Introducing guest blogger Karen from Urban Pax
The sunny city of Nice, niched along the Mediterranean provides great fun for the whole family. Put on some good walking shoes and enjoy a fun-filled 24 hours!
This post is part of our Explore My City series – come and visit cities around the world through the eyes of local parents
Explore the Cours Saleya early in the morning. This lively area on the outskirts of the Old Town has a daily fruit and vegetable and flower market, except Mondays. A feast for the eyes! You can try local foods and stock up on beautifully colored fruits. Add to your basket some delicious bread, and French cheese and head to the beach, parallel to the market.
Once on the Promenade des Anglais, enjoy your picnic breakfast facing the calm blue Mediterranean. The beaches in Nice aren’t sandy. Instead, they’re made up of small grayish rocks called “galets”. Kids love stacking them up to build rock towers until it all falls down, only to rebuild again 🙂
Back through the market and into the Old Town, this labyrinth area feels like a colorful village within the city.
Narrow streets lead to larger squares and the discovery of small local shops. A perfect place to get a feel of how local families live as they go about their day. The Old Town is a car-free area, except for a few delivery vans in the morning.
Don’t hesitate to explore the small side streets as well as the longish cobblestone streets that stretch from one end of the old town to the other. On the way, go into Sainte Reparate Church and if you’re lucky you’ll hear a choir practising for a future concert. Make a fountain wish.
Lunchtime in Nice
Head to the local bakery for some pissaladiere, it looks like an onion pizza. But even kids who don’t like onions usually like this regional speciality because it’s slightly sweet.
But if it really doesn’t go over well, then try another local specialty: socca. Socca has a crepe-like shape and is cooked in wood ovens until crispy on the outside. There are a few places in the old town where you can get hot delicious portions of socca. T
o top it off, Fenocchio on Place Rosetti has over 60 flavors of ice cream and sorbets to choose from!
Make your way up to Castle Hill. The name is misleading as there is no castle (chateau) up there. On the far end of the Cours Saleya, near the Ponchettes, an elevator (ascenseur) takes you up to the chateau for a fee. Kids can run around safely in this park. Depending on their age, most kids have fun on a giant rope web or designated small kiddie park, while parents have a well-deserved rest hanging out on the grass and relaxing.
Things to see and do at the chateau:
- A beautiful waterfall.
- A fantastic view of Nice’s rooftops and the Baie des Anges.
- Walking paths through shady ruins
- An area with a secure park for smaller kids and older kids.
My kids are teens, and we still love going here for a couple of hours of “green downtime.” If your kids are a bit older, take the stairs up to the chateau instead of the elevator. But beware, although it’s fun and you get to see some beautiful views on the way up, you still need to climb about 300 steps! Whichever way you choose to go up, remember you must also come down 🙂
Promenade des Anglais
Back down on sea level, kids love to climb the #I love Nice sign across the street, just for the photo 🙂 Walk down the Promenade des Anglais, with the sea on your left. On your way, take your time and stop every once in a while to listen to a few musicians or singers do their thing. Sit on a blue chair and take it all in. Have a drink at a beach cafe while kids have a playful rest from walking. Watch the sunset. Enjoy as the day comes to an end…
This large pedestrian area lined with shops and restaurants adds festivities in summer with street painters and musicians every few hundred feet. At other times of the year, it’s just a great place to stroll and people-watch at an outdoor cafe. Lots of food choices for the whole family!
Read here for 20 additional things to do in Nice with Kids
Other sites around Nice that kids will love
Promenade des Anglais. Walk in the direction of the Negresco Hotel and look up. You’ll notice funny statues on a few balconies and within certain gardens.
Parc Pheonix. An outdoor parc complete with birds, small animals, a bamboo labyrinth path, a tropical greenhouse and a whole lot of room to run around. Small entry fee.
Jardin des Arenes de Cimiez. A large park lined with hundred-year-old olive trees, Roman ruins, a carousel and a cafe for parents. Very green and relaxing.
Place Massena. At the end of Place Massena, the area with the fountains is a wet play area for kids. The fountains are times and go and off in a certain rhythm. Kids just love going through them (and getting very wet).
I hope you’ll give these ideas a try and enjoy 24 hours of family fun! If your family trip allows for more time, be sure to plan day trips from Nice and explore further !
About the Blogger
Hello my friends, I’m Karen, travel writer, avid explorer, single mamma of teens sharing life through travels and simple living. When not discovering the other side of the world, we’re home in the south of France.
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With thanks to Karen for her contribution to our guest series. You may also like to read more about the Côte d’Azur with kids, or our guide to Paris in One Day.
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