Nice

Nice is a delightful blend of modern art, timeless elegance and nature's bounty - the perfect holiday cocktail!

Nice, France's fifth largest city, has moved back and forth between Savoyard, Italian and French spheres of influence for centuries. The city is just a fourteen hour flight away from Cape Town or Johannesburg and is blessed with a very pleasant Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry Summers and pleasantly warm Spring and Autumn weather. Nice-Côte d'Azur airport is only seven kilometres from the city, which may be reached by bus, taxi or bus and train.
The city's architecture has a distinctly north Italian feel about it, especially in the Old Town. The Cimiez district, meanwhile, dates back much longer and in fact is one of the oldest sites of human habitation in Europe. An archaeological museum devoted to the original Gallo-Roman settlement is well worth the journey. Ideal for finding your bearings is a trip up to the Colline du Château, from where you have excellent views of the city, the Baie des Anges and the harbour. There is also a beautiful cliff walk running from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer - be sure to wear proper walking shoes.

Nice's most famous sight is inextricably linked to the city's status as a home to wealthy expats, once mainly English. The Promenade des Anglais, the brainchild of the British colony, was built in the 1830s and runs alongside the seafront. Another Nice landmark, the Negresco hotel, is a listed building and boasts its own Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Chantecler.

Due to its climate, Nice is a wonderful place for just walking around and drinking in the ambience. There are few better places to do this than the Cours Saleya with its daily flower market. Other pleasant public squares include Place Rossetti, Place Garibaldi and Place Masséna.

A stay in Nice is a must for all art-lovers

If you're a lover of modern art, you'll probably be happy buying an airplane ticket to Nice on the strength of the Chagall Museum alone. The collection is most notably home to the seventeen canvases that make up his 'Biblical message' series, depicting scenes and themes from Genesis, Exodus and the Song of Songs. Other first-class galleries and museums include:
  • The Matisse Museum
  • The Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain (contemporary art including Neo-Realism and Pop Art)
  • The Musée des Beaux Arts (Monet, Renoir, Sisley)
  • The Musée Masséna (paintings and folk art)
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Nice also boasts a number of beautiful and unusual churches, foremost amongst which is the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Nicholas, the largest Russian Orthodox cathedral in western Europe.

Nice does relaxation very well, but it's also a city that knows how to party! It's home to the original Carnival (the earliest known record of the event dates back to 1294), which is one of the biggest in the world. The centrepiece is a float parade and the 'battle of the flowers', in which costumed participants throw flowers into the crowds of onlookers. The programme of events lasts for 2 weeks during the month of February and ends with a bang in the shape of a fireworks display and the ceremonial burning of the 'King of the Carnival'.

More useful travel information from hotel accommodation to car rental and other holiday and travel tips may be found on the Air France site.

Plan your no-hassle stay in Nice using the following websites

Get all the information you need to ensure your stay in Nice is a memorable one:
Ambafrance-rsa.org
Musees nationaux alpesmaritimes

Nicetourisme.com

Nicecarnaval.com