Nice is truly the crown jewel of the south of France. While many people pass through this large city on their way to the more quaint small towns along the French Riviera, there are plenty of awesome things to do in Nice itself, too!
Nice, France is a southern coastal city with a unique lifestyle and traditions, and it’s one of the major tourism destinations in Europe. It is one of the wealthiest cities in terms of culture and things to do! If you have Nice planned on your bucket list as your next destination, there are endless things to do in Nice during your visit.
Nice is located in the coastal Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of France in the Alpes-Maritimes department. The city has a rich history with scholars dating its discovery in the early 18th century by noblemen looking for a winter resort along the Mediterranean ever since it has gained popularity as a vacation destination. German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche even spent six winters in Nice.
As a coastal resort city, there are many exciting things to do in Nice, France.
It’s not just about the magnificent landscape, striking monuments, rich cuisine and coffee, or culture. Amazingly, France boasts of over 400 variations of cheese, which symbolizes the country’s extensive cultural offerings. The beauty of the country’s landscape and cultural diversity has attracted visitors from across the globe. French also has a beautiful language which has been borrowed from various dialects in Europe. Here are some of the best things to do in Nice!
Walk The Promenade Des Anglais
This is an iconic seafront beach beautifully lined with palm trees and terraces. The Promenade des Anglais in Nice is the country’s best seaside and emblematic streets. Initially, it was a small walkway financed by Reverend Lewis Way in the early 1800s.
The British noblemen and women had a soft spot for the Promenade. After a century, the place was renovated with additional pathways. The Duke of Connaught laid its stone in a royal style in 1931. The walkway is named after the many English people who descended upon Nice in the winter months and spent their days casually walking along the beach.
When you get to the English Walk, you can explore the underground tunnels of Nice. It’s even more fun if you are a skater or cyclist. The place is popular for these activities. You can cover up to 4 miles of the Promenade, but the nicest part is close to Nice Old Town.
Shop The Cours Saleya Market
Cours Saleya is a world-famous bustling market in Nice, which overflows with fresh farm produce, including olives, vegetables, flowers, herbs, peas, and all sorts of food. The market’s groceries are all affordable; however, it closes at 1PM!
Go Up to Castle Hill (Colline du Château)
At the western end of the city, you can spot Castle Hill or the Colline du Château. The hill is 92 meters high and was spotted by the military which turned it into a citadel. You can take a leisure walk in the park, which is now a public garden.
The hill will allow you to get the perfect view of the city’s attractive landscapes, among other attractions. While in the old town, you can stroll the grand European boulevards like those of Place Massena, Jardin Albert I, and Promenade du Paillon.
At the northwestern side of Castle Hill is the catholic, Jewish, and Protestant monumental cemetery. You will even see Grimaldi’s burial site. The Old Town has more to see. We forgot to mention Palais Lascaris in the north, the 17th-century Nice Cathedral, Ponchettes market, and many sculptures within the town.
Eat Seafood by the Nice Marina
If you are a lover of seafood, at the Nice Marina, you have a variety of places to obey your taste buds. The Le Rocher, Lobsta, Peixes, and Molo 26 restaurants all serve the best Mediterranean seafood, and it’s all value for your money.
Marvel the Place Massena
Place Massena is the pupil of the Nice city. It is a spacious square in the middle of the city and is only a few meters away from the English Walk or Promenade des Anglais. If you are lucky, you will find grand festivities taking place at this spectacular square.
Chill at the Beach
Lying down at the beach is one of the things to do in Nice. The beach is popular with many tourists who visit Nice. You will find many beach sports that you can enjoy, especially if your trip to Nice falls during summer in France. Sand bathing and swimming are some of the activities you can enjoy at the long coastal sandy French beaches near Nice.
Discover The Old Town
Vieille Ville, French for old town, is indeed the center point of Nice. That is where the city began. Walking down its cobblestone streets will amaze you with its narrow alleys and pathways. All streets are paved with magnificent cobblestones, well arranged to complement the distinct architectural design of the city’s buildings that resemble Italian reminiscence.
At the northwestern side of Castle Hill is the inter-religious monumental cemetery. You will even see Grimaldi’s burial site. The Old Town has more to see. You’ll find Musée du Palais Lascaris at the north, the 17th-century Nice Cathedral, Ponchettes market, and many sculptures within the town.
Visit the Matisse Museum
The Museum is an art exhibit dedicated to Matisse Museum (1917-1954). Matisse Museum has various artwork, including those he did between the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
You will get excited by the temporal exhibitions, creative workshops, bookstores, seminars, and music concerts. Most of the artwork is a century old.
Tour the Marc Chagall Museum
Adjacent to the Matisse Museum is the Marc Chagall Museum which has several archaeological exhibits for the Museum of Nice. It is also rich in history and was built in honor of a Russian artist called Marc Chagall. The artist gave some of his artworks which occupy much of the exhibition and make the building beautiful.
Explore the Museum Of Modern & Contemporary Art
The Nice Modern and Contemporary Art Museum exhibits Nice’s abundant art collection including works by celebrated contemporary and modern artists like Yves Klein.
What’s more notable about this historical building is its architectural design. The bird’s eye view from the rooftop allows you to take in the entire city’s breathtaking views and the surrounding region.
Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate de Nice
Step inside this Baroque cathedral in the old town of Nice. The Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate de Nice has 3 organs, stunning paintings, and where St. Réparate was laid to rest.
Walk to Villefranche-Sur-Mer
This is a delightful and beautiful walk after lying down on the beach. The walk is approximately four kilometers and exhibits coastal and scenic pathways. It’s a beautiful point for photoshoots as you enjoy the beautiful views.
Nice has hundreds of things for you, from spectacular attractions to museums to dining places. You can also find out from your travel advisor the scheduled events to spice up things for you. This destination resort is the best vacation offering for all the members of the family.
Read more about Nice, France by checking out our Nice, France Travel Guide and discovering tips for visiting Nice in June!