Things to see & do in Nice, France?
June 26, 2006 6:29 AM   Subscribe

Going to be spending 4 days in Nice, southern France, beginning of August. Recommendations on things to see & do?

From what I've read online and on askmefi in a sort-of related question, is that the beach is a bit sucky (pebbles and rocks, not sand, and VERY crowded), so I'd like to know of any sandy, not-too-crowded beaches, even if they are pay-for beaches.

Read about a perfume factory in Eze that's worth going to, half-way between Nice & Monaco. Was also told to stay away from Monaco as it's a) expensive, and b) not really much to do there once you're there.

Any must-do thing in & around Nice?
posted by slater to Travel & Transportation around Nice, France (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
The one thing I didn't do when I was there was go to Van Gogh's asylum at Saint-Rémy. I still wish I'd done that.

Walking the Promenade des Anglais is fun in the evening. Go to one of the old casinos. *Definitely* have a drink at the schmancy old Negresco Hotel bar.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:27 AM on June 26, 2006 [1 favorite]


Also, to get in the mood, try to see La Baie Des Anges before you go!
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:30 AM on June 26, 2006


There's an interesting art museum, the Maeght Collection, in the hills outside of St. Paul de Vence.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:33 AM on June 26, 2006


One of my favorite things to do in Nice is to just walk around the old Centre-Ville section of the city and take in the sights. We always stop in the large square after dinner to eat an ice cream. There's a very old church in that square that is *covered* with those anti-pigeon needles -- we call it the Church of Acupuncture.

There is a Matisse museum near some old Roman ruins up in the hills there. Also, the harbor is a great place to walk and people-watch. We pretend we are choosing a yacht.

I'll check out my old diaries and post again if I get any more ideas.
posted by shifafa at 9:03 AM on June 26, 2006


Oh yes, fun shopping in the old section behind the port. Lots of lovely pottery, all things lavender, jewelry etc.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:05 AM on June 26, 2006


Be sure to eat a socca - which are very popular in Nice. It's made with chickpea flour and olive oil and it's very tasty.
posted by Staggering Jack at 9:08 AM on June 26, 2006


At the far end of the town you can walk a path up to Le Chateau at top of the cliffs from some great views. There's an old Catholic cemetery up there with a lot of ancient gothic tombstones and mausoleums. Then you can walk back down through the old part of town - lots of tiny cafes and restaurants tucked away in places. Nice is a great city for exploring without a vehicle - just walk and take pictures.
posted by BorgLove at 9:14 AM on June 26, 2006


Maeght Collection +1. My parents used to take us there every summer for a while (me french). Great place, great collection. Even kids can enjoy the place. The St Paul de Vence village is also beautiful.
posted by XiBe at 9:18 AM on June 26, 2006


Eze is more than just a perfume factory (which is interesting) but an interesting village in its own right.

If you are out and about in a car I highly reccomend the hand-blown glassworks at Biot, about 45 minutes from Nice. Like the cheap Mexican bubble-glass, only (a) more beautiful and (b) not cheap. Still, you can watch it being blown and then have a nice lunch.
posted by Rumple at 1:46 PM on June 26, 2006


Thank you all for these answers!
posted by slater at 12:21 AM on June 27, 2006


There is a spectacular cactus garden (Le Jardin Exotique) in the upper, old village of Eze with over 400 species of plants and a panoramic view of the sea and mountains.

Also, if you feel like hiking a bit, you could take the Nietzsche path from the upper village down to Eze-sur-mer and the public beach (or vice versa). Ascent takes about 1.5 hours; descent about 45 minutes.

If you are interested in museums, I recommend the Matisse museum in Nice, the Fernand Leger museum in Biot and the Picasso museum (including his studio) in Antibes. You can buy the French Riviera Museum Pass that covers these and other museums in the area.
posted by initapplette at 7:21 AM on June 27, 2006


When I was there, I really enjoyed climbing the hill that's at the end of the beach. (I assume it's the same one BorgLove is talking about.) The views really were spectacular. One way you see the entire beach and the other you see the harbor.
posted by smackfu at 7:29 AM on June 27, 2006


again, thank you for all the additional answers! :)
posted by slater at 12:33 PM on June 29, 2006


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