Last Updated on November 2, 2023 by April Verge
Are you looking for the best things to do in Nice? This guide has you covered!
France’s Nice can be visited at any time. Nice is one of the top destinations to visit in France in the winter because of its warm winter temperatures and well-known carnival, but you can visit the city any time of year.
In Nice, there are plenty of activities to keep you occupied. The French Riviera can be fully experienced on day trips from Nice.
Continue reading if you’re wondering what to do in Nice. The top activities in Nice, France, as well as our top sightseeing advice are listed in this article.
Psst! This blog post contains affiliate links in it which sends me a bit of extra money if you use them… at no extra cost to you. Merci!
If you are in a hurry, here’s a summary of things to do in Nice France:
Best Things to do in Nice
Nice never fails to satisfy those seeking entertainment. Here are some of the top things to do and sights to see in Nice, France. This list of things to do includes everything from glitzy beaches to historic marketplaces.
1. Get Lost in Vieux Nice
Nice’s Old Town is formed of lofty tenement houses lined together along narrow, shadowy streets. Restaurants, boutiques, and galleries of local artists occupy the ground floors. Everything from Provencal spices to handcrafted jewelry and cosmetics is available here. Simply enter and allow yourself to get carried away by the past, which is still very much present here.
The Old Town of Nice (Vieille Ville), often known as Old Nice (Vieux Nice), is located right below Colline du Château. To the south, it is bordered by the Promenade des Anglais, while to the north, it is bordered by the Paillon River.
Nice’s Old Town is filled with old tenements, churches, and squares. A walk through the small and shaded streets transports you practically back in time, allowing you to feel the essence of Old Nice.
While strolling through Nice’s Old Town, you can’t afford to ignore some of the city’s other attractions such as the Cathedral of St. Reparata, the lovely square, Place Rossetti, the big arch of La Porte Fausse, and the museum Lascaris Palace.
2. Check Out Place Masséna
Place Masséna is the central meeting place for Nice residents, located between Old Nice and the modern parts of the city, at the crossroads of several major boulevards and only a stone’s throw from the Promenade des Anglais.
Admire the scenery while dining at one of the many restaurants hidden beneath its arcades or shopping at its best stores.
The red clay of the façades, the white window frames, the arches, and the square shape of the northern half of the Masséna Square reveal the architectural influence of Italian Piedmont.
Place Masséna is also a prominent site for the well-known Carnaval de Nice.
3. Musée national Marc Chagall
Musée national Marc Chagall is a museum dedicated to the art of painter Marc Chagall, with a concentration on his religious works. The museum was built during Chagall’s lifetime and displays a set of seventeen paintings portraying the biblical message that Chagall painted and donated to the French government. The books of Genesis, Exodus, and Song of Songs are illustrated in this series.
Chagall himself gave specific instructions for the garden’s construction and chose where each of his paintings would be displayed in the museum. Chagall designed the mosaic that spans the pond as well as the blue stained glasses that adorn the music theatre.
Address: Av. Dr. Ménard, 06000
Opening Hours: Daily | May to October from 10 am to 6 pm | From November to April from 10 am to 5 pm
4. Take a Stroll Along Promenade des Anglais
The Promenade des Anglais, with its perfectly paved stretch facing the Mediterranean, is one of the most famous French promenades. A crescent-shaped harbour bordered by palm trees is lapped softly by azure waves. Tourists here sit at chairs on café terraces and simply see the world go by. Those who like to be more active might take advantage of the designated bike lanes or go for a jog along the beach. The Nice carnival parade passes by every February. The Bataille des Fleurs, with its flower-covered floats, attracts visitors from all over the world.
The Promenade des Anglais is approximately 7 kilometers long, connecting the city’s seaside airport to the southern extremity of the old town. The Jardin Albert 1er, one of Nice’s oldest parks, is about halfway along. It has traditional landscaping, ponds, and fountains. There’s also the Théâtre de Verdure, an open-air theatre erected near the end of WWII. It also organizes concerts, which have drawn great artists like Edith Piaf and Sting throughout the years.
Address: 37 Prom. des Anglais, 06000
5. Colline du Château
On the Eastern side of the Promenade des Anglais, there is a rocky hill called La Colline du Château (Castle Hill), which provides views of Old Nice and its harbor. One of the nicest spots to visit in Nice, this hill provides breathtaking views of the city, the Baie des Anges, and the distant Alps.
There are numerous routes to get to this viewpoint, including steps, roads, a railway, and an elevator. After reaching the top, you can enjoy the hill’s grassy meadows, shady nooks, and 18th-century artificial waterfall.
With the greatest views in town, it’s no wonder that Colline du Chateau is a favorite stop on Nice sightseeing excursions. Take a walking tour up to the hilltop vantage point; take an e-bike tour and glide up the hill before continuing along the French Riviera coast; or visit as part of a Nice day trip to Villefranche-sur-Mer or Monaco.
Address: 06300 Nice
6. Rent a bike
One of the best things about Nice is how easily accessible it is for guests who do not have a car. Nice is virtually crisscrossed by bike lanes, the majority of which run along the stunning coastline. So why take the tram or walk around Nice when you can experience this old city by bike?
Nice boasts a plethora of bike rental alternatives for guests, which is logical given its cycling accessibility.
The Vélo Bleu is a well-known bicycle rental company in Nice, famous both among locals and tourists.
The Roller Station is another excellent though slightly more expensive choice.
7. Visit the Old Port of Nice
The Old Port of Nice is a vital infrastructure hub for Nice and, indeed, the entire French Riviera, serving as one of the principal harbors for boats sailing across the Mediterranean Sea. It can handle both ships run by ferry companies and private yachts of tourists arriving in Nice by sea on their own watercraft.
Old Port de Nice is located roughly in the center of Nice, and aside from its commercial functions, it can be considered a noteworthy leisure spot, peppered with numerous sightseeing opportunities. It is situated in the so-called Old Nice district (Vieux Nice). The port is accessible by car and train on land.
8. Take A Mediterranean Cooking Class
Sign up for the Mediterranean cooking lesson in the house of local culinary enthusiasts to learn how to cook like a local, from a local. Your host will teach you how to prepare traditional Niçoise food using local products, which you will then share. They will be on hand to provide you with information not only about cooking but also about Nice.
9. St Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral
This cathedral, regarded as one of the most significant orthodox churches outside the Russian Federation, is the culmination of the Royal Family’s attempts to meet the spiritual requirements of Nice’s rising Russian population
The construction was built in the Old Russian style, but contemporary features give this Cathedral its own individuality, such as the Greek cross plan with five domes depicting Jesus and the four evangelists. The cathedral also has a rich iconostasis created by the Khlebnikov workshops in Russia.
10. Buy Flowers at the Cours Saleya Market
The greatest pedestrian area in Vieux Nice and one of the few areas that has retained its local, traditional appeal is Cours Saleya, which is situated in the historic neighborhood. The area is lovely for a stroll and famous for its vibrant flower markets, which are our favorite part, but there are also vendors selling food and antiques.
This market, which is a must-see in Nice, France!
Address: Cr Saleya
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 6 am to 5:30 pm | Sunday 6:30 am to 1:30 pm
11. Enjoy a Day at the Beach
Consider one of Nice’s beaches if you’re wondering what to do in Nice, France, for a leisurely day. Pebbled beaches, both public and private, line the city’s beachfront and are perfect for spending a quiet day sunbathing and swimming.
The beaches are equipped with lounge chairs, the recognizable blue chairs from Nice, and it is strongly advised to wear specific footwear when strolling on the sand or taking a swim.
While private beaches include opulent amenities (towels, changing rooms), bars, and restaurants with beachfront service, public beaches have less facilities. Some of these private beaches, including Blue Beach and Castel Beach, are among the French Riviera’s best beaches.
See Napoleon’s Death Mask At Villa Masséna Musée
Villa Masséna is a municipal museum that is conveniently situated in one of the last opulent homes of the 19th century on the Promenade des Anglais. It is packed from top to bottom with antiquities and works of art.
Napoleon’s death mask, created by Dr. Arnolt, as well as images, paintings, posters, floats, and artifacts from the Nice Carnaval can all be found in the Musée Masséna.
This magnificent coastal mansion, which is recognized as a historic monument, is a draw in and of itself. Its interior, which was created by architects Hans-Georg Tersling and Aaron Messiah, is achingly beautiful. It was constructed in the Neoclassical style with a hint of Italianate influence.
Address: 65 Rue de France
Hours: 10 am to 6 pm; closed Tuesdays
Visit the Dome Of The Nice Cathedral
A marvel of baroque architecture, the Nice Cathedral was constructed over several decades beginning in the 1600s.
It has 10 different chapels, numerous altars with artistic paintings and artifacts, a breathtaking dome covered in green and gold mosaics, and a magnificent Italian organ built in 1901.
Address: 3 Pl. Rossetti
Opening Hours: From Tuesday to Sunday, 9 am – 12 pm and 2 pm – 6 pm
Experience the Colorful Nice Carnival
Anyone visiting the French Riviera must attend the Nice Carnival. This annual winter festival, which takes place between late February and early March, is regarded as one of the most significant occasions on the Côte d’Azur.
The two-week-long carnival celebrations include a range of fun events, like the colorful Carnival Parades, also known as “Corsi,” and the exquisite Flower Parades.
Numerous floats adorned in accordance with the season’s theme parade during the Carnival celebrations to the beat of international street art groups and musical ensembles.
Everyone who attends the Carnival Parade, which takes place on the Place Masséna and in the vicinity of the Jardin Albert 1er, will have an incredible experience.
Take a Day Trip from Nice
Nice is a fantastic starting point for visiting other stunning cities of the French Riviera. Villefranche-sur-Mer, which has a charming Old Town and pebbled beaches, Éze-Village, Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, Menton, and Monaco are all lovely day trips from Nice.
Discover the Côte d’Azur on this guided driving tour of the French Riviera. Visit the village of Èze, and explore Monaco, Monte Carlo, and Antibes.
Regional trains make it simple to get to Cannes and Antibes, two lovely French Riviera cities farther to the west that are also worth seeing.
Why not go on a boat tour? Take a boat excursion to Monaco to experience the French Riviera from the water, or travel to Cap Ferrat in the east for a sunset sail through one of Southern France’s most breathtaking landscapes.
Did we miss any of the best things to do in Nice?
Let me know your favorite attractions in Nice in the comments. Thanks!