How about sightseeing
Nice Sightseeing: Top 15 Attractions and Activities
You planNice to visit on your next trip to France?
Between sea and mountains, Nice, the city where I was born and where I have lived for more than 20 years of my life, is full of tourist attractions and great activities.
To help you plan your stay, I have an itinerary with you the 15 best things to do in Nice and surroundings prepared.
At the end of the article you will also find travel routes to Nice in 1, 2, 3 days or even a week to visit, as well as my list of best places to stay in Nice, depending on your budget.
Let's start with the 15 most interesting places!
Attractions in Nice: Top 15 Must-See Attractions
1. The Promenade des Anglais
It is impossible to get over Nice to speak without the famous Promenade des Anglais (English promenade) to be mentioned. Formerly a popular winter holiday destination for English people, it is now the city's best-known tourist attraction.
This world famous 7 km long Promenade leads from the Schlossberg (La colline du Château in French) to Nice Airport.
If this is your first time to Nice, I strongly recommend that you walk at least the part that starts from the old town of Nice to the Hotel Negresco leads and on Jardin Albert 1er and the Palais de la Méditerranée passes.
If you have the entire Promenade des Anglais If you want to visit, the best thing to do is to rent a bike or roller skates!
Even better than riding a bike or roller skates, how about it the Promenade des Anglais (amongst other things) with a Segway tour to discover?
During this 2-hour guided tour you will drive along the famous promenade through which Streets of the old town stroll and on the Drive up the castle hill.
To book your guided tour of Nice by Segway, all you need to do is click the button below:
2. Discover the old town of Nice
Another Sight in Nice is the old town with its shady alleys, colorful facades and typical Mediterranean shutters.
Impossible about that Nice old town (le Vieux Nice) to speak without the Cours Saleya to mention where almost every morning (except Monday) the famous Market and flower market takes place.
On Monday morning, Cours Saleya turns into a large outdoor flea market! It is also the ideal place to have a drink or a meal on one of the many terraces.
If you have the Visiting old town of Nice, I also recommend:
- The court square (Place du Palais de Justice)
- The Rossetti square (Place Rossetti) where the magnificent Sainte Réparate Cathedral is located. This is also where the best ice cream parlor in town is, I'll tell you more about it below.
- The Saint François square (Place Saint François) and its small fish market
It is also possible to go through the old town Schlossberg to get. I'll tell you a little more about it.
3. Enjoying Italian ice cream
While you are in the Nice old town you should use it to enjoy a traditional Italian ice cream. I recommend "Azzurro“Located in Rossetti Square, not far from another ice cream shop known but not so good by tourists, Fenocchio.
The quality of the products used is much better at Azzurro, and theirs Bags are made in-houseso that the taste is even better! Needless to say, eating ice cream is one of my favorite things to do when I come back to Nice 😋
4. Try the local dishes of Nice
Visiting Nice also means, the local specialties, the “Kitchen Niçoise” during your stay discoverwhat the pride of the Niçois (residents of Nice) is.
- Socca: It is one of the most famous culinary specialties of Nice and one of the most representative of the city. Made from chickpea flour, you can find very good ones in the old town of Nice. Ideally, a good socca shouldn't be dry, but slightly creamy on the inside.
- Panisse: Another specialty made from chickpea flour, most commonly fried. A joy!
- Pissaladière: A “cake with onions and anchovies” is how we can sum up the Pissaladière! Try it out during your stay in Nice! (Also available without anchovies)
- Salade niçoise: The great classic from Nice: tuna, tomatoes, lettuce and other raw vegetables, anchovies, hard-boiled eggs, olives from Nice (olives niçoises) and of course olive oil vinaigrette (also from Nice, otherwise it's sinful).
- Pan Bagnat: This is a sandwich version of the “Salade niçoise”: tuna and / or anchovies, raw vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, olives and olive oil, all in a round bread.
- Farcis niçois (Stuffed vegetables), daube niçoise (Beef stew) etc.: In Nice we like everything “Niçois” so we have a Niçoise version of many dishes. It's the same as the classics, but better. (Certainly thanks to the “Niçoise” olive oil ... except for the stew, probably, or some people have been hiding things from me!)
5. Nice's Schlossberg
The Castle Hill Park (le parc de la Colline du Château) is located on a hill overlooking the beautiful old town.
It owes its name to the military fortress that overlooked the Bay of Nice from the 11th to the 18th centuries. The main interest of this park is the breathtaking viewpoints of the city that Bay of angels (Baie des Anges), the port and the mountains.
Here are the 5 best viewpoints on Nice's castle hill.
- Above, with a view of the airport and the mountains.
- Close to the children's playground, View of the port and the hill of Mont Boron,
- Bellanda Tower: View of the Bay of Angels
- Belvedere near the exit of the elevator
- Cascade du Château, an artificial waterfall, but still very beautiful!
You can walk (up and down) the Schlossberg or use the elevator. I recommend that you take the stairs for at least one of the paths, as this is how you get at the lookout point of the Bellanda Tower which I mentioned earlier.
If you go down on the other side of the Schlossberg you should a walk through the castle cemetery which also has a nice view of the city. It's even better though you can do it at the end of the day to enjoy the sunset!
You got it, Schlossberg is really one of the best places in Nice (and my favorite in the city center because of the amazing views!).
Ohh, and one more thing: It is also possible to go to the castle by using the Nice mini train tour makes! The starting point is that Promenade des Anglais, in front of the centenary monument of Jardin Albert 1st.
Due to the opening times of the castle hill, it is not possible to watch the sunset from there all year round.
From 01/10 to 31/03: 8.30am-6pm
From 01/04 to 31/09: 8.30am-8pm
You can only watch the sunset from the Schlossberg in the following months:
- September, November, December, January and until February 15th.
6. Go to the beach in Nice
If Nice beach looks good in the photo, with its large pebbles, it is not necessarily the most comfortable beach in the world!
As for swimming, it's the same. In Nice, the water gets very deep very quickly, so it's not really an ideal place to snorkel or play in the water.
For this reason I recommend you to go to Villefranche sur Mer or Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat to go. I'll tell you more about these cities later in this article.
And if you want to spend hours tanning on the beach, you can visit one of the beautiful private beaches, such as the Castle Beach (Castel Plage), which is located at the foot of the Schlossberg.
Other beaches allow you to nautical activities like parasailing, stand-up paddling or tubing!
listof the best water sports to practice during your trip to Nice.
Click easy click on the links below to book your nautical activities at the best price:
7. Cimiez neighborhood
The Cimiez neighborhood is initially residential so you won't find many shops or restaurants. Nevertheless, you have some nice sights to visit:
- Cimiez Arena Park (Parc des Arènes de Cimiez)
- The Cimiez arenas (les Arènes de Cimiez), located at the entrance to the park.
- Cimiez Monastery Gardens (Les jardins du monastère de Cimiez), from which you have a panoramic view of Nice and the Bay of Angels.
- The archaeological museum of Cimiez and its Roman ruins.
- The Henri Matisse Museumwhich is located in the arena park.
- Marc Chagall National Museum.
To get to Cimiez, you can take bus number 5, 33 or 70.
8. Nice's Russian Orthodox Cathedral
Nice's Russian Orthodox Cathedral, a listed historical monument, is the most important Orthodox church outside of Russia. So it clearly deserves its place on this list of the best things to do in Nice!
Even if it is far from what you expected in Nice, it is worth taking a look, so great is the contrast between this architecture and the Mediterranean vegetation or the palm trees just around the corner!
It is also possible to visit the interior of the cathedral.
You can get there on foot or by bus number 8.
9. Nice Carnival
Nice Carnival, the largest carnival in France and one of the most famous in the world, takes place every February for 2 weeks.
Every year the celebrations attract hundreds of thousands of spectators who the monumental carnival floats and the famous flower parade (also called the battle of flowers) on the Promenade des Anglais.
10. Rest in the shade in Vigier Park
It is completely unknown to other tourists Park Vigier, near La Reserve and the restaurant "Coco Beach" the ideal place to take a nap or read a book in the shade of palm trees during the hottest hours of the day.
The right part of the park is always very quiet as the children mostly play in the left part of the park.
11. The Nice Coastal Walk
This walk, which most tourists are unaware of, has two parts and allows you to to hike from Nice to Villefranche sur Merwhile following the ocean 90% of the time.
- The first part starts at Coco Beach and leads up a series of stairs to the Cap de Niceto the cliffs of the Maeterlinck Palace (Palais Maeterlink) to bypass.
- The second part The coastal path begins with a descent via the stairs in the large curve after the PalaceMaeterlinck. It enables you to To reach the port of Villefranche, La Darse.
The walk is not very long, if you want to do it from Nice it will take around 1h30-2h depending on where you start from.
It is also possible to do just one of the two parts. If you only want to do the second part (30-45 minutes), you can the bus number 100 take from the port of Nice to the “Hôpital des Anglais” stop. The start of the coastal walk is approx. 200m further, in the big bend.
To return to Nice take bus 15 or 100 in Villefranche sur Mer.
It was investigated to allow a passage through the cliffs so that one could get off Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer can go on foot, always along the sea, but it seems that the project has unfortunately stalled.
12. Boat trips from Nice
In addition to the Cruise to the Bay of Villefranchethat I have already mentioned above exist a few other great boat tours to do from Nice. (Just click the links below to book them):
For more information on these boat trips, take a look at my detailed article below: The 8 best boat trips from Nice.
Besides these boat tours there are 2 other options around discover the surroundings of Nice by boat, far from mass tourism :
To have a VIP experience, can you:
1) Book a private boat trip from Nice
In my opinion this is the best way to make the most of your day at sea in Nice!
Rent a boat with a skipper! He will give you show the most beautiful places on the Côte d’Azur.
Motorboat, sailboat, catamaran or even yacht: choose your favorite type of boat and spend a dream day at sea!
As you can probably guess, are these “VIP day trips” are extremely popular at sea. So book your boat with a skipper so early as possible in advance! It would be a shame to miss this wonderful day trip just because all the boats are already rented!
To see all types of skippered boats in Nice, click the button below:
2) Rent a boat to explore the Nice area on your own
Second option to spend a great day at sea: If you have a boating license, rent (and steer) the boat of your choice yourself!
To book your boat, it's very easy: you just have to click the button below:
13. Nice Walk: From the Promenade des Anglais to Coco Beach
For those who want to explore the city on foot, here is a route that will allow you to get to the Sightseeing in Nice come by.
Start the walk with the Nice old town and the Cours Saleya, then go on over the Promenade des Anglais to the Negresco Hotel and to Villa Masséna (which the excellent Masséna Museum houses).
Then go back about 300 meters and take that Rue du Congrès. You then get into the Pedestrian zone, a good place to shop, Drink or eat in one of the many restaurants.
At the end of the street you will reach the Place Masséna with the Sun well (Fontaine du Soleil) in the south, in the middle of which there is a 7 m high statue of Apollo. On your right is the one Jardin Albert 1st with his monumental 115.5 degree arc.
It continues on the Promenade du Paillonwhere the Nice water table is. This park leads you directly to the Garibaldi Square.
Since it will surely be lunchtime when you have one Want to try Niçoise specialty like SoccaI recommend you just 2 steps away from the old town of Nice to return to fill your stomach!
And why not with a good one Complete ice cream from Azzurro on Rossetti Square?
After dinner it goes back to the Garibaldi Square and on to the port of Nice by the Cassini Street.
Go on Quai des Deux Emmanuels around the port and take that Boulevard Franck Pilattewho will take you to the Reserve ("Brice de Nice" lived on this beach if you know this film!), then to Parc Vigier and to Coco Beach, in this order.
Of Coco Beach from you can Coastal path go on and even Villefranche sur Mer to reach. In this case, you will have to take the 100 bus to get back to Nice.
Finally, at the end of the day, you can go to the Nice hill walk, go up the stairs or use the elevator to get to the Enjoying sunset!
More itineraries are available (in French) on the City of Nice website.
14. Walk on Mont Boron
Mont Boron is a Mediterranean forest in the east of Nice. It is also the place where the very photogenic Mont Alban is located.
There are many hiking trails with wonderful views of the Engels Bay and the Bay of Villefranche.
You really should go to Fort Mont Alban go, the view is fantastic upstairs! For me the best place in Nice. It's a nice destination with a really rewarding view!
To get to Mont Boron, take city bus number 30 from Nice.
15. Go to Phoenix Park
The Phoenix Park (Parc Phoenix), also known as "Nice Floral Park", is a botanical and zoological garden near Nice Airport, in the Arenas district.
On 7 hectares you will find a very high biodiversity, both fauna and flora, with bird houses, marsupials, porcupines, otters and a pond.
One of the main attractions of the facility is that large greenhouse, which has multiple tropical climates with tropical plants and various species of birds, including pink flamingos. There is also a children's playground in the park.
The Phoenix Park is a great place to spend an afternoon with your family in Nice!
The Entry to Phoenix Park costs 5 euros per person. There are discounts for families and students.
To get there you have to have the Take tram line 2 and stop at the “Parc Phoenix” station.
16. Visit Nice's museums
I already have some of the Nice museums talked about, especially in the section about the Cimiez district (n ° 7), but there are many other museums worth visiting. Here are my 5 favorites!
- Nice Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, called MAMAC, near Garibaldi Square.
- Asian Arts Museum, right next to Phoenix Park.
- The Museum of Art and History of the Palace of Masséna, a magnificent mansion in the "Belle époque" style on the Promenade des Anglais.
- The Palais Lascaris, in the old town of Nice, has a very nice collection of musical instruments, some of which are really unusual!
- Jules Chéret Art Museum, located in the beautiful surroundings of Villa Thompson, on Baumettes Hill.
And as a bonus, if you enjoy taking pictures I recommend this to you Charles Nègre Photo Museumwhich is small but has high quality exhibits. Plus, it's in the beautiful old town so you don't have to drive far to find it!
Good to know: In Nice it is not possible to pay the museum entrance fees individually, you have to "Nice Museums Pass" buy that gives you access to all city museums:
- 24 hour pass: 10 euros
- 7 days pass: 20 euros
More information about the museums in the Nice museums pass are included on the official Nice Museums website.
Things to do when it rains in Nice
We, Niçois (residents of Nice), dare not talk too much about it, but we do sometimes ... it rains in Nice. Really! Well, that's not what you're going to see on postcards.
If this happens in a purely unlucky moment during your vacation on the French Riviera, I have compiled a list of things to do in Nice when the weather is bad:
- Visit one of the many museums in Nice: When it rains, it is surely the first thing that will come to mind. I've put together a list of the best for you, a little higher up in the article. Don't forget to take the Nice Museums Pass.
- bowling: There is a fairly large bowling alley in Nice that also has a couple of arcade video games: the Nice Acropolis bowling alley, here is the address: 5 Esplanade Kennedy, 06000 Nice
- Ice skating: Go to the Jean Bouin ice rink, near the Acropolis and bowling, for some ice skating! There is also a swimming pool in the same building. All equipment can be rented, including gloves.
- Play an escape game: It's a fun experience with family or friends. There are several in Nice, including “I'm Locking You Up” and “Fox in a Box” located in the city center. A great activity in bad weather.
- Go to Monaco and visit the Musée Océanographique: It is simply one of the best museums in the region.
- Play laser tag: The only laser tag game in Nice is on the Plaine du Var, in the Lingostière shopping center.
- movie theater: There are 3 cinemas in the center of Nice: The Pathé Masséna, the Pathé Paris and the Variétiés Kino. The first two are on avenue Jean Médecin and the third, perpendicular to avenue Jean Médecin, on avenue Victor Hugo.
- Experience the video games in virtual reality: It's raining? Well, this is a great opportunity to try virtual reality. A VR playground, "Game Over", was opened in Nice. Here is the address: 14 Boulevard de Riquier - 06300 Nice
- Go to the fair: If you are in Nice in December, you have the opportunity to go for a walk in Luna Park, a temporary amusement park. Since most of it is indoors, in the exhibition center (Palais des Expositions), it's a great activity when it rains in Nice.
What to do in Nice
If you go to Nice, I strongly recommend that you go on excursions as well to do in the vicinity of the cityas the area is full of beautiful places to discover.
Here are some of my favorite places around Nice:
- Villefranche-sur-Mer: A very pretty little Mediterranean town. Do not miss: The old town of Villefranche, its port (LaDarse) and especially the St. Elmo Citadel (Citadelle Saint-Elme), also simply called "Villefranche Citadel".
- Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat: The billionaires peninsula, with incredible luxury villas like that Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild. To do: the coastal hike of Cap Ferratwhich starts from the beach "Passable". You can also swim in one of the pretty little bays along the way!
- Eze village : This little village above the sea is one of the most beautiful villages in France. Also worth a visit: the exotic garden of Eze.
- Menton: A small town on the Italian border known for it Lemon Festival and their sunshine. The old town of Menton is pretty pretty.
- Antibes: The Antibes old townespecially for theirs square fortress (Le Fort Carré), a 16th century military fortress by the sea, is also worth a visit, with excellent restaurants. Another attraction in Antibes: Le Tour du Cap d'Antibes and its magnificent residences.
- Cannes: The city where the famous film festival takes place every year. Don't miss: the walk on the famous “Croisette”! and visiting the Lerins Islands (Iles de Lérins)
- Monaco: known for its luxurious lifestyle! To see: The castle on the "Rocher", the Casino de Monte-Carlo, the Oceanographic Museum and if you like nice cars that Vintage car collection of Prince Rainier III.
- There are beautiful villages to visit around Nice: Peille, Saint Agnès (highest village on the coast), Coaraze and its sundials and the ruins of Châteauneuf-Villevieille. There are of course many other things to do around Nice, this is not an exhaustive list, but it will keep you busy for a week!
- Take a boat trip to admire Nice and the bay of Villefranche from the sea. You must book here!
If you, in one day, the best of the French Riviera how Eze, Monaco, Antibes and Cannesdiscover want, can you opt for an organized day trip.
This excursion must be booked here. Click the button below:
1 day in Nice
If only you one day time got to Nice To visit, I recommend you to take a walk around the area, with the route that I am in #12 of this article. Nice isn't very big, so is one Strolling is clearly the best way to discover the city!
And if you don't want to run all day, in the afternoon you can:
- To go to the beach
- Visit some museums in the city centersuch as the MAMAC, the Palais Lascaris or the Photo Museum, which are very close to each other.
- If you are going to visit a museum decide, you should Massena Museum do not miss in the morning as you will come over!
No matter which route you choose, go on the at the end of the day Schlossberg, you will not regret it, it is a Must do in Nice.
2 days in Nice
In 2 days in Nice do you have enough time to visit the surrounding area too! In addition to the first day described above, there is Here is one of my favorite routes that are very little known to tourists:
- Start the coastal path in the morning(#11), the from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer. It's a really nice walk on the water!
- Visit the old town of Villefranche, its port, its pretty beach, the splendid one Citadel of St-Elmo and their free mini-museums.
- Since it will be noon for sure, you can Eat in one of the beach restaurants or in the old town.
- Then I recommend the Hill of Mont Boron to climb up, a very beautiful pine forest with many fantastic viewpoints of Nice on one side and on the one Villefranche Bay on the other.
- Of Villefranche-sur-Mer out, go to the stairs first l’escalier de verre (Google Map Link - glass stairs, it's just a name, it's not made of glass!)
- After this climb, go to the Fort du Mont Alban, where you will have a wonderful view of the bay of Villefranche, and then return to the southern part of Mont Boron, where you will have a wonderful view of Nice.
- To return to Nice, you can walk (30 to 45 minutes) or take the 30 bus from Drive back from Plateau du Mont Boron to the center of the city of Nice.
3 days in Nice
To be done in addition to the 2 previous days. 3 days in Nice To spend means to have time for another unforgettable excursion into the area: a great route, from Eze village to Menton and also after Monaco. Make sure you have good shoes, as the paths are quite rocky.
- First you take that Bus 82 from Nice to Eze village.
- Visit this wonderfully situated village and the exotic garden of Eze.
- To get back to sea level, you take the Nietzsche way, which offers a wonderful view of the sea and the surrounding cities. It will make you Eze beach bring.
- Then take that Bus number 100 the "Lignes d’Azur" Menton.
- Visit the old town and get something to eat!
- Then you wander around that Cap Martin around and follow the path by the sea.
- It continues with the Promenade Le Corbusier, that you from Roquebrune leads to Monaco.
- Visit Monaco and get the last one Bus number 100 from Monaco bus station, around back to Nice to get.
Another busy day around Nice!
A week in Nice
Did you a week in Nice? You are really lucky! You will be able many things to visit around Nice and to discover most of the places I have described above. In addition to the previous days, there is another itinerary here:
Day 4: To avoid the impression of just “running”, do something leisurely that day: drive up the hill in the morning Cimiez with its park and museums (#7).
In the afternoon you can go to the Nice beach walk, again in the Nice old town go for a walk, have a drink on the Cours Saleya take or in the Avenue Jean Médecin shop.
Day 5: Take the 200 bus or the train from Nice to Antibesto that Fort Carré, the old town and the Cap d ‘Antibes to see. Mix with swimming again for a pleasant day!
Day 6: A day trip to Cannes (Bus 200 or train), connected with a boat expedition on the Iles de Lérins.
Day 7: Take bus 15 from Nice to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, take a tour of the Cap (in whole or in part) and above all relax in one of the small bays, the beach of Passable or that of Les Fosses.
These week-long tour on the French Riviera is the best way to get a good overview of the region!
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