I’ve wanted to go to Nice in France for a while. So when my birthday came around, the glamorous Cote D’Azur seemed a natural choice. With a short flight from the UK of under two hours, it’s also incredibly easy to get to this part of France. After spending 4 nights in this beautiful city, and still wanting to stay longer, these are our reasons why you should visit Nice France.
1. For The Architecture
The city of Nice is a mix of old and new architectural styles, from different periods with both French and Italian influences. Of particular interest is the old town in Nice or Vieux Nice, an atmospheric area of cobblestone streets, pastel-hued buildings and authentic local shops selling soaps, crafts and baked goods.
Nice though has the ability to surprise, you turn a corner and come across an amazing building such as the Russian Orthodox Cathedral, an ornate grandiose structure seemingly out of place in Nice but so amazingly beautiful you are lost for words.
2. For The Shopping
Nice’s most famous market is the Cours Saleya or flower market that sells much more than flowers! Jam-packed with local people selling the best produce from cheese, olives and artisan sausages to socca (the local chickpea pancake), handmade soaps, all manner of tasty preserves and of course sweet smelling flowers. On Mondays, it turns into an antique market too. It’s well worth a visit but get there early as it closes at 1 pm, although in the Summer it reopens at 6 pm for a Summer Nights Craft Market.
There are also other markets in Nice, such as the morning fish market at Place Saint-Francoise, and the Palais de Justice in the Old Town on a Saturday, where they change what they sell every week, from second-hand books to antiques to arts and crafts.
3. For The Museums
Nice offers more than 15 museums which makes it a brilliant city for culture lovers. If you love art, two museums of note are the Matisse museum and the Marc Chagall museum. We visited the Marc Chagall museum which brings together his work inspired by religion and found his paintings striking. It also has a nice little cafe where you can sit outside in the sun. Admission 10 Euros.
Other museums of note include the Asian Arts Museum, with both classical and contemporary works from Asia, India, Southeast Asia, China and Japan and the Museum of Archaeology. If you are visiting a number of museums as well as other attractions, it’s worth considering the French Riveria card, for one price you can visit all the attractions on the card and it can save you money in the long run.
4. For The Food
Of course, the French have tremendous food and are known worldwide for their gastronomic delights, but what surprised us was how cheaply you could eat too. From the Socca street food chickpea pancake at 3 Euros to a slice of Pissaladière, a French onion tart at less than 2 Euros, a big Salad Nicoise at 8 Euros to set two-course lunches from 12 Euros. Of course, if you want to push the boat out you could always eat in a restaurant in the Michelin Guide, and Nice and the surrounding area has 108 listings.
We ate in an amazing little place called Restaurant Davia where a two-course evening meal for two with wine was 50 Euros. I had an amazing Beef Danube, a rich tasty beef stew that I devoured in no time, and when we returned Coq Au Vin, chicken cooked in red wine which was delicious.
5. For The Views
You can walk slowly up to Castle Hill, taking in the amazing views, or to make it easier for yourself, get on the little road train, or find the lift to take you to the top if you can’t face the walk. You will be rewarded though. Just look at the view of the Promenade Des Anglais otherwise known as Nice’s famous Bay Of Angels.
A few steps up and you will see Castle Park, a lovely little place to watch the world go by, let the kids play and sit with an ice cream on a sunny day. Walk through the park to see the marina area, which is just stunning. We spotted a superyacht worth over 200 million Euros!
So this is our 5 reasons why you should visit Nice in France. There are many more reasons too and we hope to go back soon. Tell me, have you been to Nice? Would you like to visit?