5 Day Itinerary Along the Cote d’Azure
Ready to book your trip to Nice, France this summer? Let me give you some ideas on which neighboring towns to visit during your stay! I’m sharing how to spend five full days along the French Riviera filled with adventure and relaxation!
My husband and I visited Nice during the second week in June during our three month European adventure! We flew into the Nice airport (NCE) from Madrid and arrived in the early afternoon. We decided to take an uber to our airbnb instead of public transportation since the uber rates weren’t too expensive!
Where to Stay
- We stayed at this very affordable and perfectly located Airbnb positioned on the Promenade des Anglais – the main drag in Nice! This street is beachside with stunning views and walking distance to almost anywhere in the city! New to AirBnb? I couldn’t recommend it more! Use my link for $40 off your first stay and $15 off any experience!
- We took the train several times to visit the neighboring towns, and luckily the Promenade des Anglais is also only a 15-minute from the Nice-Ville Train Station!
Good to Know
- The famous beach along the Promenade des Anglais is made of pebbles not sand.
- Monaco is actually a separate country.
- Only tourists are allowed to enter into the casinos and gamble in Monaco. Locals are not allowed to enter or gamble.
Day 1 | Walk Around The Place Masséna
After settling into our Airbnb, we headed to the main square in search of a grocery store to stock up on goods for the week. The Place Masséna is largest square in Nice and only a two minute walk from the Promenade des Anglais. Expansive red ochre buildings and checkerboard concrete line the square with charming character. Stay for a while and admire the Fountain of the Sun water feature and the nearby garden. In the late afternoon we dined at Mon Petit Cafe, an traditional French restaurant and recommendation from Rick Steves! Even though this restaurant is a bit pricey, it was the best dinner during our week long stay!
Hotel le Negresco
Since our Airbnb was on the Promenade des Anglais we first stopped by the Negresco Hotel before strolling to the square! Of course, I had to snap a few pics of this iconic, pink-domed hotel, that is often a home away from home for celebrities!
Day 2 | Explore The Old Town & Castle Hill
Castle Hill offers sweeping views of all of Nice! There are several different ways to get to the top of Castle Hill including an inclined staircase, elevator, or staircase with several ramps. Old Nice lies just below Castle Hill and makes it the perfect part of town to venture through before heading up to Castle Hill!
Old Nice & The Old Port of Nice
We decided to take the long way to Castle Hill and walk through Old Nice and visit the Old Port of Nice before venturing up to the viewpoint. During our roundabout venture, we toured through the Cours Saleya Market in Old Town and wandered through the narrow streets. Built in a traditional Mediterranean style, the architecture in Old Town is filed with colorful, five-story tall buildings and slim streets inaccessible by cars.
After walking the path parallel to the yachting marina in the Old Port, we found an entry point to Castle Hill! If short on time and staying near the Promenade des Anglais, skip the Old Town detour and utilize the staircase entry here! Just as a head up, the castle is not actually a castle but instead ruins from where a castle once remained. The top hill has several observation decks with encompassing views of the Cote d’Azur!
Day 3 | Day Trip to Eze
We started our afternoon at Benvenuto, a Italian restaurant near the bus station to travel to Eze. The food was delicious and it was the perfect meal to keep us full for our long day in Eze. Directions to the outer cities in Nice can get a bit confusing, but we found the Moovit app which helped us identify which buses we needed. It’s like Citymapper, but for buses and trains! I believe you can take either the #112 or #83 lines to get to Eze. Be sure to carry cash as the buses do not accept credit cards!
Fragonard Perfume Factory
Our first stop in Eze was the Fragonard Perfume Factory! They offer free guided tours of their facilities and special wholesale pricing. The guides are very informative and even plan interactive moments to guess scents! After the tour, I purchased a small bottle of perfume. Whenever I wear it now, I’m always reminded of that special day!
The Exotic Garden
Not far from the Fragonard Perfume Factory is an exotic garden called, Jardin Exotique d’Eze. Similar to Venetian infrastructure, this multi level garden sits atop a medieval fortress mapped with narrow passages and low arches. After ascending stone staircases and following several uneven paths, the view at the top of the garden is a panorama of the cote d’azur.
Dinner in Nice
We decided not to eat in Eze, as most of the restaurants seemed pretty pricey and instead journeyed back to Nice. Instead, we dinned at another Italian restaurant not far from the Nice Ville train station called, Le Terre Del Sud. We started with a meat and cheese selection and I order gnocchi as an entree and my husband had a seafood pasta! Very delicious and I highly recommend this place!
Day 4 | Menton
When we arrived to Nice, I couldn’t wait to visit Menton – a quiet town on the French and Italian border. From the Nice Ville station we took a train in Menton in less than 40 minutes and arrived to a quite and peaceful town! Tickets towns along the French Riviera are easily found on Omio! I loved Menton so much that I wrote an entire blog post about it here!
Day 5 | Monaco & Casino Night in Nice
St. Nicholas Orthodox Church
We started the day with a quick visit to the St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral. Did you know there’s a cathedral in Nice that will make you think you’re in Russia? In the early 19th century, a large Russian community settled in Nice and built the St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral. This church is, in fact, the largest Eastern Orthodox Cathedral in Western Europe!
Before heading to Monte Carlo, we ate at Le Rossini for lunch and enjoyed their famous bottomless mussels and fries special! From the Nice-Ville train station we took a train to Monaco and walked around the city until the late afternoon. Of course, we stopped by the famous, Monte Carlo and gambled away about 20 Euros. Be sure to bring your passport if you want to go inside the cassino as only tourist are allowed in the casinos.
Around sunset, we went to the famous Ruhl Plage beach club for a romantic dinner with a view of the Cote d’Azur. Of course, I had to snap a few photos with the famous blue and white striped umbrellas!
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