Nice is really nice!

Long the playground for the European elite, Nice is still a viable and affordable destination for the everyday vacationer. 

The gem of the Cote d’Azur, easily accessed via international flights, train schedules or economical bus service, awaits your exploration.

Location is everything if you wish to have easy walking access to the city’s attractions. Many use the Promenade des Anglais as a base search for choosing their hotel. 

This is a beautiful seaside boulevard stretching from the airport to the Old Town. Cyclists, baby strollers and skateboarders all vie for their patch of ground and the auto traffic can be ridiculously congested and moving at a snail’s pace during the day. 

Never leave your airport transfer to the last minute. 

The beaches in Nice are beautiful, but they are not free. Although there is no charge to access the sand for a walk along the water’s edge, you are not able to lay a towel or chair as all beaches along the “Prom” are private. 

Sitting at the assorted beach clubs range from $20-$35EUR per person for the day.

The Promenade is most recently infamous as the site of the horrible Bastille Day attack, which left 86 people dead. July 14 marks the one-year anniversary and memorial to those who perished.

The public transit system is very inexpensive. You can buy day passes or longer durations for unlimited access to the bus system. 

Of course, the best way to really immerse yourself in Nice is to walk. 

Based on my recent visit, I would advise staying within the boundaries of Boulevard Gambetta, Victor Hugo Blvd and Old Town. Lots of hotels available within this circumference at varying tariffs.

Old Town or Vieux Nice is a lovely place to get lost in and amongst the dark narrow winding alleyways. The layout has barely changed since the 1700s and is now jammed with delis, restaurants, boutiques and bars. 

The centrepiece is the Saleya Market featuring an extensive food market offering wonderful local produce, cheeses, meats as well as the incredibly fragrant flower market. 

It is here that you find the daunting uphill access to the Castle Hill (La Colline du Chateaux). The climb is so worth the amazing vista of the city and coastline of the Bay of Angels. 

Although there is a vast assortment of restaurants in Old Town, I would not recommend eating dinner here.  Seating is “cheek to jowl” and the setting is very touristy. It is, however, a great place to come back to for late night entertainment and aperitif. 

Check out the many live music venues or simply sit with a yummy gelato and enjoy the people watching.

The Place de Massena is located at the entrance to Old Town. A large square at the confluence of the monorail station it is also the gateway to the Rue Massena. 

A wide boulevard stretching for four km — this is your shopping mecca. Trendy restaurants, boutiques and galleries make this a terrific “strolling” avenue.  Go a couple blocks in either direction of the Rue Massena to find unique and memorable dining options. 

I found a wonderful little tapas wine bar that I can highly recommend — La Clef d’Or (The Gold Key). 

Nice is the perfect destination for the art lover (Chagall & Matisse), foodie and wine connoisseur and history buff. Plan for at least a three-day stay and you’ll but scratch the surface but those days will leave you with star-filled eyes and a pensive desire to return.


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About the Author

Joy has long been a believer in the art of travel: the belief that a vacation is something to be anticipated savored and then long remembered as one of life’s great adventures. 
Website: thejoyoftravel.ca

You can contact Joy at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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