Nice, France – City Guide

Nice

Nice, France – the most detailed information about the city with photos. Nice’s main attractions with descriptions, travel guides and maps.

City of Nice (France).

Nice is a city in southeastern France in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. It is the most famous resort on the French Mediterranean coast and a major port. Nice is a picturesque city filled with sunshine and stunning seascapes, which is an ideal place to explore the Cote d’Azur. It is a city with an Italian temperament and an energetic Mediterranean atmosphere, literally made for relaxing and enjoying life. Nice has charming old streets and fascinating promenades, beautiful architecture and splendid museums, glamorous nightlife and luxurious hotels.

Things to do (Nice):

Nice: love at first sight

€130 per excursion

Nice: love at first sight

Capture the atmosphere of the city and appreciate its English, Italian and French influences.

Cote d'Azur charm

€416 for a guided tour.

Cote d’Azur charms

Discover the famous resort towns on the French Riviera.

Geography and climate

Nice is located at the mouth of the Var on the Gulf of Angels, which is part of the Mediterranean Sea. The city is located in the extreme south-east of France, close to the Italian border, 960 km from Paris, 230 km from Marseille and 200 km from Genoa. Nice has a mild Mediterranean climate. It is characterized by moderately hot and dry summers. Winter is mild and relatively warm with cool nights. Tourist season lasts from May to October.

The best time to visit Nice is in September. This month is characterized by warm sea, comfortable weather and relatively fewer tourists. The highest season is July and August. May and June are not the best time for a beach holiday. The water in the sea although clean, but pretty cool.

Panorama of Nice

Panorama of Nice

Information for tourists

  1. Population – more than 340 thousand people.
  2. Area 71.92 km2 .
  3. Language: French.
  4. Currency – euros.
  5. Visa – Schengen.
  6. Time – Central European UTC +1, in summer +2.
  7. Nice Airport is one of the largest in France and connects the city with most countries in Europe.
  8. There are regular train connections to Paris, as well as major Italian cities: Rome, Milan, Venice, Genoa.
  9. For beautiful scenery we recommend to climb the hill Mont Boron, where there is an old fort.
  10. The main shopping street is Jean Medecin.
  11. Traditional food: Socca (chickpeas fried in olive oil), Pan Bagnat (a salad sandwich), Soupe de Poisson (fish soup with croutons and grated cheese), Salade Nicoise (vegetable salad with tuna or anchovies), Pissaladiere (analog of pizza with fried onions and anchovies).

The streets of Nice

Streets of Nice

Although Nice is considered the main resort in France, the beaches here are exclusively rocky and pebbly. If beach holidays are your main aim then try Villefranche-sur-Mer or Cannes.

History

Nice is an ancient city, founded by the Nicaea Greeks in the 4th century BC. The name is dedicated to the goddess Nike and the victory over the Ligurians. The city quickly became one of the major trading centers of the Ligurian Sea and prospered until the invasion of the Lombards in the 6th century. In the 7th century Nice joined the Genoese League, which united the large cities of Liguria.

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Nice

Nice

In 729, the city repelled the Saracen invasion. However, in the 9th century they sacked and burned Nice several times. Later on, both French monarchs and the rulers of the Holy Roman Empire tried to seize the city. But Nice kept its independence. In the 13th and 14th centuries the city was conquered by the Counts of Provence, and at the end of the 14th century Nice was under the protection of the Savoyard Kingdom.

The streets of Nice

Streets of Nice

In fact Nice was a part of Savoy until 1860, when by the Treaty of Turin it was ceded to France. That is why the city has Italian architecture and flavor.

Attractions

Old town

Old Town

The Old Town of Nice, also known as the Vieille Ville, stretches from the castle hill to the Masséna Square. It is filled with charming narrow streets with bright facades and tiled roofs of old houses that are interspersed with wide promenades and squares. Nice’s historic core dates back to the 16th to 18th century. Italian architecture predominates here. Most of the old buildings have been converted into stores and restaurants, and the smell of pizza and pastries wafts through the streets.

Promenade des Anglais

Promenade des Anglais

The Promenade des Anglais is a symbol of Nice. It’s a gorgeous pedestrian area with palm trees that follows the curve of the Bay of Angels. This promenade was founded in 1820 and is one of the most popular places to walk.

Panorama of Nice from the Colline du Chateau hill

Panorama of Nice from the Parc Colline du Chateau

Parc Collin du Chateau is a pleasant oasis of greenery, shady trees and rushing waterfalls that offers a beautiful panorama of Nice. It is the most ancient area of the city, inhabited by the Greeks more than two thousand years ago. In the Middle Ages it was an impregnable citadel, destroyed by the French in 1706. There are also the ruins of two old churches. It can be reached on foot or by elevator or escalator from Piazza Garibaldi.

Mont-Boron

Mont Boron

Mont-Boron is a 200-meter hill with a beautiful view of the surrounding area, located between the port and Cap-Ferrat. A notable feature of this place is the half-destroyed bastion of the 16th century.

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Notre-Dame-de-Simier

Notre-Dame-de-Simieux

Notre-Dame-de-Simieux is an ancient Benedictine monastery that is surrounded by beautiful gardens. It was taken over by the Franciscans in the 16th century and expanded in the 17th century. The monastery has been restored in Gothic style and offers an insight into the life of Franciscan monks in Nice from the 13th to 18th centuries. It is right above the ancient ruins of the ancient city, in which you can see fragments of an amphitheater and thermae.

Not far from the monastery is the museum of the famous artist Matisse. The museum is located in a historic Genoese villa surrounded by magnificent Italian gardens.

Church of St. Nicholas

Church of St. Nicholas

Church of St. Nicholas is one of the largest and most beautiful Russian Orthodox churches outside of Russia. The building was built in the early 20th century on the model of Moscow churches. The cathedral has a richly decorated interior with many decorative icons, paintings and carvings of wood, as well as an iconostasis of relief metal. You can also see historical and religious objects that were taken out of Russia during the Revolution.

The Chagall Museum is one of Nice’s most famous museums and houses the most important exhibition of the famous artist’s work.

Place Garibaldi

Garibaldi Square

Garibaldi Square is one of the largest squares in Nice, surrounded by majestic Baroque buildings. The square was formed in the 18th century. In the center there is a statue of famous Nice resident and Italian revolutionary – Garibaldi.

A few minutes from the square is the Museum of Modern Art.

Place Massena

Place Massena

Place Massena is the cultural center of Nice and the largest square in the city. This vast urban space links the historic center with the new business districts. The square has a beautiful 17th century architecture. In the center of it there is a big fountain with a statue of Apollo.

Museum of Fine Arts is one of the most interesting in Nice. It offers a collection of paintings by French, Italian and Flemish artists of the 15th – 20th centuries.

Promenade du Payon

Promenade du Payon

Promenade du Payon is a wide boulevard from the English Promenade to the National Theatre. An interesting feature of this place is a huge reflecting pool equipped with 128 water jets and fountains that spray water at random.

Notre-Dame-du-Port

Notre-Dame-du-Port

Notre-Dame-du-Port is a neoclassical church completed in 1853 and declared a historic monument.

Sainte Reparata Cathedral

Cathedral of St. Reparata

The Cathedral of St. Reparata is a beautiful Baroque church that dates back to the 17th century. It was built on the site of an older religious structure from the 11th century.

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

Notre Dame is a Catholic basilica located in the center of Nice and built in the architectural traditions of Neo-Gothic. The church was completed in 1868.

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Church of Saint-Jacques-le-Major

Church of Saint-Jacques-le-Major

Saint-Jacques-le-Major is a Baroque Catholic church built by the Jesuits in the early 17th century.

The Clock Tower

Clock Tower

The Clock Tower is an 18th-century neoclassical tower located on the Place du Palais.

Interesting tours

Atmospheric Antibes, or la vie est belle

€190 for a guided tour

Atmospheric Antibes, or la vie est belle

A stroll through the resort town of the Côte d’Azur

About Nice - with interest and love!

€130 per excursion

About Nice with interest and love!

History, culture and tourist attractions of the sunny city on a sightseeing tour

Nice, France – City Guide

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Nice – the pearl of the French Riviera, loved by the Russian aristocracy since the middle of the 19th century. Fashion in Nice was opened by the Dowager Empress Alexandra Feodorovna and since then the popularity of Nice among Russian tourists does not diminish. Do you want a beautiful luxurious life, warm sea and sun? You are here!

But even in winter, Nice is beautiful because of its mild Mediterranean climate. The famous Nice Carnival in February is one of the most interesting in France.

The weather in Nice:

Nice Travel Guide:

Our guide to Nice gives you everything you need to get your bearings in the city and see all the sights, such as using the Nice Tourist Route. It’s well worth a day trip to Nice to hike up the hill and admire the views, walk along the famous Promenade des Anglais, try an ice cream in the town square, and enjoy Provencal cuisine in one of the many restaurants.

Route Grande Corniche, Nice, Provence

How to get to Nice:

From Nice airport you can easily get to the city by streetcar (line 2), regular buses (1.5 €) or express buses (6 €). From the small Nice St Augustin station near the airport, you can take the regional train to other cities on the Côte d’Azur. The city is also easily accessible on foot.

By bus to Monaco - Bus-lignes dAzur-map-Nice-Monaco-Cannes

What to see in Nice:

The famous Promenade des Anglais runs along the promenade, a prestigious avenue where palm trees rise in front of beautiful Ottoman houses and luxurious Belle Époque hotels such as Negresco or Westminster. Sit on one of the many terraces overlooking the vast azure expanses of the Mediterranean, or sit directly on the pebbly beaches in shades of gray and blue.

Further afield you can see the centuries-old heritage of the city known as “Nissa la bella”. In the heart of Old Nice, stroll through the winding narrow streets with colorful houses that give the city its coziness. Walk between the pale ochre facades with turquoise shutters, typical of authentic Provençal houses. Along the way it’s worth trying one of Nice’s local ice creams, which are just as good as the famous Italian ones! In the old town you can find many souvenir shops with all the treasures of Provence: lavender, spices, herbs, scented candles… Their scents mingle with those of socca, a surprisingly delicious corn-based pancake that has an international reputation.

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Another place not to be missed is the famous Cours Saleya street . On Mondays there is a flea market . Cours Saleya is a lively place with many restaurants, bars and café terraces.

As well as strolling around the old town you can also visit one of the city’s outstanding museums, for which Nice is famous, and see the work of the most famous artists who have left their mark on the city. The Matisse Museum offers a beautiful pictorial trail with some of his most famous works. In addition, the Marc Chagall Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the International Museum of Naïve Art and the Simier Museum of Archaeology are very much appreciated.

Nice promenade, Nice beaches, Nice travel guide download for free

Tourist routes in Nice:

With these hiking trails you can easily see all the attractions of Nice itself and the surrounding area:

Nice hiking trails

What to eat in Nice:

Provençal cuisine is considered one of the most popular not only in France, but also beyond. Seafood, lots of fresh vegetables, olives, garlic, thyme and goat cheese are the basis of Provence cuisine. But Nice also offers its own specialties, which have become widespread around the world, such as nicoise salad or ratatouille. You can enjoy these beautiful fresh dishes sitting on the terrace of a cafe with a glass of cold rosé, admiring the sun and the sea…

The Socca, a charcoal and olive oil chickpea pancake, sprinkled with black pepper, is a local delicacy, as is the Pan Bagnat sandwich, which is basically a Nicoise salad filled with round crusty bread soaked in olive oil. Other specialties include Soupe de Poisson (a fish soup made with chili aioli, croutons and grated cheese). As you might expect, seafood figures prominently in Nice’s cuisine, and several restaurants specialize in sea urchins and oysters.

Ratatouille Nice french cuisine provence

What to drink in Nice:

Nice is part of one of France’s important wine regions, the Côtes de Provence AOC . It provides 3/4 of all Provençal wines and offers many varieties. The vast majority of local wines are rosé, which is what made the reputation of the wines of Provence. Delicate, refreshing, they are a perfect match for traditional Provençal cuisine! The region has even developed a tourist wine route, the Route des vins des Côtes de Provence.

Côtes de Provence AOC Provence wine

Shopping in Nice:

In the old town you can find many souvenir shops with all the treasures of Provence: lavender, spices, herbs, scented candles… Do not miss the opportunity to visit one of the traditional markets of Provence, where you can taste local handicraft products and experience the cheerful atmosphere of Provence.

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Visit the market at Cours Saleya in Nice’s Old Town (every day except Monday, when it turns into an antiques market) to buy fresh local produce or flowers. Local sauces, cheeses and sausages can make excellent gifts for friends and relatives, as opposed to meaningless dusting in the closet Chinese souvenirs… At the same time you can be reminded of these wonderful days when you, a couple of weeks later, enjoy the local specialties at home.

Personally, I highly recommend all kinds of tapenades and sauces that can’t be replicated at home. And those are the ones that give an original flavor to even a fairly simple dinner. At the same time their price is comparable to the price of meaningless magnets and other Chinese handicrafts.

The traditional herbal soaps and spice kits (thyme, rosemary, lavender – all excellent for the household) can be noted separately.

Souvenirs from Provence, the Côte d'Azur and Nice

Beaches of Nice:

If you’re going to Nice for a swim or just to relax on the beach, you might want to reconsider. Nice beaches consist entirely of large flat stones (“gallets”). There are a few private beaches with sand, but the free public beaches leave a lot to be desired. In addition to towels, you should definitely bring sandals, as walking on the rocks can be painful, and a pillow to sit on. Showers are available (free) on all public beaches, and there is also a beach volleyball court covered with white sand.

A bonus to the pebble beaches is the amazingly beautiful azure sea that has captivated so many artists. The sea itself gets deep quickly, and the waves can be very strong, and not for beginners. Lying on the beach to sunbathe or relax is also possible, as long as you rearrange the rocks/pebbles to a comfortable surface to sit and lie on. Private beaches offer a variety of services, from restaurants / bars to renting lounge chairs and towels. But admission to such beaches in high season usually does not fall below 25€ per person.

There are more beautiful and sandy beaches in other nearby towns, such as Villefranche-sur-Mer, Antibes and Cannes. Villefranche is a particularly great option, especially if you’re traveling with children, located just twenty minutes away on the TAM 100 bus.

Beaches of Nice

Nice’s festivals and festivals:

One of the most enchanting events in Nice is definitely the traditional carnival, one of the largest pre-Easter carnivals in France. Summer in Nice has beautiful musical fêtes, as in many other cities in France.

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