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Exploring Promenade des Anglais: Must-See Attractions & Landmarks

Elijah Durojaiye 04/27/2024
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Promenade des Anglais with palm trees

Image: Promenade des Anglais

Back in the 18th century, the promenade was discovered by English aristocrats who were eager to spend time in the Mediterranean climate away from the harsh winters in England. Strolling down the waterfront was a favorite pastime for many of these visitors, so the barren beach walkway was eventually developed into a paved promenade.

Exploring Nice and other parts of the French Riviera

Numerous lavish villas were built nearby, particularly in the Cimiez area in Northern Nice along Boulevard de Cimiez and Avenue de Arènes de Cimiez. Cimiez remains an upscale part of Nice, and the splendid Belle Époque architecture of many of these buildings is still on display here.

Today, you’ll find crowds of tourists enjoying the beaches along the promenade and taking strolls or a relaxing bicycle ride while enjoying the Mediterranean weather that has made Nice and the French Riviera famous.

It’s tough to put into words what you feel when you breathe in the clean air along the coast while gazing at the Mediterranean horizon. Lazing around on one of the beaches along the promenade is therapeutic and what every vacation should be like.

Raquel Romans at Promenade des Anglais

Image: Raquel Romans at Promenade des Anglais Credit: FORTLOC/Khalid Bari

While it is a fact that most of the beaches can get crowded during peak periods, Le Negresco (and a few other establishments along the promenade) does have a private beach for their guests during the warm months.

Walking the full length of Promenade des Anglais is easy as it's just 7km long. As you take on the challenge, here's what you'll see along the way:

Must-See Attractions & Landmarks

Plage Publique de la Lanterne

Plage Publique de la Lanterne is the first beach you’ll encounter as you start your journey from Parc de Carras just east of the airport. It is a pebble beach like the rest of the beaches in the area. There’s a covered area here where you can relax and gather yourself for the walk to the other end of the promenade. It’ll take a while before you get to the next interesting landmark, but you’ll be too preoccupied with taking in the sublime views of the Baie des Anges to notice.

Le Negresco Hotel

Le Negresco Hotel

Image: Le Negresco Hotel Credit: Shutterstock/irisphoto1

Le Negresco Hotel is synonymous with Nice. The hotel is difficult to miss as its imposing Belle Époque architecture and signature pink dome stand out. Directly facing Promenade des Anglais, it is as much a tourist attraction as a 5-star hotel, and stopping by for lunch here may not be a bad idea. You’ll have the Michelin-starred Le Chantecler restaurant waiting for you (don’t forget to book in advance).

Villa Masséna and Jardins du Musee Masséna

Villa Masséna

Image: Villa Masséna Credit: FORTLOC/Khalid Bari

Former Site of Casino de la Jetée-Promenade

In 1891, Casino de la Jetée-Promenade was built on a pier opposite the current site of Palais de Méditerranée Hotel. It saw a lot of enthusiastic patrons while it was in place, but it appears the casino was never meant to last as it didn’t survive the World Wars. Despite multiple rumblings about rebuilding it, all that’s left of it is the remains of the pier you have to look hard to notice.

Jardin Albert 1er

Jardin Albert 1er

Image: Jardin Albert 1er Credit: Shutterstock/BGSTock72

Jardin Albert 1er is a public park that has been part of Nice since 1852. The green space with different sculptures and monuments connects Promenade du Paillon to Promenade des Anglais. Here, you’ll find an amphitheater, Théâtre de Verdure, which often hosts many cultural events in the city, including the Nice Jazz Festival.

Vieille Ville (Old Town)

Nice Cathedral

Image: Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate de Nice Credit: FORTLOC/Khalid Bari

Neuf Lignes Obliques

Neuf Lignes Obliques

Image: Neuf Lignes Obliques Credit: shutterstock/bellena

Directly on Promenade des Anglais is Neuf Lignes Obliques, a steel sculpture commemorating the 150th anniversary of the annexation of Nice. It’s in front of Esplanade Georges Pompidou, a small green area with a selection of palm trees. The green area has a walkway leading through the Old Town to Fontaine du Soleil, the fountain with a statue of Apollo in Place Masséna, Nice’s main square.

Opéra de Nice

Opéra de Nice

Image: Opéra de Nice Credit: Marco Rubino

The imposing Opéra de Nice is the main opera venue in Nice. Built in 1826 on a site that had a wooden theater, it was inaugurated in 1828 with the performance of Barone di Bolsheim by Giovanni Pacini. Today, it hosts operas, classical music performances, and ballets. There’s a miniature version of the Statue of Liberty on the promenade right in front of the opera house. It’s easy to miss so be sure to look out for it.

Colline du Château

Colline du Chateau

Image: Colline du Chateau Credit: Valery Bareta

As you approach the red, white, and blue “I Love Nice” sign, you can pat yourself on the back, noting that you’ve made it to the other end of the promenade. If you’re not too exhausted, you should climb up to Colline du Château, the hilltop park where a breathtaking waterfall awaits you. Beyond the waterfall, the best reason to go to the park is to enjoy the best views of the promenade and Baie des Anges. Only one other place in Nice rivals the breathtaking views here. It is guaranteed to be the highlight of your exploration of Promenade des Anglais.