Nice has always been a much-loved center for artists and one of the most charming vacation spots on the French Riviera. This city of complex and interesting history, annexed only in 1860 to France, is today one of the most popular French tourist destinations. There are many things to see and do in Nice, and often choosing where to start from can be complicated, especially if you have little time available. In this article, then, we will try to facilitate the task by listing the 10 must-see attractions in Nice.
1. Promenade des Anglais
Seven kilometers of seaside promenade that unrolls from La Colline du Château to the airport: the Promenade des Anglais is not simply a place to walk looking at the sea, but one of the symbols of the city.
On one side the beach and the sea with its turquoise shades, on the other magnificent gardens and majestic buildings.
Among the most beautiful buildings we point out the Palais de la Méditerranée and Le Negresco, both, today, are luxury hotels.
2. Parc de la Colline du Château
The Parc de la Colline du Château is one of the green lungs of the city and is located right at the beginning of the Promenade des Anglais. This is the perfect place to go jogging or spend a few hours with the kids.
The ascent is a bit tiring: you’ll have to do some stairs uphill. For the lazy ones, however, there is the possibility to use the elevator located on Rue de Ponchettes.
Once you get to the top, we suggest you take a walk and look out from the many panoramic terraces to enjoy the view of the city.
The best time to go up? Sunset!
3. Vieille Ville
The old town of Nice is one of the most characteristic places of the city.
The advice we give you is to walk around it slowly, taking your time to stroll through the alleys and enter the small craft stores.
Cours Saleya is the heart of Old Nice and it is here that, every day, the colorful food market takes place. From here, then, you can wander down the narrow streets that open out to the sides to immerse yourself in the everyday life of the city.
If you are looking for a special and authentic experience to visit this city on the French Riviera, we invite you to join our food tour of Nice that takes place right between the Old Town and the Promenade des Anglais.
During the guided tour you will be accompanied by a local guide who will tell you about the history of the city, show you its landmarks and take you to taste some of the best dishes of the local gastronomic tradition. Ready to taste, among others, the Socca, the Pissaladière and the Tapenade?
4. Place Massena
Among the Nice attractions there is definitely Place Massena, one of the most famous and charming squares of the city.
To catch the eye is certainly the great Fountain of the Sun dominated by an imposing statue depicting Apollo.
The fountain, the sculptures of Jaume Plensa and the buildings that open in an arc towards the sea make this place one of the most significant of the city.
5. Place Garibaldi
Another of Nice’s great squares is Place Garibaldi, dedicated to the Italian hero who was born in this city in 1807.
The square was built in 1773 and only later was it named after the “hero of two worlds”.
Place Garibaldi is surrounded by majestic baroque buildings and in the center there is a big statue of Garibaldi facing Italy.
6. Musée Matisse
Among the Nice tourist attractions not to be missed there are certainly its interesting museums.
The first one we would like to point out is the Musée Matisse, one of the most visited museums in the city.
The museum is located in the Cimiez district, a bit ‘far from the city center, but easily accessible both by walking and by bus.
Inside a beautiful Genoese villa, a very high number of Matisse’s works are kept (we are talking about 70 paintings, more than 200 drawings and almost 60 sculptures!).
Once you’ve finished visiting the museum, we suggest you take the opportunity to stroll through the elegant residential district of Cimiez.
7. Musée Chagall
The Marc Chagall Museum is also located in the neighborhood we just mentioned, and you might want to take the opportunity to visit these two Nice attractions on the same day.
The collection housed inside the museum is the largest in the world dedicated to the artist.
If you’re a Chagall fan, this is a visit not to be missed, especially since he was the one who coordinated the renovation of the villa where the museum is located today.
8. Musée des Beaux Arts
The Musée des Beaux Arts is located in the Les Baumettes neighborhood.
Inside you can admire a large collection of works by French artists ranging from the 15th century to the 20th century. Among the artists on display are Chagall, Degas, Monet, Sisley, but also Rodin.
9. Cathédrale Orthodoxe Russe Saint-Nicolas
One of the most interesting churches in Nice is the Cathédrale Orthodoxe Russe Saint-Nicolas, considered one of the most beautiful Orthodox churches built outside of Russia.
The church was erected thanks to the contribution of Tsar Nicholas II, who decided to have this impressive place of worship built for all the Russians who came to the French Riviera to escape the cold of winter in their homeland.
10. Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate de Nice
Finally, not to be missed, the Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate de Nice, the largest church in the old town of Nice.
The religious building is dedicated to Saint Reparate, the patron saint of the city.
We hope that our advice on the best attractions in Nice will be useful for you to better organize your visit.