Presentation of the destination
Known for its beautiful beaches and glamorous yet relaxed style, Nice is a popular vacation spot for the French and for international visitors as well. The "French Riveria" as it is known became popular with wealthy tourists from England in the late 19th century and early 20th century and its reputation for style and class has remained. Nice's beaches are a great spot for people watching. However, Nice is not just a playground for the rich and famous and has much to offer art, food, and wine enthusiasts. There are several world-class museums in Nice. It's also a nice place for a family vacation with beach activities for the children and a museum dedicated to "curiosities" which kids will be sure to enjoy. Due to its location in the South of France Nice is also easily accessible from Italy and Switzerland, as well as from within France, and its international airport is one of the busiest in France.
Points of interests / things to see
Located on the edge of Old Town Nice and overlooking the seaside, the Castle Hill is said to be the original site of the city. Today it is a park with archaeological remnants from the medieval city, and perhaps even older- legend has it that the Greeks also chose to set up a trading post here. The castle was reportedly destroyed during the 18th century under the reign of the Sun King, Louis XIV. The park has beautifully painted tiled walkways, an artificial waterfall, and the ruins of an 11th century cathedral. Castle Hill is well known for its breathtaking views of the city and its surroundings, including the port and the crystalline waters of the coast of the Bay of Angels, so be sure to bring your camera. A great place for a picnic, there are also a few cafes for you to stop and enjoy a drink and a snack. There is also a children’s playground. The walk up the hill is a bit strenuous. Luckily for the less athletic there is a free elevator (done in Art Deco style) available at Cours Saleya. The little train for tourists also takes visitors up the hill (for a fee). Visiting Castle Hill is free. For more information, visit http://en.nicetourisme.com/things-to-do/50.
The Musee National Marc Chagall is dedicated to displaying the works of the French artist including paintings, prints, and sculptures. Not to be missed is one of the masterworks of the artist, a series of paintings on the Bible’s Old Testament. Chagall was commissioned by a French art dealer to produce the works and spent several months in Jerusalem for inspiration. Inspired by the bold colors and style of artists such as Picasso and Matisse, Chagall’s masterwork was originally exhibited in the Louvre but the Museum in Nice was completed in 1973. The museum is located at Av du Docteur Ménard, Angle Bd. de Cimiez, in Nice. Admission is 8 euros. Audioguides are available in French, English, German, Russian, Chinese, Italian, and Japanese. For citizens of the E.U. under 26 years old, the museum is free. It is also free to visit on the first Sunday of the month. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. November through April and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. May through October. For more information, visit http://www.musees-nationaux-alpesmaritimes.fr/chagall/.
This museum is dedicated to the paintings, sculptures, drawings, and collages of Henri Matisse. Matisse, a contemporary of Picasso and Pissarro, is especially known for his colorful style. Nice was an inspiration to Matisse as he spent the latter part of his life there. The museum is located not far from where Matisse lived. The museum, in addition to holding a portion of Matisse’s personal collection, also curates special exhibits of both Matisse’s works and works of his contemporaries and by those who have been inspired by his legacies. Located at 164 Avenue des Arènes de Cimiez the museum is open Wednesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Closed Tuesdays.) During the weekdays, there are guided tours available in French, English, Italian, and German, available at 3:30 p.m. for the cost of 5 euros. Admission to the museum is free (subject to change, as in summer months of May through September when it is required to buy a museum pass for 10 euros which is valid for 7 days and gives access to ten museums in Nice). For more information, visit http://www.musee-matisse-nice.org/.
Nice’s cathedral was built in the 17th century to honor Saint Reparata, a teenaged girl who was martyred in Italy during the persecutions of the Christians under the Roman emperor Decius and became the subject of many devotions throughout Europe. She was named patron saint of Nice. Her feast day in October is celebrated with a procession throughout Nice. The cathedral is known for its three organs and its Baroque architecture and styling. Inside the cathedral there are ten chapels. The Cathedral is located on Place Rossetti. The following services are offered: weekday Mass at 10am (Wednesday through Friday); Saturday Mass at 6:30pm, and Sunday Mass at 10am. Each Sunday at noon there is a Mass celebrated in Latin with readings in French, Italian, and English, accompanied by a Gregorian chant. Opening hours are Monday through Friday 10am - 12pm and 2pm - 6pm; Saturday 10am - 12pm and 2pm - 7:30pm, and Sunday 9am - 1pm and 3pm - 6pm. Entrance to the cathedral is free. There are souvenir items including medals and rosaries available for sale. For more information visit: http://cathedrale-nice.com/ (website only available in French).
If you are curious about strange magical and supernatural phenomena, whether a kid or just a kid at heart, then you will want to visit the Musee de la curiosite et de l’insolite (Museum of curiosities and the bizarre). You will experience everything from a tour of a haunted room, a lesson in magic, and Tarzan’s house replete with animals. The museum will amuse younger children especially. The museum is also home to a school of magic which offers lessons to children (for an additional fee beyond admission). During lessons at the school of magic children are introduced to card tricks and the manipulation of objects for illusions. After your visit you can stop at the museum’s restaurant for dinner. There are often special shows organized which include performances by local artists, singers, and comics. At Christmastime the museum also has special exhibits. Children’s birthday parties are also welcome at the museum with advance planning. Located at 39, Rue Beaumont. Hours are Wednesday through Sunday 2pm - 7pm. There are guided visits each hour (last one at 6pm). Costs are 12 euros for adults and 8 euros for children ages 12 and under. For more information, visit http://www.museedelacuriosite.com/(website available only in French).
The beaches in Nice are world-renowned for their crystal blue waters. The beach itself has a rocky pebbled landscape making it a bit uncomfortable for sunbathing. In response several hotels and resorts offer private beaches which include chair rentals, locker facilities, restaurants, and even mats on the sand which protect feet from the hot rocks. Several beaches including Blue Beach offer water sports including parasailing and jet skiing. The cost for a private beach will be approximately 20 euros but is worth the security. An additional benefit is that many of the restaurants at the private beaches have waiters who will bring your cocktails right to your beach chair!
There are several wineries in the immediate vicinity of Nice, and what better way to see them all than to participate in a wine tour? One option is Azur Wine Tour or Wine Tours Provence which are available in both English and French. This tour includes a stop at four vineyards and lunch at a local restaurant. Everyone from beginners to wine aficionados can benefit from a tour. Of course they usually include samples of the region’s wines, including the most well known, Cote du Rhone and Cote de Provence. The region’s mild climate makes it a top producer of French wines.
The cuisine in Nice is a special blend of traditional French cooking with Mediterranean influence. A favorite activity of visitors is to take a cooking class, available at many restaurants in English. Participants might have the chance to visit a local market with their instructor in order to purchase the local ingredients that will go into the dish! Surprisingly, many of the classes are given by chefs from top restaurants themselves in a laid-back atmosphere. For more information: http://en.nicetourisme.com/pro-workshops-and-cooking-classes
No trip to Nice would be complete without a visit to the pedestrian walkway next to the seaside. The Promenade des Anglais is filled with walkers, joggers, roller bladers, and cyclists. Many of Nice’s most well-known hotels, casinos, and restaurants are located on the promenade, making it an excellent place to stop for a drink or a meal-- and an excellent spot for celebrity sighting. This palm tree-lined promenade was founded in the 19th century and named after the large number of English tourists who began flocking to the French Riviera. The promenade stretches for over five miles so be sure to plan accordingly.
Vacation rentals in Nice (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur)
How to get there ?
Nice Côte d'Azur Airport is 5.9km outside of the city. It is a hub for AirFrance and easyJet, due to Nice’s popularity as a holiday destination. The train station Nice-St Augustin is also close to the airport and is accessible by bus. By train, Nice is connected to many towns and cities in France through the national railway network (SNCF). There are high speed trains called TGV that make it possible to get from Paris to Nice in 6 hours. TGV tickets are rather expensive and reservations are required. Now there are non-refundable discount tickets available online for some trips. The train goes directly to the Nice central station. There are buses from popular tourist destinations Marseille and Aix-on-Provence through the company Eurolines.In Nice there are buses as well as a tram system which make getting around the city without a car possible. The tram connects the suburbs to the city, while the bus serves the city center. It is desirable to travel without a car as traffic is notoriously bad and taxis are very expensive.Most of the main tourist attractions are accessible on foot. There is also a public bicycle sharing program called Velobleu.
Nice city hall
Nice twins towns, sister cities
Discover the nice's international relations with partnership cities and friendship cities.
Hotels in Nice (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur)