Nice Old Town – Vielle Ville
If this is your first visit to Nice, we recommend your first activity be a walk around the Old Town. Maison Mackay is right in the middle of it, so this isn’t hard to do! There are many excellent guided tours of the Old Town and information on these tours can be found at the Office du Tourisme et des Congres de Nice (Nice Tourist Office). The Old Town is also wonderful to explore on your own. Just walk around the winding streets gaze at the shops, restaurants, museums, cafes, churches and markets. While walking recall that the buildings date back to the 16th Century! Old Town is the most visited neighbourhood in Nice and you will soon see why.
Just out the front door and around the corner from Maison Mackay you will find yourself in the Cours Saleya. This fruit, veggie and flower market makes for a colorful and aromatic experience. The Cours Saleya is open every morning (Tuesday through Sunday); on Mondays, an antiques market takes the place of the produce. Plan on getting there early to beat the crowds; by 8 or 9 a.m., you’ll have to contend with the masses. Bring small bills to pay the vendors, and you should also bring a bag to tote your finds. You will find tote bags in the living room closet at Maison Mackay. The Cours Saleya is also home to countless open air cafes and restaurants, with excellent food and excellent vantage points for people watching.
Parc du Mont Boron
For a retreat from the city and a breath of fresh air, travel experts (and travelers too) recommend taking a hike in the Parc du Mont Boron (located in east Nice). With about 7 miles of hiking trails, you can work up quite a sweat and perhaps burn off some calories from the previous evening’s dinner. Climb to the top for the prettiest panoramas.
Opéra de Nice
Found at 4-6 Rue Saint-François de Paule, 06300, The Opéra de Nice is the principal opera venue in Nice. It offers three types of performances: operas, ballets and classical concerts; and houses the Ballet Nice Méditerrannée and the Nice Philharmonic Orchestra. Tickets should be purchased well in advance as they sell out quickly. Information can be found at www.opera-nice.org.
Promenade des Anglais
The Promenade des Anglais or English Promenade is only minutes from the apartment and provides a stunning view of both the Mediterranean Sea and of the City. Trip Advisor calls it one of the most important parts of the City. Just beyond the Promenade is Nice’s famous pebble beach. There is an extensive public beach right near Maison Mackay. Beach chair rentals are available right on the beach.
Castle Hill – Colline de Chateau
Whether you make the trip on your own or as part of a guided tour, you will not want to miss this spectacular view of the City. Options for getting there and more details can be found here.
Museums and Palaces of Nice
There are many great museums in France. Here are three of our favourites.
65 rue de France
(Alternate Entrance from Promenade des Anglais)
Musée d’art moderne et d’art contemporain
Place Yves Klein
15 Rue Droite
Like many historical Cities, you will absolutely love the architecture of the many Churches. Here are a few of the “must sees”.
3, Pl. Rossetti
Basillique Cathedrale Sainte-Marie
3, rue Sainte-Réparate
Russian Orthodox Cathedrale
Avenue Nicolas II