For a start, the sun, sand and turquoise waters of the Bay of Angels can all be enjoyed for nothing. Grab your bathers, slap on some sunscreen and spread out your beach towel because the only tax on this little outing is your time.

What’s more, you’ll also be able to admire all the hot bods rollerblading up and down the palm-fringed Promenade des Anglais while you’re soaking up the sunshine.

Once your tan has set in nicely, take a hike up the stairs at the eastern end of Promenade des Anglais to Parc du Chateau. It sits atop a 92m hill, so not only will you have a chance to work off all the cheese and baguettes you’ve eaten, you’ll also be able to admire the sensational views of the city, beach and shimmering Mediterranean. What’s great is that you won’t have to fork out a cent, unless you can’t bear to tackle the stairs and take the lift instead – for a whopping 60 cents. The park features a waterfall, a series of walking paths, lots of shade for escaping the summer heat and the remains of the 16th-century Tour Bellanda. It was originally the site of a 12th century castle, which was burnt to the ground by Louis XIV in 1706.

From one piece of historical architecture to another, you’ll find plenty to catch your eye as you make your way around
the old town. Look out for the beautiful baroque churches, and little alleyways with great cafés and cute boutiques. You could easily wander around here for hours – but that could be because you’ve lost your way.

Be sure to pick up a map from the tourist bureau.

If you happen to be in the old town in the morning, don’t miss the fruit and vegetable market on Cours Saleya.

Breakfast on fresh fruit and a café au lait from a nearby cafe. Later in the day the produce makes way for a flower market, and on Mondays the stalls overflow with antiques.

If fresh fruit is just a smidge too healthy for you, wrap your laughing gear around possibly one of the best ice creams you’ll ever eat. Art Gourmand (21 rue de Marche in the old town) has the most scrumptious caramel ice cream complete with chewy bits. What’s more, a few scoops will only set you back a couple of euros.

With the money you’ve saved on these little adventures, you’ll be able to splash out on a trip to one of Nice’s neighbours that aren’t so friendly on the pocket.

» Amanda Tomlinson travelled with Busabout (020-7950 1661; A hop-on, hop-off Flexipass around Europe, with six stops, is £259.

Trips from Nice

» Monaco

To see what real wealth looks like, take a trip to Monaco – a 40-minute train ride from Nice. If the number of Ferraris and Lamborghinis don’t impress you much, the yachts in Port Hercule certainly should. Sports car nuts should check
out the wheels parked in front of the Monte Carlo Casino. If you’re heading inside expect to pay a €10 cover charge and €7 for a soft drink.

» Cannes

No doubt you’ve heard of a certain low-key film festival here, but Cannes isn’t only worth a visit for the glitz and glamour of the red carpet. While you’re probably not going to be able to do a lot of shopping or dining without maxing out the credit card, it costs nothing to window shop or people watch. Also be sure to take your towel and cossie, and spend some time relaxing on the beach or checking out (yet more) super yachts.

» St Tropez

If you haven’t had enough of tanned bodies draped in kaftans, jump on a boat and head for yet another glitzy celeb hangout. Again, there’s nothing cheap about St Tropez, least of all the accommodation, so you may want to dance all night or sleep on the beach to keep costs down.