Stroll the promenade day or night for views across the Bay of Angels, and access to Nice’s best beaches.
The Promenade Des Anglais is a lively walkway that runs along Nice’s azure coastline. The three-mile (five-kilometer) stretch of pavement is lined with blue and white umbrellas, pebbled beaches and blue sea on one side. Cafés, restaurants and up-market hotels line the other side, separated by a busy road.
In the mornings, joggers, cyclists and skaters fill the six-foot (two-meter) wide promenade. Families and tourists use the path to hop between beaches and cafés during the day, and at night it’s the perfect place for a romantic stroll.
The name “Promenade of the English” came from the hoards of wealthy English tourists who flocked to the Bay of Angels during the 1800s. It’s still a popular spot for the rich and famous. Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates has a house in Nice, and everyone from Kim Kardashian to the Sultan of Brunei are regular visitors to the city. The best place to celebrity-spot is outside the Negresco Hotel, a lavish, Belle Époque–style luxury hotel at the east end of the promenade. Look for the striking white façade and pink domed roof.
Though it is one continuous bay, there are actually thirty beaches along the Promenade Des Anglais. Expect to pay a high price for an umbrella and lounge chair on a private beach, such as Blue Beach.
If you are working to a slightly tighter budget, visit one of the public beaches, which are free. La Plage Publique de Beau Rivage is a popular public beach on the east end with restroom and shower facilities. Get there early to secure a spot on the pebbles. The beach is packed in summer.
Rent a bike from the city-run blue bike rental system. Register online and they’ll give you a code, which you can enter at rental stations around the city to take a bike. Roller skates are available for rent from vendors along the promenade. Buses run along the promenade from almost anywhere in the city, including the airport and the Old Town. It’s an easy walk from the promenade to many of the main attractions.