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The most ideal way to explore Nice is on foot. This way, you can admire the city from various perspectives: by the waterfront, amidst the lush vegetation, or from the summits of the surrounding hills...
Let's start with the renowned classic: the Promenade des Anglais. On one side, there is the clear turquoise sea and the legendary pebbles. On the other side, a boulevard adorned with palm trees, beautiful structures, and iconic hotels like the Negresco, which exudes a nostalgic charm from the early 20th century. The promenade is adorned with kiosks, pergolas, blue chairs, and white benches... Take a moment to pause: the constant flow of pedestrians, joggers, and cyclists is utterly captivating, and the conversations are always animated!
Then it's on to the Cours Saleya, the city's pedestrian thoroughfare. In the morning, the fruit and vegetable market floods the area with color, and in the afternoon, flowers take over. In between, restaurants and cafés for a break during the day or a drink in the evening.
On the way to the old town, or Vieux-Nice, admire the pretty pink-clad Tour de l'Horloge. Then wander through the timeless maze of passageways and alleyways with their colorful facades and numerous stalls. Olive and craft vendors, gourmet shops, small cafés, restaurants... Look up from time to time, there's washing hanging in the windows!
Like a large garden, Nice boasts many green spaces, including the Promenade du Paillon, named after the river that runs through Nice and is covered here. This sort of green corridor, which begins at the immense and majestic Place Massena, is an oasis of greenery all year round and cool in summer. At the end, the Place Garibaldi awaits you, with its arcades, bars and restaurants, and its statue in honor of the Nice-born Italian general.
From here, take a trip to the harbor, where you'll find the "pointus", small multicolored wooden fishing boats. You can even board one of them, Lou Pagassin, to cross the harbor from one shore to the other.
Finish this wonderful exploration on la Colline du Château. It offers an incredible vantage point over the city, as well as an insight into its organization. First there's Vieux-Nice, at the foot of the hill, with its distinctive layout and simple architecture. Then, on the other side of the Paillon, the modern city, with its more rectilinear streets and Haussmann-style architecture. Today, the château no longer exists (destroyed by Louis XIV's troops during the siege of the town in the early 18th century). All that remains are a few ruins, intermingled with several relaxation areas, a wooded park and a waterfall, making this a truly pleasant place to stroll.
And for hiking enthusiasts, follow the coastal path from Coco Beach at the foot of Mont Boron, to the east of the town. In less than 2 hours, you'll reach the Villefranche-sur-Mer roadstead. An exceptional walk, accessible to all, facing the sea and under the cover of beautiful vegetation.
Nice is a veritable open-air museum. First and foremost for its architectural heritage, which includes Baroque, Art Deco, Belle Époque and modern styles. Since 2021, the city has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
But Nice is also famous for its many sites and places, which give an insight into its very special history, made up of alternating dominations by different powers and influences over the centuries: Greek, Roman, Ostrogothic, Holy Roman Empire, Provençal, Savoyard, Piedmontese...
Its name, from the ancient Greek Níkaia, already sounds like the legacy of its foundation around the 4th century B.C. by Greeks from Massalia (Marseille).
Then, in the Cimiez district to the north of the city, you'll find traces of the ancient Roman past still visible: arenas, as well as the remains of thermal baths accessible from the Archaeology Museum. Nearby, the Franciscan monastery and its cloister are well worth a visit. The adjoining garden (of the Monastère de Cimiez), formerly the monks' kitchen garden, is beautiful and soothing. Perfect for reading, taking a siesta or enjoying the panoramic view over the city (once again, it's one you just can't get enough of...). As Nice has been a source of inspiration for many artists, it's also in this area that you'll find the Musée Matisse and the Musée National Marc Chagall.
The Arts & History Museum in the Palais Massena is the best place to learn about Nice's more recent past. It tells the story of the city and the Riviera from its annexation to France in 1860, at the time of the Treaty of Turin, by which King Victor-Emmanuel II ceded the County of Nice (and the Duchy of Savoy) to Napoleon III in exchange for his military help in building the unity of Italy against Austria. The setting is sumptuous and the history particularly interesting.
Finally, we can't recommend enough the MAMAC, the nickname of Nice's Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain, near Place Garibaldi, for its fine permanent collection, top-quality exhibitions and rooftop terraces... overlooking the city!
Other museums are also worth a visit if you have the time: the Palais Lascaris and its fine collection of period musical instruments, the small Charles Nègre photography museum, the Jules Chéret fine arts museum, the Phoenix park and its huge tropical greenhouse (great with kids...).
Niçoise cuisine is simple and traditional, with the scent of sunshine and the Mediterranean, and is the pride of its inhabitants. It's easy to understand why!
Healthy and tasty, it features fresh, local produce: fish, seafood, aromatic herbs, olive oil and seasonal vegetables offered by market gardeners at the city's many markets, who increasingly work organically, respecting the earth and its people.
Refresh yourself with the famous Niçoise salad, made with tuna, tomatoes, lettuce, anchovies, hard- boiled egg, olives and olive oil vinaigrette (Niçoise if possible!). Try socca, a chickpea galette with olive oil cooked over a wood fire, or pan bagnat, a sandwich version of Niçoise salad in a round loaf, which you can enjoy on the go in the little restaurants of Vieux-Nice or as a midday snack on the beach. Share a tourte de blettes (Swiss chard pie) or a pissaladière, a delicious pastry-based tart topped with candied onions, anchovies and black olives.
There's also Farcis niçois (a vegetable stuffed with meat, breadcrumbs and olive oil), daube niçoise, ravioli niçois, olives niçoises ... As you can see, there's a little something extra when it's niçoise!
The "Cuisine Nissarde" label promotes authentic, home-cooked Nice cuisine. The label is awarded to restaurateurs who commit to respecting recipes, product quality and the raw materials used.
The best way to soak up the city is to live it Nice-style!
In other words, adopt a relaxed, authentic way of enjoying life without rushing around, taking advantage of simple pleasures and local conviviality. And this is true whatever the season, because Nice is a city where it's great to travel all year round.
There's no shortage of examples: breakfast on a sunny terrace, strolling through a market, taking a dip in the sea, relaxing in a park over a picnic with friends, enjoying an ice cream, playing a game of pétanque in a square, sipping a glass of natural wine in a wine bar at aperitif time...
You'll see, it's very easy!
And let's face it, you'll quickly fall in love with Nice's art of living...
31 UNIQUE BARS, RESTAURANTS AND WINE SHOPS in Nice ARE WAITING FOR YOU!
We currently have 16 bars, 22 restaurants and 9 wine shops listed in Nice. Natural wine is a key indicator of where to find local, seasonal, organic, quality, and responsible products for all consumers, who want good wine and food without chemicals.
Below are all the venues recommended in Raisin, based on your position, closer ones are listed first.
LOCAL, SEASONAL AND ORGANIC MINDSET IN SIGHT!
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