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 up top, you have a sweeping view of Nice all the way to Antibes, then walk to the other side overlooking the Nice Port to see all the way to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.  Look to the hills for the Nice Observatory and the ruins of the Mont Alban fortress …and see that big yellow house all alone on top of the hill? That’s Elton John’s place.  The gates to the Chateau are closed at 7pm, but there is one weekend a year when you can go up and see the view by moonlight.

Best Hotel Rooftop Bars for a Sunset Cocktail

  • The best rooftop bar is at the Anantara Hotel, which offers a panorama of Place Massena and the Old Town plus the sea view down the entire coast.  This is also the best seat for a ‘sky-box’ view of the Nice Carnaval and the Nice Jazz Festival; and with retractable windows this is also the best spot for the big view even on cold or windy days. 12 avenue de Verdun, tram stop Massena.
  • Hotel Aston La Scala rooftop Moon Bar has an engrossing view of the Promenade du Paillon gardens and fountains in the foreground, the chaotic red rooftops and church spires of Old Nice and Chateau Hill in the middle, and the azure Mediterranean sea in the distance.  12 avenue Felix-Faure, tram stop Opera.
  • La Terrasse on the top of Le Meridian Hotel has a stunning bird’s eye view of the entire coast.  1 Promenade des Anglais, tram stop Massena
  • Same for the rooftop bar at the Radisson Blu Hotel a little closer to the airport, 223 Promenade des Anglais, tram stop Fabron

Best Nice 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.

Best lunch deal with a view:  Right next door to the Plongeoir is the restaurant La Reserve which has somewhat less dramatic architecture, but has the same panoramic sea view from their elegant art deco villa and rooftop bar, and offers a 3-course Canon du Midi lunch menu for just 45€. 60 Bd Franck Pilatte

Best Restaurants up the Coast for Stunning Views

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 try their more casual venue The Remparts. Or try the Chateau Eza which just won its own coveted Michelin star this year and has a 3-course lunch menu for 79€. But the killer cliff-perched lunch deal is at Le Tilliac at the Terraces du Eze Hotel, with their ‘Retour du Marche’ 3-course gourmet lunch menu for just 40€ (Mon-Sat).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.

Bird's eye view of the Riviera coastlineJust above Monaco on Route de la Turbie, the cliff-hanging Ceto restaurant at the Hotel Maybourne truly gives a bird’s eye view of the entire Riviera.  Helmed by three-Michelin-starred chef Mauro Cologreco, Ceto just won its own Michelin star this las year. They have a special 3-course lunch menu for 78€, but you can also always just come drink in the view with a drink at the bar.

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 up that awesome restaurant location! 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.  Tram stop Massena.

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 2.50€ bus ticket!

Bus #600 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 the bus 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 bus #15 for the quick ride back to Nice for a really nice loop.  

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.  Maybourne Hotel by Best of Nice.

 

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