15 Best Things to Do in Nice, France

|   Last Updated on March 30, 2020

Nice is a city in the south of France which is well known for being luxurious, sunny and cultured. For those looking to visit the city, there are plenty of exciting things to see and do here.

However, if you do not know much about Nice, you may be wondered what activities can be found here. In this article, we will be looking at some of the very best things to do during your stay in Nice.

Nice is the 7th most populated city in the country and is the capital of the area of Alpes-Maritimes. The proper and full name of the town is Nicard Occitan but it is rarely called this. One of the most notable things about this city is that there have been archaeological remains found here suggesting that some sort of settlement has stood on the land for almost 400,000 years.

In the later part of the 18th century, the area became noticed by the British upper classes and became popular as a tourist destination, it has not lost it since then.

1. Musée Matisse

French painter Henri Matisse’s work is known all over the world and this museum is home to many of his pieces. Each piece is fully explained and visitors can also engage in learning about the history and life of the artist in great detail, making this an educational place to go.

The museum originally opened its door in the early 1960’s and is located within a beautiful 17th century villa.

2. Promenade des Anglais

The promenade des Anglais is a promenade which runs a length of 7 kilometres and is perfect for those who wish to take a leisurely stroll along the Mediterranean sea, The sea views here are second to none and this is a great place to spend some time relaxing and enjoying the scenery that Nice has to offer.

3. Castle of Nice

One of the things that France is most famed for is its stunning castles, so why not pay a visit to the castle of Nice and take in some of the history of the town? The castle was originally built in the 11th century as was used for military purposes. It is located on the top of a hill overlooking Nice.

The castle is now mostly in ruin and the area has being turned into a park which offers incredible views over the city, including ones of the promenade and the harbour. The public garden here is immaculate and is a great place to relax.

4. Cours Saleya

Visiting a bustling French market can be quite the experience and locals and tourists alike are welcomed at the cours selaya where you will find a colourful array of things to buy. There are stalls which sell fresh produce as well as flowers. This vibrant market is a great place to really connect with the locals who are always happy to see new faces.

5. Marc Chagall Museum

This art museum is dedicated to the work of the French painter, Marc Chagall. His works of art were mostly inspired by events which took place in biblical times making this a very spiritual display. For those with an interest in art, especially that of a French background, this is one of the many art galleries in the area that is worth paying a visit to.

6. Parc Phoenix

The park pheonix is a 7 hectare expanse of green space within the city of Nice. There are many activities to take part in here with great variety. In the parc, you will find a mini zoo where you can see monkeys, fish, reptiles, parrots and many other types of bird.

There is also a beautiful botanical garden which has a wealth of flora and fauna to see. There are a selection of educational workshops which are especially good for the kids.

7. Nice Cathedral

This Roman catholic cathedral was originally built in the 1600s, it is a well loved building not only in Nice, but all over the entire country of France and has been named as a national monument.

The church is fully functioning and there are a variety of services including mass which welcome both the local people and tourists alike. Most notably, the cathedral has some truly inspiring and intricate architecture which has to be seen to be truly appreciated.

8. Notre Dame de Nice

Many people hear the term Notre Dame and instantly think of the basilica located in the French capital, Paris. However, the one of the same name in Nice is another Roman Catholic building that definitely needs to be seen.

It was erected in the 1800s and features some beautiful Gothic inspired architecture. The two towers at the front of the church reach an impressive 65 meters in height and are one of the most prominent features of the building.

9. Grimaldi Castle Museum

This castle, which was built in the 1300’s is one of Nice’s most historical sites. The area used to be a Roman and Greek fortress but was later gained by the French and the castle was built.

It has been made entirely from local stone and despite having had numerous renovations over the years has still managed to retain most of its original features. The most notable and largest renovation was made by Louis 13th. The castle now serves as a museum detailing the history of the places and displaying some relevant artifacts.

10. Musée d’Archaeologie

If you are interested in the finds made in Nice from ancient times then perhaps a trip to the archaeology museum might be in order. There are some excellent excavations being made in the area and this museum specializes in antiques found all over the Mediterranean area.

The site is still active today and so new discoveries are always being made, meaning that you can never be quite sure what you are going to find here.

11. Plage des Marinieres

One of the things that Nice is most famous for are its beautiful beaches, one of the most well loved is the Plage des Marinieres where visitors can relax and enjoy the Mediterranean sunshine.

There are fabulous views out over the sea as well as stunning views back across the city from this double aspect vantage point. If you have spent a lot of time walking around the city and need the perfect place to chill out then this may be it.

12. Jan Restaurant

France is well known for being a country that is in love with its food, so whilst here it would be crazy not to indulge in a good dining experience. The Jan restaurant is a small, 24 seater dining room which offers some exquisite fine dining.

The owner and chef here, Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, originally hails from South Africa and has brought the cuisine of this country to the area. There is an exclusive four course tasting menu with Cristal which cannot be missed as well as the diamond tasting menu which features seven courses.

13. Aqua Splash Marine Land

Are you travelling to Nice with the children and need something to keep them entertained? If so, then the aqua splash marine park will definitely do this for you. The water park features a great array of activities including high speed slides and a lazy river.

On top of this there is an animal attraction where visitors have the chance to meet many water based creatures such as polar bears, dolphins, whales and seals. Whilst here why not fill up at one of the many eateries and browse the gift shops for that special something to take home.

14. Nice Observatory

Looking out into space and constantly making new discoveries is the Nice observatory. The observatory has stood here since the 1800’s and the dome was designed by the famous architect, Gustav Eiffel, whose name you might recognize as it was given to his most well known design, the Eiffel tower.

The large telescope here, the grande lunette, was the biggest to ever be installed in France at the time.

15. Nice Trams

If you would prefer to see the city whilst sitting back and relaxing then you could take a ride on one of the trams which run through Nice. These trams offer a fully guided tour of the city and are found all over Nice.


The city of Nice has so much to offer anyone who decides to travel there. With a vast amount of historical an cultural locations to discover, it is impossible to ever become bored here.

If these things aren’t your cup of tea, there is an excellent choice when it comes to other types of activity, whether that be sports, food or relaxation, Nice has something to offer all of its guests.

The city enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate and so is well loved by sun worshipers who come here for the spectacular beaches and sun culture. It is also known as a high end city, and many of the upper classes have flocked here for many hundreds of years, making Nice not only amazing but pretty exclusive too.

Last Updated on March 30, 2020


  • Rovology is leveraging advice from Vagabonds, Tourists, Digital Nomads, Wayfarers and Travel Writers to give our readers a guide on the best things to do no matter where they go.