A Weekend in Nice

We had 2.5 days in Nice, and this felt like enough time to see the city and even take a day trip to Monaco. We came in mid-March which is on the lower end of tourist season, so it's slightly easier to get restaurant reservations and hotel prices are lower, but the weather wasn't quite hot, stroll-on-the-beach weather. It rained for one whole day, which was unfortunate, but we felt that 2-3 days was enough time to get a good feel of Nice and of Monaco. To be honest, after having traveled around a lot of Europe in the last year, Nice is probably not one of my favorite French cities: it feels a little too touristy for my liking and culturally, there wasn't a ton of stuff to do. much prefer Northern France, Lyon, or Paris. I'm sure on a warm summer day, when you can hang out by the beach and the sun is out and the skies are blue, it's a much different feel and great for just relaxing by the water.

The sun decided to come out on our last day in Nice and we got to see it live up to its name, the Cote d'Azur

The sun decided to come out on our last day in Nice and we got to see it live up to its name, the Cote d'Azur

Things to do in Nice

1. Walk around and eat in Vieux Ville

The old part of Nice is really quaint and charming, with lots of little restaurants, cobblestone and pretty facades of buildings. If you come in the summer, it's best to make restaurant reservations well in advance. We had a few frustrating moments on a Sunday, trying to find a place to have brunch/lunch in the pouring rain, and kicking ourselves that we hadn't reserved anything ahead . of time. Even if you don't speak French, a lot of restaurants will let you make reservations online or via La Fourchette.

2. Stroll along the Promenade des Anglais

Promenade des Anglais runs about 7km, all along the water. It can get a bit windy and chilly (it was cold when we walked here one evening at sunset), so bring a light jacket with you in case. It's also a great place to go for a run. The name of the walkway comes from the 18th century, when a lot of English aristocracy came to Nice to vacation. When there was an influx of homeless people, the English tasked them with building a promenade along the water; and hence the name, "English Promenade".  You can catch sunset along the water, sit on the blue chairs along the promenade to rest or read a book, or grab a drink from one of the cafes or restaurant overlooking the water. The "I Love Nice" sign is also along this promenade.

3. Mark Chagall Museum

This museum is located about 20-25 minutes away from the center of Nice, but it's definitely walkable, although it is a bit of an uphill trek to get here towards the end. The museum was smaller than I thought it would be, but a nice reprise from the sun & heat, or from the rain. The museum houses mostly paintings of his, but he has one mosaic that is outside, and some stained glass. This museum houses the most paintings of his under one roof, and his use of color and whimsical art style is interesting. Some of it reminded me a little of Picasso, and it was interesting to learn about the art here. The audioguide was pretty informative (without being too boring), and we spent about 1.5 hours in here. They have classical music concerts once a month in the evenings, in the auditorium with beautiful stained glass, so if you're interested in that, you can check their website for more details.

Address:  Av Docteur Ménard- (Angle Bd. de Cimiez) - 06000 NICE
Opening Days: All days except Tuesdays
Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00 (May through October); 10:00-17:00 (November to April)
Admission: 10€ for adults - includes the audioguide

Things to skip in Nice

MAMAC (Modern Art Museum)

It rained for an entire day while we were in Nice, so we decided to go to the Modern Art Museum in Nice to spend the afternoon. Maybe I'm just uncultured or don't appreciate modern art enough, but I was severely underwhelmed by this museum. I was confused by a lot of the exhibits, and heard a lot of snickers from other fellow museum-goers. I think this museum used to be free, but now they charge 10€ for admission, which is 10€ too much. Save your money and go grab a drink or a pastry somewhere else. Luckily there were only 3 floors to get through, and we were in and out of here in an hour.