Get the full French Riviera experience in Nice.
Nice, France is located in the Côte d’Azur region of Europe. It is set right along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and offers beautiful beaches with gorgeous turquoise water and classy French culture. Nice attracts tourists and visitors from all over the world. It’s a resort town where people vacation during the summer, so there is a relaxed and easy-going vibe that falls over the city.
While it’s tempting to sit on the beach and drink rosé all day, there is so much more to do in Nice!
Messina Place is home to Nice’s iconic statue and fountain. Here, you can take your Instagram picture to let all of your followers know that you’ve arrived in Nice. In Messina, you’ll find an abundance of restaurants and boutique shops. The restaurant scene in Nice is incredible. You can find traditional French fare, carefully handcrafted sushi, Italian dishes, and a plethora of Asian, Indian, and Mediterranean restaurants.
Vieux Nice (Old Nice)
Wander through the narrow stone streets of Old Nice, which is located just between Messina Place and the beach. You’ll find adorable cafes, delicious restaurants, boutique stores, and art galleries in these small corridors. There are a few churches that are definitely worth peeking into along the way too.
Every weekday from 7 am to 12 pm you can find Nice’s famous flower market in Vieux Nice. As you walk through the flower stalls, you’ll find incredibly colorful bouquets with freshly bloomed flowers along with trees, flowers for your garden, and small roses. Along with flowers, you can find fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, gelato, soaps, and lavender satchels from Grasse.
On Mondays the market also offers stalls that sell antiques. In the evening, the space is full of tables from the surrounding restaurants. Some even offer three course traditional Southern French meals consisting of pizza with anchovies, beef stew with pasta, and chocolate mousse.
Promenade Des Anglais
Built in 1820, Promenade des Anglais is a 7 kilometer path that stretches along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Lined with palm trees on on side and the rocky coast on the other, you can admire the classic French architecture and people watch at your leisure. You can also rent a city bike and ride along the bike designated bike path to get a full view of Nice’s coast.
To the west of the city you’ll find Castle Hill. It’s definitely a small hike up a number of stairs, but the view of Nice is absolutely worth it. At the top you’ll find different lookout points, great for photo opportunities, a park, and little cafes with outdoor seating. Make sure to also stop by the manmade waterfall from the Middle Ages to cool down after the journey.
Villefranche Sur Mer
Just a 10 minute train ride from Nice Ville train station you’ll find Villefranche, a local beach with tiny pebbles and sand. While the beach is smaller than the one located in Nice, you’ll also enjoy admiring the large mansions on the hills and the contrast between sailboats and yachts docked in the water.
Travel to Villefranche-sur-Mer station for 3.80 Euro roundtrip. It’s a wonderful day trip if you’re tired of lounging on the large pebbles that make up Nice’s beaches.
Beaches of Nice
Nice has a large coastline of beautiful beaches where you can relax, enjoy a book, open up a bottle of wine, and splash around in the clear water. At all hours of the day you’ll find people hanging out on the beach. Be warned, though, there is no sand to be found on these beaches, only smooth pebbles. While it isn’t the most comfortable beach to lay on, you’ll get used to rearranging the pebbles for ultimate comfort.
If the pebbles really deter you from working on your tan, there are a few beach lounges where you can rent a chair and order food and drink during the day.