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Things to Do in Nice, France

The largest city and capital of the Alpes-Maritimes district on the French Riviera, Nice is known for its leisurely beaches, stunning architecture, and delicious cuisine. Many prominent artists throughout history have fallen in love with the French Riviera’s charm, and you’ll see why when you visit Nice.

The relaxed pace in the South of France offers an opportunity to slow down and enjoy the finer things in life on the vibrant Riviera. The region averages 310-330 days of sunshine annually, making it easy to imagine why the locals have such a carefree attitude. In this blog, I’ll outline what to do in Nice France for an unforgettable visit.

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Best Things to Do in Nice, France

Kicking off this guide to what to do in Nice France is one of the most recognizable local buildings, the , nestled along the famous Promenade des Anglais. When you enter the lobby, you’re greeted with VIP treatment and a magnificent taste of the unique architecture and artwork inside. The suites are adorned with famous antique and contemporary pieces, and Le Negresco provides an excellent taste of the luxury the French Riviera is known for.

The list of prominent public and entertainment figures that have stayed at is long, and it continues to be a celebrity favorite. Dine in the Michelin-star restaurant, enjoy your favorite cocktail in the lounge, and soak in the carefully curated surroundings. 

Stroll Along the Promenade des Anglais

Things to do in Nice, France

After your visit to Le Negresco, walk along the Promenade des Anglais and bask in the sunshine while admiring the turquoise coastal waters along the coast. In French, the French Riviera is called the Côte d’Azur, which means blue coast. You’ll quickly see why it got its name when you stroll the Promenade des Anglais.

The Promenade stretches the entire length of the coast along Nice from Old Town to the airport and is a preferred pastime among locals and tourists alike. Here, you’ll see people exercising, families roller skating, musicians playing music, and young groups of friends gathering. It’s a hub for activity, and you will find entertainment and relaxation at this beautiful promenade. Stop at one of the many waterfront restaurants for a coffee or a meal with a stunning view of the Mediterranean Sea.

Explore Old Town (Vieux Nice)

Things to do in Nice, France

Visiting the Old Town is one of the most popular things to do in Nice. Each time I go, I find something new to love. The cobblestone streets, colorful pastel buildings, and lively restaurants and markets make the Old Town a treasure trove for photographers, foodies, and everyone else. The narrow streets and passageways offer an opportunity to get lost in the magic and let it guide you.

There are numerous boutiques, shops, and little markets to discover. I love walking through on a Saturday or Sunday morning when the book market is set up. Hundreds of books and antiques line the streets, and you’re guaranteed to find some unique souvenirs to remember from your trip to Old Town.

Visit Marché Aux Fleurs on Cours Saleya

Things to do in Nice, France

Are you looking for things to do in Nice Old Town? At the heart lies the bustling street market called the Marché Aux Fleurs. It got its name from the flower vendors (fleurs in French), but the market holds so much more than just flowers! Locals stop by in the morning to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables for the day’s meals, as well as fresh fish catches.

With meats, cheeses, spices, soaps, and trinkets, your senses will be delighted when you visit the Marché Aux Fleurs. It’s a great way to spend the morning and grab some famous lavender products from Provence to take home to your loved ones.

Quick Tip: View my full Europe packing guide here including a downloadable checklist. And check out my Europe Essentials shopping list here.

Walk Through Place Masséna and Along Jean Médecin 

Things to do in Nice, France

Place Masséna is the main square in Nice, at the edge of Old Town, and along Avenue Jean Médecin, Nice’s main road. This vibrant plaza is always bustling with activity, street performances, and sprawling restaurant terraces. At night, the statues atop the poles come to life, illuminating the square.

The park is a great place to people-watch. If you want to shop, continue along Jean Médecin Avenue. Jean Médecin Avenue is the city’s main shopping strip, lined with hundreds of boutiques and a mall, and you’ll leave with the chic French style of the Riviera. 

Discover Famous Art at the Musée Matisse or the

Henri Matisse was one of many prominent artists of the 20th century, along with Picasso, who fell in love with the French Riviera and Nice in particular. His villa, Villa des Arènes, is located in the neighborhood Cimiez a bit outside of the city center, and has been turned into a museum dedicated to his works. It’s currently one of the world’s largest collections of his work, making it a must if you’re an art lover looking for things to do in Nice France.

is next door to the Villa des Arènes. It offers a glimpse into the region’s ancient history and more beautiful views of the villa.

Visit the Cathédrale Orthodoxe Russe St-Nicolas

The St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral is located behind the Nice-Ville train station and is the largest Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Western Europe. Constructed between 1903 and 1912, it was commissioned by Tsar Nicholas II of Russia to serve as a place of worship for the large Russian community that frequented the French Riviera. The cathedral has a Byzantine style with vibrant green, gold, and terracotta colors that stand out among the rest of the city’s architecture.

Attend a Performance at the

is located in Old Town next to the Marché Aux Fleurs and the Promenade des Anglais. If you enjoy fine arts performances, I highly recommend checking the website to see if there are any ballets, operas, or classical music concerts happening while you’re visiting. It’s one of the fancier things to do in Nice, and it’s sure to be an unforgettable evening spent at the Nice Opera House. 

Explore More of the French Riviera

Things to do in Nice, France

Nice is an excellent place to set up a home base during your trip to the French Riviera. Its central location allows you to take multiple exciting day trips from Nice, exploring breathtaking places along the coast like the medieval hilltop village of Eze, Picasso’s favorite and neighboring Antibes, the luxurious Cannes, and more.

The train from the Nice Ville station provides incredibly easy access to stunning cities and villages in the Côte d’Azur. Depending on how many days you plan to spend, it’s worth planning more than one excursion to soak in the beauty of the region. You can even easily visit three countries in one trip while you’re staying in the French Riviera, as Monaco and Italy are less than an hour away by train. 

Discover Delicious Niçois Cuisine

Things to do in Nice, France

Sample the local cuisine is one of the best things to do in Nice France! Nice has many culinary specialties, from simple street food to seafood delicacies. One of my favorites is socca, a delicious snack found in many of the street markets in Nice. It is made with chickpea flour, has a thin crepe-like texture, and is served with salt and pepper after being baked in a brick oven. I love street food snacks, and socca is one of the best I’ve tried. 

Pissaladière is another simple and delicious flatbread using fresh ingredients from the Provence region, typically caramelized onions, black olives, and anchovies. 

Salade Niçoise is a great salad to try for a lighter lunch option. Like many of Nice’s typical dishes, it contains some form of seafood, typically tuna. 

Dine at Comptoir Du Marché in the heart of Old Town for a deliciously authentic culinary experience. The restaurant uses seasonal ingredients from Provence and offers a cozy atmosphere and terrace for fine dining. 

The rooftop restaurant at the Radisson Blu Hotel offers absolutely stunning rooftop views of the entire French Riviera. It is the perfect place to admire the pink and purple sunsets during your stay. Looking down onto the Promenade des Anglais and Le Negresco below, this view is unmatched and one of the best in Nice.

Wine lovers, this one’s for you: Berco Nice Wine Bar in Old Town is the perfect place to sample famous French wines. The cellar-style bar offers tasting workshops and aperitif evenings, which are a great way to increase your knowledge of local wines. 

The Best Time to Visit Nice, France

If you want to avoid high prices and insane crowds while still enjoying the beautiful weather and scenery the French Riviera offers, the best time to visit Nice is from April to June or September to October. The region’s microclimate, which has previously mentioned an average of 310 days of sun per year, means the weather is generally pleasant year-round. Visiting outside the peak summer months means the beaches, restaurants, and other attractions will be less crowded, giving you more freedom to enjoy the best things to do in Nice France!

Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?

The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing

Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $45.08. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.

Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies. 

Looking for somewhere to stay? Check out these options!

My Nice B&B
Hôtel Le Royal Promenade des Anglais
Best Western Hotel Lakmi Nice

Nice Travel Guide Planning

🧳 Any recommendations on what I should pack for Nice?

Yes! I have created a whole packing guide to Nice which you can read here and you can also check out my packing list for Nice on Amazon here.

🚗 Where can I book bus or private transportation while I’m in Nice?

I strongly recommend using Bookaway. You can book almost all transport in the major tourist destinations through them online. They don’t just cover buses they also cover shuttles, ferries, and private drivers.

🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours in Nice?

I recommend either Viator or GetYour Guide. They have a lot of options!

👩‍⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?

I recommend using Heymondo for a great value policy. The app also offers you 24/7 Dr Chat. For Digital Nomads check out SafetyWing digital nomad insurance.

I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here.

✈️ Any flight recommendations?

WayAWay offers you cheap flights with cashback. You can use this code CLAIRE22 to get 10% off. Otherwise Skyscanner or Expedia are my go-to flight searching platforms.

📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?

I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.

With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using either Airhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.

🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?

The 3 best platforms that I normally use are, and Expedia. They offer great deals and multiple options. I always check all three to be sure of the best deals.

🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?

I do have a complete list of the best packing and luggage products that I recommend, you can check the list here. I’m currently traveling with this suitcase and this backpack.

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Author’s Bio

Holly is a Midwest USA native who has been fascinated by travel and foreign languages from a young age. In recent years, she has lived in many different countries and enjoys immersing herself in the culture and cuisine of the places she visits. 

She is the author of Alta Adventures, a blog dedicated to helping people make the most of their travels and inspiring them to leave their comfort zones and choose adventure. 

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