My mom is going to Nice for a petanque tournament in late January. The first week she will be mostly playing but the second week she will be a solo traveler. She enjoys art, photography, and meeting friendly strangers.
Can you suggest any must do/see places for her?
How fun! I agree with the other answers in that the Old Town (Vieux Nice) is the best area of town to wander, relax in cafes, and shop. In fact, I recommend an excellent restaurant called Olive&Artichaut for dinner. It is intimate and friendly and I would be comfortable dining alone there. For delicious French treats & cafe au lait, she should visit Déli Bo.Additionally, the bar at Le Negresco is stunning and incredibly swanky. Worth a pricey cocktail just to enjoy the people watching and interior design- it's basically a museum! Have so much fun!
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She will love Nice! Definitely check out the Cours Saleya market. The colours and locaks make great pictures!
We have just started offering a half-day local cooking class she may be interested in? Great for meeting new people and tasting local cuisine!
First of all, I love that your mom plays petanque so seriously that she's going to a tournament--that's awesome!
So... Nice in January. Well, I'm pretty sure that the Saleya Path market is open all year long--it's a fabulous food/flower/antiques market that has been around for centuries and is one of my favorite markets in France. She should definitely not miss this. The goods that are sold change each day (meaning flowers on Tuesdays, food on Mondays, etc.) so it's worth going back every day.
Also, I would say that the best part of Nice is Nice Old Town. You don't need to have an itinerary there--just walking around is fascinating because it's just so...old! Actually the architecture in Nice is pretty great no matter where you go.
Whatever she does, tell her NOT to take one of the ubiquitous tour trains--they take you up to the top of a mountain, keep you there for an hour so you have to buy something up there, and then bring you back down. Total waste of time and money! I personally think just wandering around town is the best way to go about it.