How to spend the perfect weekend in Nice

The French Riviera is synonymous with glamor. And Nice, the beating heart of the Côte d’Azur, offers a vibrant mix of history, stunning scenery and undeniable je ne sais quoi.

But with a whole week on your hands, what parts of Nice should you explore? In this article, we’ll explain how to spend the perfect week in Nice.

Explore the Old Town

Vieux Nice, the Old Town, is a maze of ochre-colored buildings, bustling flower markets and hidden piazzas. Start your mornings here, wandering the pedestrian streets and soaking up the atmosphere. Be sure to try Socca, a local type of crispy pancake made from pancake flour, and browse the stalls overflowing with fresh produce, local crafts and Niçoise olives.

In the afternoon, explore the impressive Nice Cathedral (or Basilique-Cathédrale Sainte-Marie et Sainte-Réparate de Nice, as it’s known locally), with its baroque facade, or the Palais Lascaris, a lavish 17th-century palace showcasing many rare works and a collection of ancient musical instruments.

Discover the French Riviera

Nice is perfectly positioned for exploring many of the best places to visit on the French Riviera. It’s relatively easy to rent a car for a day and head east towards Monaco, the playground of the rich and famous, where you can marvel at the opulent yachts in Monte Carlo harbor, visit the Prince’s Palace, and perhaps even try your luck at the legendary Monte Carlo Casino (passport required).

Closer to Nice, you can easily visit Villefranche-sur-Mer, which offers a charming harbor lined with colorful houses and a beautiful beach where you can relax on the golden sand or explore the medieval citadel, Fort du Mont Alban.

Climb Castle Hill for panoramic perfection
Castle Hill, also known as Parc de la Colline du Château, offers a welcome respite from the bustling city center. Hike or take the elevator to the top for unparalleled views of Nice, the Promenade des Anglais, and the sparkling Mediterranean Sea.

Explore the ruins of the medieval castle, meander through the cascading gardens adorned with sculptures, and perhaps pack a picnic to enjoy under the shade of a pine tree.
In the evening, head back down to the waterfront and stroll along the Promenade des Anglais, an iconic walkway lined with palm trees, charming cafes and some of the finest luxury hotels in France.

Savor local flavors

Nice is a paradise for foodies, giving you full access to the world-famous Niçoise cuisine, characterized by fresh seafood, seasonal vegetables, tomatoes and black olives. Lunch at a harborside restaurant and savor a Salade Niçoise, a classic dish with tuna, olives, tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, and anchovies.

Dinner can be a more leisurely affair. Explore the narrow streets of the Old Town and discover a hidden gem serving succulent daube de boeuf (beef stew) or a hearty soupe au pistou (vegetable soup with a basil pistou sauce). Don’t forget to indulge in a traditional Niçoise dessert like tarte Tropézienne, a brioche filled with creamy vanilla custard.

Immerse yourself in local events

Nice boasts a vibrant calendar of events throughout the year. In February, the world-famous Carnival of Nice fills the streets with music, elaborate floats and colorful costumes.
For a touch of jazz, head to Nice during the Jazz Festival in July, when renowned performers fill the city with their music. September brings the Fête de la Musique, a celebration of all things music, with free concerts held across the city.

Nice offers something for everyone, from history buffs and sun-seekers to culture vultures and foodies. Whether you wander the charming streets of the Old Town, visit glamorous Monaco nearby, or simply spend your time relaxing on a gorgeous beach, a week in Nice promises to be an unforgettable experience.

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