Discover Nice

Nice - flights to the city where monasteries and the art world come together

It's surely no coincidence that
Nice airport is France's third busiest. Visitors from around the world flock to this beautiful city with its gorgeous setting and all year-round sunshine. A Vancouver - Nice flight can take 15 hours, with a stopover in Paris or Amsterdam.
Nice, a city of around 350,000 people, is a fascinating mix of a warren of alleyways in the Old Town and the winding streets of the upper town, and the carefully planned boulevards and imposing public squares to the west and north of the port, such as the Cours Saleya (with its amazing flower market), Place Masséna, Place Rossetti and Place Garibaldi. There's a similar diversity in religious architecture, from the highly ornate Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Nicholas to the 17th century Nice Cathedral, built in the Baroque style, and the Franciscan Monastery of Cimiez. This beautiful complex boasts a 15th century church, cloisters, a rose garden, a museum and a cemetery with the graves of Henri Matisse and Raoul Dufy.
These are just two of the internationally-famous artists to feature in Nice's many art galleries and museums. The city is particularly strong on 20th century painting and ceramics, which may be seen in any of the following galleries:
  • Musée Matisse
  • Musée Marc Chagall
  • Musée des Beaux Arts
Moreover, the Picasso Museum in Antibes is just a few miles along the coast from Nice.
Art in a very different form comes to Nice every year in the shape of the Nice Carnival, one of the biggest such events in the world, which has been held since the 13th century. Each year, a different theme is chosen, and around 20 floats are created to reflect this topic, constructed from iron, glue, stiff paper, papier mâché and paint. Alongside these floats are others, sumptuously decorated with flowers which are then thrown at the waitng spectators in what is called the 'battle of the flowers'. Carnival takes place during the month of February.

Nice - a great holiday destination for walkers

One of the real pleasures in a trip to Nice is to simply stroll past beautiful, Italian-style houses in warm pastel shades and enjoy stunning panoramas from the various vantage points afforded by the city's hilly location. Castle Hill may no longer have a castle on it, but it's a superb spot from which to enjoy views of the city and the surrounding countryside and sea. Where the castle once was is now a public park.
From Castle Hill it's a short walk down to the world-famous Promenade des Anglais, which runs for about 4 miles and is lined with exclusive shops, galleries and opulent hotels like the Negresco. The Hotel Negresco is an iconic Nice building, with the crystal chandelier and the Salon Royal both being specifically listed in France's heritage register. The city is also a very good base for enjoying more challenging walks a little further afield, as long as you have access to a rental car . It's a short drive to the Alpine Parc National du Mercantour, which contains everything from perched villages and ancient rock carvings to Golden Eagles and Ibex. A little further away, but still within easy reach is the Parc Naturel Régional du Verdon, which includes within its boundaries the awe-inspiring Verdon Gorge, Europe's answer to the Grand Canyon!

Nice - stay on top of your holiday planning with these handy websites!

Some key Nice tourism and travel websites: