustic villas, pines and cactuses. This is where sadly, in 1982, Princess Grace died in a road accident.
The Moyenne Corniche also offers beautiful views from the road but it is slightly less hair-raising, as it is at a lower level and not quite so prone to fog than the Grande Corniche. It is also more developed and there is more traffic. Lots of photo opportunities!
The Basse Corniche is a coastal road and takes you past the seaside resorts of Villefranche-sur-Mer, Saint-John Cap Ferrat, Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Eze-Bord-de-Mer, Cap d'Ail, Monaco and Cap Martin. Sometimes there are traffic jams during the rush hours but the route is lined with elegant 19th-century villas and gardens to look at whilst you wait.
If you fancy a rest from driving, a train from Nice to Monte Carlo is excellent value for money. The trains are clean, on time and fast.
There is a whole range of other activities in Nice and the areas surrounding Nice. From sun bathing, to swimming, parasailing and water scooters in the front of the city, to beautiful walks around the coastline at Cap d’Antibes, Cap Ferrat, or Cap d’Ail and Monaco. All are reachable by a short train or bus ride.
If you prefer more extreme activities like paragliding, mountain hiking or climbing, canoeing etc. you will find several sites around an hour’s drive away from Nice by car.