Try Provencal food in the old town
Pissaladière, beignets de fleurs de courgettes, petits farcis and the surprising Tourte de Blettes sucrées… these names may mean nothing to you now, but you will be telling everyone about them when you get back from Nice. Above all, you have to try Socca. No, not what Americans call football, Socca is a local delicacy: a sort of chickpea crêpe. René Socca is known for having the best Socca in Nice.
Les Roches Rouges
To get away from the city and find some peace and quiet, take a train trip in the Esterel. You will be treated to mountainous and rugged coastline, where you can hike, explore or swim in secret coves.
On Place Masséna and the surrounding streets, Nice Carnival is one of the most spectacular in Europe. Gawp at the massive floats, giant heads, musicians and street performances, as the city forgets its practised elegance and goes crazy for two weeks. One of the high points is the battle of flowers on the Promenade des Anglais, where a series of floats, each more spectacular than the last, rolls slowly along the street, decked out in glorious flowers.
Check out the markets
The famous Marché aux Fleurs in Nice is an essential stop during your time in the city, but a short morning trip to Antibes or Cannes is also well worth the early start. The top locations within Nice for a market visit include Place Garibaldi, which hosts the Brocante Garibaldi and Exposition de Peintures, and the Cours Saleya where you will find the Marché a La Brocante Saleya and Marché Artisanal Nocturne.
Enjoy lots of galleries and museums
Pick up a Museum Pass and enjoy access to all of the municipal museums and galleries in Nice (€20 for 7 days, €10 for 2 days, free for under 18s). A selection of the included institutions:
Musée Matisse (164 Avenue des Arènes de Cimiez) is dedicated to the work of Henri Matisse and has one of the best collections of his paintings in the world.
Palais Lascaris (15 Rue Droite) is a seventeenth-century mansion in Nice and home to a collection of over 500 musical instruments.
MAMAC (Place Yves Klein) The Musée d'art moderne et d'art contemporain is dedicated to modern art and contemporary art.
Théâtre de la Photographie et de l’Image (27 Boulevard Dubouchage) is dedicated to photography in all its forms.
Espace Ferrero (4 Place Pierre Gautier) is dedicated to Nice’s local artists.
Galerie de la Marine and Galerie des Ponchettes (Quai des États-Unis) are the places to see work by up-and-coming local and international artists.
Musée des Beaux Arts (33 Avenue des Baumettes) is in a sumptuous late 19th-century villa, where work by impressionists hangs alongside art from the 13th – 20th century.
Musée d’Art Naïf (Château Sainte-Hélène) offers a unique overview of the history of naïve painting from the 18th century to the present.
Musée d’Archéologie (2 sites) offers a glimpse into the region’s ancient past.
Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle (60 Boulevard Risso) would be ideal for a rainy day… which is a rare thing in Nice!
Musée Masséna (65 Rue de France) is the place to go for Belle Epoque design.
To watch, read, listen
To Catch a Thief (1955) Director: Alfred Hitchcock
La Piscine (1969) Director: Jacques Deray
Bonjour tristesse (1958) Director: Otto Preminger
Cinémathèque (3 esplanade Kennedy), Rialto (4 Rue de Rivoli) and Cinéma Mercury (16 Place Garibaldi) cater to arty tastes – the Rialto is especially good at showing movies with subtitles instead of dubbing.
Et après... - Guillaume Musso
Perfume - Patrick Süskind
Honeymoon - Patrick Mondiano
Tender Is the Night - F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Wanderings of the Avener - The Avener
Times - Hyphen Hyphen
Le temps de l’allumette – Les P’tits Gars Laids
Among the most popular venues in the city are High Club, Jazz Rock Café and N’ice Cube Club – between them, they cover everything from rock to the kind of Mediterranean house that sounds perfect with a cocktail in hand and an expensive pair of sunglasses on top of your head.