Janis seated on a giant hashtag I Love Nice sign overlooking the blue water of the Cote d'Azur in the south of France

A few hours in Nice, France

In En-Route, Europe, France, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, World Travel by JanisLeave a Comment

A captivating city that deserves so much longer

The reason that we were only in Nice for a few hours is that we were visiting there as part of a day out and about touring around the Côte d'Azur. Although, it has certainly given us a taster to want more of the delightful city.

ILoveNice, Nice, France


Your first impressions of Nice, whether you’re flying into the coastal airport or driving along the stunning French Riviera, is the sweeping shoreline, it’s beautiful.

The welcoming bay stretches for what appears to be, miles and miles, and it’s almost irresistible for a dip.

Quick Links

Nice coastline, Nice, France

Nice coastline

A reference guide

If you love Provence as much as we do, you'll want to start planning your visit now. I so enjoy using the DK Eyewitness books, as they are extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.

We used a previous version of this book to plan our Provencal road trip, now you can grab the revised copy.

Rustic charm

However, what Nice really won me over with, was its rustic charm. It has the elegant promenade, the swaying palm trees and grand boulevards, but step one or two roads back and you’re into the charming lanes and lived-in streets that are so appealing.

Rustic lanes, Nice, France

Rustic lanes

Character & charm, Nice, France

Character & charm

Although this is a busy city with tourist and visitors alike, you still feel that Nice is continually bustling with locals, getting on with their day to day lives.  

Cave Pierre Bianchi & Cie, Nice, France

Cave Pierre Bianchi & Cie

You can imagine the wealth and glamour of years gone by. But Nice has not been left to decline, to me, it has the earthiness of “love me for what I am” and has not been polished up around the edges.

Life in Nice amongst the streets and lanes is so alluring, you feel like the city is keeping something back for itself. And don’t get me started on the incredible architecture, wow.

Rue Rossetti, Nice, France

Rue Rossetti

Down Rue Rossetti, Nice, France

Down Rue Rossetti

Tempted to?

Discover more of France and create your own memories? It’s so easy to do this on a road trip, Rental Cars searches multiple well-known car hire brands and discovers the deals that suit you the best.

Get lost in the lanes

Well, where do you start? For us, we just wanted to take in the atmosphere, walk and enjoy the hustle and bustle. So, we went for our own little promenade along the bay, then into the Old Town.

Fontaine du Soleil, Nice, France

Fontaine du Soleil

Wandering up via Place Massena and around the Fontaine du Soleil. Strolling in and around the streets by the Hôtel de Ville, the Opera house and passing by a very quaint confiserie of Henri Auer, which has been trading since the mid-19th-century.

Nice Opera House, Nice, France

Nice Opera House

Confiserie ‘Henri Auer’, Nice, France

Confiserie ‘Henri Auer’

Have You?

Visited Nice and discovered any wonderful places to see or restaurants to enjoy. I’m sure we’ll be back, I’ll add them to my wish-list?

I love a street market

Heading a little further and we are in Cours Saleya a very traditional town square, where the local market traders sell their wares. Not only are they selling beautiful aromatic flowers, but there’s incredibly fresh fruit, dried chillies and aubergines and of course garlic.

Market in Cours Saleya, Nice, France

Market in Cours Saleya

It is all so tempting, I just loved wandering around here and couldn’t resist buying a couple of nectarines.

Grapes at Cours Saleya market, Nice, France

Grapes at Cours Saleya market

Fresh Fruit at the market, Nice, France

Fresh fruit at the market

There has to be garlic, Nice, France

There has to be garlic

Don't forget

Grab a bottle of water and keep yourself topped-up.

Only one thing for it!

With the Côte d'Azur sunshine beating down upon us, there was only one thing for it, ICE-CREAM. So, we head to Fenocchio’s ice-cream parlour in Place Rossetti.  Fenocchio serves 94 flavours, 59 of them are ice-creams, and 35 are sorbets, some quite weird like cactus or thyme.

I’m a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to ice-cream, this is a serious matter. Gary is one for the more exotic flavours.

Janis and an ice-cream from Fenocchio, Nice, France

Janis and an ice-cream from Fenocchio

Cathedral of Saint Reparata, Nice, France

Cathedral of Saint Reparata

In the same charming square as Fenocchio’s ice-cream parlour is the Cathedral of Saint Reparata. Place Rossetti is such a pretty square, you’ll just want to sit down and watch the world go by. 

Place Rossetti, Nice, France

Place Rossetti

Why not?

Start creating your own French adventure and discover the beautiful Côte d'Azur for yourself, by, jumping on Le Shuttle and tour through France under your own steam.

Castle Hill

After our sugar hit, it’s now time to climb the hill. Castle Hill in fact, which overlooks the whole of Nice and gives incredible panoramic views along the Promenade des Anglais and the terracotta rooftops below.

View across Nice, Nice, France

View across Nice

Now, I need you to take my word for this, the previous day we drove along the promenade, and we could see an amazing waterfall cascading near the top of Castle Hill. Well, we arrive (I say arrive, I’m a bit exhausted by this point) and the waterfall wasn’t working. I couldn’t believe it, as it was only the day before that we saw it.  We hung around for a while just in case it was our bad timing, but no, this “must see” was a definite “must not see”.

Where’s the waterfall?, Nice, France

Where’s the waterfall?

The main fortification of Nice Castle was destroyed in the 18th-century; however, you can still see its ancient ruins and stroll around the gardens. 

Nice Castle ruins, Nice, France

Nice Castle ruins

Good to know

There is a train line that runs along the Côte d'Azur, with incredible views and it stops at some very picturesque towns en route. We were staying at Villefranche-sur-Mer, a couple of stops along the bay and this stunning old fishing town is most definitely worth a visit.

Don’t hesitate

I highly recommend heading up Castle Hill, as the views alone are worth it.

There are few options of getting to the top of the hill, the first is to walk (which I’m proud to say we did), secondly; you can get the dotto train (which I’m proud to say we didn’t). However; the third is to get the elevator up, which until I got back down to the bottom, I didn’t know existed (and I believe it’s free). But, hey I needed the exercise.

Nice harbour, Nice, France

Nice harbour, Nice, France

Would you like a little more?

We have created a little YouTube video of Nice - why not check it out?

Why not subscribe to our YouTube channel and get the latest clips as we post them?

Au Revoir Nice

Until we meet again, as I’m sure there will be a next time.

Back on the road

During our trip, we also visited the charming hillside village of Tourrettes-sur-Loup. This is a quaint village, not to be missed.

(These options are provided by GetYouGuide.Com. We will earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you if you book through our site)

Inspired to visit Nice?

Like us, base yourself at the beautiful Riviera bay of Villefranche-sur-Mer and enjoy a few hours exploring the charming lanes of Nice.

Search for your flights in one easy place with ebookers.com and open up a world of options. Over 400 airlines are scanned for your favoured routes and chosen dates.
Have a peek at the latest offers from Booking.com, our preferred hotel booking website.
A few hours in Nice, France

(Why not Pin It for Later?)

* This post may contain links to affiliated sites where we earn a small commission at no additional charge to you.

Share this post

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.