Top Things to Do in Nice France
Top Things to do in Nice
Learn about painter Marc Chagall at his museum designed by him; an extraordinary work of art in its own right. Experience his 17 biblical paintings through candlelight viewing sessions!
Discover the history of Nice from its seafront promenade on a hop-on hop-off tour, then hike up Colline du Chateau (also known as Castle Hill) for panoramic views and an archaeological site visit.
1. Visit the Chateau du Chateau
The French Riviera is an idyllic vacation spot for good reason. Impressive 19th-century mansions dot its stunning promenades and beaches, while rugged natural terrain provides incredible vantage points. Enjoy a feast for the senses before visiting one of Chagall or Matisse’s museums – no wonder Nice’s unofficial motto is “Nice la belle!”
One of the best ways to orient yourself during your first day in Nice is by exploring Vieux Nice, also known as Old Town. This charming area of yellow-ochre buildings and cobblestone streets makes an atmospheric place for browsing Provencal soaps and oils and tasting local dishes such as socca (flatbread). For sweet tooths looking for something sweeter try Fenocchio on 2 Place Rossetti where they offer special flavors like lavender and flower of orange tree ice creams!
Castle Hill, once an active military citadel, now provides stunning views of Nice’s Bay of Angels. Home to Chateau du Chateau with ten highly ornate chapels decorated with gilding, sculptures and paintings; tours can also be taken for an additional fee or simply enjoy its sights from below!
On your journey through Nice, there will be numerous parks and promenades to visit; but for an immersive experience of this vibrant city, head straight for Promenade des Anglais. This mile-long boardwalk is popular among both visitors and locals, boasting restaurants, shops, hotels, condos that overlook the sparkling Mediterranean Sea.
For an easy way to navigate the promenade, consider taking the tram from Gare de Nice-Ville train station – it is an economical and hassle-free ride that costs less than one dollar each way! Additionally, hop-on, hop-off bus tickets provide greater flexibility for sightseeing on your own time if desired. While exploring Nice promenade don’t forget about its famous fountains, incredible sculptures, and incredible tilework!
2. Take a Walk on the Promenade des Anglais
The Promenade des Anglais is one of the city’s iconic sites, an expansive 7 km walkway which hugs the Mediterranean Sea and features people strolling, jogging, biking and skating throughout the day (and night), as well as those looking for relaxation by just relaxing while taking in all that is on offer here. Perfect for taking long strolls without doing much more than taking it easy on its shores – come experience its magic yourself!
Enjoy lush gardens, impressive fountains, and breathtaking views across the Bay of Angels from these gardens and square. At night it becomes especially beautiful when illuminated square lights up its gardens with colorful lights of every hue imaginable – an experience truly captivating for visitors from near and far!
For an active and exciting way to experience the Promenade des Anglais, climb Castle Hill (known as Colline du Chateau). Once an ancient citadel site, this stunning hill offers stunning panoramic views over both city and beach life.
After an enjoyable beach day, unwind with a refreshing glass of absinthe, or “the Green Fairy”, available at many restaurants across Nice. Boasting 90% to 148% proof alcohol content, absinthe is served in special glasses with sugar spoons placed strategically around its edge for garnish.
If you’re feeling more cultural, head over to the Musee Matisse where one of the world’s finest collections of this acclaimed artist’s works can be seen. Housed within a stunning Genoese villa, this museum will captivate any visitor.
Another economical activity in Nice is visiting one of its numerous markets, like Marche Aux Fleurs or Cours Saleya in Old Town. Opened originally as a flower market in 1897, today this market offers everything necessary for creating delicious meals: fruit stands, vegetable stands, fresh flowers, herbs and spices for sale as well as souvenirs unique to Nice!
3. Explore the Old Town
One of the most enjoyable activities in Nice is strolling along the narrow streets of Old Town (Vieux Nice). This compact neighborhood makes an enjoyable stroll, featuring restaurants, cafes, and creperies galore – not to mention many top attractions such as Cathedral of St Reparata and Musee Matisse which must not be missed by art enthusiasts!
Visit these spots early in the morning when it’s cooler and not too crowded, for maximum photo opps of Cote d’Azur and Old Town scenes without crowds of tourists in your way. Hike up Castle Hill (known locally as Colline du Chateau). Though difficult, hiking up this steep incline offers breathtaking views over both city and sea from its summit!
After exploring, treat yourself to another exquisite French meal in one of Nice’s many restaurants with panoramic city views, like Calade Rooftop Restaurant at Radisson Blu Hotel Nice which boasts an unforgettable panorama.
Visit the Promenade des Anglais, a beautiful coastal path perfect for strolling and people watching. Take time to see some of the hotels or other sights along this impressive promenade.
Before exploring the Old Town, make time to visit Cours Saleya Market – an iconic marketplace filled with fresh produce and flowers that boasts world-renowned prices for souvenirs or simply browsing its products on offer.
If you’re feeling brave enough, take the 305-foot climb up Castle Hill (Castel du Chateau) for an unrivalled panorama of Old Town and Promenade des Anglais. While steep, it’s well worth your while for panoramic views over both cities as well as silvery blue Mediterranean Sea – many walking tours include this famous hill.
4. Go Shopping
No matter your shopping needs – from couture clothes to French olive jam and socca – Nice offers a diverse range of shopping opportunities that will suit every taste and budget. Old-style boutiques in Vieux-Nice sit alongside town centre luxury brands for top luxury shopping experiences, plus local outlets that will suit both modern and traditional tastes – you’re bound to find something here that meets them both!
Nice Etoile offers an opulent mall experience in central Nice. Home to top retailers such as Adidas, Aldo and Accessorize as well as numerous restaurants and cafes – it makes the ideal stop while shopping!
Avenue Jean Medecin runs through the heart of town and features boutiques, jewellery shops and other retail stores that make for excellent window-shopping opportunities – though beware that some high-end stores may be quite pricey!
Visit the ‘golden triangle’, an area with boutiques lining Rue Paradis, Rue Alphonse and Rue De Verdun that houses luxury brands such as Chanel and Hermes.
Budget-minded diners looking for more casual meals may enjoy dining at one of the old town brasseries. Offering traditional French cuisine such as Ratatouille (made with courgettes, aubergine and peppers) or Daube Nicoise (a braised beef stew with bacon, tomato and red wine), these brasseries serve up classic French fare like these dishes and more!
Make an evening meal out of it by enjoying a romantic beach dinner under the stars with only the shimmery sea as your backdrop. Once finished, take your partner back into town for drinks at one of the bars in Old Town or just enjoy sharing a glass of wine together along the rocky Mediterranean shoreline.