Top things to do with the family in Nice, France
The French Riviera is one of my favourite holiday destinations to take my family. It has everything. Beautiful beaches, breathtaking scenery, delicious food, and great family friendly activities to do. Something for every member of the family!
When you fly into the French Riviera, you fly into Nice. And so it’s a great starting point to any holiday along the Riviera.
Here are our top things to do in Nice:
1. Nice Beach. One of our happiest memories of trips to Nice is taking picnic lunches onto Nice Beach along with some beach chairs and playing for hours on this beautiful pebble beach.
At noon, the canon blasts from the castle on the hilltop which is always a signal for my kids to start eating their packed lunches, after playing to their hearts content in the beach. Our tip: bring jelly shoes if you have them for the pebble beach as it will help you get into the sea much more easily.
2. Old Town in Nice. There are so many restaurants and boutique shops, you could spend hours shopping and eating as a family, whilst admiring the imposing narrow streets with 17th century churches and old palaces surrounding them.
At the heart of the Old Town is Cours Saleya. During the day, Cours Saleya is home to an open air market selling fruit and veg from Tuesday to Sunday and a Flea Market every Monday. Our tip - if you want to get some fantastically affordable art, visit the Monday flea market as early as you can and you could bag yourself a piece of art at a very competitive price. At night, Cour Saleya comes alive with music and people who fill the al fresco restaurants and bars that line the square. Le Safari is a great place to eat lunch or dinner and they are very good with kids. Further inside the Old Town, our favourite restaurant is Le Gaglio. Their desserts are incredible and they serve best tiramisu I’ve ever eaten.
3. Water Fountain Azure. Kids absolutely love this water fountain park behind the Old Town in Nice. The water fountains playfully shoot out water at different times and many a happy hour has been spent here.
4. The Promenade du Paillon is right next to this water fountain as well, which is a playground complete with a giant whale, a pirate ship and an area for younger children to enjoy.
5. Ice cream and wine! Nice has the most amazing ice cream and wine shops. There is a roaring debate about which ice cream shop is the best in Nice. Our personal favourite is Azzurro in the Old Town. When it comes to wine, you just have to look a stones throw from Azzurro to find Les Grandes Caves Caprioglio which sells an enormous selection of wines at very affordable prices.
6. Castle of Nice. On the top of the hill overlooking the promenade is the Castle of Nice. It's well worth climbing up the steps either through the old town or off the promenade. But if you don't think the littler legs will cope with the climb (426 steps) there is an elevator you can take from the bottom of the hill up to the castle. At the top, you'll find an expansive playground with climbing frames, obstacle courses and an area for younger children to enjoy.
There's also a kiosk that sells snacks and we always enjoy getting a lolly to eat on the climb down. The views on the way up and down are spectacular!
7. Plage de la Reserve
On the other side of the port is Plage de la Reserve, a beach next to the famous Le Plongeoir restaurant. This is less touristy than Nice Beach and has lovely shallow water that is perfect for smaller swimmers. Be prepared to walk around 45 minutes from the Old Town to get there.
Accessible from the beach is a wonderful restaurant called La Reserve with sweeping views of the port and delicious seafood which comes highly recommended by us.
And that concludes our top things to do in Nice. Bonnes vacances!