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Nice at a Glance

Henri Matisse famously said of Nice, “When I realized I would see that light every morning, I could not believe my happiness … I decided never to leave Nice and remained here for my almost my entire existence”.

As the capital of the French Riviera, Nice is often thought of as just another beach town. Travellers are frequently surprised and excited by the city’s passion for arts and culture that can be observed throughout its many squares. Its heritage is rich and has been influenced by countless world-famous painters, writers and musicians.

Not to be Missed Of the numerous museums, monuments, galleries, churches and day trips, these are some of the top-rated:

  • The Musee et Site Archeologiques de Cimiez: Roman ruins here include an arena, an amphitheatre, a Paleo-Christian basilica and incredibly well-preserved Roman baths dating to the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD.
  • Day trip to Cannes: Home to the world-famous Cannes Film Festival, Cannes is the place for all things luxurious.
  • Town Squares: A gathering place for locals and tourists, the town squares of Nice are ideal for observing people, performances and public displays. Cours Saleya is the most traditional square in town and has a daily flower market. Other squares include Place Massena, Place Garibaldi, Place Rossetti and Place du Palais.
  • Day trip to Monaco: Monaco is the world’s second smallest state; its city is Monte Carlo. Monaco is famously associated with James Bond and his famous card game at the Monaco casino.
  • La Colline du Chateau (Castle Hill): Now a park and botanical garden affording beautiful views of Nice and its surroundings, Castle Hill is the site of the first town founded by the ancient Greeks.

Uniquely Nice The Nice Observatory enjoys a privileged location with a wide spacious park area of approximately 100 acres. The Observatory site is considered by many to be one of the best in Europe. Construction on the Observatory was initiated by banker Raphael Bischoffsheim in 1879. The architect was Charles Garnier and the famous Gustave Eiffel designed the main dome. In 1888, the Observatory’s 76meter refractor telescope was considered the world’s largest telescope.

Good to know about Nice

  • Climate: Nice has an inviting Mediterranean climate with mild temperatures year round. Rainfall is limited and occurs mostly from September to March. August is the hottest month with temperatures averaging 35°C.
  • City Transportation: Nice has its own local bus network, the Lignes d’Azur as well as the TAM, an inter-urban network. After 8 pm buses traditionally do not run, so you will need to walk or take a taxi. Taxis are available from taxi stands outside the train station and the biggest hotels.
  • Accommodation: With thousands of hotels to choose from, Nice has something for every budget. See Nice Hotels for more information.
  • Eating Out: Restaurants in Nice can be pricey, but there are a few options that will help to keep your costs low. Try eating in the Port Area, which is home to some of the more affordable eateries. Lunch-time set menus (offered at many restaurants throughout the city) are a good value as they often include two courses plus coffee and wine. Make sure to try Socca, a chickpea flatbread that is a local specialty.

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Nice, France (From: Toronto)
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Nice, France (From: Toronto)
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