Nice-Cours Saleya-Castle Hill-The Nice Cycle Tour -Socca

Castle Hill Nice

We started our day at the famous bakery Boulangerie Espuno with freshly baked goods for our breakfast. Then, we climbed the stairs on Castle Hill, which gave us a fantastic view of the French Riviera. We joined the Nice Cycle Tour to see Nice on bikes in the afternoon and ended our day at Chez Pipo tasting the famous nicoise speciality-Socca.

See & Do

  • Cours Saleya(Flower Market): The flower market is an open air market set up everyday in the old town–they don’t just sell flowers, they change it up everyday. The day we were there (Sunday), they happened to be selling fruits (woo!). We picked up some fresh figs from Spain and spent some time people watching. The Japanese tour groups were in full force with their headsets and raised flags. This market can’t be missed, but make sure you get there early as they close up by early afternoon to make room for outdoor seating for nearby restaurants. We also happened to walk by the next day on Monday morning hoping to pick up more fruits, but it looks like Monday is the antique/flea market day, and we were the youngest patrons in the crowd by about 30 years. Rating: 4/5

Cours Saleya Nice

  • Castle Hill: This is the place to be to get those postcard perfect views of Nice. There are many ways to get up including hiking, biking, taking an elevator, or taking a shuttle. The walk up is really not bad at all and if you go up from the waterfront side you’ll be treated to great views the entire time as you climb as well as getting to pass by a man-made waterfall. Once you make it to the top you’ll be treated to a grand view of Nice and the surrounding mountains. Rating: 5/5

View from Castle Hill of the French Riviera

Old Port Nice

Old Port

Nice Old Town

  • The Nice Cycle Tour: €30 per person. After seeing the beautiful bike lanes all along the waterfront, we decided that if we’re gonna get a guided tour there’s no better way than by bike! Led by Kevin from England, the (English-language) tour took about 3 hours where we were able to ride through the old town, the promenade, through the city and up to Castle Hill (our second time today, quite the exercise!) We learned quite a bit about the history of the city as well as some interesting anecdotes, such as the fact that the American Prohibition is one of the main reasons that Nice became such a huge summer destination, and how Coco Chanel brought tanned skin into fashion right here on the Nice promenade. If you’re a bicycling fan, we’d definitely recommend checking this out. Rating: 5/5

Eat

  • Boulangerie Espuno: Located adjacent to Place Jesus in the old town, we stopped by in the morning to pick up some Pain au chocolate, pizzaladiere, tried their fresh meringue that just came out, and washed it down with some coffee. We later found out that this was noted as having the best bread in France (and by extension, the world!) Rating: 4/5
  • Chez Pipo: Socca is a crepe made out of chickpea flour, and is one of the most famous traditional snacks in Nice. Many people note that it’s a bit of an acquired taste, but we figured we should try it out. We stopped by a famous socca joint called Chez Pipo near the old port. Unlike most other places in Europe, you can’t just take any outdoor seat, you need to actually check in with a waiter as we found out after sitting around like dopes for 20 minutes. We ordered some socca and pizzaladiere and dug right in (after the obligatory ~20+ minute preparation time)–it’s a bit bland but not too bad once you add a bit of pepper to it. Washed it down with some local wine for M and beer for me. Note: Even though ‘Monaco’ is in the beer section of the menu and sounds like a local brew, do NOT get it unless you like grenadine syrup mixed into cheap beer (absolutely disgusting, but since I paid for it, I washed it down and enjoyed my bright red tongue for the rest of the night). Rating: 5/5
Pizzaladiere Chez Pipo

Pizzaladiere

Chez Pipo Volkswagaon

Socca Chez Pippo

Socca

  • Attimi: We heard many times that the pizza in Nice was supposed to be good with a bit of a local twist (so close to Italy!). We stopped by Attimi in Place Messina and got a Buffalo Margarita Pizza (€14.50), Gnocchi (€13.50), and washed it all down with 500 ml of house red wine (€12). Rating: 4/5

Attimi Margherita Pizza

Attimi Gnocchi

Attimi Tiramisu

Stay

  • Apartment in Old Town: The apartment layout was bizarrely almost identical to an AirBnb we stayed in Venice–maybe this is how most old-town European apartments are styled? Right in the heart of the old city, this place was actually super spacious for our needs. It had the usual “old building” smell that’s prevalent in historical buildings but the place more than met our needs. The only major drawback was that it’s a fourth floor walkup (for us Americans with a more sensible floor numbering system, this is a lie–it’s actually the fifth floor), and the building is located up a hill–which I could imagine would get pretty old if you lived there for a long time. Still, in spite of that, we’d probably stay here again, as the apartment itself was clean and spacious, it’s in the middle of old town, and it’s a ~3-4 minute walk to the Promenade. Rating:4/5

Visit Date

  • 06/01/2014

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