Nice is one of France's most populous city in France, after Paris, Marseille, Nantes, Lyon and Toulouse, with a population of 350,000. Located on the south-east coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea, Nice is the second-largest French city on the Mediterranean coast after Marseille.
The city is called Nice la Belle, which means 'Nice the Beautiful', and it is the capital of the Alpes Maritimes département and the second biggest city of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region.The area of today’s Nice is believed to be among the oldest human settlements in Europe.
Couple on a belvedere on Castle Hill in Nice which has a breathtaking view of the harbour and the Baie des Anges © Atout France/Jean François Tripelon-Jarry
Nice benefits from both a maritime and a mountain pedigree, which brings an originality and distinct character and atmosphere. It is a place of abundant sunshine, and a fashionable place of resort among Victorians especially since its 'discovery' in the 19th century.
The coast is well developed, and the extended resort linked by corniche roads. The busy atmosphere of the coast is in marked contrast to the much quieter interior, famed for its olive groves, gorges and hill villages.
There is no defined boundary for the 'riviera', although it is generally accepted as extending from the border with Italy, west to St-Tropez.
Saint-Nicolas cathedral, the orthodox church © Atout France/Jean François Tripelon-Jarry
Oranges hanging in the Cours Saleya market © Atout France/Palomba Robert
With only limited time, be sure to explore the Old City rather than the modern elements. Here the core of the city huddles at the foot of Castle Hill, possessing a lively Mediterranean character. But it is worth leaving time to stroll along the Promenade des Anglais, the south-facing thoroughfare that looks out across the Baie des Anges.
A number of museums are well worth visiting:
Musée Matisse, housed in the Villa des Arènes, traces the artist's life and work
Musée Marc-Chagall, which was designed to display the artist's Biblical Message, painted between 1954 and 1967
Fountains in Place Masséna, Nice © Atout France/Jean François Tripelon-Jarry
The Promenade des Anglais © Atout France/Nicole Lejeune
Promenade des Anglais and the prestigious Hotel Negresco at nightfall © Atout France/Emmanuel Valentin
Tourist information Office
5 Promenade des Anglais 06302 NICE
Tel: 0892 707 407
The Nice Côte d'Azur Airport is the second largest in France with 9.6 million passengers travelling through each year, 103 direct-flight destinations and 55 scheduled airlines.
It is also the first airport outside Paris to offer a daily connection to New-York and Dubai and the leading provincial low-cost airport, with 3.2 million passengers a year and 18 airlines.
For more information:
Tel: 0820 423 333 (0,12 €/min)
For the list of airlines and destinations departing from Nice, daily flight schedules see www.nice.aeroport.fr.
The national railway system provides rapid and express trains (TGV, corail) connecting the French Riviera with all parts of France and all major cities in Europe.
The TGV Méditerranée high-speed train links Paris & Nice in 5hrs 30 min.
The French Riviera Pass makes your stay on the French
Riviera so much easier.
With a single card, admire the bay of Angels from the top-deck of the Nice le Grand Tour sightseeing bus; stop off to visit the main sights and muséums, go on a guided tour or do some regional wine-tasting.
Head to Antibes-Juan-Les-Pins, Biot, Beaulieu, Cagnes-sur-mer, St. Jean Cap Ferrat, Eze, Monaco, St Martin Vésubie, where more sights await you with free access.
Smartphone users in Nice are now able to locate empty parking spaces and pay for their tickets instantly. The Nice City Passport app has been championed by the group SEMIACS, which hopes the software will ease urban traffic and reduce carbon emissions.
Wifi -powered GPS on smartphones permits users to locate the nearest parking spots.
The Nice City Passport App spans the Notre Dame district (avenue Jean Médécin, boulevards Débouchage, Cimiez and Raimbaldi) and its 4,000 spots and 68 parking metres. Users need only switch on their GPS, which will geolocalise their position and flag up the nearest available parking spots using road sensors.
If there are no roadside spaces, the system will direct you to the nearest car park.
Not only will drivers be able to locate parking spots, but they will be able to pay for them remotely thanks to new high-tech parking metres. You can pay for your ticket with money, a credit card or via smartphone.