Set along the curve of the Bay of Angels with the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean lapping at its shores, Nice is nothing short of sublime.

The city’s soft light, wonderful weather, and astounding natural beauty have been drawing in tourists for almost 300 years! It was a popular winter escape for the English aristocracy of the 19th century and is now the second-most visited French city, after Paris.

Alongside its pleasant climate and undeniable beauty, the city is known for its rich history, vibrant culture, charming atmosphere, and stunning sights! As a part of Italy until 1860, Nice has a mixed French and Italian history that is reflected in the city’s unique multicultural cuisine and beautiful architecture.

A vacation in Nice is a trip to paradise, and this Nice, France itinerary will help you squeeze every last drop out of this amazing city! If you’re planning a trip to Nice, you’ve come to the right place.

Best Time To Visit Nice

You can visit France all year round. While outdoor living and beautiful beaches are part of its charm, the city is beautiful all year round! Winters may get a bit chilly, but the weather is never extreme, and there are plenty of indoor attractions if you carry out your Nice itinerary in the colder months!

If you’re wondering when to visit Nice, the answer depends on the type of experience you want to have.

when to visit nice
These are the best times to visit Nice!

If you want to avoid the crowds but still enjoy some nice weather, the best time to spend a weekend in Nice is in the shoulder season (March to May and September to October). At these times, the tourist crowds are relatively sparse, the weather is pleasant, and accommodation and flights are relatively inexpensive!

Peak season in Nice is from around June to late August. During this time period, the city is at its busiest, warmest, and most expensive. The heat and humidity during mid-summer may be overwhelming to some, but others tend to enjoy it!

The peak season months offer exceptional beach and swimming weather, so if you’re visiting Nice for its beaches, June may be your best bet!

 Average TemperaturesChance of RainCrowdsOverall Grade
January9°C / 48°FAverageMedium😐
February10°C / 50°FAverageCalm😐
March12°C / 54°FAverageMedium🙂
April13°C / 55°FAverageMedium😀
May17°C / 63°FLowBusy🙂
June20°C / 68°FLowBusy🙂
July24°C / 75°FLowBusy😐
August24°C / 75°FLowBusy😐
September22°C / 72°FAverageMedium🙂
October18°C / 64°FHighCalm🙂
November13°C / 55°FHighCalm🙂
December10°C / 50°FAverageCalm😐

Where To Stay In Nice

There are several areas to consider when deciding where to stay in Nice. The city is home to a wonderful selection of neighborhoods, each with their own variation of delightful Niçois charm.

Vieux Nice is Nice’s Old Town, and our top pick for the best place to stay in Nice. This sublime area has a seemingly unending supply of magnificent sights and picturesque scenes. It’s a dense network of cobblestone alleyways, lined with boutiques, cafes, restaurants, and bars!

Old Town is where many of the Nice attractions are, so pick somewhere close by if possible.

where to stay in nice
These are the best places to stay in Nice!

The Jean-Médecin area is Nice’s New Town neighborhood, with a vast selection of shops and just about everything else you could need! This area is pretty central, so a good spot for getting around.

If you can bag accommodation somewhere along the Promenade des Anglais, you’ll be graced with beautiful views and easy access to the beaches! Le Port is set on Nice’s gorgeous old harbor within walking distance of the vibrant Old Town and is another great option.

Some of the best hostels in France are located in nice.

Best Hostel in Nice – Villa Saint Exupery Beach

nice itinerary
Villa Saint Exupery Beach is our pick for the best hostel in Nice!

Just a short stroll from Nice’s Old Town, this Nicean hostel offers a range of comfortable dorm rooms at a very reasonable price. Sip on happy hour drinks at the onsite bar that frequently hosts live music, or embark on one of the hostel’s free walking tours! There’s even an onsite gym and sauna!

Best Airbnb in Nice: Cosy & Comfortable One Bedroom

Cosy and Comfortable One Bedroom Nice

This one bedroom is at the bottom of the Castle Hill and a few steps away from Cours Saleya, famous for its flower market. Enjoy delicious ice creams from the nearby place, Rossetti. Before dinner, have a cocktail while admiring the sunset on the sea side. You will be close to the beaches, museums, the Castle Hill, Place Masséna and Avenue Jean Médecin, with its department stores and shopping malls.

Best Budget Hotel in Nice – Hotel 64 Nice

nice itinerary
Hotel 64 Nice is our pick for the best budget hotel in Nice!

Hotel 64 Nice is located centrally within easy walking distance of the Old Town, the beach, and Promenade des Anglais. The rooms are clean and comfortable, each with a private bathroom and flatscreen TV! The location provides easy access to public transport, restaurants, and shops, and a delicious breakfast is offered each morning.

Best Luxury Hotel in Nice – Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Mediterranee

nice itinerary
Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Mediterranee is our pick for the best luxury hotel in Nice!

Set right on the Promenade des Anglais this hotel immerses guests in complete luxury. The rooms are exceptionally lavish and comfortable, most of which with views out over the Mediterranean Sea. The hotel boasts both an indoor and an outdoor pool, as well as a sauna and bathhouse. Settle down for a delicious dish expertly prepared at the hotel restaurant!

Nice Itinerary

While Nice isn’t a particularly small city, the tourist areas are pretty compact and the main Nice points of interest are mostly located close together. Most of the stops on this Nice itinerary are pretty centrally located, and we’ve grouped them in this Nice itinerary so that getting from one to the next is as easy as possible!

With all of this in mind, a lot of your explorations and traveling during this 3-day itinerary in Nice can be done on foot! The Old Town, Promenade des Anglaise, the modern part of town, and Le Port are all within pretty easy walking distance of one another. Walking through the city is not only efficient, but it’s also the perfect way to feel immersed in Nice’s charm!

nice itinerary
Welcome to our EPIC Nice itinerary

That being said, we have planned a few stops in this itinerary for Nice that are slightly further afield, such as the attractions in Cimiez. If you’re planning a journey that’s a little too far to walk, there are several other options!

The public transport system in Nice is comprehensive and efficient, made up of over 40 bus and tram lines. The buses in Nice are perhaps the most affordable in France!

Alternatively, you can carry out your Nice itinerary by making use of the city’s bike-sharing system, Velo Bleu. With over 120 bike stands spread across the city, the system is effective, and touring Nice on a bicycle is a great way to experience the city!

Day 1 Itinerary in Nice

Vieux Nice | Palais Lascaris | Gesù Church | Cours Saleya | Castle Hill | Place Masséna | Promenade des Anglais

The following itinerary for Nice will show you how to spend a perfect few days in this gorgeous city. It is possible to see the best of Nice in a day, but we certainly recommend a longer stay!

Day 1 / Stop 1 – Old Town (Vieux Nice)

  • Why it’s awesome: The historic center of Nice, with beautiful buildings and picturesque alleyways
  • Cost: Pay only for what you buy!
  • Food nearby: Pick up some authentic gelato at Gelateria Azzurro, the perfect addition to your Vieux Nice itinerary

Vieux Nice, or Old Town, is the historic part of the city, and the perfect place to soak up some of the French Riverian atmosphere. With beautiful baroque architecture, tight winding streets & alleyways, cozy courtyards & squares, plus a plethora of small boutiques and cafes, Vieux Nice is steeped in classic charm!

Rue Droite is the main artery of Vieux Nice, running straight through its center with a plethora of smaller streets branching out from its sides. Start by walking up Rue Droite, and let your instincts take you from there! The best thing to do in Vieux Nice is to get lost amid its splendor, heading down any alleyway that grabs your attention.

Old Town Vieux Nice
Old Town, Nice | Source: Artens (Shutterstock)

Spend some time wandering through the hidden side lanes absorbing the ambiance; these streets and alleyways are amongst the most beautiful in the world! Saunter up one of the picturesque staircase streets, such as Rue Du Molonat.

The Old Town is also an amazing place to do some holiday shopping. Many of the quaint streets are lined with small stores and boutiques, that sell everything from designer goods and artisan crafts to simple, touristy souvenirs. If you want to learn some history and interesting information while exploring Old Town, we suggest booking a Vieux Nice walking tour!

Insider Tip: Stop and sip on a warm drink on a cafe patio to get a real sense of that European charm!

Day 1 / Stop 2 – Palais Lascaris

  • Why it’s awesome: Palais Lascaris fine example of Baroque architecture and a fascinating musical instrument museum
  • Cost: ± $7 USD
  • Food nearby: Try some classic Mediterranean cuisine at Oliviera

While in the Old Town, it’s imperative that you pay a visit to some of its most notable and impressive buildings! The first stop of your architectural journey should be Palais Lascaris.

Built in the early 17th century for an aristocratic family, Palais Lascaris is a vast and beautiful building. It’s a fine example of civil baroque architecture, featuring grand stairways, sweeping arches, and heavily ornamented detailings.

Palais Lascaris
Palais Lascaris, Nice | Source: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra (Flickr)

But the attraction doesn’t stop there! Palais Lasscaris is now a popular museum with a focus on the art and music of the 17th and 18th centuries. It houses an incredible collection of over 500 historic musical instruments, including several exceedingly rare baroque guitars, and a tenor sackbut dating back to the 1500’s!

The museum is also home to a number of other historic items; tapestries, furniture, paintings, and engravings, all set to the backdrop of gorgeous 17th-century architecture. The building itself acts as part of the museum, as you wander between rooms soaking up the ornate design. A trip to Palais Lascaris is a trip back in time!

Day 1 / Stop 3 – Church of Gesù, Nice

  • Why it’s awesome: This baroque church has stunning interiors and is free to pop into!
  • Cost: Free
  • Food nearby: Pamir is a great Middle Eastern restaurant in Vieux Nice

Just a 1-minute stroll down Rue Droite from Palais Lascaris, you’ll find the second stop of your architectural journey: the Church of Gesù, Nice. This 17th-century masterpiece is a beautiful specimen of baroque architecture, with clear Roman influences and touches.

Church of Gesu Nice
Church of Gesù, Nice | Source: Groume (Flickr)

The pale yellow and blue facade of the building may not catch a second glance, but the interior will take your breath away! The church is small, but its vibrantly decorated ceiling soars far overhead. The walls and furnishings are even more heavily ornamented than the ceilings, wrapping you in a dizzying but beautiful world of color, engravings, paintings, and gold!

A visit to the church won’t take much time, but it’s certainly worth popping in to appreciate some striking baroque architecture and interior design!

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Day 1 / Stop 4 – Cours Saleya Market

  • Why it’s awesome: An incredible food and produce market in a beautiful setting
  • Cost: Pay only for what you buy!
  • Food nearby: Wander through the stalls and find some street food that tickles your fancy.

The Cours Saleya Market is one of the most iconic attractions in Nice, and is considered amongst the most special markets in the country. It’s primarily a food and flower market, with stunning, vibrant bouquets and colorful fruit and vegetable lining the narrow lanes.

Amongst the flowers and produce you’ll find artworks, artisan crafts, deliciously prepared food, and a host of souvenirs. The market is bustling every day of the week, and while it is primarily a morning market, many of the stalls are open until later in the day.

Cours Saleya Market
Cours Saleya Market, Nice | Source: Dmytro Surkov (Shutterstock)

On Mondays, the flowers and produce give way to a bountiful antiques market, with a never-ending range of fascinating artifacts and relics. The market is lined with quaint cafes where you can sit and enjoy some coffee and a croissant to the hum of the wonderful hum of the old town!

Insider Tip: Take note of the large yellow building at the end of the plaza; Andre Mattise lived there for several years, and the view out of his window is a famous subject of his artworks!

Day 1 / Stop 5 – Castle Hill

  • Why it’s awesome: A beautiful walk culminating in spectacular views of Nice, the Bay of Angels, and Port Lympia
  • Cost: Free!
  • Food nearby: Grab a fresh-out-the-oven pastry at Neron Glacier

Castle Hill is an enormous limestone rock that towers over the Old Town of Nice. Once the site of the Castle of Nice, the hill is nicknamed cradle of the sun for its incredible sunrise and sunset views! It is thought to be the site of Nice’s original settlement; archaeologists have found remnants of Greek, Roman, and Celtic civilization.

The hill gets its name from the castle that once occupied it. Built in the 11th century, the Castle of Nice once stood proudly atop Castle Hill but was eventually destroyed in the early 18th century.

The site is now a popular public park, that offers unparalleled views out over the city and the shimmering Mediterranean sea! The vista from here across the bay is one of the most famous snapshots of Nice. After absorbing the views of Old Town and the bay, walk to the other side of the hill for spectacular views out over Port Lympia to the east.

Castle Hill
Castle Hill, Nice | Source: Valery Bareta (Shutterstock)

The hilltop is easily accessible on foot; a series of winding streets and stairways all lead up to the top from Old Town. The most charming route up, in our opinion, is the stairwell starting at the Promenade des Anglais. It weaves its way up the hill past jagged limestone cliffs and beautiful, lush greenery!

Alternatively, you can ride up in an elevator! Located on Rue des Ponchettes, the ‘Elevator to the castle’ hoists you up to the top in just a couple of minutes. The best bit is, the elevator is absolutely free!

Insider Tip: Once you’re on top of the hill, pay a visit to the beautiful artificial waterfall. The cooling spray is a welcome bonus for hikers on a hot day!

Day 1 / Stop 6 – Place Masséna

  • Why it’s awesome: This beautiful square is the main square of Nice and has a wonderful atmosphere
  • Cost: Free!
  • Food nearby: Enjoy some world-class pasta at Geppetto

Place Masséna is Nice’s main city square. It lies at the border between the old town and the new, as well as at the intersection of multiple main boulevards and just a short walk from the Promenade des Anglais. The square’s prime location puts it right in the heart of the action!

Lined with palm trees and stone pines, and peppered with beautiful statues, La Place Masséna is easy on the eyes. The floor is checker-boarded with black and white tiles, and surrounded by vibrant pinkish buildings of Italian architectural design.

The atmosphere is always incredibly inviting; Tourists and locals alike buzz around the square, and street musicians make frequent appearances, filling the air with a wonderful ambiance.

Place Masséna
Place Masséna, Nice

The shining centerpiece of Place Masséna is the famous 23-foot tall white marble statue of Apollo at its core. The statue stands atop the charming Sun Fountain that trickles the calming sound of running water throughout the square.

Take a seat on one of the many benches, and spend some time absorbing the sights and sounds.

Insider Tip: Amusing story to share with your travel partners: When the statue of Apollo was initially unveiled, it stirred great controversy for being, to put it nicely, ‘overly well-endowed’. He was consequently ‘chiseled down to size’ in the interest of keeping his modesty!

Day 1 / Stop 7 – Promenade des Anglais

  • Why it’s awesome: Unarguably the most celebrated feature of Nice, and a beautiful seaside stroll!
  • Cost: Free!
  • Food nearby: Try Calade Rooftop Restaurant for spectacular views

Promenade des Anglais, or as the locals call it ‘La Prom’ is, without a doubt, the most iconic feature of Nice and one of the most beautiful seafront walkways on Earth! If you’re wondering what to see in Nice, France in one day, La Prom is the place to start.

Stretching over 4 miles (7km) between the airport to the west and Castle Hill to the east, the promenade has been a major attraction since the mid 19th century. It was commissioned by the English aristocracy that used Nice as a winter home, and paid for by a wealthy English reverend, giving the promenade its name.

Promenade des Anglais
Promenade des Anglais, Nice

The promenade is stunning; the breathtaking Mediterranean sea on one side, and a row of beautiful, old, pastel buildings on the other, with a lush row of palm trees in between. The pedestrian walkway itself is broad and smooth, with plenty of benches where you can sit and admire the extraordinary views!

Stroll along in the soft evening light, absorbing the charming atmosphere and soaking up the sights.

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    Day 2 itinerary in Nice

    Marc Chagall Museum | St. Nicholas Cathedral | The Beach | Cimiez | Musée Matisse | Art Museum | Vieux Nice

    If you’re after a 2-day itinerary in Nice, we’ve got you covered! The following section lays out what to do in Nice, France on your second day.

    Day 2 / Stop 1 – Marc Chagall National Museum

    • Why it’s awesome: The largest collection of Marc Chagall’s art, celebrating his life and work
    • Cost: $8.50 USD
    • Food nearby: Enjoy exceptional Indian food at Cumin et Cannelle

    Marc Chagall was a world-renowned Russian-French artist with an incredibly eclectic portfolio. He was an early modernist, and experimented with a vast array of artistic styles and mediums, from paintings and illustrations to ceramics and stained glass.

    Marc Chagall National Museum
    Marc Chagall National Museum, Nice | Source: Janet McKnight (Flickr)

    The Marc Chagall museum in Nice was built during the artist’s lifetime as an illustration of the biblical message, and a celebration of his life and work. It features over 400 Chagall artworks, making up the largest collection of his work on Earth!

    While the religious message is a central theme, the artworks are beautiful in their own right and can be enjoyed by any traveler. It’s a small museum, but it’s packed with fascinating information and is well worth a visit!

    Day 2 / Stop 2 – St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral

    • Why it’s awesome: A beautiful Orthodox Cathedral and a perfect addition to your 2-day itinerary in Nice
    • Cost: Free
    • Food nearby: La Veranda serves up delicious Asian cuisine

    The Cathedral of Saint Nicholas is the largest Eastern Orthodox cathedral in Western Europe and is considered one of the most important orthodox buildings outside of the Russian Federation.

    Completed in 1912, the cathedral is a stunning building inside and out. The outside is bold; burnt orange in color and decorated with beautiful engravings, domed roofs, and metallic accents.

    St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral
    St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral, Nice | Source: saiko3p (Shutterstock)

    The interior is even more heavily decorated and is wonderfully different from the majority of churches in the area. The cathedral doesn’t require a long visit, but a brief exploration is highly recommended.

    Insider Tip: Female visitors will be asked to cover up their legs if wearing shorts (skirts of any length are fine), and all guests must cover their shoulders.

    Day 2 / Stop 3 – The Beach

    • Why it’s awesome: Nice is famed for its beautiful beachfront, perfect for relaxing on a summer’s day
    • Cost: Free for a public beach or $15 USD for a private beach
    • Food nearby: Snack out at Pizza California!

    Wrapped along the edge of the Promenade des Anglais is a stunning stretch Nice’s of coastline, divided into a series of public and private beaches.

    These beaches aren’t the fine sand beaches of tropical fantasy, but rather beautiful pebble beaches with the vast Mediterranean lapping at their shores. The pebbles are small and smooth, making for a surprisingly comfortable sunbathing surface!

    The Beach
    The Beach, Nice

    Plenty of the beachfront stretch is open to the public, so you can make your way down and enjoy the atmosphere free of charge. Alternatively, you can choose to pay a small fee and enter a private beach such as Opéra Plage, where you can lounge on a deckchair and enjoy a seaside massage.

    Either way, spending some time on the beach is a must when visiting Nice. In the summer, you can enjoy some sweet French Riverian Sun and seaside ice cream. In the cooler months, you can cuddle up with a loved one and a bottle of wine, enjoying the spectacular view!

    Day 2 / Stop 4 – Cimiez

    • Why it’s awesome: Discover ancient Roman ruins and artifacts
    • Cost: $12 USD
    • Food nearby: Enjoy a delicious lunch at Brasserie LE 65 Rooftop

    Cimiez, now a hilly and leafy district of Nice, was once the site of Cemenelum, an ancient Roman city with roots dating back to the 1st century AD. Many of the historic ruins of this significant archaic city are now buried beneath the city, but some exist above ground, to be studied and admired.

    The most noteworthy ruins are those of a large amphitheater, an arena, and a thermal bath complex. Head to the Cimiez Gardens, where you’ll find the majority of the ruins as well as the Archaeology Museum of Nice-Cimiez.

    Cimiez
    Cimiez, Nice | Source: Yury24 (Shutterstock)

    Wander amongst ancient Roman buildings, imagining what life would have been like there some 2,000 years ago. Cemenelum was the capital of the ancient Roman province in which it stood.

    Head to the Archaeology museum to deepen your understanding of the site and Roman culture, and discover some ancient relics and treasures that were found in the area.

    Day 2 / Stop 5 – Musée Matisse

    • Why it’s awesome: This museum showcases the stunning work of Henri Matisse, who lived in the city
    • Cost: $12 USD
    • Food nearby: Fine Dine at Resto Cote Sud

    While in Cimiez, it’s well worth paying a visit to the Musée Matisse, which is located right next to the ruins of Cemenelum!

    Nice is famously the city where celebrated artist Henri Mattise spent 37 years of his life. Originally intending to visit Nice for a month, Matisse fell in love with the city and decided to stay. He lived in Nice virtually uninterrupted until the day he died. He is regarded, along with Picasso, as one of the most significant artists of his time.

    Housed in a 17th-century villa, the museum boasts one of the largest collection of Matisse’s work! It traces the evolution of his work, from his early artistic days to his final works.

    Musee Matisse
    Musée Matisse, Nice | Source: Margarita Hintukainen (Shutterstock)

    On display, you’ll find his drawings, oil paintings, gouaches, tapestries, and sculptures. Through these works, the museum commemorates the life and work of Matisse and explores his place in this beautiful French city.

    Insider Tip: The $12 USD entrance fee gets you a 24-hour pass that is good for 14 museums in the city, which is perfect if you’re only spending one day in Nice, France. If you’re planning on spending two days in Nice, or longer, it’s worth purchasing a 7-day municipal museum card for $25 USD!

    Day 2 / Stop 6 – Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art

    • Why it’s awesome: An impressive collection of modern art housed in a building with a stellar rooftop terrace
    • Cost: $12 USD
    • Food nearby: You’ll find some incredible French food at Maizon – an amazing addition to your Nice itinerary.

    After the historic sights of Cimiez, it’ll be time to explore something more modern at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. The museum is dedicated to the European and American avant-garde movement, showcasing works created between the late 1950s and the present day.

    The building in which the museum is housed is also beautiful and strikingly modern – a stark contrast to the old buildings explored in previous stops!

    Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art
    Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Nice | Source: Fred Romero (Flickr)

    Amongst many others, the museum houses works from renowned European New Realists such as Yves Klein, as well as American pop art pioneers such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.

    You’ll find a fabulously diverse range of art in a variety of media, as well as a host of fascinating temporary exhibits.

    Insider Tip: Head up to the amazing rooftop terrace for spectacular 360-degree views of the city!

    Day 2 / Stop 7 – Vieux Nice Nightlife

    • Why it’s awesome: Vieux Nice has a wonderful night-time atmosphere and is a perfect place for an amazing evening out
    • Cost: Pay only for what you buy
    • Food nearby: Settle down for some finely plated local food at Bar des Oiseaux

    After freshening up, head back toward Vieux Nice for classic Niçois night on the town! As the sun sinks low in the sky, the Old Town of Nice begins to transform. From the enchanting and tranquil daytime charm to the captivating ambiance of the evening!

    Bars, pubs, and restaurants open their doors, pouring the sweet sounds of music into the maze of narrow alleys. The town comes to life with a vibrant crowd, spilling out of the drinking establishments and filling the streets with a lively, cheerful hum.

    Vieux Nice Nightlife
    Vieux Nice Nightlife, Nice | Source: Jane Biriukova (Shutterstock)

    An evening out in Vieux Nice can be tailored to suit any kind of traveler; you can catch energetic live music shows, sip fine wines on a quaint terrace, or nurse a colorful cocktail in an atmospheric courtyard.

    La Havane bar and restaurant is a celebration of Cuban culture, with stellar decorations, live Latino music, and tasty cocktails. If you’re a fan of jazz, blues, and cocktails, try Shapko Bar. Alternatively, bag a table on the terrace at Les Distilleries Idéales!

    IN A RUSH? THIS IS OUR FAVORITE HOSTEL IN NICE!

    Villa Saint Exupery Beach

    Just a short stroll from Nice’s Old Town, this hostel offers a range of comfortable dorm rooms at a very reasonable price.

    • $$
    • Free WiFi
    • Linen Included

    Day 3 and Beyond

    Park Phoenix | Niçois Cuisine | Avenue Jean Médecin | Albert I Garden | La Prom

    If you’re lucky enough to be spending three days in Nice (or longer), there are plenty more sights, attractions, Nice landmarks, and activities to keep you occupied and smiling! Here are some of our favorite things to do and places to visit in Nice!

    Park Phoenix

    • A beautiful botanical and zoological garden
    • Contains one of the largest greenhouses in Europe, recreating tropical climates
    • Entry to the Park is only $5.50 USD

    At the far end of the beautiful Bay of Angels, you’ll find Parc Phoenix, a large and comprehensive botanical garden and zoo. It houses a plethora of themed gardens and displays, as well as a host of animal life!

    Park Phoenix
    Park Phoenix, Nice | Source: Luziana5588 (Shutterstock)

    Here, you’ll find hundreds of exotic birds and fish, as well as iguanas, crocodiles, and lemurs, amongst many others.

    The main attraction at the park is the ‘Green Diamond’ greenhouse. This enormous greenhouse covers an area of 75,000sq ft, making it one of the largest in Europe. A walk through the greenhouse is a diverse and enchanting journey, that takes you through six distinct tropical climates, and uncovers several thousand rare species of plants.

    Enjoy Niçois Cuisine

    • Nice is famous for its thriving culinary scene
    • It’s home to thousands of incredible restaurants
    • Try several of the city’s most iconic local dishes

    Nice is particularly well known for its vibrant and thriving culinary culture! Sampling the local cuisine is an absolute must-do during your 3-day itinerary in Nice. The best way to experience flavors of Nice and learn about its culinary history is with a walking food tour.

    If you’d prefer to explore the tastes on your own, we’ve outlined the city’s foodie highlights below.

    Perhaps Nice’s most famous contribution to the culinary world (even if primarily due to the 2007 film) is ratatouille. The stewed vegetable dish is a local favorite, and can be found at its best at La Rossettisserie!

    Enjoy Nicois Cuisine
    Enjoy Niçois Cuisine

    Socca is the city’s most iconic street food. Made from chickpea flour and olive, the crepe shaped snack is served hot all over Nice! Try the Chez Thérésa stall at the Cours Saleya Market for the best socca.

    The famous salad Niçoise, as the name would suggest, is also native to Nice. You’ll find a plethora of variations and different interpretations of the dish here! La Rotonde Brasserie is considered one of the best restaurants in the city, and serves a delicious salad Niçoise.

    Avenue Jean Médecin

    • An incredibly bountiful area for all kinds of shopping
    • One of the city’s main streets
    • A great place to experience a more modern side of Nice

    Running uphill from Place Masséna Avenue Jean Médecin is the main shopping street in Nice, and the principal artery running through the more modern part of the city. A stroll up the avenue is a shopper’s paradise, but it also gives travelers a taste of Nice’s more modern side!

    It is packed to the brim with shopping opportunities; International retailers are abundant, small french boutiques are plentiful, and there are several noteworthy department stores! The most iconic of these department stores is the lavish Galaries Lafayette.

    Avenue Jean Medecin
    Avenue Jean Médecin, Nice | Source: Kirill Neiezhmakov (Shutterstock)

    The area is also home to the comprehensive Nice Etoile shopping mall, and a multitude of restaurants and cafes! Be sure to dip off of the main avenue to the smaller streets that stem from it. Plenty of the shops are located in these surrounding streets!

    Another highlight of the avenue is Notre-Dame de Nice, a magnificent Roman-Catholic basilica built in the Gothic style.

    Insider Tip: It’s best to stick to the more tourist-focused southern stretch of the avenue (the bit closest to Place Masséna). The northern stretch becomes more residential.

    Albert I Garden

    • A beautiful public garden near the seafront
    • The perfect place to relax and find peace
    • Great facilities and plenty of comfortable benches

    Set right next to Place Masséna, this 19th-century public park is one of the most beautiful places to spend some downtime during your trip to Nice. It features gorgeous gardens with idyllic pockets of palms and other trees. Jagged mosaic walkways snake between crisp green lawns, and are lined with a series of benches.

    The park is home to a series of wonderful sculptures, and a square that emits plumes of cool mist! There are areas soaked with sun and shaded areas where you can escape the heat of the day.

    Albert I Garden
    Albert I Garden, Nice | Source: Stephen Barnes (Shutterstock)

    Whether you choose to enjoy the atmosphere from a bench, or bask on the sunny lawns and have a picnic, the Albert I Gardens are a perfect place to find some tranquility.

    There’s also a bandstand and even an old carousel in the park, and on summer evenings it welcomes stunning open-air theatre. Wander over to the neighboring Promenade du Paillon to admire the stunning fountain or let your kids play in the top-notch play area!

    Rooftop and Beach Bars at La Prom

    • Enjoy drinks with a view at a beach bar or rooftop terrace
    • Great range to choose from, from laid back to classy
    • Sunset is a magical time for sea views

    One of the best things to do in Nice is to enjoy a cool beverage overlooking the shimmering Mediterranean Sea. And perhaps the best place to do so is at one of the many beach and rooftop bars scattered throughout the city and along the Promenade des Anglaise!

    A short while before sunset is our favorite time for this dreamy excursion; the evening light is soft as the sky begins to turn deep shades of orange.

    Rooftop and Beach Bars at La Prom
    La Prom, Nice | Source: Paul Downey (Flickr)

    Blue Beach is a great option if you want to sit right on the beach for your sundowners! It’s a private beach with comfortable seating, from tables to deck chairs, and a well-stocked bar. Movida is another amazing seaside option, with spectacular sunset views and delicious food.

    If you’d prefer a classy rooftop terrace, try Le Meridien at no.1 Prom des Anglais, or the Calade Rooftop Restaurant at Radisson Blue for out-of-this-world panoramic views!

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    Custom-designed BY the Broke Backpacker FOR broke backpacking, the Active Roots Security Belt will keep your valuables safe no matter where you go.

    It looks exactly like a normal belt except for a SECRET interior pocket perfectly designed to hide a wad of cash or a passport copy. Never get caught with your pants down again! (Unless you want to.)

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    Staying Safe in Nice

    France is a safe country to visit and Nice is generally considered a very safe city.  However, as with any large tourist city, there are certain minor hazards to be aware of and precautions you can take!

    Violent crime in Nice is particularly uncommon, but petty theft and scams do occasionally occur.

    Pickpocketing is one of the most common forms of theft. It usually occurs in crowded public spaces, such as on busy buses and trains. Purse snatchings and similar grab-and-run theft also happen from time to time.

    When you’re out in public, especially in crowded spaces and at night, keep your belongings close to you, and be aware of your surroundings. So long as you’re vigilant and aware you shouldn’t come across any issues!

    The other thing to be aware of is tourist scams. All tourist cities on Earth experience them, so it’s worth being precautious when traveling! Be wary of groups of teenagers trying to distract you, as well as fake petitions and ‘gold ring’ tricks. If catching a cab, keep an eye on the meter and use your sense of direction to avoid being overcharged! Also, be careful of people offering to help with your luggage.

    Our travel safety tips guide will also come in useful.

    And have you thought about getting Travel Insurance for your trip? We’ve put together a roundup of Travel Insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads, our favorite travel insurance provider.

    Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!

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    Day Trips From Nice

    Nice is conveniently located in one of the most beautiful corners of the Earth, surrounded by idyllic countryside, glamorous cities, and picturesque villages. These day trips from Nice provide the best way to experience some of the magic!

    Eze, Monaco, and Monte Carlo

    Eze Monaco and Monte Carlo
    See how the rich and decadent live.

    Experience the wonder of Monaco and its surrounding villages on a day trip from Nice. Start the day by heading to the medieval village of Eze.

    Perched atop a rocky seaside hill, the village is amongst the most beautiful in the world. Here you’ll find stunning medieval architecture, an array of exotic plants, picturesque winding stairwells, and breathtaking views!

    Stop by the Fragonard perfume factory and admire the incredible views from ‘The Terrace of Monaco’. Next, make your way down to the city-state of Monaco! Experience the glitz, glam, and astounding beauty of the city. Explore Monte Carlo, and stop by the Monaco Grand Prix circuit!

    Saint-Tropez by Boat

    Saint Tropez by Boat 
    St Tropez. The “Z” is silent by the way.

    Hop on a boat and embark on the 2 ½ hour voyage from Nice to the town of Saint-Tropez. Spend the afternoon wandering around and absorbing the quaint seaside charm of this iconic Côte d’Azur town!

    Walk down the promenade of the Old Port, and enjoy the sights and sounds of the harbor. Do a spot of shopping at the bountiful boutiques, and check out the Citadel of Saint-Tropez.

    It’s also well worth making a stop at one of the town’s many beautiful beaches, such as Plages de Saint-Tropez!

    Verdon Gorge and Villages

    Verdon Gorge and Villages

    Cut by the Verdon River, Verdon Gorge is an incredibly beautiful canyon, named for the striking turquoise color of its waters. Make your way northwest toward the canyon, stopping by the village of Castellane along the way.

    Continue along the gorge and admire the breathtaking views! At some points, the canyon is cut 2,300ft deep, with jagged limestone walls and thick vegetation.

    Next, pay a visit to the village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie. With a rich history in ceramics, this picturesque village is nestled deep in the mountains below a rocky cliff. Spend some time exploring the village and its history before heading back to Nice via the renowned lavender platters or lake of St. Croix.

    This is one of our favorite day trips from Nice, and a wonderful addition to your Nice itinerary!

    Countryside and Villages of the French Riviera

    Countryside and Villages of the French Riviera

    The Côte d’Azur countryside, with its magnificent natural beauty, is home to some of the most picturesque villages on earth. Gourdon, Mougins and Tourrettes-sur-Loup are some of the most scenic medieval villages in the area.

    Narrow cobblestone streets wind between ancient buildings and stone walls, transporting visitors back to an archaic time. These villages are pristine, and a paradise for any travelers who are fond of history.

    Spend an hour or two exploring each village before heading to the perfume factory in Grasse city and stopping by Moulin d’Opio Mill to learn how olive oil is produced!

    Cannes, Antibes, and Saint-Paul de Vence

    Cannes Antibes and Saint Paul de Vence

    Explore the shimmering Côte d’Azur coastline with a day trip from Nice! The city of Cannes, world-renowned for its annual film festival, is one of the most beautiful and glamorous cities in the area, and is a must add to your Nice itinerary. Explore its La Croisette Boulevard and the elegant marina, lined with luxury yachts.

    Make a stop in the coastal town of Antibes, and admire the yachts in the marina from its iconic ramparts. Next, travel to Saint-Paul de Vence, one of the oldest medieval towns in the French Riviera!

    Final Thoughts

    Nestled in a cozy basin at the foot of the Alps, Nice is nirvana for all kinds of travelers. It’s one of the most romantic cities on Earth, a beautiful backpacking destination, and an ideal spot for a laid back family vacation!

    Our Nice trip itinerary was carefully crafted to show you the best of the city and its surrounding areas. Marvel at the spectacular architecture, wander through picturesque streets, bask in the splendid sunshine, and wine and dine to your heart’s content in one of the most beautiful cities in the world!

    Whether you choose to travel to Nice for an extended vacation, or just plan on stopping by, we hope this Nice itinerary has set you up for an amazing time!


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