About Nice Côte d'Azur
If you arrive in Nice by air, you will get straight 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 shade of the very typical feather duster palms. Roller skaters glide easily between sun chairs, limousines and beach restaurants. This is Nice’s cosmetic face. The city’s heart is a bit further away - by the Cours Saleya market square. The main artery is la rue Droite. Stroll around the maze of small streets in the old town, la Vieille Ville, you can turn off it into a tiny square here, a tiny alley there or a cool church beyond it.
Are you looking for shopping? You will find the shopping district above Place Masséna, where the big department stores and surrounding streets with names like rue Paradis and rue de la Liberté display their shops.
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.
The cathedral is a masterpiece of Baroque architecture. Admire the beautiful ornamentation and friezes in the refreshing cool of the cathedral. On the outside, the shimmering colours on the dome have become one of Nice’s landmarks.
Phoenix Parc Floral de Nice
Phoenix Parc Floral de Nice is the world’s largest greenhouse. Seven different tropical climates (damp, in other words) covering seven hectares, packed with 2.500 different plants. You can walk in the shadow of an (almost) unknown palm tree here, look at a baby shark, smell a thousand flowers and listen to bird song- on the loudspeakers.
Le Relais Negresco
Le Relais Negresco has an upholstered decor for those who want to give their evening a bit of luxury and ostentation. A great piano bar with big cigars and big bills.
Good to know
Buses and trams are an efficient way to travel in Nice and along the Riviera. You can use the same ticket on both bus and tram. Timetables and a map are available from the tourist information office.
Trains are the most comfortable and fastest way to travel along the Riviera. The station in Nice is on avenue Thier. From here, it takes 20 minutes to Thiers, Cannes, 20 minutes to Monaco and 1 hour to Saint Raphaël.
Bicycles can be rented from a company called Nice Allocation Rent. Rollerblades can be rented from the Roller Station.