France is the most visited country in the world with around 90 million visitors every year. If you analyze this numbers further and take other facts into consideration, you will find that most of those visitors usually go to France to see explore Paris (one of the top 5 most visited cities in the world), the Eiffel Tower (the most-visited paid tourist attraction in the world), the Louvre (the largest and most visited museum in the world), Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Paris (the most famous Gothic cathedrals from the Middle Ages).
It is clear that most visitors that flock this Western European country end up in the capital Paris (and why shouldn’t they, Paris is the most romantic city in the world). But for those looking for an alternative destination to Paris, there are other cities with plenty of things to do and see. One of them is Nice.
15 Best Things to Do in Nice France
Explore Vieille Ville
Vieille Ville is the oldest section of Nice. Here, you will think you are in a completely new world from the wide boulevards and sprawling squares of the new Nice. This old town is punctuated by a network of alleys lined with local restaurants and shops as well as lofty ochre-painted flats and the imposing Colline du Chateau.
The cafes, glaciers, and creperies usually come to live in the evening until late at night.
What is more fascinating about this section of town is that it still has lots of Italian architectures and feel. However, it is worth pointing out that Nice was actually part of Italy until the 1860 Treaty of Turin.
Walk along the Promenade des Anglais
If you have ever walked along a promenade before, this is a completely different experience. Promenade des Anglais has been important in the city since the 1820s when it was built.
Every February, this grand walkway hosts the Nice Carnival, while couples skateboarders, joggers, and family enjoy it for the rest of the year.
There are benches underneath the tall palm trees and pergolas lining the promenade where you can sit and watch the waves of the Mediterranean Sea.
Located in the oldest area of the town in Vieille Ville, and hard to miss is the Nice Cathedral. It has a unique patterned dome and shape.
From the outside, you will be forgiven to think there is not much going on in this structure, but it is a different story inside.
This 17th-century cathedral features a lavish baroque design in the interior as well as ten extremely decorative chapels.
Browse fresh produce at Cours Saleya Market
Still in the old parts of Nice, Cours Saleya Market is the place to be if you want to buy some fresh farm produce. The market is open every day of the week bar Monday when it is turned into a flea market.
You find this market useful if you are holidaying in a home in the town.
Admire the works of Chagall
Musee Marc Chagall is dedicated to the work of famous Russian-French painter Marc Chagall. The artist himself designed the layout of the museum and chose where his paintings would be hanged. He also designed the layout of the grounds as well as the colored-glass windows of the concert hall.
The museum houses Chagall’s 17 oil paints with a biblical motif, categorized into Old and New Testament.
Explore the 19th Century French art at the Musee Massena
Located along the Promenade des Anglais is this museum that used to Duke of Rivoli’s villa. Outside the museum are gardens designed by Edouard Andre, who also configured the gardens at the Monte Carlo Casino.
A casual visitor may not actually realize that this building is a museum.
Inside the museum, you will find some assortment of oddities such as the death mask belonging to Napoleon and his wife’s tiara, along with a miscellany of 19th-century French art.
Try some Italian ice cream
By now you know that Nice still has lots of Italian feel from the time it was part of Italy. In the old town nice, you will find plenty of ice cream parlors. But the one that stands out is the Azzurro, on Rossetti Square. Though the most popular ice cream shot in this region is Fenocchio, Azzurro makes much better treats plus their cones are made from home.
Discover the local food
Nice has one of the best gastronomic experiences that visiting the city without having a go at some of the local food is unheard of.
As it is known around the world, cuisine Nicoise includes such foods as Panisse, food prepared from chickpea flour; socca, also made from chickpea flour; pan bagnat, which is a sandwich form of native Nice salad, which comprises raw vegetables, tuna and or anchovies, hard-boiled eggs, olive oil, and Nicoise olives, wrapped in a round bread.
Enjoy the views of Nice from Castle Hill
The Nice Castle Hill is situated on a hill overlooking the city. The reason you should visit this park is the striking vistas it offers of the Old Town as well as the whole city and the sea. You can get to the top of the hill by using the elevator or walking. But if you want to enjoy the journey, then I recommend taking the stairs up as this will also allow you to see the Bellande Tower on your way.
Relax at the beach
Beaches in Nice are not for swimming, playing watersports, or snorkeling because water can get deep very fast. Because of this, beaches there are for relaxing and one of the best for this purpose is the private Castel beach which is right at the bottom of Castle Hill.
Take a walk at the Mont Boron
This Mediterranean forest is found on the east side of the city and offers stunning places to take photos. There are many nature trails with the breathtaking views of the Bay of Villefranche and the Bay of Angels.
Go to the summit of Mount Alban Fort for amazing views.
Interact with nature at the Phoenix Park
Located in the Arenas district near the airport are these 7 hectares of extremely diverse flora and fauna. The park comprises a zoological and botanical garden. But the best attraction is the gigantic greenhouse, with controlled tropical climates that support tropical plants and bird species.
There is also a children’s playground, making the park perfect for a family day out.
Celebrate the works of the master at Musee Matisse
Though he wasn’t born in Nice, the legendary French artist Matisse lived in the city for almost 40 years and is even buried there in Monastere de Cimiez. As an homage to him, the town built an impressive museum to hold his permanent collection.
Sit and watch as the world goes by at Jardin Albert 1er
Named after the King of Belgium during World War 1, Jardin Albert 1er is located opposite the Promenade des Anglais. It offers a lovely spot to sit and enjoy the views after a long day of exploring the city. The Theatre de Verdure is also found there.
Chill at Beer District
The Beer District is perhaps the coolest place to chill during the night. Here you will be served from a frequently rotating roster of 16 from-the-tap microbrews as well as 50 types of beers from foreign lands. The vibe here is very chilled and sociable, with complementary tastes offered along with snacks in the form of peanuts in small bowls.
To help you plan out your visit to Nice, we listed places to visit and other amazing activities to do in Nice, Italy. We also listed some of the best Nice travel and tour packages, as well as excellent flight deals and accommodation.
Searching for the best hotels, resorts, and affordable flights in the nearby Cities? Check out our list of affordable Nice hotels and resorts via Agoda, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.
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