The Greeks and Romans did it, as did rich lords, film stars, artists, and thousands of tourists. They were just going to pass by but instead remained in Nice and along the Riviera. Some for just a few weeks, others for months and years. They were too captivated by the light, enchanted by the scents, and charmed by the taste of olives, wine, and succulent vegetables. In addition to this, a Nice Nouveau has evolved – a sassy Mediterranean metropolis with pulsating nightlife, new avant-garde hotels, and daring art galleries. All this with a chance to dabble their toes in a turquoise sea!
Shops generally are open from 10.00 to 17.00 Mon-Sat and they are closed on Sunday. Bakns are open from 10.00 to 17.30 Mon-Sat.
The CityIf you arrive in Nice by air, you will get straight into the city’s most beautiful avenue — the Promenade des Anglais — the Mediterranean’s Champs-Elysées. The magnificent seaside promenade runs between the luxury hotels and the beach, all in the shade of the very typical feather duster palms. Roller skaters glide easily between sun chairs, limousines, and beach restaurants. This is Nice’s cosmetic face. The city’s heart is a bit further away — by the Cours Saleya market square. The main artery is la Rue Droite. Stroll around the maze of small streets in the old town, la Vieille Ville, you can wind up into a tiny square here, a tiny alley there, or a cool church beyond it. Are you looking for shopping? You will find the shopping district above Place Masséna, where the big department stores and surrounding streets with names like Rue Paradis and Rue de la Liberté display their shops. Most buses depart from Place Masséna if you want to travel up into the hills above Nice.Old TownA number of fairly sleepy and well-heeled suburbs stretch from the Chagall museum to the inescapable Cimiez hills to the north. The hills are a must, both for the Matisse museum and the view or just for a picnic in an olive grove, with or without the summer jazz festival. Eastern Nice is a bit more down-market and needs more local knowledge — apart from the area close to the harbour at Port Olympia. The nightlife there has been given a boost recently, ever since a low-cost cruise ship started to drop anchor at the port in the summer of 2005. To the east lies the billionaires’ playground of Cap Ferrat, the Eagle’s Nest of Eze, and Beaulieu-sur-Mer, which has been there since antiquity. To the west, the road passes world-famous artist’s colonies such as Saint-Paul de Vence.
Do & SeeThe whole world envies the French for their quality of life while the French envy the Riviera residents for their life in paradise. Nice combines the best of both worlds. This is where you can find small Provençal squares, where you can happily spend hours over a cup of coffee, but also find famous museums, parks and cathedrals. Put your walking shoes on!
In grand French fashion, Lyon’s cafes are a sight to behold. From grand squares such as Place des Terreaux, Place Louis Pradel to hidden alleys in the Old City, there is hardly a dull spot to stop for a coffee.
Nice’s cuisine is a reflection of the city’s 300 days of sun a year. This means great tasting olive oil, garlic and lemons. Also a vast selection of all kinds of vegetables like aubergines, tomatoes, vegetable marrow, and lots more. If you put all this in a frying pan with olive oil, it makes ratatouille. Put it in the oven and you have a tian (au gratin). The city’s own traditional take-away food is la socca – a kind of pancake made from chick peas. Some say it has a salty bracing taste, others say it tastes of old socks. However, this does not stop a new generation of playful chefs who have started to prepare Provençal cuisine nouveau. Bon appétit!