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JJP Jet Set Travel Guide: Nice, France

Most people travel to Nice, France in high tourism season, but it’s simply amazing in the winter. The colder season on the Cote d’Azur is almost always sunny and crisp. There are hardly any crowds, and you really become a true native. Nice is located in the South of France on the Cote d’Azur in the center of the French Riviera. A visit in the off months will take you down streets bustling with locals, providing you with a fabulous insight into how the Niçoise live their day-to-day.

What I love most about Nice is its sublime light and warmth. We spent our trip alongside our dear friends Karen and Tom. The two of them and their son Mav are living in Nice for the year! They knew the perfect things to do, see, and eat for a four-day vacay. Both full of so much knowledge and history of Nice. I loved listening to all their stories! 

I can’t thank Karen and Tom enough for being such gracious hosts. It was an awesome travel experience, having friends that live like locals as our guides. We went on magnificent walks around the city, enjoying delicious food and Rose along the way. 

Eat 

The dining table is perhaps the most important piece of furniture in a Nicoise home. Le diner [ler dee-nay] usually begins anywhere from 8-9pm. One thing I very much adore is that the French eat “long and well,” as Rick Steves says! Three-hour dinners, enjoying one another’s company, and endless hours sitting in outdoor cafés. 

Blue Beach RestaurantPromenade des Anglais06000 Nice Face au Negresco: Smack dab in the middle of the Promenade des Anglais, The Blue Beach is the perfect place for sunbathing and/or enjoying a beautiful meal. 

Highlights: Delish mojitos and antipasto platters!

Le Bistro Dalpozzo 10 Rue Dalpozzo, 06000 Nice, France: This place had the best ambiance, and a live jazz singer. We enjoyed a candlelit table and heavenly meal.

Highlights:

  • Cocotte with Lamb shank, candied garlic, shallot, zucchini, carrot potato gratin
  • Bourgogne escargot
  • Fragois, apple-espelette chutney, french baguette
  • Beef stew with beef cheek and red wine, fresh gnocchi, parmesan cheese

Le Safari1 Cours Saleya, 06300 Nice, FranceAt Le Safari, there’s an area for outdoor seating and a cozy setting inside. It’s a busy, bustling restaurant in the heart of the flower market with a huge variety of beautifully presented French food.

Highlights:

  • Best calamari ever
  • Stuffed vegetables “à la Niçoise” and salad Piccoli ripieni nizzarde e insalata
  • “Daube” Nizzarda con ravioli – Marinated beef stew cooked in a red wine sauce with ravioli…..we had Daube everywhere we went, and couldn’t get enough. So amazing.
  • CHOCOLATE PROFITEROLES. To.. Die. For.
  • Another Creme brulee a la vanille bourbon, Crème brulee is my favorite desert along with pistachio gelato

 

Le Rossini54 Boulevard Gambetta, 06000 Nice, FranceOn our last night we went to Le Rossini, situated on Boulevard Gambetta and the corner of Rue Rossini.

Highlights: Chorizo pizza, more daube of course, and the fragois, goat cheese, apple salad. I ordered the pistachio gelato for dessert and died.

See

While eating is definitely the biggest part of any travel experience, especially in Nice, taking in the sites and getting down with the locals is how we like to do it.

Promenade des Anglais -This is a promenade that extends from the airport on the west to the Quai des États-Unis on the east. The sea kissing the sky is such a stunning sight to stroll along. Sunshine on my face, smiling, laughing with fam and friends…what could be better?

The Cours Saleya Market Definitely a Nice travel must! Colorful Striped awnings, crowds of locals, and displays of vegetables and treats give the Cours its charm. I can smell the fresh produce and flowers right now! Stop and try some snacks along the way!

Villefranche – Villefranche Old Town and the Harbour (La Darse) – The old, quaint village of Villefranche-Sur-Mer has been deservedly given the title as being the most authentic Nicoise fishing village on the French Riviera.

Villa Ephrussi de RothschildThis chic early 20th-century villa was one of my top things we did. It has nine separate themed gardens overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. It was built by Beatrice, the Baroness of Rothschild, after she married into the Bank of France Ephrussi family.

Place Masséna –  Nice’s main square houses a modern art installation by artist Jaume Plensa. Large poles along the tramline hold up statues of kneeling men, meant to represent the seven continents. There is also a giant ferris wheel that is only up in winter, which provides wonderful views of Nice and the Côte d’Azur.

Castle Hill: We hiked up to the top! The beauty of this hike blew me away. From the top you can see the ruins of a former castle, along with incredible views of the French Riviera.

Do

I mean…besides sunbathing and relaxing, which is my favorite travel past time!

Perfume shop, Fragonard: shop full of luxury soaps, perfume, and gifts. It’s located on the charming Cours Saleya

Dorka Raynor exhibition, Musée de la Photographie: Recently established in a new location, on Place Pierre Gautier, Nice’s first-class photo spot kicks off the year with a show devoted to Dorka Raynor, who captured French rural and urban life in the Sixties

Musée Matisse: The Matisse Museum up on Cimiez Hill.

Russian cathedral: The most beautiful Orthodox church outside Russia, and the most visited monument in Nice.

Musée National Marc Chagall: Located in the Alpes-Maritimes, this is a French national museum dedicated to the work of painter Marc Chagall.

Beat the crowds and travel to Nice in winter! My bucket list is filled with so many destinations, very rarely do we go back to the exact same place twice. Buuttt I can’t wait to visit again, and next time with my tuts! It’s right up his alley.

 

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