Located on the French Riviera, Nice has been a popular choice for locals and tourists alike to enjoy its subtropical climate and panoramic view of the coast. It has everything you need for a great weekend away and would suit all budgets. While there are numerous things to do in Nice, there are some I would say an absolute essential to make your 3 day trip unforgettable.
Promenade des Anglais
Start your morning with a beautiful walk on Promenade des Anglais. This world-famous 7km promenade runs from the Castle Hill (La colline du Château in French) to Nice airport. There are lots of bars, cafes and restaurants along this promenade, so you can pop into any you like for a nice breakfast or morning coffee with a gorgeous view.
The Old Town of Nice, Cours Saleya & Castle Hill
After breakfast, you can go and explore the Old Town, it allows you to travel into the 1700s with all its architectural gems, such as the Cathédral Sainte-Réparate.You could easily spend half a day walking those fascinating old streets.
The flower market Cours Saleya is on the very top of my list. It begins its history in 1897 and locates in the heart of the Old Town, it is full of fresh vegetables, bakery products and lovely flowers. The market works every day apart from Monday, when it replaced by Flea Market which is also worth visiting.
Walking along the streets of Old Town you can go all the way up to Castle Hill which is the highest point in Nice and is where you’ll find the ruins of the former Chateau de Nice. It is also one of the best spots for the amazing city view.
Russian Orthodox Cathedral
Surprised? Not quite what you expected to do in Nice, but it is recognized as the national monument of France and one of the most beautiful Orthodox Cathedrals outside Russia. You can also go inside the church.
Dinning at Vieille Ville or Old Town
Vieille Ville or in other words Old Town would be the best places to find authentic French cuisine. There are numerous restaurants that would suit any preferences. Consider planning your dining upfront as some of the places require a reservation.
Have an Ice cream for desert. The old town is stuffed with Ice Cream/Gelato shops. One of the most popular shops among tourists is Fenocchio They have hundreds of flavours, with some of them being really weird, such as rosemary or lavender flavoured Ice Cream.
Apart from Fenocchio, there is another popular Ice cream shop, Azzurro which is on Rossetti Square. It was recommended to us by a local, they claimed its better than Fenocchio. Honestly, we tried both and I enjoyed it, can’t say if one was better than another, they were both absolutely yummy.
The Neighbourhood of Cimiez
If you are intrested in art, love history and museums The Cimiez neighbourhood should be on your list of places to visit. The Cimiez is a residential area of Nice, with lots of history and museums.
Cimiez Monastery was built in 14th– 15thcentury with its beautiful gardens, Roman ruins and Matisse museum is worth visiting. It lies on the hill and overlooking the town of Nice.
Matisse Museum holds a large collection of his paintings. Henry Matisse was a resident of Cimiez and is buried in the monastery’s cemetery.
Don’t forget that apart from sightseeing, you can also spend some time at the beach. Nice has both public and private beaches, so just choose the one you like
Take a one-day trip to Monaco. You can get there by train, bus or taxi. My personal choice was a bus ( No.100 ), the drive is just about 40-50 minutes, cost 1.50 € one way.
As you probably know Monaco is the world’s second smallest country and its only a few miles long, so you won’t need a guide. You can easily walk across.
Prince’s Palace of Monaco
Prince’s Palace would be my first stop. The palace is the official residence for the Prince of Monaco. The changing of the guard ceremony takes place every day at 11:55AM.
Oceanographic museum is worth visiting at least just because of the design. Situated on the edge of the cliff right above the see offers a breathtaking view.
Saint Nicholas Cathedral
Saint Nicholas Cathedral also known as as the Cathédrale Notre-Dame-Immaculée of Monaco is another impressive building, built from a light limestone in a 19thcentury. The cathedral is one of the most important landmarks in Monaco. Lots of Royal events are held here.
Monte Carlo Casino
After exploring this historical part of the country, you can head to Port de Monaco and take a nice relaxy walk to the legendary Monte Carlo Casino. For approximately 10€ you can visit the casino inside, but you are not allowed to take pictures.
Hôtel de Paris
The last but not least is the Hôtel de Paris. The place where films such as Iron Man 2, Monte Carlo, and two James Bond films have been featured.
After a long day of sightseeing, pop into a bar, restaurant or a café, Monaco has a great choice of places and enjoy the evening.
These 3 days on the French Riviera, were truly magical. Charming streets, colourful facades, museums, Mediterranean architecture, delicious gelato, vibrant markets, scenic coastline and much more. Nice has it all.