Nice: The capital of French Riviera

The capital of the French Riviera has been a popular tourist destination since the Greeks ruled the Mediterranean, and for our money you won't find a more attractive seaside city to explore than Nice. Long known as a magnet for both Europe's aristocratic elite as well as some of the continent's most storied artists, nowadays the former have largely decamped to more exclusive postal codes (such as the nearby St Tropez, Antibes or Monaco) and the latter have given way to new generations, leaving their works behind in the Musée d'Art Moderne, Musée Matisse and Musée Marc Chagall. What remains in the 21st century is all the charm and elegance of yesteryear, with none of the artificial trappings or pretension that necessarily adhere to popular resort destinations. In short, visitors to Nice get to visit a real city, inhabited by real people, and take advantage of the plethora of things to do, see, eat, drink and experience.

Nice's climate and weather has always been one of its most attractive features, and there are plenty of beaches (both free and paid) where you can take advantage of the extended summer swimming season. If you're schedule is flexible, consider planning your visit around one of the many intriguing annual events, such as the Carnaval de Nice, which is amongst the most entertaining Carnival celebrations in France or anywhere else in Europe. We'd also be remiss if we forgot to mention Nice's culinary and gastronomic chops, which benefits from the fresh ingredients provided by its unique position surrounded by the sea and mountains as well as the fertile fields of Provence to produce a truly unique version of French Mediterranean cuisine. It's also a great place to learn a thing or two in the kitchen, with several internationally renowned cooking workshops available for those looking to get their hands dirty in the kitchen.

As much as there is to see and do in the city itself, there are so many opportunities for day trips or longer excursions that it can be difficult to decide which direction to head off into. Undoubtedly most popular is a visit to nearby Monaco, where the famed Casino de Monte-Carlo, streets full of luxury cars and harbours full of super yachts offer plenty of opportunities for some exceptional selfies. For those who prefer a bit more laid back exploration, the picture perfect hinterland town of Menton is a must-visit, while several national parks offer plenty of hiking opportunities for nature enthusiasts.
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