Built upon the graceful curve of the Bay of Angels, Nice is one of France's great cities, with palm lined boulevards, beautiful architecture and a melting pot of cultures and cuisines. Well-serviced by Nice international airport, Nice is an extremely easy city both to travel to and to get around in. Major airlines catering to all budgets fly into Nice, with the lesser-known Norwegian Air also offering extremely competitive pricing along with Easyjet. Buses and taxis connect the airport easily with the city centre. Nice has an excellent and cheap public transport network, with a new and modern tram system, as well as buses and trains connecting Nice with the rest of the Cote d'Azur (unless there's a strike, which, it must be said, is known to happen rather regularly).
In Nice you’re spoilt for choice on any budget, whether dining on sophisticated French fare at the Michelin-starred Hotel Negresco, taking a table at a cosy Italian restaurant in the old town, or eating fresh baguettes and soft camembert from a market stall at Cours de Salenya. Enjoy an elegant seafood lunch at a beach club along the Promenade des Anglais (washed down with a crisp glass of local white wine, bien sur), or explore the narrow cobbled streets of the Old Town,where you'll find lots of cafes just perfect for people-watching while tucking into the local Salade Nicoise. In Nice you’ll discover cheerful French bistros serving up Provencal food with excellence and style, such as the Bistro d’Antoine, while the city’s Italian heritage shows in standout pizzerias like Pucci’s. While in Nice, don't miss sampling the Nicoise speciality socca- a chickpea crepe cooked in a woodfired oven and served all oily and peppery in a piece of tin foil. Delicious! For more detailed listings, visit our restaurant guide.
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One of the great attractions for art lovers visiting Nice is the Musee Matisse in the Nicois suburb of Cimiez, where the great artist lived for many years and was buried in the local cemetery. Other notable sights in Nice are the Musee Massena covering Nice's modern history, and the giant war monument carved into the cliff by the port to commemorate the 4000 Nicoise who died in the Great Wars. There's also the impressive Place Massena under the giant ferris wheel and a truly wonderful new park called Promenade du Paillon - a 30 acre park of sculptures, gardens, fountains and kids playgrounds running from the city centre to the sea.
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Perhaps one of the most iconic activities of Nice is to walk, cycle or rollerblade along the palm lined Promenade des Anglais.This famous boulevard by the sea is the site of the Battle of the Flowers each year in February/March, although it is gorgeous year round-with majestic hotels, sophisticated beach clubs and sun--drenched pavement cafes. Nice is rich in belle epoque, art deco and neoclassical architecture; take one of the excellent guided walking tours to learn more about this historic city. Marvel at the luxury superyachts in the port, have a flutter at the grand Casino Barriere and walk among the colourful flowers at Cours de Saleya market. Head down to the beach for watersports and sunbathing, or head up to the Parc du Chateau for a picnic of bread and cheese with a glorious view over Nice and the Bay of Angels stretched out below.
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Nice has a gloriously long stretch of beach that curves around the Bay of Angels and runs all the way uninterrupted to Antibes. However, this beach is covered in smooth pebbles rather than sand, so many people elect to rent a deckchair in one of the many private beach clubs. These clubs range in price and character- some are more sophisticated, some have a party atmosphere, and others are family friendly. There are public stretches of beach as well, with showers and toilet facilities; you can also rent mats if you want to cushion yourself from the smooth stones. As is customary on the Riviera, there is a great range of watersport equipment to be hired, including pedalos, jetskis and kayaks, as well as pontoons you can swim to and laze the afternoon away. You can also go parasailing, kiteboarding, banana boating or wakeboarding.
Also see: Beaches in Nice, France
In Nice itself there is the 9 hole compact course at Golf Country Club de Nice, which also has pitch and putt facilities and an extensive driving range with more than 30 covered bays. There is also a practice centre at the Marina Golf Club ,with two putting greens and a driving range with 30 places. However, for the best golf courses on the Riviera you’ll have to travel between 20-45 kilometres from Nice. There are some sensational clubs along the coast with challenging courses and breathtaking views; see our Golf Page for more comprehensive listings.
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As one of France’s largest cities, there’s no surprise that there’s lots do at night in Nice, whether you fancy a classy cocktail looking out across the Mediterranean, a heaving nightclub, or live music in one of the English pubs. Start off with a cocktail at a beach club at sunset, then head to champagne bar l'Effervescence, trendy Bliss or atmospheric Les Distilleries Ideales. For a dash of Riviera glamour have a drink in the plush walnut and velvet surroundings at the Hotel Negresco, before heading to Casino Barrière for a night of blackjack and cabaret. When it comes to nightclubs, Le 3 Diablos is young and fun with wild student nights, while High Club draws the big name DJs and Ghost is another popular mainstay. L'Ambassade is the most glamorous nightclub in Nice and can be difficult to get into, while there's a good gay scene offering in Nice, with Le Six and Le Klub as the obvious choices.
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