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A Nice travel guide – local shopping treats, art museums and a legendary seafront promenade

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On a Nice city break you’ll stroll the wide, century-old beachside promenade, eat niçoise dishes at shaded outdoor tables, hunt for provençal souvenirs in the Old Town and spend hours in the art museums. Book a Nice hotel for leisure and culture in the Mediterranean sunshine.

Seafront relaxation

The broad, mimosa-lined Promenade des Anglais, with its pre-war luxury hotels, follows the pebbly beach for miles. It reaches the “Château” – actually a cool green hilltop park – for dazzling sea views. Outdoor tables in the nearby Cours Saleya flower market in Old Nice make an ideal stop for lunch or a glass of local rosé. 

Local flavours

The coolest lunch is a carafe of chilled rosé de Provence and salade niçoise (tuna, egg, potato). Fresh fish with olive oil and herbs are a local favourite, perhaps with a savoury ratatouille stew of tomato, peppers, aubergine and courgette as a side dish. Top snacks are pissaladière (onion and anchovy tart) or pan bagnat (salad niçoise in a bun).

 

Modern art

Nice’s greatest art treasures are its two world-renowned museums, one dedicated to the dreamy, colorful paintings of Marc Chagall, the other to the serene modern Henri Matisse. Modern-art lovers should drop into MAMAC, displaying late 20th-century artists. For opera, ballet and classical concerts, Opéra de Nice, in rue St-François de Paule, is one of the Riviera’s leading venues. 


Shopping

There’s serious souvenir shopping to be done in the tangled lanes of the Old Town. Look for table linen in bright, provençal colors, mimosa-scented eau de Nice perfumes, gourmet treats and niçois wine Bellet. Near Place Masséna, lively focal point of the town, huge Galeries Lafayette stocks stylish French fashions while pedestrianised streets offer chocolateries, jewellers and chic boutiques.