Located on the French Riviera, Nice is often regarded as one of the country’s most beautiful cities. Tourists are attracted to this stunning city at all times of the year. However, Nice is more popular with rich French and other wealthy individuals. In close proximity to its eastern boundary, the city may be found on the coast between Cannes and Monaco.
We have no doubt that Nice will fulfill your expectations as a tourist destination in France. A trip to Nice, France, is always a good idea. Nice is a great location to visit any time of year, but we recommend it as one of the top winter destinations in France due to its moderate winter temperatures and world-famous festival.
Nice has enough attractions to keep you occupied for days. Additionally, Nice serves as an excellent jumping-off point for day visits to other parts of the French Riviera. Also, because of its proximity to the airport, Nice serves as a convenient departure point for road trips around the French Riviera.
Top 15 tourist attractions in Nice
Keep reading if you need some suggestions for things to do in Nice. In this article, we’ll go through the top attractions in Nice, France.
- Parc de la Colline du Château (Castle Hill Park)
- Promenade des Anglais
- Vieille Ville (Old Town)
- Musée Matisse
- Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain
- Carnival de Nice
- Musee Marc Chagall
- Cathédrale Saint-Nicolas de Nice
- Jardin Albert 1er
- Place Massena
- Jardin des Arènes de Cimiez
- Cimiez Monastery
- Musée des Beaux-Arts
- Cours Saleya
- Promenade du Paillon
Parc de la Colline du Château (Castle Hill Park)
Castle Hill Park is one of the best and most popular attractions in the city of Nice. Visitors still go to the site where the ancient fortification of the Colline du Château once stood, watching over Nice’s Vieux Ville from atop a rocky hill.
Castle Hill is now a park with breathtaking views of the seaside and the town below. Visitors may either do the 213-step climb to the top of the hill or use the elevator next to the Hotel Suisse. It has a waterfall, many cafes, a playground, and a cemetery in addition to its deteriorating castle walls.
- Address: 06300 Nice, France.
- Timings: every day from 8:30 AM to 6 PM.
Promenade des Anglais
British travelers were responsible for making Nice a popular vacation spot in the early 18th century, which led to the construction of the coastal promenade that now stretches along the Baie des Anges.
When the market crashed, many people flocked to Nice in search of employment. Some of the wealthy Englishmen suggested paying these individuals to clear a path down the stony shore. It has evolved into one of the Mediterranean’s most well-known beachfront promenades, complete with palm trees, beach cabanas, trendy cafes, and five-star hotels. A visit to the Promenade des Anglais, Nice’s most popular attraction, is recommended.
Nice’s most famous street, the Promenade des Anglais, is a picturesque pedestrian promenade that follows the bay’s curve. This world-famous beachfront boulevard has beautiful gardens and palm palms. Aside from lanes for bicyclists and motorists, the Promenade des Anglais also has a pedestrian-only esplanade making it one of the greatest attractions in Nice.
Vieille Ville (Nice’s Old Town)
Vieille Ville, aka Nice’s Old Town, is one of the top attractions in the city. The Old Town, or Vieux Ville, of Nice spans from the base of Castle Hill to the city’s central square, the Place Masséna. The medieval district of Nice is reminiscent of the period when Nice was associated with independent Italian powers, with its labyrinth of narrow alleys interspersed with enormous promenades.
Italianate-style buildings with peeling gold paint and red-tile roofs fill the streets. Although many of the buildings in Vieux Nice are now home to businesses catering to visitors, the neighborhood is still inhabited by people. It’s a great spot to try some local specialties like their pastries and Niçoise-style pizzas.
Its narrow alleys and cobblestone streets give the Old Town of Nice a vibrant Italian feel. Vieille Ville, often known as “Babazouk,” is located at the western extremity of the Colline du Château (Castle Hill) and is surrounded by large boulevards such as the Jardin Albert I, Place Masséna, and Promenade du Paillon which are all some of the best tourist attractions in Nice.
The extensive works of French artist Henri Matisse are housed at a 17th-century mansion in the hills of Cimiez in northern Nice, and the museum is one of the greatest attractions in the city nowadays. This artist arrived in Nice in 1917 and lived there until his death in 1954.
His last residence was just across the street from the future site of the Musée Matisse, where he spent his final years of life. The museum, which opened in 1963, displays a vast collection of Matisse’s personal items in addition to hundreds of his paintings, gouaches, sketches, prints, and sculptures.
- Address: 164 Av. des Arènes de Cimiez, 06000 Nice, France.
- Wednesday to Monday from 10 am to 5 pm.
- Closed on Tuesdays.
Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain
Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain opened in 1990 as a museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art, and it is one of the top attractions in the city of Nice. Modernist architects Yves Bayard and Henri Vidal designed the structure, which has four towers covered in Carrara marble from the Italian city of the same name. The courtyard has a whimsical contemporary art piece.
The artworks in the museum’s collection span the decades between the 1950s and the 1970s and include examples of pop art and American abstract art. Yves Klein, a leader of the Nouveaux Réalistes movement and a Nice native, has some of his most famous pieces on exhibit in this museum.
- Address: Place Yves Klein, 06000 Nice, France.
- Tuesday to Sunday from 11 AM to 6 PM.
- Closed on Mondays.
Carnival de Nice
Traditions of feasting and revelry before Lent may be traced back to the Catholic Church, and that’s where the Carnival de Nice started out. For two weeks in February, the city of Nice plays home to a wild and chaotic event that attracts hundreds of thousands of people. One of the most attended and well-liked festivals on the French Riviera is the Nice Carnival. This festival is considered to be one of the best attractions in the city of Nice.
Fantastic parades, including elaborate floats and sparkling entertainment, such as Brazilian dancers and regional folk ensembles from the County of Nice, draw huge crowds of visitors. Giant puppets known as “grosses têtes” and floral decorations are included in yet another kind of parade.
Musee Marc Chagall
The hilltop district of Cimiez, on Nice’s northern edge, is home to the Musée Marc Chagall, which has one of the world’s most extensive collections of modernist Russian-French artists’ work. The museum was originally created during Chagall’s lifetime as a platform for displaying his Message Biblique series of 17 biblical paintings.
In addition to the inside mosaic, Chagall designed the vibrant outside mosaic that can be seen from the viewpoint of the garden pond. Since its opening in 1973, the museum has collected more than 800 Chagall pieces, and it is now one of the most popular attractions in the city of Nice.
The museum is in an area surrounded by lush greenery. Olive trees, cypresses, oaks, and other Mediterranean plants create a landscape that seems like something out of the Bible. Flowering agapanthus has been used in landscape design since Chagall was born in early July.
- Address: Av. Dr Ménard, 06000 Nice, France.
- Wednesday to Monday from 10 AM to 5 PM.
- Closed on Tuesdays.
Cathédrale Saint-Nicolas de Nice
As the biggest Orthodox Christian cathedral in Western Europe, the Cathédrale Orthodoxe Russe St. Nicholas is also one of the top attractions in Nice. Its blue onion domes are crowned with glittering gold crosses, and its exterior is adorned with intricate carvings.
The cathedral, which was finished in 1912, was constructed in response to the increasing number of Russian aristocracy spending the winter in Nice. Czar Nicholas II commissioned the cathedral to be built in 1865 in Nice, France, to honor his heir, Nicholas Alexandrovitch, who had passed away the previous year.
There are requirements that guests must follow in order to visit: Men are expected to dress appropriately, which means putting on a shirt. Miniskirts and shorts are not permitted, and women are encouraged to wear tops that cover their shoulders and a head covering.
- Address: Av. Nicolas II, 06000 Nice, France.
- Timings: every day from 10 AM to 6 PM.
Jardin Albert 1er
Another one of Nice’s best attractions is Jardin Albert 1er. This lush park is a favorite spot for picnics and strolls because of its shaded trees, wide grass, fountains, and scented flowers. The playgrounds and vintage carousel in the park are particularly well-liked by families with small children.
The Théâtre de Verdure is a lovely outdoor venue in the Jardin Albert 1er, surrounded by pine and palm trees. This outdoor facility hosts music concerts, festivals, and performances by well-known rock bands during the spring and summer seasons.
The garden may be found between the Promenade des Anglais and Avenue de Verdun. The bustling Avenue Jean Médecin, one of Nice’s main retail avenues, is only a short stroll from the park.
- Address: 2-16 Av. de Verdun, 06000 Nice, France.
- Timings: every day from 7 AM to 11 PM.
Another one of Nice’s top attractions is Place Massena. Located in the heart of Nice, the Place Masséna serves as the state’s largest public meeting space and cultural center. It connects the historical area to the city’s economic hub and is surrounded by buildings dating back to the 17th century.
After the tramway system was renovated, the area became a pedestrian mall where a sculpture by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa was placed. The work is made up of sculptures mounted on top of tall pillars placed strategically across the plaza. The region is characterized by a monumental fountain depicting a figure of Apollo.
- Address: 13 Pl. Massena, 06000 Nice, France.
Jardin des Arènes de Cimiez
Jardin des Arènes de Cimiez is another top attraction to visit in Nice. This beautiful garden is located across from the Cimiez Monastery and is surrounded by olive trees that are hundreds of years old. Locals love taking long, meditative strolls in the garden on sunny days. Visitors will enjoy the beautiful sea views from the terraces and the calming nature.
Arènes de Cimiez park is interesting not just to those who appreciate nature but also to those who are interested in the region’s past. The park is more than just a nice place to relax in the shade; it also has historical relics from the nearby Roman settlement of Cemenelum, such as the city’s amphitheater and public baths. People may visit the garden without paying any admission fees.
- Address: 184 Av. des Arènes de Cimiez, 06000 Nice, France.
- Timings: every day from 8:30 AM to 8 PM.
The Monastère de Cimiez, located on a hill in the Nice neighborhood of Cimiez, was built by Benedictine monks in the 9th century and is still in use today. Not far from a collection of Roman remains and the Musée Matisse is an old church-turned-museum that has works of art and documents from the 15th to the 18th centuries, among them three paintings from the 1400s by the Bréa brothers.
The monastery has stunning grounds and is home to Henri Matisse’s last resting place, in addition to its breathtaking vistas of Nice and the Bay of Angels. Cimiez Monastery is one of the best attractions to visit in Nice.
- Address: Place Jean-Paul II Pape, 06000 Nice, France.
Musée des Beaux-Arts
Musée des Beaux-Arts is another great attraction to visit for those traveling to Nice. Musée des Beaux-Arts is located in Les Baumettes, a popular student neighborhood, and has a rich collection of works from the sixteenth to the twentieth century. Among the many European countries included in this collection are France, Italy, and the Flemish Republic.
The works of art from the nineteenth century, particularly France’s golden age of painting and sculpture in the 17th and 18th centuries, are the highlight of this museum. Works by Jules Chéret, Fragonard, Jan Brueghel de Velours, Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Pierre Bonnard, and Raoul Dufy are included.
The Russian princess Elizaveta Vasilievna Kochubey constructed her own residence in Nice in 1878, and the museum now occupies the space.
- Address: 33 Av. des Baumettes, 06000 Nice, France.
- Tuesday to Sunday from 11 AM to 6 PM.
- Closed on Mondays.
You wouldn’t think that we will forget about Nice’s fascinating shopping centers when talking about the city’s best attractions. One of Nice’s most popular attractions among locals and tourists is Cours Saleya’s market.
The Cours Saleya, a wide boulevard in Nice’s historic district, is home to the city’s renowned outdoor markets. There are trees and 18th-century homes all around this area, which was formerly a park for Nice’s upper classes and is now home to bars and restaurants offering traditional Niçois cuisine.
Every morning from Tuesday through Sunday, you may find vendors selling flowers and fruit right here. On Monday mornings, antiques and collectibles are shown and sold near the eastern end of Cours Saleya. Matisse’s yellow stone building, where he lived and worked as an artist from 1921 to 1938, may be found nearby.
Promenade du Paillon
In order to connect the Promenade des Anglais with the Théâtre National de Nice, the brand new Promenade du Paillon was built. The Paillon River was covered in the late 19th century, but landscape architect Michel Pena has recreated its route.
The walkway has a large reflecting pool with 128 water jets and fountains that spray water in a haphazard manner, as well as children’s playgrounds, green areas, gardens, and landscaping. Promenade du Paillon is one of the best attractions to visit in the city of Nice, with so many amenities to help you spend a memorable time with your friends and family.
- Address: Plassa Carlou Aubert, 06300 Nice, France.
- Timings: every day from 7 AM to 9 PM.
Final words about Nice’s top attractions
Nice is located on the rocky beaches of the Baie des Anges and is the capital of the Alpes-Maritimes region of the French Riviera. The city has been attracting artists ever since its inception as a Greek colony and its use as a resort for European aristocracy in the 19th century. So you can see that with such rich heritage and beautiful nature, the city is full of attractions. We tried to introduce some of Nice’s best attractions to you in this article. Hope you have a great time visiting this lovely city!