See & Do
- The beach! Or beaches, rather. There are both public and “paid” beaches along the entire coastline of Nice. For a daily cost of roughly €25, you can rent a beach chair with cushion and parasol at any of these paid sections of the beaches. These also have a bar / restaurant bit with waiters that come right to your chair…talk about luxury! If you’re keeping a super minimal budget, the cost decreases after 2pm, after 5pm, etc.
- Markets. This is one of my faaavorite parts of France. From wee villages to larger cities, there are outdoor markets for food, flowers, fish, used books, art and beyond! Many are daily, like the main one in Nice.
- Vieux Ville. Perfect for an afternoon of wandering and staring at all of the colorful buildings! Get lost in the old town, pick up a gelato (or two!) and mosey into a few of the many shops lining the busy squares and streets. This section of Nice also has many, many places to eat / sip chilled drinks after a day in the Côte d’Azur sun – I’ve mentioned a few favorites below!
- Walk the Promenade. Mosey down the length of the coastal promenade for epic people watching and taking in that gorgeous sea view… you can even stop and rest a while in the iconic blue chairs lining the way.
- Galeries Lafayette.
Whether window shopping or the real deal, this huge square in Nice is definitely worth a stroll. There are endless shops (many of which are high end) to browse in the square itself, but if you head down the main street (away from the coast), the options go on and on! If you made the mistake of not packing a good pair of sandals (ahem – purely talking about myself here), this is the place to find them.
- Castle Hill (& waterfall). I dropped the ball on this one, mainly because of the crazy July heat. If it hadn’t been nearly 95 degrees by the time I got outside each day, this would’ve happened in a heartbeat! Set out on a little hike (like, very little) to the top of castle hill for a fabulous view over Nice. There’s even a waterfall!
Sip & Eat
from left to right:
- Délit Délice – had the loveliest petit dejeuner here featuring homemade jam, fresh o.j. & sweet, kitschy vintage decor.
- Lou Pilha Leva – delicious (& cheap!!) specialties right in old town Nice, with picnic tables out front that are perfect for people watching 🙂
- Emilie’s – an Insta-worthy eatery with the most wonderful bagel sandwiches.
- Hobo Coffee – finally, a proper iced coffee! And free wifi! Suuuper great location, as well.
- Chez Maitre Peirre – you guys. Their pain au chocolat is TO DIE FOR. Start your day here with a gorgeous pastry and coffee.
In true backpacker style (and budget), I will almost always opt for a hostel over any other accommodation.
Up until my first night in Nice, I’ve never fully disliked any hostel…
If I can recommend one thing, DO NOT stay at Villa Saint Exupery Beach. Plain and simple, it is filthy. And unfortunately it was recommended by Hostelworld. Thank goodness I only booked my very first night there.
DO, however, stay at Hostel Meyerbeer Beach. Absolutely wonderful staff, clean & bright rooms, super neat & tidy. I’m so thankful for my indecisiveness in this case, because staying extra nights in Nice allowed me to find this place. I highly recommend it! (photos below)
With limited time in France, I didn’t get a chance (this time) to do these recommended wee trips before moseying from Nice to Aix-en-Provence…but hopefully you will!
Villefranche Sur Mer (literally right next to Nice) / Antibes / Biot / Verdon Gorge & Valensole / Menton
Have a Nice trip! 😉