search &
explore
Nice

NICE
DESTINATION GUIDE

The Ultimate Guide Before You Plan for your Next Trip

Have the ultimate French experience by the enchanting French Riviera in the beautiful city of Nice. It is the ultimate French paradise to celebrate the beauty of life and enjoy the fascinating gardens and the view of the sea. Surrounded by the Maritime Alps and the sea Nice offers its tourists a very pleasant weather to enjoy. Located at the central point of the French Riviera, Nice is the perfect place to explore the tranquil coastline of the Côte d'Azur. Due to its rich history and the position on the map, Nice has a very diverse cultural influences including the English, Italian, Greek, and of course French.

Attractions in Nice

Starting from the fabulous seaside scenery to the ornate litttle gardens, the beautiful hill top locations to the museums of great painters, Nice is bound to give you some of the best experiences of your life.

Musee d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain

Opened back in the year 1990 this tourist-friendly place is something which you must explore. The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, which it is popularly known as, has four tower facade all made from Italian marbles. The exterior design of the museum has a very whimsical and swanky appeal as it would take time for you as a tourist to observe the pattern in the madness. Inside the museum you will find collection of fine art pieces from the years 1960's and 1970's. A wide collection of Neo-Realistic art along with Minimalist paintings, American Abstracts, and Pop Arts can be found in this museum. It also has few samples of the artworks done during the Nouveaux Réalistes movement.

Jardin Albert I

Located between the Avenue des Phocéens and the Avenue de Verdun this park-like garden is characterized by its multiple sculptures and ornamental design. This huge garden is often frequented by the tourists and it is indeed a huge place to explore. With an enchanting fountain known as the Fontaine du Soleil, surrounded by sculptures of the Greek Gods, this park stretches far upto the north till the Place Masséna. The place also has a very famous amphitheater which is surrounded by Palm and pine trees and it houses many events like in the form of music concerts and rock festivals during the summer and the spring. The park is in close proximity to Avenue Jean Médecin, a very popular shopping destination for the tourist.

Promenade du Paillon

This recently opened pathway is very popular amongst the locals and the tourists alike. Stretching from the Promenade des Anglais to the National Theater of Nice this place is vibrant and mostly frequented by a hip young crowd who likes to spend their afternoons by the banks of the Paillon River. This entire area is designed by a famous landscape architect called Michel Pena and it is definitely a site to visit. With children's playground and lots of open green spaces you will have a wonderful time with your family. There are ornate gardens surrounding the area and also at the same time you will encounter water jets and fountains.

Cours Saleya

If you are visiting Nice then it would be an absolute sin not to visit this open-air marketplace of the city. Back in the 18th century this place used to be the park for the upper-class of the city and now it is a charming little hub where you can feel the life of the French Riviera. The cool shades of the trees is complemented well with the shades of the Neo-Classical mansions of the place and there are a number of pubs and restaurants at this place which will serve you quality Niçois cuisine. Except for Mondays, when the market is closed, this place is full of life as you can always hear the hawkers selling fresh flowers and other produces. You can also visit the famous yellow house where Matisse lived during the years 1921 to 1938.

Parc des Arenes de Cimiez

Nice is a city of lovely parks and gardens and this beautiful destination is a perfect example of it. The park offers plenty of benches to sit and relax. There are also many garden ways which will entice you to have a nice stroll down the park. The scenic beauty of the park will certainly mesmerize you as you will also get to enjoy the scenic appeal of the place. The park itself is not just a place full of plants and flowers but it also has a historic significance. Hidden between the trees and the various exotic plants you will also find remains of ancient Roman ruins. Walking through this park is like having a mini-archaeological adventure as you will find the roots of the Italian influence of this beautiful coastal city on the French Riviera.

When To Reach

Nice is usually characterized by hot and humid summers experiencing a mild temperature, as it is the norm in the European coastlines. The beach loving tourists flock to Nice mostly during the summer months. The rainfall is moderate and it is nothing out of the ordinary, though Nice do not experience a separate monsoon season. The winters a chilly with cold winds coming from the sea. However, there are almost no snowfalls as far as Nice is concerned. The months of mid-March to April and the months of September and October are the best times to visit Nice for the Indian tourists as the climate remains ideal and the crowd is less.

Seasonality

High Season: The summer months are definitely the peak season as far as tourism in Nice is concerned. People gather from all across the world to bathe in the sea and under the sun. Not only Nice, but summer is considered to be the peak season of entire French Riviera.


Shoulder Season: Winter is most definitely regarded as the low season because of the chilly weather. However, for people who do not mind a little bit of cold it is the ideal weather to explore the place.


Low Season: The months of September and October are considered to be the shoulder season as the crowd is less and the weather is perfect. It is bit on the chiller side but it is never too harsh. The months of March and April are also a part of the shoulder season.

How To Reach

Luckily there are many direct flights connecting all the major cities of India to the Côte d'Azur Airport of Nice. There are also some connecting flights which will take you to Nice from Paris. The choice is abundant and before booking you can choose the cheapest and the quickest trip to the French Riviera. Alitalia has regular trips from New Delhi to Nice along with other big names in the form of Swiss, Aeroloft, Air France, and Lufthansa making daily flights. There are also some other airlines in the form of Jet Airways, Ethiad Airways, and Emirates who also take-off daily from Delhi and reach the city of Nice.

Why should you go?

If enchanting coastlines and charming old towns appeal to you then you must take a trip to Nice. This fabulous city near the French Riviera is sure to make you spellbound with wonders and to add to the reasons is the fact that Nice itself is a very tourist-friendly town. There are a lot of accommodations available for the tourists and they are all very accessible. You also get to have a fabulous view of the ocean and its proximity to Italy is something which makes the place even more appealing. Nice has awesome beaches and the best part is that it is mostly pedestrian friendly making it easier for you to explore.
10 Reasons to visit Nice -
  • Nice experiences a warm and pleasant climate throughout the year and that essentially makes it a superb holiday destination.
  • Nice has an air-port of its own which means that you can directly land in the city without having to board a train or a bus.
  • Nice is very pedestrian friendly and you can actually hire a bike or walk on foot to cover the entire Promenade des Anglais
  • Nice is a very vibrant city full of musicians and artists and so the vibe is always colorful and charming.
  • A trip down to the old town of Nice is something that all tourists savor.
  • Nice is also very affordable when compared to Paris because it has multiple accommodation options and you can choose according to your budget.
  • Nice has various museums and art-galleries exhibiting works of great artists of the previous centuries including the likes of Picasso, Matisse, and Chagall.
  • Nice also has a wide variety of restaurants and pubs with a multi-cuisine options. There is Italian, French, English, and even Indian restaurants available in Nice.
  • Nice is also known for its various gardens and parks and it is an ideal destination to travel with family and kids.
  • Even if you are not willing to take a day-trip down south to the beaches you can still enjoy a sunny afternoon in the markets and the various squares of Nice.

Getting Around

As a tourist-friendly destination Nice is well-connected via its public transportation. Many expats also stay and conduct business via Nice. The three main forms of transportation are bus networks, trams, and rented cycles and cars. The bus and the trams are the most effective modes and if you are planning on traveling for a week or two then you can buy a monthly ticket for entire France, which will be much more cost-effective for you.

Bus

The Lignes D’Azur bus network is a very popular mode of transportation in entire Nice. The locals mostly depend on this network of buses to take them from one part of the city to the other. The tickets are mostly 1.50 EUR per trip but you can also purchase the all-day pass available for just 5 Euro per person.

Trams

In Nice trams are faster modes of commute when compared to buses.The tram lines connecting the entire city in an U-shape format was being introduced back in 2007. Since the locals and the tourists are taking advantage of this effective transportation mean. The tram lines have made the road-traffics much less.

Rented cars and bikes

You can always rent a cycle or a car when you are in Nice. Renting a bi-cycle often guarantees a fabulous trip of the Promenade des Anglais but it is an expensive affair. Also at the same time, if you are traveling in a group then renting bi-cycles for each one of you can become more costly. If you have an international driving license then you can rent a car or a caravan and roam around the city.

Weather

Nice experiences a Mediterranean climate and the weather is never too harsh, round the year. The proximity to the sea makes sure that summers are warm but never too hot and the winters are bit chilly, but never freezing cold. The autumn and the spring seasons are the best for traveling as you will experience both the warm weather and the cold wind from the sea. With the temperature ranging from 15 to 20 degree Celsius, it is ideal for walking and traveling to the beaches. Nice also experiences small patches of rainfall but they do not sustain for a considerable amount of time.

What to pack in your suitcase?

  • Take few t-shirts and tops for casual wear. The afternoons are really warm especially if you are walking.
  • Take sunglasses and caps because the sun is really bright in those part of the country.
  • Take a light jacket and a scarf because the evenings can become a bit chilly especially with the sea-breeze coming.
  • Take both heavy boots and light flip-flops for the evenings and the afternoons respectively.
  • Always carry a folded umbrella in your bag because it might start to rain all of a sudden.
In the Spotlight

Nice has a very vibrant restaurant scene with lots of French, Italian, and English eateries spread all across the town. Then there is indeed the fabulous array of street food stalls which are frequented by the tourists and the locals alike. The charming view of the sea coupled with the experimental cuisine makes Nice a perfect place for dinning.

Restaurant Le Chantecler : One of the most reliable name serving authentic French cuisine in the city of Nice also offers its guests a fascinating beach view.
The Michelin-starred restaurant has gained a lot of reputation for its scrumptious foods and enchanting scenic appeal. You can taste the samples of the daily special menus before ordering and select from the 15,000 bottles of wine stored in their cellar. The interior decor the the restaurant gives you a feel of the 18th century France you will certainly be dazzled with the various chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and the beautiful paintings hanging from the walls.
Le Vingt4 : This lounge has a very contemporary appeal in terms of decor and the selection of menu. The chef is not afraid of experimenting with other continental cuisines and you must most definitely try-out the tomato salsa
which is prepared with a Portuguese touch and also the duck aiguillette served with grapes. Now if you are a vegetarian then also you get to have a plenty of choice in the form of the various tofu dishes for which the restaurant is also famous. The interior design evokes a cozy and a casual appeal as you can spend hours talking and nibbling on the delicacies foods.
La Roustide: It is practically a crime if you visit Nice not have a truffle based meal and since you absolutely need to do that you should visit this authentic French eatery. Famous for its delightful truffles served in various forms and shapes this place is an ideal destination for comfort foods in Nice.
Starting from baked potato truffles to lentils and whipped cream truffles, you can get a wide array of cuisines in this place. Apart from truffles you can also order the classic French cuisines in the form of foi gras, risotto, and gnocchi. The place is also good for late night intimate dinners.
La Rossettisserie : It is the ultimate restaurant for the meat loving tourists in the city of Nice. Various varieties of red meat and poultry are available in different forms as you can enjoy roasted pork to beef, from lamb to braised duck legs.
Each of the meat dishes are served with mashed potatoes and chips making it a delightful meal for the guests. Sometimes the meat dishes are accompanied with vegetable ratatouille making it all the more authentic. The decor of the place is also something to talk about. Located right on the lively street of Vieux Nice this place has a very ancient looking doorway and a rustic appeal in the decor.
Les Pecheurs: No European coastline destination can be complete without its fair share of seafood restaurant and Les Pêcheurs perfectly plays that role for the city of Nice.
Literally translates to "the fishermen" this place serves the freshest seafood in entire city of Nice. If you are visiting the place during spring then you must definitely try the herbal crust sea bass fillet. There is also a very popular fish stew with coconut milk giving you an authentic Niçoise flavor. You can also most definitely try out the grilled lobster. The place has a rustic appeal with wooden ceiling and nautical interior. The view of the sea adds to the appeal of this place.

Due to its multi-cultural exposure and the proximity to the coastlines, Niçoise cuisine has a different flavor altogether. Completely different from what you might experience back in Paris, Niçoise cuisine has a pretty strong Italian and Anglo influence. They have their own kind of pizza and also their own pancakes. The authentic flavors of the French Riviera is captured well in every bite you take of this Niçoise cuisine. They have a strong inclination towards fresh vegetables, which are often served with meat or tuna.

Socca: A very popular Niçoise street food is actually a thin crust chickpea pancake and it is sold like hot cakes in every corner of French Riviera.

Salade Nicoise:This classic Niçoise salad consisting of everything fresh and hearty. Starting from radishes, onions, black olives, to hard boiled eggs and tuna, it is a very healthy delight loved by the locals.

Le Pan Bagnat: It is a typical sandwich stuffed with Salade Niçoise. The bread is normally a whole-wheat bread but at some stalls you will also get white bread.

Pissaladiere:This is a Niçoise version of a pizza which is served with toppings like anchoives and olives along with onions. It is again a popular comfort food for the locals and the tourists.

La Daube Nicoise: This red wine and beef recipe is a very hearty delight for the locals. The beef is cooked for several hours with vegetables and red wine.

From food, clothes, to antiques-you name it, they sell it! The wide variety of open-air marketplaces of Nice will certainly take you for a twirl as they add vibrant colors to the already ornate city. All tourists traveling to Nice must pay a visit to these marketplaces because it is the best way to feel the vibe of this beautiful town on Côte d'Azur.

Marche Aux Fleurs : Which was initially opened as a flower market back in the year 1897 is now a popular marketplace selling foods, antiques,
and of course flowers. Located in the Cours Saleya region of Nice this wholesale market is indeed a sight to see for the tourists. The market also sells a wide variety of food and wine and as a traveler you can just browse through the stalls without even buying anything from there. There are many roadside restaurants bordering the place and after strolling down the market in the afternoon you can sit under the typical stripped French awnings and have a nice lunch.
Marche de la Liberation : Now if you are looking for an authentic food market in Nice then Marché de la Liberation should certainly be your choice.
You will get to venture inside the true soul of French cooking and French cuisine as you will see the stalls selling all kinds of wines, breads, cheese, herbs, and a wide variety of meats. The meats section is exclusive and it is just like an open library for someone who is learning about French cuisine or interested in French culture studies. Located in the Avenue Malausséna, Place du Général de Gaulle, in the city of Nice, this food market is held every Tuesday to Sunday.
Place Saint-Francois: The maritime spirit of the city of Nice becomes vivid in this lively fish-market set in the coastal area of the city.
The magic of this place is that the vendors here are the fishermen and women themselves and they turn into hawkers trying to sell their freshest catches. With live catches on display this place has a very authentic French appeal which you will not find in any supermarket selling frozen stuff. Locals gather here every week to select the best of the lot and this place is also frequented by many renowned chefs. The magic of the place is that the fishermen also share their secrets and recipes with the buyers making it a delightful sight.
Place du Palais de Justice : Have you ever sniffed an old book instead of a new one? It has a different smell altogether. This place in Nice smells exactly like that.
This market is the perfect place for a tourist to take back nice and cheap souvenirs in the form of handicrafts and art pieces made by local artists. The artists here turn themselves into vendors of their own products and some of the stalls sell some fascinating old books and journals. The books here are available in French, Latin, Italian, and even English and if you search hard you will also get to find some of the first editions or some secret journal of a great 19th century artist. The place also a fine collection of old postcards and letters.
Vide Greniers : The name of this market literally translates into the phrase "Empty your Attic" and this unique marketplace is something to look for.
People from all across Nice come to this place to sell their unwanted stuff. Some old clocks, some used chair, and even some antiques are sold here on a regular basis. Since the sellers are not seasoned vendors and they are mostly in instant need of cash you can definitely strike a bargain and get something really exotic. However, you will not get to return the thing once you have bought it so it is vital that you are a hundred percent sure before you make a move.

Nice is a part of France and they accept Euros. As it is a popular tourist spot you will find plenty of ATMs all around you. Most of the bigger hotels will accept international debit and credit cards but you should also keep some cash handy. Many open markets and the stalls, along with the restaurants do not accept card. They prefer to be paid in cash. However, bigger denominations of cash are also a bit of a trouble since they would not be able to provide you with sufficient changes. That is why it is vital that you carry Euros in smaller amount and withdraw cash whenever necessary. Various domestic and international banks have their ATMs all across Nice.

Special Tips

  • Do not carry more than 200 Euros at a time because there are many ATMs there and carrying more cash is always a risk.
  • Like India the pin codes of the ATMs are of numbers only and not alpha-numeric thereby making it easier for you to withdraw cash.
  • Since Nice is a multi-cultural city most of the ATMs have an English language option making it easier for you to withdraw cash.
  • Do not depend soley on cash and check first whether the restaurant or the shop accepts credit or debit cards. In that way you will avoid more hassles.
  • However, some of the places will not accept a card payment for bill amount less than 25 Euros in which case you do need to pay by card.

Since France is a part of the European Union in order to enjoy a vacation in Nice you need to apply for a Schengen Visa. This tourist visa is easy to obtain if you abide by the protocols. Check out VFS Global website for the list of documents you will need in order to get your visa to Nice. With a tourist visa you can stay up till 90 days in Nice provided you show your return flight tickets and hotel bookings accordingly. The background check is thorough but it does not take much time if you provide your details properly.

Special Tips

  • You need to state the purpose of your visit in a cover letter stating the duration of it. You need to show the embassy that your purpose is for tourism only.
  • You need to back the claim by showing your plane tickets including the return tickets and hotel booking done in advance.
  • If you are employed then you will need to take a NOC from your employer. If you are a self-employed person then you need to show your ITR documents for the last 3 years.
  • The Visa office will also require you to provide Bank Statements of last 6 months.
  • You need to provide your passport photos along with the photocopies of your Adhaar Card or the Voter ID card.

Safety is not a major concern when it comes to Nice. Records show that this second-popular tourist destination of France is indeed much safer when compared to Paris. The threats of pick-pocketing and mugging are lower when compared to that of Paris, however, you should be weary of any sort of scams. Tourists in Nice are often subjected to scams especially when they are trying to buy products from the second-hand and antique markets. It is advisable that when you are not sure about the product they do not hastily pay the Euros.

  • Police Emergency Contact: 113
  • General Emergency: 112
  • Fire brigade: 115
  • Forest Fire: 1515
  • Car Breakdown Assistance: 116
  • Ambulence/Medical Assistance: 118
  • Pan-European Emergencies: 112

Entertainment & Event

Nice is the land of many festivals and art loving people welcoming foreign cultures.

  • Flora and Fauna

    The south-eastern corner of the country of France is home to many plant and animal species. This is the ideal place for the sighting of many original French animals and birds. Starting from the Przewalkski’s Horse to the European Bison, you can witness many grass-eating animals out here in the open space. Apart from these there are several kinds of deer available across the forestland of Nice and all across the French Rivera.

    Wild boars are also available in plenty and it is very common to catch a glimpse of a herd of wild boars walking across the wild. Apart from the boars there are also wolves in various parts of the French Riviera. The number of wolves keep the balance of the ecosystem as they are the only meat-eating animals found in this land.

  • Festivals

    Nice is a city of festivals. Starting from the Mars aux Musées event for the young people to the Foire Internationale de Nice festival selling the products of all the home-based craftsmen, Nice is well-known for its various occasions. Then there is the Festival C'est Trop Court where you can see some of the best French and Flemish short films being broadcast. Festival du Livre de Nice is definitely an ultimate treat for all the book-lovers whilst the famous Fête du Château recreates a castle-feast scenario accompanied by music and performances.

    Like any other European city Nice is also well-known for its musical festivals and the names like Nice Jazz Festival and Les Nuits Musicales de Nice, Blues Festival in Nice, pops up in every music-lover's mind. Then there is of course the very famous Carnaval de Nice which is now an integral part of the core French culture.

  • Culture

    Due to its rich history, Nice is actually a very culturally vibrant city. There is a definite Italian and English influence as far as this part of France is concerned. The diverse cultural scene allows the people of Nice to explore many avenues of art and music. The people of Nice are very welcoming to tourists and they have particular inclination towards artists and musicians. Over the centuries the city has given refuge to many great artists and painters and even now they are carrying on with the tradition.

    The people of this place have a very profound aesthetic sense and that is why they give special importance towards the decor of their homes and outside. The people of Nice are very open-minded and they are more welcoming to foreigners when compared to other parts of France. The people of this city are also more open to speaking English when compared to the people of Paris.