What is the best in – Nice:
1. Surprise: go to the beach. Do you prefer the public seaside beaches along the famous Promenade des Anglais and around or do private beaches like Castel Plage or Blue Beach make you feel more luxurious, safer and relaxed? Whatever your choice, in Nice la vie est belle, life is beautiful
2. The Hotel Negresco – with its Neptune Plage to treat your partner(s) to a €€€€ drink and two Michelin star € 130 dinner in le Restaurant Chanteclèr in this landmark Hotel at the Promenade des Anglais, where modern meets classic with lots of iconic and historical chic (let’s face it this is Nice) – memorable in all senses, or maybe shameless DeLuxe – read more below
3. Rooftop bars – having a chill drink with a view in Nice is almost a must with so many options
- Le Hussard in Vieux Nice serves great food&drinks with the view of L’ Opéra (the Opera House) and the sound of the live DJ’s or
- Le Méridiens lounge Corner on Floor 10 with stunning sea views or
- Try L’Aqua Bar with pool (Summer only) and le 7 Blue Bar, both in Hotel Aston la Scala or
- La Terrasse du Plaza – in the Boscolo hotel , dress code towards smart, with great views of the Bay of Angels or try
- The Radisson Blu Rooftop offers a pool and La Terrasse lounging, bar and dining on 700 square meters and very popular at sunset
which one has your favorite view and cocktail?… leave your experience below
4. Where to go for lunch or dinner?
- Don’t miss the Café de Turin for the best Fruits de Mer, or at least go pass there to taste the ambiance of this institution serving seafood for over 100 years.
- We think the popular Le Séjour Restaurant and Café was pretty good, it has closed down recently hopefully, to reopen again.
- Try Les Pêcheurs at the port of Nice for more fantastic seafood
- Oliviera in Vieux Nice for the real Mediterranean cuisine and exceptional olive oils
- The Hard Rock Café – one of the few beachfront Hard Rock Café’s in the world
There are many other upmarket and options in Nice, but a known fact is that sometimes finding good food and friendly staff can be hard in this city.
list your restaurant finds in Nice in the comment area below, tell us where you had a good night out
6. For beautiful views of Nice go to Cimiez hill area, with architecture like the Roman theatre, the 19th-century luxury hotels the Grand, the Excelsior and the Majestic at Boulevard de Cimiez and the Cimiez Monastery. The Nice Jazz Festival (started in 1948) was held here annually until it moved to Place Masséna in 2011 (because of lack of visitors…believe it or not).
7. Three major museums if you want the top of collections of art: the fantastic Matisse Museum is at Cimiez and the National Chagall Museum is at the south end of Boulevard de Cimiez. Both artists lived here for a major part of their lives. Another real highlight is MAMAC, the Modern Art Museum in the heart of Vieux Nice.
8. Castle hill for more beautiful views walks and views
9. Discover the fantastic light in Vieux Nice, especially towards sunset, with its pastel-coloured houses remains unique, possibly the reason why shopping is called window-licking here (lécher les vitrines)?
Shoes … and more
Schoolkids suffer loneliness and are looked down at if they don’t wear the right brands, so, unless spoiled by the parents, they save all their money to get hold of a pair of Nike (or other famous brands) sports shoes to stay accepted by their classmates.
The name Nike is today most known for shoes and not for Nike the Greek goddess of Victory, in honour of whom the Greeks who lived in Marseille around 350 BC decided to call their new settlement Nikaia after, which is today’s Nice or Nissa in the local dialect.
A sense of surviving and looking for victory must have guided the citizens of Nice through another time very recently to overcome the terrible attack by the man (called another loner or wolf, by many called a loser) who drove into the crowds on the famous Promenade des Anglais on purpose.
Nice la Belle is used as its nickname, but for the inhabitants and visitors, the mild climate seekers from the North of Europe (in particular, wealthy English since mid 19th century), this chill beach city set in beautiful nature on the Mediterranean really is très Belle, like the whole coastline of the French Riviera, which is full of Italian and French origin and influences.
No wonder Nice is the second most popular tourist city destination in France after Paris!
To have a beach on your doorstep is the beauty of any chill beach city and realizing you are closing your eyes on a beach in chic Nice will likely be remembered with a special smile.
To be honest, the beaches in Nice itself aren’t that great, if you compare them to other beach city beaches. And the best beach is actually outside Nice, at Villefranche-sur-Mer.
The main choice you have to make is to go to a public or a private beach.
You can stretch out on one of the public beaches, but you’ll be warned all over about taking good care of your belongings and of theft. Not very relaxed for a day at the beach in my view.
The long Plage along the Promenade des Anglais is doubtless the most famous beach stretch in Nice, which for a pebble beach is remarkable, but its setting as an easily accessible city beach is just great, as it starts in front of the Vieille Ville (Old Town) all the way south to the airport. Parts of the beach are private.
La Réserve Beach lies east of the Port of Nice and is very popular with young locals diving off the old three-level diving board.
A bit further is Coco Beach, with one restaurant and shower facilities. Both beaches are really small and often crowded, so look out for a space on the rocks (if available). Again, thieves are common here.
This is the far best and doubtless most popular public beach of Nice within a 15-minute bus ride, it is a long beach with a fine pebble sort of sandy structure.
The 15 private beaches in Nice are likely your best bet to spend your day at sea but at a price. All facilities are charged for, from entrance fees, lounge chairs, lockers and so on, including food as the owners of these beaches want to make their business.
The beaches are fenced off but people are “allowed” to cross the beach close to the shore.
So if you like to indulge for one or more days, spend some €€€ and like watching and to be looked at, the private beaches in Nice are definitely your thing!
Many are raving about Castel Plage being likely the best of all private beaches in Nice, as it is away from the public hassle, has its own high-standard buzz and serves good food with a smile, both of which are not always the case in Nice. Next to it is Ponchettes Beach.
Ruhl Beach is a legend since the 1920’s and very much popular with families with a lifeguard, a swimming pool and other facilities, ánd good service at the restaurant
Neptune Beach is another very popular beach in front of Hotel Negresco (read the story below)
Florida Beach has the name of being the most fashionable
Beau Rivage Plage is part of the Hotel Beau Rivage, next to the public beach with the same name
The Lido Plage is renowned for its Provencale restaurant and Sporting Beach has built a name for being the best venue to spend the whole day at the beach.
The inexpensive Opera Beach (yep, next to the Opera House) is set right in front of the Vieille Ville of Nice, so you can really call it a chill city beach.
Apart from the many options, the question remains if you prefer public beach (with its annoyances) or go private at a price.
Nice the city
Vieux Nice (or the Vieille Ville) is beautiful and full of life and character and as celebrated as the beaches during the daytime, as is the charming Vieux Port (Old Port) at the other side of Castle Hill.
The Promenade des Anglais was called initially the Chemin de Promenade in the 18th century, when a group of rich Englishmen proposed the construction of a walkway along the seaside, as a project for the numerous beggars invading Nice in winter. It was renamed the Promenade des Anglais in 1860 and it has kept ist fame and elegance since.
One of its landmarks with a special story is the Hotel Negresco.
Henri Negresco came originally from Romania, where his parents were innkeepers (like Jamie Olivers). He went to Paris for his further training in confectionery and later worked in Monte Carlo as a butler. Much later he became director of the Casino in Nice.
With his business partner Darracq, Negresco bought land from the sisters of a religious institute to develop a hotel with more than 400 rooms and his friend, Dutch architect Eduard Niermans, was commissioned its design. The Hotel Negresco opened in 1913.
But history turned also for Henri Negresco.
In 1914 he was mobilized for WWI and his hotel was commandeered into a temporary hospital. His clientele never returned and Henri Negresco died bankrupt in Paris in 1920.
The story of a visionary man, to be remembered when strolling past his landmark creation at the Promenade des Anglais.