Like many places along the French Riviera, Nice offers some staggering views over its coastline and old city. It isn’t hard to find jaw-dropping panoramas – some are free and maybe require a climb, others are more luxurious and require the purchase of an expensive drink. Either way, Nice has some wonderful places to take in the view. Here’s our guide on how to find them.
Promenade des Anglais
You don’t have to be high up to find a fantastic panorama. The Promenade des Anglais is quintessential Nice, where you can find everyone hanging out, all doing their own thing. “Le prom” as the locals call it, stretches for seven miles (11 kilometres), so on a clear day you can see from the airport to the tip of Nice’s Old Port. Buy an ice cream and walk the route, or if you’re feeling less energetic, sit on one of the traditional blue chairs and read a good book.
Nice’s old castle is undoubtedly the best place for completely panoramic views. On a clear day you can see from Antibes, along the bay to Nice’s Old Port, then further on again as far as Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. Climb the many stairs to get to the top or take the lift if you want to cheat. It closes at 7pm but there is a single weekend every year in summer when it opens for a special festival event called Fête du Chateau, when you can stay up there until late. It’s is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Nice for the very first time.
Not all panoramas have to involve the sea. Moving further inland (ever so slightly) provides a wonderful vista of the Mediterranean roofs of Nice’s Old Town with the sea in the distance. These views are available from a few exclusive hotel rooftops where you can swim in the outdoor pools or have a glass of local wine.One such place is the Hotel Aston. It’s a giant of a hotel – 150 elegant rooms – and situated on the wonderful Avenue Felix Faure. This street is home to the sweeping pedestrian boulevard/park that runs inland from the Promenade des Anglais. Sit in the Seven Blue Bar, overlooking the Promenade du Paillon gardens and fountains, and try to match the skyline with the buildings on the map. It’s a firm favourite with everyone “in the know”.
Everyone loves the terrace at Le Meridien Hotel, which is situated slap bang in the middle of the Promenade des Anglais. There are lovely views above the ninth floor, if you’re willing to pay the price of a drink as admission. It’s often said the hotel doesn’t have as much character as its other main rivals along the strip, but its views are sublime.