Nice: top tips for the tourist
Nice has many beautiful places and interesting sights for all tastes, from the ruins of ancient settlements to the Museum of Modern Art. To see everything will not take a day, but acquaintance with the city, whose history dates back to the 4th century BC, is worth it. And you’ll need plenty of time to swim as well! Read our article about how to get from Paris to Nice.
Interesting sights in Nice
Promenade des Anglais
It is rightly considered the hallmark of this French city. It is a favorite place for tourists and locals who often spend their evenings here. The Promenade des Anglais has restaurants and trendy boutiques open 24 hours a day. The Promenade des Anglais used to be a promenade for the high society who built their mansions there in the early 19th century. There is the villa of Napoleon’s sister and the famous old hotels Negresco, Royal and Weltmeister.
This is not only the most beautiful place in Nice, but also a great platform from which you can view the entire city. The park itself is located on a high hill very close to the waterfall on the Rue de Foresta. It’s open any day from 8 to 18 o’clock.
The Negresco is the most expensive and pompous in town. It was built in 1912 by a Romanian immigrant Henri Negresco, who dreamed of creating a hotel, which would overshadow all others by its service and beauty. And so it happened. The mansion of five floors is extremely popular. It is famous for its dome made by Gustave Eiffel himself, a round corner tower, a two-meter chandelier of crystal and a huge carpet of 400 m2. Each floor of the building is decorated in its own style, and all rooms are unique. The hotel is located at 37, Promenade des Anglais.
To learn more about the hotel and to reserve a room, click here.
The old town is the historical center, where you can find buildings from different centuries. Churches, palaces, luxurious villas, chapels and an ancient fort give the Old Town a special charm. Almost every building here is a landmark.
Museum of Modern Art
Here are exhibited about 400 works of avant-garde artists from America and Europe. On the basis of these exhibits you can trace the development of art from 1960 to the present. The museum is located on the Promenade des Arts and is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm.
Flower Market Cours Saleya
In the market you can find piles of flower buds from all over Provence, as well as a large number of spices, cheeses, fresh pastries, vegetables and fruits. It also sells local souvenirs. The market is open from Tuesday to Saturday (6 to 17.30) and on Sunday from 6 to 13.30.
The museum building is located near the ruins of the Roman arena and baths. Also here you can get acquainted with ancient coins, household items and tools. The museum is located in Avenue des Arenes de Cimiez 160. It is open Wednesday from 10 to 18 hours (closed on Tuesday).
Popular attractions in Nice
In this city it is easy to find entertainment, the main thing is to choose from a variety of options:
- Go shopping. For this, go to the Cours Saleya flower market, the CAP-3000 shopping center with a huge number of stores in one building, or to the Alziari store, where all the French buy canisters of olive oil.
- Lounge on the beach. You can choose either a public beach (near the Promenade des Anglais) or one of the private beaches (in the eastern part of Nice, near the Old Town). There are also several stone and sandy beaches in nearby towns (in Villefranche-sur-Mer, La Reserve, Cannes and Antibes).
- Visit the town’s festivities. Nice often hosts competitions or annual festivals: picnics, balls, dances, concerts, carnivals, music festivals, and flower parades.
- See an opera production at the Opera de Nice (4 rue St-Francois-de-Paule).
- Stroll around the narrow streets of the city and enjoy the evening in Nice.
- Go to a bar or disco.
- The city has a huge selection of dance and drinking establishments. Many bars are located in hotels and offer their guests to listen to live music. Clubs and bars are located mostly in the Old Town or on rue Massena.
There have been a number of fishing warehouses in Nice since the 18th century which are now converted into quaint little restaurants with mostly Italian fare. There you should certainly enjoy the dishes and snacks that are typical of Nice:
- The nicoise tuna salad;
- The fish soup depoisson;
- Panbagnat tuna sandwich
- sweet tart tourtesauxblettes made with savoy cabbage;
- the local strong moonshine digestif infused with basil.
Among the restaurants in Nice it is worth noting Le Chantecler. It is located in Hotel Negresco (Promenade des Anglais, 37). Here, in addition to a truly royal atmosphere you can enjoy delicious dishes. Average bill is about 90 euros. In the same building is located another less expensive restaurant – Brasserie Rotonde. For about 24 euros you can have a hearty breakfast there while looking at the unusual design of the room with a real antique carousel.
In the restaurant Chez Pipo you should definitely taste pancakes “socca” with olive oil or a slice of onion pie with anchovies “pissaladier”. The restaurant is located at 13 rue Bavastro. The average bill in this restaurant will be only 10 euros.
Nice transport system
In Nice you can move around by streetcar and bus (day pass costs 4 euros, and a single ticket – 1), by cab (about 20 euros to ride around town) and bicycles (free for half an hour, a day – 1 euro). From Nice to neighboring towns you can get by train (about 3 euros), buses (1-2 euros) and even helicopter cabs (about 150 euros).
Where to spend Valentine’s Day in France 2017?
The traditional carnival, which takes place in Nice in early February, is one of the most remarkable events of the French Riviera. The city comes alive with daily processions, a parade of flowers, sumptuous outfits and all kinds of concerts. Numerous performances and fireworks gather thousands of spectators. This cheerful holiday offers an opportunity to discover Nice in winter, stroll the ancient streets, visit museums, opera and ballet performances, taste French cuisine . And, of course, buy paper confetti, which is customary to sprinkle on each other during the carnival.
Valentine’s Day in France. Our itinerary: Nice + Lille + Arras
Nice is as romantic as a biscuit with rum. The very location of the city on the bay of Baie des Anges (literally “bay of angels”) evokes thoughts of tender feelings. The city is characterized by a mild and constant climate. Winters here are warm and snowless. That’s why famous couples like Tom Cruise with Katie Holmes and the Beckhams vacation here in February.
George Clooney, recently struck off the bachelor list, and his wife come here for a walk along the Promenade des Anglais, a rococo promenade filled with palaces and villas, the epitome of luxury on France’s Côte d’Azur.
Where to stay: One of the best hotels in Nice is Palais Maeterlinck, a mansion formerly owned by the famous poet Maurice Maeterlinck. The building in ancient Roman style with a swimming pool, hanging gardens and a small beach is located in a cozy bay, away from the eyes of curious everyday people, which is a big plus for VIP-guests of the resort.
But there are comfortable yet inexpensive hotels in Nice . And also apartments and housing from the owners on the Côte d’Azur. In this case, the hotel rentals on the seafront are located on the first floor of the beach.
Valentine’s Day in Lille
Lille’s main square Sweet treats for Valentine’s Day in Lille, France
Lille is only an hour away from Paris. The city has a colorful past and no less colorful present: here and now festivals, carnivals and street fairs are held, where you can buy everything from food to paintings. The ancient part of the city is rich with picturesque streets and museums.
Lille was declared the European Capital of Culture in 2004. The main attraction for lovers is the Church of St. Catherine – a small but charming building in the heart of old Lille. This church is no less popular among young girls who want to marry well. It is said that the saint is very favourable to their prayers. French actress Emilie Decenn, actor Laurent Deutsch and German singer Nina Hagen often visit the town.
Where to stay: For example, the Alliance Couvent des Minimes is an elegant hotel located a 10-minute walk from the city park. It is a beautiful historic building of a 17th century Flemish monastery. The center of hotel life is the atrium, a pretty inner courtyard with a magnificent glass roof. Here you can find a restaurant, a bar as well as exhibitions of modern artists and sculptors.
Accommodation at the Alliance Couvent des Minimes
February 14 in Arras
Arras is a beautiful city and a great place for bargain shopping
Arras, the capital of the Pas-de-Calais department, is the perfect place for a romantic getaway. It is often visited by Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis. In addition, Arras is recognized as the most beautiful small town in France. The two central squares, the Place de l’Herault and the Grand Place, are connected to each other by corners. Their sides form a line of 155 houses lined up as straight as skittles. This city is a paradise for shoppers and foodies. Here at their service more than 700 stores and souvenir shops, as well as about 80 comfortable restaurants.
On one of the squares is the town hall. Its tower with its gilded clock can be seen from anywhere in the Old Town. The streets of Arras boast marble paving and the mouthwatering smell of freshly cooked fish wafts from the taverns. It’s a port town, so seafood specialties predominate. For a romantic dinner, book a table by the window of La Clef de Sense (which means “the key to feeling”). And if your soulmate doesn’t melt from the gastronomic delights, she will surely be won over by the view of the evening Arras from the window.
Where to stay: The small and charming Hotel Diamant is located on the Place de Hérault in the heart of Arras, where many buildings are listed as monuments. It is in harmony with the ancient facades and you can enjoy the view of the Town Hall bell tower from its windows.
Accommodation at the Hotel Diamant in Arras
February 14 with a view of the Eiffel Tower. Romantic, isn’t it? A memento of Valentine’s Day in France
If your soul asks for classics and you are not yet ready to go to the French provinces, the most winning option remains – to spend Valentine’s Day 2017 in Paris. Just remember: Paris around the date of February 14 becomes a place of universal pilgrimage. Prices for airline tickets and especially (!) Hotels soar by 2 – 2.5 times.
In order not to overpay, it is worth choosing one of the ways to save money: