The beauty of Nice has attracted all from English aristocrats to Russian emperors. Things to do in Nice;
- 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 excellent value by French standards. As a result, Nice makes the perfect base for day trips to Monte Carlo, Cannes, St Tropez and Antibes.
Place Massena is the central square of Nice which is surrounded by red buildings of Italian architectural style. These red buildings combined with the black and white tiles make Place Massena a top Instagram spot in Nice. The square is fully pedestrianized, however, trams share the pedestrianised area. Finally, concerts are often held in Place Massena as well as the annual Carnival Parade.
Fountain of the Sun
In the center of Place Massena is the Fontaine de Soleil. This translates into English as the Sun Fountain. An interesting fact is that the centerpiece of the fountain is the Greek god, Apollo. He is surrounded by 5 additional bronze statues of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Saturn as well as Mars. A lot of people will sit on the edge of the fountain, for this reason it’s a popular meeting area.
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 who 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. For this reason, 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 by many beaches. In fact, the beaches of Nice are more pebbles than sand. In addition to the beaches, there are several beachside bars and restaurants. Finally, it would be difficult to find a more beautiful location to enjoy the sunset whilst enjoying a cocktail.
Nice Notre Dame
Nice, like Paris, Marseille and Luxembourg, 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. Lastly, its architectural style is Gothic and there’s 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 as well as the climate, therefore 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. Unfortunately, you can only view the Russian Orthodox Cathedral from a distance and it’s quite a walk from the city center. For this reason, it’s one of the lesser known things to do in Nice.
The iconic hotel of Nice is Hotel Negresco. As a matter of fact, when you go for a walk on the Promenade des Anglais you’ll pass this hotel. It’s 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 as well as Princess Grace of Monaco. Moreover, there’s a large collection of artwork displayed throughout in the hotel. With its 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 central Nice is the Nice Observatory. Throughout 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. Finally, to find out more read my Nice Observatory guided tour experience on my travel blog.
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. In addition, free return buses from Nice Massena are 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. As a matter of fact, it’s possible to visit each of them (or all of them) on a day trip. You can visit them independently, alternatively, you take a French Riviera 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. An interesting fact about Cannes is that it was the final destination of Mr Bean in the movie, Mr Beans Holiday. Finally, 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 as well as the most densely populated. Most importantly, there’s plenty to see and do in Monaco. In fact, there’s a royal family and you can visit the palace. Architecture fans will be pleased there’s a piece of work by Gustave Eiffel located in the country. Read about my day trip to Monaco from Nice. Alternatively, you can go on an organised day trip to Monaco.
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’ll ride on a new bus with plenty of legroom. In addition, you can charge your phone on route and enjoy complimentary WiFi. I recommend sitting on the right of the bus on this journey, as a result, you’ll enjoy the best views of the Cote d’Azur and Italian Riviera.
How to get from Nice to Andorra by Train
Firstly, it’s a 2 leg journey to Andorra, there’s no direct train or bus.
Train from Nice to Toulouse
I bought the train ticket from Gare de Nice-Ville to Gare Matabiau, Toulouse the day before departure and the price was €78 one way. If I had planned a little better and bought the ticket online 3 days earlier I could have got it for around €48. Finally, on this train there weren’t any phone chargers or WiFi service.
Bus from Toulouse to Andorra
Firstly, you may have a couple of hours in Toulouse therefore check out the things to do in Toulouse. The bus station in Toulouse is in front of Gare Matabiau train station. I recommend you buy your bus ticket online, the cost is around €36 for the 3 hour journey. Finally, it’s a micro bus therefore perfect for the ride through the mountains of France and Andorra.
London to Jakarta by land – Turin to Milan by bus
North Cape to Cape Town by land – Andorra to Barcelona