Nice grew up between the sea and the mountains, around one of the finest bays in the world, the “Baie des Anges” and is now the 5th biggest city in France.
The city permanently opened itself up to the world in the second half of the 19th century, with the influx of a large number of aristocrats and leaders from Europe, who were seduced by the beauty and climate of the small Mediterranean town back then. In 1860, Nice became a part of France and is proud of showing visitors its different identity, forged by a history that goes back to the Nikaia, pre-dating the Roman Empire.
In the narrow streets of Old Nice you will be transported far from Provence, to somewhere in Italy. Indeed, over Place Garibaldi, with its atmosphere of Turin, presides the statue of the hero of modern Italy.
The local restaurants compete for the honor of showing you the cuisine of Nice, although similar to that of Provence and Italy, has its own traditional base and diversity. In Nice, you will be captivated by this diversity which will leap out at you, all the tastes.... And the sun on your skin!
Traveling on foot, by bicycle or scooter are enjoyable ways of exploring the town. The brand new tramway connects the north-east to downtown Nice via avenue Jean Médecin and Place Masséna. A very good bus network operates both day and night. For a modest sum you can hire a bicycle from the ‘vélos bleus’ network before dropping it off at one of the hubs. Use the “VéloBleu” to find out the walking distance to the nearest hub and how many bicycles are available.
Here are the distances from different cities to Nice:
The tourist season was once during the Winter period. Visitors came to take advantage of the mild, sunny Winter in this little corner of the Mediterranean. Today, in Winter, from December to March, inhabitants of Nice are regular visitors of the ten ski resorts that are within an hour's drive of the city. Then, there are beaches which, from May to October attract residents and tourists alike with the latter keen to swim in the sea from March right through to November! Indeed, our little corner of France has an exceptional 300 days of sunshine per year and an Indian Summer that extends right up to the start of Winter.
The joke is that the popularity of the town is due to its name. “Where could we go?” a couple wonders. “How about visiting that town, it must be lovely, it's called Nice” (with an English accent). In all seriousness, there are many possible responses to this question which can be summarized thus: it is, no doubt, due to a combination of countless factors that the town is so popular in Summer and so pleasant in Winter. In no particular order we can cite the beaches and its 6-mile seafront in the town-center, including the famous Promenade des Anglais, its lively cafés and restaurant terraces, its stores, open-air markets, the most famous of which is in the Cour Saleya in the old town next to the less well-known flower market.
The heart of the town is still in Old Nice, the hot spot for night life, but other districts now compete for this role, such as La Libération with its other popular market, and the district between Place Garibaldi and the port, with the Place du Pin now considered to be Nice's answer to Paris’s Marais district.Nice shines through the atmosphere of its districts and its riches, such as its Belle époque architecture and Baroque treasures that you have to hunt out, but also through its cultural diversity.
The capital of the Côte d’Azur has played host to some of the great names in modern painting. The Matisse and Chagall museums stand testament to these, as does the MAMAC, the city's museum of modern art. Theaters, concert halls, cinemas and operas all contribute to a high quality daily cultural line-up that pulls in residents and visitors but also attracts the inhabitants of Antibes (12 miles), Cannes (19 miles) and Menton (19 miles). Nice is above all a great place to live. It is one of the most tree-lined towns in France and has an extensive network of cycle paths and a modern, efficient tramway. Since December 2018, line 2 of the tram has stopped at the two terminuses of Nice Côte d’Azur Airport. France's biggest airport after Paris is about 6 miles from downtown Nice and this is probably how you will get to the town.