Nice - the heart of the Côte d'Azur
Located in the scenic south of Europe and in the southwest of France, the fifth largest city in France with just under 350,000 inhabitants is easily accessible on all roads. Nice, the capital of the Alpes-Maritimes, is located on the pebble-lined banks of the Baie des Anges on the French Riviera.
Here you will find a large marina, numerous exclusive hotels and attractions as well as vibrant life. Nice has the warmest and most consistent climate on the Côte d'Azur. The city was founded by the Greeks and was a popular resort and winter quarters for British and Russian citizens in the 19th century. In the past, it even housed the Russian tsarist family during the winter months. Today, numerous magnificent buildings and an Orthodox cathedral testify to this. Nice today is a lively tourist center. French lifestyle, excellent cuisine and a wonderful climate make the place a sought after holiday destination. The warm climate favors here also the viticulture, around Nice lies the viticulture area Bellet.
In addition, Nice has been attracting artists for a long time: the Musée Matisse features paintings from the entire artistic career of Henri Matisse, who spent part of his life in Nice. The Musée Marc Chagall shows some of the most important religious works of the painter of the same name.
Beautiful beaches, a delightful old town and famous festivals - these and many more things come to mind when you think of the port city of Nice. Not without reason, because Nice is much more than - as the saying goes - the city of the beautiful and the rich. As soon as the mild winter is over, it attracts more and more tourists to this impressive southern French city. A visit to Nice is always worthwhile. In particular, the epic coastal roads as far as Monaco, which are an absolute travel of all sports car fans. On this terrain, every one of our rental cars feels right at home.
A special highlight is the charming old town of Nice "La vieille ville de Nice".
You could almost say, in almost every answer came the old town somehow ago. It seems to be a popular attraction for many tourists. The visit of the Vieux Nice (German: Old Town) is clearly the highlight of any sightseeing.
Close to the old town is the Promenade de Paillon, an ingenious construction whose richly flowering terraces hide the bus station. Underneath, banished into the earth, the river Paillon flows towards the sea.
From the terraces you can enjoy beautiful views of the nearby old town.
A very special gem in Nice is the Russian Orthodox Church. A bit out of the way you will find a very interesting building with countless icons and a magnificent altar inside.
Grandiose views over the Promenade des Anglais and the old harbor offer themselves from the fortress rock. There you will also find a wonderful waterfall and a bastion tower in which there is a naval museum. If you are afraid to climb up to the top, there is also the possibility with the rental car above some parking to catch or drive up by elevator. The park up there also has some very nice mosaics.
As the city of Nice has an international airport, it is, of course, the hub of the Côte d'Azur and at the same time a reception hotspot for our international car hire customers. We will be happy to pick you up at the airport with our limousine and chauffeur, bring you to your accommodation where you can comfortably take your sports car or luxury rental car to explore the French Riviera.
Flowering Old Town
A thriving old town with vibrant life, the Promenade des Anglais and an old fortress towering over everything awaits you in Nice. You have to plan a whole day and even then you will not have seen everything.
It borders directly on the Promenade des Anglais, is located between the famous Masséna Square on the west side and the castle hill on the east side and can be explored on foot. Hustle and bustle in the daily flower, vegetable and fish markets and admirable historic buildings are just a few of the things that make this part of Nice so special. On the markets you can get everything you can imagine. From extraordinary spices to exotic fruits, everything is included here.
Strolling through the beautiful little streets of the well-preserved old town of Nice, so you walk automatically past some sights. These include, for example, the famous Nizza Town Hall, also known as the Hotel de Ville, and the Cathédrale Sainte Réparate, a 13th-century cathedral, a historic monument. But many tourists also rave about the well-preserved and beautifully painted old houses, which give the city a very special charm. Some even compare the atmosphere there with the flair of a small Italian town. Many small shops invite you to stroll around, without being overpriced as a metropolis.
Cours Saleya - A Marketplace With Culinary Delights
Also typical of Nice are the numerous beautiful squares of the city, which are full of small French cafes and restaurants that you can visit, for example, after a long sightseeing tour or after one or the other shopping trip to take a little break. Because in addition to the many historic buildings, there are also many small shops in Nice that invite you to stroll.
Especially the main street of the old town on the famous market place Cours Saleya is known for its various shopping possibilities. For those who prefer something a little more sophisticated, you should go to Rue de France and Rue Masséna, where you will not only find small souvenir shops, but also some chic boutiques. On the popular Masséna square there is even the famous department store Galeries Lafayette.
What comes to mind when we talk about the Cours Saleya is also the many market stalls where you not only get the freshest ingredients, but also delicious traditional foods. We are not talking about crepes or foie gras, as we are used to from France, but rather the socca. This is a kind of pancake, but a hearty version, which is made from chickpea flour. Also recommended is the French onion pie Pissaladière with anchovies and olives, and the lighter version Salade Niçoise, a Nice style salad.
La Promenade des Anglais - The Avenue of Nice
The Promenade des Anglais, which is about 5 kilometers long, is undoubtedly the most famous part of Nice with its exclusive hotels and its long beach. The boulevard of Nice radiates only so much beauty and luxury, an expensive hotel ranks here to the next and the sports car turns their rounds there.
Also, there is no shortage of restaurants here, but these are usually not for bargain hunters - not least because of the top location. Deep blue skies, palm trees as far as the eye can see, and luxurious buildings give the promenade a special glow. The most striking buildings include the 5-star Hyatt Regency Palais de la Méditerranée Hotel and the 5-star Negresco Hotel, a grand old 1920s hotel. Not only is it a beautiful building from the outside, we are also amused every now and then with what dignity the staff wears the hotel-typical "costumes" and celebrates the reception of their guests.
If you want to watch the hustle and bustle on the promenade and watch the beach visitors while bathing, you can grab one of the blue metal chairs that are freely available. Some people like to take a little break, watch what's going on and admire the expensive cars that you do not get to see here. Because the Promenade des Anlgais is also the promenade in the sports car arena where the wild bull as well as the jumping horse feel extremely well.
Whether on a leisurely walk, on a bike ride or while jogging - the boulevard can be explored on virtually all paths and is simply impressively beautiful. Many also jet on the bike, skateboard or on inliners along the promenade.
By the way, at the end of this impressive promenade is the port of Nice, which is well worth seeing, but not comparable to a typical marina, such as the one in Cannes or Antibes. This port is far too remote to suffice the rich to showcase their huge yachts.
The other side of the promenade has long but stony beaches. If you want to miss a back massage with your towel, you can enjoy the pleasant sea breeze and clear water at the same time.
Breathtaking view of Nice from the Colline de Château
The Colline de Château, also known as Castle Hill or Castle Hill, offers you the best panoramic view of Nice. If you are looking for a castle on the hill that divides the old town of Nice from the harbor, you are looking in vain. Because here you will find only remnants of Greek and Roman history. Nonetheless, the Colline de Château is definitely worth a visit - yes, it is almost a must to climb this hill or take a lift up the hill. From here you have a breathtaking view of the southern French metropolis. Both during the day, when you have a view over the harbor and the surrounding red roofs and gleaming cupolas, as well as in the evening with a romantic sunset.
This vantage point is absolutely worth a visit for sensational photos with the Promenade des Anglais and the coast in the back. In addition, there is a centuries-old cemetery and a beautiful park.
Famous museums and a charming opera
Of course, Nice has a lot more to offer in addition to a variety of welcoming cafés and restaurants, as the city is rich in art and culture. Similar to the French capital, you can visit countless museums - from the Musée Matisse, which is located in the rich district of Cimiez, with an overview of the entire work of the artist Henri Matisse, to the most popular museum of Nice, the Musée Message Biblique Marc Chagall is a must for every Chagall fan. Also very popular is the Theater de la Photographie et de l'Image in the heart of Nice. In this former theater, you will find an exhibition that presents almost every kind of picture, from photojournalism to plastic photography. Not infrequently, Nice is also known as an art metropolis because of the many art museums.
There are so many interesting museums and galleries here that you could plan for a whole day alone. But if you do not just want to visit museums, I recommend a visit to the famous Opera de Nice. An opera, located in the beautiful old town and in the dark is a real eye-catcher due to its lighting. This Italian-style opera house offers a variety of opera performances, as well as ballet and concerts. Boredom should not arise in Nice.
- Nice old town with its picturesque streets, its baroque church Saint-Jacques-le-Majeur (Gesù), the colorful markets
- Promenade des Anglais: Since the beginning of 2016, the Promenade des Anglais, which runs for more than seven kilometers along the Bay of the Angels, has been embellished as part of its candidature as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and replanted in many ways. Numerous new palm trees line the promenade and separate the street, bike and footpath.
- Cours Saleya: market located in the old town. On Mondays, the antique market takes place here. On the other remaining days there is a vegetable and flower market.
- Nice Opera
- City Hall
- Cimiez district: In the elegant district of Cimiez, one can admire the excavations of the Roman garrison town of Cemenelum amidst a tranquil olive grove. Further, in this neighborhood, next to the Regina, the palace that once received Queen Victoria of England, there are two museums dedicated to the internationally known artists Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse and their works.
- Museums (most of them free): Musée Chagall, Masséna Museum, Matisse Museum, Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain (MAMAC), National Sports Museum in the Allianz Riviera Stadium
- Hôtel Negresco: Grade II listed hotel on the seafront
- Churches: Notre Dame Basilica, Russian Orthodox Saint Nicolas Cathedral (the largest Russian Orthodox cathedral outside Russia), Sainte-Rita Church
- The Port District of Nice and the Quais of the Budget University
- The Château Colline du Château with a botanical garden, from where you have an excellent view over the Baie des Anges and the city. So it's worth climbing the 214 steps.
- Parks and gardens: Parc Castel des Deux Rois, Parc Vigier, Jardín d'Eden, Jardin Botanique, Parc Phoenix
- The arenas and gardens (Jardin du Monastère) of the Cimiez Monastery
- The Allianz Riviera Stadium
Nightlife in Nice
Who wants to know, as is celebrated in southern France, should come to Nice in the summer. Here, the nightlife takes place mainly in the old town, where pubs and pubs line up. Located in the south of France, the nightlife here in Nice is just as "nice" as the climate. While the nightlife in neighboring cities of Monaco and Cannes is a little saltier, in Nice you have a much wider range and can celebrate relaxed. The combination of Mediterranean flair and glamor create a unique atmosphere of exclusivity, exuberance and French zest for life.
The clubs in the old town are very exclusive and if you want to go to one of the trendy clubs, then you have to dig deeper. Fortunately, Nice is not just limited to the jet set scene, so you can get your money's worth without much money. An example would be Wayne's. Cheap prices and a cool location - this combination is rare in Nice. An exception is the Wayne's right on the Palais de Justice in the old town of Nice. From 23 o'clock there goes the post office and not infrequently the guests dance on the tables. Especially on weekends, when bands play live music, Wayne's is jam-packed. Better reserve a table first.
Alternatively, there is the Le Blue Whales. A six-meter-long whale adorns the wall of this great music bar in Nice, which is a hotspot of the city. Very different styles, in terms of music and on the weekend great live concerts are here on the program. The Le Blue Whales has a very good mood and that until the early morning.
On the same street is also the Dutch pub "De Klomp", where many different beers are tapped, Numerous bottled beers and 60 Whiskeysorten invite to celebrate. Kater preprogrammed!
The VOX Club is another hip location in Nice, just a two-minute walk from the beach. Casual clothing is allowed in the nightclub, country and clubhouse music are played. DJs heat up the atmosphere in the club, so you can dance and party until the wee hours of the morning.
Along the promenade there are numerous good bars and restaurants. But also on the Côte d'Azur there are cheaper prices during the week and on the weekends around 19 o'clock a happy hour. Friends of cocktails get their money's worth at the Bulldog, which often has a happy hour.
For example, you can start your evening in Nice with a delicious French meal, followed by a variety of beers or a good wine and round it off with a night in a bar or club in the old town. Here on Rue Central you will find some good clubs, such as the "B52" or "Le Blue". Although the B52 has a small dance floor, but the store has a very long open and often you can get free admission. Or you can be tempted by a cool evening breeze on the promenade for a romantic walk. For friends of quieter or special music, there are many clubs and bars in the city whose music has nothing to do with mainstream music.
Nice Jazz Festival. For more than 60 years, the famous "Nice Jazz Festival" has taken place here in Nice on Cimiez hill. The open-air festival not only attracts thousands of music enthusiasts every year, but also world-famous stars. In the past, jazz greats such as Louis Armstrong and the All Stars, Lionell Hampton, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles and Miles David performed regularly. Since the 90s, but mainly pop and international music is played here. Do not be put off by "jazz" in the name. The festival is known for its breathtaking location and atmosphere as it takes place between an olive grove and an ancient Roman amphitheater. Like every festival there are performances on the different stages every evening at the same time. If you are in Nice in July, then the "Nice Jazz Festival" is an absolute must!
Carnaval de Nice. Yes, the French also celebrate Carnival in February. Here in Nice for two weeks state of emergency is announced. Thousands of visitors flock to Nice for parades, fireworks, plays, live music and DJ performances. More than half a million onlookers are expected every year at the famous flower parade.
- Carnival (February to March): During the Belle Époque, the Nice Carnival was at its peak. But his story begins in 1294, when the Count of Provence, Charles II, Prince of Anjou, came for a few merry carnival days. Today, the Nice Carnival is one of the most important in the world.
- Cycle race Paris-Nice (March)
- Feast of Courgourdons in the Gardens of Cimiez to Celebrate Spring (March)
- International Half Marathon in Nice (April): In addition to the 21.1 km half marathon, there is also a 10 km long marathon along the promenade and shorter Haribo runs for the small participants.
- Festival of the Book (June)
- Ironman Triathlon (June)
- Festival de Musique Sacrée (June)
- Nice Jazz Festival (July): More than 500 musicians and 75 concerts offer one of the biggest jazz festivals in Europe.
- Music Festival Crazy Week (July)
- Port Festival "Lou Festin dou Pouort" (September)
- Marathon Nice-Cannes (November)
- Festival Manca: Festival of Contemporary Music (November)
- Festival of Classical Music (November)
- Christmas village with huts and ice rink on Place Masséna (December)
Nice`s surroundings: Monaco, Cannes & Villefranche-sur-Mer
Anyone who has ever been to the Côte d'Azur and has plenty of time should, if possible, spend some time exploring the surrounding villages. The densely populated principality of Monaco , a popular meeting point of international high society, is less than 21 km from Nice. It is therefore a stone's throw away and actually a must if you spend more than two days on the Côte d'Azur.
Even the small places between Nice and Monaco are worth every trip. At best, with a sports car or luxury convertible, the long hairpin bends and coastal roads along the Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat to Èze up to the Cap d'Ail. For race-car rental cars , there are sensational winding roads poured into a mountainous coastal landscape with breathtaking views of the open sea. This sounds like a terrain that was made for our rental sports cars Ferrari or Lamborghini.
Another equally nearby and pretty place is Cannes , about 34 km from Nice, which is well known for its annual film festival. Again, expect beautiful beaches and a charming old town with great attractions. If you are not just looking for sightseeing, but also value a beautiful day on the sandy beach, you should definitely go to the town of Villefranche-sur-Mer, about 21 km east of Nice.
This picturesque little place is ideal for spending a wonderful beach day.