Everything is nice in Nice

posted in: France, Nice | 26
Nice was nice. Actually better than nice. Every inch of it was awesome. I am talking about the most beautiful and popular Mediterranean city along Côte d’azur a.k.a French Riviera.  We booked our holidays in Côte d’azur to celebrate our wedding anniversary in March, when the weather god was almost cruel on us sending snows and hailstorms our way in UK.  But Nice was different.  It welcomed us with warmth and sunshine and 17 degree C. Not bad huh!

Nice, More than just a beach destination:
Nice cuddles the most impressive Mediterranean coastline and boasts of not just 1, but almost 30 crystal azure beaches.  While the city itself was charming, the warm Mediterranean climate makes it the most compulsive beach holiday destination throughout the year.  Although the city gets soaked with tourists during summer, you can still enjoy the sun during winter and early spring.
Nice Coastline!
Mediterranean Coastline
 
Promenade des Anglaiss:
This is the celebrated promenade in France.  During the later 18th Century, a lot of English people started to spend the winter in Nice to escape the harsh winter in UK.  The idea of building a walkway was proposed by English, and hence it got it’s name Promenade des Anglais(Path of English).  It is 7kms long and runs from city centre to the airport. This promenade is a boon for joggers/walkers, skaters and cyclists. There are 24 hour self-hire bicycle service available all through the year in the promenade which eases the work for tourists like us.  Facing the promenade are modern buildings and holiday apartments with numerous cafes and restaurants.
Old Town of Nice
                     Vieux Nice or Vieille Ville (Old Town), city’s ancient quarter 
Vieille Ville of Nice:
What impressed me the most was the Old Town (Vieille Ville) that had pastel colored buildings (some bright and some tanned) which reflected old Mediterranean architecture and baroque churches.  We navigated effortlessly through the maze of tiny lanes enjoying the cool breeze and watching the houses that had clothes hanging in the washing line. The place was lively with lots of small shops that sold boutique, souvenirs, provencial fabrics, olives, spices, flowers (a lot of them), fresh fruits, vegetables, bread, fish market and was totally buzzing with people.  There were plenty of traditional restaurants and cafes that makes this place a food-lover’s paradise.  Taste the local culinary specialty La Socca, a crepe/pancake kind made with chick pea flour. Visit Fenocchio Ice Cream Parlor that’s famous for its collection of 94 flavours, 59 ice-creams  and 35 sorbets – Yes, we had like 10 flavours – salted caramel butter, rose and lavender combo, chocolate ginger, Jasmine, Tiramasu.. and I don’t remember the rest of the names, but everything i had, tasted heavenly! The price was nominal too.  So, don’t miss out this place if you’re in Nice.  Here’s a detailed article about their icecream written by a French chef/blogger.
Place Garibaldi:
Just around old town is the Place Garibaldi, one of the oldest and largest squares in Nice. It’s a great place to sit and chill, watch people and trams that cross through the square. You will never feel lonely here; be it day or night, there’s always people around.  This place is famous for its Saturday flea markets.  The hotel where we stayed was close to this square, so we spent a lot of our time here either having lunch or sipping coffee/tea, or drinking beer.
Place Masséna

 

Place Massena:

Yet another attractive and bustling plaza in Nice is Place Massena. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that this square is the heart and soul of Nice and is geographically the central location.  The striking black and white tiles, dramatic fountains, bright red colored buildings of Italian architecture together gives a great ambiance.  There are about 7-8 sculpture on a high pole that illuminates during the night.  You can see street artists and break dancers performing here on nice sunny day.  It’s almost impossible to visit Nice and not pass through this place.
Nice, Cote d'Azur (from Castle Hill)
                                                 Picture Courtesy: Jim, Flickr

 

Castle Hill (La Colline Du Chateau):
The view of Nice coastline was overwhelming when we saw it at the bird’s eye from the Castle Hill (La Colline Du Chateau). You can either climb the hill by footsteps or take the elevator which charges 1 Euro.  As you climb, you will find the dimensions of Nice in an entirely different view, all of which you want to capture in your camera saying “wow”.  It gives the view of the coastline, old town, harbour and surrounded mountains.
Nice is not just about coastline!

 

And much more:

Nice is not all about beaches.  Nice gives us a bunch of alternatives for everyone – there are plenty of art museums, music theatres, spa and wellness centers, shopping areas, and a great night life.  It also has some beautiful mountains and French alps at the vicinity.

Another interesting fact about Nice is its public transport –  Buses that connect you to the neighboring towns of French Riviera just cost 1 Euro.  You buy the 1 Euro ticket and can travel to any distance, and allowed to change 1 bus within 1 hour. For instance, you pay 1 Euro to travel from Nice to Monaco (8 miles) , or  Nice to Menton (18.5 miles) one way.  It’s lot cheaper than hiring a car, considering there are lots of small coastal towns and villages along the coast which you may want to hop on.

Nice is a gorgeous place to enjoy your time relaxing and doing absolutely nothing. The closest airport is Nice International Airport, and the city is connected with TGV trains that connect to major cities in France and nearby countries.

Stay tuned for more French Riviera stories, while I take this time to flaunt my itsy-bitsy french linguistic abilities 🙂

Au revoir et à bientôt!! 


26 Responses

  1. Thats' lovely…. 94 flavours, 59 ice creams? I so envy you… lol

    Cheers!

  2. I assume the anniversary was as wonderful as this place 🙂 And many many many more to come!

    Love those beaches and ice cream part is nice too!

  3. I wonder how the beach water shown in the first pic gets the bluish-green colour? The second one is normal – blue. Is this place in France or UK? The view from the top of the hill is nice. 17C is warm? We have 40C here and we are suffering!!!!!!! 🙂

    Destination Infinity

    • It was that aqua bluish/green color..Moreover when I took that 1st pic, it was getting cloudy. This place is in Southern France. Unfortunately (fortunate for us) 17 deg C is warm, considering the average of scottish summer which is 12 degrees. And you know, when we left UK, it was all snow and weather dropped down to 2 degs. So I guess 17 was good, isn't it?

  4. Nice way to spend your anniversary. Lovely pictures too.

    • Thank you Rama ..the time we spent in Nice was scattered over 3 days, mostly before our anniversary. We ventured out to a hilly place on the day of our anniv..more of it in next post 😀

  5. WOW! Belated Happy Anniversary Anu. You know we are planning a trip to Europe and I want to explore places like you, not through some travel agent. I want to spend at least 10 days in Italy. I will ask you or refer to your blog whenever we go ahead with it. And will surely hit that ice-cream parlour. 🙂

    • Thank you Saru…Oh sure..I have been to a lot of places in Europe exploring them by ourself. I too don't like and don't recommend going through travel agent. They only hit the top "must see" places, and at somepoint it will just be "I've been there, done that" types…You have very less opportunity to explore!

  6. Never knew there was town named Nice. Such colorful buildings! Wow.. And so many icecream flavours! You made my mouth water 🙂

  7. For a long time I thought Nice was pronounced nice haha. And I didn't know it was this nice until these pictures and your write up on it. Love the old-world charm that these buildings hold.
    Belated anniversary wishes, Anu. I wish every anniversary sees you some exotic place like this. 🙂

    Oh, and there's something else — Do you have your pre-digital age pics with you? If yes and you'd like to do this: http://myyatradiary.blogspot.com/2013/04/one-picture-from-my-photo-album-contest.html, I've nominated you. http://www.dnambiartravelblog.com/2013/05/one-picture-from-my-photo-album-rowing.html

    • Yeah,,I used to pronounce it as nice instead of Niece. Thank you for the wishes Divya.

      And thanks for tagging me on the contest. I would love to take it up..Just hunting for my non-digital photo now 😀

  8. Wow, what a charming little city to spend your anniversary. I love the stepping back in time quality your pictures exude, would so love to explore this town someday and dig into some flavors from the ice cream parlor too 🙂

    • Thank you Arti. I wouldn't mind revisiting this town again and again..just to get lost in the crowd with the smell of sea, and to have those icecreams 😀

  9. beautiful colours & composition….lovely!

  10. This pics stole my heart sply 3rd one!!

  11. If there's one place I have been in France, luckily it was Nice! The beach was amazing… The ship's emergency drill was done there when I was still one of the shipcrew and I hate drills but having the seaview of Nice's shores, I enjoyed every minute of it.

  12. Love love love this blog Anu. Great descriptions and I love the how to get there parts and things to do. Will definitely visit your blog for infos!

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