After 4 months in Nice, these are my strongest recommendations...
Get lost in Old Town: Old town is filled with culture, “hole in the wall” boutiques and delightful restaurants that you won’t want to miss (even though they’re easily overlooked). I recommend sharing a meal in Old Town. The outdoor seating at dinner is perfect for enjoying the ideal weather and atmosphere. Nightlife is definitely the best in Old Town!
Shop at Nice’s outdoor market: Old Town’s outdoor seating is replaced by vendors’ stations in the morning and early afternoon. The market is filled with grown locally and fresh food. By shopping at this market, you’re supporting Nice’s local economy and eating the best food! How could you go wrong?! If you’re lucky, you may get offered a free sample. Try the sun dried tomatoes marinated in basil infused olive oil and garlic. Warning: The market closes between noon and 1pm, and is nonexistent on Mondays.
Picnic on the beach: After you’ve completed your shopping at the outdoor market, it will be in your best interest to enjoy your recent purchases while observing the beautiful Mediterranean sea from the pebbly beach. It’s refreshing and relaxing all at once! I recommend making this at least a weekly outing.
Watch the sunset from the Meridian: Drinks are expensive, and food is unaffordable, but the sunset is worth it! The aerial view of the promenade and Nice’s rocky beaches are especially unforgettable when viewed from the Meridien. Warning: dress very nicely or you may get dirty looks (even more than usual!).
Enjoy a chèvre chaud salad: A staple of my diet quickly became the chèvre chaud salad. This means a hot goat cheese salad. Usually the got cheese was melted onto small toasted pieces of bread. The bread and cheese combo would come on top of a fresh and delectable salad, and usually honey would be drizzled over the entire plate. YUM!
Shop on Jean Médecin: If you are looking for the basics or something completely unique, the Jean Médecin area is the place to be. My personal favorites were the boutiques on the small side streets off of Jean Médecin but I appreciated the plethora of H&Ms for when I needed to pick up an essential.
Visit sandy beaches of Villefranche: When you’re sick of wincing in pain while walking into the sea, take the train to Villefranche. The bay is beautiful and the beaches are sandy. It’s a quick and easy journey that you won’t regret!
Enjoy the views of the promenade & the port from Castle Hill: This is a tourist attraction — for a good reason! The view from atop Castle Hill is truly breathtaking. You can see all of Nice until the airport and see how Nice crawls into the mountains. Even if you’re feeling lethargic, there’s a free public elevator for access to the top of Castle Hill.
Jog the Promenade Des Anglais: Trust me, there is no better way to start your day than a jog along the promenade. Warning: avoid cigarette smokers! It’s no fun to inhale a smoker’s exhale mid-run.
Indulge in warm bread: After living in Nice for a while, you’ll learn which bakeries bake bread all day, meaning which bakeries can sell you the freshest (and still warm) baguettes to eat with dinner. If you buy a baguette that is still warm, you seriously must tear off a piece and eat it right there and then. Believe me, it practically melts in your mouth. Side note: if you’re living at Le Palais Rossini, the best and closest bakery is Armand!
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<p>My name is Lee Foden and I am a journalism student at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Born in Maine, I love the ocean and am looking forward to spending my time by the Mediterranean next semester! I am taking a break from the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and headed to the rocky beaches of Nice, France. Follow my blog to stay up to date with all of my European adventures!</p>