France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Nice, France Guide
Want to experience France's famed Côte d'Azur? Start in Nice, its unofficial "capital."

#I Love Nice sign




On the Mediterranean shore 950 km (590 miles) southeast of Paris and only 32 km (20 miles) west of the Italian border (map), Nice is the 5th largest city in France

With a fine selection of hotels in all price ranges, the Riviera's major airport, its busiest train station, a historic Old Town, Roman ruins, dramatic scenery, fine museums, things to see and do, restaurants and lots of shopping, Nice really is the "capital" of the Côte d'Azur (French Riviera).

It's the first place to consider as a base for your explorations of the region.

About the Big Boom: For over a century a cannon has been fired from the Colline du Château precisely at 12 noon. Begun as a time signal, it's now a tradition continued by the detonation of a huge firework. It makes a tremendous noise if you're anywhere close. You may set an alarm for 11:55am so you'll be ready when the Big Boom comes.

19th-century painting in the Musée Masséna
showing the cannon boom.

What to See & Do

The center of the city is marked by the Place Garibaldi, with its marble statue of the great General Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882), a native of Nice.

Nice's Promende des Anglais is the status address, the Mediterranean beachfront promenade lined with luxury hotels. The beach itself is narrow and stony, but that doesn't stop it from being in high demand imost of the year.

Even in winter, when most visitors limit their sunning to the promenade, you'll see people tanning on the beach.

Vieux Nice (or Vieille Ville, Old Town), with its narrow, winding streets and small squares, is a good place to look for old churches, good small restaurants, and interesting markets and shops.

The cours Saleya is at the center of the Marché aux Fleurs, a market near the waterfront for everything good in French cooking, as well as flowers and spices.

Above the cours Saleya and Vieux Nice looms a rocky promontory called the Colline du Château, which once held the castle of the Dukes of Savoy, who once ruled Nice. East of the promontory, the Port Lympia (formerly named the Vieux Port), offers several bars and restaurants.

Buses and trains transport you easily to all the other towns between Cannes and the Italian border. More...

Monaco & Monte Carlo

Want to go to Monte Carlo, Monaco? Hop on Bus 100 at Port Lympia in Nice, pay the tiny fare (1.50€), and it'll take you straight there. Transport to other Riviera towns is equally quick and easy by train or bus. More...

Hotels in Nice

Restaurant Areas

What to See & Do

Transport in Nice

Tourist Information



Côte d'Azur

Côte d'Azur Transport


Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan


Port Lympia, Nice, France.

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