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The second-largest city in Provence after Marseille, Nice, at once posh and popular, festive and dynamic, surprises by its diversity. To visit Nice is to discover the historical, multicultural, tasty and charming treasures of the Côte d’Azur capital.
What to do in Nice? The prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes is not only a silver open-air display: historical monuments, gardens, hiking trails, museums, artists, traditions, local crafts, and internationally renowned gastronomy, sunny flavors of tomatoes, basil and olive oil… A thousand and one wonders which will be at the service of your visual and gustatory pleasures! What could be better than taking advantage of the charms of the French Riviera to magnify your stay? Here is a list of unmissable places to visit Nice, the quintessence of all charms.
1 – Visit Old Nice
An anthill of tourists and locals, Old Nice looks like a small medieval village. With yellow and red facades, wander through the maze of narrow, shady streets to find your best products: craft shops, small food shops – fresh pasta factories, traditional biscuit factories, Niçois dishes, butchers, bakeries, grocery stores, countless restaurants, cafés, wine bars, ice-cream parlors -, souvenir shops, boutiques of painters, draughtsmen, sculptors, stylists. THE area to visit Nice for a chic and trendy shopping trip. To party, it’s here too: it’s the pedestrian area of restaurants, bars, pubs, and discos. Take the opportunity to visit the Sainte-Réparate cathedral, the Bourse du travail, the Palais de la Préfecture, and many churches.
2 – Castle Hill
Unlike what its name suggests, the Castle Hill is more a hill than a castle. There are only ruins left, but climbing the steps to the top of the hill gives a view of Nice and the Baie des Anges. It is also a good place for children, as at the top you will find a playground and a perfect place for picnics. A must-see panoramic view
3 – Going to the Saleya Market
On this double alley between the castle hill and the Albert 1er park, the Cours Saleya is known to the people of Nice for being the place of the traditional flower and local food market. On the stalls, you will find olive caviar with truffles, socca – a specialty of Nice – but also fruit, vegetables, and other French dishes. An ideal moment to soak up the atmosphere of Nice. Glean flowers and regional specialities, such as olive oil, spices, tapenade or anchovyade, etc. For a culinary trip to Nice, this is the place to be.
4 – Visit the Matisse Museum
This museum dedicated to the art of Henri Matisse (1869-1954) is simply the must in Nice if you like pictorial art. You will have access to nearly 70 paintings, 200 drawings, engravings, sculptures, illustrated books, photographs and objects that belonged to the painter.
5 – Walking on the Promenade des Anglais
The ‘Prom’ – as the locals say – is a huge promenade on the edge of the coast, 7 km long from the entrance of Nice to the old town. Visiting Nice via this pedestrian avenue allows you to observe the reflections of the city and the flamboyant lighting at any time of the day. Shades of orange in the evening, grey-blue in the morning, turquoise blues in the sea, and all with the impression of being in the countryside!
6 – Parks and nature in Nice
If you’re more natural than concrete, Nice has more than one string to its bow. Indeed, two parks offer a moment of appreciable peace and quiet: the large Mont Boron Park and the Promenade du Paillon. Take advantage of this park, a corridor of greenery in the middle of the city centre to visit the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Nice. Also, go up to the belvederes of Nice, notably the park of the castle hill and take a picture of this postcard-like setting!
7 – Other things to do in Nice
- Visit the Marc Chagall Museum, dedicated to the work of the painter Marc Chagall.
- Walk on the checkerboards of the Place Masséna
- Visit St. Nicholas Cathedral, one of the most important Russian Orthodox buildings outside Russia.
- Explore the Lascaris Palace dating from the first half of the XVIIᵉ century, today a museum of ancient musical instruments.
- Visit the Monastery of Cimiez
To know more about Nice we invite you to Book the Nice Walking tour available on this website.
Also if you wish to know more about Nice, we invite you to visite the Nice tourist office