929km (577 miles) S of Paris; 32km (20 miles) NE of Cannes
France's fifth-largest city and the French Riviera's capital, earthy Nice carries its Belle Époque heritage lightly. Turn-of-the-century mansions lord over the unceasing procession of fashionistas, rollerbladers, and beachgoers on the seafront promenade des Anglais. Brightly colored blooms greet passersby in cours Saleya, while a state-of-the-art tramway sweeps past majestic place Massena. Terra-cotta-clad buildings crowd the narrow streets of the Vieille Ville (Old Town), which is filled with antique shops and bistros. The city brims with artistic talent from Impressionists at the Beaux-Arts museum to contemporary stars at MAMAC.
Things to Do
Admire the gracious palm-lined promenade des Anglais from the Colline du Château's (Castle Hill's) grassy summit, the perfect spot to see the bay sweep round to the distant Cap d'Antibes. Postcard-pretty Cimiez is home to the Musée Matisse and Musée National Marc Chagall, while the suburb's Roman amphithéâtre provides an idyllic back-drop to Nice's summertime Jazz Festival.
Fur-coated dames lead their diamante-collared dogs along rue Paradis, home to France's great fashion houses such as Chanel and Sonia Rykiel. Lose yourself among dazzling flowers or dig out a bargain at Monday's antique market in the open-air cours Saleya. Centuries-old chocolatier, Confiserie Auer, is the place to buy sweet Provençal treats, fruits confits (dried candied fruits).
Nightlife & Entertainment
Start your evening in the unruly patchwork of bars along the cours Saleya, where you can sip pastis as you watch street performers dazzle with acrobatic escapades. Classical music fills the Opéra de Nice, while international pop stars perform at Palais Nikaïa. Serious partygoers head to High Club on Promenade des Anglais. The roulette ball clatters in the Art Deco hotel casinos on the waterfront.
Restaurants & Dining
Tuck into socca (chickpea pancake) in the cours Saleya. Vieux Nice is the place for lovers of Niçoise cuisine, while beautifully restored Place Garibaldi excels in French bistro food. The Nice Etoile area is a hot spot for up-and-coming young chefs and for gastronomic wine shops where you can sip wine with the locals over nibbles. Local favorite dishes include Provençal lamb stuffed with fragrant garlic and rosemary or a salty salad Niçoise, which marries local olives and anchovies with Dijon vinaigrette.
Travel page content provided by Zagat © 2013, Google.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.