Nice is the fifth-largest city in France and the largest in the Côte d’Azur. Its airport is the major entrance point for tourists travelling to the South of France without train.
The French Riviera city is famously known for its long promenade, but has much more to offer than a long stretch of beach. Instead it has a beautiful old town and overall great and fine architecture.
I am a huge fan of the Côte d’Azur and in this city guide I want to share with you my impressions of Nice.
The promenade stretches along a length of about 7km and connects both the airport and the Quai des États-Unis. Back in the 18h century the English Aristocracy enjoyed spending their holidays in Nice and loved the panoramic views along the coast.
They soon initiated the construction of a walkaway along the sea. Nowadays, it is a very popular area with plenty of restaurants, shops and hotels just across the street. From the promenade you can also access the beach, but to be honest the beach isn’t really that great.
This year’s visit, was my second visit to Nice. The very first time, three years ago, I really wanted to see the Russian Orthodox Cathedral. Unfortunately, back then, it was under construction.
However, together with Moritz I was finally able to visit it. It is the largest Eastern Orthodox Church existing in Western Europe and was built to serve the large Russian community in Nice.
Nice’s Old Town is probably my most favourite part about the city. It has a rounded-off, almost triangular shape. While the front faces the sea, its Eastern end is aligned with Port Lympia. On its Western side the new tram takes its course. We started walking in the Northern tip of Nice’s Old Town, by firstly exploring the Promenade des Arts and then moving on to Place Garibaldi.
This is Nice’s largest square which was built form 1773 onwards. All around the square you can see the accurately designed yellow houses with green blinds. The white window frames are quite an optic illusion, as they have only been painted on the walls but look very realistic. In the middle of the square you see a fountain and on one side embedded between the yellow houses, there is the Chapel of Saint-Sépulcre.
From the Place Garibaldi we continued towards the south of the old town, we explored many little streets and passed beautiful, colorful houses. Towards the Western End, near the tram stop Opéra, we reached the Caserna Rusca and the Palais de Justice.
We then continued to the Marché aux Fleurs, a little stretch of street hosting many touristy restaurants. Behind it you can reach the promenade and beaches of Nice. Instead we walked back towards the Western end of the Old Town to reach Place Massena and the Jardin Albert Premier.
Here you find plenty of restaurants once again or you can relax in the greenery. Similarly to Place Garibaldi, this square was also very busy.
On our next day, we decide to explore the port area as well as the Signal Hill. Port Lympia is the take-off point for several ferries going to Corsica.
Behind the port you also find the Notre-Dame du Port. Completed in 1853, it represents the neoclassical style.
The signal hill is Nice’s observatory platform overlooking the beautiful coastline.
But you do not only enjoy a very scenic view over the sea and promenade here, you can also explore some ruins as well as a historic cemetery.
Overall I really enjoyed our stay in Nice. While the city was unsurprisingly quite busy during our stay mid-May, Nice has a lot to offer. I absolutely loved the architecture and the small alleys in the Old Town. Plus, I finally got to see the Russian Orthodox Church. Moreover, Nice is a great spot for taking day trips to the surrounding cities such as Monte-Carlo, Eze, Menton and Ventimiglia.
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