Nice, France, located on the stunning French Riviera, is a city known for its Mediterranean charm, beautiful coastline, and vibrant atmosphere. With a rich history, breathtaking architecture, and a vibrant cultural scene, Nice offers a wide range of experiences for travelers. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Nice:
1. Promenade des Anglais
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A must-visit destination in Nice, the Promenade des Anglais is a famous seafront promenade that stretches along the Baie des Anges. Take a leisurely stroll along the promenade, enjoy the beautiful views of the Mediterranean Sea, and soak up the vibrant atmosphere.
2. Vieille Ville (Old Town)
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Explore the charming streets of the Vieille Ville, Nice’s historic Old Town. Wander through narrow winding streets, admire the colorful buildings, and discover hidden squares. Don’t miss the iconic Cours Saleya, a bustling market square famous for its flowers, fruits, and vegetables.
3. Castle Hill (Colline du Château)
Climb up Castle Hill to enjoy panoramic views of Nice and the coastline. You can either hike up or take the elevator, and once at the top, you’ll be rewarded with stunning vistas. The hill also features beautiful gardens and the ruins of the old Château de Nice.
4. Musée Matisse
Art enthusiasts should visit the Musée Matisse, dedicated to the works of the renowned French artist Henri Matisse. The museum showcases an extensive collection of his paintings, drawings, sculptures, and personal objects.
5. Promenade du Paillon
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This urban park stretches from the Old Town to the modern part of Nice. It’s a perfect place to relax, go for a picnic, or enjoy a leisurely walk. The park features fountains, sculptures, and beautifully landscaped gardens.
6. Russian Orthodox Cathedral
Admire the stunning Russian Orthodox Cathedral, a symbol of the strong Russian presence in Nice. The cathedral’s architecture is impressive, and its interior is adorned with intricate mosaics and icons.
7. Nice Carnival
If you visit Nice in February, make sure to experience the famous Nice Carnival, one of the largest and most colorful carnivals in the world. Enjoy parades, extravagant floats, and lively street performances.
8. Day trips to nearby destinations
Nice serves as an excellent base for exploring the French Riviera. Take a day trip to glamorous Cannes, visit the picturesque village of Èze, or explore the artistic town of Saint-Paul-de-Vence.
9. Place Masséna
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Located in the heart of Nice, Place Masséna is a vibrant square that serves as a hub of activity. Admire the beautiful architecture, including the iconic red buildings, and take a stroll through the square’s charming gardens. The place comes alive with concerts, street performances, and events throughout the year.
10. Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain (MAMAC)
Art lovers should not miss the opportunity to visit MAMAC, a museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art. The museum houses an impressive collection of artworks, including pieces by renowned artists such as Andy Warhol and Yves Klein.
11. Nice Cathedral (Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate)
Explore the impressive Nice Cathedral, dedicated to the city’s patron saint, Sainte Réparate. The cathedral features stunning architecture, intricate stained glass windows, and beautiful artwork.
12. Cours Saleya Market
Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Cours Saleya Market, located in the Old Town. This bustling market offers a delightful array of fresh produce, local specialties, flowers, and artisanal crafts. Take the opportunity to taste some delicious Niçoise cuisine or pick up souvenirs to take home.
13. The Museum of Natural History (Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle)
Delve into the natural history of the region at the Museum of Natural History. The museum showcases a diverse collection of exhibits, including fossils, minerals, taxidermy, and interactive displays that educate visitors about the rich biodiversity of the area.
14. Colline du Château Waterfall
While exploring Castle Hill, don’t miss the picturesque waterfall that cascades down the hillside. This tranquil spot offers a refreshing break from the bustling city below and provides an opportunity to enjoy nature in the heart of Nice.
15. Nice Opera House (Opéra de Nice)
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If you appreciate performing arts, catch a performance at the prestigious Nice Opera House. The stunning Belle Époque building hosts a range of operas, ballets, concerts, and theatrical productions throughout the year.
16. Le Negresco
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Marvel at the grandeur of the iconic Le Negresco hotel, a symbol of luxury and elegance in Nice. Admire the beautiful architecture and art collection within the hotel, or enjoy a meal at one of its renowned restaurants.
17. Villa Rothschild
Take a trip to the nearby Villa Rothschild, a magnificent mansion surrounded by stunning gardens. Explore the villa’s opulent interior, which showcases art and historical artifacts, and wander through the meticulously maintained gardens, featuring exotic plants and tranquil pathways.
18. Enjoy the Local Cuisine
No visit to Nice would be complete without indulging in the local cuisine. Treat yourself to traditional Niçoise dishes such as Salade Niçoise, Socca (a savory pancake made from chickpea flour), and Ratatouille. Be sure to pair your meal with a glass of refreshing local rosé wine.
19. The Marc Chagall Museum
Art enthusiasts should not miss the opportunity to visit the Marc Chagall Museum, dedicated to the works of the renowned artist Marc Chagall. The museum houses a vast collection of Chagall’s paintings, sculptures, and stained glass windows, providing a comprehensive overview of his artistic career.
20. Musée des Beaux-Arts
Located within a stunning 19th-century villa, the Musée des Beaux-Arts (Fine Arts Museum) boasts an impressive collection of European art spanning from the Renaissance to the 20th century. Explore masterpieces by artists such as Monet, Renoir, and Picasso in a peaceful and elegant setting.
21. Boat Excursions
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Explore the breathtaking coastline of Nice by taking a boat excursion. Cruise along the Mediterranean Sea, admire the stunning views of the French Riviera, and have the opportunity to visit nearby destinations such as Monaco or the picturesque villages of Villefranche-sur-Mer and Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.
22. Parc Phoenix
Nature lovers should visit Parc Phoenix, a botanical and zoological garden located near Nice Airport. The park features a vast collection of plants, including exotic flowers, cacti, and tropical trees. It also houses a variety of animals, such as birds, butterflies, and reptiles, making it a great place for a family outing.
23. Les Ponchettes
Visit Les Ponchettes, a picturesque pebble beach located in the Old Town. This charming spot offers a relaxed and less crowded beach experience compared to some of the more popular beaches in Nice. Enjoy sunbathing, swimming, or simply soak in the tranquil atmosphere.
24. Explore the Belle Époque Architecture
Nice is renowned for its beautiful Belle Époque architecture. Take a leisurely walk along the city’s streets and admire the grand facades of buildings such as the Palais de la Méditerranée, Hotel Negresco, and the Régina Palace. These architectural gems provide a glimpse into the city’s rich history and opulent past.
25. Villa Masséna
Discover the history and heritage of Nice at Villa Masséna, a museum housed in a beautiful Belle Époque villa. The museum showcases the art, furnishings, and artifacts that reflect the city’s history, from the time of the Kings of Savoy to the modern era.
26. French Riviera Hinterland
Venture beyond Nice and explore the stunning countryside of the French Riviera’s hinterland. Visit charming hilltop villages like Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Gourdon, and Eze, which offer breathtaking views, quaint streets, and an authentic Provençal ambiance.
27. Wine Tasting
Indulge in the flavors of the region by participating in a wine tasting experience. Take a short trip to the nearby wine regions of Bellet or Bandol, where you can sample delicious local wines while learning about the winemaking process and the characteristics of the different grape varietals.
28. Nightlife in Nice
Experience the vibrant nightlife scene of Nice by exploring its numerous bars, clubs, and live music venues. Head to the bustling Old Town or the trendy Promenade des Anglais area, where you can find a variety of establishments offering cocktails, live performances, and a lively atmosphere.
29. Jardin Albert Ier
Take a relaxing break in Jardin Albert Ier, a charming park located near the Promenade des Anglais. This green oasis offers a peaceful retreat with its well-manicured gardens, shaded walkways, and beautiful flowerbeds. It’s a perfect spot to unwind, have a picnic, or simply enjoy the tranquility of nature.
30. Théâtre de Nice
Catch a live performance at the Théâtre de Nice, a renowned theater that hosts a diverse range of productions, including plays, musicals, ballets, and concerts. Immerse yourself in the vibrant performing arts scene of Nice and enjoy world-class performances in a stunning setting.
31. Les Galeries Lafayette
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Shopaholics should pay a visit to Les Galeries Lafayette, a prestigious department store located in the heart of Nice. Browse through a wide selection of high-end fashion, accessories, cosmetics, and gourmet food. The store itself is a work of art with its elegant architecture and luxurious ambiance.
32. Nice Jazz Festival
If you visit Nice in July, don’t miss the renowned Nice Jazz Festival. This annual event attracts jazz enthusiasts from around the world and features performances by acclaimed artists in various venues across the city. Immerse yourself in the soulful melodies and electric atmosphere of this internationally acclaimed music festival.
33. Vieux Port (Old Port)
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Visit the Vieux Port, the old port of Nice, and witness the lively maritime activity. Stroll along the harbor, admire the colorful fishing boats, and enjoy a meal at one of the waterfront restaurants, indulging in fresh seafood while taking in the picturesque views.
34. Musée d’Art Naïf Anatole Jakovsky
Discover the world of naive art at the Musée d’Art Naïf Anatole Jakovsky. The museum showcases a collection of charming and whimsical artworks created by self-taught artists. Explore the imaginative pieces that evoke a sense of childlike wonder and creativity.
35. Le Petit Train de Nice
Hop on Le Petit Train de Nice, a tourist train that takes you on a guided tour of the city’s main attractions. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the narrated journey as you pass by landmarks, historical sites, and scenic spots. It’s a convenient and fun way to explore Nice while learning about its history and culture.
36. Place Garibaldi
Visit Place Garibaldi, a vibrant square that showcases impressive architecture and lively cafes. Admire the neoclassical buildings surrounding the square and enjoy a coffee or a meal while people-watching and soaking up the local ambiance.
37. Street Art
Take a stroll through the streets of Nice and discover its vibrant street art scene. From colorful murals to intricate graffiti, the city is adorned with captivating artworks that add a touch of creativity and urban culture to its surroundings. Keep an eye out for hidden gems and artistic expressions throughout the city.
38. Musée National du Sport
Sports enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to the Musée National du Sport, which showcases the history of sports in France and around the world. The museum features interactive exhibits, memorabilia, and multimedia presentations that highlight the achievements and evolution of various sports disciplines.
39. Palais Lascaris
Step back in time at Palais Lascaris, a magnificent 17th-century palace turned museum. Explore the opulent rooms adorned with beautiful Baroque architecture, period furniture, and an impressive collection of musical instruments. It provides a fascinating glimpse into the aristocratic lifestyle of bygone eras.
40. Explore the Markets
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Experience the vibrant local life and flavors of Nice by visiting its markets. Marché aux Fleurs (Flower Market) on Cours Saleya offers a colorful array of flowers, plants, and local produce, while the nearby Marché de la Libération is a bustling market known for its fresh fruits, vegetables, and regional specialties.
41. Cap de Nice
Take a scenic drive or leisurely walk along the picturesque Cap de Nice. This rugged peninsula offers breathtaking coastal views, hidden coves, and idyllic spots for a picnic or sunbathing. It’s a perfect place to escape the city’s hustle and bustle and immerse yourself in natural beauty.
42. Visit the nearby Hilltop Village of La Turbie
Just a short distance from Nice, the hilltop village of La Turbie offers stunning views of the French Riviera. Explore its narrow streets, visit the Trophée d’Auguste—an ancient Roman monument—and savor the tranquility and charm of this picturesque village.
43. Day Trip to Antibes
Plan a day trip to the nearby town of Antibes, located just a short distance from Nice. Explore the charming old town, stroll along the scenic marina, and visit the renowned Musée Picasso, which houses an impressive collection of artworks by the famous artist.
44. Water Sports and Beach Activities
Enjoy the azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea by engaging in water sports and beach activities. Try your hand at paddleboarding, jet skiing, or parasailing, or simply relax on the sun-drenched beaches and soak up the vibrant beach culture that Nice is known for.
45. Nice at Sunset
Experience the enchanting beauty of Nice at sunset. Find a cozy spot along the Promenade des Anglais or on one of the city’s rooftop bars, and watch as the sun paints the sky in vibrant hues of orange and pink. It’s a magical moment to savor and capture the essence of this captivating city.
46. Plage Beau Rivage
Located near the Old Town, Plage Beau Rivage is a popular choice for both locals and tourists. It offers a mix of private and public sections, providing options for every preference. The beach boasts clear waters, clean sands, and excellent facilities, including beach clubs, restaurants, and water sports rentals.
47. Plage de la Réserve
Tucked away in a picturesque cove, Plage de la Réserve is a hidden gem in Nice. Surrounded by rocky cliffs, this small pebbly beach offers a more secluded and intimate setting. It’s an ideal spot for sunbathing, swimming, and snorkeling in calm and pristine waters.
48. Blue Beach
Blue Beach is a vibrant beach club situated on the Promenade des Anglais. It features a private beach area with comfortable loungers, parasols, and attentive service. Visitors can indulge in delicious food and refreshing drinks while enjoying the panoramic views of the Mediterranean.
49. Carras Beach
Located on the eastern side of Nice, Carras Beach is a sandy stretch that offers a more relaxed and family-friendly atmosphere. It’s a great choice for those who prefer sand over pebbles. The beach is equipped with amenities like showers, lifeguards, and beachfront restaurants.
50. Plage Castel
Situated near the Cap de Nice, Plage Castel is a charming beach with a laid-back vibe. It offers a combination of pebbles and sand, and its tranquil setting is perfect for sunbathing and unwinding. The beach is also known for its excellent snorkeling opportunities, allowing visitors to explore the marine life in the clear waters.
51. Plage Poincaré
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Nestled between the port and the Promenade des Anglais, Plage Poincaré offers a more local and less touristy atmosphere. This public beach has a mix of pebbles and sand, and it’s a popular spot for locals to relax, play beach games, and enjoy picnics by the sea.
52. Plage Coco Beach
Located near the Port of Nice, Plage Coco Beach is a small sandy beach with a peaceful ambiance. It offers beautiful views of the Baie des Anges and is surrounded by rocks, giving it a secluded feel. Visitors can rent sun loungers or enjoy a meal at the beachside restaurant.
53. Plage Florida
Situated on the western side of Nice, Plage Florida is a private beach club that provides a luxurious beach experience. It offers fine sand, comfortable loungers, and high-quality amenities, including a restaurant and a beach bar. The beach club hosts regular events and parties, adding to its lively and upscale atmosphere.
54. Plage Lenval
Located in the western part of Nice, Plage Lenval is a family-friendly beach with soft sand and shallow waters. It’s an excellent choice for those traveling with children, as the gentle slope of the shoreline makes it safe and suitable for young swimmers. The beach is well-maintained and offers facilities like showers, toilets, and beach volleyball courts.
Places and Things To Do