Walks on the boardwalk and fun in the sun, Kelly McKillion explores Nice.
WITH ESSAY deadlines and exams looming a quick trip to Nice is the perfect anti-stress remedy. One good place to book your stay is the Villa Saint Exupery hostel, which was voted the best hostel in France in 2007 and with its great facilities and relatively inexpensive lodging is very much deserving of its title.
This part of the Côte d’Azure has plenty to see, such as the vast town centre, ‘Place Massena’ with its ornate stone buildings, exquisite water fountains and bustling crowds. The Promenade des Anglais, one of the main attractions in Nice, is lined with numerous hotels, restaurants, as well as the Casino Ruhl for those who like to gamble.
The strong British presence in Nice is reflected in the promenade’s name, as English visitors in the 18th century constructed the boardwalk. Though enjoyable in the daytime, a walk along the promenade can be fully appreciated at night when it is entirely lit up and provides a very romantic atmosphere.
For a sample of the traditional way of life, a fruit and flower market is held in Cours Saleya on most days of the week. Those of an artistic tendency will revel in the choice of museums such as the Musée Massena, the Marc Chagall Museum and the Musée Matisse to name but a few.
“A walk along the promenade can be fully appreciated at night when it is entirely lit up and provides a very romantic atmosphere”
Sightseers can wander aimlessly through the quaint alleyways and side streets of the town, most of which contain hidden pubs, some of which stay open until 5.30 am. These include Wayne’s, which brings in backpackers from all over the world and has live music every night. There are some wild nights to be had here as table dancing is obligatory and rowdiness is regular.
For a more chilled vibe, head to Akathors or the Blue Whale located in Vieux Nice or ‘Old Nice’. There is also the Hi Club situated on the Promenade Des Anglais for partygoers in search of a dance floor. Beware though, as drink prices are expensive in bars.
Nice can be seen in a single day due to its small size, and it is extremely inexpensive and easy to travel outside the region. The glamorous and world famous regions of Monaco and Cannes can be reached in approximately half an hour by bus or tram if celeb spotting is your thing.
Another recommendation is the beautiful Eze Village, which provides break-taking views of the Rivera for as little as a €2.50 entry fee. The old port town of Villafranche, San Tropez, and the historic town of Antibes are also easily accessible from Nice, meaning you won’t be bored for one moment of your stay.
The South of France is a region that can be visited at any time of the year as it is blessed with warm temperatures and sunshine even in the winter months. Going at an off-peak time is a great opportunity for people who don’t have too much cash to flash as flights are cheaper, making it the perfect escape for students. All in all, Nice is a fantastic location for both young and old, and a gateway to many breathtaking locations. Bon Voyage!