Getting to know Nice
Nice is one of the most interesting cities in France, both for its history and for its touristic appeal. Back in the 19th century, Nice was part of the Italian Duchy of Savoia, and later became part of the Kingdom of Sardinia; in 1860, it was ceded to France in 1860. Nice is now the 7th urban area in France by population and the capital of the Alpes-Maritimes department. Numerous tourists choose Nice as their vacation destination yearly.
What you can do for free in Nice
- Visit Place Masséna
Place Masséna is the main square of Nice, and it is a great place to visit to indulge in the atmosphere of this cozy, beautiful French city. The tilework, the fountains and the statues also make for a great backdrop for picture.
- Enjoy the “Promenade des Anglais” (English Walk)
This scenic stretch of road runs parallel to the pretty shore of Nice’s beachfront, and it is a great path to take to enjoy some sightseeing and to get a better understanding of the placement of the most important touristic spots in Nice.
- Climb the “Colline du Chateau” (Castle Hill)
Even though most of the Chateau de Nice is not standing anymore, and all that is left of its structure is now in crumbles, the hundreds of steps towards the peak of the hill are still worth climbing. The view from the top is spectacular!
Top spots to visit
- “Vieille Ville” (Old Town)
This wonderful neighbourhood is a great place to visit all day. Get there in the morning to explore, afternoon to enjoy the shops and splurge, and evening to sit down for a fantastic diner in one of the wonderful French restaurants there.
- Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain
Located in the north of the Old Town, this museum has a lot to offer; besides the art pieces in its exhibitions, the museum itself is a great attraction, due to its architecture and the panoramic views that you get if you go up on the rooftop.
- Cathedrale Orthodoxe Russe St. Nicolas
St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral was built in the early 20th century. Now, the church is open for visitors for free, although one can also opt for a guided tour, which will have a cost.
Hidden spots to visit
- The Château de Bellet vineyards
The Château de Bellet vineyards have over 70 years of experience in winemaking. Tourists interested in this spot can go there and take a guided tour around the property, exploring the vineyards, the cellar and the historical Bellet chapel.
- Galerie Eva Vautier
This art gallery does not get the crowds of the more popular ones, which perhaps makes it a more pleasurable place to visit. Its exhibitions showcase the works of local, often self-taught artists.
- La Grande Corniche
La Grande Corniche is a coastal road that runs all the way from Nice to Italy. It goes through some wonderful Southern towns, the Mediterranean waters are visible all the way and it even gives a breathtaking view of Monaco along the way.
French, Italian, Mediterranean, European – the cuisine focus in Nice is varied. A blend of numerous fantastic dishes can be enjoyed in the city’s restaurants. Check out the best restaurants in the city, enjoy delicious meals at: Olim, Les Amoureux, That’s Amore, L’epicerie Georges, Acchiardo, Lou Pistou and more.
Recommended time for visiting
The city of Nice sees sunny days more than half of the year, which makes it a great spot to visit almost any time. To avoid crowds and high hotel rates, the shoulder seasons make for a great choice for a period to visit Nice. September to October or mid-March to April are great, although the weather is alright and, if you don’t mind a little cold a visit would be wonderful in winter months too.
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