Get cheap flights to Nice and:
- people watch at a cafe overlooking the Mediterranean
- go on a road trip along the Cote d'Azur
- experience one of the local festivals like Nice Carnival
On the shore of the Mediterranean Sea, between Marseille in France and Genoa in Italy, Nice is located in the very midst of the French Riviera (Côte d'Azur) in the south of France. Surrounded by beautifully wooded hills with views of the distant Alps, the city has a scenic setting on both banks of the River Paillon and on the Bay of Angels, which opens further into the sea. Almost 700 km from Paris, Nice is a destination unto itself with an enviable Mediterranean climate and is mostly sheltered by the string of hills to the north. For its metro population of over 1 million, tourism is the mainstay industry and, with all the city has to offer to travelers, it is no wonder. Arrive on your airBaltic flight at Nice Airport and on a clear day you can enjoy the views of the Riviera even before touching down.
Although the official language of Nice is French, mix around enough in the festivals or in older circles and you’re bound to hear Niçard, the local dialect which has a feel of Italian to it. The city is a major tourist destination, so English will help you get around for the most part, but as with other cities in France, it is not a bad idea to have at least a phrasebook along, if your French is not up to the level.
See and Do
Just about any time of year guarantees a splendid time in the French Riviera, especially thanks to the carefree style in Nice, famous for its rowdy February Carnival and the rhythmic Jazz Festival that takes off in July. A Nice city-break means that you will have plenty of beautiful architecture to admire, museums to visit, ruins to explore and extensive shopping districts to be lost in. The city is easy to take on, as it is split by the Paillon River into the Old Town, with its tiny streets leading up to Chateau Hill in the east, and the New Town to the west, where many of the shops and hotels are to be found. For its decorative design and ceremonial staircase, be sure to buy tickets for L’Opera, created by Francois Aune and meant to model the Palais Garnier in Paris. Enjoy the works of Matisse at the museum of the same name, located in a beautiful villa amidst the Gardens of Cimiez and with an impressive collection from the artist’s life.
With a range of 300 restaurants, from the not so cheap to those with a star chef, Nice will tempt and definitely delight you with its culinary skill. Sample some of the region’s wine and enjoy the traditional pissaladière (beef pie with onions and black olives). Of course, any trip to Nice must include a walk along the famous promenade or La Promenade des Anglais, whose earliest construction was done by beggars from the far north, given the task to keep them busy. All around Nice this merger of culture and tradition is visible, with plenty of folk music and dances to enjoy, some taken from the influx of immigrants which Nice has been happy to accommodate in recent years. Take part in a rousing farandole with the locals before you head back for your airline and home.