Located on the world-famous French Riviera, the city of Nice is like no other. Boasting a unique fusion of French glamour, the charms of life on the coast and an old-town atmosphere, it allures thousands of visitors every year, and for very good reason. The stunning beaches and jaw-dropping views, outstanding bars and sensational restaurants contribute to a captivating and addictive atmosphere. If you’re thinking of heading to this cosmopolitan, celebrity hot-spot and are wondering what to do during your visit, read on to discover just a handful of the things you can do to make the most of your time in the city, as well as get to know more of this pocket of France.
Visit Nice Cathedral
One of the city’s grandest buildings, Saint Reparata Cathedral, also known as Nice Cathedral, is elaborate in its design and one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture in the city. As one of the oldest churches in Old Town, and arguably one of the most exquisite in design and ornate, it is a pleasure to explore. The cathedral is named after the patron saint of Nice, Saint Reparata, a 15-year-old Palestinian girl who was arrested and later killed for her religious beliefs. Supposed beheaded, it is said that her soul formed into a dove following her death and flew away. The remains of her body were blown across the sea by angels and later arrived in one of the coastal bays of Nice, which is now known as Angel Bay. The cathedral has been the hub of religion for more than 400 years and continues to play a significant role in the city today.
Stroll on the Promenade des Anglais
Offering miles of gorgeous sandy beaches, the iconic Promenade des Anglais stretches the entire length of the city, creating a relaxed, beachy atmosphere. Here, you will find artists and street entertainers, as well as an array of bars and restaurants each providing picture-perfect views to accompany your meal. With just over four miles of outstanding sights and an array of entertainment, it’s a fantastic spot to take in the beauty of the coastline, relax and sunbathe, as well as enjoy the captivating buzz of the city.
See the Russian Orthodox Cathedral
Many visitors may be surprised to hear of the importance of the Saint-Nicolas Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Nice. The ornate building was constructed for the ever-growing Russian community which had settled in the city during the 18th and 19th century. The first chapel to serve the community was built in 1859, but after just a few years, it became too small and so, construction began on the replacement in 1903. It was designed by Preobajenski and was later opened in 1912. The building boasts Baroque architecture and the grandeur, beauty and craftsmanship of the cathedral is a must-see during your time here.
Enjoy Some Entertainment at the Opera de Nice
The season’s programme at the Opera de Nice offers a more traditional theatre experience, with operas, classical concerts, ballets and musical shows taking place through the year. It’s a fantastic location to enjoy some of the finest evening entertainment that the South of France has to offer. Visitors are also invited, during the daytime, to explore the opera house on a guided tour, it lasts around an hour and a half and gives a fascinating insight into the history of the building, as well as a glimpse of some of the ‘behind-the-scenes’ areas.
Explore the City’s Port
Much like many coastal cities in the South of France, Nice has its own thriving port. It is adorned with extravagant and luxurious yachts which sit in the azure waters next to the more traditional and colourful fishing boats. With a host of restaurants and bars dotted around the port, there’s plenty of opportunity to relax and enjoy a drink, while absorbing the beautiful surroundings.
Become Enchanted by the Old Town
With its winding, narrow streets, lined with bustling shops, markets, cafes restaurants and a fantastic nightlife, the Old Town is a stark contrast to the sweeping Promenade des Anglais. It is a hive of activity, encased by historical buildings washed with shades of yellow and pink and topped with terracotta roofs. Spend a day or two getting lost in the maze of streets, discovering the historical jewels hidden amongst them, sampling some of the more authentic foods of the city and browsing the markets and shops.
One for the Children
There’s an array of child-friendly activities in Nice but one of particular interest and an activity the whole family will enjoy, is a visit to one of the many museums in the city. One of the oldest in Nice, founded in 1846, is the Natural History Museum, it’s home to a host of fantastic exhibitions, many of which are interactive.
Are you thinking of visiting the famous city of Nice? We have a large selection of luxury holiday villas in the South of France, which will provide an idyllic base during your exploration of the area.
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