What to see and photograph in Nice
The beauty of Nice has attracted English aristocrats and Russian emperors. Reasons to visit Nice are;
- Place Massena
- Promenade des Anglais (Walkway of the English)
- Beaches of Nice
- Nice Notre Dame
- Russian Orthodox Cathedral
- Hotel Negresco
- Nice Observatory
- Watch a football match
- Day trips to Cannes, St Tropez and Antibes
- Day trip to Monaco
Hotels in Nice are good value. This makes Nice a good base for exploring Monaco, Cannes, St Tropez and Antibes.
Place Massena is the central square of Nice. It is surrounded by red buildings of Italian architectural style. These red buildings combined with the black and white tiles make Place Massena an Instagram worthy location in Nice. The square is fully pedestrianized other than the trams which pass through. Concerts are often held in Place Massena as well as the annual Carnival Parade.
In the center of Place Massena is the Fontaine de Soleil. This translates into English as the Sun Fountain. In the center of the fountain is the Greek god, Apollo. He is surrounded by 5 bronze statues, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Saturn and Mars. A lot of people will sit on the edge of the fountain enjoying a sit down and maybe an ice-cream.
Promenade des Anglais
The Promenade des Anglais stretches 7 km along Nice’s Mediterranean coast. This translates into English as the ‘Walkway of the English’. In the 18th/19th century Nice was frequented by rich people from England. They were attracted by the beautiful views of the coast. One cold year (1820) several beggars headed south to Nice. The English decided to put them to work, in the construction of a walkway. Later, the city of Nice decided to increase the original walkway into the huge promenade you see today. The name ‘Walkway of the English’ is in respect to those English who had the original idea back in 1820.
Beaches of Nice
Along the Promenade des Anglais you’ll pass many beaches. The beaches of Nice are more pebbles than sand. If you wish for a swim in the sea then you’ll be heading to the beach in Nice. There are several bars and restaurants along the beach. It would be difficult to find a more beautiful location to enjoy the sunset whilst enjoying a cocktail.
Nice Notre Dame
Nice, like Paris and Marseille, has its own Notre Dame. It’s located in the shopping district of Nice in between the train station and Place Massena. Nice Notre Dame was built in 1868 and it’s the largest church in Nice. The architectural style is Gothic and there is no charge to go inside.
Russian Orthodox Cathedral
The Russian Orthodox Cathedral is the largest of its kind in Western Europe. In 1864 a Russian emperor visited Nice. He loved the beauty of it and the climate. A bond between Russia and Nice was formed. A Russian heir to the throne died in Nice in 1865 and this cathedral was built in his honor. It was completed in 1912. If you have never been to Eastern Europe and seen one I recommend visiting this one. You can only view it from a distance and it’s quite a walk from the center of Nice. If you don’t have a desire to see it then I would skip this one.
The iconic hotel of Nice is the Hotel Negresco. When you go for a walk on the Promenade des Anglais you’ll pass this hotel. It is more than a hotel, in fact it’s a palace which was built in 1913. Famous guests at this hotel include Salvador Dali, The Beatles, Louis Armstrong, Elton John and Princess Grace of Monaco. There is a large collection of artwork located in the hotel. With it’s history, beautiful interior and top class restaurants, even if you’re not staying at Hotel Negresco you should still make a visit.
Located on top of Mount Gros and visible from downtown Nice is the Nice Observatory. In the 19th century this was one of the most important observatories in the world. Because the technology used then was so advanced it’s still a working observatory today. The cupola on the main observatory was designed by Gustave Eiffel. To find out more read my Nice Observatory guided tour experience.
Watch an OGC Nice Football Match
Nice has its own world class football stadium, the Allianz Riviera. You can watch OGC Nice play in Ligue 1 and European competitions here. Tickets for a game start as low as €10. A free return bus from Nice Massena is provided on match days. Where else in the world can you watch a top European league football game for €10? Right next door in Monaco! Read about my OGC Nice and AS Monaco match day experiences.
Take a Day Trip to St Tropez, Cannes and Antibes
St Tropez, Cannes and Antibes are all short train rides away from Nice. It’s possible to visit each of them (or all of them) on a day trip from Nice. Each of these towns offers better beaches than you’ll find in Nice. St Tropez is a town for the rich and famous. Cannes is famous for its film festival. Cannes was also the final destination of Mr Bean in the movie, Mr Beans Holiday. Antibes is the most relaxed of these French Riviera towns.
Take a Day Trip to Monte Carlo, Monaco
Monaco is a 25 minute train journey from Nice. If you want to easily add a country to your list then you must make this train ride. Two interesting Monaco facts are that it’s the 2nd smallest country in the world and the most densely populated country in the world. There is plenty to see and do in Monaco. As they have a royal family you can visit the palace. There is a piece of work by Gustave Eiffel located in the country. Read about my day trip to Monaco from Nice.
How to get to from Nice to Turin by bus
There is a direct Flixbus between Nice and Turin. They leave from Nice airport terminal 2 and take around 4 hours. As always with the Flixbus you will ride on a new bus with plenty of legroom. You can charge your phone on route and enjoy complimentary WiFi. I would recommend sitting on the right of the bus on this journey. There’ll be incredible views of the Cote d’Azur and Italian Riviera.