Nice is the fifth largest city in France and the capital of the Alpes Maritimes. With a population of over 460,000 and the second busiest airport in France, the city that was once dominated by summer tourism is now a fully functioning metropolis all year round.
In an attractive setting just twenty five miles from the Italian border, Nice has only been part of France since 1860. The city combines the best of both Italian and French architecture and the English also played a large role in the development of the city. The Promenade des Anglais was built by the English in 1822 and many of its hotels still have English names, such as The West End and The Westminster.
The Promenade is the natural place to begin a tour of Nice which, despite its size, is very much a city to be discovered on foot. The Hotel Negresco which was built in 1912 dominates the promenade and is as much a landmark in Nice as the Carlton Hotel is in Cannes.
The stony beach runs the full length of the promenade and is kept exceptionally clean. A number of art museums and galleries are located in the streets running off the promenade and it is well worth exploring this area. At the Eastern end of the promenade, just before the start of the old town, is the Jardin Albert I which is a beautiful garden with ornate fountains which is used frequently for concerts.
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