Nice and the French Reviera Will Give You a Few More Days of Summer

We had a great summer in Germany, but there is no doubt, fall has arrived. A little further south, in Nice, however, you can still take a sun bath and swim in the Mediterranean Sea, stroll along the beach, and sit outside to have dinner at one of the restaurants.

One advice: Bring your bathing shoes. It is quite the challenge to walk across the big pebbles that are the beach in Nice, let alone descend the little bank that leads into the Mediterranean Sea. There really seems to be no graceful way to do it with bare feet. But it’s worth the pain, because the water is clear and nice, even in September, and of a beautiful blue color. After all, this is the Côte d’Azur, the blue coast.

If you don’t mind the pebbles, enjoy the free public beach, or spend some money on a beach chair and an umbrella at the private beaches. It is all right there, in the center of the city, alongside the famous Promenade des Anglais shared by runners, bycliclists and tourists.

Heavily armed police may remind you occasionally, however, that this was the place of the Nice terror attack in 2016. On the evening of July 14, a national holiday, 86 people were killed and hundreds wounded by a cargo truck deliberately driven into the crowds watching a firework.

This year, the fireworks returned to the beach for the first time since 2016.

And the tourists seem to be back, too. Last week, the organizers were setting everything up for the Ironman Triathlon going on this weekend.

The streets of Old Town Nice with its shops, restaurants and bars were busy.

Flowers at the Flower Market in Nice. You can also buy soap there. And on one side of the market, there is a little stand that sells the most delicious ice cream.

If you are looking for a place to stay, I can recommend the Hotel Windsor, where every room is a piece of art, and riding the elevator will give you an artist’s take on a rocket launch. The staff is super friendly and helpful. The restaurant in the little tropical garden serves delicious food – but be prepared to wait a while for your dishes.

Another dining option I can recommend is the restaurant Le Siecle at the West End Hotel at the Promenade des Anglais. Save room for dessert – and either have a Crêpe Suzette prepared at the table, or at least give you taste buds the chocolate lave cake to feast on.

If you want a delicious lunch, go Italian and have a pizza at Vabbuo.

But Nice is more than a beach and restaurants. There are beautiful gardens and places to visit.

One one side of the Place Masséna, right in the center of Nice, there is an area that gets sprayed with water fountains regularly. It creates a pretty reflecting “pool”, and a play area for kids big and small.

And there is, of course, art. I went to see the National Museum of Marc Chagall, created after the artist’s will.

Glass Window at the National Museum of Marc Chagall

The museum is home to 17 large paintings by Chagall that illustrate the biblical message. It is quite special – and probably not to everyone’s taste.

The explanation given with the “Banishment from Paradise”, however, I found interesting. Chagall included some lighter elements in his work – indicating that the expulsion of Adam and Eve was not a tragic event. Consciousness and free will, after all, is something we cherish today. So maybe the rule to not eat a fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil was meant to be broken in the first place.


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