About Madison S
Lives in London, United Kingdom
Since Sep. 2014
Hello! I'm Maddie- a native NYer whose Wanderlust has taken her abroad again and again. Having lived in six countries, and visiting others for school, work, leisure, and sport, I've adopted many localities, and am an admirer of a great many more. An avid scholar of language and culture, I hope to keep expanding my travel repertoire, and sharing great stories with the rest of the travel community. To give you some background on my travels, I spent months each year since childhood in Old Montreal, where part of my family lives. Summers were spent visiting folks in Ft. Lauderdale and L.A. My first big trip outside of the US on my own was to Australia & New Zealand at 12- I caught the bug early! I then moved to Japan where I studied for part of high school & uni. I am very familiar with Japanese cities, Sapporo and Osaka especially. Some of my favourite travel destinations include Goreme, Dubai, Marrakech, and Queenstown. (Plans for 2015 include China & Uganda!) Nice to meet you!
Historic Walking Areas, Neighbourhoods
Flea & Street Markets
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Monuments & Statues
Sacred & Religious Sites
Sacred & Religious Sites, Churches & Cathedrals
Historic Sites, Sacred & Religious Sites
Points of Interest & Landmarks
The tapered streets of Old Town, buzzing with energy, form a hub in Nice. It's an eclectic maze of shops and restaurants, bars and cafes. Charcuteries and fishmongers rub shoulders with pastry windows and cheese shops, while boutiques stock unique fashions, accessories, and gifts. Tool around to window shop, people watch, and grab a bite to eat. (It is packed with market stalls and terraces spilling onto the sidewalk by lunchtime.) This rustic hodgepodge is must-see territory, enjoyed by tourists and locals alike, and a good spot by which to navigate many of Nice's other sites.
Cours Saleya features many of Old Town's best shops and outdoor stalls. During market days, it erupts into life with people buying and selling bouquets of flowers, ripe fruit, and local vegetables. The restaurants and cafes in the area are packed and popular, with stiff cups of espresso and fresh seafood catches on offer. It's a great place to stop for a warm pick-me-up or a cool drink and get energized for your day, to the tune of hawkers and smell of the sea air.
The Promenade des Anglais is one of the city's best strolling spots. You can amble your way here from Cours Saleya — one of many starting points, as the Promenade intersects with much of Nice — making it either a convenient detour or a lovely way to get to your next destination. With the seafront in the distance, dotted with white canopies, this scenic route offers lanes for you to cycle, jog, rollerblade; or simply take your time, have a drink, and even grab a spot of street-side ice cream.
Set just off of the Promenade des Anglais is the Musee d'Art et d'Histoire at the Palais Massena. The small, sumptuous palace is nestled into a set of lovely gardens, but the real treat lies inside. Grand, embellished rooms are home to a series of exhibits which tell the story of Nice's past through drawings, paintings, photos, and city artifacts — from the Napoleonic era through to the 20th-century. Its anecdotes about the people who lived in Nice are especially unique to the Palais, and its gift shop always has interesting gift and souvenir items.
Place Massena used to be the spot of choice for the rich and noble in Nice. The square still attests to this sumptuous past, with arched buildings, checkered sidewalks, playful fountains, and ornate statues. The streets surrounding the beautiful Place Massena are where you will find a lot of Nice's café culture, some great photo opportunities, and a generally upbeat vibe that invites you to take advantage of a bit of shopping or to dine in local style.
While you are still in the vicinity of Old Town, the Palais de Justice makes for a photogenic stop for architecture lovers. The old court house has magnificent reliefs, and by day, lawyers and newlyweds can be seen milling about it. Perhaps surprisingly, it's also a good spot to get your night going, as the surrounding streets house some of the city's most popular bars.
The Monument aux Morts is a stunning tribute to France's soldiers. Massive and visually arresting, it houses the dog tags of France's 20th-century war casualties in a stunning remembrance of their sacrifice. Located overlooking Nice's harbor and the sea, and well-lit by nightfall, the memorial is set into stone, very close to Castle Hill, and well worth visiting.
Beside Monument aux Morts, Castle Hill boasts impressive views of Nice's azure harbor and the ochre rooftops of the city itself. Wonderful for a small hike, a picnic, or even a coffee at the hilltop café, Castle Hill is suitable for any type of visitor, boasting a children's play area, as well as an elevator, for ease of getting up and down the hill.
Te Basilique Notre-Dame de Nice is a beautiful little basilica situated in a local part of town. The Gothic architecture, reliefs, and stained glass make it a stunning sight to behold, as do its rustic wooden seats, ornate archways, and embellished facade. While it may not merit a trip if you're nowhere near here, it makes for a nice stop if you are already in the vicinity — especially as there are numerous well-priced cafes and eateries in the area, where you can rest and refuel after.
Place Garibaldi is a dynamic mix of strolling arcades and outdoor cafés, back near Place Massena. It has a sublime sense of community, crowded with locals grabbing breakfast or lunch, and is well-located close to the harbor and Rue Bonaparte. Stop by to grab a meal in the sunshine, or enjoy the children's play areas and flower gardens. Place Garibaldi is pedestrian-only, so it's also a nice break from traffic, though important tram and bus lines do run near it, making it an easy stop.
Within Old Town, the Cathedrale Sainte-Reparte is small but charming, and contains some significant pieces of religious art. The 16th-century cathedral, dedicated to a young martyr, is home to a lovely triple nave and transept layout within its chapel, and its facade bears the only official visual likeness of St. Valerius in the world. The chapel includes informational plaques about the art that embellishes its walls and windows, both inside and out, painting a full story for visitors.
Ending an evening with a good meal is a must in France! At Le Comptoir du Marche, located along an agreeable little street with only foot traffic, visitors can sit down to a modern French meal. The menu changes seasonally, propped up by fresh local ingredients, and generous portion sizes. Excellent service and a sprawling wine list complete the meal!
The Monastere de Cimiez, located close to both the Roman ruins and the Matisse Museum, is a handsome old church with a hand painted ceiling. Serene, with an inspiring vista over the city from its grounds, the monastery has three major highlights for visitors: Its lush gardens, where you can enjoy the peace and quiet; the three decorative retables painted by 16th-century artist Louis Brea; and the cemetery in which Henri Matisse and his wife are buried.
The garden at the Cimiez Monastery is verdant and ethereal. Though small, it bears striking views of Nice from its edges, and its flower-studded walks can provide a much-needed breather from the bustle of the city center. Its roses are especially wonderful, draped over archways and snaking up walls, perfuming the air. (It gives new meaning to 'stop and smell the roses!')
At the Musee National Marc Chagall, the artist's life and important works are celebrated. The museum is home to all seventeen of Chagall's colorful Biblical message tableaux's, as well as some of his most impressive tapestries. New temporary exhibitions are always rolling in to enliven the experience, keeping it fresh and vibrant, and its garden cafe offers an opportunity to get off your feet.
If you're looking for an alternate option to Chagall (or a complimentary one!,) why not try Matisse? At Musee Matisse on Cimiez Hill, the artist who called Côte d’Azur home from 1917 until his death in 1954, is celebrated at a 17th-century villa which houses some of his lesser-known works. The museum is easygoing and very walkable, featuring pieces of Matisse's art from 1890 to the 1940s, offering a comprehensive sampling of his work. While it may not be home to his most famous pieces, it's a wonderful spot to see the evolution of his style, and the impact that the World Wars had on it. It also includes objects from his daily life and apartment that cannot be found elsewhere.
The Ancien Hotel Regina, which is now home to some of Nice's most attractive apartments, was once in use as a hotel. Created specifically for the use of the English Queen Victoria, the Regina is still worth visiting to marvel at the architecture that so quickly went up to celebrate the Queen's six-week stays in the late 1800s. Located on Cimiez Hill, close to the Matisse Museum, the Regina also happens to have been home to Matisse himself. This 19th-century masterpiece is one of the most striking buildings in the city.