Nice is a small city, and extremely accessible for pedestrians. In fact, relaxing walks along the seaside, the gorgeous boulevards, and in the lush parks are a popular pastime for locals, who enjoy the great weather and their beautiful city at a relaxed pace, on foot, with an ice cream, the way it was meant to be. If you want to join them, here are some of the best walks in Nice.
Walk the Coulée Verte on Avenue Félix Faure/Boulevard Jean Jaurès
The space between the grand avenues of Félix Faure and the Boulevard Jean Jaurès is a long stretch of parks and gardens, with benches and areas to rest, and playgrounds to amuse children. The Coulée Verte runs between the Theater de Verdure and the MAMAC museum, so it’s easy to incorporate this beautiful walk into your planned sightseeing. Strolling this long, green beltway, pausing for lunch or drink on a terrace or bringing a picnic, is a popular local pastime on Sundays, and it’s a fantastic spot for relaxing and people watching.
Saunter the entire seven miles of the Promenade des Anglais
“Le Prom”, as it is known by locals, is an essential part of life in Nice. This beachfront boardwalk runs from the heart of the city all the way to the airport, and on one side the beach beckons with crystal blue waters, pebbly shores, and public seating. On the other side, hotels, bars, and cafes are popular in the daytime, while clubs wait to take advantage of beach air on summer nights. Like similar promenades all over the world, it’s a popular walk for beach goers, dog walkers, skaters, picnickers, and everyone else taking in the beauty of the Mediterranean. A day spent walking the Promenade des Anglais is a fantastic way to experience Nice, and there are plenty of places to stop and rest or have a meal along the way.
Stroll around the historic Cimiez neighborhood
Cimiez is built upon the remains of an ancient Roman city called Cemenelum, and its gentle hills overlook the ancient heart of Nice and the azure sea beyond. It’s a neighborhood rich with its own unique history, and has many sites worth visiting. If you begin with a visit to the Chagall Museum, you can stroll up the boulevard, developed during a real estate boom in the late 19th century. Your walk can take you to the Matisse Museum, and then onward to the Architectural Museum and the Roman remains. Finish your walk in the beautiful and serene Jardin du Monastere de Cimiez for a great overview of the highlights of this distinctive area.
Tour Nice’s Old Town and head up to Castle Hill
Losing yourself in the narrow streets, charming architecture, busy little markets, and relaxing cafes of Old Town is simply a must-do in Nice. It’s best to not over-schedule this walk, or make over-specific plans, but just let your mood guide you and explore everything that Vielle Ville has to offer. However, a trip to the top of nearby Castle Hill has once-in-a-lifetime views. You don’t need to hike if you’re tired; there is a lift. Castle Hill was the site of the original Greek settlement, the place they named “Nike”, from which the name “Nice” is derived. The castle of Castle Hill was demolished in the 1700s, and many of the original stones are now part of the Promenade des Anglais.
Castle Hill offers incredible views of the ocean and the city, and has a charming park well worth walking around and enjoying, even if you decided to take the elevator to the top.
A long walk is a great way to really pay attention to your surroundings, taking in sights, sounds, and smells you may miss if you were speeding past in a car. It’s not only a great way to familiarize yourself with a new place, but a walk is actually an excellent way to combat jetlag. So make sure that your visit to Nice includes some of these spectacular strolls and make the most of your time there.