Nice, capital of the French Riviera, located in the Alpes-Maritimes department, has a rich historical and cultural heritage. The picturesque alleys, the shingle beaches, the singing accent, the gastronomy and so on, make the city of the Riviera, a place where it is good to live. The old town of Nice was once the entire urban area. It has many architectural treasures hidden here and there. Among them, you can appreciate the art collections displayed in the city’s museums and galleries such as the Musée Matisse, the Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain (Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art) also known as MAMAC, the Palais Lascaris, the Natural History Museum or the Museum of Fine Arts. The theaters, but also the Opera de Nice offer you a program of great diversity which participates in the cultural development of Nice.
Nice, a dynamic city and tourist destination of choice, reveals itself during market days. Markets color the city and are an integral part of its traditions. The one on the Cours Saleya is undoubtedly the most lively in the Old Town (Vieux Nice). Strolling through the city’s narrow streets, you can smell the heady perfume emanating from the stalls of local producers. A visit to the city inevitably includes a meal in a restaurant to taste the specialties of Nice: the salade niçoise, the pan bagnat, the farcis… Throughout the year, the city comes alive and various events are organized. The most famous are undoubtedly the Nice Carnival and the Nice Jazz Festival.
Nature enthusiasts can make the most of their holidays walking along the hiking trails that link the hills to the city center. They are ideal for discovering the city from another angle and admiring the beauty of the landscapes. The most athletic can also go to the coast to enjoy water sports such as diving, jet skiing, tubing or even a boat trip.
La Promenade des Anglais
The famous Promenade des Anglais runs the length of the Baie des Anges. Originally, it was just a trail that was renovated by Reverend Lewis Way in 1820. Later, the promenade was separated by a median strip and bordered by palm trees. Inaugurated in 1931 by one of Queen Victoria’s sons, the Promenade des Anglais is without a doubt the most famous monument in the city, renowned throughout the world. On the promenade, you walk along the sea on one side and along the facades of hotels and houses on the other.
The vast park of the Castle Hill in Nice extends over nearly 19 hectares. It offers a breathtaking view over the rooftops of the old town, the port and the beach. Particularly well laid out, it consists of shady promenades, children’s games and a waterfall built on an old keep of the Castle. The latter was completely destroyed in 1706. Excavations are currently in progress to find vestiges of the past, which have, for instance, led to the discovery of a 5th century paleo-Christian church.
Former Regina Hotel
Located on Cimiez Hill, the former Excelsior Regina Palace has been converted into a residential building. Typical of the architecture of the Belle Époque, the building is really imposing. It has 5 floors and is 104 meters long. Right opposite, there is a garden which can be reached by crossing a footbridge. It was built in 1892 for the English aristocracy and Queen Victoria.
Notre-Dame de Nice
The Basilica of Notre-Dame de Nice proudly stands in the center of Nice. It is the largest church in the city. It was built between 1864 and 1868 by the French architect Louis Lenormand, in the neo-gothic style. The project drew its inspiration from the abbey Saint-Serge of Angers and Notre-Dame de Paris in response to the desire for francization and modernization of the city. The building is dedicated to Notre-Dame de l’Assomption in reference to the former cathedral on the Castle Hill.
“Tête carrée” (The Square Head) is a work of the sculptor Sacha Sosno. It is intended to be representative of the contemporary architecture of the city. 30 meters high and 14 meters wide, it houses the administrative offices of the Louis Nucéra public library. Among the 7 floors, 3 are located in the neck and 4 in the cube.
Dating back to the 1840s, the Place Masséna quickly became a symbol of the city. Surrounded by red buildings with arcades, it is also home to works of art. The Spanish artist Jaume Plensa imagined 7 sculptures entitled “Conversation à Nice” (Conversation in Nice) and which represent the 7 continents. The parade of the Nice Carnival, an event that cannot be ignored, crosses the square.
- Tourist Office of Nice: https://www.nicetourisme.com/
- Road service: A8 Highway (from Aix-en-Provence or the Italian border)
- Air access: Nice Côte d’Azur Airport
- Railroad access: TGV station
- Sea access: Port Lympia