A sought-after destination for tourists from all over the world, the capital of the French Riviera nestles between the Mediterranean Sea and the nearby mountains, in turn draped in white and covered in vivid green.
The famous Promenade des Anglais runs along the seafront, a prestigious avenue where palm trees stand in front of beautiful Haussmannian homes and sumptuous Belle Époque hotels, like the Negresco or the Westminster. Take a seat on one of the many terraces facing the immense azure expanse of the Mediterranean, or sit right on the pebble beaches in shades of grey and blue. Sportier visitors can make the most of the dedicated lanes for cyclists and rollerbladers.
Keep on walking to explore the age-old heritage of the city known as "Nissa la bella". At the heart of Old Nice, wander the winding narrow streets with colourful houses that make this timeless place so charming, and discover buildings and Baroque churches like the Church of the Gesù, the Lascaris Palace and the Cathedral of St. Reparata. Stroll between the pale ochre façades with turquoise shutters, typical of authentic Provençal dwellings. Along the way, we strongly recommend sampling one of Nice's local ice creams, whose mouthwatering flavours are every bit as good as those of the city's Italian neighbour! Make the most of this walk to discover the local specialities. The neighbourhood is home to traditional small shops where the treasures of Provence have pride of place: lavender, spices, herbs, scented candles... Their fragrances mingle with that of the socca, an amazingly tasty corn-based pancake of international repute. Another unmissable place is the famous Cours Saleya, where florists, greengrocers and local producers proudly display their wares in an incredible palette of colours. On Mondays, a second-hand market takes place there. Night owls take note! The Cours Saleya is a lively place in the evening with its many restaurants, bars and café terraces.
Art-lovers on the other hand will want to pay a visit to some of the French Riviera's finest cultural sites, in particular the Matisse Museum, which offers a wonderful pictorial trail featuring some of his most celebrated works. Tucked away behind beautiful Mediterranean greenery, the building has a burgundy façade interspersed with pale louvered shutters. This amazing journey through the painter's city and its artistic developments is worth pairing with another unmissable attraction in Nice: the Marc Chagall National Museum. Imagined by the painter in the style of a house, the architecture of the museum engages in a dialogue with his creations, conceived in accordance with each space. Other cultural attractions like the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, the International Museum of Naïve Art and the Archaeology Museum of Cimiez will delight any visitors who are thirsty for culture.
Then treat yourself to a pleasant walk on the Promenade du Paillon, inaugurated in 2013, running from the Promenade des Anglais to the National Theatre. Boasting a water mirror with numerous jets, this magnificent urban park invites you on a real botanical journey through its trees, shrubs and plants from faraway lands! Then head uphill to the remains of the 11th-century castle. The ruins overlook the ochre roofs of Old Nice along with the harbour, where pretty pleasure boats bob along the water. The charming garden at the Cimiez Monastery, adorned with roses, and the Phoenix Park with its huge tropical greenhouse, are also well worth a visit.
As well as its natural and architectural gems, Nice also offers an extensive programme of cultural events all year round. In February, the city is in full swing with the carnival and flower "battles" brightening up the place. In July, it's the turn of the Nice Jazz Festival, when big names in that musical genre play at the Cimiez Arena, making the most of the impressive setting and acoustics. No doubt about it, Nice is enchanting in a great many ways!