The light of Nice impresses the visitors and fascinates the inhabitants, who never tire of it. Here, more than anywhere else, the colours are of incredible intensity and the contrasts are particularly striking. Here, more than anywhere else, the colours explode and compose wonderful paintings. Here, nothing bland, nothing pastel. Here, the colours burst out and the light exults...
Even before landing on the tarmac of Nice, one's breath is taken away by the spectacle that is offered through the porthole. No wonder that the Nice Côte d'Azur International Airport has been, for several years in a row, on the podium of the most beautiful approaches in the world! In addition to the extraordinary colour of the Mediterranean Sea, the panorama on the mountains (snowy in winter) also arouses wonder.
Have you landed? Lucky you! Welcome to Nice, Capital of the French Riviera!
From architectural and cultural discoveries to gentle and quiet strolls, from museums to old palaces, the city invites you to discover an art of living chiselled over the centuries. Nice is beautiful and complex, like a city of paradoxes, full of tradition and modernity, multiplying pleasures and emotions through the walks it offers. Open your eyes wide... Nice will blow your mind!
The incomparable light of Nice Côte d'Azur has always attracted artists. Writers, sculptors, painters, film-makers have found here inspiration, dazzle and the joy of creating. Nice has always known how to seduce and bewitch them to the point of inciting them, for some of them, to never leave. Matisse, Renoir, Modigliani, Dufy, Nicolas de Staël, Klein, César, Arman, Ben, Cocteau... have met their muse and formed a special relationship with her: Nice!
"When I understood that every morning I would see this light again, I couldn't believe in my happiness... I decided not to leave Nice and I stayed there practically all my life". - Henri Matisse.
The artist set up his easel for more than 35 years in Nice, to transmit, through his works, all the beauty of his adopted city. He immediately developed a passion for the colours of the sky, the reflections of the sea and the mildness of the climate. As you can understand, we people from Nice are lucky enough to enjoy it all year round!
My advice: Don't forget to visit the Matisse Museum, in the Cimiez district, in the heart of a magnificent building (formerly the Villa des Arènes or Palais Gubernatis), a Gallo-Roman site and a garden planted with hundred-year-old olive trees.
The Old-Nice is, in itself, a festival of sensations! It is difficult to remain insensitive to the charm of this lively and popular district. Narrow streets, yellow and ochre facades, craft shops and small shops, restaurants and lively squares make up the soul of the "Old Town" as the people of Nice call it, without forgetting, of course, THE market of the Cours Saleya! Ranked among the exceptional markets of France, it is a hymn to life, a delicious and colourful bustle! Under the striped curtains, sheltered from the baking sun, the smells and colours of the products on display attract customers as well as the simply curious. Only a few metres from the sea, Nice and tourists love to stroll there. Flowers, fruits, vegetables but also spices, olives, soaps and candied fruits are nicely arranged and presented. Mimosas, geraniums, dahlias, roses and other flowers of local production fill the alleys with fragrance. All year round, it floats here like a sweet holiday scent.
On the terraces of the restaurants, those who have time... take it! Sunglasses on their noses, coffee lovers and thirsty people take a break. The Cours Saleya is a patchwork of colours that invites you to discover and dream.
Le Vieux-Nice is also the ideal place to taste the authentic Niçoise cuisine. Among the specialities to be tasted on the go, the socca (chickpea cake cooked over a wood fire), the pissaladière (speciality made with cooked onions), the small stuffed dishes, the fougasse (brioche flavoured with orange blossom), the olive of Nice and the mythical pan bagnat (the sandwich of Nice par excellence)! If you want to sit down, there's plenty to choose from but I advise you to opt for a restaurant with the Cuisine Nissarde label.
In summer, when the evening comes, the market becomes night-time. Stalls of jewellery, pottery and paintings made with passion by craftsmen from Nice are set up.
26% of the urbanised part of the city is covered by trees. If we take the entire municipal territory (including, therefore, the unbuilt areas such as the protected hills), the figure climbs to 34%! A record among the eleven French cities with more than 200,000 inhabitants, the equivalent of more than 2,000 football pitches and one tree for 5 inhabitants... An information that twists the blow to prejudices and bad tongues!
Nice has 178 parks and gardens, but the most spectacular of these is undoubtedly the Promenade du Paillon. Inaugurated in October 2013, this 12-hectare green ribbon in the heart of Nice has conquered everyone, with its 1,600 trees, 6,000 shrubs and 50,000 perennials, children's games, 3,000 m2 of water mirror, 128 jets and 1,400 m2 mist tray. Mediterranean but also exotic essences take us on a journey around the world. Olive trees, vines, carnations, carob trees, pomegranates, fig trees, camphor trees, giant bamboos, Phoenix reclinata, tree ferns 2 metres high, this green flow marks the beginning of a vast project to green the city.
Over the years, nature has regained its rights to bitumen. Bicycle paths flourish everywhere. The green revolution is underway!
My advice: Opt for a bike ride. Self-service bikes are available for hire everywhere, including electrically-assisted bikes (one station every 300 metres). The ideal way to discover Nice in a new and original way! Find out more