What can you do for free in Nice? Turns out quite a lot…
Head to the beach
Nice has a pebbled beach, but it’s still a beach, right?
It heaves with tourists and is a wonderful way to whittle away a day or evening, though be warned, the pebbles are agonizingly painful on your feet. You can buy specially made sandals to help treasure your toes if needed.
If it’s sand you’re looking for, consider venturing out to neighbouring Antibes or Cannes.
Nice Castle, otherwise known as Colline du Chateau has largely crumbled into ruin but visitors traverse the 300 feet of stairs for the beautiful views of Nice and the Bay of Angels. This is a gorgeous place to come for sunrise or sunset. If you’ve made the trip this far, you may as well walk a little further to check out the waterfall…
Promenade des Anglais
The ‘English Walk’ or ‘La Prom’ is a long stretch which straddles Nice’s pebbly beach. Most tourists stay somewhere along the promenade and it’s filled with interesting hotels, bars and restaurants, plus you are never far from the sea.
Nice’s old town (Vieille Ville) brims with life and character. Comprised of narrow streets, the town truly comes to life at night but is enjoyable at all times. The atmosphere offers something different to the promenade.
Check out the hotels
If you’ve braved the long stretch that is the promenade, you’ll know that the hotels are one of the highlights. Pop in for a quick wander in. A few that I’d recommend are:
Le Castel Enchante
Museums are always a fail-safe option and Nice has some spectacular ones. You can check out the Musee des Beaux Arts and the Matisse Museum. There are also plenty of art galleries to explore including Gallerie Renoir.
Go yacht spotting
In England, you might go train spotting but in Nice, it’s all about the yachts. Yachts are literally everywhere, especially if you hover around Le Port. If you squint, you may catch Leo DiCaprio off in the distance with his glam model squad.
Nice’s main town square is Place Massena, an elegantly chaotic quadrant of the city where tourists descend en masse. Points of interest include the fountain, mosaic floor and gorgeous houses.
Cemeteries aren’t how everyone likes to spend their time that’s for sure, but I find them quite interesting. Even in such a glamorous, decadent place, death can strike. Is that too morbid? Sorry! If you are equally morbidly-minded, you can check out les cimetieres du Chateau de Nice or the cemetery hidden away on Castle Hill.
Cours Saleya Market
Markets are a wonderful way to interact with tourists and locals whilst taking in some of the drama, colour and scents that Nice has to offer. Cours Saleya Market is located in the Old Town and is one of the best.
Despite it’s reputation as a wealthy hideaway, Nice is probably one of the best places to explore with little cash. Thanks to the beach, gorgeous views and narrow walkways, you can take a lot in without parting with much money.
Le Port is an area of chopping and changing. There are plenty of yachts, you are out of the way of tourists but there is still a lot to take in. I stayed in the Le Port area and found it perfect especially as a way to get in and out of Nice.
All my love