Nice: France's coastal paradise
For many people, Paris is the highlight of France tours, and while the capital city certainly has it's appeal, there are many other locations throughout the country that are just as attractive, including the coastal city of Nice. This popular destination is home to a wide variety of sights, ranging from historic buildings to one of the best stretches of sand in Europe.
If you plan a trip to Nice, you can't leave before visiting the Place Masséna, which is the central hub of the city. The destination is unique in that it perfectly straddles the line between the city's centuries-old history and its thriving contemporary appeal. There is seemingly always something to do or see, so it's no surprise the square has become a staple of many visits to the city.
Among the best aspects of Place Massena is that it is often the site of outdoor concerts. There are a few periods throughout the year where this is taken a new level, including February's Nice Carnival, which spans the two week period leading up to Mardi Gras. The square practically shuts down and features everything from live performances to ornate floats.
Located just a short distance from Place Massena is another popular destination in Nice - Promenade des Anglais. A popular walk for visiting tourists, the promenade is located along the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. The area is probably best known for its blue chairs lined up along the walk where you can relax and enjoy the beautiful views offered up by the azure blue waters in front of you.
Much like any French city, Nice has plenty of history around every corner, and one of the most interesting attractions is the St Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral. The building, which dates back to 1912, seems out of place among the Mediterranean architecture, as its onion domes seem like they belong in St. Petersburg, Russia, rather than France, but it's that unusual juxtaposition that makes it such a popular destinations.
While France tours should make a point to see every part of the country, you can't miss Nice, whether you want to take part in the famed carnival or just relax by the clear waters.