Located on the rocky shores of the Baie des Anges, Nice is part of the infamous and luxurious French Riviera. Home to many famous artists and filled with fascinating and breath-taking attractions, it's a fascinating destination with something for everyone to enjoy. Boasting a plethora of fabulous places to see, including the Musée Marc Chagall, Musée Matisse, and the Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate de Nice, you won't be short of sights to take in.
If you're in Nice on a whistle-stop tour and don't plan on staying overnight at a hotel, lighten your load and leave your bags in a luggage storage locker for safekeeping. Adventures are always more enjoyable when you're traveling light!
Whether you plan on lounging on the beach, or canvassing the museums and checking out the local attractions, we've highlighted the top must-see attractions in Nice, you don't want to miss.
Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate de Nice
The Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate de Nice, or the Nice Cathedral, is a Catholic cathedral built between 1650 and 1685. Located in Vieux Nice, or Old Town, the cathedral’s exterior may not seem that impressive except for the patterned dome. The interior, on the other hand, is spectacular! The lavish interior boasts 10 ornate chapels filled with tapestries, sculptures, and paintings. Sit in one of the chapels and take in the grandeur that surrounds you, it's an experience you won't forget.
Promenade des Anglais
The iconic Promenade des Anglais, is a four-mile promenade built during the 1820s, which runs along the Mediterranean Sea, offering breath-taking views. The promenade goes from the Aéroport Nice Côte d’Azur or the Nice Airport to the Quai des États-Unis.
Rent a bike or rollerblades and spend a few hours taking in the sights, or simply take a stroll or relax in the shade on one of the benches as you watch the world go by.
Villa Musée Masséna
Located just off the Promenade des Anglais, the 19th century Villa Masséna was donated in 1919 to the city of Nice to be a local history museum. The museum is home to several artifacts from the belle époque era.
Stroll through the mansion, which still looks much the way it did when it was donated in 1919, and view several Riviera art pieces and artefacts. Napoleon’s death mask is on display as well as Empress Joséphine’s tiara.
Musée Marc Chagall
You don’t have to be an art buff to truly appreciate the Marc Chagall National Museum, which the renowned painter himself helped design, from the gardens to the stained-glass windows in the concert hall.
Best known for his religion-inspired works, the museum showcases Chagall’s biblical-themed paintings, divided into the Old and New Testament. There are 17 paintings in all, with the most famous being the Resistance, Resurrection, Liberation triptych.
You can wander through the museum on your own or you can sign up for a guided tour and learn even more about the painter and his masterpieces.
Parc de la Colline du Château
When visiting Nice, you will definitely want to make a trip to the historic Parc de la Colline du Château or Castle Hill Park. Bring your camera for social media-worthy photos of the city and ocean below. Your friends will be envious!
Stroll through the park and marvel at a refreshing manmade waterfall. Grab a snack or a drink at the café in the park and relax on one of the benches in the shade. You can take a small train to the top of the hill for a fee or ride the free elevator instead of walking.
You absolutely must take the time to visit Vieille Ville or Vieux Nice, also called Old Town by those who are not fluent in French. With its narrow cobblestone streets and pastel buildings, it is an experience you cannot miss. It is the oldest part of Nice.
Visit the shops located in these pastel buildings to find anything from meats and cheeses to Provencal textiles to Nicoise soaps. Be sure to stroll down Cours Saleya, a pedestrian street with its daily market.
Marché aux Fleurs Cours Saleya
Located in the Vieille Ville, this outdoor market in Cours Saleya and is open daily. Don’t miss the chance to experience an authentic outdoor French market with its eclectic mix of fresh-cut flowers, local produce, and handicrafts.
This fun place is a great place to get free samples of traditional French foods. It is open Tuesday through Sunday and then on Monday, the market becomes a flea market of sorts where you can find pretty much everything under the sun!
Monastère de Cimiez
Visit one of the oldest monasteries in southern France. The Monastère de Cimiez was built during the 800s by the Benedictines. Some of the gothic-inspired buildings in this complex were built during the 14th and 15th centuries.
The frescoes you will encounter date back to the 1500s, including several paintings by Brea. Visit the museum that was opened here to learn more about the history of the monastery and then pay a visit to Matisse’s grave.
Make time to explore the exquisite gardens that are believed to be the oldest in Nice. The original gardens were first planted in 1546 by the monks. Now, they have been expanded to include topiaries, flower beds, geometric lawns, and pergolas.
With so many great things to see and do, Nice truly is a magical city that should be on any culture vulture's travel bucket list.
*This post was done in collaboration with luggage storage network Bounce.