Some of the best spots in Europe to visit during the summer can be found along the Mediterranean. And Nice, France is one of them. Of course, while Nice is world renowned for its beautiful coast, the city has things to offer throughout the year, from Christmas markets to Carnival celebrations. Below, you’ll find a list of ten things to do while visiting Nice, France.
Photo by Justin Knabb
Podcast on Things to Do in Nice
Walk Along the Prom
Walk the Promenade des Anglais, named for the early English tourists who came to Nice. The promenade stretches along the beaches of Nice and offers an amazing view of the Cote d’Azur. Along with the views, throughout the year several events and activities are held on and around the promenade, and of course, there are always opportunities to take a seat in one of those famous blue chairs.
Explore Terra Amata
Terra Amata is an archeological site which is believed by many to show evidence of human habitation from about 400,000 BC, including the use of fire. The site is also home to the Musee de PalÃ©ontologie humaine de Terra Amata, which displays some of the finds.
Try Some Local Dishes
Sample some of the local cuisine such as socca (best described as a pancake based on chickpea flour), pissaladiere (a sort of pizza/tart made with onions and anchovies), or Nicoise salad (a salad often topped with anchovies).
Wander Through One of the Many Gardens
Nice self-identifies as the green city of the Mediterranean and has several beautiful gardens including the Jardin Albert 1er, created in 1852 allowing you to take in the beautiful palm trees and flowers of the coastal city.
Admire the Work of Henri Matisse
Matisee lived in Nice from 1918 until his death in 1954 and you can see his work at the MusÃ©e Matisse. The museum has been open for nearly 50 years with a great collection of work donated by Matisse and his heirs. The museum is open year round and, even better, offers free entry.
Listen to Jazz
Nice is host to a wonderful international jazz festival known, appropriately enough, as the Nice Jazz Festival. Held annually since 1948, the 2011 edition of the festival will be held from July 8th to July 12th. The five day event sees musicians from around the world perform. If you enjoy jazz music, or just want a reason to be a part of a great party, don’t miss the festival.
Have Fun at Nice Carnival
If one festival isn’t enough for you, or you just happen to be in Nice in February instead of July, check out the Carnaval de Nice. The celebration is a two week affair culminating on Mardi Gras which draws over a million people to the city. Some claim that this celebration has been going on since the 13th century in the area.
Go Shopping in Old Nice
This area has about 600 different shops offering enough local products and souvenirs to fill your suitcase.If shopping isn’t your thing, the area is still worth checking out due to the beautiful architecture, the Place Rossetti, the Opera house, and several churches.
Take a Day Trip to Eze
While there is plenty to do in Nice itself, the surrounding area has a rich history and beautiful scenery. If you find yourself itching to get out and explore the countryside, follow Kimberly Sullivan’s advice and head to Eze. Just a short drive from Nice, the medieval city looks down upon the coast. Read more about Eze in her post, Views from the eagle’s nest in Eze, France.
Photo by Kimberly Sullivan
Visit the Nice Christmas Market
When I think of Nice, I think of beach vacations. I think of the Mediterranean. I don’t necessarily think of Christmas markets. But as Kimberly wrote on Europe a la Carte, Nice makes a wonderful winter get-away as well. You can find everything from Christmas trees to ice skating. Check out Kimberly’ss great post The Christmas Market in Nice, France.
Photo by Kimberly Sullivan