Have you ever been to France? Of course, that is a rhetoric question, and we are sure that many people answer “yes”. And as a rule their French holidays usually come to nothing more than Paris with its history, sightseeing and the air filled with love and fashion. It is a pity, but traveling around the country, we give only one day for the picturesque places located along the Cote d’Azur: Nice, Cannes, Antibes, Juan-les-Pins, Saint-Tropez, Menton and Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. It is not for a good reason, of course. But we understand the so called quick travelers, who want to see maximum places for minimum time. Do you recognize yourself in this definition? Yes? But aren’t you afraid to miss something interesting and really unusual in this constant chase? Perhaps, it is a perfect time to change your mind?
Today we are going to convince you and to talk about Nice, which deserves to be visited three or even four times. One day is really a small period visiting Nice, but if you have only some hours there, we will give you good pieces of advice, that help to meet this unforgettable place. First of all we should mention, that Nice itself is an open-air museum. Why? Because here you can really find many attractions and museums, theaters and exhibition, that are rather interesting not only for tourists but also for citizens. What to start with?
Take a walk on the Promenade des Anglais
This place is considered to be a visit card of Nice. You can say that it’s because of its picturesque views, nice coffee and cozy benches. But… This street has a really unique history. In the second half of the 18th century, the British began to spend their winter, here, in Nice, enjoying the mild climate of the Cote d’Azur. During one particularly cold winter in the town there was a great amount of beggars who came there from the north. One of the wealthiest British proposed to build the road along the coast. Its construction allowed to employ almost all poor people. The name of this Englishman was Lewis Way. His surname could be translated into the local dialect like “camin”, and that is why originally this seafront was called correspondingly “Camin deis Angles”. Soon it was renamed into Promenade in accordance with the French translation. Locals call it in a simple way “promenade”. Nowadays you can spend a great time here, either walking along, jogging or cycling. Some romantic couples come there late in the evening to sit and to admire the romantic sunset in the evening or stars at night. By the way, the length of the Promenade des Anglais is 7 km, so you won’t get bored walking.
Explore the city center (Place Masséna)
Going along the Promenade des Anglais it is easy to get to the town center. There you can see an unusual square called Place Masséna. The travelers are usually amazed by the strange fountains and sculptures. In general Place Massena, as well as Avenue Jean Médecin, Rue de France and other streets are considered to be the town heart and a real paradise for shoppers. So, girls, this place is for you!
Wander through the narrow streets of the old Vieux Nice town
From Massena go down to the Old Town, called Vieux Nice. There you will discover a picturesque place with nice houses, winding narrow streets, hearty cafes and cozy shops. We will open you a great secret. – If you try an ice cream here, you will never forget its delicious taste! Many travelers from all over the world really come to Nice in order to regale it again and again. Cours Saleya, a famous market in the old part of the town, is opened almost every day, except some public holidays. Here you can purchase flowers and fruit. But if you consider yourself to be an antique lover, go there on Mondays. You will definitely find something special.
Climb to the Castle Hill (Colline du Chateau)
Just in the middle of the way between the old city and port there is one special place, called Colline du Chateau. Unfortunately now the tourists aren’t able to see any building, as the castle itself was destroyed many years ago. But it really doesn’t matter. Something special is really waiting for you here. – Once you overcome many steps to the top (if you can not climb on your own, use a free lift, located at the mountain foot), you will experience breathtaking town views: the Promenade des Anglais, the old town, the center of Nice on the one hand, and the yachts, boats and lighthouse in the port – on the other. The visitors usually admire an artificial waterfall, sit in a cafe, buy some interesting things in souvenir shop or spend time with their children on a modern and so brightly colored playground.
Enjoy the luxury yachts in the port of Nice
Going down the Castle Hill, continue your way along the Promenade and the path will bring you to the port. The port of Nice is the largest one in France. In summer there you can see numerous cruise ships and luxury yachts of rich and famous people. Traveling with your couple? – Don’t forget to visit a romantic lighthouse then.
Nice has a great bus system with the romantic name “Azure line» (Ligne d’azur, ex-SunBus). There is also a tram line connecting the north of the city to the east and passing through its center. The fare is 1 EUR, there is also a ticket for the whole day, it costs 4 EUR. From July 2009 you can move around the Nice by bike. Municipal parkings Velo Bleu are located throughout the city and offer a two-wheeled friends for half an hour – free of charge, the whole day – for 1 EUR, and even for a year – for 25 EUR.
Also if you are a good driver you can rent a car. There are a lot of popular car rental services which you can choose at Nice Airport. Ernest Hemingway once said that Nice is a «Wonderful City». Don’t miss your chance to visit it, and we hope that this list will really help you. Enjoy!
Lily is an adventure traveler who has traveled for the last 10 years. She shares her advices on where to go, what to see and how to experience the most amazing places the world has to offer.