Located on the French Riviera, the city of Nice was founded by the Greeks and later a retreat for the European elite in the 19th century. Its beauty comes from the 19th century mansions and boulevards, Italianate old quarter, and the natural terrain which provides a number of great viewpoints. Not surprisingly, it has inspired many artists over the years, most famously the likes of Henri Matisse, Marc Chagall and Yves Klein, so has also become home to some excellent galleries and museums. But what are the best things to do in Nice? Read on to find out what to do in Nice.2019 October 07
Promenade des Anglais is a main tourist attraction in Nice, offering beautiful views along the waterfront. This promenade stretches for 7km along the coastline of Nice, and has been part of city life in Nice since it was built in the 1820s. You’ll find the promenade full of joggers, skateboarders, friends, families and couples all day long. It is also a central part of the Nice Carnival in February, filled with parades and celebrations.
Its Eastern side is lined with regal 19th century palaces, while the promenade itself is not short of benches to rest, pergolas and palm trees to take some shade from the sunshine.
If you’re considering what to do in Nice, the Vielle Ville is a must-see attraction to add to your itinerary. The Vieille Ville is the oldest part of the city, with a strong Italian feel to the architecture and setting. Its small streets and squares are filled with local shops and restaurants which are often lively until the early hours of the morning.
One of the most prominent attractions in the Vielle Ville is the impressive Cathédrale Sainte-Reparate. Located in the old quarter of Nice, it was built in the 17th century in a lavish baroque design. It has 10 ornate chapels with sculptures, paintings and gilding adorning the inside.
Another must-visit in the old quarter is the Cours Saleya. This flower and fresh produce market is open every day (except Mondays, when it becomes a flea market). If you’re looking for relaxing things to do in Nice, arrive at the market early to beat the rush and enjoy a stroll around, taking in the colourful flower displays and breathing in the beautiful floral fragrances.
Located just minutes from the centre of Nice, you can find a lush green park, offering astounding views of Nice. At the top of this steep hill on the east side of the city, you will find some of the best panoramas of the French Riviera. Look back over Nice and the Baie des Anges and spend some time enjoying the view and picking out the landmarks and attractions of Nice. If you’re looking for the best things to do in Nice for families, Parc de la Colline du Château is the perfect option, offering a playground as well as large lawns ideal for picnics.
You can walk up to the park (if you’re feeling up to it!) or take the free elevator to the top. Colline du Château means ‘castle hill’ – and while the medieval castle no longer exists, the hill (and its amazing views) still stand!
A great one to entertain the kids, Parc Phoenix is on the Western end of the Promenade des Anglais. The entry is 3 euros for adults, while children go for free. Its 7 hectares are full of 2,500 plant species, ponds, themed zones and animal enclosures (think turtles, otters, ducks, flamingos…)
Having inspired and been home to many artists, one of the top things to do in Nice is explore the array of art museums. Some highlights are:
This museum is dedicated to the work of the painter Marc Chagall, organised around his works of spiritual and religious inspiration. The museum was created during the lifetime of the artist, Chagall was so involved in the design of the museum, he even decided where each of his works would be placed, the layout of the garden, and designed the stained-glass windows in the concert hall.
For one of the world’s biggest collections by French artist Henri Matisse, head here. Musée Matisse builds a picture of the impressionist’s influences and processes from artistic beginnings to his evolution in his last works. The museum is a short journey from the centre of Nice and is an ideal place to visit if you’re wondering what to do in Nice on a rainy day.
This contemporary art museum has pieces by Warhol, Lichtenstein and Yves Klein, among many others. The museum is a striking building located in the centre of the city, also featuring an observation deck from where you can enjoy a 360 degree view of Nice.
One of the best things to do in Nice is to enjoy the city’s world-famous French cuisine. From fine dining to boutique coffee shops, Nice offers nothing but variety when it comes to its dining scene. Start with a visit to the Old Town for contemporary French cuisine in a trendy industrial atmosphere at Les Garçons or La Voglia for some Italian classics in a family-friendly setting.
The French Riviera is home to some of the world’s best beaches, so if you’re looking to lounge in the sun with a cocktail in hand and the warm sea breeze in your hair, you’ve come to the right place!
Popular with locals and close to the centre of town is La Réserve. The beach itself is smaller than others but is perfect for people watching with panoramic views of the port close by. A family favourite to visit the private Ruhl plage. This beach has its own sea-view restaurant, lockers for storage and sun loungers available for rent – perfect for an afternoon’s worth of tanning in the sun!
Explore some more from your base in Nice – there are lots of beautiful places that are easily accessible from Nice for a day trip, either by train from Gare de Ville Nice or by car.
Cannes is just 40-45 minutes away, while you’ll find Monaco 35 minutes away in the opposite direction. Or why not try Juan-les-Pins and Antibes? You can reach there in under 30 minutes.
So now you have a few ideas of how to spend your time in Nice, it’s time to head over to our new easyHotel Nice Palais des Congrès – Old Town! Our very first hotel in France is available to book now.
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