Ah, the South of France – all the delicious pastries and intricate architecture of Paris hazily combined with the warm temperatures, sparkling blue waters and famed pink wine of Provence. It is hard to find anyone who has yet to fall in love with this sunny region on the Azure Coast; or as the French say the Cote D’Azur. Upon my arrival into Nice, I remember searching through instagram and google for the best things to visit and do; strangely took me a bit of time as I didn’t seem to find many lists of top beaches or restaurants all in one spot…as such – I have condensed it all into one little list for you lucky folk. Here is a little list of the Nice-est things in town to visit; may your explorations in Nice be efficient, sunny and doused in pain au chocolats and rose wine by the beach!
1. Get your tan (and instagram) on at Beau Rivage Plage
Being a seaside town; first plan of action is usually to hit the beach. Now there are public beaches which are equally beautiful however, that means bringing your own beach towels and glasses for wine..etc! I’m the type who would rather pack an extra dress than a beach towel, so if you’re anything like me, you would opt for the private beaches (plage en francais), and pay up a little fee of around €15 – €30 euros depending on which beach it is for a half day or full day sun bed slot. We paid €25 euros for the 1st row sun lounger slot at Beau Rivage Plage and it was fab – beautiful blue umbrellas and towels and when you fancied lunch you could pop right in to their lovely little restaurant for some delicious seafood and wine. Bliss!
Click here for more information and to book !
2. Pain au Chocolat at the Boulangerie Patisserie Chez Maitre Pierre
Mm France = guaranteed gorgeous pastries. After a nice sunny morning at the beach, it is time for a chocolate break… at one of the freshest Boulangeries (bakery) in town. Aren’t you lucky that I have done all the silly trip advisor searching so you don’t have to? This boulangerie is within ten min walking distance from Beau Rivage Plage and serves some of the most delish pastries in town. Definitely go early as everything sells out… look at that sad little pastry left on its own! Lucky for us we managed to grab the last two Pain au Chocolat’s and this was at around 2:30pm… so be quick!
Boulangerie Patisserie Chez Maitre Pierre
41 Rue Massena, 06000 Nice, France
Website click Here !
3. Grab a Pass Musee de Nice and explore the Musee des Beaux-Arts (Fine Arts Museum)…
Now not sure if many of you know this but Nice is proud to host 14 wonderful museums for you to visit… and for €10, you can visit all fourteen museums within 24 hours. Not only that but if you are below 18 or have a valid student ID then all museums are free. Talk about a great place to look at art! Now the Musee des Beaux-Arts is housed in a gorgeous building and is a wonderful little artsy escape from the otherwise super touristy areas. The paintings and sculptures of a high quality but the star is the building itself and the bright airy rooms the art is displayed in. A great place for some beautifully planned insta-photo taking as well!
3. Be inspired at the Matisse Museum…
Hmm so now that you have your museum pass, you should definitely use it. The next highlight of Nice’s large list of museums is this wonderful little creation dedicated to famous French painter and cut out creator Matisse. I’m a big fan of his work and love his use of bold colours and exotic painting references, as such this was actually the first museum I visited. A really well laid out museum with some of Matisse’s iconic pieces (in particular the blue cut out of a figure with her legs crossed), although not quite as extensive of a collection as I had originally expected (as most pieces are exhibited worldwide and travelling from museum to museum), it is still a great place to learn about Matisse’s time painting in Nice.
4. Seafood dinner time at… Les Pecheurs
Not sure about you but if I can smell salt in the air and see blue waters, I’m craving me some seafood. Les Pecheurs boasts some of the best seafood in town and is picturesquely situated on the port. Start with a flute of Champagne and some freshly shucked oysters…and finish with a bottle of clear Rose and the most delicious seafood pasta… this is definitely my kind of meal. Also did you know that the locals in the South of France prefer their Rose the lightest shade of pink? They taste match it like you would a white wine, so there’s something you don’t learn everyday (I got schooled when I tried to order a white with my seafood and got taught the Nice way to pair your wine with seafood !).
18 quai des Docks, 06300 Nice, France
+33 4 93 89 59 61
Website here !
5. Take advantage of your Musee pass at the MAMAC…
Last museum that I would recommend out of the fourteen is the fab Mamac or rather the Musee D’art Modern et D’art Contemporain (Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art) has a fantastic fun selection of everything from bright pink unicorn statues to vibrant pop art. Did i mention there is also this fab marble wall for you to take your OOTD to the next level? Mm so many reasons to visit this gem in the centre of Nice, oh and since you already bought the pass yesterday… entry is basically you earning your money back right?
6. Old Town wandering…
The old town of Nice is full of these charming little alleys and beautifully pastel walls and window shutters. Make your way through and towards the direction of the castle… (you will find out why in the next recommendation!). Grab a cup of chocolat chaud to-go and meander through the little streets, give Emma Watson a run for her money and channel your inner Belle from Beauty & the Beast. Except maybe minus the book and the snotty attitude, as this walk ends in an incline and you don’t need that kind of baggage weighing you down.
7. Hike up to see the best view of Nice… in Nice.
You cannot possibly visit Nice and not see it in its best possible view point. Head towards Castle Hill as you walk through old town, you will hit some stairs…okay, a lot of stairs. But trust me kid, it’s worth it. At the top of those stairs you will reach a large clearing (and playground and picnic benches and all that jazz) and there will be a sign that points to ‘Ascensur’ – which actually reads elevator, but not sure about you, i had to WALK up and did not in fact see an elevator. Follow that little sign to a circular platform that will be surrounded by die-hard bloggers and their insta husbands and ta da! You have reached your destination for the best view of Nice!
P.s I ‘hiked’ up in my pom pom sandals and swimsuit, so to be fair the word ‘hike’ is an exaggeration. Fortune favours the bold.
8. Time for lunch at the coolest restaurant in town… Le Plongeoir!
So, not sure if you can see… but this fabulous restaurant is built into a jutting rock from the ocean. Is it secure you say? Yes! Is the food delicious? Yes! What’s more, it is a great place to look out onto the ocean and the nearby beach and be entertained by the daredevil swimmers tossing their hardy bodies into the dark thrashing waters. Pack a bit of a coat as the weather may turn and as you are basically in the ocean, it gets a tad windy – although they do kindly give you blankets here as well. The restaurant is ONLY open for lunch from 12:00pm – 2:30pm so be speedy and arrive on the dot or make a booking here !
9. Go for a bit of a shop at Galerie Lafayette…
Mm Pierre Herme Macaroons and some designer retail…did you know that the French luxury brands are cheaper on home soil? Hello Dior / Louis / Chanel! That said, I was a bit of a rebel and had a browse in Gucci…turns out because the pound is suffering just a tad, everything is basically cheaper here. Time for a shop I say!
6 Avenue Jean Médecin, 06000 Nice, France
Open 9:30am – 8:00pm
10. The pastel pink square of Nice…the Place Massena!
Here is the beautifully instagrammable Place Massena with it’s gorgeous pastel pink walls and a checkerboard floor. A beautiful little square in town surrounded by cute cafe’s and luxury stores. Talk about dreamy and a must visit in the picturesque city of Nice. Millenials love their pink walls eh?
11. Morrocan fare at Sable D’Or
So if you didn’t already know, Morocco is a fracophone country. Aka; French speaking. As such, France itself is the home to many lovely Moroccan citizens and is also one of the best places for some delicious Moroccan food. This little gem in Nice is one that we stumbled upon and was definitely one of our highlights out there. Fluffiest cous cous I have ever had and just the best tagines. Simple, effective and scrummy. Winning !
74 Rue de France, 06000 Nice, France
Hope you enjoyed my little list of all the exceptionally nice things to visit in town and let me know in the comment section if you have more to add!!
Book to stay a weekend in Nice here…!