In Nice, I spent 4 days after my tour in Provence . It turned out that this is not just a resort town with beaches, promenade and restaurants, but also an interesting city in terms of attractions. There is definitely something to see here, therefore, you can combine sightseeing with a beach holiday, or come to Nice and visit these places in 1 day (maybe two). In this article I will tell you about the most picturesque places of the city, as well as how to get there.
Nice sights on the map
Below is an interactive map of Nice with all the points of interest discussed in the article. Also at the end of the article you will find your bonus – maps of Nice and Paris in printable formats and tags for the navigator.
Tags can be uploaded to the offline navigator, but I also recommend that you use Google maps online. It is convenient to lay routes and search for transport.
Center – Place Massena, fountain du Soleil, Albert Garden
What to see in Nice first? Central city square! It was founded in 1820-1830. Named after the famous French marshal Andre Massen, who occupied the city in 1792 during the next military company of Napoleon Bonaparte. The area is conditionally divided into two parts – northern and southern. The first is in the shape of a rectangle, surrounded by buildings in the Genoese style, the second is semicircular. With the exception of the central axis, the square is paved with dark and light plates, which make it look like a chessboard.
On the south side of Place Massena is the fountain du Soleil (fountain “Sun”). Opening date – 1956. Along the perimeter it is decorated with bronze sculptures from the architect Alfred Zhano. In the center is a marble nude of Apollo, 7 m high, the patron saint of the Sun.
Albert Garden is another noteworthy place between Place Massena and the Old Town. Hundreds of palm trees and roses grow here, fountains murmur, children’s playgrounds are equipped, there are many benches, beautiful sculptures and art objects (a music kiosk, a bust of the Belgian king Albert I, in whose honor the landmark, a monument to Berlioz, etc.). In summer, festivals and large concerts are held in the garden. In a word, it is very pleasant to walk here.
Nice old town
The Old Town of Nice (Vieux Nis) is the historical part of the resort, including several authentic neighborhoods. Basically, the buildings in them were erected in the Baroque style. This is not surprising, the Italians built the old city. Among the beautiful buildings stand out the buildings of the Old Senate and the Marine Arsenal, the Palace of Justice.
One of the main attractions of Le Vieux Nice is the Tour de I’Horloge clock tower. Look for her across from the Palace of Justice. Established – XVIII century. There are always many people who want to take pictures. The clock on the tower, despite its honorable age, is working properly. Their design is dominated by royal colors – golden, blue and burgundy.
I advise you to pay attention to the church. The Cathedral of Saint Reparta, the patroness of the city, was opened in 1949. It is the seat of the Diocese of Nice. The cathedral was built in the Baroque style on the model of St. Susanna in Rome. The facade has recently been restored. Inside the temple are Corinthian columns, a lot of gold and rare frescoes.
I note another church in the area – Saint-Jacques-le-Major (Eglise Saint-Jacques-le-Majeur de Nice). Another name is the church of Jesus. After numerous reconstructions, elements of neoclassicism are clearly visible in the facade. The dome is covered with tiles, the walls are painted in lilac and blue colors, the finish is light yellow.
What else to see in the Old Town of Nice? Of course, as expected, in the Old Town there are many restaurants (prices, by the way, are lower than on the promenade or pedestrian Rue Massena), souvenir and gastro shops, ice cream shops (I highly recommend Fenocchio, many flavors of ice cream, including such unusual ones as beer, basil, violet, etc.)
Castle Hill with viewing platforms
For those who want to take “postcard” photos of Nice and see the sights of the city from a height, I recommend climbing to Castle Hill (Colline du Château). Today there is no castle, it is a park at an altitude of 92 m above sea level with a magnificent view of the city. From here you can see the port of Nice with snow-white yachts, a beautiful bay with azure water and the whole Promenade des Anglais.
Observation decks are free. Around – a dense forest. Pines, oaks and cypresses give a good shadow, and you can not worry about the scorching sun. It is especially picturesque here at sunset. But in order to take vivid photos with the azure sea, I think it is better to come in the morning, because at 4-5 pm there were glare from the sun and the brightness that we would like did not work out.
And now life hack from Elena Kazantseva, i.e. from me. The observation deck can be reached not only on foot along the stairs, but also by elevator, by the way, completely free of charge. At rush hour, of course, it will be necessary to defend the line. But in general, it is much more convenient than to drag along the scorching sun along the ladders. I mark the elevator on the map. Just go inside and follow the “lift” signs. The only BUT – the elevator is open from 10:00 to 19:30.
If you are considering where to go to Nice in the evening, then you have two of the most obvious options: Promenade des Anglais or the port of Nice. A better place is hard to find. The city port is one of the largest in the south of France. Dozens of ships and yachts depart daily from it. Construction began in the second half of the 18th century and lasted 100 years. Today, the port has zones for cyclists and pedestrians, lots of greenery, cafeterias. By the way, the property located here is very expensive in value. Yes, and yachts, judging by their size, are not cheap 🙂
Promenade des Anglais (Promenade des Anglais)
One of France’s most beautiful promenades starts from Napoleon III Bridge and ends near Quai-des Etats Unis. Its length is 7 km. Along are magnificent five-star hotels , including the famous luxury hotel Negresco – a visiting card of the Cote d’Azur and a symbol of luxurious life.
Its grand opening took place in January 2013. The construction took 3 million gold francs. Coco Chanel, Madeleine Dietrich, Michael Jackson and other eminent persons lived here.
Rooms include 145 apartments. Their interior is not repeated among themselves. In off-season (for example, in November) a standard double room will cost from € 264. A day in a standard double room with breakfast will cost € 420. Suite with sea view of 57 m² – from € 600 with breakfast. In season, the price starts from € 420, luxury deluxe suite with sea view – from € 1920 per day (breakfast included). Bookings are available at booking.com .
Basilica of Notre Dame de Nice
The Roman Catholic Basilica in the city center is a must-see item in the “What to see in Nice in 1 Day” program. This is the largest temple in the resort. The architectural style is neo-Gothic. Two square towers, each 65 m high, lancet arches, wide windows look luxurious. You will certainly be interested in hand-painted stained glass windows and marble statues of the Virgin Mary. Free admission.
St. Nicholas Cathedral
What else can you see in Nice? Cathedral of St. Nicholas. The largest Orthodox church in Western Europe was erected in Nice at the beginning of the 20th century. Its height is 50 m. At the same time, 600 believers can fit in it. The outer lining of the cathedral is made of pink granite and blue ceramic tiles. Inside there are many shrines: the miraculous image of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, rare icons donated by the Romanov royal family.
You can visit the cathedral any day from 09:00 to 18:00. Free admission. The exact address of the attraction: 17 Boulevard du Tzarewitch. You can get here from the center by bus lines No. 71, 75. Exit at the Tzarewitch stop.
Roman Hill (Arènes de Cimiez)
In the city quarter of Cimiez, you can see the ruins of an ancient Roman city. Excavations were carried out for half a century. Scientists have proven that an amphitheater, residential quarters, and public baths were located here. The found artifacts became part of the collection of the Archaeological Museum. Wandering through the ancient ruins is interesting and completely free. In addition, a wonderful panorama opens from the Roman hill.
Nice ranks second in France, after Paris , in the number of museums. If you are in Nice for 2 days or more, be sure to arrange an educational trip.
Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nice)
Established in 1860 The building is located on the central avenue Bomet, occupies two floors. The museum itself is named after the artist Jules Cheret. On the ground floor there is a collection of works by artists of the 16th-18th centuries (Donati Créti, Hubert Robert and others). The second floor is dedicated to painting of the XIX-XX centuries, there is a good collection of sculptures. In a separate room – the work of Jules Cheret.
You are expected in the museum from 10:00 to 18:00 every day. Prepare € 10 for the admission ticket.
The Matisse Museum
Another attraction of the city of Nice is the Matisse Museum. It contains 70 sculptures, 236 sketches, several hundred paintings by the great French artist. Matisse spent 40 years of his life in Nice, and often portrayed the city in his works. Museum ticket – € 10 (valid for 24 hours for all municipal museums, for € 20 you can buy a subscription for 7 days). Admission is free for children under 13 years old. You can book a tour with an English-speaking guide.
Schedule: day off – Tuesday. On other days, come from 10:00 to 17:00 in the winter and until 18:00 in the summer. The museum’s official website states that from September 2 to September 16, the building will be closed to visitors.
There is a bus number 15, 17, 25 from the Promenade des Anglais, the bus stop is called Musée Matisse.
Chagall Museum (Musée National Marc Chagall)
The Marc Chagall Museum was opened in 1973. It occupies a one-story building, oaks, cypresses and olives grow around. Divided into 3 large halls. The first contains the 12 best paintings of Chagall. They are based on stories from the Bible. An interesting detail: all the pictures are depicted in blue. The second room is 5 works in a bright red palette. In the third hall, temporary expositions are held, gouache master sketches, sketches are presented.
Museum work schedule: Tuesday – day off. Guests are welcome on other days from 10:00 to 17:00 from November to April and from 10:00 to 18:00 from May to October. Give back € 8 for an admission ticket.
Attractions located at: 36 Avenue Dr Ménard. You can get here by bus number 15, exit – Marc Chagal.
Museum Massena (Villa Masséna Musée)
Look for this museum near the Promenade des Anglais and the Negresco Hotel. Here is an excellent collection of weapons, awards, porcelain, personal items of the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. The first floor is reserved for rare household items and art of the XVI-XIX centuries. Second floor – documents, photographs of the Massena family. On the third floor, guests can familiarize themselves with the history of Nice. On the territory there is a garden, shop, parking.
Museum Address: 65 Rue de France. The schedule is the same as that of the Chagall or Matisse Museum. Admission is € 10 (ticket valid for 24 hours in all city museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts and the Matisse Museum).
By appointment, individual tours are held – € 6.
Modern Art Museum
Look for it at: 1 Place Yves Klein. It is near the historic center of the resort. The museum houses a decent collection of avant-garde works, dating back to 1960. In total – 1300 exhibits. On the top floor there is a terrace with beautiful city views. The building itself is also a tourist attraction. Each corner is decorated in its own style. A single ticket for 10 € is suitable for entry (20 € is a weekly subscription).
See also “TOP 25 Marseille attractions”
What is a vacation in Nice without shopping? Twice a year (from mid-January to mid-February and from early July to early August), sales are held in the city. Discounts reach 70%.
On Verdun Avenue are luxury boutiques with exclusive products from designer fashion houses. Galeries Lafayette (6 Avenue Jean Médecin) – the main shopping center of the city. It sells clothes, shoes, jewelry of excellent quality from 600 manufacturers.
Democratic shops are located on Jean Medsen Avenue.
Do not forget to download Nice maps before the trip, this will greatly facilitate the journey. This can be done through the form below.
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