Travelling to Nice, France for a week -- what should we do?
April 4, 2019 9:24 AM   Subscribe

My partner and I will be travelling to Nice, France in September. We tend to lay relatively low, are looking to avoid overly touristy activities, and need to stick to a budget. We'll be staying in an airbnb in Old Town but are comfy walking, taxi-ing, ubering, etc. Any activity, point of interest, restaurant (read: coffeeshop), etc. recommendations and travel tips welcome! Thank you!!!
posted by mrk021 to Travel & Transportation around Nice, France (9 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
You might really enjoy the Chagall museum. You might not. No way to know.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:47 AM on April 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

I like low key wine bars. They seem to fill the role of coffee shops in places like Nice. My favorites were "La Part des Anges" and "La Mise au Verre".

Nearby, the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild is a very cool manor/museum to visit and has a wonderful garden cafe. We spent an afternoon there just soaking it in. The spit of land the Villa is built on has a nice coastal trail too
posted by tuffet at 10:51 AM on April 4, 2019 [2 favorites]

I would heartily recommend a visit to the nearby medieval village of Èze. I visited there for just a few hours in 2017, and my wife and I were enchanted by the stunning views of the bay and city below, the tiny shops and cafes, (linked photos are mine) and the history of the place. Though you won't be the only tourists there, I did not think it had a "touristy" feel, as I was pleased to find a quiet place in a small courtyard where I sat and admired my surroundings while waiting for my spouse, whose shopping and bargaining endurance exceeds my own.
posted by EKStickland at 11:01 AM on April 4, 2019 [4 favorites]

Villefranche Sur Mer is a lovely little old town one stop over on the train, don't miss the mystery underground street. If you go one stop further there is an absolutely stunning walk around a little peninsula (same coastal trail near Rothschild villa mentioned above). Take sandwiches and go anticlockwise if starting in the morning to keep in the shade!

La Route Du Miam is a tiny restaurant whose menu is basically 'pay 30 euro get half a duck' but the duck is amazing and the couple who own it are really friendly and will tell you all about their special half wild ducks and their 11 generation local duck eating heritage. I'd eat cheese baguettes for a week to save for this half a duck. You won't need to eat the next day.
posted by quacks like a duck at 12:34 PM on April 4, 2019 [2 favorites]

Get a bus pass at the airport when you arrive. The places mentioned above are all easy rides. If you go to Monaco, check out the Oceanographic Museum. If you go to Eze, you can also take the bus to the Grand Corniche above the town and have a nice quiet walk.
posted by leaper at 1:49 PM on April 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

Take a short bus ride to Beaulieu-sur-Mer for the Villa Kerylos, a Greco-Roman style villa full of painstaking copies of original Greek furniture built by a rich German banker. Not as tacky as that sounds, I swear. I went at dusk when there was no-one there but the sound of the waves and it was bonkers atmospheric.

Also, eat the socca chickpea pancakes whenever you see them.

The Russian Orthodox Cathedral is pleasantly jarring.
posted by runincircles at 3:04 PM on April 4, 2019 [2 favorites]

You can actually walk along the seafront from Nice to Monaco. I did the Villefranche-sur-mer to Monaco piece a few years ago, and it was delightful. No border crossing into Monaco. Just suddenly you are there, and you know it because the street signs are a different color.
posted by mono blanco at 7:39 PM on April 4, 2019 [2 favorites]

Also the Fort du Mont Alban which you can walk up to from Old Nice in an hour or so. Panoramic views of the Mediterranean and the coastline .
posted by mono blanco at 7:50 PM on April 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

Hi, the low-key, and in my opinion, best neighborhoods are around the port and a little north, in Riquier. Both are still a little working class, but with plenty of little wine bars, restaurants, second hand shops, and so on. For Socca, chez Pipo is recognized as the place. You will also be in time to eat a pan bagnat (olive oil based tuna sandwhich).

To get out, I like to go into the mountains, don't forget you are at the foot of the Alps while you take in all that blue sea. You could take the little train up to Tende, the train makes a number of curlicues as it doubles back on itself to get up into the mountains, its quite a feat of engineering. If you have a car you can go into the Mercantour park or the Vallée des merveilles, with its ancient carvings and stark landscape, its quite something, though it is a little demanding. Most people do make lateral moves, you may enjoy Menton more than Eze depending on how much you like tourists.

In Nice, going up to visit the roman ruins on Cimiez takes half a day. The Matisse museum is up there too, along with a big olive grove you can picnic in, a monastery and garden with a view over the city, and what remains from the Romans (w/ the archaeological museum).

Villefranche is one train stop east, and has nicer beaches than Nice, IMHO.
posted by os tuberoes at 11:33 PM on April 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

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