12 min read
After our Founder Greg shared with you his top tips on how to spend 48 hours in Warsaw, our Travel Expert Roxana travels to Nice in the South of France for a 48 hour weekend break with BRB and shares her top tips on how to make the most of this beautiful coastal city.
Ah, Nice. A place so great its name is both a proper noun and an adjective. Well, sort of.
Photo Credit: @vanessainlovewithparis
Pronounced differently to the lukewarm descriptive word ‘nice,’ a word your teachers begged you not to use in primary school, Nice (like ‘geese’) is anything but lukewarm and definitely not on the school faculties’ forbidden list.
Located on the French Riviera, Nice is the capital of the Alpes-Maritimes department and recalls images of luxury, opulence, wealth and yachts. Lots and lots of yachts.
With the Mediterranean Ocean on their doorstep and Monaco as a coastal neighbour, Nice has always been hugely popular, not just as a tourist destination, but also for many notable painters like Henri Matisse, German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and the Russian upper classes.
It boasts museums, a fantastic, sunny climate, the perfect balance of beach and city, high class restaurants and bars and some of the most mesmerising views in Europe.
In other words, there is no better place to go for a weekend of total relaxation and indulgence, so you can imagine my delight when the BRB team told me I was off to Nice for my next BRB break!
Flying to Nice will only takes 2 hours out of your day, so if you set your alarm clock a little bit earlier on Friday morning or you go straight from work on Friday evening, travel time will barely scratch the surface of your trip; you’ll barely even notice it happening.
Like always, I made the incredibly difficult and selfless choice to try everything Nice has to offer and scope out the best places to visit in 48 hours. It was hard being in paradise, but I took one for the team.
Check out the itinerary I curated below for the perfect weekend trip to Nice.
After a two hour flight from London Gatwick, I arrive in Nice mid-morning on Friday and take a taxi to get to my hotel just in time for a perfect French breakfast.
I arrive at the 4* The Deck Hotel, situated just a few meters away from the Promenade des Anglais. From the entrance, the unique corridor dares the colors of the Mediterranean, which reflect the spirit of the place: an escape on the deck of a boat.
The rooms are also decorated in the sea colour, with French influences in the design and furniture, the perfect place to be on the Cote d'Azur.
With an average rating of 4.5/5, The 4* Deck Hotel by HappyCulture will definitely be an unforgettable experience!
Remember that phrase from The Wizard of Oz: ‘Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!’ - well, we have our own version at BeRightBack: Nice edition. Think ‘Antiques and flowers and flea markets, oh my!’ Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, but you get the idea, and it’s exactly how you’ll be spending your first morning in Nice.
Located in the Old Town, Nice is famous for its antiques and market stalls - over 100 stalls to be kind of exact - making it the third largest market of its kind in France. Be warned, these are seasoned sellers you’re dealing and they can smell a bargain hunter a mile off. Bring your haggling A-game and see if you can bag any deals from these steely traders.
Photo Credit: @didemkaplan_iloveme
At the Nice markets, you can find any treasure you put your mind to, whether it’s an out-of-season designer bag or first edition books, there’s something for everyone.
If flowers are your forté, you’re in luck. Six days a week the marché aux fleurs (flower market to those who’ve forgotten GCSE French lessons) is stocked with beautiful flowers that even the locals are drawn to, as well as fruit and vegetables.
Photo Credit: @eugenielavergnelacroix
For those who are often found with their nose buried in a book, plan your trip around the first or third Saturday of the month and go to the Palais de Justice for stalls filled with secondhand books and antique postcards.
Photo Credit: @goncagocmen
By the time you’ve decided to stop for breakfast, hopefully you’ve got some vintage, retro goods in hand; time to celebrate your hard work haggling and indulge in what the French do best on their breakfast menu: pastries.
There are plenty of cafés in the Old Town, so choose your favourite and fill up on croissants, pain au chocolat and gulp down some coffee - the weekend is only just beginning.
It’s time to harness that buttery, jam-filled croissant energy into exploring the neighbourhood of Cimiez; an upscale residential area that is built where the ancient Gaulish and Roman settlement of Cemenelum once stood. In fact, you can still visit the ruins of Cemenelum which include the Arena and the Roman Baths - definitely worth a look.
Photo Credit: @history_trianon
It is also famous for its art and culture, and is home to the beautiful, burnt orange coloured Musée Matisse, which was once literally the home of Matisse himself. It is worth going to just to admire the palatial building itself, but don’t hesitate to take a step inside and witness one of the world’s largest collections of his works.
Photo Credit: @museematissenice
Nearby, check out the grand Régina Building, a hotel that was built in 1896 to host Queen Victoria and her entourage of aristocrats. It’s now an incredibly fancy apartment building, but still plays homage to it’s royal history as a statue of the Queen herself sits nearby and a crown is perched on the roof.
Photo Credit: @iamdandanliu
You’ve had a lot of culture and royalty reminiscing for one day, so use your evening to take a relaxing stroll along Coulée Verte - an elevated linear park (basically meaning it’s above ground and really long) that is built on top of an obsolete railway.
Photo Credit: @basically_french
It is the perfect place to escape in the city, and is a favourite spot for families, joggers, dog walkers and no-care-in-the-world strollers.
Not too far from this lofty park is the promenade des anglais, where you switch up luscious greenery for some sunset sea views, Mediterranean ocean style. There are plenty of ice cream stalls too, so try not to spoil your dinner (believe us, you want to be hungry for this place) and grab a scoop of gelato.
Photo Credit: @southbase__
Now for the main event. Dinner at The Negresco hotel restaurant, Le Chantecler, will be a meal you won’t forget for a long time. It’s definitely on the more pricey side, so only visit if it’s well within your budget, but you won’t regret spending your cash at this two Michelin star spot.
Photo Credit: @negrescohotel
Finish your first night in Nice by embracing the high-end culture and grab some drinks at Castel Plage Beach Club, a short walk along the promenade away. Wrap up warm and enjoy some the cocktails or wines they have on offer, with front row seats to the ocean.
Photo Credit: @castelplage
Nothing screams ‘morning after a heavy night in at an upmarket beach club’ quite like a hike against the backdrop of the sunrise.
Okay, you don’t have to go at sunrise, but you should definitely get out as early as possible for an energetic walk up Castle Hill to begin day two. It’s an essential part of the trip that cannot be missed, even if you had too many mojitos the night before.
Photo Credit: @nathanshaipoolat
Make your way back to the Old Town and there you will find the base of Castle Hill, and you can reach the summit by climbing a staircase or by using the handy lift adjacent to the hill. Whichever you choose will result in spectacular panoramic views of Nice you can view from the terrace.
The impressive sights don’t stop there. Turn away from the city of Nice and look back at the hill itself and you’ll find an artificial waterfall that dominates the top of the hill. It was built at the end of the 19th Century and looks like something straight out of Bali - it’s one not to miss.
Photo Credit: @thefittraveller
Following your descent from Castle Hill, it’s time to fill your stomach, and what better way to do that than with a Salade Niçoise at L’Acchiardo. Niçoise salads are hugely popular in this region and has been since the early 19th century. There are many different versions of it scattered around Nice, but whichever you decide to try, you won’t be disappointed.
Photo Credit: @niceislove
Once you’ve recharged your energy levels, it’s time for more art at the Chagall Museum in the Cimiez neighbourhood. It’s a French national museum dedicated to the works of Marc Chagall, whose works were mainly inspired by religion.
Photo Credit: @matchwithart
The museum was actually created during Chagall’s lifetime, and the painter provided input on where he wanted his works to be displayed - you can’t say that about many artists.
As the day, and the weekend, begins to draw to a close, the last major spot to see is the magnificent Russian Cathedral, a mere 20 minute walk from the Chagall Museum.
Photo Credit: @lolo.labricot
With pale bricks against vivid, turquoise domed pillars, the cathedral is a beautiful sight with a great history behind it, having been built for Russian nobles of the Tsarist regime and later served Russians that fled the 1917 revolution.
After marvelling at this wonderful church, it’s time for dinner at one of the restaurants in Vieille Ville - the Old Town - for some authentically French cuisine. We recommend Bistrot d’Antoine which is popular among tourists and locals alike. Their risotto is world class and washes down perfectly with some red wine.
Photo Credit: @bistrotdantoinenice
The finale of your trip to Nice is to embrace the city’s strong jazz culture and visit the lively clubs, like Shapko or B Spot.
Photo Credit: @robinskysbeard
This culture dates back to the author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, writer of The Great Gatsby, who used to throw wild parties back in the 1920s, and these popular clubs are the perfect place to finish your night, as well as your trip.
If like me you love taking short weekend breaks across Europe and spending 48 hours in cities like Nice, Milan, Brussels, Prague, Porto, Split, Bologna, Stockholm or Venice, but if like me you hate wasting hours trawling travel sites to plan and research your next weekend break, only to be hit by increased flight prices just before booking, then BeRightBack is for you!
The team at BeRightBack believes that the mission of a travel company should be to save you both time and money.
With BeRightBack, you get three trips a year to three surprise European destinations, all for the monthly cost of £49.99, which includes your return flights and your hotel.
With BeRightBack, creating a trip takes 60 seconds. Simply tell us how you like to travel when you create your account, and our concierge service does everything else for you. You won't have to lift a finger.
Best of all, you always pay the same price for your trips, no matter when you go away and we help you spread the cost of your travel, thanks to our monthly subscription.
I hope you enjoyed my 48 hours city guide to Nice and do not hesitate to use our website chat or to email us if you have any questions!
Roxana (Travel Expert at BeRightBack)
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