NICE: SMALL CITY, GREAT JOY
NICE: SMALL CITY, GREAT JOY, Elif Cana Nurgün | 15.09.2016
Dating back to 2000 BC, the Mediterranean city of Nice is located on the Cote d’Azur, France. The jewel of the French Riviera, Nice proclaims its beauty with magnificent views from the moment your plane lands. Nice resembles Italy architecturally; lying in close proximity, they have some amount of shared history. The city has a large port, making Nice a popular destination among yacht owners from all over the world.
Place Massena, the square famous for its water jets, is located in the center of the city and is surrounded by green parks, colorful old buildings, modern and historical monuments, restaurants, and entertainment venues. The city is alive, day and night. The square, which is a major meeting point for people, has a majestic atmosphere at night with its glittering lights.
Leaving the square, you can take a walk under the palm trees along the Promenade des Anglais. Do not hesitate to talk to people you bump into; the locals of Nice are as lovely and pleasant as the city itself. There are many restaurants along the Promenade des Anglais where you can enjoy dinner with a unique view of the turquoise sea. Watching the sun setting with a good meal is a priceless feeling. The famous Hotel Negresco is also located here.
Nice has around 15 beaches by the deep blue sea. In summer, these beaches are packed with locals and tourists enjoying the hot weather and cool water. One of the city’s most popular beaches, Baie de Anges, is as crowded at night-time as it is during the day. Even in the spring, the seafront is very popular among people who just want a coffee in one of the many cafes located by the beaches.
In order to get a bird’s-eye view of the city’s magnificent landscape, Parc du Chateau is the place to go. The observation terrace here offers wonderful views. The vivid greens and blues are truly a sight to behold. You can reach the park by taking the tour train or the elevator, as well as on foot. Should you choose to walk up to the park, you can visit the Cimitiere du Chateau (Chateau Cemetery) on your way. Several famous artists, politicians and other figures of note who lived in Nice are buried in this cemetery, which also has a Jewish section.
Vieux Nice is the city’s oldest residential area. The area attracts lots of tourists with its history dating back to Medieval times. You can find historical buildings, authentic restaurants, cafes, boutiques, and stores here. While wandering around the narrow streets between the historical buildings, you will get the feeling you've been transported to an ancient time. Don’t be afraid of getting lost: every single street contains a new discovery. You might, for instance, come across the wall which has displayed on it a cannonball that was allegedly one of those fired by the Turkish fleet led by Hayreddin Barbarossa during the Siege of Nice.
One of the must-see places in Nice is Cours Saleya (Flower Market). You will lose track of time in this beguiling market filled with colorful flowers and heavenly scents. The market, in which fruits and antiques are also sold on different days, is a great option for shopping.
With its convenient location and good transport links, Nice provides the advantage of plentiful excursions. You can visit other cities in the region by train or bus during your stay.
Situated within a half hour of Nice, Monaco is one of the richest countries in the world, as well as being the second smallest country after Vatican City. The second you set foot in the country, famous department stores, cafes, casinos, hotels, and luxury yachts and cars you might not encounter in your daily life welcome you with their magnificence. The first place you should see in Monaco’s famous district Monte Carlo is the Casino. The Casino, which also has a famous restaurant inside, hosts many important events. In the city’s old region, Monaco Ville, you will find the Palace which belongs to the royal family (Grimaldi). There is a cover charge to visit the palace, but the views are amazing. In front of the palace, the changing of the guard ceremony takes place daily at 11:55. There are shops around the Palace Square where you can buy souvenirs. While you’re here, you can learn a little about Grace Kelly and her husband Prince Rainier III. I recommend you visit the Cathedral in which Rainier and Kelly’s tombs are located. If you can plan your visit to Monaco in May, you can experience the indescribable atmosphere of the Monaco Grand Prix, organized here since 1929.
Known as “The City of Festivals,” Cannes is another city you can reach easily from Nice. With its colorful houses and sandy beach, this picturesque city hosts many celebrities every year. You can start your sightseeing from Palais des Festivals (The Palace of Festivals). Many events, including the famous Cannes Film Festival, take place in this building. You can roam around the streets, in which the modern and historical buildings are seamlessly blended, or enjoy some relaxation on the beach. If you prefer to go shopping, you should visit Rue d’Antibe, the shops along the seafront, or the boutiques in the side streets.
GALLERY: MONACO AND CANNES