Winter is nice… in Nice

When we think of Nice, we often picture beaches drenched in sun, striped parasols and suntans. But this famous city on the French Riviera is also intriguing in winter.

A palace fit for a Queen

Once a luxury holiday residence for rich aristocracy and royals such as England’s Queen Victoria, this stunning Belle Epoque hotel offers panoramic views over the city and the sea. The Palace was also home to French painter Matisse, whose illustrious artwork you can see in the Matisse Museum, located just next door.

Regina Palace Hotel (External link) : 71, Boulevard Cimiez

Winter wonderland

Held every February for the last 130 years, Nice Carnival is the largest winter event on the French Riviera. Over two weeks, over a million people take to the city’s streets to watch the colourful floats, traditional flower parades and talented dancers and musicians from all around the world.

Nice Carnaval (External link)

The old town in bloom

Nestled in the shadow of Castle Hill, the Cours Saleya is one of the most picturesque spots in the Vieille Ville (Old Town). From Tuesday to Sunday, this square comes alive with a lively and fragrant flower market. Pick up a fresh bouquet or buy some local fruit and vegetables for a picnic on the nearby Promenade des Anglais.

Museum with a view

Designed in a 1960’s Brutalist style by architect Michel Marot, Villa Arson is a French contemporary art museum, prestigious arts school, specialized library and research institution. Located on a hill in the northern neighbourhood of Saint Barthélémy, the museum is known not only for its cutting-edge exhibitions, but also the views from its lush tree-lined gardens.

Villa Arson (External link) - 20 Avenue Stephen Liegeard

Chagall's greatest works

The Musée Chagall is a must-see while in Nice, even for non art-lovers. Chagall himself created the museum to bring together his 17 celebrated paintings of the Biblical Message, as well as personally adding to the collection until his death. Today, you can see over 400 of his gouaches, drawings and pastels, as well as his glimmering pool mosaic.

Musée Chagall (External link) - 36 Avenue Dr Ménard

Discover Nice's speciality

Socca is a Niçoise delicacy: a kind of chickpea pancake baked in a searing-hot griddle over a fire. Chez Theresa, in the Cours Saleya, is the go-to for tourists and locals eager for a delicious and crispy traditional street snack.

Chez Thérésa - 28 Rue Droite

Scrumptious souvenirs

Nice is known all over the world for its superb olives and oils, with groves dotted all around the region. Moulin à Huile d’Olive Alziari is undoubtedly the best in the business: a quaint boutique where you can taste a range of olive oils from small producers to “grands crus”, packaged in beautifully-designed cans. The shop also sells tapenade, tuna, and other regional delicacies.

Alziari (External link) - 14 rue Saint François de Paule and 318 Boulevard de la Madeleine

Sweet treats

Just over the road from Alziari is Maison Auer, a family-owned patisserie with a tea shop out back, that has been serving sweets and chocolates since 1820. It’s worth a visit to see the decadent Florentine interior alone, though it’s hard to resist picking up a few crystalized fruits along the way!

Maison Auer (External link) - 7 Rue Saint-François de Paule