The French Riviera is probably one of the most beautiful and laid back places of the world. When I think French Riviera, I think Cannes Film Festival, movie stars, glitz and glam.
Nice was part of the 3 cities we visited for our honeymoon. It can be reached easily by air, train or car. We took the TGV from Lyon to Nice in order to soak up as much of the French Riviera view as we could. The train stopped along the way at Marseille, St. Tropez, Cannes, Antibes.
When you are in Nice there are lots of hotel options depending on your budget. We chose to stay at an Airbnb that was literally steps to the beach. If your budget allows splurge on the famous hotel Negresco.
Things not to miss when you’re in Nice:
#1. Cours Saleya Market
Visit the Old Nice flower market. You will find stall after stall of merchants selling beautiful in season flowers in an array of colours. Along with flowers, you can find quick light lunch items like sandwiches, pastries, cheeses, fruits, vegetables. There are also merchants selling specialty goods from Provence, such as hand-made soaps, dried herb de provence, coin purses. These make excellent souvenirs if luggage capacity permits.
#2. Petite train de Nice
To soak in as much of Nice as possible, I suggest a ride on the miniature train that gives you a tour of the main attractions of Nice. The cost of the train is 10€ for adults and 5€ for children 4 to 12 years of age. The tour lasts approximately 60 minutes with a 10 minutes stop at top of Castle Hill to take your own pictures and take in the magnificent birds eye view of old Nice. The tour comes with headphones so you can listen to the narration in a variety of langues from English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Japanese, Chinese and Russian. The train takes you to The Flower Market, Massena Square, the Old Town, the Castle Hill, the Front de Mer seafront esplanade, the Bay of Angels, the Promenade des Anglais, Albert I Gardens. You can find the train waiting on the Promenade des Anglais and departs every 30 minutes.
#3. The beach
There are two types of beaches to note in Nice, private beaches where for a fee you reserve your spot (comes with your own lounge chair and food and drink service) and the public beach where you scout out your own little private spot and bring your own towel, snacks, drinks. Private beaches are denoted by the signs along the Promenade des Anglais.
Lastly, don’t forget about Monaco! The city state is a mere 45 minute bus ride away and can be a fun day trip. The ultimate highlight is the bus ride which takes you along the beautiful scenic coast where you can see the million dollar yachts docked in the glistening blue waters and fancy villas sprinkled on the hills. Catch the 100 bus to Monaco/Menton at top of the Port (where all the yachts are docked). The cost of the ride is only 1.50€ each way.
What are some of your recommendations for things to do in Nice?