Nice holidays

Set on the Cote d’Azur, Nice is France’s second most visited tourist destination for good reason. The glamorous seaside city offers beautiful beaches, scenic hilltop lookouts, grand belle epoque villas and palaces, lively markets and compelling museums. It also makes for an excellent launchpad to explore the rest of the French Riviera.

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Seamlessly mix culture with beach life

Set on the Cote d’Azur, Nice is France’s second most visited tourist destination for good reason. The glamorous seaside city offers beautiful beaches, scenic hilltop lookouts, grand belle epoque villas and palaces, lively markets and compelling museums. It also makes for an excellent launchpad to explore the rest of the French Riviera.

Start with a stroll along the Promenade des Anglais, a five-mile stretch lining the Bay of Angels dotted with palms, pergolas and inviting private beaches, with dedicated lanes for cyclists and roller-skaters. Enjoy a freshly made crepe and take in its tranche of landmarks, including the Hotel Negresco, the art deco Palais de la Mediterranee and Sabine Geraudie’s giant La Chaise de SAB sculpture, which celebrates the city’s famous blue seafront chairs.

Get lost amid the narrow, winding alleys of Old Nice which is little altered since the 18th Century and packed with delis, restaurants, boutiques and bars. Take in the Baroque fantasy that is the Sainte Reparate cathedral, the extravagant 18th Century Chapelle de la Misericorde and Palais Lascaris, with its Flemish frescoes. Book your flights to Nice today and start exploring.

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Nice holiday FAQs

  1. Discover the largest, and possibly the most stunning, Russian Orthodox cathedral outside of Russia. Built between 1902 and 1912 by Tsar Nicholas II to accommodate Nice’s growing Russian community, St Nicholas boasts colourful onion domes and polychromatic tiles, ornate interiors and scores of precious icons.
  2. Call in at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art to get up to speed on the rich school of artists Nice has produced, such as Cesar, Arman, Yves Klein and Ben. This vast museum spread across several floors holds American and European masterpieces from the 1950s onwards, including works by Christo and Niki de Saint Phalle. Check out the rooftop terrace which doubles up as an exhibition space while giving spectacular city views.
  3. Take the open-top hop-on, hop-off bus to the leafy Cimiez district for the Matisse Museum. The artist made Nice his home from 1917 to his death in 1954 and this museum, housed in a pretty red Genoese-style villa surrounded by an olive grove, does an excellent job at showcasing his career across oil paintings, drawings, sculptures, tapestries and his famous paper cut-outs.
  4. For some of the most sublime views of Nice’s Old Town, port and the Provencal hills stretching all the way to the Alps, it’s well worth making the trek up the 92-metre-high Castle Hill. This is where the Greeks founded the city in the 4th Century BC and where a medieval castle once stood. Today only the 16th Century Tour Bellanda remains – it was once the residence of composer Hector Berlioz. At the summit you’ll find a surfeit of green spaces, shady trees and an artificial waterfall.
  5. The Massena Museum occupies one of Nice’s finest belle epoque buildings. Built by Danish architect Hans-Georg Tersling in 1901, this grand neoclassical pile built for the grandson of one of Napoleon’s favourite generals now houses a fascinating museum on the Riveira's history, with some 15,000 artworks, furniture and other items covering everything from expat Americans to the Carnival.
  6. One of the area's main draws is Cours Saleya market, one of France’s oldest flower markets, where you’ll find no shortage of beautiful blooms today, alongside plenty of tempting foodie delights, such as local staple socca, a chickpea flour pancake. On Mondays it also hosts a fabulous flea market.

 

  • The Port is long established as one of Nice’s most glamorous neighbourhoods.  Here super-expensive yachts bob alongside traditional fishing boats and many of the city’s finest seafood restaurants jostle for space next to tempting Italian eateries. Stroll along Rue Bonaparte where Napoleon once lived, now home to scores of trendy shops and restaurants, and check out the lively antiques market on Mondays which stretches along the waterfront.
  • Jean Medecin, in the New Town, is a huge pedestrianised avenue that’s right in the heart of the city. As well as being a major transport hub it’s also one of Nice’s prime shopping areas. Here you’ll find plenty of independent boutiques, designer outlet stores and shopping malls. This bustling square is not blessed with many restaurants but there are places to stop for Neapolitan pizza and an aperitivo. For a more laidback alternative, try the nearby Musiciens’ Quarter, a quiet, mostly residential area filled with palaces, parks and an array of restaurants and shops.
  • Carre d’Or is another New Town locale with plenty of cachet. Known as ‘the golden square’ this seafront area has some of Nice’s best nightlife, not to mention stunning postcard perfect views of the Riveria. The area is packed with handsome belle epoque buildings, palaces, including one that contains Napoleon’s death mask, upscale hotels, casinos and clubs.
  • Cimiez is one of Nice’s greener districts, its quiet, tree-lined streets and abundance of gardens and parks makes it ideal for families. Cimiez was the site of an ancient Roman city and you can visit the ruins, including a substantial bath complex. Enjoy a picnic in the Jardin des Arenes and then visit the 16th Century monastery before calling into the Matisse Museum.

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