Nice is a lot of things
Vieux Nice, Flower Square, Promenade des Anglais, Place Massena, carnival, museums, lots of restaurants, cafes, bistros, etc.
Nice has many qualities and we could keep up with it. But we have fallen for the special mood that exists in the city. An intermediate between a mood of a big city and of small local and cozy enclaves. Let's start with the old town of Vieux Nice, which is charming and lively to live in. Very touristy, yes, but also with a special atmosphere. Lots of shops, many of them are clean tourist shops. But in fact you can actually find a proper store. We have succeded to buy Ray-Ban sunglasses in Vieux Nice at the city's cheapest price. The Flower Square, Cours Saleya, located on the outskirts of the old town, just behind the seafront, is also to be experienced. Here are lots of people and lots of life. Flower and food market every day except Monday where antiques take over.
Let us also mention one of the other districts in town, Liberation. Go to Av. Jean Medicin (where the trams go) and continue for more a couple of kilometers, passing Le Gare de Nice Ville and under the motorroad. After that some hundred meters more and you are at Place de General de Gaulle. That is the center of district Liberation - and here there is a huge market every day, except Monday - and a lot of shops, restaurants etc.
Promenade des Anglais, "La Prom", one of the world's most famous seaside promenades. Several kilometers long with lots of life. An experience in itself.
Nice is the capital of the Côte d'Azur. We love the city incredibly much and come there as often as possible. But of course, you should be aware that in the hot summer months it is really hot in a big city, so also in Nice. However, with its location next to the water, it even goes. In the summer we can recommend a few days in the city and so for the rest of the money the rest of Provence.
When you're in town, you can not help spending much time at the promenade. Take a trip from town to west. There are 5-6 kilometers before arriving at the airport. Take a break along the way. Either on one of the many famous blue chairs set along the way - or on one of the beach bars that appear on a regular basis. Here the colours of the umbrellas and the furniture in many cases are also blue - because we are at the blue Mediterranean Sea
The nice Nice squares
The famous places, Massena, Garibaldi, Rossetti and others are gathering points in the city and they testify to a long-term affiliation with Italy. Nice was Italian until the 1860s and it is not to be overlooked. Go to Place Massena, where the typical Italian-inspired building style in Nice is seen most clearly. The site is considered to be the center of Nice, and it is truly a pretty impressive sight. There is always a lot of life on the square, along the Promenade Paillon or on the square, which the tram cuts through.
In Vieux Nice there are a few smaller sqares, and especially Place Rosetti must be experienced. Here there is always plenty of life - and there is also the icebath with the almost 100 variants (see below in tips for Nice).
The latest addition to the squares is Promenade Paillon. In fact, it is originally more places that are now connected. As it now cuts through the city from La Prom and all the way to the Musée d'Art Moderne, it has really become a wonderful landmark for the city.
Promenade Paillon Rue Bonaparte La Prom
Restauranter og cafeer
In Nice there are plenty of places to eat (Tripadvisor says more than 1,600 of the kind) but maybe not so many that are in top of the top of French restaurants (we never go to the top rstaurants anyway, so for us it is ok). However, we have certainly found some pieces we can recommend.
Let us start in Vieux Nice: If you want to eat at Cours Saleya we have experienced that there are a number of tourist traps, but those we have found of this kind have primarily been on the side towards the water. On the opposite side we can assimilate two. They are neighbors, and it is Le Safari and La Storia. In both places we have eaten a couple of times and it has been quite good and determined for the price. Nobody falls in water here. We have also had excellent food at the Italian La Voglia, right next to Saleya (it is on the water side but is an exception).
We highly recommend a few restaurants in Rue du Marché. They are just opposite each other, a few meters from one of our rental apartments, so there is a lot of good things to say about Rue du Marché. We are talking about Comptoir du Marché (CdM) and Caruso.
First CdM: traditional French food, but in the absolute better end. Large a la carte program, which is regularly replaced. We have eaten there four times, there has not been many disappointments. Order a table in good time, there are rifts around the seats, although there are many of them, because there is the local seen from Rue du Marché - and then there is more behind. We would recommend that you try to get a seat in the back room. It's cozy (the acoustics are not amazing), and this is where the big open kitchen is. It's fun to keep a little eye on life at the frying panes - they are busy out there. Areaally, it is not a big kitchen, yet there are still seven to eight people out there. All in all, tip top and very friendly service.
There are always many guests at CdM and they have two sittings in the evening. Kl. 19 and 21.15.
The owners of CdM also own another restaurant a few blocks away, namely the Bar des Oiseaux in Rue Saint Vincent. We have eaten there many years ago, we think it was among other owners - but now the place is praised as much as CdM.
The other restaurant in Rue du Marché is Caruso. Genuine Italian cuisine - the quality in top of both pizzas, pasta, risotto and everything else they try out. The waiter we met there speaks Italian - and we have also heard him speak Italian with some of the guests, so we guess it's a place even the Italians in Nice arelooking for if they want good Italian food.
Many tourist guides recommend the small restaurant Acchiardo in Rue Droite, which serves traditional Provencemad. Nice place, nice food. However, order either a table at Acchiardo in good time, or come relatively late from around 21.30, where first teams of tourists have finished. In the same street is Palmyre, which we have not managed to get on board yet. Very small place with 15-16 seats, but after all, very good food. Same problem: order a table in good time.
Finally a little tip more to Vieux Nice: Le Hall in rue Collet, the street closest to Promenade Paillon. The restaurant is now made up to serve Asian food - when we ate there, it was typically French. It turned out that they also own the sushi bix just across the narrow street, here you get all-you-can-eat-sushi for 20 Euro, including a small drink.
If you are to oyster and other seafood, you should of course pass by the famous Café Turin at Place Garibaldi. But there are also many other places to eat oysters and seafood. Especially in the neighborhood around Rue de Massena and Rue de France there are (cheaper) alternatives to Turin.
Then there is the neighborhood around Rue Bonaparte, called Le petit Marais. Naturally because it is cozy like the Marais in Paris, but also because there are several gay bars in the area. It rarely adversely affects the quality, and the street is filled with nice and good restaurants. Rue Bonaparte is located just behind Place Garibaldi, a short distance down Rue Cassini.
Another good "restaurant street" is Rue Chauvin. It is located close to Place Massena, on the opposite side of Promenade Paillon compared to the old town, and is one of the side streets down to Av. Felix Faure. Here are at least two good restaurants. Our friends have eaten at the Italian Luna Rossa in number 3 several times, while we can warmly recommend Bistrot Chaud Vin to No. 6. During our last visit we each composed a three course menu from a la carte and we drank a couple of good half bottles of wine, among them a rewarding Pessac-Leognan 2012, one of our favorite red Bordeaux. We paid 114 Euro for two people, and it was worth all the money.