Best Views in Nice

The best views in and around Nice: some are free, some need a car, some come with a drink, some are best suited for a picnic, and some are even Michelin-starred.

View of the sea from the Nice ChateauIn Nice the best view is from the top of  The Chateau/Castle Hill.  You can get most of the way there with the free elevator at the seaside, just look for the neon ‘Ascenseur de la Chateau‘ sign. Once there you have a sweeping view of Nice on one side, all the way to Antibes, and on the other you have the Nice Port, all the way to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.  You can see the Nice Observatory, the Fort of Mont Alban, and see that yellow house on top of the hill? That’s Elton John’s place.  The Chateau closes at 7pm, but there is one weekend a year when you can go up and see the view at night.

Best Hotel Rooftop Bars for a Sunset Cocktail

  • Hotel Aston La Scala rooftop Moon Bar for an engrossing view of the Promenade du Paillon gardens and fountains, the chaotic red rooftops and church spires of Old Nice, and the azur Mediterranean in the distance.
  • The rooftop bar of the B4 Plaza Hotel (formerly the Boscolo) gives you a sea view with gardens in the foreground.  This is also the best spot for a bird’s eye view of the Nice Carnival, and the Nice Jazz Festival.
  • La Terrasse on the top of Le Meridian Hotel has a stunning view of the entire coast.
  • Same for the rooftop bar at the Radisson Blu Hotel a little closer to the airport.

Best Restaurants for Stunning Views

Old post cardIn Nice, the winner is Le Plongeoir which means ‘The Diving Board’ where you can dine right above the waves, or even on the towering belle époque platforms that were made into diving boards in the ensuing years. Its an authentic icon, and the unique architecture is emblematic of the golden years in Nice.   60 Boulevard Franck Pilatte, tram stop Port Lympia then a 10-minute walk around the point.

Eze villageWith views that are food for the soul and cuisine to match, head up the coast to Eze for the two Michelin starred restaurant at the Chevre d’Or, or hit their more casual venue The Remparts. Another superbe cliff-perched restaurant is at the Chateau Eza, which was Michelin starred until just this year.  Forget that old adage about ‘view’ restaurants, where the quality of food is in inverse proportion to the quality of the view… Here you have it all.

The best affordable restaurant with stunning view used to be La Chaumiere Restaurant, which had a reasonably priced menu plus a amazing bird’s eye view over the Palace of Monaco.  It is currently closed, but keep an eye on that space as someone is sure to scoop that awesome restaurant location up! 60 Boulevard du Jardin Exotique, Monaco.

Best Only-in-Winter View

From the top of the giant Ferris Wheel just off Place Massena from November through February, where you get a panoramic bird’s-eye view of the whole city.

Best Parks for a Picnic with a View

  • The Nice Chateau (take the free elevator up)
  • Mont Boron (catch Bus#33 from the Port and just stay on until the end, about 15 minutes)
  • Fort de la Revere, near Eze (needs a car)
  • Plateau de la Justice Parc Nationale (take bus #82, and just stay on until the end, see below)

Best Bus Rides for Breathtaking Views

From Nice, you can get million euros views for the price of a 1.50€ bus ticket!

Bus #100 from the Nice Port to Monaco gives you 45-minutes of non-stop unparalleled coastal scenery including colorful Villefranche-sur-mer, the presque-isle Sainte-Jean Cap Ferrat, and majestic Beaulieu-sur-mer.

Want to go higher?   Bus #82 from Vauban to Plateau de la Justice goes from the middle Corniche to the upper Corniche for 35 minutes of one amazing view after the next. Catch it at the bus station across from the Vauban tram stop; you can get off at Eze-Village, or stay to the end to arrive at the Plateau de la Justice Park with lots of space to picnic and a panoramic view fit for the angels.

Bus #84 from Riquier to the Baie des Fourmis is another stunner.  You catch bus #84 From the Nice Riquier train station (a 10 minute walk from the tram stop Palais des Expositions), and it goes roughly every 30 minutes (but attention: on Sundays it goes only every 3 hours!)  The 30-minute ride takes you past the Nice Observatory, high over Villefranche, and finishes at the seaside Baie de Fourmis stop in Beaulieu, where you can hit the beach and then catch other scenic coastal buses for the quick ride back to Nice (bus #15 or bus #100), for a really nice loop.  

Another good one is bus #400 from Nice to Vence which takes 45 minutes and stops at the perched walled village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence.

Best Drives for Roadside View-Points

With the 45-minute drive between Nice and Monaco or Menton (1 hour), you can’t go wrong, whether you take the low road along the coast, the middle road (Moyenne Corniche), or the high road (Grande Corniche), they’re all magnificent.

Driving west along the coast is also full of wonderful scenery, especially between Cannes and Saint Raphael with the majestic red clay cliffs, but this will take hours as traffic is very slow, especially between Nice and Cannes.   Click here for a page on Driving in Nice

Best Boat Ride for Views of the Coast

Basically, any boat ride here will give you amazing coastal views, but the most bang for the buck comes from Trans-Cote-Azur with a 1-hour boat tour from Nice to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat for less than 20€.   Not only do you get breathtaking views of the coast and villages, but also views of luxurious Cap-Ferrat villas visible only by boat.  

Photo Credit: View from the Chateau by Cayambe, Eze Village by Jimi Magic, all licensed under Creative Commons.

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