Nice is city in southeastern France on the Mediterranean. With a population of approximately 1 million it is the fifth largest city in France & the second largest on the French Mediterranean coast after Marseille.
Founded in circa. 350 BC, today Nice is the leading resort of France’s Côte d’Azur, known to the English speaking world as the French Riviera, somewhere that has been a playground of the rich and the privileged for more than a century. I spent a few days in the city last March and what follows is a pictorial look at five to-do’s should you find yourself basking in the sun and living the Côte d’Azur good life.
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Visit Parc du Chateau For Great Views
Get your Nice bearings by visiting the city’s well-known hilltop park, Parc du Chateau.
– Henri Matisse, French artist who died in Nice in 1954
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Amble the Alleys of Vieux Nice (Nice Old Town)
Nice’s labyrinthine baroque Old Town is a bustling tangle of atmospheric alleyways full of cafes, stalls, history, street artists, quaint squares, tourists & surprises. Historic buildings abound, including the baroque Cathedrale Ste-Reparate with its stunning glazed terracotta dome, built around 1650, probably the Old Town’s most famous structure.
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Hang out on Promenade des Anglais
People watching on the pedestrianised city centre streets of Rue de France & Rue Massena is all well & good. But down on the long, sweeping beach-fronting Promenade des Anglais is where it’s at in Nice. Along the seafront, the long curve of the Promenade des Anglais follows the beach, connecting the airport and the harbour, and is the perfect spot for people watching.
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Take day trips to nearby Cannes & Monaco
It’s expensive to base yourself in either glitzy Cannes or glamorous Monaco, both of which are short train rides from Nice – Cannes 40-minutes to the west, Monaco 20-minutes to the east. So instead lay your head in Nice & use it as a base for further exploration. I did.
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The good life vibe is in full swing at the city’s many outdoor cafes, restaurants & bar, all of which are frequented by the city’s diverse & cosmopolitan crowd.