The city of Nice to use as a base to explore the French Riviera. In this article, you’ll read all about the best day trips from Nice and other useful tips.
How to get to Nice?
Nice is located in the gorgeous France Riviera and it is easily accessible by train or plane.
Traveling to Nice by train
Are you traveling to Nice from within Europe and are you looking for a sustainable option? Then traveling by train to Nice is a very good idea! Nice has some very good train connections, especially when you travel from Paris. The train from Paris to Nice takes about 8,5 hours and goes directly. It’s so easy! Check the Rail Europe website for tickets and plan a trip to Nice Ville station.
Traveling to Nice by plane
Would you like to travel to Nice by plane? There’s an international airport right next to the city. Flying to the airport “Nice Côte d’Azur” is probably the best option if you’d like to visit the French Riviera. It has connections with many other destinations in Europe, like Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Athens (Greece), and Rome (Italy). Use Skyscanner to check all possibilities and to find the cheapest plane tickets to Nice.
From the airport, you can travel to the city by tram 2. This tram runs every five minutes and a ticket only costs €1.50.
Public transport in Nice
Most sights in Nice are within walking distance of each other, but I can imagine that you occasionally want to take public transport to explore a little more. Public transport in Nice is very well organized, with a good network of trams and buses. A single journey (valid for a maximum of 74 minutes) is €1.50 and you can buy these tickets from the machines at the tram stops or from the bus drivers. Check Google Maps for stops and a timetable.
Day trips from Nice by train
There are many awesome day trips from Nice to explore by train. You will read more about some awesome destinations later in this article). Nice has several stations and for most visitors, Nice Ville (the main station) and Nice Riquier are the easiest to reach. You can simply buy tickets at the station (at one of the machines or at the counter). On the station, there are many digital signs that tell you on which track your train departs.
Where to stay in Nice
The prices of accommodation in Nice vary quite a bit, so be sure to check them in advance on Booking.com. There you will find the most complete overview with all the options (and you can filter out the most expensive ones if you’d like). The best places to stay (and within walking distance of the most beautiful sights in Nice) are Old Nice, Riquier, and Jean-Médecin. Here are some great places to stay in Nice:
- € Meyerbeer Beach – a cozy and affordable hostel with dorms and private rooms.
- €€ Hotel de France – nicely decorated hotel near the beach.
- €€€ Le Meridien Nice -luxury hotel with pool and sea view.
The best things to do in Nice
Yes, the day trips from Nice are absolutely amazing, but don’t forget to explore the city itself as well. What to do in Nice? When you’re visiting Nice, you’ll get the best of both worlds: a great city trip and a beach holiday! These are some of the most beautiful sights in Nice:
Promenade des Anglais
This is a long boulevard that runs all the way along the coast. It’s lovely to go for a stroll along the Promenade des Anglais and watch people go by.
Tip: go around sunset, it’s even more beautiful!
Colline du Château (Castle Hill)
You get the best view of Nice from Colline du Château, which is also known as Castle Hill. You won’t see a castle here, but it is a famous historical place: this is the place where the city of Nice was founded.
Place Masséna is one of the most beautiful squares in Nice and it actually makes you feel like you’re in Italy. The square is surrounded by several beautiful buildings and in the middle is a beautiful fountain. You can also see some special artworks on high poles. On the poles, you’ll see all statues of sitting people and in the evening, they turn into different colors. Be sure to visit this square especially after dark. It’s a very awesome thing to see!
Relax on the beach
It’s so nice to just relax on the beach during a city trip. And that’s what you can do in Nice! Nice naturally has no sandy beaches (although some hotels have just built them), the beach consists of white stones. That’s actually not so bad, because then you won’t have sand everywhere at the end of the day. Bring a good beach towel (or hamman towel) with you, because the stones can get quite warm.
Great day trips from Nice
I know, this is what you’ve been waiting for! You can make some awesome day trips from Nice. These are my personal favorites:
In less than 30 minutes, you can visit another country: Monaco. It’s one of the weirdest places I’ve ever been to. This microstate is only two square kilometers and is situated against a very steep coastline. Prepare to climb a lot of stairs and occasionally you need to use an elevator to get to a different street.
In Monaco, make sure to explore the old part (Monaco Ville). Here you will find the palace, the cathedral (with the grave of Grace Kelly), and many beautiful viewpoints.
Another great place to visit from Nice is the cute town of Ventimiglia, which is actually in Italy! It is not crowded here at all and there is plenty to see. For example, explore the old part of town across the river. Here you will find some narrow Italian streets and beautiful squares. When you’re done exploring, you can enjoy a pizza or pasta on the beach. Fun fact: from Ventimiglia you have a beautiful view of the snow-capped peaks of the Alps.
Cannes is of course not to be missed as a day trip from Nice. Cannes is a town full of extravagant hotels and a very fine sandy beach. In addition, it has a nice marina and there are many beautiful streets to discover in the old center.
Would you like to read more about Nice?
These are my tips for a trip to Nice, I hope you liked them! Would you like to read more about Nice? Then order one of these great travel guides:
Lonely Planet Pocket Nice & Monaco
Insight Guides Explore Nice & French Riviera (Travel Guide with Free eBook)
Would you like to read more about other great cities in France? Check out one of these articles:
- 25 Best cities in France to spend the weekend
- 13 Great things to do in Normandy
- The best things to do in Paris
This article first appeared in March 2016. Last update: June 2021.
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