How to Spend a Weekend in Nice

Stephanie Mertz
March 9, 2020

A perfect weekend in Nice involves beautiful water, good food and fun people to spend it with. Three days in Nice is the perfect amount of time to soak up the glamour of the French Riveria without breaking the bank. Hopefully, after following this itinerary you will love the Côte d’Azur as much as me. 

Day 1 

Highlights: Promenade d’Anglais, Castle Hill, and Old Nice

After arriving in Nice and settling into your hotel, start by taking a stroll eastward down the Promenade d’Anglais. The Promenade d’Anglais is one of Nice’s most famous site and is known as the heart of Nice for the locals and tourists alike. Locals love to sit in the famous blue chairs to watch the sea so sit for a minute and absorb the beautiful coastline. Keep walking past the Albert Garden and many cafes until you get to the I Love Nice Sign. From there, go left up the large hill, which is called Castle Hill. While climbing the hill make sure to look around and see how beautiful the city looks. At the top of the hill, you will find an amazing waterfall and ruins of a castle that once overlooked Nice. From the top, you will also see views showing the port and old town. Enjoy the ruins and maybe grab an espresso up on the top of the hill and then head back down. Back at the bottom of the hill, you will want to enter Old Nice. Walking into Old Nice is like entering a maze. You will enter near the famous flower market, make sure to stop and smell the roses. Continue through the market and just wander down the twists and turns. There are numerous restaurants and gelaterias to stop and eat at. I would also recommend staying in Old Town for the nightlife because the rest of Nice gets quiet early. 

Day 2

Highlights: Monaco 

The second day I would recommend taking a half-day or full-day trip to Monaco. A train from Nice, at the Nice Ville station, will take about 20 minutes to get to Monaco and round trip should cost less than €10. Arriving in Monaco, go straight to the oceanographic museum and enjoy the aquarium and stunning views. The palace is also near the museum and is worth a visit. From the museum walk down the hill and see various monuments. At the port take time to look at the mega-yachts and maybe enjoy gelato. From the port walk up the hill (opposite side as the palace) and window shop in the designer shops. At the top of the hill, the famous Monte Carlo casino waits for you to play (and lose all your money). The tables open at 2:00 pm and cost €17 euros to enter (it includes €10 of chips to play with). Be mindful of their dress code as shorts or ripped jeans will get you turned away in the afternoon and the evening requires even nicer outfits. Once you’ve lost your money playing with the rich and famous, explore the gardens and great views on the hill. From there I would recommend heading back to Nice for a less expensive dinner (there are plenty of options near the train station) or if you won big, stay in Monaco and enjoy a fancy meal. 

Day 3

Highlights: Beach and Shopping (Optional: Matisse Museum)

For the third and final day in Nice, there are two major options. On one hand, Nice is famous for the beaches and they deserve several hours of laying on the rock beaches with a nice towel. After a day of laying on the beach, I would recommend the shopping near Jean Medicin where there are designer stores and more affordable yet cute local shops as well. On the other hand, if the sun and shopping aren’t appealing (or it’s a rare cloudy day) visit one or two of Nice's famous museums. The most famous are the Modern Art Museum, the Matisse Museum, and the Chagall Museum. The Modern Art Museum is closest to Old Town and showcases many French and international artists. The Chagall and Matisse Museums are in the Cimiez residential neighborhood and requires a longer walk uphill or a short bus ride. The Cimiez neighborhood is a beautiful neighborhood to walk around in and has a lovely park and cemetery where Matisse is buried. Walk back down to Old Town to enjoy a final great dinner in Nice. 

Three days in Nice is not enough time to do everything but I hope you will enjoy the highlights Nice has to offer. There are many more things to do in Nice and many amazing day trips to take as well, such as Cannes, Antibes, or Menton. Nice is a town for everyone - those who enjoy sun, culture, and food will have a great time. I hope after visiting Nice you will love it as much as me.

Stephanie Mertz

<p>I am a midwest girl who is out to explore the world. I have visited 6 continents already and am excited to go to new places during my time abroad! I love to go to new places, try new foods, and immerse myself in different cultures.</p>

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