Nice - paradise for art-lovers and sun-seekers everywhere!

Nice is France's fifth largest city, but tellingly, boasts the country's third busiest airport, Nice Côte d'Azur Airport . Nice's history as a favourite holiday destination dates back to the 18th century, when aristocratic English travellers began to stay here, sometimes over the course of an entire winter. They were drawn not just by an extremely balmy climate (average highs of around 13°C during the day, even in January), but also by the natural beauty of the city's setting on two bays, with more mountainous terrain behind.
The city's origins, however, are much older. It was founded by the Greeks in around 350BC and has been occupied by the Romans, attacked by the Saracens and belonged to the Italian Kingdoms of Savoy and then Piedmont-Sardinia until the mid-1800s, when it was finally ceded to France.
Frequent flights from London to Nice via Paris are available through Air France.
On arrival in Nice, a trip up to the Colline du Château is the best way of getting your bearings and enjoying spectacular views over the Baie des Anges and the harbour. From here, it's a shortish walk to the Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain, which holds a stunning collection of works by artists including Ai Weiwei, Francis Bacon, Gilbert and George, Andy Warhol and Niki de Saint-Phalle.

There are several other highly-prestigious galleries and museums worth seeing:

  • The Musée Matisse
  • The Musée National Marc Chagall
  • The Palais Lascaris
  • The Musée des Beaux Arts
  • The Palais Masséna

Italianate architecture and Russian cathedrals give Nice that extra-exotic feel!

Nice's rich past has endowed it with an eclectic vibe and exciting urban architecture, from the narrow lanes of the Old Town (La Vieille Ville), its houses painted in warm yellows and ochres, to the majestic Negresco Hotel and the famous Promenade des Anglais. Impressive public squares, like the Place Masséna, Place Garibaldi and Place Rossetti are great places to people-watch, whilst gorgeous religious buildings add to the city's charm. The baroque Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate and the St Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral are just two of the best-known examples.
The city is a great place for shopping as there are many high-end boutiques, but also plenty of interesting markets, including the daily flower market in the Cours Saléya. Open-air markets are also a useful introduction to Niçoise cuisine. As you'd expect from a port city, fish and seafood feature heavily in the local diet. Pissaladière, a tart made from onions and anchovies, is one of the most famous. Socca, a chickpea pancake, pan-bagnat, a kind of sandwich which makes for a hearty snack and Salade Niçoise (salad with seasonal raw vegetables, tomatoes, tuna, olives, hard-boiled eggs and anchovies) are some of the other favourite dishes in this area.
Before you set off on your journey to Nice, why not take a look at our useful travel tips .

Nice will hold no secrets for you once you've browsed this selection of tourism-related sites