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Nice is a picturesque coastal city in southern France, less than 15 km west of Monaco. Located on the French Riviera, the city is the fifth largest city in France.
In today's Nice there was Terra Amata, the oldest known camp from around 380,000 years BC. Around 350 BC, the Greek settlement of Nikaia was founded here. Throughout the centuries, Nice has changed many times and significantly influenced the development of maritime trade.
For centuries, the city belonged to the Duchy of Savoy-Piedmont, later to France, the Kingdom of Sardinia and in 1860 it was permanently incorporated into France.
In the mid-eighteenth century the beautiful surroundings and pleasant Mediterranean climate drew attention of the British upper classes and many aristocrats spent the winter in Nice.
The main promenade of the city is called the "Promenade of Englishmen" after an increasing number of English visitors. Nowadays, not only the aristocracy, but also runners, skaters, and skateboarders are walking along the promenade. There is also a bicycle track separated from the street.
The promenade is considered the heart of the city due to the events organised here, such as carnivals, sporting events and art exhibitions. There is also a Hotel Le Negresco - one of the most luxurious hotels in the world.
Walking along the promenade, you can see remains of the Casino of the Jetée-Promenade, which did not survive World War II. Going towards the Castle Hill, you can not miss the Neuf Lignes Obliques monument, which was built in 2010 to celebrate the occasion of the 150th anniversary of annexation of Nice by France.
For centuries the city has attracted not only those seeking relaxation, but also those seeking inspiration. Clean air and specific "soft" light appealed to artists such as Marc Chagall, Niki de Saint Phalle, Henri Matisse, and Arman. Their works can be admired in museums located in the city.
We also recommend visiting the Museum of Asian Art (Musée des Arts Asiatiques), which features a collection of works from India, China, and from the south-eastern part of the continent. The museum is located in Parc Phoenix park on the banks of a small lake.
Beaches in Nice have large, flat stones but some private beaches are covered with a layer of sand. We recommend that you bring something soft to sit on the beach and a flip-flops. You can also rent beach chairs and other beach accessories. Despite the stony beaches, people happily go swimming in the clear blue sea.
Beaches in the towns near Nice are more sandy and we recommend visiting Villefranche-sur-Mer, Antibes and Cannes. If you are traveling with the children, we recommend the beaches in Villefranche, which is only 20 minutes by bus (line TAM 100).
Castle Hill (Colline du Château) is the focal point in the oldest district of Nice, called the Vieux Nice. The atmosphere in this part of the city is different, the streets are much narrower and there are small squares between the buildings.
We recommend climbing the hill (92 m above sea level) by stairs which lead to the old cemetery, located in the northern part of the district. Nearby there is also park with a nice restaurant.
Visit the observation deck where you can admire the numerous churches, including the dome of the cathedral dating back to the 11th century, as well as beaches and the Promenade des Anglais.
On the hill there are also the remains of the castle ruins, as well as Bellanda Tower. The French composer Hector Berlioz, known from the “King Lear” overture, lived here.
While in Nice, we recommend going to Èze, a small town located in the direction of Monaco. The village is located on a rocky hill above the coast from where you can admire the views. The best viewing point is the Jardin Exotique d'Eze, a small botanical garden with an interesting collection of cactuses.
You can get to/from Èze with a bus number 82, which runs every hour, and every two hours to Niedziele, which also stops in Villefranche-sur-Mer.
Another great viewing point in the city is the Mont Boron hill, known for the Elton John villa. From here you can admire the view of the city, mountains, Villefranche-sur-Mer and Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.