35+ Things to do in Nice, France: The Complete Ultimate Guide
Looking for things to do in Nice?
Nice is the largest city on the French Riviera, and not surprisingly, it is also the city which attracts the most tourists every year.
But tourists wouldn’t visit if there’s nothing to do, and Nice wouldn’t be as loved as it is today if it didn’t offer its tourists activities that suit all tastes.
If you visit, you’re probably wondering about the things to do in Nice, and what you should do while you’re here.
In this article, we’re sharing a complete list of the most important and most popular things to do in Nice, France, on the French Riviera.
Hold on tight, because this list will have something for everyone, no matter what interests or age.
If you’re more of a visual learner, you can take a look at this video of things to do in Nice:
This is the most popular market in Nice which takes place in the old town of Nice, Vieille Ville. Mainly, it is a fruit, vegetable, and flower market, but you can also find other things there, too.
The Cours Saleya market is open almost every morning, being open Tuesday through Sunday, but on Mondays, it is closed in favor of an antique market.
Entering the market is obviously free, however, sometimes, the prices can be a little high.
Old Town (Vieille Ville)
The old town of Nice, also known as Vieille Ville, is on many tourist’s lists of things to do in Nice.
The old town of Nice is like your traditional old town, with colorful houses, small narrow streets, cobblestone streets, and much more
It truly is a town with great charm, since the layout of the town essentially hasn’t changed since the 1700s.
Visiting the old town of Nice is a delightful contrast to the modernity of the modern part of Nice, and since most tourists want to embrace the French culture, this is a must-visit.
Chagall Museum – Musee National Message Biblique Marc Chagall
The Chagall Museum is a museum dedicated to the work of Marc Chagall – his work inspired by religion.
The Chagall museum was created when Chagall was still alive through the support of the Minister of Culture André Malraux. The Chagall museum was inaugurated in1973. The museum is home to seventeen paintings illustrating the biblical messages which were painted by Chagall.
Many tourists find their way to the Chagall museum, and few people are disappointed with their visit.
If you are interested in art and art history, you should definitely add this to your list of things to do in Nice.
Castle Hill – Colline du Chateau
The castle hill is located on the east side of Nice, in the old district.
The castle hill is today more of a hill than it is a castle, but there has once been a castle on the hill, which was blown up.
The castle hill is the highest point of Nice and gives you an absolutely amazing view over Nice, the Mediterranean, all the way to Antibes.
Walking all the way to the top, or taking the elevator, is truly a must if you visit Nice, and it will make for some absolutely amazing shots.
At the top, you’ll find a café and a souvenir shop.
Promenade des Anglais – English walk
This is probably the activity, among the things to do in Nice which the vast majority of tourists do before they leave, at least once.
The Promenade des Anglais is the long promenade that stretches all the way along the Mediterranean sea, offering stunning views, and making for delightful strolls.
There are a great number of benches and chairs along the long Promenade, so whenever you just want to enjoy the beautiful view or rest your legs a bit, just have a sit on one of the iconic blue chairs.
Enjoy the beaches of Nice
Most people who visit the French Riviera in the summer come for the sun, the marvelous weather, the beaches, and blue waters.
Nice has both public and private beaches, with about 15 being private.
While the private beaches are nice, they are costly. Do also have in mind that you are not allowed to bring your own food and drinks to the private beaches
Most of the beach area in Nice consists of public beaches, and during summer, there will be a lot of people, but due to its sheer size, it is seldom, if ever, completely full.
The public beaches are free, but you obviously won’t get the amenities that you get from the private beaches, such as restrooms, chairs, beach beds, etc.
Also, have in mind that the beach in Nice consist of pebble stone, which may you may or may not like. However, if you’re going to lay here, you are going to need a towel at the very least, since it is an otherwise hard surface to lie on.
If you want, using shoes or water shoes isn’t a bad idea, either, even when b thing, as the pebble stones can be unpleasant to walk on.
There are not a lot of people who are unfamiliar with the artist Henri Matisse, and in Nice, you’ll find his very own museum. The museum is devoted to the artist, and it contains one of the largest collections of his works in the world. It also consists both his early and more recent works.
The museum was opened in 1963 and is located in the Villa des Arènes which is a seventeenth-century villa which was constructed between 1670 and 1685.
Today, the Matisse museum is among the things to do in Nice a popular activity, and a reason for that is that it is free.
If you visit, you’ll find, among much more, 68 paintings, 236 drawings, 218 prints, 57 sculptures, 95 photos, and 14 books by Matisse.
It’s not only what is inside the villa that is stunning, but the villa itself is an incredible sight, too.
In case you didn’t know, Henri Matisse actually lived nearby the museum, in what was Hotel Regina. The hotel is open Wednesday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Palais Lascaris is free for visitors, and therefore often on the list of things to do in Nice for tourists.
The Palais is a 17th-century historic building which you can visit Wednesday through Monday, closed on Tuesdays.
The Palais Lascaris was an aristocratic building, and today, it is a musical instrument museum which has a collection of more than 500 instruments, making it the most important musical instrument collection in France.
The museum is created around the musical instrument collection which was requested by the nineteenth-century niçois collector Antoine Gautier.
Parc du Mont Boron
Parc du Mont Boron is a delightful park which allows you to get away from the large crowds of Nice and into the calmness of nature.
In Parc du Mont Boron, you can expect fresh air and wonderful nature.
The people who have this on their list of things to do in Nice often take a hike in the park. Here, you’ll be able to find roughly 7 miles of hiking trails. Whether you want to take a run to exercise, or just enjoy the calmness of a nice hike, this is the place to do so. Moreover, if you get to the top, you’ll be able to enjoy a stunning panoramic view.
Place Massena is the most famous square in Nice, and it is also the largest.
Place Massena is located right in the center of Nice, and here, there’s always plenty of people, especially in the evenings.
Here, people meet up, or just take a stroll around the square.
The square is close to everything, including the main shopping street, the sea, and ships.
It really is a nice place to be, with illuminated fountains and much more.
Avenue Jean Medecin
This is the main shopping street of Nice, and if you feel like shopping, you should definitely add visiting this shopping street to your list of things to do in Nice.
Here, you’ll find all the world-famous stores such as Zara, and you’ll also find large retail stores such as Galeries Lafayette, the French department store.
It is a great street for some shopping therapy.
St-Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral – Cathedrale Orthodoxe Russe St-Nicholas
This enormous cathedral will make you drop your jaw.
This is an attraction in Nice which everyone should visit, because it is truly something you don’t see every day, especially not in France.
Tsar Nicholas II of Russia commissioned the building of the cathedral in the early 20th century. The church is built in bright colors and with incredible attention to detail. This cathedral is exactly what you think of when thinking about a Russian church.
The church is open daily for tours, but it is closed on Sunday mornings for services.
The cathedral is a national monument of France and it was opened in 1912.
Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art
This is a greatly popular museum in Nice and part of many tourists’ plans of things to do in Nice.
The museum is opened Tuesday through Sunday and closed on Mondays.
You can get a delightful tour for a small fee, but the museum itself is free.
The building in which the museum is located in can be considered art itself, with stunning architecture.
Here, you’ll be able to go to the rooftop and get an absolutely amazing view over the city.
As the name reveals, it is a museum which is dedicated to modern art and contemporary art.
Église Saint-Jacques-le-Majeur de Nice
This church in Nice, located on Rue du Jesus was built in the 1600’s by the Jesuits. It is a Roman Catholic church which shows for absolutely incredible architecture.
If you’re interested in history and architecture, this is definitely worth a visit.
Also known as Nice cathedral, it is a popular tourist attraction in Nice.
Construction of it began in 1650 and finished in 1685. Further constructions then continued in 1699 with new elements and decorations being added to the cathedral, all the way to 1949.
The cathedral is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and Saint Reparata. Today, it is a national monument of France and has been since 9th of August 1906.
Here, you’ll find one of the oldest and largest squares in nice, designed by Antonio Spinelli. The square was built in the second half of the 18th century.
The area isn’t completely pedestrianized as it has a tramline.
Jardin Du Monastere De Cimiez
Among the things to do in Nice, France, this activity tends to attract plenty of people.
This garden is situated close to the Matisse museum and is the oldest garden on the French Riviera.
Located in a stunning location, it is sure to make for a delightful experience.
It is a 9,550m2 park which showcases an Italian-style garden. There are plenty of beautiful flowers and plants which you can enjoy.
The garden and the monastery is located on the hill of Cimiez. The monastery has been and still is, used by monks
Inside the monastery, you’ll also be able to find a museum which showcases the life of the Franciscan monks in from the 13th to the 18th century.
From here, you’ll have absolutely incredible views over Nice, and the view itself makes it well worth the visit.
It was established by the Benedictines in the 800s. In order to get here, you need to walk along the Boulevard de Cimiez.
If you are passionate about flowers, you’ll also find this trip well worth it.
Parc De La Colline Du Château
One of the things to do in nice which I mentioned earlier was the Colline du Chateau, but on the hill, there’s also a delightful park which attracts many visitors, not too many.
On your way to the top, you’ll find a beautiful waterfall which makes for the perfect image. There are benches to relax on, and you’ll also find many locals just having a picnic or reading a book here due to the calmness of the park.
Watch the yachts at the Port de Nice Marina
While Nice isn’t really a city which has been highly dependent on export and import, as opposed to Marseille, for example, it isn’t a very developed marina city with large harbors.
While the Port de Nice Marina doesn’t attract the most luxurious yachts, it still attracts plenty of yachts, especially during summer, which you can adore if you go here.
In the harbor, you’ll still be able to find stunning yachts that cost more than a regular´house.
There are also a number of great restaurants and cafés around the harbor where you can relax for a bit, and watch the boats from.
Visit the Monument aux Morts
Right below the east side of the Castle Hill, incorporated in the mountain, is the Monument aux Morts monument. It is a French memorial that honors 4,000 soldiers from Nice who lost their lives in World War I.
It isn’t a monument that makes people solely come here to visit the monument, but as the road is passing by the monument, it is at least worth a stop for a few minutes.
Place du Palais de Justice
This is a central square located in Nice that has several nice stunning buildings and architectural creating, stunning to look at.
From this square, you are close to many monuments and buildings in nice, so it’s a great starting point.
The Place du Palais de Justice is restarted and has been refreshed, with elements like colorful pavement.
Nice Opera House
Your trip to Nice isn’t completed unless visiting Nice opera house is on your list of things to do in Nice.
Here, you’ll be able to see a number of different shows in the stunning opera building with its stunning architecture and interior.
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nice
This museum was built in the private mansion belonging to the Ukrainian Princess which was built in 1878.
Today, the beautiful building has a collection of art from all of the past four centuries.
You’ll find a number of paintings from famous artists here.
Tourist trains depart from several places on the French Riviera, including Nice, and is a great way to explore Nice and learn more about its history.
From the Promenade des Anglais, you’ll be able to see tourist trains which take a 45-minute train tour past prominent city landmarks in Nice. In the headphones which each passenger gets, you’ll have a narrator telling you about the history of the monuments and places you’re riding past, and the rain will take you all the way to the top of the
Castle Hill. Taking this tour does not only allow you to see large parts of Nice without tiring yourself, it is also highly popular and on many tourists’ list of things to do in nice since they’ll gain access to information they otherwise wouldn’t get, thus allowing to learn more about Nice
Jardin Albert I
Jardin Albert I is a public park built in the 19th-century which has beautiful trees, lands, pools, and much more. In other words’ relaxing place to visit when in Nice.
Promenade du Paillon
This promenade is a green space which has a number of different plants and trees, and it also has small fountains which spray water must, which is not only perfect in the summer heat but also a blast for kids, which you’ll see playing here.
This gallery located in close to Opera de Nice. It is a small gallery. Entering this gallery is free of charge, and the gallery is created to promote young national and foreign artists.
The young artists get to showcase their work for three months.
Parc Phoenix is a popular park in Nice, costing three euros to enter.
But most people find those three euros money well spent as there is this of things to be admired in this seven-hectare park, located on the western end of the Promenade des Anglais.
The park has 20 themes zones and 2500 plant species. Moreover, the park also has a modern greenhouse, which is one of Europe’s largest.
You’ll also find different animal enclosures and terrariums in this park, including turtles, otters, and other animals.
This is the football arena of Nice. It isn’t the most common activity among the things to do in Nice, at least not among tourists, but if you want to watch a match it might be good to know that you can do so. The new Allianz Riviera stadium located just a few minutes west of the city will give you a delightful football experience.
The arena has a capacity of 35,000 visitors, and the arena was built for EURO 2016.
Mont Boron is located between Nice’s port and Cap-Ferrat and is a peak rising from the water and stretching up to a height of almost 200 meters.
This rare terrain is definitely a unique nature experience which you can walk on. You’ll have some of the most amazing views, all the way to the beautiful Cap-Ferrat.
The Masséna museum is a 19th-century villa located on Promenade des Anglais.
The villa was donated to Nice city by the Duke of Rivoli in 1919 under the condition that the villa would be opened to the public as a museum.
And so, that’s exactly what has happened, now open to the public as a museum.
The villa is absolutely marvelous, made in a Belle Époque style, with an absolutely jaw-dropping garden, designed by Édouard André, the person who is also responsible for the
gardens at the Monte Carlo Casino.
Inside the museum, you’ll find a number of interesting objects, including Napoleon’s death mask and a tiara which belonged to his wife.
It is a popular museum in Nice because you never know what interesting objects you’ll see, but you do know that it’s going to be interesting. At least if you’ve never visited before.