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The South of France is sure to impress with its vast array of natural wonders, stunning landscapes, and historical landmarks. There is no shortage of diverse activities in Nice. This charming city, situated on the French Riviera, offers something for everyone. History and art buffs can visit a wide selection of museums like the musée Matisse, while those preferring to soak in the sun can take a swim at some of the most famous beaches on the Côte d'Azur. Walking tours through the old town or strolling down the Promenade des Anglais, provide you with the perfect introduction to your city visit.

No matter the time of year, there is no limit to the number of activities in Nice taking place. Some of the best things to do in Nice happen at the seaside, while others can be found within the city’s squares or throughout one of the many natural parks. Whether you prefer to explore the outdoors, catch the sun on the beach, or lose yourself in the architectural inspiration found within the Cathedral or Palace, there’s something here for everyone.

Natural Areas & Vantage Points

Nice is situated in what is one of the most scenic areas along the Côte d'Azur. As a result, the landscape offers the opportunity to enjoy an array of outdoor activities.

  • Promenade des Anglais  

A stroll along ‘The English Promenade’, is a fabulous way to ease into the day. The promenade itself stretches roughly 7km, starting from the airport of Nice and ending in Quai des Etats Unis. The paved walkway, with views of the sea, is a famed landmark in Nice.

  • Colline du Château

Built on a steep hill and towering over the Bay of Nice is what is called Castle Hill. Today, visitors to Nice can enjoy stunning panoramic views, whilst visiting the ruins of the castle that once stood. Open to the public, the park, with it’s winding pathways, boasts a number of beautiful features. One of the most prominent being the cascading waterfall. Climb the stairs up to Castle Hill and view the flowing water from below. A climb further up allows you to gain a better vantage point above the waterfall.

  • Castel Plage

Nestled below the Colline du Château lies what many claim as the most iconic beach on the French Riviera. The beachside is open to the public, although, a portion is strictly reserved for private guests. Of all the things to do in Nice, this is one of the best!

  • Parc du Phoenix

Located near the airport, Phoenix Park is one of the most visited sites in Nice. The park holds a massive greenhouse, one of the largest in all of Europe. Visit the greenhouse to enjoy a calming and relaxing afternoon activity. Bask in the tropical climate, and observe the exotic fauna around the artificial lake.

Historical Sites

Founded in 350 BC, Nice as we call it today was once called Nikaia, after the Greek goddess for victory. The small settlement the Greeks built on the Mediterranean coast has a deep history. A richer understanding of Nice’s history is best obtained through the in-depth discovery of its historic sites.

  • Nice Cathedral - Located in the historic city center, discover the Roman Catholic cathedral of Sainte Reparate. Built in the 17th-century in the Baroque style of construction.
  • Massena Palace - Retrace Nice’s history with a visit to The Massena Palace Museum of Art and History. Surrounded by colorful gardens, the exterior landscaping is equally as beautiful as the architectural construction of the building.
  • LaScaris Palace - Built in the 17th-century baroque style, this once owned aristocrat house in the old town is now a museum full of treasures.
  • Terra Amata Museum of Human Paleontology - Situated at the base of Mount Boron, a visit to this archeological site provides an insight into the prehistoric human occupation of the area. Along with The Grotto of Lazarte, this is one of the most important archeological sites in Nice.

Cultural Activities

Throughout the middle ages, Nice swung back and forth between Italian and France dominion. As a result, the city became a cultural melting pot. We can see the influence of the rulers of the past in all parts of the city, within the architectural structures of the buildings, the visible artistic expressions, and the cuisine.

  • Cours Saleya Market - Sample some of the culinary delights. While at the market, try the regional treat known as Socca (chickpea pancakes), take in classes, workshops, and other activities that let you learn about the local cuisine.
  • Vieux Nice (Old Town) - A visit to the old town of Nice is essential. Stroll through the winding streets and explore the local life. 
  • Museums - The Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art, Museum Marc Chagall, and the Matisse Museum are a few of the top selections when in Nice.
  • Day Trips - If you have the time and are wondering what else to see in Nice, why not take a day trip to Monte Carlo. A Nice French Riviera day trip is the perfect way to see more of Nice in less time.

When should I visit Nice?

For the most part, Nice is a beautiful destination to visit year round. During the low season, March/April and September/October the weather is milder, there are fewer tourists and prices are lower on accommodations.

Can I visit Nice in 24 hours?

Nice is not incredibly large, however, keep in mind, it is the 5th most populated city in France. The city is quite a metropolis. You can easily get around by walking or taking public transportation (trams, buses, bicycle share system). Although 24 hours allows you enough time to check off the main sites, it’s definitely not enough to fully experience all Nice has to offer. If you’re on a tight schedule and want to maximize your visit by fitting in more attractions, a guided tour of the city is your best option.

Should I hire a guide?

There are a number of activities in Nice, many of which are better enjoyed on a guided tour. Best of all, your guide will be able to point out all the best places to visit in Nice. Attractions like the Cathedral, Massena Palace, LaScaris Palace, and the Cours Saleya flower Market, are more appreciated with an experienced guide by your side. A bike tour through the city, including its parks, is also a great way to explore the area.

France / Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur / Nice / Activities in Nice
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