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What to do in the French Riveria?

I am planning a trip to Europe in May that includes a couple days in Nice... What have been your experiences with Nice? Any suggestions as to what to do or what places to hit? I love to just soak up the culture of a place, but I can't really get a feel for Nice so far. Would you recommend another point on the Riveria instead?


Posted by
37 posts

Nice is a big city. Although the Promenade des Anglaises is pretty cool, and the beach with its grey stones is très unique, it is still a city. We stayed in Villefranche-sur-Mer (we stayed at Hotel la Flore and sprang for a port view - beautiful!), walked around the old town, went down to the beach, spent some time by the pool - and drove into Monaco for a half day. We aren't big night life people, though, and we were at the end of a whirlwind trip where we were mostly interested in R & R. Good luck, and remember what a wonderful problem you have - "gee, I can't decide where to go on the Riviera!"

Posted by
53 posts

We chose to spend our time in Cannes and Antibes instead of Nice, and very much liked those areas. We also spent one evening in Monaco, but I wouldn't recommend it unless you're into gambling.

Posted by
8700 posts

If you're an art lover, don't miss the Chagall and Matisse museums in Nice and take a short train ride to Antibes to visit the Picasso museum. The Russian Orthodox cathedral in Nice is said to be the best of its kind outside of Russia.

Posted by
94 posts

If you have a car, take a side trip to Eze (between Nice and Monaco) Wonderful hill town with spectacular views.

Posted by
124 posts

I was in Nice and Villefranche-sur-Mer last summer during the RS Paris and South of France tour. We stayed at a small hotel near the port for the tour, then a friend and I went stayed at Hotel Le Garibaldi in Nice.

The markets and sidestreets of Old Nice were fascinating and walking the pedestrian street for dinner was fun.

I took a bus to Eze and visited the Flagonard Perfume Factory, then climbed the hill through the cactus garden to the summit for a picnic lunch with the most amazing view of the Mediterranean Sea.

I can also recommend the Chagall museum - it's magnificent!

Posted by
375 posts

if you like cycling, try renting a bike. a few years ago, I rented a bike at a shop near the Nice train station and rode halfway to Monaco at quite an easy pace. Roundtrip took about 4 hours with a few stops. You don't need to be in great shape and European drivers are very respectful of cyclists so don't be afraid of the fact that cars will be driving very close by. Cycling is great because you can stop whenever you like to admire the view without having to worry about parking.

Posted by
30 posts

Thanks so much! You're right, Joni, I guess as far as problems go, this is a pretty good one! :) I've heard of the perfume factory in Eze, did you enjoy it? It sounds like a fun trip, that wouldn't be too hard to get to.

It's good to hear all the positive reviews, thanks!

Posted by
51 posts

We spent 8 days in Nice in April 2006. Hubby attended the MIP conference in Cannes, so it was a business trip. His company put us up in a Best Western on the main road very near the train station. The road was under construction to put in a trolley, which should be done by now.

We loved Nice. It was a great place to stay and take day trips to Cannes, Antibes, Villefranche sur Mer, Monaco, Grasse ... etc.

The first thing we did was take a double-decker bus tour. We love doing that as it gives one a great overview of the city and key sites. We hopped on and off as we pleased.

We spent lots of time in the older area and loved the market there. Didn't make time for the museums but would have loved seeing one of them (can't remember now which one). Had a memorable dinner at a tiny restaurant. Everyone else there was a local, so it was quite an experience and the food was delicious.

A funny memory: Rich or poor, everyone's tidy whities are hung on the balconies to dry on laundry day!

Posted by
251 posts

Depending on your age, Nice is a great place for the 20 something. It is a college town and the bars, clubs and squares are filled with young people. It would make a nice place to stay to explore the other region.