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Chilling on the beach side city of Nice France

Nice is a chill beach coastal town offering a mix of coastal beaches, parks, gardens and shopping. Nice France is the capital of the Alpes-Maritimes department on the French Riviera, sits on the pebbly shores of the Baie des Anges. The city was founded by the Greeks and in its history as a resort town later evolved into a retreat city for 19th-century European elite.

View of the beautiful beachside city of Nice France with the old town in view
View of the beautiful beachside city of Nice, France with the old town in view.

Moreover, the coastal town facing the Mediterranean as part of the French Rivera is well connected to other parts of Europe via rail, as well as regional islands you can hop on via public ferries for day tours.

View of the Mediterranean and French Riviera
View of the Mediterranean and French Riviera.

Furthermore, getting to Nice via rail is a recommended mode on entry. High speed rail is one of the best ways to travel within EU with the ease of no immigration needed for travel between EU states.

Nice central square

Nice France Place Massena, with fountain of the Sun statue sits at the center of the square
Place Massena, with fountain of the Sun statue sits at the center of the square.

Additionally, Nice has a central square called the Place Massena. It is a fountain of the Sun statue sits at the center of the square. Moreover, the Place Massena is a central square and shopping street by the beach. Here, you can find a variety of high end boutique, fast fashion retailers, store, restaurants and cafes.

Market squares and shopping streets in Nice France
Market squares and shopping streets.
Square at night
Town areas
Shopping areas

Also, restaurant dine-in prices are surprising affordable, with a meal under 20 Euros. It is a nice place to grab dinner too. And unlike the US, tips are optional here in Europe, and so here in Nice, France too.

Ice cream

Additionally, being coastal town on the outskirts of France. Nice is a great spot for affordable accommodation catering for the tourist crowd. Also, there is quite a huge selection of backpacker inns and hostels offering affordable nightly rates.

Nice town areas
Nice France town areas.

If you stay in the hostels are aplenty of activities on their event calendar you can choose to tag on. Moreover, the Nice Old Town (Vieille Ville) is a great place to grab lunch, being home a many small cafes you can grab an affordable sandwich, coffee or even ice cream.

Buzzing Old town in evenings
Buzzing old town in the city center on the evenings.
Flower markets
Peculiar building
Place Garibaldi Fountain

Beaches to check out

Furthermore, Nice offers great sandy beaches to relax at the beach Promenade des Anglais. It is a short walk from old nice with the sea running east-west. Here, you can find the Galerie des Ponchettes, a promenade along this beach side stretch.

Nice France Long winding beaches running the town coastal length
Long winding beaches running the town coastal length.

This Island is pretty much a resort island with rows of beaches. Interestingly, there are not many fine-sand sandy beaches here. Interesting landmarks here includes the classic Le Negresco luxury hotel. It is owned by the late Flamboyant Jeanne Augier.

Shops at night
Dinner in the old town
Le Negresco luxury hotel

Moreover, Nice city itself is well connected with local buses and trams. They serve the various city spots you can use for sightseeing.

Tram tickets
On the tram
On the bus

Also, if you are keen, the beach side does an electric train ride (Le Petit Train de Nice) at €8 a pop it brings you one end of the beach to the other, or you can simply walk the entire stretch on foot or on the sand.

Trams and buses are the way to get around the city, Nice France
Trams and buses are the way to get around the city. Often with dedicated green roads like this one.
Nice city is well connected by public transport trams
Nice city is well connected by public transport trams.

Moreover, there is plenty to see around here, from street performers, roller skaters to beach activities like para gliding and jet-skiing all along here.

Beach skaters
Lawn bowling
Get a go?

Also, you can soak up the atmosphere here. If you have a day to spare, a day on the beach side is one worth wasting a day on. Do remember to pack your beach wear, or grab one from the many boutique stores or fast retailers here at the Nice old town.

On the beaches
Out on the beach!

City green spaces

Moreover, Nice Castle Hill is a nice green spot to check out in Nice. It is home to a couple of green spaces and a great panoramic viewing area you can view the city from for free. It comprises of a public park with monuments and a cemetery. Also being on a hill, it does involve some physical climbing.

Lou Casteu graveyard at the mid section of the Nice castle hill
Lou Casteu graveyard at the mid section of the Nice castle hill.

Additionally, if your idea of a green space includes cemetery, the Nice monumental Hill top graveyard Lou Casteu is one worth visiting. The cemetery was settled in late 18th century on the lower plateau of the Nice castle hill by the old town.

View of Nice beach line and old town from the castle hill
View of Nice beach line and old town from the castle hill.
Lou Casteu entrance
Old town
Beach side
At the top!
Park vantage area
City quays

Moreover, notably, the cemetery was part of the former glacis of a citadel which reside here. Nothing taboo here, but the cemetery is a nice peaceful place to visit with good overlooking views of the city. Additionally, interestingly, the cemetery too is quite frequented by locals and joggers and close at 6.45pm daily.

Nice France waterfall
Huge man made waterfall at the parks in Castle hill.

Also, up here, you can grab fantastic panoramic views from the hill top and overlooking the Old nice town. There is also a couple of monuments, such as the Monument aux Morts war memoral, and man-made waterfalls at the hill-top park and gardens.

Monument aux Morts Nice France
Monument aux Morts, via castle hill, Nice France.

Museums and cathedrals

Nice is home to a couple of Museums and cathedrals you can visit as part of day fillers. Churches are generally free in admission, but closed during service times. Museums are typically closed on Mondays. Also, one museum to check out is the Musee National Marc Chagall, also known as the Marc Chagall National Museum. It is an art painting museum dedicated to the work of painter. It is located Northeast of the main Nice train station and cost 10 Euros per entry.

Place Garibaldi
Museum gardens
Archaeological ruins

One museum spot worthy of a day trip is to the Musée Matisse. Also, known as the Les Arènes/musée Matisse, it is open till 6pm daily (closed Tuesdays) and is located far north from the old town. Entry costs 10 Euros. It is accessible via a number of public buses from the beach area (e.g. bus services 15, 17, 20, 22 and 25).

Musée Matisse, with its iconic red frontage
Musée Matisse, with its iconic red frontage.

The 17th century villa museum has a distinctive red colour, housing paintings by Matisse. Also the exterior of the museum is home to the Palais Massena gardens, one the green areas you can find within the city.

The ruins by the Museum Archeolgoie de nice within the Matisse museum compound
The ruins by the Museum Archeolgoie de nice within the Matisse museum compound.

Moreover, the Matisse museum area is home to 2 more museums and a church in the area. Just beside the Matisse is the Museum Franciscain, the Museum Archeolgoie de nice and the Cimiez Convent. The one to check out the Museum Archeolgoie otherwise known as the archaeological museum. Also, here you can view the building ruins Located on a Roman archeological site, this museum features statues, coins & other ancient finds.

Garden flowers
Notre-Dame de Nice
Cathedral exterior

Notre-Dame in Nice, France

Additionally, the Notre-Dame de Nice is a scaled down Cathedral named after the famous Paris Notre-Dame. Here, the Notre-Dame de Nice spots a similar gothic classical exterior and and equally vast interior and stained glass windows.

Interior of the Notre-Dame de Nice France cathedral
Interior of the Notre-Dame de Nice cathedral.

Another notable Cathedral in the city includes the Cathédrale Saint-Nicolas de Nice. It is a Russian Orthodox Cathedral dedicated to St Nicholas and is open daily from 9am-12pm, 2pm-6pm.

Nice France Cathédrale Saint-Nicolas de Nice Orthodox Cathedral
Cathédrale Saint-Nicolas de Nice Orthodox Cathedral.

Great fine arts museum

Furthermore, if modern arts are your fancy, one nice museum to check out is the Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain. It is opens till 6pm daily and closed Mondays. It has a rather extensive gallery of collections spanning over 5 floors.

The Nice France Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain
The Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain, a great way to spend an afternoon in its large galleries.
Museum interior
Theater view

Also, the art galleries are vast and are logically linked to each of the gallery floors. It is quite a large museum and you may take upwards of 3 hours to view all the galleries. The top of the buildings offers some panoramic views of the city too.

City from the museum top
Arts museum
Nice central station

Moreover, the museum is connect to both a performing arts theater and a library. Also, do check out the Tête Carrée public library, it has a peculiar block head sculpture at the top of the building m just beside the modern art museum.

Nice France Tête Carrée public library block head statue
Tête Carrée public library block head rooftop statue.

Moreover, the Palais Lascaris is a small 17th century Baroque palace with frescoed ceilings, tapestries & antique musical instruments. You are good for under an hour here. Also, the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nice (10-6pm beachside) on the west-end of the beachside is a fine-art museum in 19th-century mansion with paintings by van Loo & Monet, plus sculptures by Rodin. Optional museums to visit includes the Théâtre de la photographie et de l’image.

That's all folks Nice France
That’s all for Nice France folks!

All in all, Nice France is a relaxing beach resort city with a good blend of beach, shopping, nature and history. It is a well-connected modern city worth checking out on your trip along the French Riviera. Next up, lets check out the regional Antibes or the streets of Monte Carlo Monaco next?



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