Let me start off this post by saying I would have loved to spend more than just a day exploring Monaco and Nice, which from my short experiences there both seemed like wonderful places. One of my favorite things about them was the cleanliness, especially in Monaco. To this day it is Monaco is the cleanest place I’ve ever been- not just in Europe, but anywhere. I thoroughly appreciate a clean environment, so my impression was favorable from the get-go.
Renee and I in Nice ready to start our day exploring, 2011. c. Renee Brown
We started our day off in Monaco, which was just a short bus ride from the hotel in Nice. Thankfully Monaco is a small principality and what I wanted to see was all in the same sort of area, so I managed to fit everything into the few hours I was there.
Gardens in Monaco 2011. c. Renee Brown
Gardens in Monaco, 2011. c. Renee Brown
Strolling through the gardens was by far my favorite part of my time there. They cover a large area overlooking the harbor and are quite breathtaking. Scattered throughout with sculptures and fountains in addition to the variety of flowers and plants, it makes for a very peaceful and beautiful stroll. It was incredible to look out over the harbor into the startlingly blue water whilst surrounded by flowers and trees. The view from the vantage point the gardens offers is astounding.
View of the Harbor from the gardens in Monaco, 2011. c. Renee Brown
Not far from the gardens lies the Prince’s Palace of Monaco. Quite by accident I managed to arrive at the palace in time to see the changing of the guards, which was really cool to see. Because of my time restriction, I didn’t go inside to see the Museum and the State Apartments which are open to the public during the majority of the summer season. From what I’ve seen of photographs online it’s not something to miss, so I’d suggest trying to plan a try around a time they would be open to tour.
Prince’s Palace of Monaco 2011. c. Renee Brown
Upon heading back to Nice, I promptly went to the beach. The beach in Nice is aesthetically very pretty, which small stones sloping into the Mediterranean Sea rather than sand. However, I found it almost painful to walk on and it was difficult to sit down and rest comfortably. Regardless, it was exciting to take off my shoes and step into the Mediterranean Sea for the first time, even if my toes almost froze off.
Beach in Nice 2011. c. Renee Brown
After spending some time admiring the view of the sea from the beach, I wandered around Nice. I didn’t have a particular goal in mind, so I did some shopping, had some gelato, and admired the art and architecture of the city. I really enjoyed strolling through the streets of Nice. There were numerous pieces of public art and fountains which housed beautiful sculptures. In a lot of ways architecturally, Nice reminded me of Paris. Nice however lacks the ancient hum of Paris and the overwhelming amount of tourists.
Fountain sculpture in Nice 2011. c. Renee Brown
Nice and Monaco are two incredibly beautiful places and left a lasting impression on me regarding the French Riviera. I can’t wait for the day I get to explore the area more.