Nice captivates visitors from all over the world with its versatile character and artsy vibe. It’s a city that has a lot going for it – with the Mediterranean climate and the beautiful beaches being the obvious assets – but then offers plenty of depth. While the majority of tourists choose Nice as their destination for the weather, those who put the effort into getting to know the city better discover a whole world of opportunities. The culture of Nice, being a mixture of Italian and French culture, make it a unique entity, unlike any other in the world. The art buffs will be delighted by what Nice has to offer, being the city in which the greats – Chagall, Picasso and Renoir – fell in love with. The famous art museums of Musées Matisse, Chagall and d’Art Moderne will satisfy even the most seasoned museum-goers with their vast collections and rich exhibitions. Finally, Nice is a wonderful experience for anyone eager to explore foreign cuisines, with the stunning socca, tourte de blettes and salade nicoise being reason enough to visit this city!
Top 10 Things to See and Do in Nice
French Riviera Day Trip from Nice
This day-trip will allow you to see one of the most popular destinations of the Cote d'Azur in just one day. The trip includes crossing the border into Monaco, as well as a short drive through the route of the Formula 1 race, along with an optional visit to the renowned Fragonard perfume factory.
French Riviera Sightseeing Cruise from Nice
Lasting only one hour, this tour will show you along the coastline of Nice. As you traverse the coastal waters of southern France, you will pass the Baie des Ange and the Rade de Villefranche-sur-Mer. Later on, you will be able to discover some of the ancient villages resting along the coast.
Nice City Bike Tour
Providing a comfortable pace for you to discover the city, this tour last three hours and provides you with a good quality bike on a small-group trip across Nice. A local guide will take you along the Promenade des Anglais, visiting such places as Hotel Negresco, the Old Town, Place Garibaldi, and more.
Nice Segway Tour
This two-hour tour will show you the colourful city on the French Riviera while speeding through the city on a Segway, allowing you to relax and not strain your muscles while walking. The tour covers most of the city’s top attractions in a single ride, and you can opt-in for a tour of the Castle Hill as well.
Monaco and Eze Small-Group Day Trip from Nice
Taking only small groups of tourists to make the experience more personal and intimate, this tour will show you some of the beauty of the places located outside of Nice. You will explore the medieval village of Eze, located on a hilltop, and the world’s second smallest country of Monaco with its museums.
Half-Day E-Bike Vineyard Tour with Wine Tasting
Starting from the centre of Nice, this tour will last half a day and show you some of the gems located outside the city. With electric bikes provided to make the journey more enjoyable, the tour will take you to some of the vineyards in and around Nice with tasting in each of the sites.
Small-Group Nice Food Tour
With a group size limited to ten people, the local guide of this tour will be able to give you a lot of attention and answer all of your questions about the French cuisine. You will be taken to a few different eateries where you will be able to taste up to twenty delicious treats, along with tips and insider hints on how to prepare them.
Small-Group Half-Day Tour to Eze and Monte Carlo
Departing from the port of Nice, this half-day tour will show you along the Mediterranean coastline as you admire the gorgeous landscapes and wonders of nature. You will be taken to the historic village of Eze, and then you will be able to discover the Monte Carlo district of Monaco, famous for its Formula 1 track.
Ferry to Saint Tropez from Nice
Take a seat aboard a comfortable ferry and visit Saint Tropez. The cruise along the French Riviera takes about two and a half hour, allowing you to enjoy the gorgeous views. When in Saint Tropez, you will be able to discover the Old Port on your own, along with a visit to the Saint Tropez Citadel and the picturesque beach of the city.
Snorkelling Trip from Nice
As you depart from the centre of Nice with transportation included in the price of the ticket, you will be able to discover the marine life of the Mediterranean Sea as you dive deep into the waters of the Villefranche Bay. A ferry cruise will take you from the Nice Port to Villefranche, where you will be able to enjoy the clear waters with custom-fitted snorkelling gear.
Other Things to See and Do
Called by the locals Vieille Ville, the Old Town of Nice is an antique neighbourhood loved both by the locals and the tourists. The Old Town is filled with tourist traps, but there are also a lot of hidden gems. Make sure to visit the Old Town during the evening, because there are often free events to attend.
The main square of the city is surely a place worth visiting. Gaze at its marvellous architecture, filled with black and white tiles arranged in a chaotic manner. The centre of the square is adorned with a huge marble statue atop a fountain, and the atmosphere of the place often changes after sunset.
Promenade des Anglais
Called the English Walk by the tourists, the Promenade des Anglais is a two miles long promenade which runs parallel to the shore of the city. The world-famous road is known for being not only a great place for an afternoon stroll, but most of the city’s attractions are placed along the way.
While the most of the original Chateau de Nice which adorned the Castle Hill has crumbled away to time, the hill still makes for a great place to visit on your trip to southern France. The top of the Castle Hill presents a stellar view, and the park around the area is a great place for a walk.
Located not far from the centre of Nice, this public beach is a preferred place to visit by locals, both old and young. There is an old diving board on the beach next to the water, which is technically forbidden from use, but that does not stop the teenagers to somersault into the water from the top.
This beach is also favoured among locals, as it has a restaurant along with it and free to use showers. The beach is public and free to visit, but crowds of both locals and tourists often swarm this beach, so make sure to find yourself a nice spot and stretch a towel, preferably on a big rock since those are often free.
This public beach is located outside the city of Nice, requires a fifteen-minute bus ride to reach, but is certainly worth it. Since the beach is remote and quite small, it is often devoid of tourists who prefer to stay within the premises of the city, offering a more secluded experience with a good choice of restaurants around.
While this one is the most popular beach in the city, among locals and tourists alike, it also has the most to offer. The beach hosts a large volleyball court and a plethora of small-time restaurants and ice cream parlors. You might even find a couple of free lounge chairs to relax on.
Cours Saleya Flower Market
Take a walk to this colourful place, filled with exotic aromas and vibrant greenery. The market presents a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and flowers, grown by the locals. The flower market is located in the Old Town, off the Promenade des Anglais, and is open every morning for tourists to discover.
St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church
Commissioned by the Tsar Nicholas II of the Romanov Family, the St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church was built in the early 20th century to fit the needs of the growing Russian minority in Nice. The church is famous for its gorgeous spherical domes, vibrant colours, and sophisticated ornamentation along the walls.
Avenue Jean Medecin
Stroll the Avenue Jean Medecin if you are in for some window shopping. The avenue begins at Place Massena, going upward, and is filled with international retail chains, but there are some small-time local businesses here as well, filling the street with craftsman shops and traditional eateries.
Garden of the Cimiez Monastery
The gardens surrounding the Cimiez monastery were once used by the monks as orchards and farmland, supporting the monastery with fresh fruits and vegetables. The layout of the garden has not changed since that time, and is still filled with beautiful flower beds. It also provides a nice view of the city.
Parc du Mont Boron
Take a walk to this park, located in the eastern part of Nice, if you are looking for a way to escape the bustling city life and have a breath of fresh air. The park is filled with over seven miles of hiking trails, providing quite a bit of exercise. The top of the park has one of the best panorama views of the city available.
Chateau de Nice Cemetery
Even though the Chateau de Nice itself is crumbled and long gone, the cemetery right next to it still stands. The cemetery is filled with family tombs of generations of locals, with graves of some of the famous people born in Nice. The cemetery is also a quiet refuge from the hustle of the city.
Located just next to the Flower Market of Cours Saleya, the regular market is filled with a wide arrangement of stalls and shops run by the locals. There are small-time eateries where you can eat some of the local cuisine, as well as shops with souvenirs and handcrafted memorabilia.
If you happen to visit Nice during the period before Mardi Gras, culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday, make sure to partake in the Carnival. Nice comes alive with events and activities during the evenings, including processions, parades, flower displays, concerts, fireworks, and much more.
During the end of the 19th century, Nice was a major place of retreat for people from all over Europe during winters. The Grand Boulevard Cimiez was built in order to accommodate for the crowds of people and hosts a wide number of hotels, including Grand Hotel the Majestic and The Excelsior Regina Palace, which housed Queen Victoria.
La Coulee Verte
While traversing the Promenade des Anglais, you might stumble upon this green area. Placed in between two of the largest avenues of the city (Avenue Felix Faure and Boulevard Jean Jaures), La Coulee Verte is a green corridor which acts as a park, often filled with picnicking people and joggers.
While Hotel Negresco sure is neither cheap nor free to stay at, you can still visit the place to admire its beauty. The hotel is one of the most iconic spots in all of Nice and sports a unique décor, looking like an embassy or a palace. The hotel has also been featured in a lot of movies, so you might immediately recognise it.
Monument aux Morts
Located right below the Castle Hill, the Monument aux Morts is dedicated to local soldiers who died defending their country during the First World War. The monument is over thirty meters high, carved into the hill, and was designed in 1928 by a French architect, Roger Pierre Honoré Séassal.