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Located on the French Riviera, the city of Nice was founded by the Greeks and later a retreat for the European elite in the 19th century. Its beauty comes from the 19th century mansions and boulevards, Italianate old quarter, and the natural terrain which provides a number of great viewpoints. Not surprisingly, it has inspired many artists over the years, most famously the likes of Henri Matisse, Marc Chagall and Yves Klein, so has also become home to some excellent galleries and museums. But what are the best things to do in Nice? Read on to find out more.2019 October 07
Promenade des Anglais
This promenade stretches for 7km along the coastline of Nice, and has been part of city life in Nice since it was built in the 1820s. Full of joggers, skateboarders, friends, families and couples all day long. It is also a central part of the Nice Carnival in February, filled with parades and celebrations.
Its Eastern side is lined with regal 19th century palaces, while the promenade itself is not short of benches to rest, pergolas and palm trees to take some shade from the sunshine.
The Vieille Ville is the oldest part of the city, with a strong Italian feel to the architecture and setting. Its small streets and squares are filled with local shops and restaurants which are often lively until the early hours of the morning.
Although the outside of the Cathedral may not be particularly eye-catching, the inside is certainly impressive. Located in the old quarter of Nice, it was built in the 17th century in a lavish baroque design. It has 10 ornate chapels with sculptures, paintings and gilding adorning the inside.
Another must-visit in the old quarter is the Cours Saleya. This flower and fresh produce market is open every day (except Mondays, when it becomes a flea market). It’s best to beat the rush and get there early!
Parc de la Colline du Château
At the top of this steep hill on the east side of the city, you will find some of the best panoramas of the French Riviera. Look back over Nice and the Baie des Anges and spend some time enjoying the view and picking out the landmarks of Nice.
You can walk up to the park (if you’re feeling up to it!) or take the free elevator to the top. Colline du Château means ‘castle hill’ - and while the medieval castle no longer exists, the hill (and its amazing views) still stand!
A great one to entertain the kids, Parc Phoenix is on the Western end of the promenade. The entry is 3 euros for adults, while children go for free. Its 7 hectares are full of 2,500 plant species, ponds, themed zones and animal enclosures (think turtles, otters, ducks, flamingos…)
Having inspired and been home to many artists, Nice has plenty of art museums for you to explore. Some highlights are:
The Chagall museum Dedicated to the work of the painter Marc Chagall. He was so involved in the design of the museum, he even decided where each of his works would be placed, the layout of the garden, and designed the stained-glass windows in the concert hall.
Matisse Museum For one of the world’s biggest collections of the artist’s works head here. Musée Matisse builds a picture of the impressionist’s influences and processes. Matisse lived in Nice for nearly 40 years, and died there in 1954.
MAMAC This contemporary art museum has pieces by Warhol, Lichtenstein and Yves Klein, among many others.
Day trips from Nice
Explore some more from your base in Nice - there are lots of beautiful places that are easily accessible from Nice for a day trip, either by train from Gare de Ville Nice or by car. Cannes is just 40-45 minutes away, while you’ll find Monaco 35 minutes away in the opposite direction. Or why not try Juan-les-Pins and Antibes? You can reach there in under 30 minutes.
So now you have a few ideas of how to spend your time in Nice, it’s time to head over to our new easyHotel Nice Palais des Congrès - Old Town! Our very first hotel in France is now open and available to book now. And coming soon... we’ve got a way to help you save even more! Our brand new membership scheme is heading your way. Sign up here and you’ll be the first to know all about clubBedzzz.
Oh and, p.s . If you fancy winning yourself a 2 night stay at easyHotel Nice, we’ve got a competition to celebrate the opening - head over to our Instagram page to enter.
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