The moment you arrive in Nice, the town will dig its way inside your heart. It could happen while exploring cobblestone alleyways in Vieux Nice, picking out a soft peach at the open-air market, or gazing out at the bright blue waters of Nice’s stone beach from the top of Parc du Chateau. With 2 days in Nice, it won’t take long to discover just how nice Nice is.
Port of Nice Apartment
To get the real Nice experience, we chose to rent an apartment by the Port. The apartment was a small loft on the top floor of a charming historic building. There were rustic wooden beams, a cozy murphy bed, and a kitchenette we definitely made use of. The best part of all was the view. Opening up the shutters we could see clay rooftops and, just beyond them, the cliffside of Parc du Chateau.
Our one requirement from our friends Katie and Phoenix, who had honeymooned in the area two years prior, was that we split a pizza with an egg on top. The night we arrived in Nice we searched the outdoor cafes for the dish. Finally, we settled on, Le Garibaldi, decorated in a glow of bulbed light. We sat down amongst the bustling of the plaza and dug in when our pizza arrived. Our friends weren’t messing around. Pizza+ egg = the perfect combo.
+ Tip: If you’re looking for dessert nearby, try Giuseppe & Pepino. Ask for “une petite glacée” and split a cup of tiramisu or marone moreaux.
Start your morning with a trip to market as you wind your way along cobblestone paths in Vieux Nice. The alleyways are bordered by towering shuttered buildings with laundry lines that connect the houses as if to keep them falling over. Don’t be afraid to stop every now and then just to soak in the colors and the moment.
Cours Saleya Market
For farmer’s market fans out there like us, the Cours Saleya is a true gem. Walking through the stalls, you’ll find the market is not packed, but bustling with life. After our first walk stealing glances at ripe tomatoes and tiny radishes, we selected our bounty of donut peaches, olives, baguettes, brie, mesclun, abricot confiture, tomato, spaghetti, gnocchi, truffle ravioli, and saucisson. We even selected a watercolor painting of the alleyways of Vieux Nice as a souvenir to remember the Market!
+ Tip: Plan your market trip with picnics, lunches for the train, and dinner in mind. We were able to make sandwiches for 3 days with our market finds which saved us money in the long run!
On the plane ride in, the woman seated next to us insisted that we try Fenocchio. Taking her advice, we visited the glacée and found over 70 flavors of gelato spanning the shop front. Always looking for something new, the two of us decided to split a cactus and lavender cup. We enjoyed our new and delightful flavors in the Place Rossetti as we listened to a man play “La Mer” on his saxophone.
Parc du Chateau
In the afternoon, we hiked to the top of Parc du Chateau. There we saw the Tour Belanda, the only remaining part of the 12th-century castle that was torn down by Louis XIV in 1706. Even further up the hill you’ll find an archeological site, ruins, mosaics, and a fantastical man-made waterfall. Once we finished exploring the Parc du Chateau, we found a shaded park bench and had a picnic while looking out at the panoramic view of the port and the beach.
Promenade des Anglais
The Cote d’Azur is aptly named for its crystal clear blue water and the beach of the Promenade des Anglais is a fantastic place to view it from. The one catch to this beach is its stone shore, but don’t let that trip you up.
+ Tip: Bring an inflatable pool raft or yoga mat to cushion you from the stones.
The Place Massena is where all the activity in Nice is. During the day, we walked barefoot through the sea creature-themed park and played in the water jets. At night the center is illuminated with color changing men that circle the area and add a fun and energetic mood.
Nice Jazz Festival
+ Tip: Check out The Roots on Spotify and prepare to groove out.
The Tuba Guy danced around the stage and everyone had a groove that fit their reggae, jazz, hip hop, dance music sort of deal. It was more fun than we could have ever imagined and we were glad we took the chance to visit.
So whether you decide to split an egg-topped pizza or cactus and lavender flavored gelato, or walk along the Promenade des Anglais or Parc Chateau, know that you will have an amazing 2 days in Nice. The calm of the French Riviera will always call you back.