Book a hotel in Nice
The Greeks and Romans did it, as did rich lords, film stars, artists and thousands of tourists. They were just going to pass by, but instead remained in Nice and along the Riviera. Some for just a few weeks, others for months and years. They were too captivated by the light, enchanted by the scents and charmed by the taste of olives, wine and succulent vegetables. All this with a chance to dabble their toes in a turquoise sea! In addition to this, a Nice Nouveau has evolved – a sassy Mediterranean metropolis with pulsating nightlife, new avant-garde hotels and daring art galleries. The most fashionable street, the Promenade des Anglais, is the Champs-Elysées of the whole Riviera. Have you already bought your return ticket?
If you arrive in Nice by air, you come straight out into the city’s most beautiful avenue ‒ the Promenade des Anglais - the Mediterranean’s Champs-Elysées. The magnificent seaside promenade runs between the luxury hotels and the beach. All in the shadow of the very typical feather duster palms. Roller skaters glide between sun chairs, limousines and beach restaurants. This is Nice’s cosmetic face.
The city’s heart is a bit further away, however - by the Cours Saleya market square and the maze of small streets in the old (more...) town, la Vieille Ville. The main artery is la rue Droite. You can turn off it into a tiny square here, a tiny alley there or a cool church beyond it.
You will find the shopping district above Place Masséna, where the big department stores and shops surround streets with names like rue Paradis and rue de la Liberté. Most of the buses depart from Place Masséna, if you want to travel up into the hills above Nice. A number of fairly sleepy and well-heeled suburbs stretch from the Chagall museum to the inescapable Cimiez hills to the north. The hills are a must, both for the Matisse museum and the view, or just for a picnic in an olive grove, with or without the summer jazz festival.
Eastern Nice is a bit more down-market and needs more local knowledge ‒ apart from the area close to the harbour at Port Olympia. The nightlife there has been given a boost recently, ever since a low-cost cruise ship started to drop anchor at the port in the summer of 2005. To the east lies the billionaires’ playground of Cap Ferrat, the Eagle’s Nest of Eze and Beaulieu-sur-Mer, which has been there since antiquity. To the west, the road passes world-famous artist’s colonies such as Saint-Paul de Vence.