Best Things To Do In Nice, France – Nice Travel Guide
Nice is located in Southern Europe and at the most South-Eastern tip of France. It is a perfect place to enjoy a holiday as you will be delighted with its culture, beauty, and ambience. Whether you like gallery hopping, shopping on the streets or strolling by the seaside, you can do it all in Nice!
Moderate rainfall, mild winters, and warm summers make Nice a perfect city to travel for all months of the year; so, you can plan your trip at your convenience. The official currency of the city is Euro. Some of the local dishes that you should not miss here are Socca (pancake made of a chickpea), Pissaladiere (tart made with onions), Salade Niçoise (tomato salad), and Farcis Niçois (dish made up of meat and vegetables), among others.
Things To Do In Nice:
Travelers often wonder what to do in Nice, France and if you are one of them, then our traveling guide will help you out. The Nice City can keep you busy for several days. There are so many places to visit and explore that even in a week’s trip to Nice; you could fall short of time. Some of the must-visit places of Nice have been mentioned below, so add them to your itinerary now!
The Iconic Promenade Des Anglais, Nice:
The Promenade des Anglais in Nice is one of the most popular and iconic seafronts of France. It stretches for 7kms, from the airport in the west to the castle headland in the east. There are several bars, restaurants, ice-cream parlors, and beach clubs all through the promenade.
Tourists visit the place for strolling along the Mediterranean Sea or for relaxing on one of the chairs and relishing a traditional French cuisine. Referred as the ‘prom’ by the locals, there are dedicated cycle paths and footpaths for tourists to explore the entire area.
Moreover, there are several attractions and architectural marvels that have been displayed on the prom. Most of the beaches in Nice are accessible from the prom, so tourists prefer visiting the prom and then heading to one of the popular beaches. During the peak tourist season, there are several events that are held on the prom like the Prom Classic, Carnival of Nice, and much more.
Old Town (Vieux Nice):
If you want to explore how Nice was several decades ago, then you should head straight to the Old Town. Here, you will be able to find the older generation chit-chatting while relishing their cup of coffee. You too can join them and they would love to share the history and ancient stories of Nice, France. Attractive buildings, quaint restaurants, enticing shops, and markets are the beauty of this place.
While here, you should visit the Palais Lascaris, which was built in the 17th century. At the moment, the building houses a museum of musical instruments. A collection of more than 500 instruments have been displayed in the museum. Even if you are not interested in these instruments, you should visit the area to explore the wonderful architecture of the entire building. The structural design of windows, doors, and ceilings would give you a glimpse of the homes that were built in ancient Nice.
The museum is open from 10am to 6pm every day except on Mondays’ as it is a holiday. To reach here, you can take the tramway to Cathedrale and then walk to the museum. The entrance tickets for the museum are EUR 10 for adults. Children under the age of 18, locals with ID, and students of any age with their student identity can enter the museum for free of cost.
Vital Tips On Exploring Various Museums Of Nice, France:
- If you are finding the entrance ticket to visit the Palais Lascaris to be a bit expensive then you can even consider buying the 7-day all-access museum pass for EUR 20. This pass will let you enter all 14 municipal museums of the city for a week at your leisure. Some of the museums that you could explore are the Matisse Museum, Beaux Arts, Archaeological Museum, and Musee Massena, among others.
- As the Chagall Museum is a national museum, it is not included in the municipal museum pass. So, you will have to buy a separate entrance ticket for it. The ticket is not that expensive, and you can even visit the museum on the first Sunday of each month for free of cost.
- The Museum of Asian Art, Villa Arson, and the Franciscan Monk Museum are the three museums of Nice that are free to enter for all every day.
- You can even consider buying the French Riviera Pass, which is available for 1, 2, or 3 days. The prices of the pass are EUR 26, 38, and 56 respectively. This pass will let you enter all municipal museums of Nice, Chagall museum, and even a few museums that are located in the outskirts of Nice like the Villas Rothschild and Kerylos, the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco, and the Renoir Museum in Cagnes-sur-Mer. The pass will even provide some free deals depending on the one that you have purchased; like, a 30-minute segway ride on the Prom, few betting chips for gambling in the casino, a day tour on hop-on and hop-off local bus, wine-tasting in Old Nice, and much more.
Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate, Nice:
The Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate is one of the oldest and most ornate cathedrals in Nice. It is a Roman Catholic Cathedral, which is the seat of the Diocese of Nice. During the weekdays, you can attend mass at 10am from Tuesday to Friday. It is a beautiful church with stunning interiors that highlights the art and architecture of Roman civilization. The numerous chapels are well-decorated with amazing pieces of art. Don’t miss the traditional cuisines served at several restaurants and cafés surrounding the cathedral.
Shopping In Nice, France:
Amongst the various other things to do in Nice, don’t forget to bring your shopping bags and hit the innumerable shops and local markets in Nice. If you like vintage stuff then you should head to Old Nice. Here, you will find several boutiques selling vintage and retro clothing from the 1920’s through the 80’s. Some shops like the ‘Emmaus’ offer several treasures at rock-bottom prices, so don’t forget to check them out. Few other things that you could buy from the numerous shops are unique accessories, spectacular purses, glamour hats, and much more.
To take a break from all the shopping, you can relax at the Delit Delice coffee house that serves tea and coffee in vintage china cups and plates. Also, try out their assortment of pastries that will enable you in relishing the authentic taste of France. If there is some time and energy left, then you should visit the Hippy Market that offers clothing from the 60’s and 70’s. The amazing music played in the background will keep your kids occupied while you shop for the family.
To buy some fresh produce, you should visit the Cours Saleya Market in Old Town. Herbs, cheeses, flowers, olives, and many more fresh products can be purchased here. There are several things that you could purchase for a very cheap price. As the market closes at 1pm; by noon, the sellers reduce the prices considerably so that they can sell maximum stuff. Bargaining is not done in the food and flower market.
If you prefer buying organic produce then you should visit the local farmers that are selling their stuff on the street next of the church in Cours Saleya Market. Here, you can purchase 54 varieties of multicolored tomatoes that have been produced organically. These will make a good salad for your meals.
The Cours Saleya Market is open on Tuesdays to Sundays and the food sellers are available only in the mornings. Rest of the day, you can visit the market for checking their flower section. On Mondays, you will find a special antique market or Brocante. Here, you can check out the amazing French antiques and collectibles.
Ensure that you bargain a lot so that you can pick stuff for a good price. Even if you are unable to make a deal, you will certainly enjoy visiting the market as you can check the innumerable treasures that have been taken out from the old French attics and put up for sale.
Beaches In Nice, France:
Before heading to any of the Nice, France beach, you need to decide whether you want to go to a public beach or a private one. The public beaches do not charge an entry fee and are more crowded in comparison to the private ones. Moreover, there are high chances of pickpockets in public beaches during peak tourist season. Some of the must-visit Nice, France beaches have been mentioned below, so you can visit them during your trip to this amazing city:
- Castel Plage: It is a beautiful private beach and is considered to be one of the best ones in Nice, France. It is also a restaurant that serves meals to the visitors that can be enjoyed while admiring the sea. Located near Old Town, the Castel Plage seaside restaurant is open from 10am to midnight.
- Ruhl Plage: The Ruhl Plage is an apt private beach for families. You can let your kids go for a swim in the swimming pool with sea water that has lifeguards, while you relax on the loungers. The beach is open from 9am to midnight. Don’t forget to try some of their popular delicacies like; the prosciutto, pizzas, meats hamburger, and truffle, among others.
- La Reserve: It is a public beach, which is located on Boulevard Franck Pilatte, right under a luxurious restaurant. The water is absolutely clean and clear. Visitors usually enjoy snorkeling or simply relax while looking at the local kids performing stunts by jumping from the high walls into the beach, even though it is not allowed.
Where To Stay In Nice:
- Hotel Du Midi: If you want to make traveling easier in Nice, then you should book your room in Hotel Du Midi as it is located next to the train station. The rooms are extremely spacious, well-equipped, and clean. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel and they have access for people with reduced mobility. The hotel is surrounded with several markets, restaurants, shops, beaches, and the famous Promenade des Anglais.
- Hotel Belle Meuniere: If you are traveling on a budget or want to economize on accommodation and save some bucks then you should book a room in Hotel Belle Meuniere. It is actually a hostel that offers private rooms on double/triple/quad sharing basis and dormitories at affordable prices. Located at Avenue Durante, the hostel provides a homely feeling, amazing facilities, and a comfortable environment to stay.
- Ajoupa Apart’hotel: If you don’t prefer staying in a hostel; but, are searching for affordable rooms, then Ajoupa Apart’hotel would be a perfect choice for you. As it is located in the center of Nice, everything will be close by; like the beaches, shopping areas, sea, Old Town, museums, casinos, and much more. You can either select an apartment that can accommodate family of four and provide facilities like AC, fully-equipped kitchen, soundproof walls, Wi-Fi, etc. or book a room for two with amenities like free Wi-Fi, breakfast, luggage storage, and much more.
- Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Mediterranee: To have a luxurious stay in Nice, France you should book your room in Hyatt Regency Palais de la Mediterranee. Some of the amazing activities that you can try here are boating, gambling, hiking, etc. and few amenities provided are fitness center, dining area, banquets, high-speed Internet, swimming pool with parasols and loungers, and much more. The hotel is situated in the most prestigious area in Nice; the Promenade des Anglais. It is approximately 6kms away from Nice, France Airport and about 1km away from Nice City centre train station. To enjoy the beauty of Nice, you can book rooms with full-size terrace or those that have balconies facing the sea.
Tips To Make Your Trip To Nice A Comfortable And Safe One:
Overall, Nice is a safe and friendly destination, but staying cautious and alert at crowded areas is always recommended. Here are some tips that will help you in making your trip a safe one:
- In the peak tourist season, it is recommended to book a table in a restaurant or a sun lounger in a beach before hand as the places can be packed to the brim.
- Pickpockets are rife, especially in crowded areas like the Prom or beaches in Nice. So, it is advisable to keep your valuables in a locker of the hotel or private beach rather than carrying them with you to all places.
- Similar to most of the cities of the world that attract tourists, you should take precautions against common scams like the ‘dropped ring’ or ‘dropped money’ trick to keep yourself safe and secure.
- Groups of teenagers may try to distract you for grabbing your wallet or valuables, so be careful in crowded areas.
Traveling Through Nice:
- Bus And Tramway: There is a single price for a single ticket and you can either buy a combined bus/tram ticket or a solo ticket. More than 130 buses ply in the day time and 5 buses ply during the night. The tramway is open from 4:25am to 1:35am.
- Taxis: Taxis are available for 24 hours and are absolutely convenient for day trips around the city or to a nearby city. You can hire a taxi at a fixed price of EUR 32 from Nice France airport to the city centre. Remember that the price is inclusive of luggage charges. You can hail a taxi in the street or book it at a taxi-rank.
- Car Rentals: There are innumerable rental companies in Nice that offer cars on rent. You can rent a car for several days and enjoy the city and its surrounding areas at leisure.
- Bicycle Rentals: Nice, France has innumerable cycle paths, which makes it extremely easy to ride a bicycle. Moreover, renting a bicycle is an economical and environmental-friendly way to explore Nice. You will be able to find several bicycle rental companies in the market areas of Nice.
- Auto Bleue: You can even consider hiring an electric car for your travel. The electric car can be booked for few hours or an entire day, depending on your requirements. The car hire service is available 24/7 and can be booked via ZEN service or FLEX service.
To conclude, Nice and its people are certainly more than just nice! Travelers come here for enjoying the sea, architecture, interesting sights, and mesmerizing beauty of the city. No doubt, Nice is the most spectacular part of the French Riviera. It is a city with plenty of nightlife and numerous opportunities for sightseeing and shopping in the day. So, pack your bags and get ready to spend some amazing time in Nice. You are surely going to have a pleasant time in this magnificent city!
And if you are interested what we were doing in Nice, you can read our Holidays in Nice article.