Nice is one of the largest and most sophisticated of the cities on the Cote d’Azur. Famous for its long seafront promenade, as well as the designer boutiques, Nice also has a marina that is well worth exploring and an old town that is full of history and interest.
Promenade des Anglais
The seafront promenade at Nice is named after the English, “des Anglais”, who used to spend their winters in Nice. It was they who in the 18th century first suggested and started the construction of a promenade by the beach. Nowadays, the promenade is a wide walkway, with plenty of room for the locals stretching their legs before dinner, tourists soaking up the atmosphere and even cyclists. On an evening, the promenade becomes even busier, with stalls selling local crafts and musicians and performers the length of the walkway. The Nice Carnival, held every February, is centred on the promenade, which is the venue for the main procession of floats.
Beaches and Boats
There are plenty of private beaches along the shoreline at Nice, and it is well worth paying a few extra euros for a sun lounger as otherwise you will be lying on rocks all day! If you are travelling on a budget or just begrudge paying for what you can get for free, there are many public stretches of beach too and you can hire deckchairs from cabins on the promenade. The marina at Nice is home to some spectacular private yachts. Tourists are free to wander round the harbour admiring the boats and perhaps dreaming of their retirement at sea…
Old Town Attractions
The old town of Nice winds its way through steep, narrow streets to the top of the headland at the end of the bay, Not only will you be able to see some beautiful older buildings, but the view once you have climbed to the top is fantastic. There are a number of baroque churches in the old part of town, most hidden away in squares that are best discovered by accident, just wandering through the alleyways. The tourist information centre in the town runs a bilingual walking tour of the old streets, which is a good way of making sure you don’t miss any of the sights if you only have a limited amount of time in Nice. The tour finishes up at one of the town’s best attractions, the modern art museum of Nice, which houses paintings by many local famous artists.