Article written by Elisa - Travel Writer & Local in France
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Article written by Elisa - Travel Writer & Local in France
Visit Nice, French Riviera
There’s no bad time to visit Nice, France. Because of its mild winter temperatures and famous carnival, we have listed Nice as one of the best places to visit in France in winter, but you will enjoy the city all year round.
There are many things to do in Nice to keep you busy for a while. Nice is also a great base for exploring more of the French Riviera on day trips. Because of its international airport, Nice is also a good starting point for a fun French Riviera road trip.
Nice is one of the host cities of the Rugby World Cup 2023 and the Summer Olympics 2024, so it’s the perfect excuse to discover or re-discover the city.
Stay two days in Nice to visit the main sites and enjoy the beach, and more days if you plan to visit other places nearby on day trips.
If you are wondering what to do in Nice, go on reading. This article lists the best things to do in Nice, France, and our best tips for your sightseeing in Nice.
Are you planning your Nice trip last minute?
Below, are some of the best Nice tours, hotels, and more!
If Nice is the starting point of a French Riviera road trip, click here to hire a car in Nice.
Top Experiences and Tours in Nice
- Old Town and Castle Hill Cultural and Walking Tour
- Old Treasures of Nice Walking Tour
- E-bike City Highlights Tour
- Nice Food Tour
Top Nice Accommodation and Lodging
Hotel La Pérouse Nice Baie des Anges (top suggestion), Hotel Négresco (luxury), Hotel Villa Victoria (luxury), Hotel Florence (mid-range), Hotel de France (mid-range), best hotels in Nice with a pool (for the hottest months in Nice).
Don’t leave for Nice without travel insurance!
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What to Do in Nice, France
If you are looking for fun things to do, Nice never disappoints. Here are the best things to do in Nice, France, and must-see places to visit in Nice. From glamourous beaches to traditional markets, this Nice things to do list has something for every traveler.
1. Enjoy the Views from La Colline du Château
La Colline du Château (Castle Hill) is a rocky hill located on the Eastern side of Promenade des Anglais, overlooking Old Nice and its port. This hill is one of the best places to visit in Nice, and it offers incredible views of Nice, the Baie des Anges, and the Alps in the distance.
In the 11th century, a citadel occupied this hill, but King Louis XIV’s soldiers entirely dismantled it in the 18th century. Today, it is a beautiful park great for a stroll and one of the best places to visit in Nice for its impressive views.
The access to La Colline du Chateau is through the stairs. There’s also a free elevator located at the end of the Promenade des Anglais. Don’t miss its surprising waterfall!
2. Visit the Old Port
The Old Port, located in Old Nice, is another of the best things to see in Nice and a wonderful place for a stroll. Nice’s Old Port is a colorful and busy place, with about ten quays and various markets selling local products.
Built in the 18th century, this port is one of the French Riviera’s main infrastructural hubs. It accommodates both the ships operated by ferry companies and private yachts for tourists.
3. Get Lost in Nice’s Old Town
Exploring the Old Town is one of the top things to do in Nice, France. Vieux Nice is the city’s historic district, an ensemble of narrow streets, colorful architecture, and picturesque piazzas.
In Vieux Nice, you will also find cultural venues, beautiful Baroque churches, and many shopping opportunities and restaurants.
The list of beautiful places to visit in Nice’s Old Town includes the Cathedral Sainte Reparate, the notable museums of Lascaris Palace and Galleries des Pochettes, and the Opera of Nice.
4. Visit Cours Saleya’s Markets
Located in the historic district, Cours Saleya is the largest pedestrian area in Vieux Nice and one of the few places that still keeps its local and traditional charm. The place is great for a stroll, and it is well known for its colorful flower markets (our favorite part), but there are also stalls selling antiques and food.
This market opens from Tuesday to Sunday, from 8 am to 12.30 approx, and is a must-see in Nice, France.
5. Stroll along the Promenade des Anglais
Promenade des Anglais is one of the best things to see in Nice. This seaside promenade is Nice’s main landmark, famous beyond the French borders.
The name of this promenade honors the English aristocracy, who, in the 19th century, acquired a taste for vacationing in Nice and had the idea of building this 7-kilometer avenue by the sea.
Along the Promenade des Anglais, you will find Nice’s beaches with their legendary blue lounge chairs, the Museum of Asian Arts, the Palais de la Méditerranée, and the equally iconic Hotel Négresco.
The Promenade des Anglais is also used to host popular city events like the Prom Classic or the Carnival of Nice.
6. Lazy Day at the Beach
If you are wondering what to do in Nice, France, for a relaxing day, consider one of the beaches in Nice. The city’s seafront is bordered by pebbled beaches, public or private, and they are a great place for a lazy day sunbathing and a couple of dips.
To avoid contact with the stones, the beaches are fitted with lounge chairs – Nice’s iconic blue chairs – and it is highly recommended to use special shoes to walk on the beach or take a bath.
The public beaches offer limited facilities, while the private beaches have luxurious amenities (changing cabins, towels) and bars and restaurants with seaside service. Some of these private beaches, like Blue Beach and Castel Beach, are amongst the most glamorous beaches on the French Riviera.
7. Rent a Boat in Nice
Why follow the tourist crowds if you can craft your own boat tour? Rent a boat in Nice and plan a day out admiring the city from the water or visiting places like Cap Ferrat and Cap d’Ail. With its azure waters, colorful towns, and natural wonders, the French Riviera is the ideal destination for sailing.
The boating season in the French Riviera runs from April to October. Given that Nice is a very popular holiday destination, there are plenty of boats available to rent. Keep in mind, however, that during the high season in the summer, there are many tourists in the city, so we recommend booking well in advance to find the perfect boat for you. And if you don’t have a boat permit, don’t hesitate to ask for the services of a professional skipper – Click here to rent a boat in Nice
8. Visit the Museums of Cimiez Hill
If you are looking for a cultural day in Nice, what to do? We suggest visiting Cimiez Hill, a calm neighborhood in Nice with a serene atmosphere far from the Old Town’s hustle and bustle.
Located 2km north of Vieux Nice, Cimiez is a beautiful place for a stroll. It also has some interesting attractions, like the Cimiez Arenas and Gardens, the Archaeological Museum, and the Matisse Museum. The historical monuments of Valrose Castle and Regina Palace are also located in Cimiez.
Cimiez also hosts popular city events like the Gourd Festival or the Nice Jazz Festival.
Things to Do in Nice, France, for Long Stays
If you decide to stay in Nice for more than two days, you can consider taking a day trip, a guided tour, or exploring the French Riviera coast from the water.
9. Consider a Day Trip from Nice
Nice is also an excellent base for exploring other beautiful places on the French Riviera. The list of beautiful day trips from Nice includes Villefranche-sur-Mer – a picturesque Old Town and beaches with pebbles on the small side –, Éze-Village, Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, Menton, or Monaco.
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.
Further on the west, Cannes and Antibes are two beautiful cities on the French Riviera worth exploring, and they are easy to reach by regional train.
And why not a boat tour? Explore the French Riviera from the water on a boat tour to Monaco, or head east to Cap Ferrat for a sunset cruise in one of the most spectacular landscapes in Southern France.
If you prefer to explore inland, this countryside of Provence guided tour visits lovely towns like Grasse, Gourdon, and Saint-Paul-de-Vence and has excellent reviews.
10. Take a Wine Tour
The Côtes de Provence appellation is very extensive (it alone represents 60% of Provençal production) and is quickly accessible from Draguignan, Toulon, Marseille, or even Saint Tropez. You will, of course, discover in this appellation producers of rosé wine but also of fruity and quite full-bodied red wines and aromatic and fruity whites.
This full-day Côtes de Provence wine tour from Nice visits three award-winning wineries in the region where you can taste a variety of fine wines.
If you have a car, you have a couple of Côtes de Provence wineries on the heights of Nice that offer guided tours and tastings of their excellent wines.
And there you have it, what to see in Nice-France, things to do, and top tips for a wonderful stay in the capital of the French Riviera. So, what are you waiting for? Book your trip to Nice today!