Pack Your Bags: Nice, France

Everyone should go to Southern France at some point in their life...
because the French Riviera, 
in all it's sparkling blue glory,
 is pretty fabulous.

And in the middle of the cities dotting the coast sits Nice.

Nice is the largest, most affordable, and easily accessed city along the Riviera.

This famous city has loads to do for every interest & age,
and for practical purposes-
it is my recommended city for where one should stay
when visiting the French Riviera.

Read below for my recommendations for a great trip.

The water is amazingly blue
{hello, Côte D'Azure!}
and the backdrop is perfect,
but I've repeatedly tried (four different times) to visit in late winter months
with hopes of lounging on the beach...
and each time, I realize how ridiculous I am.

So if it's the beach you want, come at the right time.

{Which, by the way, is May-October.}

Be warned though-
the beaches are not sandy,
they are rocky.

Bring comfortable & padded mats to lay on.

And, if you have kids, be prepared to explain 
why the woman next to you is topless.


This chickpea crepe is the speciality of Nice.
It's cheap, it's light & it's quite common.

Try Renee Socca or Lou Pilha Leva for the favorite local choice.

Grab a socca for the road for around €2.50,
or, if you're feeling adventurous,
 sit down and try a huge plate of local fare (including a socca) for €10.

*To be honest, I could have been happy with just the socca.


While the new town is lined with promenades and high-street chains,
the old town is a small labyrinth of winding streets & small cafes.

They have some great salt & soap shops...
and if you walk out just a bit to the new town,
you'll find yourself in the famous flower market of Nice.

The flower market has two long aisles of brightly colored booths
welcoming those passing by with buckets of local flowers...
which are better than reasonably priced.

For those wanting to indulge more than just their senses of smell & sight,
there are also a smattering of stalls filled with sugar-drenched confections mixed in the scene.

Old Nice is the eastern part of the city that is closest to the hill.
(Basically, if you're looking at the water- it's all the way to the left.)

Head up a bit North of the old city to the Chagall Museum
where permanent pieces hang yera-round in giant, oversized grandeur.


Oh, and that hill? The big one at the end of the city?

It's called Colline Du Chateau- which means, the "Castle Hill," 
though the Roman castle for which it was named has been long removed.

Today it is simply a great (not-too-difficult) walk up to the top
 that rewards you with a sweeping view of the Riviera,
cool sea breezes, & a giant park full of locals.

The next time we visit Nice,
I foresee a picnic & lazy afternoon of reading up there.


My group stayed at the Citadines in Nice.
Good rates (about €60 pp), good location, 
free internet, free coffee & tea available all day...
and if you want to save some money,
the rooms have small kitchenettes.

However, if I was going to splurge...
I'd stay at the Hotel Negresco.
The famous hotel 20th century hotel 
sitting prominently along the Promenade.

The eclectic interiors are for everyone, 
but I think I could be up for it for a couple of nights.

Oh, and one more perk of visiting Nice?

With Nice's quirky history of being it's own province nestled between Italy & France
until only 150 years ago when it chose to be a part of the latter...
makes Nice one of the only places in France where you can get a good cappuccino.


While Nice may be nice
{couldn't make it an entire post without that joke},
it'd be a shame to miss the other gems of the area.

I'll post more on my favorite surrounding cities later.

What are your favorite spots in Nice?

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy


  1. Nice DOES seem pretty nice :) i'll definitely have to go someday!

  2. I adore the South of France and also love the Matisse Museum in Nice.
    "African Queen" is another spot I love for lunch....

  3. This is by far the best Nice post I have ever seen. EVER. Nice was my favorite city in France and you captured it perfectly in every way. Goodness- can I just hug you for this?

  4. I visited Nice while studying abroad in college. I don't remember much about where we ate, but I absolutely loved our hostel which was the Villa St. Exupery. It was highly recommended by pretty much everyone we talked to, but for me it absolutely lived up to the hype. My favorite part was that they help you plan activities. We went scuba diving and it was absolutely incredible.

  5. Stop! You are making me want to invent ways and resasons why I just HAVE to go. You paint an awfully beautiful picture though:)

  6. Nice is so perfectly placed, I quite fancy buying a place down that way sometime.

  7. Love Nice and you're right - the perfect location for exploring the Riviera. There is a great direct Delta flight from JFK to Nice I have taken several times. Loving your report - looking forward to more - are you going to Monte Carlo?

  8. The marche aux fleurs was my favorite there! The bread beyond amazing!

  9. Aw, I almost feel pulled to Nice. What lovely ideas and I will definitely remember to check for sandy vs. rocky when I travel abroad for beach days ;)

  10. Beautiful photos! This is somewhere I desperately want to visit!

  11. I have flown in and out of Nice more times than I can count, but have never actually visited Nice. It's shameful I know, but I always seem to pass it by and head to Cannes and Monaco instead. But your post has me thinking that I should take a wee trip down to Nice sooner rather than later. Spring time in Nice would be nice :)
    (yeah, I couldn't resist either)

  12. I'll have to add this to my travel list! The pictures of the hikes are great...I love walking and hiking and it looks like this is a beautiful place to do so! Hope you had a great weekend and have a wonderful week!
    Twirling Clare

  13. great blog! i'm definitely a new follower- fabulous pictures!

  14. Okay, so we had all but decided to go to the south of France this coming summer for our big vacation, and this post cinched it. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!

  15. What a treat!!! Your travel journal is just amazing. I hope to make it there one day. That would be very Nice!!! :)
    xo Elizabeth

  16. I would love to visit Nice! your pictures are absolutely lovely



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