Travel

4 MINUTE READ

48 hours in Nice

Words by Keven Amfo

07 May 2024

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Venture to this jewel on the Côte d’Azur for beautiful beaches and delicious cuisine, under a perpetually blue sky.

The Côte d'Azur was made famous by the likes of Brigitte Bardot, and with its glittering cerulean waters, towering palm trees, pastel pink buildings, and never-ending sunshine, it is clear why it has long been a favourite travel destination for many. Nice – whose corresponding airport will likely host your arrival into the area – is a sun-washed city by the sea, known for its dazzling promenade and beautiful Old Town. The perfect place for a quick getaway from London (with 300 days of sunshine a year), here are our picks of how to best spend a weekend in this enchanting part of the French Riviera.

Where to stay

Hôtel Negresco is a century-old landmark of Nice, located directly on the Promenade des Anglais – the city's paved seaside walkway – with a striking facade and esteemed history that has hosted guests such as Salvador Dalí, Elton John, Princess Grace, and more. Recently renovated, the spacious sea-view suites are lavishly decorated with sweeping views across the water. With enough space to accommodate a family, they're perfect for visiting with children.

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Hôtel Negresco

If you prefer somewhere a bit more low-key (and definitely our recommendation if you're travelling as a couple), Hôtel Amour is just around the corner. The Nice outpost of the Paris original, this stylish boutique property is the epicentre of cool in the area. Imagine individually decorated rooms with giant marble soaking tubs, vintage and antique furniture and objects, a beautiful staff, and a bustling bar scene: it's a great place to stay and hang out.

The beach

If Amour is your base, head to its beach club – it is one of the busiest on the water. Similar to Negresco's, both offer full service with a menu of food and drink options (don't miss a few scoops of Berthillon ice cream, some of the world's best), so you can spend the entire day luxuriating next to the azure waters. Remember your water shoes – the beaches here are rocky – and layer on the SPF as it gets very, very hot.

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Amour beach club

If you decide to head off-piste to a public beach like the gorgeous Villefranche-sur-Mer, grab lunch from Panivore en route. Serving moreish sandwiches – we loved Le Bastien, or the local speciality Pan Bagnat – on bread from the favourite local boulangerie, Mama Baker, with side salads and crisps, grab a cold bottle of Provençal rosé, and you'll have everything necessary for a perfect day by the sea.

Vieux Nice

Preserved to perfection, Nice's Old Town offers a characterful retreat to the past in the city's centre. Full of old buildings, lined by narrow cobbled streets and alleyways, it is a great place to walk around – most days of the week, the beloved flower market has beautiful blooms alongside local specialities like soap and fresh bread. The best day, though, is Monday: the antique market, Marché à la Brocante, offers decades-old treasures from linens to artwork to knickknacks.

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(L) Pretty street of Nice's Old Town | (R) Trésors Publics

Down a tiny street, discover the incredibly special Trésors Publics. Reimagining the idea of a souvenir shop, this spectacular space is curated entirely with goods sourced throughout France. From soap and children's toys to linen tote bags and espadrilles, each of the hard-to-find items is available for purchase (definitely grab a handful of the locally made salted caramels and a bottle of the rosewater spray from nearby Grasse).

Eat

Nice has an incredible culinary scene, featuring excellent restaurants spotlighting a mix of French, North African, Provençal, and Italian food. Visit the classic La Petite Maison (make sure to request a table on the patio, which becomes more and more of a party as the night goes on) for the best sole meunière and a fantastic wine list. Babel Babel, at the edge of the Old Town, has excellent views and a perfect menu for light, warm-weather nibbling – think a selection of fresh fish, snacks, and delicious cocktails.

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La Petite Maison

A bit off the beaten track, Epiro is a new-ish Italian restaurant. Every dish is stunning, and the warm and welcoming service accompanies the fresh pasta, excellent bread, and great wine. Ask the server for pairing suggestions to make the most of a long and delicious meal.

Think you’ve seen it all? Think again. Our global network of dedicated travel specialists plans one-of-a-kind, tailor-made travel experiences to make every trip your best yet. Find out more about Quintessentially Travel here.

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Keven Amfo

Keven is a writer, editor, and creative living between NYC and London – she served as the Global Editor of Noted for five years. She is passionate about luxury in its myriad forms, and has authored or edited many of our features.

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