ALREADY KNOW YOUR NEXT DESTINATION?
DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE AUDIOGUIDE
The Promenade des Anglais is the most elegant promenade of the French Riviera. It is more than five kilometres long and starts from the Albert 1st Gardens, one of the oldest gardens in the city, where you will see several species of palm trees and very old roses, ponds and fountains. Then due west, you have hundreds and hundreds of metres of an unforgettable promenade that runs parallel to the deep blue of the Mediterranean to reach the airport of Nice, called Nice Côte d'Azur. It is the third largest in France, although it is primarily known to also be used by those who then go to Monaco, especially by helicopter.
The Prom, as the locals call it, has an English origin, as you could guess. It was in the late eighteenth and early 19th centuries when the British wealthy came to Nice to spend pleasant days in a much warmer climate and a more refined environment. It was one of them, Reverend Lewis Way, who in 1820 built a boardwalk that would border the beaches of the city so you could walk and relax on the oceanfront. It later underwent other renovations and the boardwalk, more or less as we know it today, became inaugurated in 1931 by the Duke of Connaught, a son of Queen Victoria.
The walk is decorated with palm trees, flowers, restaurants, terraces, etc. It is a true delight that no-one could get tired of walking along. But over time, the habits of those who walk along it have changed. Therefore you may bump into a famous film star or a group of young people using in-line skates. The Promenade des Anglais is for everyone.
Besides enjoying outstanding views of the Mediterranean sea, the promenade is lined with grand mansions and palaces, many of which have been converted into luxury hotels with a special charm. Of all these, do not miss two of the art-deco gems that every tourist must see.
On the one hand, at number 11 of the Promenade des Anglais you have the surprising Palace de la Mediterranée, which was a true temple of play in the so-called Roaring Twenties. It was funded by American millionaire Frank Jay Gould and opened in January 1929 as the largest and most impressive casino in the world and, after World War II, it fell into decline and was closed in the late 70s. In the 21st century it underwent major renovations and restoration works to reopen its doors in 2004. Today, this art-deco palace has become one of the most luxurious hotels in the world, with a marble façade that was classified as a historical monument in 1983. Do not miss it.
A little further on, at number 37, you will find the Hotel Negresco, one of the few remaining private palaces left in the world, declared a national historic monument in 1974. Henri Negresco, born in 1868, ordered the construction of this building in 1912 and it has always surprised everyone with its pink roofs and large dome, also in this colour, and many other art-deco details, for example, the beautiful entrance to the hotel. The building is the work of Edouard-Jean Niermans, the famous Dutch-born French architect, author of prestigious theatres and mansions in Paris, Monaco and Nice.
Historically, this hotel welcomes the rich and famous from around the world. Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway and Marlene Dietrich have visited. So if you have time, we recommend you stop and enjoy a coffee. And, if you have the budget, order champagne or stay for dinner at the prestigious and award-winning restaurant. In addition, you should know that the hotel has several rooms exhibiting unique works of art of the last five centuries: from classical painting to works by contemporary artists such as Salvador Dalí.
Spectacular views, art-deco architecture, great art, award-winning gastronomy prize, etc. This boardwalk is one of the reasons why everyone returns to Nice.