Things to do in Nice + Monaco + Andorra

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

Things to do in Nice - Fontaine du Soleil in Place Massena

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

Things to do in Nice - 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

Things to do in Nice - Beaches

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

Things to do in 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

Things to do in NIce - 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.

Hotel Negresco

Things to do in Nice - Hotel Negresco, Promenade des Anglais

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.

Nice Observatory

Things to do in Nice - Cote d'Azure Observatory

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

OGC Nice - matchday experience - Allianz Riviera stadium - location

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

Port Hercules, Monte Carlo Harbor, 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

how to get from Nice to Turin. Flixbus from Nice to Turin

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

Train from Nice to Toulouse - €78 - 7 hours

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

Bus from Toulouse to Andorra la Vela - €36 - 3 hours

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

2019-01-06T15:47:10+00:00December 18th, 2017|France, Western Europe|13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Katie December 19, 2017 at 6:32 pm - Reply

    Nice looks like the perfect base for visiting Monaco and the beach towns like Cannes, St Tropez and Antibes. Place Massena looks beautiful and the facts about the fountain are very interesting. It looks very convenient to go to the Allianz Arena with the complimentary bus from the center. I’m eager to check out the Hotel Negresco – it seems to be so full of history!

  2. Dada December 19, 2017 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    Ahh how I wish it to be summer soon again so I could visit Nice! I found your post about Monaco and combine Nice this could be a perfect long weekend escape from Switzerland where I live. I would love to visit the Nice observatory, have an early morning power walk on the promenades des Anglais but most of all have I would love to have a sip on a cocktail on the beach.

  3. Abhinav Singh December 20, 2017 at 6:30 am - Reply

    Just few days ago a friend of mine was telling me of her trip to Nice. After seeing your blog, I realize why she was so impressed. Of all the places you have listed, the beaches and the Nice Notre Dame attract me the most. The architecture is amazing.

  4. Ami December 20, 2017 at 7:16 am - Reply

    I hoped to do Nice the last time but I see that I missed a good journey by not doing so. It looks gorgeous. Not just the beaches but also, the heritage and architecture bit. I can see myself going clickety click with my camera here.

  5. Lisa December 20, 2017 at 8:05 am - Reply

    This is a beautiful part of France, and with so much to see too. Got it about the pebble beach, I’ll remember to wear my flip flops to the shore ha! Totally love the Russian cathedral; it’s like being in Moscow without actually being there! I’d like to take the bus too from Nice to Torino, a really unique route and with great views too I’m sure!

  6. Abigail Sinsona December 21, 2017 at 2:40 am - Reply

    Nice is truly Instagram-worthy, based off of your photos. I love the view of the beaches along the promenade. It looks even more beautiful at night. I could spend my nights there just enjoying the view or the square too. The beautiful architecture looks so amazing!

  7. Ha December 21, 2017 at 11:43 am - Reply

    I planned to visit Nice this summer but could not make it due to lack of time. Place Massena looks like my kind of place with that beautiful architecture. A day trip to Monaco is a great deal too! I always use Flixbus to go around Europe thanks to its cheap price and convenience.

  8. Cat December 21, 2017 at 11:19 pm - Reply

    It is interesting how you can find a Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Nice! I didn’t know that Monaco is only 25 mins away. That would be a great day trip to take!

  9. Samantha December 22, 2017 at 11:58 am - Reply

    I have spent quite some time in the South of France, and these ring a few bells! Thanks for sharing and bringing back wonderful memories 🙂

  10. Shona @ paraphernalia.co December 25, 2017 at 4:03 am - Reply

    Nice looks beautiful. Easy access to Cannes, Monaco etc make it a great base, not to mention sundowners at the beach. The architecture is stunning. Gustav Eiffel certainly made his mark. 🙂

  11. Tracy December 26, 2017 at 12:35 am - Reply

    Nice is one of those places that I keep meaning to visit but never do – definitely will keep it on the agenda when we are back in Europe. Does look an interesting place to visit!

  12. Carmen Baguio December 26, 2017 at 4:50 pm - Reply

    What a beautiful part of Europe! I love city that have wide promenades like Nice. The story behinds its name was equally fascinating!

  13. Angie December 27, 2017 at 2:48 am - Reply

    Ever since my friend visited Nice and travelled to Monte Carlo from here, I have wanted to go! So many nice things to see and do here, can’t wait to check it out, pinned, thanks for sharing!

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