Nice, the capital of the French Riviera has it all: the old-day glamour and sleek modern architecture, high-end restaurants and cozy old-fashioned cafés, beautiful beaches and mild climate all year round.
To explore the city and soak in its atmosphere you need at least a few days as there are plenty of things to do in Nice. Start from the Promenade des Anglais, or, as local call it, La Prom. It stretches for five miles along the Bay of Angels (Baie des Anges) adorned by palm trees, cabanas and bright blue chairs. On Sundays, it get very busy with local jogging, skateboarding, cycling and relaxing.
Before British aristocrats chose Nice as their favourite destination in the 19th century, local life was concentrated in the Old Town (Vieux Nice) with its narrow streets, ochre coloured buildings and colourful markets. Check out the famous Cours Saleya where apart from its old-fashioned charm you will find freshly cut flowers, seasonal produce, local delicacies and bric-a-brac.
|Le cours Saleya|
Nice boasts some spectacular religious architecture: the Russian Orthodox Cathédrale Saint Nicolas with its colourful onion-domed cupolas built in the days of the tragic Tsar Nicolas II, L'Eglise de l'Annonciation and Chapelle de la Miséricorde in all their Baroque splendour.
The city is an embarrassment of riches for art-lovers. In the stunning interiors of the Musée des Beaux-Arts you can admire works by Picasso, Rodin, Bonnard, Fragonard ad Monet. The Musée Matisse has an excellent collection of the artist's paintings, drawings and engravings. The Musée National Message Biblique Marc Chagall houses some of the most stunning biblically themed works created by the master. If you are into contemporary art head to the Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain with its impressive display of European and American modern art.
|Cathedral Saint Nicolas|
If you are feeling energetic, climb up the Castle Hill for spectacular views over the bay and city roofs.
Since the 13th century, every February, Nice celebrates the famous exuberant Nice Carnival with costumed parades, colourful floats and flower shows.
Photos via Fickr by: Thomas Dimson, Jean-Pierre Dalbéra, Janet McKnight.