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Bucket list destination:

Last updated: 21 June, 2023
Expert travel writer: Dana Facaros

France’s fifth city, Nice has only been French since 1860 – and still has a strong Italian accent. Although long dismissed as a city of pensioners, gangsters and budget tourists, Nice has been rapidly remaking itself into a trendy new Miami of Europe, with iconic Art Deco hotels, a vast promenade, swanky bars and restaurants, and year-round buzz.

There’s a beautiful setting and balmy climate (great for cheaper shoulder-season breaks in spring and autumn), world-class art (the best collections outside of Paris), excellent food (It’s a foodie city) – and a pretty pebble beach that families will love. Edgy designer hotels and restaurants are springing up alongside hip shops and galleries, and young artists are moving in, following in the footsteps of one-time locals Matisse and Chagall.

There’s plenty to see and do in both the city and the wider area, plus an excellent transport network to the rest of the Cote d’Azur. Its well-connected airport also means Nice is a great starting point for a South of France road trip.

Unlike the more resort-orientated towns along the coast, Nice and nearby Antibes are lively year-round – and Nice’s vivid Carnival (end of February/beginning of March) is worth coinciding with.

Orientation

Nice curls around the Baie des Anges, with its beach and palm-lined Promenade des Anglais. To the east, the bay is closed by the picturesque Vieux Nice (old town) and Colline de Chateau, a promontory topped by gardens: the old port is just east.

Place Massena and its gardens separate Vieux Nice from 19th-century Nice, and main shopping residential districts of Jean-Medecin and Liberation, the latter north of the train station. Several museums are in the upper, upscale residential suburb of Cimiez; the spectacular, snow-capped Alpes Maritimes hover in the background.

Tours, tickets & transfers

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Our selection of the best Viator tours of this destination, plus helpful tickets and transfers

Nice City Segway Sightseeing Tour

Nice

Nice City Segway Sightseeing Tour
Explore top Nice attractions and take pictures you can’t wait to share on a fun 1-hour or 2-hour Segway outdoor tour. Cruise through historic Old Town, admire the seafront Promenade des Anglais, explore the colorful Cours Saleya flower market, enjoy panoramic views from Castle Hill, and visit several other don’t-miss sights in this beautiful city on the French Riviera (Côte d’Azur). This intimate, leisurely Segway tour led by an expert guide is a more novel way to experience Nice than a walking or bus tour. This small-group tour is limited to eight people for a more personalized experience. For a group experience please send us a message.

Price: €32

Min age: 14

Rating 4.89 / 5 [908 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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★ Walking Tour of Old Nice and Castle Hill

Nice

★ Walking Tour of Old Nice and Castle Hill
★ #1 Most Rated Walking Tour, in Nice♡ ★ NICEFUNTOURS - If the tour is fully booked on the date you wish, please contact us - We might have still avaibility ★ Check out the video of the walking tour here: bit.ly/NiceCityTour ★ The walking tour of Nice is an essential part of the time spent by all visitors to the Côte d'Azur: iconic sites and a dive into the fascinating history of the city await you! ★ On the Tour, you will taste the Iconic local delicacy "Pissaladière" Made by my mum! ☺️ ★ Get Top Tips from a Local What is the best restaurant in town that you absolutely must visit? Which local dish will make you remember Nice. You will get a list of the best place to go so you don't fall into those tourist traps. ★ I look forward to taking you to the best place of what the city has to offer and getting the most out of your trip to one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. À bientôt! ★ We can provide private tours, please get in touch prior - NiceFunTours

Price: €31

Min age: 1

Rating 4.93 / 5 [849 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Nice City E-Bike Tour with a Local Guide

Nice

Nice City E-Bike Tour with a Local Guide
Enjoy the best of Nice on an E-bike tour with a local English-speaking guide. This is an extraordinary opportunity to experience Nice as not many do! You will cycle along stunning beaches, grand streets and majestic plazas. Discover hidden Baroque churches, awe-inspiring Belle Époque palaces, super-cool bars and bistros, and winding medieval alleyways. The Nice City E-Bike Tour will take you from the chic hangouts of modern film stars to the haunts of prehistoric man.

Price: €50

Min age: 0

Rating 4.83 / 5 [255 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Private Arrival Transfer: Nice Airport to Hotel

Nice

Private Arrival Transfer: Nice Airport to Hotel
Travel from Nice International Airport to your Nice City hotel. Your private transfer service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Price: €34

Min age: 0

Rating 4.74 / 5 [155 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Original Nice city tour ( pedicab-vélo taxi)

Nice

Original Nice city tour ( pedicab-vélo taxi)
Enjoy a 100 minutes or 60 minutes city tour by pedicab where you will discover some of the most beautiful highlights of Nice: the old town with its small streets, the Cathedral, Opera, flower market, the famous Promenade des Anglais, the port, the Garibaldi square, and others. Your guide will tell you more about the attractions of the city as well as giving you recommendations about where to go and what to see. Plus, during your visit, you will make various stops in order to take beautiful pictures, visit the cathedral and smell the perfumes in the flower market..

Price: €40

Min age: 0

Rating 4.78 / 5 [100 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Travel advice

When to go

With its mild climate, Nice is a year-round destination, with cultural activities every month on top of all its other attractions. Mid-March to April and September to October are ideal times to visit. Finding a room may be hard for February for Carnival; otherwise July and August are the busiest with tourists, when the beaches and sights can be crowded, prices are highest although it rarely gets unbearably hot.

Getting there and away

Nice airport, the second busiest in France, is the gateway to the Cote d’Azur. A taxi to central Nice should take no more than 20 minutes and is the fastest option, however, the T2 Tram from the airport to the port is also a good option (at the Jean-Medecin stop you can transfer to Tram1 and the train station). There are also regular, cheap shuttle buses.

Getting around

Much of the centre is easily accessible by foot, and there are plenty of taxis and bike paths. Nice has an excellent one-euro city bus system, the Lignes Azur, as well as trams; the latter passes a number of art installations, making it fun to ride even if you have nowhere in particular to go. There’s a free lift up to the Colline du Chateau. Nice has expanded its bike lanes and offers a self-service hire scheme, Velobleu, with bikes in 175 stations.

Where to stay

If your budget doesn’t stretch to the fabulous hotels along the Promenade des Anglais, Le Vieux Nice is a great place to stay in the heart of the action, close to the beaches, market, bars and restaurants; the smart Port quarter is less touristy.  In the 19th-century Jean-Medecin district, you’ll be close to shopping, restaurants and Nice’s nightlife concentrated in Le Carre d’Or. The Art Deco Liberation quarter north of the main Gare Theirs train station is a good place to feel like a local; quieter Cimiez with its gardens is pleasant for families.

Where to shop

Nice is considered the best shopping city in France after Paris: its Galeries Lafayette department store is the country’s second largest. Popular chain shops are concentrated on Avenue Jean-Medecin and its Nice Etoile mall; for designer boutiques, head to Rue Paradis and Rue de Suede. The pedestrian-only lanes of old Nice are full of antique and art shops; in the same area, on Mondays, Cours Saleya hosts an arty flea market instead of produce.

Buy designer fashions, jewellery and shoes by all the world’s top names; works of art, perfumes made in Grasse, ceramics in Vallauris and glass in Biot; olive oils, herbs and wines.

Destination guides

4

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