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Nice, France in One Day: Itinerary with Google Maps & Photos

Seeing Nice, France in one day is definitely possible (although you could and should spend much longer here!). With this One Day in Nice Itinerary, you’ll hit all the major sites of Nice, try some of the best restaurants in the city, as well as visit some hidden gems.

First, I’ll go over the one Day in Nice Itinerary itself, then at the end, I’ll go over planning details and common questions like where to stay in Nice, etc.

Nice France in One Day Itinerary

Here is the general walking itinerary on Google Maps, but there are multiple places where you could choose to take public transportation instead of walking, like skipping the Promenade du Paillon and taking the L2 to Place Garibaldi instead.

Grab Breakfast at a Boulangerie

Your morning should definitely start out with some breakfast treats from a Boulangerie. If you’re in the Port, the best boulangeries are Boulangerie Maritime and Boulangerie Lagache.

If you want to start your morning out slow, you could stop at a cafe instead.

There’s no shortage of cafes in France, so I recommend checking Google Maps for one with good reviews within walking distance of your accommodation instead of heading to a specific cafe.

Take Some Pictures at the #ILoveNice Sign

The #ILoveNice Sign is right at the beginning of the Promenade and always attracts tourists who want to take a picture with it. However, even if you aren’t into taking a picture with the sign, this corner of the Promenade has some of the best views of the whole beach.

So don’t skip this area even if you don’t love the sign!

Visit La Colline du Chateau (Castle Hill)

If there’s one thing you do in Nice, make it be visiting La Colline du Château! Depending on the time of year when you visit, it can get pretty busy so getting there first thing in the morning is your best bet for an uninterrupted view of Nice.

You’ve probably seen that iconic photo of the blue water along the coastline in Nice, and this is where you can get that view!

Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France

Castle Hill has to be number one on this list, not only because it’s the most iconic view of Nice, but because there is SO much to do on this little hill that most tourists completely miss!

One of the best parts of the Colline is that you can get to it from Old Nice, the Promenade, and the Port. Not all of the entrances are always open, but each entry gives you a different view of Nice.

The first entrance is the most popular one and is right off the Promenade and leads up to the Tour Bellanda. It’s called “Montee Lesage.”

The second most popular entrance is from the Port side of Nice and goes up “Montee Montfort.”

Then you have two entrances in Old Nice. The first is “Montee du Chateau” (which happens to be right on top of one of my favorite streets in Nice: Montee Auguste Kerl.

The second entrance from Old Nice is probably the least well-known and is at “Montee Menica Rondelly.”

Finding each entrance and how it connects to all different sides of Nice is why the Colline is the #1 thing to do in Nice.

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Viewpoints from all sides, plus the official viewpoints that are listed above, you absolutely cannot miss this on your trip to Nice!

You can also choose to take the FREE elevator to the top of the Colline du Chateau (here’s the location), just make sure to check the hours before heading there.

The elevator is usually open from 10 am to 5:30 pm, however, things in France close down without much warning so it could still be closed even if it states that it’s open.

I recommend taking the stairs if you are able since you’ll see some of the best views of Nice along the way!

Wander Through Vieux Nice (Vieille Ville)

France has some of the most beautiful towns in the world, and Nice is no exception. The Old Town of Nice (or Vieux Nice) is a breathtaking part of the city with colorful buildings influenced by Italy’s architectural styles more than France’s.

Old Town, Nice
Photo by Ádám Berkecz on Unsplash

Besides those main areas, you definitely should spend as much time as you can wandering the streets of Old Nice.

A few streets and areas that you shouldn’t miss in Old Town:

  • Place Rossetti
  • Rue Rossetti
  • Rue Saint-Augustin
  • Montee Auguste Kerl
  • Rue des Serruriers

Those are some of my favorite streets, but I’m sure after seeing Old Nice for yourself, you will find a few of your own!

Try Macaron Ice Cream Sandiches at Les Gourmandises d’Angea

If you’re looking for a unique and refreshing snack to try while in Nice, head to Les Gourmandises d’Angea for an ice cream Macaron sandwich.

Go Shopping at the Cours Saleya Market

The Flea Market at Cours Saleya is a flower and fresh produce market that runs on a street parallel to the Promenade des Anglais. It is open every day except Monday, usually from 6 am to 5:30 pm.

Cours Saleya market in Nice

This blog post goes into the specifics of the market and other markets in Nice so you can make sure you don’t miss this one!

Cours Selaya Market Hours

Stroll Along the Promenade

Make sure to peek down the Promenade to get a view of Le Negresco hotel. If you only have one day in Nice, I wouldn’t recommend walking all the way down to the hotel itself.

There are tons of famous beach clubs along the Promenade, you can get a cute picture from above, or even pop down and lounge on the beach for around 25 euros per lounge chair.

Since the beaches in Nice are rocky and not sandy, if you plan to spend some time on the beach or go swimming, I recommend bringing some shoes you can swim in like these.

The rocks definitely can hurt and I’ve watched many tourists take like 10 minutes to get out of the ocean lol.

Visit Place Massena & le Fontaine du Soleil Fountain

After the Promenade and possibly a little swim at the beach, you turn right at the giant brown stick statue (Neuf Lignes Obliques) and walk straight to Place Massena.

Walking from this direction gives you an awesome view once you open up into the Place, with the Fontaine du Soleil right in the middle.

Be careful here though as sometimes it’s difficult to tell what is a road and what isn’t.

{Optional} Shop on Jean Medecin or Around the Carre d’Or

If you’re a shopper, you may want to add an hour or two of shopping along Jean Medecin and the Carre d’Or to your one day in Nice.

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If not, I recommend you grab a peak of Jean Medecin street from Place Massena and then continue on your itinerary!

Take the L2 to Place Garibaldi Then Walk to Port Lympia

From Jean Medecin / Place Massena, hop onto the L2 tram that will take you to Place Garibaldi which is a short walk from Port Lympia.

So many choose to skip visiting the Port on their Nice itineraries, but it’s one of the most charming areas of Nice.

If you’d rather walk to the Port than take the tram, you can walk through the Promenade du Paillon which is a beautiful green walkway and park that leads to Place Garibaldi.

girl sitting in Port Lympia in Nice

Once you get to Place Garibaldi, you can walk down Rue Cassini and it will take you straight to the Port. The Port is a great place to walk around, especially at sunset.

You can check out all the fancy yachts lined along the Port and the small hand-painted fishing boats that line the opposite side.

It gives you a gorgeous view of the Colline and the mountains behind Nice.

Grab Dinner in the Port (Traditional Socca or Napoli Pizza)

Depending on your mood, you can end your day with either traditional Nicoise food or the most authentic Napoli pizza in France.

I’m obsessed with Napoli pizza and have to tell you that this pizzeria offers the best that you can find outside of Napoli.

The pizzeria “Les Amoureux” in the Old Port of Nice went viral for its heart-shaped pizzas and I can attest that they are absolutely worth the hype.

pizzas at Les Amoureux restaurant in Nice

This place is so popular that there is a line even before they open. They are closed on Sunday and Monday and are only open from 7-10 pm on the other days.

However, if you are a fan of real Napoli-style pizza, it is totally worth the wait to go here. Also, the owners are Italian, so if you speak Italian, it’s a great opportunity to practice!

I learned Italian through cheap conversation classes on italki. Try out a class for about $9 or less!

If you’re more in the mood for trying something traditional, head to the most famous Socca restaurant in Nice, “Chez Pipo.”

Socca is a traditional dish from Nice. It’s a flat pancake made out of chickpea flour that you add salt to and eat plain.

In my opinion, Socca was definitely a fun thing to try, but it was not my thing. I tried every dish at Chez Pipo and loved the experience, but I don’t plan on going back.

However, Chez Pipo almost always has a line and it’s incredibly popular!

Here are the dishes you should try if you go there:

  • Socca
  • Pissaladiere
  • Tartinades
  • Tarte Blette

More Time on Your Hands? More Things to Do in Nice

Check out this post for the best things to do in Nice, especially if you’re looking for some off-the-beaten-path options.

Day Trips from Nice, France

If you plan to stay in Nice for more than one day, but you only want to spend one official day in Nice itself, there are plenty of day trips to do nearby like Villefranche-Sur-Mer, Eze, Monte Carlo (Monaco), Saint-Jean Cap-Ferrat, Cannes, etc.

Nice is the perfect base for trips around the French Riviera, here are the best day trips you can take from Nice plus how to get there from Nice.

If you want to learn how to get from Nice to the nearby villages then check out this post.

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Is One Day Enough in Nice France? How Many Days Are Enough for Nice?

How much time do you need in Nice? You can do Nice in one day, but you’ll definitely need two nights so you can get one full day in.

Even if one day is enough to do Nice, I recommend staying in Nice and using it as a base to visit other cities and villages on the Cote d’Azur.

The Best Time to Visit Nice

There really is no wrong time to visit Nice, in my opinion. However, you should plan your trip around the type of activities you want to do while you’re there.

If you’re looking to go swimming, June through September is the best time to visit Nice.

There are around 300 sunny days in Nice per year, so chances are you’ll get a sunny day!

If you’re looking to avoid crowds but still get some warm weather, try May or October. The rest of the months can be a bit colder (jacket weather) but Nice is gorgeous year-round.

Even when it’s raining and stormy, the city’s colors stand out even more against the darker sky. It usually doesn’t rain for long periods of time either.

Where to Stay in Nice for 1 Day

If you’re only going to be in Nice for one day, you definitely need to stay 2 nights so you get at least one full day. You should stay in Vieux Nice, the Port (Port Lympia), Riquier, or near Place Massena.

Nice has a great public transportation system, so if you need to stay further away to save money, just make sure are within walking distance of the tram (known as L1 or L2) or a bus stop.

Getting from the Nice Airport to Nice Center

Nice has one of the easiest public transportation systems in Europe. You can get straight from the airport to the center using the same tram!

Walking out of the airport terminal, the first thing you’ll see is the tram stop. You’ll need to buy a ticket before getting on from one of the machines at the stop.

Nice has updated its transport system to avoid one-use tickets that contribute to polluting the city, so now you have to pay upfront for a plastic card that you will use during the whole trip.

You’ll also need to download two apps to use the public transport in Nice: Lignes d’Azur Mobile and Lignes d’Azur Tickets.

Although you can refill the plastic card using the Lignes d’Azur Tickets app, you have to obtain the plastic card first before you can refill it using the app.

You only need to buy one card if you’re traveling in a group, and you can scan that card multiple times to count for everyone in your group.

For example, my husband and I share a card, and when I get on the tram or bus I will scan my card twice.

You can use the Ligne d’Azur Mobile app or Google Maps to find the best route from where you’re staying in Nice.

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