10 Best things to do in Nice | Nice Travel Guide

10 Best things to do in Nice | Nice Travel Guide

Headed to the French Riviera?  These are the best things to do in Nice, France. Nice is known for its azure blue waters, year-round sunshine, and vibrant French culture, the city of Nice is a must-see if you’re exploring the French Riviera. Located at the foot of the Alps – and bordering the Mediterranean Sea – Nice is home to 300,000 people. In fact, it’s the 5th largest city in France! 

Make sure to read to the end for my additional BONUS tips.

And, no wonder it’s so popular. With its bustling nightlife, old-world opulence, perfect blue skies, and stunning seaside locale – let’s just say I’m not surprised that the city’s unofficial anthem is Nissa la Bella, (Italian for Nice the beautiful).

Here’s my official list of can’t-miss things to do when you visit this gorgeous French Riviera city.  TIP: The best time to go to Nice is in the shoulder season, late May & early September.

If you’re headed to Nice for the first time, make sure to check out my Know before you go Travel Tips for Nice.

1. Best thing to do in Nice? Slow Down and enjoy!

I am the first person to want to do everything when I’m in a new city or country; I all want adventure and experiential travel, after all! I want to make sure to get in all the sights and experiences I can. 

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But Nice is really the epitome of laid-back luxury. There’s plenty of time to do everything that you want to do – plus everything is so walkable within the city center. There are so many amazing things to take in; everything from delicious candied flowers to gorgeous sunsets, vibrant music and everything in between.  So relax, awaken your senses, and enjoy everything that Nice has to offer at a slower pace. 

2. Swim in the Mediterranean

I love the Med!  It’s my favorite body of water in the world; it’s cool, refreshing, super salty and reflects the most beautiful greens and blues.  Swimming in Nice, France in the Mediterranean Sea is one of my top activities for a sun-soaked day. 

A few things to keep in mind: the water is cool, so expect to dip in and out throughout the afternoon. Also, Nice’s beaches are rocky, not sandy – which means you’ll have to wear water shoes when you are headed for a swim (you can check out my favorites here)! 

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3. Visit the Old Town Nice Flower Market - Cours Sayela Market

Another one of the best things to do in Nice is visit the Sour Saleya Market.  Located in the heart of Old Town Nice, Cours Saleya is an unforgettable market that offers gorgeous bouquets, fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and other delicious French goodies. 

Some of the most unique items at the Nice Market were the candied flowers! They had violets, roses and lavender petals baked in sugar. I sampled all of them, including Verbena petals.  TIP: The verbena is great for a tummy ache. 

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You could also try Socca which is a Nice speciality made from chickpea flour in the Cours Saleya Market. Our tour guide said that her favorite socca could be found at a little kiosk called Chez Theresa, and I agree.  Chez Theresa was definitely the best!

It’s really fun to wander the market in the morning, and find everything you need for a perfect picnic lunch.  Grab your cheese, bread, salami and fruits, and take your basket of goodies to one of the Nice beaches or the Promenade des Anglais. 

Keep in mind, though, that the market closes at 1pm and it’s not open at all on Mondays. That said, on Mondays they do offer an antique market, so you can stop by and find some great trinkets for souvenirs of your trip to Nice.  

4. Hike up Castle Hill, Old Town Nice

Don’t let the name fool you – there’s no castle on Castle Hill! But this amazing spot does offer unbeatable views of the city. It’s 426 steps to the top, and if you make the walk you’ll be rewarded with views of the entire Promenade des Anglais, the Mediterranean, and even the Alps. 

It’s a beautiful walk – about half in the shade – and in my opinion certainly worth the trek. 

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5. Walk the Promenade des Anglais

The Promenade des Anglais was built in the 1820’s by the English Aristocracy so they could show off their finery during their winters in Nice.  They needed a place to show off their dresses and parasols as they strolled along taking in the sun and the Mediteranean Sea air. Today, the Promenade des Anglais is much more casual, but it’s still busy and full of tourists from all over the world.  It’s about 4.3km long and I definitely recommend walking the entire length for gorgeous sea views, great people watching, and some extra steps on your FitBit! 

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Tip: The Best Hotels in Nice

Ready to book your trip? Then you’re probably wondering where to stay in Nice, France. Because the city is such a hotspot and popular French location, there are tons of hotel options to suit every interest and travel style. Here are some of the best hotels in Nice:  

 6. Visit the Marc Chagall National Museum

If you’re a museum-goer, Nice is the perfect place for you, from Observatoire de la Cote d’Azur to Musee des Arts Asiatique de Nice, this city has a wide variety of museums for all tastes.  For me, personally, one of my favorite museums was the Marc Chagall National Museum

Marc Chagall was a Russian Jewish artist born in 1887, who spent much of his life in France.  He was a modernist painter/artist who loved Nice and he spent much of his time visiting Nice. The Marc Chagall National Museum was curated with the help of the artist himself, and it’s a phenomenal exhibit of his work. 

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Entry to his museum is about ten euros, and it’s located about a mile uphill from the Promenade des Anglais.  It may seem like a hike, but it can be a beautiful walk through the interior of the city of Nice.

 If you are looking for some other museum options, you can also check out the Musee de la Photographie Charles Negrie or Musee Matisse.  If you are a more avid museum goer, and plan on visiting several museums, one of the best things to do in Nice is buy The French Riviera Pass. It gives you access to all of the museums and forts in the area for just 50 euros – which can save you some major money if you’re going to make the rounds.

7. Visit Old Town Nice, Vieux Ville Nice

Old Town is the heart of Nice, and this is where you will likely spend most of your time.  If you can, I recommend finding a hotel as close to Old Town as possible. That way, you’ll be able to visit the market, check out art shops, wander the tiny streets and eat at all the delicious restaurants without venturing too far. This is also the most Instagrammable part of town.  

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Two of my favorite restaurants in Old Town were Bistrot d’Antoine and Le Safari. They’re both lively, delicious French bistros that offer amazing local meals along with wonderful atmosphere and a lively ambience.  Tip: Make sure to make a reservation for Bistrot d’Antoine.

8. Go shopping at Place Massena

If you want to get your shop on, you have to visit Place Massena. It’s located on the edge of Old Town.  Originally built in the 1800’s, it was recently revitalized, and here is where you will find the Galeries Lafayette – a famous French department store – along with all of the name brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Chanel. 

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9. Visit the Fragonard Perfume Shop

Nice and Provence are world-famous for their flowers. That’s why, when you come you Nice, you definitely have to check out Fragonard Perfumerie.

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The shop, not the actual factory, is located in the Old Town. This is where you’ll find some of the most delicious perfumes and perfect gifts to bring home to friends and family.  Whether you love lavender, roses or verbena, the Fragonard Perfumerie has your favorite flavor.  This is the best place to visit in Nice for gifts.

10. Explore the French Riviera

It is so easy to get around the French Riviera from Nice, so I do recommend some day trips from Nice. It’s about 30 minutes on a train to Monte Carlo or to Antibes and it’s about 45 minutes to Cannes.  It’s easy to take the train or bus, but I recommend renting a car so you can come and go as you please. 

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Bonus: Day Trip to Provence

Most people come to Nice for a couple days to say they’ve been on the French Riviera, but I if you have a bit more time, I think one of the best things to do in Nice is take a road trip inland through Provence.  Rent a car and spend the day seeing the medieval hillside villages of St. paul de Vence, Tourettes Sur Loup and Goudons.

Check out my Day Trip Tour of Provence on YouTube for a great Provence Itinerary.  

Bonus: The Best excursions & Tours in Nice

Finally, I’ve already given you a list of things to do and see, but if you’re looking for more of a guided experience, there are many amazing tours that Nice has to offer. Some of my favorite tours in Nice, France include: 

 

  • Best Food Tour Tour
  • Best Night Tour Tour
  • Nice Perfume Workshop Tour
  • Provence Wine Tour from Nice Tour

Thank you for reading my laid-back luxury Nice Travel Guide.  I’ll see YOU on the next adventure! 

Have you been to Nice before?
Tell me the best thing you did in Nice in the comments below. 

Know Before you go to Stockholm, Sweden

Know Before you go to Stockholm, Sweden

Going to Sweden soon? These are my best tips for your first visit to Stockholm.

This week I’m sharing my top tips things to do and everything that you need to know about Stockholm, Sweden for your first visit.

Let’s start with some things to know before visiting Stockholm:

 

Sweden is moving towards a cashless society. 

 

Even the famous coffee shop, Espresso House, doesn’t even allow cash. In the two days that I spent in Stockholm, I never had to exchange one euro or one dollar into Swedish kr. You can tip in Euros or dollars but everyone takes credit cards! 

 

Where to Stay in Stockholm 

 

I recommend that you stay as close to Gamla Stan, or the old city, as possible. Why? Because that’s where the great restaurants and shopping are, not to mention the beautiful Swedish architecture. I stayed in at the Sheraton Stockholm just across the bridge from Parliament. (Check out the hotel here!) It was a great location because it was just a five minute walk to Gamla Stan.

 

How long to visit?

 

I would recommend staying in Stockholm for two days. It you’re a museum goer, you probably want to stay for at least three. There are some incredible museums here including the National Museum, the Viking Museum, and the Vasa Ship. You also want to stay long enough so that your trip doesn’t overlap the entire time with the cruise ships. You want to make sure to stay at least a couple of nights so that you miss some of the crowds from the cruises.

 

What to Pack?

 

It’s always important to know what to pack when you’re traveling anywhere in the world and that’s especially true in Stockholm. The weather is rather unpredictable so it’s best to be prepared. I recommend bringing both short and long sleeves, open-toed shoes and weather proof shoes, long pants, and a light down jacket.  We visited in August by the way and I wish I would have brought a raincoat and travel umbrella.  It rained heavily, out of the blue, on a couple different occasions, so be ready for anything! 

 

 

8 Things to Experience in Stockholm

 

#1 Visit the Vasa Ship

It is probably the number one thing to do when you’re in Stockholm. I don’t know anywhere else you’ll see such a spectacular ship from the 1600’s! It sank in 1628 and was salvaged in 1961 and it’s definitely worth the visit. A very important tip for your visit:

The way to avoid the long lines at the Vasa Museum is to get your ticket at the little kiosk on the right. You can use a debit card that has a PIN number and buy your ticket straight away. Even though there are lots of tourists at the Vasa Museum, it is well worth coming. 

 

#2 Take a Ferry

 

Most cities have a tram or a bus system but what a better way to get around inthe middle of Stockholm than on a ferry? I decided to leave Vasa Museum and head back to Gamla Stan in the old town on the ferry instead of taking a bus or going for a walk.

 

#3 Get a Souvenir Dala Horse

 

Maybe you didn’t know this about me, but I’m a major horse girl. The Swedish Dala horses have been around since the 1800s as toys. They are probably the number one tchotchke thing you should buy when you’re in Sweden. The color and symbols on the horse are all representative of the town they were made in. 

 

#4 Visit the Narrowest Street in Sweden

 

You have to take a wander down Mårten 

Trotzigs Gränd, the narrowest street in Sweden. It’s only 35 inches wide at its narrowest point. They say you’re supposed to make a wish as you’re walking down the 36 steps. It’s a very cool experience. 

 

#5 Go on  a Walking Tour

 

I went on two walking tours during my 48 hours in Stockholm and both were with Stockholm free walking tours. I did the modern town tour and the old town tour. If you go with this company, make sure to ask for Joe. He’s a Brit who has been in Stockholm for two years now going to 

University. Joe was fun, knowledgeable and very clever.  I learned so much about the city on my tours.

 

#6 Get your Fika On! 

 

A must-do while you’re in Stockholm is to get your fika on. What does that mean? Stopping for coffee! Supposedly, the Swedes drink half a litre of coffee a day! It’s not like the Italian espresso, it’s more watered-down and so they can drink more!

 

#7 Try the Traditional Swedish Food

 

One of my favorite meals in Sweden was at a quiet restaurant in Gamla Stan where I had a “smorgasbord” of items. This included pickled herring, meatballs, cured salmon, Västerbotten Cheese, and boiled potatoes, to name a few.

 

#8 Watch the Swedish Changing of the Guard

 

The last thing I did before leaving Stockholm was see the changing of the guard. It’s one of the most popular attractions for visitors to Stockholm. The royal guard ceremony begins at 12:15 p.m. on weekdays in the outer courtyard of the royal palace. On Sundays, the event takes place at 1:15 p.m. I have a great tip about where to get the best view: the best place to be is against the palace as close to the little guard house as possible. I only got there about 10 minutes before the changing started and I was still able to see everything!

I hope you found this Stockholm Sweden guide helpful! If you’re traveling to Europe and you’re looking for more tips and tricks make sure to check out my videos about what to know before you go to Spain as well as London. I’ll see you on the next adventure!

Top Things to Know Before you go to Nice

Top Things to Know Before you go to Nice

Are you planning a trip abroad and wondering what to do in Nice, France? As a frequent visitor and former resident, I’ve got plenty of ideas to share: from where to stay, what to eat, and the best beach clubs to visit… Keep reading for my 13 Nice France Tips!

 

  1. Jet lag in Nice but then go visit some of the smaller villages surrounding it. Antibes, Villefranches, and Menton are all nearby cities that are definitely worth the trip!
  2. You will be spending euros in Nice. Another great thing to note is that the prices in Nice are very reasonable, especially for such a tourist destination.
  3. Avoid coming to Nice in August. This is the vacation time for everyone in France so Airbnb’s and hotels are more expensive and it’s harder to get into restaurants and all of the sights.
  4. The beaches are rocky, not sandy. This makes it virtually impossible to get in and out of The Med without water shoes. (Check out my favorites!)
  5. Consider getting the French Riviera Pass if you plan on having an active vacation. If you’re into visiting museums and forts, at 50 euros per pass, it might be worth getting this instead of paying multiple entrance fees.
  6. No need to get a car. It is an extremely walkable city. But if you want to go up to Provence, you can rent one just for the day and definitely rent it from a dealer on the outskirts so you can avoid the one-way streets.
  7. Stay near Vieux Ville or the Old Town of Nice. This is where all the best restaurants and shops are. There are also many great spots for photographs. It’s also where Nice comes alive at night.
  8. Dinner happens after 8 pm. People tend to come off the beach around 5 or 6 pm, get changed and then head to the cocktail bars for an aperol spritz. At around 8 or 8:30 pm, they migrate to the restaurants.
  9. Try the traditional foods. A salad Niçoise is actually a relatively new thing in Nice, but definitely something to try. Another delicious dish is called “Socca” – and for all my gluten-free friends, this is something you can enjoy! It’s made from chickpea flour, water, olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt. It’s served in the middle of the day, typically, and you just add pepper to it. It’s a great snack to have at only 3 euros a dish! As far as drinks go, try the Provence Red, White, and Rose wines and an aperol spritz.
  10. What to pack for your trip: The city is quite casual in general. The one thing you want to make sure to bring are walking shoes and water shoes like I mentioned earlier.
  11. If you’re used to having Air Conditioning, you will need to look for accommodations that specifically list they have that. It’s not common to have it.
  12. The mediterranean is an amazing place to swim and cool off. It’s a bit cooler so it’s perfect to dip in and out of throughout the day.
  13. Get a bit of cash out, but in general, you can use your credit card for most things. They are widely accepted in this big city.

If you’ve been to Nice and you have any tips, make sure to leave them in the comments on my YouTube video. I’m Kim The Abundant Traveler, and I’ll see you on the next adventure.

 

Tour Du Mont Blanc ~ Day 3

Tour Du Mont Blanc ~ Day 3

This is part 3 of my series on the Tour du Mont Blanc. Keep reading to find out how to plan for this amazing hike!

Myself and three girlfriends of mine from the USA were going on an organized trip with Adventures for Solo Travelers based out of Atlanta. I’ve been on several trips with them: I’ve been to Machu Picchu, hiking in Nepal, and now hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB). Check out my blog and video about Day 1 and Day 2.

We’re doing the three-day Tour du Mont Blanc with Alpine Treks a company based in Champex.

The final day took us from Switzerland to Italy.

If you’re looking for a different kind of Italy, away from the tourist cities of Venice, Florence and Rome, you might want to give Courmayeur a try. In the heart of the Alps, just across the border of Switzerland, Courmayeur is a charming town of 3,000 people and is known for it’s incredible snow skiing. I lovespending time in Northern Italy with it’s cool alpine weather coupled with all the sass and delicious food & wine you would expect in Italy. You’ll only need a couple days in Courmayeur, and the best time to visit is June-September for hiking, and January-March for Skiing. Looking for a great hotel?  Try the Hotel Croux or Hotel Courmayeur. Both are charming hotels! Something to note:  Courmayeur is not fancy like Vail or Aspen; instead, you get an old worldc casual feel in the hotels and throughout the city.

Tour Du Mont Blanc ~ DAY 2

Tour Du Mont Blanc ~ DAY 2

 

This is part 2 of my series on the Tour du Mont Blanc. Keep reading to find out how to plan for this amazing hike!

Myself and three girlfriends of mine from the USA were going on an organized trip with Adventures for Solo Travelers based out of Atlanta. I’ve been on several trips with them: I’ve been to Machu Picchu, hiking in Nepal, and now hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB). Check out my blog and video about Day 1! Day 2 started out rainy, but luckily it didn’t last long and it turned out to be a beautiful day. We started in Martigny and were headed to Lake Champex. The hike started with an hour and half of straight up!

We’re doing the three-day Tour du Mont Blanc with Alpine Treks a company based in Champex. We had three guides with us so the 24 of us were divided into three groups:

  1. A fast group that basically jogged the entire way!
  2.  The middle group which I would have been
  3. The slower group (the fun group!)

I wanted to take lots of photos and do my vlogging so I chose to hang back with the best people in the slow group. We always had the best guide and we took the most time for lunch.

I was very tired after a full day of hiking yesterday. My thighs, calves, and even my toes were sore because we spent most of the day yesterday going down. After about an hour of hiking, we stopped for a break at this beautiful meadow. It was a great opportunity for a snack, to reapply sunscreen, and rest our feet before we headed back up the mountain. After another 45 minutes of hiking, it was time for our next stop at a little hut where there were bathrooms, fresh alpine water, and a great spot for us to have lunch.

 

Lunch and after

Each day the food’s been a little bit different. Today, we have some chicken, delicious breads, five different cheeses, two different kinds of tomatoes, and the best part, avocados! The second half of our hike most of this way is down and it says that we have two hours and 40 minutes of walking Champex du Lac.

 

Something interesting about hiking in the Alps

They don’t measure distance by kilometres or by miles on the trail. They actually calculate the distance by the amount of hours it is that you’re going to be walking! For example, one section might say that it is two hours and 40 minutes away.

Our amazing guide, Nick, from Alpine Treks, taught us so much on the trail. He even showed us how to trail run! The secret to it is small quick steps. The second half of the hike had a lot more people on the trail. There were both day hikers and hikers with largepacks (probably camping or staying in some of the refuges along the way.)

One of the Highlights of the Trip

I was blown away by the variety of terrain. It seemed to change every 15 minutes or so! There were waterfalls and creeks, meadows, and or course mountains and trees.

When we finally made it to Champex du Lac, it was time to celebrate with a glass of wine and a gorgeous view. We stayed at Hotel Splendide right on the lake! We went out to watch some football, had dinner reservations and got a great night’s rest for our final day of hiking.

Thanks so much for watching day two of the Tour du Mont Blanc! Make sure to check out my blog and video about day one if you missed it. I’ll see you on the next adventure!

 

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