Nice is Nice (and so is Monaco)

Nice is Nice (and so is Monaco)

So Nice was very crowded in the summer, and quite touristy, but it was still a very fun city to walk around and explore.  If you want something a bit quieter, we suggest Antibes (see below).  We avoided towns like Cannes since we were trying to get away from the glitz and glamour and high prices that come with, but really these towns are likely all fun & picturesque.


  • Promenade des Anglais
    •  Nice for an evening stroll 
  • Castle Hill
    • nice park and views, there’s a free lift, but you miss the pretty views!
  • Fountain
    • There’s a cool public fountain near Square General Lecierc that spits out water synchronized to music. Lots of little kids playing around in it trying to plug holes or dodge water.

Vieux Nice: walked through old town



Monaco Day Trip

A day was enough for us for this glitzy and ritzy beautiful country.  Everywhere you look are yachts, art, and luxury.  Here’s how we made it to this city-state, the route we took, and what we recommend.

Bus from Nice

  • Take the 100 bus (not the 100X) from Nice Le Port.  The ticket is €1.5 one way, buy it from the driver.
    • Sit on the right side of the bus of this 45-minute drive if you can.  If the bus is crowded, instead of standing, we suggest waiting 15 minutes for the next one so you are first in line and get your pick of the seats for the best view.
  • Get off at Place d’Armes, which is the first stop right before the entry to the tunnel.  Voila!  You’re in Monaco.
  • Returning to Nice: We decided to walk from West to East because when you return to Nice from Monaco, it is wisest to get on at a stop north of the Casino Gardens (by the tourist office) or even one stop further back on the same road (Les Moulins), rather than risk standing on the crowded bus all the way back to Nice.

Our Made-up Walking Tour

  1. Condamine Market

    We stopped here for some breakfast.  If you’re in Monaco early enough, they have an outdoor produce market as well.

    • Costa Bakery (★)
      • We tried the cheap local baked treat, Barbagiuan, which means Uncle John.  Not bad for a fried dumpling stuffed with cheese, spinach, and rice.
    • Maison des Pates (★★)
      • PASTA!!  You’re this close to Italy, might as well get something local to the region as well.  We got a dish with artichoke and a plain tomato basil sauce.  Yes for breakfast.  Yes it was delightful.  We also asked for some dried peppers for a slow heat.  We liked it enough that on our way home we grabbed some pasta to cook for dinner.
  2. Palace of Monaco

    If the flag is flying, it means Prince Albert is in house.  Unfortunately hee was not home when we visited 🙁

  3. Saint Nicholas Cathedral

    From the Palace, wander through the small streets to the final resting place of Grace Kelly.

  4. Saint-Martin Gardens

    If you need a bathroom break, these free gardens have one!  They are also really nice to walk through and enjoy the fauna and statues.  Walk your way to towards the water.

  5. Oceanographic Museum

    We didn’t get to visit the inside, but it is a beautiful building and looked like lots of kids enjoyed it!  Our pro unused tip: buy tickets from machine to save time from waiting in line.

  6. Fort Antoine

    You can check out this small amphitheater, but we just wanted to keep walking.  Also, if you bring your bathing suit, you can take a dip in the ocean here like the locals!

  7. Stade Nautique Rainier III Swimming Pool

    Find your way to this outdoor swimming pool surrounded by mega-yachts.

  8. Opéra de Monte-Carlo

    Unfortunately was closed when we were there, but apparently you can walk right in.

  9. Garden of Statues

    • Right in front of the opera and next to the Fairmont hotel is a garden with a walking path where tehre are a number of interesting statues.  There is the colorful Hex, which is surrounded by the Fairmont hotel’s ocean-facing suites.  Adam/Eve statute.
      • Monte-Carlo Casino: don’t pay 10 euros to go in, walk around gardens there
      • Casino Café de Paris: if we want to gamble, do it if the sun is too harsh for outdoor photos
  10. Grand Prix: Get off here for a gander at super-yachts next to the outdoor Olympic-sized public swimming pool
  11. Monte-Carlo Pavilions
      • ~the Sun Casino inside the Fairmont Hotel
      • the Monte-Carlo Bay Casino
  • Metropole Shopping Monte-Carlo
  • Tourism Office
    • Although they are now archaic, as a traveler, we still have the desire to fill up our passport with stamps.  Unfortunately the EU countries didn’t help with this desire, but you can get a Monaco stamp at their tourism office!  If this is your last stop of the day, you can ask them where the 100 bus stop is.