Are you planning to travel to Nice? Do book a car. Nice is located in the South of France surrounded by beautiful cities. I am definitely sure you have heard of Cannes. The city is located less than an hour drive from Nice. Similarly, Monaco and many other beautiful places can be visited easily.
We booked our car from the Nice Côte d’Azur Airport. I highly suggest you book a small car because the roads in Nice are tiny. We even paid for car insurance for the first time ever because we guessed something wrong might happen. Just imagine how tiny the streets are. You can book the car from the city too but based on our research, it was way too expensive in comparison to booking from the airport.
Do not be surprised if you arrive Nice in less than 15 minutes. The airport is not that far from the city. In fact, when you are relaxing on the beach, you can see the airplanes taking off and landing. I suggest you try experiencing it at night from the beach. It’s like an artificial comet passing through the dark sky and the sea. You can even try making a wish!
We stayed at Days Inn by Wyndham Nice Center. It was our first time to stay in the Wyndham chain and we actually liked it. The hotel is around 18 minutes walk from Old Nice and beach. We looked for street parking and you can get an hour of free parking in the streets. Local buildings surround this hotel. So, do not be surprised if you notice no tourists wandering around the area. We were given a modern room with air conditioner and automatic light looking out on the streets. I loved it because it is rare to find an air conditioner in France and sometimes Nice can get hot. The room had a modern window with glass windows and curtain but it also had an old Nice long window. If you have access to one of the windows, do check it out. There is an opener in the bottom of the window to let the air in. I guess this is how people back then let the air in and also protected their privacy. You will notice these windows everywhere in Nice. I am glad that the city protected it. Some buildings have also painted fake windows to save the charm. I can go on discussing the windows but I will stop for now.
Avenue Jean Medicin is only 6 minutes walk from the hotel. It is a famous avenue with multiple stores. It reminded us of Santa Monica in Los Angeles but only a little dirtier. The avenue has a tram to ride but I highly suggest walking. Nothing is too far from here. We stopped at Ballanger to eat a waffle. The store was established in 1926 and has continued to maintain their essence. The waffles were crispy and melted in our mouth like butter. It is a must-try restaurant in Nice. You will not miss this big Pink store in the avenue as tourists crowd it all the time.
There is a beautiful gothic cathedral “Basilique Notre-Dame de l’Assomption” from the 1860s. We did not get an opportunity to check out the interior but the exterior architecture is gorgeous. At night, they light the cathedral with multiple colours. Just beside the cathedral, we discovered the best brunch place in Nice. It is called Mariass 1901. I highly recommend this place. Everything is fresh and homemade. The menu is awesome except their cappuccino. But who cares about a cappuccino when you are served with pain au chocolat, best egg scramble, cheese, crepe and fresh bread. Please do go early because foods run out and it gets crowded quickly.
If you are looking for a trendy and inexpensive swimsuit for your Instagram posts (not kidding), do stop at Calzedonia. It is an Italian brand and finding this store was one of the best things that ever happened to me in Nice. Chiara Ferragni, who I adore, is seen wearing many swimsuits from this brand. Calzedonia takes care of all body size women from small to large and the salespeople are very helpful. I have a curvy body myself and I was content with their pieces.
As you walk down the avenue, you will arrive in Place Massena. This square gives you Spanish, Italian and Cuban vibe. The architecture is everything in this square. They have a beautiful pink building with windows every 5 inches all over the building. It reminded of the pink wall in Los Angeles. I am bouncing back to writing about the windows again but I cannot help it. I just love the windows in Nice. Without these windows, Nice would look less charming for sure. Please let me know in the comment box below if you agree with me.
The square has a beautiful fountain called Fontaine du Soleil. It has a statue of Apollo, the god of the sun. I just stood in the middle of the square and tried to seize in the peaceful energy. In front of us was Promenade des Anglais and the Mediterranean Sea and beside us was a passage to Old Nice. It was just the beginning of the trip.