As someone who first visited Nice in 1990 before moving to the region in the 2000s. I’ve seen an immense amount of changes to the city during the past decades but one thing is for certain, it is one of the most remarkable and walkable cities in the Cote d’Azur.
At the height of every summer season, it’s not unusual to hear from visitors about how many steps they have walked, usually in the range of 20,000 to 30,000 per day, and they aren’t complaining as they feel they have been able to see and do so much while at the same time shedding some unwanted pounds.
In recent news, Nice was crowned as one of the most beautiful and walkable cities of continental Europe.
The study, conducted by the expert team at Preply analyzed a number of Europe’s most popular vacation destinations to find out which were the most pedestrian-friendly and Nice ranked within the top 10.
This dynamic seaside city in the Cote d’Azur has a fairly compact center core which allows for easy access with virtually unlimited places to explore safely on foot.
Areas such as Vieux Nice (Old Town) offer a colorful historic location that is picturesque and almost completely pedestrianized, filled with restaurants, cafes, shops, and the open market along the Cours Saleya with its flower and antique market days.
Next to and above Vieux Nice is the Colline du Château, a 92m high hill which was formerly a military citadel built at the top, it stood overlooking the bay of Nice from the 11th century to the 18th century. Now, it is a park on the grandest of scales, accessible a number of ways by stairs or elevator, and the location offers a waterfall, sports and play area, concession stands, and best of all, some of the most breathtaking, panoramic views of the city and sea from any number of vantage points.
And of course, there is the beach along the famous Promenade des Anglais, a 7km stretch enabling one to walk, cycle, jog, or just hang out with friends at any point of the beach that is also lined with numerous hotels, restaurants, and shops.
Back at the core of the city is Place Massena, where again, there are many shops, and restaurants next to both the Promenade du Paillon (which is currently being expanded and just celebrated its 10-year anniversary), and off of Place Massena is an area called the Zone Pietonne (pedestrian zone). Also filled with lots of cafes, restaurants, and shops line this long street that starts near the Place Massena tram stop, in front of Gallerie Lafayette, and extends all the way to Rue de France.
In Nice, you will find the transit system is quite up-to-date and makes for quicker and easier access around the city, but many locals still choose to walk as part of their daily routine as there is always something to see, and with the community being small, it’s a chance to run into friends and family. Walking around Nice is one of the best ways to get to know the city and take in much of its cultural and historical values.