Nice is arguably the most the most beautiful city in France with its beautiful blue sea, clear skies, and colorful houses that stand along the coast of the French Riviera. Because of this, it’s so often packed with tourists who crave the fresh air and its relaxing atmosphere. But if you come here at the right time, it can be less busy than Paris. It can be a place for peace, quiet, and relaxation where you can enjoy the pace like the locals do. Enjoy the bright sun, delicious seafood and southern delicacies, take a time to bask in the sun and have a drink or two! If you are wondering where to visit in Nice, here’s our guide to the best places to visit in Nice!
Along with the best spots to visit, we’ll also guide you on how to get around the city!
Transportation in Nice
Nice is a compact area in a sense that all the city attractions can be reached on foot, from the main train station to the old town and the seaside, they’re only about a 20-minute walk. At the same time, the main public transport in Nice is the tramway which is very convenient for getting around. There are two lines running through Nice and they start working as early as 4:20 AM in the morning and stops quite late around 1:35 AM.
Ticket types and fees
One-way ticket: €1.50, valid for 74 minutes
One-day ticket: €5
Seven-day ticket: €15
Ten tickets: €10
Each tram stop has a ticket machine where you can buy all types of these tickets. All you need to do is to get the ticket validated once you get in the tram. At the moment, there isn’t a tram line from the Nice Airport to the city center. The line is expected to open at the early 2019. However, you can take a bus from the airport. We’ve published a comprehensive guide of accessing Nice Airport and Nice city center right here.
Local Attractions in Nice
Surprisingly, the city of Nice was not a part of the French territory until 1860. Before that, the territory belonged to the Italy. Now, Nice carries a combination of both cultures. It is one of the most visited places by travelers, especially during the summer. However, no matter what the season is, the city never stops amazing you with its magical beauty. Let’s take a look at what’s there to see in Nice!
Avenue Jean Médecin
When you’re walking by the seaside from the main train station to Place Masséna, you will notice that there are a variety of well-known brands on this avenue. If shopping is at all part of your agenda while in Nice, this avenue is the one you should be going to!
In addition to shopping on Avenue Jean Médecin, don’t miss the Basilique Notre-Dame de l’Assomption as well. This church stands out with its Gothic architecture. The light decorations of the church are especially amazing, for that reason you may pay another visit at night with all the lights. Please note that the church may be following the dress code rules during the visiting hours, so make sure to check before you enter.
At the end of Madsen Avenue, close to the sea, you will find yourself at Place Masséna which was built between 1820 and 1830 as a neoclassical square. If you are on a vacation here as a family with children, you might want to take them to Fontaine Miroir D’Eau – which is the famous water fountain located on the left side of the square. Your children will love playing with the water and parents can easily rest along the park in the shadows!
If you go a little bit further down, you will reach the Fountain du Soleil. Located right in the middle of the Place Masséna, the fountain represents the famous mythological god Apollon. He is known to be the god of many different subjects including the sea, poetry, sun and the music.
When the sun goes down, the square turns into something much more different, yet still very gorgeous and mesmerizing. You might want to take a few minutes to watch the beautiful atmosphere and the sunset here.
Old Town of Nice
Old Town of Nice is known as “Vieille Ville” in French. The area stands between Place Masséna and the port of Nice. Here, you’ll see the old buildings of Nice. Take a walk around the area to experience the daily life of locals, hear their dialect – which is called Niçard or Nissart, and stop by the local shops. Of course, don’t forget to find a local restaurant to eat some of the delicious food of Niçoise cuisine. A popular dish is the Salade Niçoise tossed with tuna, anchovies, and hard boiled eggs! Delicious!
Nice Flower Market
There is another thing that you might want to visit while you are around the Old Town of Nice: The flower market. Well, the name can be a bit misleading because you can find so much more than just flowers here. The queen of the stalls is of course flowers, which look extremely vibrant and smell great throughout the market.
However, there are also many souvenir stalls, fresh produce sellers and also local street food -yum! If you want to experience more of the local side of Nice, this is the perfect place to do so! The market is open every day from very early hours until 5 in the evening. Except on Sundays, it closes earlier at 1:30 PM. Don’t forget that the market is usually crowded so watch over your belongings as pickpockets are common in the area.
Colline du Château
There is no doubt that you’ll be enjoying a mesmerizing view of the coast from here.
The hill is pretty steep, so if you want to walk up to it, you have to make sure that you have enough energy! You can enjoy the view of the city as soon as you start walking. If you’re not up for a challenging hike, there is an elevator that can take you up for free to a certain level. And if you’re traveling with kids, they can enjoy playing at a nice playground right on the hill! One thing to note is that the park closes at 6 PM from October to March and at 8 PM from April to September.
Musée National Marc Chagall
This museum is one of the most famous ones in Nice. You cannot miss it especially if you are interested in modern art! The museum is located in the northern part of the city, close to the main train station in the Cimiez area.
Mark Chagall is a representative painter in the history of modern painting. It combines the artistic styles of Impressionism, Cubism, and Abstract Expressionism. Generally, the term “surrealist” is used to describe the painter. His famous creations are the Biblical illustrations which comprised of 17 different paintings. It is also possible to see his paintings in other parts of town like at the Maeght Art Foundation. Seasonally, other exhibitions take place in the museum as well.
The museum is open every day until 6 PM except on Tuesdays. Admission is free for under 18 year-olds, and also for EU residents under 26 years old. A regular ticket costs 10€.
Promenade des Anglais
Nice is known as the capital of Côte d’Azur. There are so many interesting things to do around, all you have to do is decide! In summertime, you can put a swimsuit on and enjoy sunbathing, or go swim in the clean blue water of the Mediterranean. You can even take a nap on the beach as so many do!
After swimming and sunbathing, you can take a walk on Promenade des Anglais which is a great place to take a stroll, especially during the sunset. This road has many lively beach bars and eateries where you can local bites and delicious cocktails. On your walk, you can also see La Grande Chaise Bleu, which is one of the symbols of the Nice – a big blue chair statue.
P.S. Don’t forget to take a photo with the #ilovenice sign!