Local Favorite: SoccaSocca is a street food you will find around the gorgeous French Riveria city of Nice. The food item is a thin, crusty pancake made from chickpeas cooked in a woodfire pizza-style oven. While the hot side is crusty, the inside of a socca is soft. You will see kids tucking into Socca following a day at school. It is also a food item locals enjoy with a glass of wine or beer at a bar. Rumors suggest socca originated in 1543 when Turkish armies invaded Nice. As the story goes, the Nice fighters ran out of bullets so, they mixed chickpea soup and hot oil. They then poured the mixture down the walls of the city onto the heads of the Turks. Regardless of how effective that was, the Nice fighters tasted the oil and chickpea mix and immediately fell in love with it.
Some of the best things to do in Nice
Vieille Ville is Nice’s old town. It is a sterling example of the old-world architecture and wealth Nice is known for. In many ways, the Old Town is more Italian than it is French. The atmosphere is lively and full of shops, cafes, and restaurants teeming with delicious food.
Reaching several Nice landmarks from the Vieille Ville is easy. Palais de la Prefecture is a 17th-century Baroque church that is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. There is also the Baroque Palais Lascaris, which was also built in the 17th century and housed the Counts of Castellar.
One place that's hard to ignore is Place Masséna. The historic square is at the heart of Nice, and you'll likely see a crowd of tourists here regardless of the time of the day you choose to visit. Here, you'll also find Fontaine du Soleil (a fountain with bronze sculptures and a statue of Apollo), which is perhaps Nice's most notable landmark. The square is bordered to the south by Jardin Albert 1er and crosses paths with Promenade du Paillon, a park built over the mostly dry River Paillon. Be sure to stop by the park to see the water fountains, and don't be afraid to get wet. You should also take some time to enjoy the soothing sound of the trams as they pass through the square.
Promenade des Anglais
Nice not only gives travelers the chance to explore history and architecture, but it allows them to spend hour after hour near the beach. The Promenade des Anglais is a beautiful stretch of road that runs along the beach and is kissed by the warm Mediterranean sun. According to studies, Nice gets 174 days of “strong sun” a year.
Anyone looking for a break from the winter or a proper sunny summer should head to Nice and explore the Promenade des Anglais. The street is one of the most popular attractions in the city. Thanks to the diversion of traffic, it is easy to stroll along the Promenade des Anglais and lap up the sunlight.
Pinning down just one must-visit art museum in Nice is difficult. The city is home to an eclectic range of art museums that should be explored by those who love art and history.
Musee des Beaux-Arts is filled with works dating from the 15th to the 20th centuries. It is home to works by Rodin and Pablo Picasso. Meanwhile, the Musee Chagall is a gallery devoted to the works of famed artist Marc Chagall. Although there are works by other painters in the gallery, the Musee Chagall’s real magic is in the paintings, etchings, lithographs, sculptures, stained glass, and mosaics created by the museum’s namesake.
Travelers looking for more updated examples of art should visit the Musee d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain. The contemporary art museum opened in 1990 in a sleek modern building that is as upbeat as the works it houses. The gallery includes works from the New Realism, Pop Art, American Abstracts, and Minimalists genres dating from the 1960s and 1970s.
Parc de la Colline du Chateau
The Parc de la Colline du Chateau overlooks the sea and tourists from all over the globe head to it to snap selfies with Promenade des Anglais behind them. The park is a perfect relaxation spot to finish off a day of sightseeing and exploration. It is also a great way to burn calories after eating rich French food.
The park can be reached from the Vieille Ville on foot. There is also an elevator that ascends the hill allowing visitors to save their energy for further exploration once they arrive at the summit.
You can make the case that Nice's most alluring attraction is the breatking views of the Mediterranean Sea it offers via Parc de la Colline du Chateau or Promenade des Anglais. However, what you may not find in many travel guides is information on the fantastic views from Mont Boron. As the name suggests, Mont Boron is on a hill east of Port Lympia. Once you make it to the top, you'll find Parc du Mont Boron, a great park with hiking trails to help you burn off the calories from the sumptuous French cuisine you've been taking advantage of during your trip. Within the park, you'll also find Fort du Mont Alban, a 16th-century fort that still has its structure mostly intact. While the fort's interior isn't accessible to the public, history buffs will enjoy observing the well-preserved exterior.
But the main attraction of Mont Boron is the gorgeous views of the Mediterranean Sea that are arguably better than what you'll observe from Parc de la Colline du Chateau. As if that wasn't enough, looking down the slope to the east will reveal some gorgeous villas to make you appreciate the best part of living on the Mediterranean coast. The ideal place to enjoy these views is Point de vue sur Villefranche Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, close to the park's east entrance.
Unlike other parts of Nice, you won't find a crowd of tourists here, so you can enjoy the clear air and breathtaking views in a serene environment.
Tucked into the center of Nice, this dynamic neighborhood exudes a unique charm that seamlessly blends history with a contemporary allure. This spot is a haven for food lovers, offering an array of mouthwatering delicacies at its bustling markets like Marché de la Libération, inviting bistros, and artisanal shops. The neighborhood's rich heritage, with colorful facades and architectural gems like the restored Gare du Sud railway station will captivate history buffs who will love the sense of a bygone era.
Marche aux Fleurs Cours Saleya
Located on the southern border of Vieille Ville, Marche aux Fleurs Cours Saleya is an outdoor fruit and flower market that anthophiles will surely enjoy. Open every day except Monday, the vendors sell a range of colorful fresh flowers, herbs, and an assortment of fruits and vegetables. The market also has a section for antics.
The aroma of the flowers and the fresh Mediterranean breeze offer a soothing atmosphere that’ll make you want to stay in the market all day, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t. If you’re into street food, plenty of options are available, including Pan Bagnat, Pissaladière, and the local favorite, Socca. Be sure to stop by an ATM to get some cash before visiting the market, as most vendors will only accept cash.
AGS Formule 1 at Circuit du Var
Just 90 minutes away from Nice, AGS Formule 1 at Circuit du Var is perfect for the car enthusiast during a trip to Nice. After enjoying the various attractions the city has to offer, travelers can visit AGS Formule 1 to explore the 1.4-mile-long auto racing track.
Visitors can take advantage of the driving courses and speed around the track in a Formula One car. The tight corners and fast straightaways will give drivers a real sense of what it’s like to be a Formula One driver. Visitors can choose from a number of Formula One cars as they learn the ins and outs from highly trained driving instructors.