Foto: Anna Dranovska

Doing Cote d’Azur the Right Way

Sorry for this vacation-teaser in the middle of your exams, but I hope it will inspire you to have some fabulous NICE time when it’s all over.

When spring comes to your cozy arctic city and you feel the first gentle sun kiss on your cheeks, there seems to be no better place on the entire planet. A month ago, this lovely spring was not even ready to take its first timid steps and I dared to escape: Escape to a place where sun shines 300 days a year; with a friend that makes you smile million times a day.

At that moment, one word in my vocabulary changed its meaning once and forever: Nice. Nice is not an adjective, it is not even a city in French Riviera. Nice is a state of mind when you are living in Côte d’Azur.

Not many know how enjoyable summer destinations can be in early April when you can freely stroll along the streets without bumping into crowds of tourists. Or when you can still succeed in seeking privacy for a romantic picnic in the sunset at the beach. Or when the sun is already hot enough for a short swim but still rather mild for a pleasurable experience of exploring the city.

I have collected 7 nice things to do and see in Nice that will make your stay in this fabulous city worth every minute!

The Promenade des Anglais. 

Photo:  Anna Dranovska
Photo: Anna Dranovska

Beyond the shadow of any doubt this is a place you just cannot avoid visiting. Start your day making a walk along the Promenade or join Frenchmen for a morning run. When the sun is up, go for roller skating (you can rent a pair of rollers right on the Promenade). Or, if you prefer evening time, get some take-away dinner, wine, warm blanket, and go for a memorable picnic at the beach listening to the wash of the waves on the rocks.

Le Chateau (Castle Hill).

Photo: Anna Dranovska
Photo: Anna Dranovska

Climb a little bit up from the sea level to enjoy a panoramic view of the French Riviera from this beautiful hilltop park. Take some delight in blooming gardens on your way up, listen to the song of waterfall, practice yoga together with locals and remember to get enough sun-kisses as you go.

Flower market.

Photo: Anna Dranovska
Photo: Anna Dranovska

Walking down to the Old Town (from Le Chateau), past the old cemetery, will lead you to a small island of rich flavors and colors, where you can buy fresh flowers, veggies, honey, hand-made soaps, exotic fruit and delicious pastry. After the market is finished for the day, restaurants take over the same place and offer wickedly good seafood dishes cooked from fresh ingredients bought just a couple of hours ago from the market.

Nice Old Town (Le Vieux Nice).

Photo: Anna Dranovska
Photo: Anna Dranovska

Get lost in the old cozy streets with caramel sweet houses, stop by little shops where no one speaks English and no one is actually concerned about it, have some more heavenly delicious pastry, put your lovely smile on and find your perfect spot for a dinner with a glass of wine.

Museums.

Photo: Anna Dranovska
Photo: Anna Dranovska

Nice has 14 municipal museums that offer free admission to all students. All museums are grouped by 4 categories: Modern Art Group, Fine Arts Group, Archaeology Group and History Group. Many of them are located close to each other, so it makes it even easier attending as many as you wish. Just do not forget your student card and all doors into the world of art will be open to you!

Sunday afternoon Symphony Concert.

Photo: Anna Dranovska
Photo: Anna Dranovska

Nice municipality sponsors a free concert with Orchestre d’Harmonie de Nice held every Sunday at 15:30 next to Kiosque du Jardin Albert 1er. Come at least 30 minutes before the concert starts if you want to get good seats and have this pleasurable music experience. No tickets needed.

Nights out.

Photo: Anna Dranovska
Photo: Anna Dranovska

No student travels without diving into the nightlife of the city! Nice offers many exciting bars just in the heart of the Old Town, ranging from fancy places with delicious cocktails to noisy bars full of young and fabulous Frenchmen (and girls). Some of the bars close at 2 a.m. but you can find clubs where people keep dancing till the sun comes up (or at least another 3 hours more).

Spring semester is almost over and students will soon rush to summer destinations, enjoying themselves in the sun in the careless breeze of freedom. Hope this short guide into vacation in Nice will be helpful to you! In any case, whatever place you choose for spending some warm days away from Tromsø, make sure you get the warmest memories possible, because they will become your source of summerish mood and cheerfulness when winter is back on the streets!

Text: Anna Dranovska

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