Nice, the capital of the French Riviera was love at first sight for us. The undulating Promenade des Anglais, lanes dotted with quaint chapels and boulangeries teeming with people are all an inordinately beautiful sight. On our first day, we sauntered through the entire stretch of the promenade while relishing a gelato and thinking c’est la vie! One of the best places to enjoy the view is to climb up the winding stairs of Le château de Nice (Castle hill). There are various entrances, or you can even take the free lift. This medieval castle is a maze of greenery that offers stunning views of the old town and the port. We spent the entire day wandering around and exploring this place. We even chanced upon a waterfall that was built during the 18th century. As the evening light started to set in, we walked over to the beach to bask in the warm glow.
The next morning, we took a bus to Eze Village – make sure you sit on the right side of the bus to enjoy the plentiful vistas. Following a quick breakfast of buttery croissants and black coffee, we headed to explore the fortified village. Perched on a rocky peak, this village offers an outstanding view of the Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat peninsula. Dotted with quaint boutiques and bougainvillaea-covered villas, this place has maze-like streets that lead to beautiful courtyards and hidden alleys. Next, we climbed up to the Jardin Exotique, where an abundance of succulent plants surrounds the castle ruins. Perfect place to enjoy a quiet moment.
After spending three hours in Eze, we took another bus to Monaco. On reaching, we headed to a restaurant overlooking the harbour to devour dried cod cooked in tomato sauce and pasta with Mediterranean vegetables. The wide variety of museums and sites reflects the importance of art, history and culture in Monaco. We walked around the harbour for a while enjoying the sight of docked yachts dancing around in the water. Post that, we walked to the Oceanographic Museum from the old port. Although it’s quite a walk, the view is breathtaking! We highly suggest you do this instead of taking a bus or a cab. The Oceanographic Museum is a neoclassical building that houses over 6000 species in a spectacular underwater environment. The shark lagoon is a must-visit, it will surely blow your mind. In the same vicinity, you’ll also find the magnificent Prince’s Palace, the white stone Cathedral and the Chapel of Mercy. Instead of walking all the way back to the old port, there’s an exit next to the palace that’ll take you back into the city.
Pronounced as ‘can’, this place is all about glitz and glamour. From taking pictures on the red carpet to dining at upscale restaurants, you can do it all. While there’s nothing much to see apart from the razzle-dazzle, there are a few places that are worth a visit. Head over to Forville Market to taste the local delight – Socca (chickpea crepes), walk through the charming neighbourhood of Le Suquet or shop for vintage knick-knacks at Rue Meynadier. If you have time we would surely recommend taking a ferry to Ile Sainte-Marguerite – a beautiful island with a fort and maritime museum.
While Eze still remains the best part about our trip, the French Riviera certainly did steal our hearts forever.
1. We booked an Uber from the airport to Nice using the wifi available at the airport and it cost us 19€, an alternative is to use the express bus which costs 6€ per person. Note that when you pull up your list of available wifi networks at the airport, you will probably see ‘FreeWifi’: this is NOT free, ‘Free’ is a network provider and it’s only free… if you pay!
2. We chose Nice as our base and travelled to Eze, Monaco and Cannes
3. Buy these handy Foldable water bottles as you will need it while exploring the city plus you can easily clip it to your bag.
4. When you get on the train to Cannes, the stop you need to get off is Cannes Voyagers, not Cannes la Bocca.
5. Nice has 3 stops Riquier, St Augustine and Nice Ville figure out which station your Hotel is the closest to
6. Validate your ticket in the little yellow machines before getting on to the train, if you’re on a tram you can do this once you get in.