I’ve spent a lot of time in France, but never made it down south to Nice!
Heather Frew from My Kitchen Travels, on the other hand, knows it like the back of her hand. She’s stepped in to help me out with this awesome guest post, covering 10 top Nice itinerary suggestions.
It’s full of epic things to do in Nice, France, which should make planning your Nice travels that bit easier. Enjoy!
(Heads up, this post contains affiliate links)
Nice, the shining gem on the Cote D’Azur of France.
Less than 30km from the Italian border, Nice manages to uphold its authentically French ways whilst also nodding its hat to the long heritage and traditions it shares with its neighbour.
Part of Italy until just over 150 years ago, Nice is a mélange of French and Italian architecture, culture and tradition with a great international feel.
Hopefully, these things to do in Nice, France, will help you plan the perfect Nice itinerary for any upcoming trip!
Visit Nice France: 5 Essential Know Before You Go Tips
Want to visit Nice France? Before getting into the top things to do in Nice, there are a few things you should know in order to help plan your Nice itinerary that bit better.
1. Weather in Nice
Nice is firmly within the typical Mediterranean climate range of hot, dry summers and mild, often wet winters.
Well known for its dependable summer season with average temperatures of 27 to 30 degrees, it’s the perfect place to spend a summer holiday relaxing in the sun.
2. Nice Currency
As Nice is in France, the local currency is the Euro.
Although contactless payment is becoming more widely accepted, cash is still king here in France, therefore it’s a good idea to keep stocked up with enough money in case paying by card is not an option.
Cash machines are readily available, though check with your bank for any additional fees for withdrawal or paying by card in-store.
3. The Language in Nice
Whilst Nice is an international city, it still retains its French charm.
In fact, many shop owners and restaurant staff won’t be able to speak English! To get the most out of your trip, it is important to learn a few basic words before you arrive in Nice.
This way, you can get off on the right foot with the locals. They really appreciate a simple hello (bonjour) when you walk into a shop, please (s’il vous plaît) and thank you (merci).
Not doing so is considered quite rude, so don’t expect the best service if you don’t say please and thanks!
4. Getting Around in Nice
The public transport system works well in Nice.
New tram lines are being built and are on track for completion at the end of 2019. The buses are frequent and cheap at only 1.50 euro per trip - this even gets you all the way to Monaco!
5. How to Stay Safe in Nice
Nice is a medium-sized European city with visitors coming from all over the world.
They come all year-round to enjoy its beaches, history and culture. As with all reasonably sized cities, it’s advisable to take caution when walking the streets as pickpockets often work in the area.
Take moderate steps to avoid identifying yourself as a tourist who may be carrying lots of cash or expensive gadgets. Keep your wallet tucked away and be careful on the busy trams and you should be fine.
My top safety tip for travelling in Nice? Get yourself some high-quality travel insurance.
I never go away without it! Sure, insurance can’t prevent the bad stuff from happening. But it will relieve the practical and financial implications if it does.
Even if you never need to make a claim, you’ll enjoy the peace of mind of knowing you’re covered- just in case. The result?
You can get back to having fun in Nice!
There’s a bunch of insurance companies out there, but I recommend using World Nomads. They’re a popular choice among travellers (myself included) and provide all the cover you could ever need. Check out my travel insurance page for more info, or use the boxes below to get an instant quote.
Top 10 Nice Itinerary Suggestions- Top Things to Do in Nice, France
Time for the main event! Here are 10 Nice France points of interest to make any visit to Nice worthwhile. Whether you’re doing Nice in 2 days, 3 days or 4 weeks, these Nice itinerary suggestions will ensure you cover the best things to do in Nice France.
1. Promenade Des Anglais
The famous Promenade des Anglais has to be the number one thing on your list to see when you visit Nice.
Despite being originally built for the Victorians (who wanted a beautiful promenade to stroll without getting their dresses dirty), the promenade is now mostly used by tourists and locals.
People stretch their legs here at all times of day, taking in the beautiful scenery as they go. Take a rest on one of the famous blue chairs lined up along the promenade.
2. Castle Hill
High on the hill to the East of Nice, in between the old town and the port, lies Castle Hill (Colline du Chateau).
This is worth the effort of climbing all the stairs to the top!
You’ll enjoy spectacular views all around the city and out to the Mediterranean Sea beyond.
3. Nice Port
The historic old port of Nice manages to combine small fishing boats with huge cruise ships, pleasure boats and luxury yachts for the super famous in between.
Sit at one of the harbour-side bars with a glass of wine and take in the views.
4. Old Town
If you’re looking for vibrant, narrow, cobbled streets filled with colour and character, the old town is your place.
It’s easy to spend the whole afternoon wandering and soaking up the atmosphere.
In the hills behind Nice lies the district of Cimiez.
Home to the famous Matisse Museum and the Chagall Museum, it is known for its arty vibe and beautiful, elegant architecture.
Take the bus up here to visit the museums, and take your time walking back down into Nice through the beautiful streets.
6. Rue Bonaparte
Get ready for the ‘up and coming’ part of town!
It has a great locals’ vibe. Grab a beer and sit outside for some prime people-watching.
7. Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild
A short (1.50 Euro) bus ride from Nice towards Beaulieu-Sur-Mer will take you to the incredible Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild.
Perched high on the hill above the turquoise blue Mediterranean Sea, this pale pink villa was built in the Belle Epoque period for Beatrice de Rothschild, of the infamous Rothschild banking family.
Donated to the Academy of Beaux-Arts after her death in 1934, the stunning villa and vast gardens are now open to the public throughout the year.
Nice’s closest neighbour is the luxurious Villefrance-Sur-Mer.
Famous for its pristine harbour and charming streets, it’s worth a visit to get out of the hustle and bustle of the big city. It’s possible to walk here, following the coast from Nice port, or simply hop on the bus - it’s only 15 minutes away.
9. Coastal Walk
By heading east away from Nice port (opposite direction to the airport), you’ll come across the signposted coastal path.
This track leads around the beautiful craggy coast for around 1km. What it lacks in distance it makes up for in views, particularly when the waves are crashing in so close.
10. Cours Saleya Market
This pedestrianised market street is famous along this coast for its vibrant flower markets and fresh produce stalls.
Open every day of the week except Monday, make sure to bring your purse for beautiful products like local lavender soap, delicious deli products & artisan-made souvenirs.
Essential Travel Gear for Travelling in X
Travelling in Nice will be far simpler and more enjoyable if you have the following bits of travel gear with you. Check them out and get your hands on anything you don’t already own!
1. A Supportive Backpack
A quality backpack is an essential piece of kit for anybody travelling in X. They provide a practical, supportive, and comfortable way to transport your stuff from place to place.
And, of course, they turn you into an ‘official’ backpacker in the process!
I recommend the Osprey Atmos 65L.
It’s a good-sized, high-quality, top-loading pack made from durable materials by a world-renowned brand.
The anti-gravity suspension system distributes the weight effectively, and the padded waist and shoulder belts make it supremely comfortable to wear. Even better, the Atmos is hydration sleeve/camelback-compatible and comes with a front mesh pocket for easy storage of various items.
Want more options? Here’s a guide full of the best backpacks for travel.
Prefer to save on air fare and explore Nice with just a carry-on bag instead? Check out the Osprey Farpoint 40.
2. A Lightweight Daypack
A lightweight, compact daypack is perfect for daytrips, sight-seeing and exploring in X. It means you can easily carry your things around without having to lug a giant backpack everywhere!
I like the HIKPRO 20L.
It’s super lightweight, durable, and water-resistant with a handy stash pocket on the front and drinks bottle compartments on the side. Even better, the HIKPRO is foldable, which means you can stow it away whenever you aren’t using it.
3. Comfortable Shoes
Spending your days walking and exploring in X is sure take a toll on your feet! Make sure you wear a pair of comfortable, supportive shoes throughout the trip.
They’re comfortable, lightweight and versatile shoes, while looking pretty good too. I particularly like the fact that they’re quick-drying and have good grip. All told, you’d have a pair of shoes for all occasions that wouldn’t take up too much space/weight in your backpack/suitcase.
4. A Quality Backpacking Camera
Never go away to X without a backpacking camera! The photos you take will help the trip live on in memory. You’ll be transported right back whenever you look over them in future.
Your smartphone might suffice! But there’s no better way to record your time in X than with an actual camera that takes higher-quality photos.
Check out the Sony Alpha A6000 Mirrorless camera.
It’s far smaller and lighter than DSLRs, without sacrificing anything in photo/video quality. Hundreds of 5* reviews can’t be wrong! This would be the perfect backpacking camera to take away.
Want more ideas for backpacking cameras? Here’s my guide to the best cameras for backpacking.
5. A Water Bottle
Exploring X is thirsty business! And staying hydrated is super important to staying fit, healthy, and energised. It pays to have a reusable water bottle to carry around at all times.
It’s better for the environment and saves you money on shop-bought plastic water bottles in the process.
The Contigo Vacuum-Sealed stainless steel drink bottle is awesome.
It’s a good size, boasts a leak-proof design, and is vacuum insulated to keep your drinks hot or cold. That’s good news for long days exploring.
6. A Travel Journal
I recommend taking a travel journal to X as well. It’s the perfect way to keep a record your time away- the things you see/do, the people you meet, and the way you feel on the road.
You’d be amazed how quickly your memory of a place fades! Having a written record of your time there means you’ll never forget a thing.
This MaleDen refillable leather notepad would be perfect. It comes with 160 sheets of high-quality craft paper, but you can refill it whenever you run out of space.
There’s a good-looking leather cover as well, which would help keep your journal entries safe too. With thousands of 5* reviews, it’s obviously doing something right!
7. Travel First Aid Kit
I never go away without a well-stocked travel first-aid kit. It might seem unnecessary or excessive, but you never know when it might come in handy when travelling in X!
The DeftGet travel first aid kit is everything you’d need and more.
It comes with 163 pieces of medical-grade first-aid gear, scissors, tweezers, a flashlight, and a handy 100% money-back guarantee to boot.
Time to Plan Your Nice France Itinerary!
That brings to a close this epic Nice itinerary, courtesy of Heather Frew.
A massive thank you to her for providing such an incredible list of things to do in Nice, France. I hope it’s provided anyone planning a trip to Nice with some top ideas for how to spend your time.
As you can tell, whether you’re spending 2 days in Nice, 7 days in Nice, or weeks in this stunning city on the French Riviera, you’re sure to have enough to keep you occupied.
Got any questions about this Nice itinerary or about travelling in France in general? Drop a comment below and I’ll do my best to help!
Heather Frew is a professional private chef turned digital marketer. She specialises in cooking and writing about her lifetime passions for food and travel. You can find her at My Kitchen Travels and Instagram @mykitchentravels.