Welcome to France’s Mediterranean border: the French Riviera; Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur’s city of Nice. The city is a place to be for sun seekers, art enthusiasts and archeology aficionados—with beaches that stretch along the Baie des Anges to the roman ruins in the Historic District. There are also posh boutiques for the fashion conscious and markets to get local or vintage goods. Get ready to clink your champagne glass, dine on French cuisine or take a stroll on Promenade des Anglais (“La Pom” for short!) and observe the spectacular view of the blue, azure Mediterranean waters, palm trees, expensive yachts, sparkling pebbles on the sand and the colourful umbrellas…
Just a few distances from other chic cities such as Saint-Tropez, Cannes and Monte Carlo, the city of Nice is a more affordable alternative with a rich, mixture of culture. It is also near the Italian frontier so it also has Italian influences. It is also easy to navigate this city, with friendly citizens and a very affordable transit system! It costs only one euro and if you come from the airport, there is a card/pass for unlimited travel for one day.
I went to Nice in August of 2012 and boy was it scorching hot. It was perfect for beach bumming, but I went here to go sightseeing too. I found the heart of the city to be very colourful with a lot of decorative appeal. A must-see is Place Massena which is a charming city square with surrounding shops and restaurants. There are interesting and unique statues on a pedestal around the square and a beautiful fountain. Just as well, Cimiez warrants a visit, which contains the Chagall Museum, Musée Matisse and the Roman ruins of Cemenelum. On Cimiez hill, I was able to see Queen Victoria’s winter residential area, Hotel Regina. I, then, completed my tour of Nice by drinking half a bottle of white wine and eating a huge bowl of mussels for dinner with Chelsea. Unfortunately, we never got to taste ‘Socca’: a ubiquitous ‘street’ food made out of chickpea flour and olive oil (it is also called Farinata in Italy).
Recommended Places to stay:
Appart’City Nice Acropolis: Chelsea and I stayed in this hotel. It was even equipped with a kitchenette. Not at the heart of the city, but the tram takes you there in a matter of minutes.
Hôtel Le Petit Palais: This charming hotel is in Cimiez and it caught my eye whilst searching for a hotel to stay in Nice in booking.com. Considered a delightful bijou “belle epoque” hotel with lovely views of Nice. I’ve read lots of good reviews about it and the pictures just made me fall in love with the place. Next time I go to Nice…I’m booking a room here.
Victoria Meublé Backpackers Hostel: I didn’t stay here but this would have been my third choice when I went to Nice in August. My fellow English teachers/tutors from Canada stayed here. This is also where we met before heading off to the train station to go to Italy to teach for ACLE. Staff and even the people lodging here were very friendly and fun! Great place to meet people my age from all over the world.