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Overview to Nice: Travel Guide and Tourist Information

Nice, on the French Riviera

Offsetting its swanky French Riviera reputation with a lovely Old Town, surprisingly wild nightlife and year-round warm temperatures, it’s no surprise that Nice has proved such a draw for European travelers.

The first stop in Nice is generally a time-honored stroll along the Promenade des Anglais which runs by the seafront. Along with great views of the Baie des Anges (the Bay of the Angels), the palm-lined promenade is home to countless cafés, bars and restaurants.

Vieux Nice, its colorfully vibrant heart, nestles in between the seafront, the Chateau and the Boulevard Jean Jaures. Its narrow streets are rich in evocative sights but the hub of activity is undoubtedly the Cours Saleya, home to a flower, fruit and vegetable market.

Out to the west of the Old Town, 18th and 19th century stucco villas mingle with beautifully laid-out gardens. The hilltop district of Cimiez, Nice's most luxurious area, is another great place for wandering.

Just a few sections of crumbling wall remain of the city's 11th century chateau but the grounds are now a public park set high over the city offering a place to rest up, explore the ruins and take in some great views of the city and the blue Mediterranean beyond.

Although Nice is only home to just under half a million people, it’s blessed with an enormous number of museums and galleries. Housed in a grand, 17th century villa to the north of the city, the Musee Matisse contains the artist's personal collection.

Nice's Musee d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain (just off the Place Garibaldi), houses some more avant-garde offerings. The Musee Chagall (back off the Promenade des Anglais), on the other hand, has a broadly biblical theme.

Around Nice's port the coming and going of boats of all sizes means there’s always something exciting going on, whilst the nearby Quartier Segurane is famed for its antique shops and flea market.

And then last, but by no means least, there’s the beach. Nice's beaches spread out along the city in a long curve. Although pebbled rather than sandy, it’s still a great spot for sunbathing, people-watching and a dip in the sea when the mercury soars in the summer.

France's fifth largest city blends a laidback, sunshine glamour with a gritty underbelly that dissolves any hint of pretension. It may not be the place to go for a Zen-like relaxing retreat, but Nice is certainly an excellent destination for a lively seaside break.


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