3 Days in Nice

3 Days in Nice

by Jessica Zen
Stripes Europe

The Côte d'Azur (French Riviera) is a stunningly beautiful stretch of land along the Mediterranean coast of southeastern France. Glamorous beach towns like Saint Tropez, Cannes and Nice grace the coastline and are fabulous locations for a weekend getaway. Use Nice as your base and get ready for a weekend full of shopping, sunbathing, hiking and rooftop-dining. 

Place Rossetti in Nice | Photo by Svetlana Day  

Day 1: Explore, shop, beach

Check in to your hotel and get ready to explore. I recommend AC Hotel Nice, which is steps away from the promenade des Anglais and only one mile from Old Town. The promenade des Anglais is an iconic seafront walkway leading from the airport to the castle headland, stretching just over four miles. 

Once you’ve settled into your hotel, head to Old Town, packed with winding streets, boutiques and restaurants. The town square, Place Rossetti, is a great starting place. Here you will find Cathédrale Sainte Reparate de Nice and Fenocchio, an ice cream shop serving up the dynamic duo of ice cream and crêpes.

To shop for local items, try the flower market at Cours Saleya. Here you’ll see jewelry, flowers, fruit, souvenirs and all the lavender products your little heart desires. This market is located in Old Town.  

For some serious shopping, head to Avenue Jean Médecin. Located in the center of Nice, it is a shopper’s paradise with French boutiques and cafés galore.  

After you’ve had your fill of the city, head back to your beachfront hotel, grab a lounge chair and soak up some sun. For dinner, you don’t have to wander far. Farago on the Roof (located at the hotel) offers tapas and drinks by the pool with panoramic sea views. 

 Medieval Village of Eze | Photo by Zdenek Matyas

Day 2: Hike Nietzche’s footpath, explore the medieval village of Eze

After you enjoy a hearty breakfast at the hotel, take the train from Nice-Ville to Eze bord de mer and get ready to hike the path, Friedrich Nietzsche. It will take about an hour and a half and you will arrive in the medieval village of Eze. With the year-round warm climate, Eze is home to lush vegetation including banana, lemon and orange trees. Here you’ll also find the exotic botanical gardens. From the gardens, you can enjoy splendid views of the French Riviera extending from the Esterel Mountains to the Gulf of Saint Tropez. 

Next up is the Galimard perfume factory. Learn about the stages of soap production and the steps that go into the extraction from a flower to create a perfume. Stock up on your favorite scents at factory prices!  

Hiking to the village, wandering the gardens and learning about soap and perfume production has likely worked up an appetite. The Food’Eze food truck is a fantastic spot for a quick bite to eat. Grab a burger or meat and cheese assortment and enjoy the views before you hike back down to the train and return to Nice.

After spending your day on the move, head back to the hotel and either soak up some sun or take a nap and get ready for a lovely dinner. Pizza is always a good idea so head to and the Grill d’Or has Italian favorites at reasonable prices. 

The Gardens and Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild | Photo by Visions Of America LLC 

Day 3: Villa and Gardens Ephrussi de Rothschild

On your last day, venture to Villa and Gardens Ephrussi de Rothschild in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, about an hour outside of Nice. This French villa was constructed between 1905 and 1912 and is home to antique furniture, paintings, sculptures and rare porcelain. There are also nine beautiful themed gardens. The best part? This villa is rose-colored, making it an absolutely stunning place to take pictures. Take either bus line 81 to the “Plage de Passable” stop or take the train from the Beaulieu-sur-Mer station. 

After marveling at the beauty of the villa, head to the tea room for lunch or a quick snack. The room overlooks the Bay of Villefranche, one of the most beautiful in the world, and when the weather is warm you can sit on the terrace under the orange trees.  

Finish up your trip with dinner at La Cucina. This Italian restaurant is a hidden gem just off the promenade des Anglais. The cozy atmosphere combined with fantastic, fresh flavors makes for an unforgettable evening. Don’t forget to order dessert! Here you’ll find “pizza” with chocolate and strawberries! 

From the sparkling beach to the beautiful gardens, to mouth-watering food and strolling down a shopper’s dream avenue, does it really get any better? The French Riviera is packed with things to see and do and you don’t even have to venture that far outside of Nice to experience it all. 


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