The New Town and Promenade des Anglais offer the full-on beach-holiday experience. If you've just flown in, this waterfront strip is the perfect place to ease into the city's rhythm while shaking off your jet lag. Drop off your bags, slip on those beach shoes and take an exploratory stroll. Your decisions here are not difficult ones: Which route should I take to the waterfront today? Shall I rent the kayak or the Segway? Save money on a public beach or embrace my inner hedonist with sun lounger, umbrella and froofy drink? Take the 20-minute train to Monaco or the 15-minute train to Antibes?

Most think of Nice's beaches as warm-weather-only attractions, but even under grey skies in the dead of winter this is a beautiful, atmospheric place to be, and somebody's always sitting in the blue chairs along the waterfront, taking in the big sky and sea and the airplanes banking along the shoreline towards Nice Côte d'Azur airport.

When you're ready for a break from the beach, other worlds await just inland. The Carré d'Or pedestrian zone along rue Masséna heaves with fashionable shops, restaurants and cafes, while the wide open public spaces of place Masséna, Promenade du Paillon and Jardin Albert 1er invite relaxed, low-key mingling. Meanwhile, up around the train station, a big transformation is taking place as the city wraps up construction of its sleek diamond-shaped Iconic complex: when completed in 2019, it will combine cutting-edge new residential space with a streamlined new pedestrian link between Nice-Ville train station and the tram line.