Nice was primarily our first trip in Europe. We planned this trip because we wanted to get Schengen Visa from French Embassy ( its considered they give longest Visa) and we were not ready for our Paris Trip as yet. So we zeroed it down to visit this city (in April 2017) which has a beautiful coastline. And I must say it came out to be a beautiful place and we loved the place to the core!
We started from London and arrived at Nice Airport close to noon. We took a local bus (Bus no. 23) and got down at Gambetta stop and walked down a few blocks and met our Airbnb host waiting for us outside the apartment building. He was kind enough to take us to the apartment and also briefed about all the amenities. The apartment was beautiful. The only downside was that the view from the stay wasn’t great though we were just 10 min. walk away from the beach. After settling in, we took to the street to visit our first spot.
Here’s the link to the Apartment, we recommend this place, though the views are not so great, but it is a beautiful cosy place, welcoming host and just opposite the beach particularly for beach lovers!!!
Castle Hill is a 22m high hill that offers fantastic views from all sides. We walked from our stay to the old town and ultimately up this hill. This way, we got to see the old Nice.
The hill also has a small playground where our daughter, Smiara thoroughly enjoyed slides and swings.
After spending couple of hours on the hill, we walked to the beach where we sat by the beach and enjoyed the confluence of cool breeze and settling Sun. The whole place is very serene with the waves rushing to the shore only to return as if a dying lover desperately wanting to meet his beloved one last time!!!
We spent more than an hour just throwing stones in the beach, and watching the serene view.
Tip: Castor Hill is free and there is no ticket entry needed.
On the second day, we decided to visit Monaco. I was particularly keen at visiting Monaco considering the richest of the rich lives here!!! It is just 20 kms from Nice, but it took us one & a half hours to reach, considering the journey involved train and a bus with exceptionally long waiting periods. Having said that the train station in Monaco is one of the most beautiful train stations in the world. They even have a piano here!!!
We could see a huge port with beautiful ships/cruises/boats on the port but could not get out of the bus considering it was raining cats and dogs. While we were in Monaco, my wife, Minal, said, “The narrow alleys in Monaco are beautiful and full of rich architecture that my heart yearns to walk in these alleys forever!!!” But considering it was raining and Smaira was quite young (two and a half years old), we had to limit checking out the street views.
So, we decided to visit an indoor place. And we zeroed it down to Musée Océanographique de Monaco, a museum of marine sciences. Our daughter thoroughly enjoyed watching the sea life up so close and it was a time spent well considering the way it rained that day.
Tip: Visit Musée Océanographique de Monaco only if this is your first marine museum/aquarium visit ever.
After spending one and a half hours here, we travelled back to Nice. The rain had finally stopped, so we just walked near the beach for a good 2 km and sat by the stony beach watching the Sunset.
The next day we started our day with a coffee at a café nearby and walked to the “I love Nice” sign to take few pics.
We went to the Castle Hill one more time (since Smaira wanted to have the swings/rides again). We spent some more time on the hill just admiring the beautiful views here, before we walked all the way back to the beach to say it a goodbye and took our bags to catch a bus to the airport.
Note – This main attraction of Nice is the long coastline with beautiful beaches, food, museums and for us, the Castor Hill. If you happen to visit in the summer months , you can also take a dip or surf on the beautiful beaches in Nice!!! Happy journey!!!