As well as visiting the remains and gazing at the views, while on Castle Hill, visit the beautiful monumental cemetery. It has three sections Catholic, Protestant and Jewish. Many of the monuments were very elaborate and beautiful.
There was a little chapel near the gate. Inside it had a nativity scene using life size mannequins. The mannequins not selected for the display were just dumped on the floor at the side. All those broken limbs and dismembered bodies made it look like a massacre had taken place. Eerily disturbing and not what you want to find in a cemetery.
Don't just look at the view in one direction when you climb up Castle Hill. On one side you have a spectacular view over Nice town and its lovely, long beach. On the other side, you have a spectacular view over the port of Nice. This view is also absolutely breathtaking.
It is possible to get to the top of castle hill on foot, by lift or on the little train. However, you choose to get there, it is well worth the effort, because although little remains of the actual castle itself, the views over Nice from the top of the hill are absolutely breathtaking.
At one time there was a castle perched on the hill overlooking Nice. Now very little of the actual castle remains - only a few foundations, a gateway and some walls.
This area is also home to the cascade - a large, artificial waterfall. As well as this, there are the remains of the former eleventh-century Cathedral of Nice. There are also walkways paved with colourful modern day mosaics.
It is possible to get here by a free lift from Cours Saleya. This was not working when we visited. We walked up the hill. It was not a difficult walk.
The main reason to visit the castle hill is for the stunning views which I will explain in a different tip. There was also a lovely monumental cemetery which I will also explain in a separate tip.
If you want to get a sense of the marvel that is Nice, make sure the first thing you do upon arrival is to ascend the steps to Castle Hill. Standing on the old battlements, you can see everything - from the Ligurian Alps to the azure blue Mediterranean sea and Nice's Vieux Ville in between. You can scale its not so steep steps all the way to the fountain at its peak, or just amble along its perimeter, taking in each of the stunning views.
If you approach from the Mediterranean side you can ride an elevator for about a euro and save yourself some legwork. But we took the steps from the end of Rue Rossetti, and it was easy enough for a four year old to climb. In fact the castle is great for kids, as on the south side of the park there is one of the most spectacularly located playgrounds in the world. Parents can let their kids play while they take photographs.
Castle Hill is a misleading name. In fact it's a park with a very spectacular fountain, or rather a waterfall easily seen from below. Get there on the first day of your visit to see spectacular vistas over the whole city, the bay and adore the colour of the sea. There is a lift to get to the top. The park is closed at 8 p.m.
Visiting "LE PARC DU CHÂTEAU"
. 'Le Château' isn't a château -- the castle on top of this high rock hill overlooking Nice old town and the port has been gone since 1706, but it's a great place to visit.
There are cool walks in the shade of the trees, great views out over Nice and the Mediterranean, a large grassy park, playground, Roman ruins and a waterfall. On every first Wednesday of the month, at midday, the sound of an air-raid siren can be heard miles away (coming from the Château). So don't be afraid if you hear it. ACCESS: stairs from the Quai des Etats Unis, and have a great view as you climb (213 steps) OR take the ELEVATOR (full one-way ticket: 0€90 cents). In the old town, go up the Rue Rossetti from the Cathedral Ste. Réparate to find steps and walkways that go up past the cemeteries to the top. There's also roads that you can drive, or walk, up: the Montée; Montfort goes up from the "point" between the Baie des Anges and the port, and from near the Place Garibaldi.
Everyone visiting Nice climbs the steps of the "Colline du Chateau" up to the summit, which offers fabulous vista over the Baie des Anges, Old Nice ,and the Port, some of the most photographed panoramic viewpoints in Europe. It is easily accessible from the foot of the Old town and the bay, but for those not able to make the climb there is a lift - an "ascenseur". If you are wondering where the chateau is, there isn't one, merely the unobtrusive ruins of the old Cathedral of Nice, a few simple cafes and a gift stall. The walk up takes in a waterfall, and varied pathways which allow you to explore nearby "Cimitieres de Nice" or return via the Old Town or the Port.
You can just catch sunset before the gates close for the evening but you have to be quick, as you do not want to be locked in. Pick a fine clear evening as the sun is sinking below the horizon, leaving its legacy of pink and darkening blue sky. The city lights begin to sparkle, with the magnificent sweep of the Baie des Anges, a necklace of light reaching out to the airport. On the distant skyline the shadow of Cap d'Antibes and behind, the undulations of The Esterel, the gateway to St Tropez. Below you, the Cours Saleya glows with life and all Nice is a glittering mosaic of street and apartment lights.
Gates open at 8am all year round, whilst closing times vary with the seasons:
1-30th September - 19:00
1st October - 31st March - 18:00
1st April - 31st May -19:00
1st June - 31st August - 20:00
(The hours are posted at the entrance as a reminder)
For a look at the steps to chateau, or indeed to view of any address in Nice, for example what your hotel looks like and where it is, go here GoogleMaps
The Colline du Château (Castle Hill) overlooks the magnificent Baie des Anges.
It offers some of the best viws of Nice (seafront and rooftops) as well as the harbour.
The seafront and bay must be one of the worlds classic views.
Although there is an elevator/lift to the top, it is worth walking up the path as you get to see the various pools, waterfalls and gardens.
Look for the mosaic paths at the very top.
The park is set on rocky hill overlooking the eastern part of the old town. It is well tendered with various lawns, children's playground, open spaces & a couple of cemeteries.
At the summit there is an artificial waterfall & a look out area that gives great views of Nice. There are stalls here to buy refreshments & souvenirs.
To get to the Chateau you can climb the winding paths & stairs the encircle the rock. If you don't fancy this, you can use the lift next to the Tour Bellanda or come up on the Petit Train de Nice.
Now a beautifully landscaped park with views over Nice and the Mediterranean, Colline du Château was the first spot to be settled in Nice. While there are no remains from the Graeco-Roman era, medieval ruins are plenty. The castle that gave the hill its name was destroyed in the 18th century, but ruins of older churches are still visible.
There is a man made waterfall on the way down from the hill (Le Chateau). I didn't see it well because it my first day in Nice and I rushed to the Promenade des Anglais and Vieux Nice to see it for the first time, but maybe you will take a better picture.