Travel

48 Hours in Nice

by Mollie Lehman

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Looking for a relaxing and manageable trip out of Paris? Nice is great, not just in the hot months but throughout the year. Joggers will enjoy the promenade that runs along the sea. For foodies, there are Michelin-starred restaurants throughout the city, plus cool hole-in-the wall restaurants dotting the lanes of Old Town. Art lovers have a number of famous galleries to get lost in. And if you’re just looking to chill? There is no better place to lounge. Whether you’re one of the million visitors gearing up to visit for the Carnaval de Nice, or you’re planning your visit in the warmer months, here is our guide on how to spend 48 hours in Nice.

Top: A view of Nice's shores at sunset. The ocean is on the left and buildings nicely lit in the evening circle around from the right. The sunset is reflected in the water, and some late night beach-goers are visible.
Above: A view of a mountain road in Nice with a view of the mountains. The rocks are lightly colored which contrasts the greens and browns of the foliage growing on the mountainsides.
Top: Pierre Blaché
Above: The Service Course

DAY 1:

Ice Cream and a Promenade

The quintessential way to start any trip to Nice is with some ice cream. Sample some of Fenocchio’s 94 gelato flavors. I particularly enjoyed the Speculoos, a Belgian spiced cookie flavor. Grab your cone or cup and stroll along the Promenade des Anglais, taking in the the beauty of Nice’s seaside.

Another beloved walk is the picturesque hike up Castle Hill to the Parc de la Colline du Château. Take a staircase up on the eastern side of the Old Town. You will find a waterfall and a few cafés at the top from which to enjoy the view.

Lunch: Vegan Fare at Caju

For lunch, try the cute restaurant Caju for a vegan burger and smoothie. It’s run by an adorable, lively couple who clearly love their food and work. Their joy is infectious, and the wonderful fare arrives quickly.

Left: A view of Caju restaurant from the exterior with wooden tables in front. Right: Sitting on a rocky beach in Nice with a view of the water in the background, someone holds a sandwich wrapped in brown paper from Caju restaurant.
Caju

Second-Hand Shopping Paradise

Nice packs a punch in vintage and consignment stores. Check out Caprice for upscale finds with a full wall of pricey Chanel. Head down to the basement for more affordable and trendy pieces. For the super hip, Central Vintage carries a large selection of men’s and women’s clothes.

An Afternoon Snack and Apèro Time

If you worked up an appetite shopping, try some socca, a famous pancake-like snack made out of chickpea flour that’s commonly found in the city. The corner stand called Lou Pilha Leva is worth a visit to sample this simple, slightly salty, tasty treat.

When it’s apéro time, Cave Bianchi is great for a glass of local wine in their old-world shop.

Dinner at Peixes: Glorious Seafood

Nice’s seaside location naturally means there is no shortage of choice if you’re looking for fresh seafood. One extremely popular restaurant is the lovely Peixes (pronounced “pesh,” which means fish in Portuguese) with Chef Lorenzo Pierre at the helm. It has tapas-style seafood served by their wonderful staff. Get there at 18:55 if you want to sit down outside at the 19:00 opening. They do not take reservations, and there may be a line, but it’s worth the wait.

An aerial view of Nice's harbor with boats in dock. The water is a brilliant blue and the sun is shining.
Chris Governelle

DAY 2:

A Morning By the Sea

If the beach is what you’re looking for and you didn’t lug a big towel with you, you can rent what you need from one of the beach restaurants. At Castel Plage, beach chairs, towels and umbrellas are available to rent. You can even order food straight to your seat such as a delicious (though pricey) lobster pasta.

A Casual Lunch at The Service Course

For a less expensive but close by and equally delicious lunch, pop up the street to the very cool bike-shop-slash-coffee-and-food-venture called The Service Course. They serve granola, bagels, toasts and sandwiches along with their many coffee and tea options. Bonus: If you’re looking to meet others cyclists, they have rides posted on their chalkboard.

Left: A brightly colored dish sits on a bright white plate, a cup of coffee and a bowl of fruit in the background. Right: A slice of avocado toast with several garnishes sits in front of a cup of coffee and a glass of orange juice with an orange peel on the side of the glass.
The Service Course

An Afternoon at the Museums

There are a few great museums in Nice. Musée des Beaux Arts is small and manageable. It’s about a 25-30 minute walk from the Old Town or a 10-minute ride on the light rail. If you’re up for more art, catch a ride to the Matisse museum and keep an eye as you pass the Tête Carrée, a monumental sculpture that houses a library inside. Afterwards you can walk down to the Chagall Museum for a last dose of culture. 

Dinner with a View: Babel Babel

For dinner, there are a few delightful spots to eat outside where you can look at the water and people watch at the boardwalk. A favorite that has wonderful tapas-style Mediterranean food, an attentive staff and distinctive natural wines is Babel Babel. Be sure to reserve and try their panisse, a chickpea fritter on the entrees list. They are a delight! 

Postlude: Wine and Cheese at La Part des Anges

To end your trip, after dinner head over to La Part des Anges for wine and a cheese plate. They have orange wine, pét-nats, and a selection of natural wines by the glass or bottle. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly, not to mention, très chic.

Transport

From Paris the best ways to get to Nice are by train or plane. The 5-hour 40-minute train journey winds through little towns and green fields. After Marseille, it’s coastline and beautiful sea views.

A hotel lobby with pink and blue painted walls, wooden chairs, and black coffee tables.
Hotel du Pin

Accommodation

Budget:

If you’re on a budget, check out the adorable Hotel du Pin right above the marina. Another spot to try is Arome Hotel with its amiable staff and convenient location.

Mid-range:

Les Suites Massena overlooks Nice’s famous Place Massena, in the center of town. Another good option is the Palais Saleya at the start of Old Town, which offers fresh, contemporary design.

Luxury:

For luxury one name comes to mind in Nice: L’Hotel Negresco. The Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée is another classy 5-star hotel worth a try.

A sunny balcony of a suite from L'Hotel Negresco with a view of the beach and a few palm trees. There sits a table for two on the balcony with a black iron railing, a book and a bottle of wine waiting for an occupant.
L’Hotel Negresco

Addresses:

Hotel du Pin – 6, rue emmanuel Philibert, Pl. du Pin, 06300 Nice

Arome Hotel – 65 rue de la Buffa, 06000 Nice

Les Suites Massena – 4 pl. Massena, 06000 Nice

Palais Saleya – 21 rue du marché, Nice, 06300

Le Negresco – 37 Prom. des Anglais, 06000 Nice

Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée – 13 prom. des Anglais, 06000 Nice

Fenocchio – 2 pl. Rossetti, 06300 Nice or 6 rue de la Poissonnerie, 06300 Nice

Promenade des Anglais – 06000 Nice

Castle Hill – 06300 Nice

Lou Pilha Leva – 10 rue du Collet, 06300 Nice

Caprice – 12 rue Droite, 06300 Nice

Central Vintage – 22 rue Centrale, 06300 Nice

Caju – 1 rue Jules Gilly, 06300 Nice

Musee des Beaux Arts – 33 av. des Baumettes, 06000 Nice

Cave Bianchi – 7 rue Raoul Bosio, 06300 Nice

Peixes – 4 rue Jacques Médecin, 06300 Nice

La Part des Anges – 17 rue Gubernatis, 06000 Nice

Castel Plage – 8 quai des États-Unis, 06300 Nice

The Service Course – 1 rue de l’Ancien Sénat, 06300 Nice

Matisse Museum – 164 av. des Arènes de Cimiez, 06000 Nice

Babel Babel –  2 cr Jacques Chirac, 06300 Nice

Chagall Museum – av. Dr Ménard, 06000 Nice

Tête Carrée – 25 trav. Barla, 06000 Nice

Parc de la Colline du Château – 06300 Nice

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Written by Mollie Lehman. Looking to travel? Check out Plum Guide and our Marketplace for fabulous vacation rentals in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long or short term, or buy in France? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates or click here. Looking to bring France home to you or to learn online or in person? Check out our marketplace shop and experiences.

Written By

Mollie Lehman

Mollie Lehman is a Minnesotan who worked in the music industry in Los Angeles for the last 15 years and loved (almost) every minute of it. During COVID she moved to Paris with her husband Sam. She loves natural wine, vintage shopping, old cemeteries, interesting chefs, hot yoga and train travel. She dislikes underground parking lots, green bell peppers and sugary drinks. View Mollie Lehman's Website

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