Although it has been proven that humankind had lived in the area we now know as Nice since pre-historic times, it was around 350 BC that we can pinpoint civilization here. The Greeks settled here on the Mediterranean shore at this time. Moving into the Middle Ages, the battle for Nice was mainly fought between the French and Italian, and it wasn’t until the mid-19th century that Nice officially became part of France. Today, it’s a major beach destination for travellers, offering unadulterated sunshine for most of the year, and everything one could possibly love about the south of France. Popular Attractions
One of the main allures of Nice is undoubtedly the beach, although it should be noted that many of Nice’s beaches are pebble. Those wanting to squeeze in some serious beach time here and looking for something with a little more sand should visit other small towns up and down the coast, outside of but close to Nice. Alternatively, some of the luxury hotels have their own private beaches that have their ways of working around the stone issues – with carpets paving the way to the ocean. Also don’t miss the Promenade des Anglais, an attractive walkway along the coast. To understand the old side to Nice, make sure you visit the Old Town, or Vieille Ville. Here you’ll find shops, cafes, galleries, and other typically French Nice institutions, making it an ideal neighborhood in which to get to grips with Nice then and now, both its old charm and modern edge. Nice Cathedral, and the Notre-Dame de Nice are two structures that will get you in touch with Nice’s architecture. Interestingly enough, the city is also home to a Russian Orthodox Cathedral, an ideal attraction if you’re look for something a little more offbeat. Museum and gallery lovers will certainly not get bored in Nice. Head to Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nice for fine art, the Musée d'art moderne et d'art contemporain (MAMAC) for contemporary art, Musée Matisse for Henri Matisse’s work, Muséum d'histoire naturelle de Nice for natural history, or stop off at the Nice Observatory on Mont Gros to get onto some star gazing. Food
Nice has a whole host of quality restaurants, in which you can find excellent French cuisine to try. While you will find many national favorites on their menus, there are also a number of regional dishes that Nice is proud to call its own. Spearheading this group is the salad nicoise, the region’s most internationally famous dish. While you may have had it elsewhere, you’re sure to find the real deal here in Nice. Socca are chickpea flour pancakes that are also signature to the area, and ideal Nice street food – you’ll find many stands selling them around town. Lastly, while in France it is of course very important to try the wine, and rosé is particularly popular in Nice. Transport
Nice Airport is one of France’s busiest flight hubs, and there are numerous options for connections here. It’s naturally well-connected to Paris and the rest of Europe, and you’ll also be able to find direct flights from North America and some parts of Africa, too. If in doubt, connect in Paris. Tips for Travelers
The center of Nice is easily explored by foot, but if you do need to go a little further out of town there is a decent bus system that will get you around. Alternatively, hire a car and discover more of the French Riviera. Nice can get extremely busy in the summer months, especially in July and August. As the city enjoys so much good weather, months like May and September are excellent times to visit. If you’re not so bothered about it being very hot, even months like April and October are very pleasant. The Carnival de Nice, held in February each year, is one of the largest carnivals in the world. This is one of the better times to visit Nice in low season, as the city is electric with activity. Fun Facts
When it was a Greek settlement, Nice was first known as Nikaia – the Greek goddess of victory. Nice has over 300 sunny days per year. Nice is the fifth largest city in France, and the second most visited.