Welcome to the ultimate guide for planning your perfect long weekend in Nice! Located on the beautiful French Riviera, Nice is the ideal destination for a quick getaway to recharge your batteries. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beaches, indulge in delicious cuisine, or explore the local culture, Nice has something for everyone.
In this guide, we’ll take you through all the steps to organizing a trip to Nice. From getting there to finding the perfect accommodation, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to make the most of your long weekend. Additionally, we’ll highlight the top attractions, hidden gems, and day trips you won’t want to miss. And of course, we can’t forget about the delicious food and vibrant nightlife!
So, pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable long weekend in Nice.
Getting to Nice: Tips for Easy Travel Planning
Located in the South of France, Nice is easily accessible by various means of transportation. Whether you are arriving by air, car, or train, here are some tips to help plan your trip.
Nice Côte d’Azur Airport is the main airport serving the city, and is located just 6 km away from the city center. The airport is well connected, with flights from major European cities such as Paris, London, and Madrid, as well as international destinations such as New York and Dubai.
To find the best deals on flights, use booking websites like Expedia or Skyscanner, and try to book your tickets well in advance. Once you arrive at the airport, there are several transportation options available, including taxis, buses, or private transfers.
If you plan to drive to Nice, there are several options available. From Paris, take the A6 motorway towards Lyon, then head south towards Nice. If you are coming from Italy, take the A8 motorway and follow the signs for Nice. If you prefer to rent a car, there are several rental agencies available at Nice airport.
Nice is served by several train stations, including Nice-Ville, the main station located in the heart of the city. Trains from major French cities like Paris and Marseille run regularly, as well as international trains from Switzerland and Italy. They offer a comfortable and convenient option for traveling to Nice.
No matter how you plan to get to Nice, be sure to book your reservations well in advance to ensure a smooth and hassle-free trip.
Where to Stay in Nice: Discovering the Perfect Accommodation
Choosing the right accommodation can make all the difference in a long weekend getaway. Nice offers a wide variety of options, each with its own charms. Here are some tips to help you find the perfect place to stay in Nice:
1. Consider the Neighborhood
The neighborhood you choose will impact your overall experience in Nice. Old Town is perfect for those who want to be in the heart of the city’s cultural scene, while Cimiez offers a peaceful getaway with a stunning view of the Mediterranean.
2. Look for Deals
Nice can be an expensive city, but there are ways to save money. Check online for special deals on hotels and vacation rentals, and consider staying outside of the city center for a more affordable option.
3. Choose a Hotel with a View
One of the highlights of Nice is its stunning coastline. Consider choosing a hotel with a balcony or terrace overlooking the sea for the ultimate experience.
4. Consider an Apartment Rental
For a more authentic experience, consider renting an apartment in Nice. This option allows you to live like a local and often comes with amenities like kitchens and laundry facilities.
5. Do Your Research
Before booking your accommodation, be sure to read reviews from previous guests. This can give you a better idea of what to expect and help you make an informed decision.
Exploring Nice: Must-See Attractions and Hidden Gems
As one of the most popular destinations on the French Riviera, Nice has a wealth of attractions to offer visitors. From historic landmarks to hidden gems, here are some of the must-see sights to add to your itinerary.
The Promenade des Anglais
A visit to Nice wouldn’t be complete without a stroll along the Promenade des Anglais. This famous seafront promenade stretches for 7km and offers stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. Take a leisurely walk or rent a bike to explore the many cafes, restaurants, and shops that line this beautiful promenade.
If you’re looking for panoramic views of Nice and the surrounding area, head to Castle Hill. This historic site offers breathtaking views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea. You can hike to the top of the hill or take the elevator for a small fee. Don’t forget to bring your camera!
The Old Town
The Old Town, or “Vieux Nice,” is a charming neighborhood filled with narrow streets, colorful buildings, and bustling markets. Take a stroll through the winding streets and stop at a local bakery to try some traditional Niçois pastries. You’ll also find many artisan shops and street vendors selling everything from handmade jewelry to fresh flowers.
Nice Cathedral, also known as the Sainte-Réparate Cathedral, is a beautiful Baroque-style church located in the heart of the city. The cathedral is dedicated to Saint Reparata, the patron saint of Nice, and features striking artwork and stained glass windows.
If you’re a fan of art, don’t miss the Musée Matisse. This museum is dedicated to the works of Henri Matisse, one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. The collection includes paintings, sculptures, and drawings, as well as personal items and photographs from Matisse’s life.
Le Château de Bellet
For a unique experience, visit the Château de Bellet. This winery is located in the hills overlooking Nice and offers tours and tastings of their award-winning wines. You’ll also have the opportunity to explore the vineyards and see the stunning views of the Mediterranean coastline.
These are just a few of the many attractions and hidden gems that you can discover in Nice. Make sure to take some time to explore the city and discover its many charms.
Indulging in Nice Cuisine: Where to Eat and What to Try
No trip to Nice is complete without indulging in the local cuisine. The city is renowned for its Mediterranean-inspired dishes featuring fresh seafood, vegetables, and local herbs and spices. Here are some recommended restaurants and dishes to try during your long weekend in Nice.
Where to Eat
When it comes to Nice cuisine, there is no shortage of excellent restaurants to choose from. For a truly authentic experience, head to La Petite Maison, a favorite among locals and visitors alike. This Michelin-starred restaurant specializes in seafood dishes and traditional Niçoise cuisine. Another top pick is Bistrot d’Antoine, which offers a cozy atmosphere and classic French dishes made with locally sourced ingredients.
What to Try
One of the most famous dishes in Nice is the Salade Niçoise, a refreshing salad made with tomatoes, green beans, hard-boiled eggs, tuna, anchovies, and olives. Another must-try is Socca, a crispy, savory pancake made from chickpea flour and served hot and fresh from street vendors. For something sweet, indulge in some Niçoise desserts, such as the Tarte Tropezienne, a brioche filled with cream, or Pissaladière, a French version of pizza topped with caramelized onions and anchovies.
No matter what you choose to eat, be sure to pair your meal with a glass of local wine or a refreshing cocktail made with the famous Côte d’Azur citrus fruits.
Relaxing on the Beaches of Nice: The Perfect Escape
No trip to Nice would be complete without a visit to its stunning beaches. With sparkling turquoise waters and golden sand, the beaches of Nice are the perfect place to unwind and soak up the Mediterranean sun.
The Top Beaches to Visit in Nice
One of the most popular beaches in Nice is the Plage des Ponchettes, known for its crystal-clear waters and family-friendly atmosphere. Another must-visit is the Plage Beau Rivage, which offers stunning views of the Baie des Anges and is perfect for sunbathing and swimming.
If you’re looking for a more secluded spot, head to the Plage de la Reserve, a small, quiet cove surrounded by cliffs. And for those who want to indulge in a little luxury, the private beaches of the Promenade des Anglais offer sun loungers, cabanas, and premium amenities for a fee.
Beach Activities and Water Sports
While lounging on the beach is a great way to relax, there are also plenty of activities to enjoy in and around the water. Hire a stand-up paddleboard or kayak to explore the coastline, or go on a snorkeling or scuba diving excursion to see the marine life up close.
For those seeking a thrill, there are also numerous water sports options available, including water skiing, wakeboarding, and jet skiing. And for a truly unique experience, try paragliding over the bay for breathtaking views of the city and coastline.
Whether you’re looking to unwind on a quiet cove or try your hand at some exciting water sports, the beaches of Nice offer something for everyone.
Day Trips from Nice: Exploring the French Riviera
A long weekend in Nice is the perfect opportunity to explore other destinations along the French Riviera. With its scenic coastline and charming towns, the region offers plenty of opportunities for adventure and relaxation. Here are some of the top day trips to consider:
Just a short drive or train ride from Nice, Monaco is a must-see destination for many visitors to the French Riviera. Home to the famous Monte Carlo Casino and the Prince’s Palace, Monaco is a glamorous and picturesque city-state. Take a stroll around the marina, admire the stunning architecture, and soak up the luxurious ambiance.
Known for its world-famous film festival, Cannes is a chic and sophisticated city that’s worth a visit any time of year. Shop on the designer boutiques on the Boulevard de la Croisette, relax on the gorgeous beaches, and explore the charming old town area. Don’t miss the chance to take a photo on the famous red carpet at the Palais des Festivals.
If you’re looking for a more laid-back vibe, Antibes is a great choice for a day trip. This charming town is home to a picturesque old town area, stunning beaches, and the fascinating Picasso Museum. Take a stroll along the ramparts of the old town and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of this hidden gem.
This hilltop village offers breathtaking views of the Mediterranean and the surrounding countryside. Wander through the narrow, winding streets and admire the stunning architecture and colorful gardens. Take a guided tour of the famous perfume factory and learn about the history of fragrance in the region.
Wherever you choose to go, a day trip from Nice is a great way to explore the French Riviera and experience a different side of this beautiful region. Plan your itinerary in advance to make the most of your long weekend getaway.
Nightlife in Nice: Where to Go for Evening Entertainment
When the sun goes down in Nice, the city comes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing evening with a glass of wine or a night of dancing and music, Nice has something for everyone.
Bars and Lounges
If you’re in the mood for a quiet evening, head to one of Nice’s many bars and lounges. Le Bar du Plaza is a popular spot for a cocktail, with its outdoor terrace overlooking the Promenade des Anglais. The Snug and Cellar also offer a cozy atmosphere with a wide range of drinks to choose from.
Clubs and Dance Venues
If you’re looking to dance the night away, Nice has plenty of options for you. High Club is one of the city’s most popular dance venues, with DJs playing the latest hits until the early hours of the morning. Kitch Club is another popular spot for dancing, with a glamorous interior and a lively crowd.
For a more cultural evening, check out Nice’s many theaters and music venues. The Opéra de Nice hosts a variety of opera, ballet, and classical music performances throughout the year. The Théâtre de la Photographie et de l’Image is another unique venue that showcases photographic exhibitions, film screenings, and multimedia installations.
In the summer months, Nice hosts a number of outdoor events for all ages. The Festival de Jazz à Juan is a must-visit for jazz enthusiasts, with live performances held at the scenic Juan-les-Pins beach. The Nice Jazz Festival is another popular event, with multiple stages showcasing a range of jazz styles.
- Le Bar du Plaza: for a relaxed evening with a view
- High Club: for a night of dancing
- Opéra de Nice: for a cultural experience
- Festival de Jazz à Juan: for a summer music festival
Whatever your tastes or budget, Nice has plenty of options for an unforgettable evening out. From rooftop bars to underground clubs, the city is sure to leave you wanting more.
FAQ About a Long Weekend in Nice
Planning a long weekend getaway to Nice can seem daunting, but fear not. Here are some frequently asked questions to help you prepare for your trip:
When is the best time to visit Nice?
The best time to visit Nice is in the spring (April-May) or fall (September-October), when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller. Summer (June-August) can be uncomfortably hot and crowded, while the winter months can be chilly and rainy.
Is Nice a safe destination?
Yes, Nice is generally a safe destination. However, as with any tourist destination, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions against pickpocketing and other petty crimes.
What is the budget like for a weekend in Nice?
The budget for a long weekend in Nice can vary depending on your travel style. On average, expect to spend around 100-150 euros per day on food, transportation, and activities. Accommodation can range from budget hostels to luxury hotels.
What are some must-try dishes in Nice?
Nice is known for its delicious Mediterranean cuisine. Some must-try dishes include socca (a chickpea pancake), salade niçoise (a salad with tuna, olives, and eggs), and ratatouille (a vegetable stew). Don’t forget to try the local rosé wine as well!
While the main attractions in Nice are certainly worth a visit, don’t miss out on some of the city’s hidden gems. Check out the colorful street art in the Cimiez neighborhood, explore the Parc Phoenix botanical gardens, or take a day trip to the nearby village of Eze.
With these tips and suggestions, you’re well on your way to planning the perfect long weekend in Nice. Bon voyage!