With its peach-coloured façades, azure waters and gorgeous weather, Nice has a rosy, always-on-holiday glow.
Known as the capital of the French Riviera, the coastal city is home to world-class art museums, bustling markets and pretty hiking trails. The best way to experience Nice’s many delights is to slow right down and enjoy them at a leisurely pace.
Arriving at Nice Côte d’Azur Airport
Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport (NCE) is five miles (3km) from Vieux-Nice, the city's historic city centre. This large and modern airport is the gateway to the French Riviera, with two terminals connected by a shuttle bus. The airport offers unlimited free Wi-Fi, VIP lounges and plenty of dining and shopping options before and after security.
Two express buses make frequent trips into central Nice. Bus 98 runs along the Promenade des Anglais to the Promenade des Arts near Vieux Nice, with stops along the way, and bus 99 goes to Nice-Ville train station. The €6 fare includes a free transfer to the tram or the city bus to get you exactly where you need to be. Buses 52, 59 and 70 all terminate centrally too.
If you’re travelling with a few suitcases, taxis are available, though they can be pricey. Taxis stop near Gate A1 in Terminal 1 and near Gate A3 at Terminal 2.
The most affordable route is local bus 23. This costs just €1.50, but the bus does not stop directly at the airport. You need to walk a short distance down the main road to the bus station.
Cycling is the best way to get moving in Nice. You can buy a day pass to the Vélo Bleu bike share program for €1.50 per day (or €5 for the week). The first 30 minutes are free, and it then costs €1 for up to 60 minutes and €2 for each additional hour. The promenade is a convenient and scenic place for biking, but the city is filled with bike lanes perfect for exploring.
If you're a more serious cyclist, the hills just inland from the city make Nice a very popular destination for dedicated cycling trips, with classic climbs including the Cols de la Madone and d'Eze.
Stand-up paddle boarding
Paddle boarding is increasingly popular on the flat waters of the Baie des Anges, promising a core workout and a beautiful view of the coast all at once. There are several operators along the Promenade des Anglais that rent paddle boards by the hour.
Sure, it’s retro, but rollerblading along the promenade remains a popular pastime. Rent skates by the hour or by the day from any of the operators along the stretch. Helmets and pads are available at additional cost.
You’ll see many runners along the promenade, especially in the early morning hours. For a long run you can do an out-and-back route along the Promenade des Anglais, continuing along the coast to neighbouring Villefranche-sur-Mer for a beautiful seaside route with a few challenging hills.
The French Riviera has some incredible coastal roads. These three day-trip destinations are all within an hour’s drive from Nice.
Antibes has long been the stomping grounds of the jet set, but it retains a small-town charm. Stroll the old streets, visit the Cours Masséna, a covered market, and the Musée Picasso, set in a chateau where the artist lived for six months.
Monaco’s gilded capital is a short but spectacular drive from Nice. See the gorgeous designer shops, extravagant yachts, equally showy cars and the iconic Casino de Monte-Carlo. Whether you’re a gambler or not, the Belle Époque architecture is worth a look.
This charming Provençal town is one of the oldest medieval villages in France. Today, its winding alleyways are lined with art galleries and shops. Be sure to visit the Fondation Maeght – an excellent museum of contemporary art.