Bienvenue à Nice!
You may have been in France, all the different cites, and seen all the attractions. Well, The city of Nice itself is considered an attraction, You’ll find ancient Roman ruins, medieval buildings, Russian Cathedrals, beautiful beaches, really good food and lots more. US dollars and traveler’s checks are not usually accepted in France, so it would be smart to obtain some Euros at any authorized facility or just use your credit card.
La Colline du Chateau
La Colline du Chateau, considered to be the origin of the town of Nice, is an old fortified site that was occupied by Celtic Ligurians. Later conquered by Romans in early Christian times, it developed into a medieval town and, eventually, the whole area became a stronghold with mighty walls surrounding it from what is now known as Vieux Nice. It gives a wonderful view overlooking the city. Not much is left of its ruined castle besides crumbling walls. There is an ascenseur which will take you three quarters of the way up, then you will need to walk the rest of the way.
You definitely can’t go to Nice and not visit Vieux Nice (the older section of the town). The region is filled with a maze of street side shops selling everything from souvenirs and wine to fashion attire and knickknacks. It is also a popular area of the city with both locals and tourists, offering more historic buildings and architecture, many home-made cuisine restaurants, lots of boutiques for shopping, as well as the flower and fruit market of the Cours Saleya.
Cours Saleya has a lot of small cafes and gift shops and is an exhibition of beautiful flowers and creepers that are very popular with tourists. The flower market operates from Tuesday to Sunday and transforms into an antiques market on Mondays.
In the heart of the city, there is the Promenade d’Anglais, a beautiful snapshot of the famous French Riviera and active with tourists and holiday revelers perching themselves on its shore or biking around it. The beach side restaurants serve some of the most delicious food in the region and the crepes sold by roadside vendors are to die for. The Promenade also has a couple of museums you can visit.
If you like Indian, Chinese, Southeast Asian or just world art in general, there’s the Museum of Asian Art at, 405 Promenade des Anglais (Just across the street from the airport). Entry is free.
Also on the Promenade is Parc Phoenix. It has over 2,500 different plants in botanical garden and tropical glass house settings. Very beautiful. It costs €2 to get in.
Play it safe!
Just as any place where crowds and tourists gather, pickpockets are a constant and serious problem. They usually operate in teams and prey on travel-wary tourists. They may look like harmless fellow passengers but are extremely skilled and will lift your wallet from either your front or back pockets without your noticing. Do not carry anything valuable or difficult to replace in your pockets. Use pouches underneath your clothing for anything valuable, including cash. In restaurants and cafes opportunist theft of handbags is a constant risk – keep them close at hand. Do not go to the sea front at night after 22:00 unless you are a group of at least 5. It’s a dangerous area and you are likely to get in trouble.
If you do become a victim of any crime, the National Police Station is where you need to go to report problems. It’s at the junction of Ave Marechal Foch and Dubouchage, a few hundred yards east of the Nice Etoiles shopping centre. They will supply you with the necessary statements to support insurance claims, but you will find the station very busy with other victims towards the end of the evening.
The Matisse Museum is a tribute of the genius of Henri Matisse, a celebrated French artist. The center houses several exquisite pieces of the artist’s early and contemporary work. Don’t forget to take home a print of Matisse’s art at the gift shop.
Musee Chagall. Includes art from the artists, Marc Chagall, Eleger and even Picasso. It costs €9.50 to get in.
Musee Matisse. This museum has a collection of paintings, drawings and sculptures from 17th century Genoa (Italian). Entry is free.
Next to the Musee Matisse is the Musee et Site Archeologiques de Cimiez. Here you’ll find glimpses of the Gallo-Roman settlement in Cimiez. Things like the Roman bathhouses and vintage artifacts along with a potpourri of other memorabilia. Lots of documentation on Gallo-Roman life (mainly in French). Free to get in, but if you want a guided tour, you will need to pay €3. They even have some activities for children.
Rue de France Pedestrian Zone
This is the most bustling and lively section of the town with gourmet restaurants, high-fashion boutiques, cafes and bookstores and even fancy street entertainers.
Want to go to the beach?
The beaches of Nice consist entirely of gallets (large flat stones), so you should bring sandals as walking on the stones can eventually be very uncomfortable. Showers are provided (for free) on all public beaches and there is a beach volleyball area that is netted off with white sand.
But this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a good swim in the sea. And I do mean swimming as the beach drops quickly and the tidal pull can be very strong – not for beginners or playing to far out. Lying on the beach for a sun tan or relaxation is also manageable as long as you rearrange the rocks/pebbles to sitting and lying confortably. You can also bring a lounge chair or a towel to lay on. Private beaches give various services such as restaurants and bars.
Keeping the Faith
Even if you’re on vacation, you may want to attend a place of worship
Notre-Dame Auxiliatrice, 36, Place Don Bosco.
St. Joseph, 21, Rue Smolett.
Saint Jean-Baptiste, Place du Voeu/Rue Alfrede Mortier.
St. Martin-St. Augustin, Place Saint-Augustin.
Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate, Place Rossetti.
Notre Dame du Port, 8, Place Ile de Beaute.
Basilique Notre Dame, 2, Rue d’Italie.
Reformed temple, 21, blvd Victor Hugo.
Lutheran church, 4, Rue Melchior de Vogüé.
Baptist church, 32 rue de l’hôtel des postes.
Evangelical church, 51bis, avenue de Pessicart.
Anglican church Holy Trinity, 11, rue de la Buffa.
(English) 35 rue Arson 06300
(French, Vietnamese, Chinese) 16 av. St-Joseph 06000
(French) 99 route de Canta Galet Espace Canta Galet 06200
(French, Tamil) 35 rue Arson 06300
Greek orthodox church Saint Spyridon, 2, Avenue Desambrois.
Russian orthodox cathedral Saint Nicolas, Avenue Nicolas II.
Apostolic Armenian church, 281 Boulevard de la Madeleine.
(Sunni) Mosque in Rue de Suisse (in the city center, near the cathedral – open at prayer times only)
(Sephardic) Beit Yossef 16 rue Alexis Mossa 06000 Nice
Some information in this article is based on some information from www.world66.comand www.Wikitravel.org