If you are planning a trip to Europe, you might be wondering what types of things there are few to do in various cities. One of the more popular destinations is Nice, France. It's easy to understand why so many people would want to visit a place like this. It's steeped in history, it's beautiful and it has plenty of opportunities for you to enjoy great food, see the sights and enjoy the local culture. As a matter of fact, there's probably more to do there than you have time for, unless you plan on staying for an extended amount of time. Below are 20 of the best things to do in Nice, France. Whether you choose just a few of these activities or all of them, you're bound to have the time of your life.
20. Place Massena
This is truly the heart of the city. It's important to remember that Nice is a fairly small city, one where you can comfortably walk the entire city without the need for some type of automated transportation. There is a fountain right in the middle of the city square, and this is where all of your adventures can start. This not only serves as your central location, but as an access point to so many other things that you might be interested in doing, such as seeing the ocean or going shopping. If you're in the mood to simply sit quietly and enjoy the view, this is the perfect place to do that as well. You'd be surprised how many people you see out there taking pictures, listening to local music or reading books. It's also a great place to rest and recharge if you've been on your feet all day long.
19. The Seafront
When you're this close to the ocean, it simply wouldn't feel right not to take advantage of it and spend some time there. You can walk along the shore as much as you want, taking in the sights and hearing the waves crash as they roll in. There's also plenty of old-school architecture to enjoy along the way, not to mention numerous ice cream huts where you can sample some of the best dessert that France has to offer.
18. Avenue Jean Medecin
If you love to shop, this is the place to be. It's also a place where there are some shops open around the clock, meaning that it doesn't matter if it's two in the afternoon or two in the morning, you still have the opportunity to go and enjoy it for yourself. You can certainly spend a good hour or two walking around this little area alone, especially if you're inclined to go into each shop and do some serious retail therapy. On the other hand, it doesn't cost you anything to simply walk through the neighborhood and enjoy the sights. It's all up to you how much you want to spend in both terms of dollars and time, but it's not something that you'll want to miss if you have the opportunity to do it.
17. Old Town
This is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the entire city, hence its name. Is located less than a quarter-mile away from the town center and there are enough attractions there that you can easily spend a couple of hours or even half a day exploring. If you're in the mood for old-school street markets and restaurants that serve authentic French cuisine, this is a must-see.
16. Cours Saleya Flower Market
Outdoor flower markets have a way of attracting customers, no matter where they're located. That's definitely the case here, as you can find not only flowers, but other types of items for sale such as fresh produce and even some handmade goods that are distinctly authentic. The fact that you can enjoy all of it in an open-air market only makes it that much more appealing.
15. English Walk
If you're in the mood for a little fresh air, this is a great place to get it. It directly parallels the city's shorefront and it runs the distance of about two miles. It's a wonderful place to enjoy going for a walk on a beautiful day, not to mention the fact that virtually every major attraction in the city can be reached directly from here.
14. Castle Hill
This is the home of the ruins of Chateau de Nice, one of the most impressive castles in the area before time began to take its toll on its walls. Today, the only thing that is left is the crumbling ruins and hundreds of steps leading up to it. It's definitely not a walk for the faint of heart, but if you're up for the challenge, it's almost impossible to beat the view that you can enjoy from the top of the hill once you finally reach it. It's also a great way to enjoy being outdoors and getting some serious exercise in the process. Expect to spend some time getting to the top of the hill, sometimes as much as half a day. It doesn't cost anything to go there and it's only three miles away from the center of the city.
13. Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art
If you are an art lover, this is a must-see because it has some of the best art pieces in the entire world. Even if you're someone who only casually looks at art from time to time, it's a great way to pass your time in a nice, air-conditioned environment. That becomes more important than ever if you are visiting the city during the time of year where the weather is much warmer, as it gets exceptionally warm when you're spending your entire day outdoors.
12. St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral
This is a church that was built at the beginning of the twentieth century, largely to accommodate the growing number of Russian immigrants that were coming into the city. It's built with architecture that very much reflects traditional Russian buildings. They still hold church services there, but you can also go inside just to check things out. However, they do ask women to wear head coverings, which they provide at the door.
11. Nice Riviera Bar Crawl
Just as the name implies, this is something that you can participate in while you are visiting the city that gives you an opportunity to enjoy some of the best bars they have to offer. Bar crawls are popular activities in most cities around the world. If you want to enjoy some of the local culture and enjoy some great drinks at the same time, this one is hard to beat. All you have to do is check ahead to see about scheduling and then sit back and enjoy. The tour is very well priced at just over $20 per person.
10. Take a Private Tour
If you are a little less organized, you might not be entirely certain where you want to start out or what you want to do first. If that's the case, you're in luck because you can take a private tour that is customized to fit your needs. For a price that's extremely reasonable (less than $40), you can hire a guide to set an itinerary for you and then guide you around the entire city for as long as you want. It's a perfect thing for people who don't necessarily like the idea of traveling alone, yet don't want to be tied down just because they're not going with someone else. It's also a good idea if you're not sure about the language and you have absolutely no idea where to start because you don't have to worry about anything. The guide will take care of everything for you.
9. Garden of the Cimiez Monastery
Enjoy the roses here or take in a view of the sea front. You also have a bird's-eye view of the city center from here, which is only just over a mile away. Perhaps the best thing about the garden is that the layout hasn't changed in hundreds of years, since 1546 to be exact. You truly are walking into a piece of living history when you are here and you can feel it all around you.
8. Parc du Mont Boron
If you're in the mood for an afternoon of hiking, it's hard to beat this place. In fact, they have roughly over seven miles of hiking trails, some more challenging than others. If you really want to work up a sweat, tackle one of the bigger hills in the area and hike up it for one of the most pristine views you're ever likely to see.
7. Palais Lascaris
This is another air conditioned attraction that's close to the city center. In this particular case, you have the opportunity to tour a home that was once by French royalty, later bought by the city and turned into a museum. The building has existed in its current capacity since the 1970s. By visiting, you have the opportunity to learn more about the family that initially built the home, which has stood for hundreds of years. At the same time, you also have an opportunity to learn more about the city itself and that makes it hard to pass this attraction up. It's also worth noting that it doesn't cost anything to go in, making it one of the rare attractions around the world that operates as a museum without charging you a fee in order to gain access.
6. Chagall Museum
This museum incorporates some of the most eye-catching abstract art that you're ever likely to see. They're rather contemporary in nature and they have enough pieces to keep you occupied for at least a few hours. If you live in the city, or anywhere in France for that matter, you'll have to show them your driver's license in order to get in. If you're an international traveler, bring your passport because they won't allow you to have access to the museum without it.
5. Matisse Museum
The artwork contained in this building is as interesting and storied as the building itself. Most of it consists of the artwork that belonged to the original owner of the villa before it became a museum. As such, you'll find everything from drawings to sculptures, and everything in between.
4. Small Group Walking Food Tour
What better way to get to know the city and its culture than to take a walking tour that incorporates some of the best authentic food in the area? That's exactly what you get here. In addition, you also have the opportunity to taste some fine wine and perhaps strike up a conversation with other people in the group. Who knows, it might even be an opportunity to make a few new friends.
3. Nice Cycle Tours
If you love cycling and you want an opportunity to see the entire city, this tour is the perfect way to do it. It also gives you a chance to get together with other people who also share some of the same interests that you have. There's no doubt about it, it's definitely a fun way to spend anywhere from a few hours to an entire afternoon seeing the sights, all while getting a little exercise in the process.
2. French Riviera Wine Tour
Any person that enjoys good wine is going to love this tour. You have the chance to visit a number of different facilities that either make or sell some of the best wine in all of France, and you get to do it while enjoying the local atmosphere. It really doesn't get any better than that.
1. Guided Walking Tours
Perhaps you love the idea of walking around the city, but you're not so crazy about the prospect of trying to sort out the language or finding your way around a city that you're not familiar with. The good news is that you can participate in a walking tour that takes you all around the oldest part of the city. That way, you don't have to worry about missing out on anything. You can just enjoy the city and everything it has to offer.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn