Nice: 20 main tourist attractions, video and map
Nice itself is one big attraction: a stunning sea, rich stores, restaurants and streets with Art Deco facades. But there are a few places a traveler just has to see. About them in this article. You’ll find a map with all the points at the end.
Most of the city’s sights can be walked around if you choose a hotel in the right area. Download an app with an offline map so you don’t get lost at this link. And if you want to not only see but also listen to stories, our mobile tour guides Pierre and Marie will be happy to keep you company. Download the Nice audioguide app here.
Promenade des Anglais
Ironically, the symbol of Nice and the entire French Riviera is the Promenade des Anglais. Its name was preserved in memory of the times when the British were actively buying up the coastal areas. Today here are the most expensive hotels of the city, including the world-famous Negresco. The promenade is crowded all day long: early in the morning the citizens go for a jog, a little later come the tourists and those who want to relax on the beach.
A walk along the Promenade des Anglais is a pleasure: fresh sea air, sprawling palm trees and the incomparable atmosphere of Nice. This wonderful city landmark is included in the tour itinerary on double-decker buses. By purchasing a ticket for it, you can explore Nice in comfort for 2 days, dropping off and picking up one pass. Book your bus seats here.
The hotel’s luxurious neoclassical building is a jewel on the Promenade des Anglais. Built in 1912 by the Romanian innkeeper Henri Negresco, it was one of the most comfortable hotels in the world. And now it boasts five stars.
The framework of the famous pink dome was forged in the workshop of Gustave Eiffel. The interior of the hotel is striking in its richness: A four-meter chandelier made in the Baccarat factory, a 17th-century carpet, a 14th-century ceiling in the Louis XIV salon. What’s more, each of the 145 rooms is unique and furnished with antique furniture.
Even if you have chosen another place to stay, you can still stop by to see the decor of the lobby, corridors and restaurants of Hotel Negresco.
Address: 37, Promenade des Anglais
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Matisse and Nice are inextricably linked: the artist contributed greatly to the rise in popularity of the city that inspired his paintings. The museum has an extensive collection of works on display, which covers all stages of Matisse’s career up to his death. By the way, the artist lived and worked in a building nearby on Boulevard Simier.
The museum will be of interest both to those who are unfamiliar with Matisse’s work and his loyal fans. Get to know an important part of French cultural heritage on a professional tour of the permanent and temporary exhibitions. The tour is conducted in Russian and also includes the Chagall Museum and the Villa Rothschild. Reserve a convenient time and date here.
Address: 146, Avenue des Arènes de Cimiez
Open: 10:00 – 18:00, Tuesdays off.
The single ticket is valid for 24 hours for all Nice municipal museums:
- MAMAC (Museum of Modern Art),
- Galerie des Ponchettes,
- Espace Ferrero,
- Galerie de la Marine,
- Théâtre de la Photographie et de l’Image (Theater of Photography),
- Musée Matisse,
- Musée des Beaux-Arts (Museum of Fine Arts),
- Musée d’Art Naïf (Museum of Naïve Art),
- Musée Masséna (Musée Massenne),
- Palais Lascaris,
- Musée d’Archéologie (site de Cimiez and site de Terra Amata) (Museum of Archaeology),
- Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle (Museum of Natural History),
- Prieuré du vieux logis.
Monastère de Cimiez
Located a 5-minute walk from the Matisse Museum, this Franciscan monastery dates back to the 16th century. The cloister is surrounded by the oldest medieval park on the Côte d’Azur, very beautiful when the roses are in bloom.
The monastery church is adorned on the inside by a carved wooden altar covered with gold leaf. The stone cross of the XV century is also worth seeing. In a small cemetery by the walls of the monastery is buried Henri Matisse.
Here you can also explore the small Franciscan museum.
Address: 1, Place Jean Paul II
Open 7:30-18:30 (daily)
Musée Marc Chagall
Don’t be fooled by the museum’s small size: this small building houses Chagall’s largest collection of works, including 17 Biblical epistles. Paintings, sculptures, mosaics and tapestries by the great artist are also on display here.
Address: 36, Avenue Dr Ménard
Open 10:00 to 18:00 (April to November 10:00 to 17:00). Closed Tuesdays.
Ticket price: 8 €.
Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des Beaux-Arts)
The building of the museum was commissioned in the 19th century by the Russian princess Elisabeth Kochubey, wife of the Privy Counselor to Emperor Alexander II.
Museum’s collection includes works by French and Italian artists of the XVII-XVIII centuries, and also paintings and sculptures of the XIX century. Among others there are works by Degas, Sissel, Fragonard, Monet and Cherès.
Address: 33, avenue des Baumettes
Opening hours: 10:00-18:00 (May 2-October 31), 11:00-18:00 (November 1-April 30), Mondays off.
Entrance: 6 € or one museum ticket
St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral (Cathedrale Orthodoxe Russe St-Nicolas)
The cathedral was built in 1902-1912 for the growing Russian diaspora in Nice. It is the largest and most beautiful Orthodox church outside of Russia. The gilded domes of the cathedral look a little unusual against the traditional landscape of Nice: sandy beaches and the azure sea. Looking at the church, it feels like you are transported to St. Petersburg for a while.
Learn more about the Russian history of Nice on a guided tour by local guides! Walk through this wonderful French city in the footsteps of great compatriots – Gogol, Chekhov, Tyutchev. The tour is conducted, of course, in Russian. You can book it here.
Address: Avenue Nicolas II
Every day from 9:00 to 18:00
Flower Market “Cours Saleya”
It is impossible to imagine Nice without flowers. And the market “Cours Saleya” is a real decoration of the city. Lush piles of bright buds from all over Provence will surround you on all sides, and it will be impossible to resist buying at least one small bouquet.
Other temptations await you here: spices, fresh fruits and vegetables, fragrant cheeses, piles of warm bread and other pastries. It is at Cours de Saleya that you can buy good Provencal souvenirs inexpensively.
Address: Cours de Saleya
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday 6:00 am to 5:30 pm, Sundays 6:00 am to 1:30 pm. Closed Mondays
Old town (Vieux Nice)
The historic center of Nice has preserved the spirit of a peaceful 19th century French town, not yet coveted by aristocrats and the nouveau riche. Walking through the narrow streets of the old town is not easy, at times they turn into a maze with steep slopes. But it is worth it to get to know the real Nice.
Russian-speaking guide will gladly lead you through the most interesting streets of the historic center! He will show you the main squares, palaces, churches and houses of the old part of Nice. Listen to urban legends on a guided tour and find out where to take the best photos. Book your time here.
In the old town you’ll find little cafes and vintage shops all over the place. Relax in them while admiring the architectural sights of the Old Town with a cup of coffee or buy original souvenirs to remember Nice.
Read more about “What to get back from Nice?
The Musée Massena tells the story of pre-war Nice, from the last decades of the 18th century to World War II. The exhibition includes furnishings, art deco posters, early photographs, paintings and other details of the bygone century. The museum is located in the villa of André Massena, marshal of Napoleon’s empire. The manor house is surrounded by a wonderful garden.
Address: 65, Rue de France
Opening hours: Wednesday-Monday 10:00-18:00
Entrance: 10€. Tickets are valid for 24 hours for all Nice municipal museums
Parc du Château
One of the most beautiful places in Nice and the best viewpoint. It overlooks the city and the Mediterranean Sea. To get to the Parc du Château is not easy, you have to climb a hill on numerous paths and stairs.
If you don’t want to bother climbing up the hill, take the elevator near the Bellande Tower. At the top of the hill, you’ll be greeted with beautiful views of the port and the Bay of Angels, the freshness of the shady park and the coolness of the sparkling waterfall.
Address: Montée Eberlé
Open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the summer and until 6:00 p.m. in the winter.
Before it conquered the British and Russian aristocrats, Nice beckoned the Romans. Discover their heritage at the Archaeological Museum, near the ruins of the Roman baths and arena. The exhibition consists of various collections of antiquities: coins, tools, and pottery.
Address: 160, Avenue des Arènes de Cimiez
Open Wednesdays to Mondays 10:00 to 17:00. Open until 6pm from May 2nd to October 31st.
Ticket price: 10€. The ticket is valid for 24 hours for all Nice municipal museums
Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain (MAMAC)
In Nice, art is loved and appreciated, hence the large number of free museums and galleries. At the heart of MAMAC is a fine collection of works by European and American avant-garde artists – 400 works illustrating the development of art from the 1960s to the present day. Here you’ll see paintings by local artists such as Yves Klein and Nicky de Saint-Fal as well as iconic celebrities like Warhol and Lichtenstein.
Address: Place Yves Klein
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Mondays.
Entrance: 10€. Tickets are valid for 24 hours for all Nice municipal museums.
Port of Nice (Le Port de Nice)
Le Port de Nice is a lively and beautiful area of the city. It is an exhibition of exclusive yachts, boats and luxury cars. From here ferries go to Corsica.
The port is located near the old town, next to the waterfront of the United States.
Theater of Photography (Théâtre de la Photographie et de l’Image)
The museum-theater hosts popular permanent and temporary exhibitions. The most famous photographers exhibit their works here. The museum is also famous for its celebrity gallery of those who have visited Nice and for its enormous library with 4000 books on the art of photography.
Do not forget to download our app for Nice, with its map showing all the places of interest.
Address: 1, Place Pierre Gautier
Open: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Closed Monday.
Built in the mid-17th century, this house belonged to the famous Lascari de Ventimiglia family. Although the exterior of the building is not very decorative and generally difficult to see in the narrow street of the Old City, you will be completely charmed by the interior of the palace: the grand staircase, paintings and frescoes, sculptures, tapestries, antique furniture.
The palace boasts a fascinating collection of musical instruments (about 500 items) and a pharmacy recreated on the model of the XVIII century.
Address: 15, rue Droite (Vieux Nice)
Opening hours: 10:00-18:00 (except Tuesday)
Entrance: one museum ticket
This unusual building was built at the end of the XVII century in honor of the Christian martyr Saint Reparata, who was the patroness of the city.
We recommend attending a mass in the cathedral to enjoy the beautiful sounds of the three organs. Thanks to the excellent acoustics, the sound of the instruments is bewitching.
Address: 3, Place Rossetti
Opening hours: 9:00-12:00, 14:00-18:00 (except Mondays)
Basilique Notre-Dame de Nice
A beautiful cathedral built in the middle of XIX century looks like a scaled-down copy of Notre-Dame de Nice.
Its gilded decoration and splendid stained-glass windows give the temple a special solemnity. The Basilica is often the site of classical music concerts.
Address: 37 B, avenue Jean Médecin
Opening hours: 9:30-11:30, 16:00-18:00 (Monday-Friday)
Eglise Notre-Dame du Port
The neo-classical church is officially called the Church of the Immaculate Conception and was built in the mid-19th century. But the church, located near the port, was immediately dubbed the “parish of the port”.
The author of the striking, memorable façade is Jules Febvre. From above, the Virgin Mary looks out at visitors and townspeople.
A series of paintings, The Way of the Cross, presumably by Emmanuel Costa, adorns the interior of the church. The scene of Joan of Arc’s death, tied to a pillar, with the hem of her dress engulfed in flames, is of particular interest.
Address: 8, Place de l’Ile de Beauté
Open 10:00-18:00 (daily)
Parc du Mont Boron
This park on a hill gives visitors fantastic views of the panorama of the city. On a clear day you can see Corsica and the Alps.
To get to the top you can use the stairs, but it is better to go down. And on the way there to save energy with the help of two elevators.
In the park can not go unnoticed the majestic construction of Mont Alban Fort, built in the XVI century to defend against the Turks. You can see the fortress only from outside, but it is forbidden to enter inside.
What to see in Nice in 1 day – 16 the most interesting places
The old French resort is often visited by tourists passing through. However, you can discover the charms of Nice if you are prepared beforehand. Then you can plan your time and visit the places the description of which interests you. What to see in Nice in 1 day by yourself? You can do quite a lot.
Promenade des Anglais
This place should be seen first. The promenade is the “soul” of the city. It is very long – about 7 km, and you can walk just a part of it, but you can see a lot. The embankment was built in the 19th century. The desire to have such a zone for walks was expressed by the British, who bought plots of land near the sea. Today there are always a lot of people, both locals and tourists. They come here to walk, breathe the sea air, “to see others and show themselves” – as the proverb says.
The promenade stretches from the Bay of Angels to the airport. Here are the main tourist attractions of Nice. You can also see the remarkable beauty of villas and hotels. The promenade remembers many famous people. Friedrich Nietzsche, members of the ruling Romanov dynasty, and now you can meet here the stars of theater and film. And of course, there are cafes and restaurants, where you can eat, and stores where souvenirs are sold.
A beautiful place that can be seen not only as a local landmark, but also as a place to relax. The park is located by the sea and covers an area of about 70 thousand m2. It is at the same time a botanical garden, a beautiful zoo and a zone for promenade. It presents 20 climate zones – and therefore gathered the plants growing in these zones. Tourists will see ferns and olives, cacti and citrus trees, cypresses, agaves and more.
Visitors are impressed with the tropical greenhouse, which can be viewed all year round: the plants are under the dome. There are many orchids, as well as flowers and vines that naturally grow in the jungle. A huge number of walking paths, beautiful scenery, air infused with the scent of flowers – all this is “Phoenix”. Here you rest your body and soul. The pond, which is located under the open sky, is inhabited by swans, pelicans, a variety of ducks.
Another place you should definitely go to if you like scenic views. The park is located on a hill. From here you can admire the Var River and the Esterel Mountains. The botanical garden also features different climatic zones. But the plants here are not only ornamental. There are also aromatic, medicinal and even poisonous species. The latter are worth getting to know for the sake of avoiding them in nature. Scientists study the plants of the botanical garden – their life cycle, from the first sprouts to withering.
Thus, nature has the most natural look here – you can see both young plants and old. It is very interesting to see trees and shrubs from North and South America, from Australia and Africa. Particularly impressive are the exotic sage species with very beautiful flowers. Entrance to the botanical garden is free, if you want you can arrange a tour.
This square, located in the center of the city, will make you think of Paris. It’s hard to leave, you want to walk around and see everything. It appeared two centuries ago. And immediately became very popular. The reason is its location: between the old part of Nice and the street that leads to the train station. The square once bore the name of King Charles Albert. French troops under Marshal Massena occupied the city in 1792.
The marshal himself was a native of Nice. Hence the new name. The river Payon, which once divided the square into two parts, now flows underground, encased in a metal pipe. Piazza Massena is paved with stone slabs, the light ones alternating with the dark ones, so that the surface resembles a chessboard.
It used to be a car-passenger road; today it has a light streetcar line and a pedestrian-only zone. The fountain of the Sun, surrounded by bronze figures symbolizing the planets, is an eye-catcher. Tourists take pictures next to another composition – on seven pillars there are seated men representing the continents. And this composition is called “Dialogue in Nice”.
Albert I Garden
To visit this garden – do not go far. It is located between the Promenade des Anglais and Place Massena. It’s hard to believe that such a quiet and harmonious place can be found in the center of the city. This beautiful garden does not have a great variety of plants, the main place is occupied by palm trees and roses.
However, everything here is very thoughtful and sophisticated, because it is one of the oldest gardens in the country, it was laid out in the 19th century and got its present name in 1914. It was Albert the First who became famous for his determination, firmness of spirit and faith in victory during the First World War, when France was fighting Germany. At first there was only a park, then sculptures and fountains began to appear.
There is a music kiosk – it was put there in the middle of the 19th century, when Nice became part of France. Beautiful fountain Triton, attract attention busts of famous people, unusual and beautiful is the Arc de Venet made of black metal. Its height is 19 meters, and it symbolizes the harmonious relationship between modern art and nature. You can come here with children – there is a playground for them. Numerous slides, merry-go-rounds, communication with peers – no doubt all this will please your child.
You can see the opera house from the outside – the building itself is very beautiful. And if you have time, try to go to one of the performances. The most famous artists of the world perform on stage. The theater is located in the city center, near the waterfront. It began to be built at the end of the 18th century, the initiator was Marquis Alli-Makkarani, a great lover of opera.
Almost immediately the theater became very popular, both in Nice and abroad. Unfortunately, a century later, while Lucia de Lammemour was performing on the stage, there was a fire that caused extensive damage to the building. It took several years to rebuild. The theater reopened its doors to the public in 1885. The old building is shaped like a horseshoe. It is symbolic – a horseshoe brings happiness.
On the walls you can see paintings and frescoes. The first performance, played after the reconstruction, was the opera “Aida”. In the 20th century, the area of the theater was expanded. And still fans of opera music come here to enjoy the voices of famous performers, masterfully made scenery and the atmosphere of the theater itself.
The famous hotel has long been a symbol of Nice. It was built in 1913 and it’s hard to name all the famous people who have stayed there since then. Among the guests of Negresco were Ernest Hemingway and Coco Chanel, the most famous artists and painters of the time.
Marlene Dietrich and Salvador Dali also liked the hotel. The beautiful white building looks like a palace. Its rooms and suites are unique – no two are alike. Various styles are represented here, from Louis the Thirteenth to modern times. Canopied beds sit beside flat-screen TVs.
The Negresco has excellent restaurants and bars – you can visit them and admire the interiors at the same time. You will have a feeling that you got in a museum. And, of course, the food and drinks here are the most refined. If something interests you – ask, the staff speaks Russian. Walking around the hotel, you can meet some of its famous guests.
This is the most ancient part of Nice, it is a real labyrinth of narrow streets. Small restaurants, craftsmen’s shops, artists’ exhibitions – there’s nothing there! The best way to get around is on foot: a car will not get through and you will need to lift your bicycle up and down the stairs.
The old part of Nice is a triangle enclosed between the Castle Hill, the promenade and the Garibaldi square. This is where the city was in the 17th century. Women used to wash their laundry in the Pajón River, and there was a market, shops, and residences here. Until now, there are two parallel lives here – local people and tourists. The inhabitants of the old part of Nice go to bed relatively early and shut the windows.
And in the morning the housewives go to the market, the shopkeepers open the doors. Tourists walk here until late at night. They are mesmerized by the beauty of the buildings, the romance of the narrow streets, the inexpressible charm of the ancient churches. It’s always cool here, even in the hot summer a fresh breeze blows. We can suggest visiting the Lascari Palace or climbing the Bellanda Tower, which is worth using as an observation deck.
The Cathedral of St. Reparata
A magnificent Catholic cathedral, which is located in the old part of Nice. It is crowned by a Latin cross, which makes you think of Italy. The ornate facade is decorated in Baroque style and the dome is covered with tiles. The cathedral was built on the site of an old church dedicated to the same saint. It was consecrated at the end of the 17th century, but the facade was given its present appearance in the 19th century. The bell tower was added in the mid-18th century. Be sure to visit the cathedral, because it’s very beautiful inside as well.
The rich decor, the dome that symbolizes paradise, all make a great impression. Saint Reparata is considered the patroness of the city. She was killed for her Christian faith in Palestine and her body resting in a boat ended up in Nice with the help of angels. That is why one of the coves in the city is so named: the Bay of Angels. Above the altar, which appeared here in the 17th century, you can see the image of Saint Reparata. Also in the cathedral there are 10 exquisite chapels decorated with beautiful paintings and frescoes.
The market is located on Kur Saleya Street. It opens early in the morning, but you should take into account that on Mondays they do not sell flowers, but various antiques. That’s also very interesting. On all other days you can wander around the market, enjoying the aromas of flowers, spices, fruit, fresh bread.
If you come here early in the morning, you can buy buds that haven’t bloomed yet, the freshest fruits and vegetables, buns just out of the oven. If you come here in the evening, you’ll get a great discount. Cut flowers, bulbs, seeds and sprouts are sold here. They offer a great variety of overseas spices. Nearby there are cafes and restaurants where you can eat.
Even if they sell the goods that interest you at the entrance, don’t buy them at once, walk around the market and bargain. There are so many temptations that you may be left penniless in a couple of minutes.
By the way, if you are still undecided about gifts for loved ones – you should look for them here. Amazing plants for sale at the Flower Market can decorate windowsills or home gardens of your friends.
You can get to Castle Hill with the help of an elevator, a special little train or on foot. The height of the hill is less than 100 meters so that even children can “climb”. But you will be rewarded with a wonderful view of Nice. Napoleon the Third, who was here, claimed that he had never seen a more beautiful scenery. From here you can see the bay, the promenade, the port and the city itself.
The castle is not here, although it once was and played an important role in defending the city. In the mid-16th century it was besieged by French-Turkish troops, and later the Duke of Savoy restored and strengthened the fortifications. But the troops of Louis the Fourteenth in the early 18th century turned the castle into ruins. In 1830 a park was laid out on the hill – by order of King Charles of Sardinia. Felix. Over the years, this place became more and more beautiful.
Today there are many alleys, the trees provide shade, you can sit on one of the benches, breathing in the scent of flowers and pine. There are also cafes that always sell refreshments and sweets for children. There is also a beautiful large waterfall and remained ruins of fortress walls. You should also visit the cemetery on the hillside, where many famous people are buried. For example, Alexander Herzen.
Church of Notre-Dame-de-Nice
It is a relatively “young” site, the church appeared here in the middle of the 19th century, when Nice stopped being an Italian city and became a French one. The new authorities wanted to add something elegant and sophisticated to the cityscape. So the prototype of the new cathedral was Notre-Dame de Paris, one of the main symbols of Paris. The cathedrals are indeed similar, but of course there are enough differences.
The church, located in the center of Nice, is made in neo-gothic style, its towers rise to 65 m high, they are visible from any point of the city. Between the towers is an elegant Gothic rosette. The stained glass windows, depicting one of the main Christian feasts, the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, are also beautiful. Music concerts are also often held in this church. Perhaps you can go to one of them.
Church of Notre-Dame-du-Port
Another beautiful church is the Church of the Immaculate Conception, built in the mid-19th century. Its location – on the shore – also determined the composition of the parishioners. For services began to come fishermen and their families who lived nearby. Today the church is very popular with tourists. It was built in the classical style – the portico, large columns … Here you can see a very beautiful statue of the Virgin Mary, as well as look at a series of paintings “The Way of the Cross”. Presumably, their author is Emmanuel Coste. There are beautiful palm trees growing near the old building.
This is the real sea gateway of the city. The piers are next to the beautiful promenade. Yachts and luxury cruise ships dock here. And the water is so clean you can go fishing. Nice, since its formation, needed its own port. Its construction began in the mid-18th century under Charles Emmanuel the Third. And it took almost 150 years to build the port facilities.
There appeared swimming pools, breakwaters, to the future port had a convenient road from the year. Later, the area was expanded, and a lighthouse appeared here. It was destroyed during World War II, and later rebuilt. Its current height is 21m. In addition to the lighthouse here you can admire the very picturesque yachts and fishing boats, as well as the old buildings surrounding the port. There is also the church of Notre-Dame-du-Port. There are many monuments nearby.
MAMAC Museum of Modern Art
This museum, if you visit it, will remain in your memory forever. It was opened in 1990. Presented here are the works of contemporary artists. The architects of the museum gave it a form of four towers connected with each other by passages of glass. The height of the towers reaches 30 meters. Many tourists are not even able to find the entrance at once.
Pictures and sculptures presented here, amaze the imagination. Funny aliens, the Loch Ness Monster, a dress made from empty bottles and much more. If you come to Nice with kids, be sure to take them with you.
Marc Chagall Museum
Its full name sounds unusual “National Museum “The Biblical Message of Marc Chagall”. It has to do with the fact that Chagall gave France 17 paintings, which are illustrations of the Old Testament. In addition, you can see here and other paintings of the artist. The museum was opened in the summer of 1973 at the initiative of the writer André Malraux.
The building is made of stone and is surrounded by a garden. Three rooms contain paintings of religious content, in the first room – in cool colors, in the second room – in warm, in the third – mixed. There is also a concert hall and a store where reproductions of Marc Chagall’s paintings are sold.
As you can see there are a lot of attractions in Nice and if you do not have time to see everything in 1 day – will be a reason to come back to this wonderful city.