No trip to the French Riviera is complete without seeing Nice, the second-largest French city on the Mediterranean coast. There are plenty of things to see in Nice, whether you’re planning a holiday, honeymoon, or just passing through.
For top things to do in Nice, read our recommendations for places to eat, drink and visit for highly-rated local haunts.
HISTORY AND CULTURE
Nice was originally established by the ancient Greeks, with a nearby Roman settlement. It is rich in history and archaeological treasures. You can visit the Terra Amata, an archaeological site with rare evidence of early use of fire!
Nice has played a significant role in the lives of artists since the 2nd century – namely, Chagall, Matisse, Rossini, and Nietzsche amongst others. In light of this rich cultural history, Nice is home to beautiful galleries and museums. The festivals are not to be missed if art isn’t your thing! Nice hosts a variety of festivals, year-round, including carnivals and jazz festivals, providing plenty of things to see around Nice.
The English have frequented Nice as a holiday destination since the 18th century. This inspired the name of the popular coastal walkway, Promenade des Anglais.
For its latitude, Nice is one of the warmest Mediterranean climates with hot, dry summers. The typical summer temperature stays between 20-30°C, while winter temperatures can be 11-17°C. This makes Nice an ideal year-round destination for holidays, breaks, and honeymoons!
FOOD AND DRINK
Arguably home to the world’s best food, France offers a treat for the taste buds. Nice offers some beautiful local specialities. If you’re feeling peckish while exploring the city, stop for Socca (also known as Farinata) – a chickpea crepe/flatbread served hot from street food vendors. For a local sit-down lunch or dinner, enjoy a fresh Salade Nicoise, typically featuring tuna, eggs, and tomatoes as the key ingredients.
Nice is also known for its famous stewed vegetable dish, Ratatouille, a perfectly warming dish for cooler evenings. The Pan Bagnat is a much-loved picnic food in Nice, which is filled with Salade Nicoise ingredients and can be found in most bakeries and markets. Wash this fantastic food down with the versatile Provencal Rose, known for its light colour and crisp, dry notes.
You’d be hard-pressed to fit it in time to relax by the beach with so much to see in Nice! But some favourite sites include:
- Castle Hill - The Castle of Nice stood from the 11th - 18th century before it was destroyed in 1706. However, Castle Hill is now home to the most famous public garden in the area with beautiful views. It has been dubbed 'the cradle of the sun'.
- The Port of Nice - The Port of Nice is located in Old Nice and accommodates ferry landings as well as private yachts. The impressive boats make for a fascinating walk around the harbour.
- Jardin Botanique de la Ville de Nice - This beautiful garden has free admission and was begun in 1983. Today is contains more than 3500 plant species, including many stunning trees and herbs.
- Fort of Mont Alban - This hilltop fort was built in 1557, and overlooks the coastline of the French Riviera to the Italian border. What's special about Fort of Mont Alban is that it is almost perfectly preserved - and definitely worth a visit!
Nice has a series of both public and private beaches. The private beaches are open between April and October. Nice’s oldest private beach is Opera Plage or Opera Pavillion. It is incredibly luxurious, with masseurs on hand and a waterfront terrace serving delicious cold plates. For a varied experience, head to Beau Rivage which shows off its tapas and sunbeds by day and themed parties by night. Le Voilier Plage is a seasonal beach with room for both public and private visitors, and serves Italian-esque food at its restaurant all year round.
Have all these beautiful things to see around Nice persuaded you to visit the city? At the end of a day spent ‘flâneuring’ your way around the old city, why not relax at the spa and enjoy a good night’s sleep at our hillside resort? Perfect before a trip to the beach the following day
Le Mas Candille is a comfortable drive from Nice, Cannes, and Antibes. Why not book your French Riviera escape today?