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Within moments of arriving, it’s clear why Nice is such a fabled European destination. Set on a gorgeous wide bay in the heart of the Cote d'Azur, the city embodies classic continental glamour. It deftly fuses small-town French charm with the A-list glitz and allure of the Riviera. Film stars strut next to family holidayers on the iconic Promenade des Anglais, while bronzed bodies recline on the glowing pebble shores as the Med laps softly onto the beach. Meanwhile, behind the strings of palm trees and elegant mansions, the Old Town is a patchwork of bougainvillea-strewn houses and cobbled lanes, with bistros welcoming visitors here and there. Add to all of this the picturesque Roman ruins and pine-topped swimming coves that lie close to Nice holiday rentals, and a truly unforgettable trip is on the cards.
If you've ever dreamt of having your own home on the edge of the sparkling Mediterranean Sea, between the beaches of the French Riviera and the peaks of Alpes-Maritimes, holiday apartments in Nice are your chance to make it a reality – no matter how long or short your stay. You'll be able to choose from places with plenty more character than your traditional hotel. That could mean a clifftop flat with sun terraces overlooking the sands of Villefranche-sur-Mer, or a regal bolthole in the middle of the elegant Nice Old Town. Meanwhile, there are other holiday rentals in Nice that offer oodles of space, allowing you to trade off cramped bed and breakfasts for deluxe villas with sparkling pools and panoramic gardens.
Every trip to Nice should begin with a stroll along the palm-studded Promenade des Anglais. Immortalised in countless paintings, posters and postcards throughout the decades, this is the languid epicentre of the town's life, with Parisian cafés spilling onto the cobbles and charming classical architecture looking down from on high. Culture and history coalesces in the ancient Cimiez area of town. That's where you can explore Roman ruins and also admire masterworks by Matisse, while medieval monasteries offer some similarly cerebral things to do. Heritage done and dusted, be sure to pull out the sandals and sun cream for a jaunt to the nearby beaches. There's Villefranche-sur-Mer just around the headland, or Nice's own public beach, sloping down to the Med with its flat-topped stones and deck chairs.
The only time you'll really need to think about hiring a car in Nice is if you plan on making longer trips out along the dramatic roads that wind across the French Riviera to the east and west. This way, you'll get to check off bucket list spots like Antibes, Cannes and St Tropez. Alternatively, you could anchor your stay in the city centre. There, most of the districts are walkable, but there's also always the local Lignes d'Azur network and the single U-shaped tram line to speed things up.