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929km (577 miles) S of Paris; 32km (20 miles) NE of Cannes
France's fifth-largest city and the French Riviera's capital, earthy Nice carries its Belle Époque heritage lightly. Turn-of-the-century mansions lord over the unceasing procession of fashionistas, rollerbladers, and beachgoers on the seafront promenade des Anglais. Brightly colored blooms greet passersby in cours Saleya, while a state-of-the-art tramway sweeps past majestic place Massena. Terra-cotta-clad buildings crowd the narrow streets of the Vieille Ville (Old Town), which is filled with antique shops and bistros. The city brims with artistic talent from Impressionists at the Beaux-Arts museum to contemporary stars at MAMAC.
Things to Do
Admire the gracious palm-lined promenade des Anglais from the Colline du Château's (Castle Hill's) grassy summit, the perfect spot to see the bay sweep round to the distant Cap d'Antibes. Postcard-pretty Cimiez is home to the Musée Matisse and Musée National Marc Chagall, while the suburb's Roman amphithéâtre provides an idyllic back-drop to Nice's summertime Jazz Festival.
Fur-coated dames lead their diamante-collared dogs along rue Paradis, home to France's great fashion houses such as Chanel and Sonia Rykiel. Lose yourself among dazzling flowers or dig out a bargain at Monday's antique market in the open-air cours Saleya. Centuries-old chocolatier, Confiserie Auer, is the place to buy sweet Provençal treats, fruits confits (dried candied fruits).
Nightlife & Entertainment
Start your evening in the unruly patchwork of bars along the cours Saleya, where you can sip pastis as you watch street performers dazzle with acrobatic escapades. Classical music fills the Opéra de Nice, while international pop stars perform at Palais Nikaïa. Serious partygoers head to High Club on Promenade des Anglais. The roulette ball clatters in the Art Deco hotel casinos on the waterfront.
Restaurants & Dining
Tuck into socca (chickpea pancake) in the cours Saleya. Vieux Nice is the place for lovers of Niçoise cuisine, while beautifully restored Place Garibaldi excels in French bistro food. The Nice Etoile area is a hot spot for up-and-coming young chefs and for gastronomic wine shops where you can sip wine with the locals over nibbles. Local favorite dishes include Provençal lamb stuffed with fragrant garlic and rosemary or a salty salad Niçoise, which marries local olives and anchovies with Dijon vinaigrette.
Revel in the beautiful light and vistas of the French Riviera with American Airlines flights to Nice, France. With its location along the shores of the Mediterranean, it's a perfect destination to discover the ageless allure of the Cote d'Azur. With information on the best things to do in Nice, it's easy to plan a carefree, relaxing trip.
One of the best-known activities in Nice focuses on the beautiful shores and seascape. There are over a dozen private beaches and 20 public beaches for simply relaxing under the Mediterranean sun. The public beaches are located along the Promenade des Anglais, which itself serves as a focal point of Nice. At the Promenade des Anglais you can go for a jog, let the kids play, ride a bike or simply sit on a bench and gaze at the water without getting sand in your shoes. If, however, putting your feet in the sand is your goal, you'll be happy with your options. Choose a public beach, which is free to access, or a private beach, most of which charge a daily fee if you are not a guest of one of the hotels. The private beaches offer changing facilities, restaurants, chairs, umbrellas and towels, which ensure a truly enjoyable day along the shore.
If you'd like to explore more of the city, opt to go on a tour of museums, another of the most popular things to do in Nice. In fact, Nice ranks second, only behind Paris, for the number of museums and galleries in any city in France. The Fine Art Museum (Musee des Beaux Arts) houses a staggering quality of exhibits, ranging from the 13th to the 20th century. Here you'll be able to view works by Claude Monet, Auguste Rodin, Jean Honore Fragonard, Edouard Vuillard and Pablo Picasso, among many others. The Modern Art Museum (Musee d'Art Modern et d'Art Contemporain, or MAMAC) features modern and contemporary pieces from the 1960s through present day. The Natural History Museum (Musee d'Histoire Naturelle) focuses on the forces of nature that shaped the region. The Terra Amata Museum (Musee d'Archeologie de Nice - Site de Terra-Amata) features a reconstructed prehistoric hunting campsite; the museum was built on the site where the historic discovery was first made. There is also a museum devoted to Henri Matisse (Musee Matisse) housed in a renovated 17th-century villa that includes the artist's personal collection. There's another museum dedicated to Marc Chagall (Musee National Marc Chagall) that features his paintings, sculptures, stained glass windows, sketches and more. And that's just a partial list of museums in Nice!
If you're wondering where to start pursuing activities in Nice, the Nice City Sightseeing Small Group Tour gives a wonderful overview in about three hours, offering plenty of picturesque photo ops. If you'd like to explore more of the French Riviera outside of the city, think about the St. Tropez Small Group Day Trip From Nice or the Monaco and Eze Small Group Day Trip from Nice. The city's ideal coastal location affords you many opportunities for discovery.
Fly to Nice and soak up the unique charm of France's fabled Cote d'Azur. Browse our flights and book your trip today!
|Maytime Fêtes||May 2013; Sun only (annual)||Arènes de Jardins de Cimiez|
|Nice Book Fair||Jun 2013 (annual)||Jardins Albert 1er|
|Ironman France||Jun 2013 (annual)||Promenade des Anglais|
|Nice Jazz Festival||Jul 2013 (annual)||Jardins Albert 1er|
|Crazy Week||Jul 2013 (annual)||Théâtre de Verdure|
|Prom'Party||Jul 2013 (annual)||Promenade des Anglais|
|Côte d'Azur Tango Festival||Aug 2013 (annual)||Nice|
|Académie Internationale d'Été de Nice||Jul - Aug 2013 (annual)||Cloître du Monastère de Cimiez|
|Concerts in the Cloisters Festival||Jul - Aug 2013 (annual)||Cloître du Monastère de Cimiez|
|Occitan FestiVous Festival||Aug 2013 (annual)||Francis Gag Theatre|
|San Bertoumiéu Fête||Sep 2013 (annual)||Nice Old Town|
|Gruss Circus||Sep 2013 (annual)||Esplanade De Lattre De Tassigny|
|Fourres de Rire Comedy Festival||Oct 2013 (annual)||Francis Gag Theatre|
|The Extreme Sailing Series||Oct 2013 (annual)||Nice|
|Nice Short Film Festival||Oct 2013 (annual)||Nice|
|Celebration of Catherine Ségurane||Nov 2013 (annual)||Nice Old Town|
|Nice Manca Music Festival||Nov 2013 (annual)||Nice|
|Christmas Swim||Dec 2013 (annual)||Ruhl Plage|
|C'est Pas Classique||Nov - Dec 2013 (annual)||Nice|
|Christmas Fair||Dec 2013 - Jan 2014 (annual)||Place Masséna|
|Prom'Classic||Jan 2014 (annual)||Promenade des Anglais|
|Nice Carnival||Feb - Mar 2014 (annual)||Nice|
|Nice International Fair||Mar 2014 (annual)||Palais des Expositions|
|Poets' Springtime in Nice||Mar 2014 (annual)||Nice|
|The Gourd Festival||Mar 2014 (annual)||Place Jean Paul II|
|Nice Half Marathon||Apr 2014 (annual)||Promenade des Anglais|
|Au Petit Gari||French||Around Town||2||3|
|Café de Turin||Seafood||Around Town||2||3|
|Chez Palmyre||French||Around Town||1||1|
|Chez Pipo||French||Around Town||1||1|
|Don Camillo||Italian||Around Town||3||3|
|In Vino||French||Around Town||1||1|
|Keisuke Matsushima||Mediterranean||Around Town||3||3|
|La Petite Maison||French||Around Town||4||4|
|La Zucca Magica||Vegetarian||Around Town||2||2|
|Le Safari||French||Around Town||1||2|
|Le Tire Bouchon||French||Around Town||1||1|
|Lu Fran Calin||French||Around Town||1||1|
|Restaurant Parcours Live||Mediterranean||Nearby Places||3||2|
|Cathédrale Orthodoxe Russe St-Nicolas à Nice||Religious Site||2|
|Monastère de Cimiez||Religious Site||2|
|Musée International d'Art Naïf Anatole-Jakovsky||Museum||2|
|Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain||Museum||3|
|Musée National Marc Chagall||Museum||3|
|Musée des Beaux-Arts||Museum||3|
|Nice Opera||Performing Arts Venue||2|
|Villa Arson Nice||Museum||2|
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