Recently I visited the city of Nice, at the French Cote d’Azur for the second time. Both times I climbed the Nice Castle Hill. Once right before sun set which gave me a gorgeous sunset of the bay of Nice. The second time, it was during the day and I saw things I missed the first time. This inspired me to write a bit more about the Castle Hill of Nice, to make sure, when you visit, you get to see everything and have all the right information so you don’t miss out on the best views of Nice and the surrounding area.
History of Castle Hill of Nice
The hill above the old town of Nice is 92 meters above sea level. This makes for an excellent strategic and military look-out over the bay of Nice. The Citadel was in use between the 11th and 18th century BC but was destroyed in 1706. Now, all that is left of the castle are the ruins.
How to get to Castle Hill Nice?
If you’re heading to the old town, it is a kinda can’t miss thing. I mean, it is a hill. Even from the beach or the harbor, you see it popping out.
A climb up the castle hill of Nice is a popular activity for young and old to do when in Nice. There are different ways to go up the hill of Nice so take your pick.
Walk up the Nice Castle Hill
You can climb the steps of the Castle Hill and make your way up on foot. If you come from the Promenade D’Anglais, you’ll find the first stairs up. These guide you upwards and you can enjoy the view (and take a breather) on your way up. There are several other staircases and roads leading up the hill from the other end and from Place de Garibaldi.
Take the Elevator up to the Castle of Nice
This is by far the easiest way to get up the Castle Hill. Yes that is right; they have a lift going up the hill.
There is only one which brings you up and down in less than 3 minutes. The entrance to the Castle Hill Nice elevator is located at Rue des Ponchettes.
It operates on different hours during the day. Check the time schedule when you’re visiting Nice because times may vary. As a rough guideline, during the summer it operates until 8pm, out of season until 6pm.
The best thing about the elevator is: IT IS FREE! Yes! Big win for the budget traveller in me. Free is always good, right? And you feel less guilty for not climbing it. Find more free things to do in Nice.
What to see at the Castle Hill of Nice?
A visit to the Castle Hill of Nice is a popular thing to do for the locals of Nice and tourist visiting the Côte d’Azur. But what to see? Or what to do?
Bellanda Tower (Tour Bellanda)
You’ll encounter this lovely view point with the tower when you climb the steps from the old town. One of the only remaining defense structures of the Castle of Nice, this tower is perfectly lit at night. From the platform you’ll already have striking views of the Bay d’Anglais.
Cemetery at the Hill
The Nice Castle Hill houses no less than 3 cemeteries. Divided into 3 sections, Jewish, Protestant and Catholic, the cemetery is vast and with some pretty remarkable graves. Unfortunately, during my visits it was closed, but I managed to give you guys a sneak peek.
Waterfall (Cascade Dijon) of Nice
This is an artificial waterfall but nothing less than spectacular. My mom spotted it from the old town and insisted on finding it. We climbed all the way to the top of the Castle Hill and went down from there.
Be aware as the ground will be slippery (au!) and you’ll get wet because of the water splashing from it, but it does make for some spectacular images, don’t you think? The waterfall is also the perfect place to cool off when you’re in Nice during the height of summer. Read more tips on how to stay cool when you travel Europe in summer.
The views across Nice
One of the biggest draws of the Castle Hill of Nice is definitely the views! You can see across the Bay d’Anglais and the whole city of Nice, you can see the harbour with the hills in the back.
It doesn’t matter if you go during the day or during sun set, it is nothing less but spectacular. As pictures speak louder than words, I’ll give you some nice ones that I took during my 2 trips up there.
Other things to do at Castle Hill in Nice
There are numerous play grounds, parks and benches to just sit and relax as the young ones make new friends.
Or you can take some delicious foods from the market and have your own picnic at the parks. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, a visit to the Castle Hill of Nice should be on everyone’s Nice itinerary.
Have you been to Nice? Have you visited Castle Hill? What is your favorite view of Nice? Let me know, you can share your thoughts in the comment section below.