Things To Do In Nice
Planning a trip to France and going to Nice? The blue background of the sea and the true French culture are a must see in this city. Stroll to castles and find amazing spots to see the entire city. Visit the beautiful churches and find yourself entranced by the French surroundings. Walk around and you will find some really interesting places and buildings.
When To Go:
The Mediterranean weather of Nice is lovely throughout the year but you can find cheaper rates for accommodation the months of September to October and from March till April. The weather can be chilly even in the summers so pack some extra clothes for keeping yourself warm. Winter months are nice with less people around and low rainfall with the weather being pleasant and not harsh. Spring sees some beautiful flowers blooming around, but there are strong winds and heavy showers of rain during this season so it’s not highly recommended. The summers are more attractive for tourists and you will find pleasant breezes blowing in from the Mediterranean in the dry season too. However, prices will be high during this time. Visit during the winters and the start of spring to enjoy the city of Nice.
Here is a list of the top things to do in the wonderful city of Nice, France:
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Promenade du Paillon
The Promenade du Paillon is located in the heart of Nice and is a lovely place for gathering with family and friends to have some fun. This beautiful and large place is filled with water display fountains that you can just sit on a bench and see while kids run about having their own fun. Filled with smaller parks and fountains this place is quite a sight and there are separate play areas for kids.
All services and facilities can be found in the Promenade du Paillon. This park is basically a walk which links the old city and the new one and is about 1.2 kilometers. Watch the facades of the old buildings while going through water displays and greenery of the park. This a good activity to enjoy the life of the city of Nice while interacting with both locals and tourists. Grab a pair of sneakers and get going.
This castle is more like a hill with more than a hundred steps to climb for reaching the top and getting a magnificent view of the city and the Mediterranean Sea. In olden times this major part of the city had a citadel which was dismantled under King Louis XIV in 1706 by his soldiers. The Castle Hill is a maze for strolling around in the greenery and a path leads to a great waterfall and offers a view of the Baie des Anges (Bay of Angels), Old Nice and the Port.
This panoramic view from the top is mesmerizing. At the top you’ll find a park and plenty of spots for having a picnic. Also a lovely fountain at the Castle Hill which is deemed to be one of the prettiest sights on the hill is worth a watch. Take your kids along and you will find play areas for children. If you don’t want to walk all the way to the top then there’s a lift which takes you almost 75% of the way from where you walk. Try walking and experience beautiful sceneries.
Musee National Marc Chagall
This is a national museum truly dedicated to the works of the Russian born painter Marc Chagall. It was created during the lifetime of the artist and was inaugurated in 1973. The Musee National Marc Chagall (National Museum Marc Chagall Biblical Message) exhibits the series of 17 paintings which illustrate the Biblical message and were painted by Chagall and presented to the French State in1966. Chagall designed the pond in the museum and also created a mosaic which overlooks that pond and also a blue stained glass located in the concert hall.
The garden surrounding the museum is a true enchantment filled with Mediterranean trees, plants and flowers which make it an exotic place to be. The main hall shows 12 paintings depicting stories from the Exodus and Genesis. The antechamber holds a painting of Elijah in his chariot filled with fury. The 5 paintings from the Song of Songs depict vibrant colors of red with green, purple and blue making the room an explosion of high contrasts and colors. This is dedicated to his wife. A stroll in the museum would be educational and artistically knowledgeable. Learn the history of the artist while enjoying colors.
Old Town (Vieille Ville)
The Old Town (Vieille Vile) of Nice is one of the most beautiful parts of the city. It is a small, quaint little neighborhood which is strongly influenced by Italian culture. The streets filled with colorful houses and pathways around the houses and the market are lovely and you will be amazed. The town is away from the main city and has its own charm. You will find many bars and cafes around Old Town.
Many art galleries and exhibitions also take place in the area. Old Town is the original city of Nice which is based right at the base of the defensive structure of Castle Hill. Since its presence, it has been conquered by many rulers and been ruled by various nations. The architecture is amusing. You will find Baroque style buildings and Mediterranean style places standing side by side in the narrow streets. Visit Cours Saleya and Place Rossetti where you will find many cafes and restaurants also markets to buy from. This site is a must visit if you want to enrich yourself with the culture of Nice.
Promenade des Anglais
This place is called the heart of Nice with the seaside and the palm trees giving the city its charm. Promenade des Anglais is a site where you will find going about, many cafes lined around it and life carrying on. This walkway lining the Bay of Angels is actually for several miles and has existed since the 1800’s when the aristocrats of the city and from across Europe visited Nice.
The promenade is definitely worth a visit even if you just relax in one of the chairs along the sea and watch the waves and people. This one of the most relaxing things you could do after a tiring day of sightseeing. Near the promenade you will find Old Town of Nice, Place Massena, Casino Ruhl and Hotel Negresco whose architecture is amazingly attracting with a lot of art deco used on it. Find a nice spot on the sand and grab a chair to relax. Watch the sunset and enjoy the activities this enthusiastic place has to offer. Take a walk and admire the sea.
Cote d’Azur Observatory
The Nice Observatory was built in 1881 and was considered to be one of the most important structures of Nice and so the patron chose the best architects for its designing, Charles Garnier and Gusatve Eiffel. Located on the Mont Gros Hill the Cote d’Azur Observatory is nestled in greenery in the typical Provencal landscape. Climbing the hill is an amazing experience, walking among olive trees and then viewing from the top the surroundings seem surreal.
You can see the bay of Nice, the Bay of Angels and the Promenade du Anglais from this site. More than just sightseeing you will learn that the observatory is a hub for research related to physics, astrophysics and geosciences. There are 4 research units each named after stars and constellations. Going to the observatory means viewing the 18 meter telescope of the Cote d’Azur Observatory which was at time one of the largest in Europe. Go to this place on a clear and sunny day to view the places around you and enjoy the fun the observatory provides to visitors.
The main city square of Nice is known to be Place Massena. The square is surrounded by Italian style palaces from the earlier times and has a lovely affect on the surroundings, giving the place a very historical and lovely look. It is an important place for the locals and many major festivities of the city along with concerts and celebrations take place at the Place Massena. Situated near the Promenade du Anglais the square is reachable by just walking to it which means you can explore around the square, roam the streets situated in it and find small shops which sell antiques and French artifacts.
Find a nice bar or café with a traditional French cuisine. Galleries Lafayette is located in the square which is a grand French shopping centre. Scattered with benches and lovely little flower pots the square is a blooming place to be with alluring sights and relaxing places. Walk in here and enjoy the stunning atmosphere of the place.
Phoenix Parc Floral de Nice
The Phoenix Parc Floral de Nice is called a botanical heaven on earth. Consisting of more than 2500 species of different flowers this place is definitely worth a visit. Covering about 17 acres of land the center of the place is a Green Diamond which is a plant 25 meters high and covering an area of about 70000 meters. You will find yourself spending a longer time here than expected because the aura of the place is such that you keep on finding new species and roam about in this garden, hoping to see all of it.
Benches around the park are for relaxing after walking a bit too much. There is an aviary, an aquarium within the park offering another sight. Experience 6 different tropical climates with the flowers in it. A small zoo is also situated inside this botanical garden which is a good place to keep children busy along with a separate playground for children. Visit this natural beauty with a manmade lake to give the area a more natural look and landscape.
Parc Forestier du Mont Boron
This forest park located on Mount Boron is the best place to visit for a walk among nature and trees on a weekend or a day to just relax after a hectic sightseeing trip. The long pathways and the spectacular viewpoints the place has make it highly popular among locals and tourists both. Mount Boron is a 190 meter high hill on the east of the city. It is a wall which separates the Cape of Nice and the Villefranche-sur-Mer which is an old town of Nice.
You can view the Sothern Alps, the Mediterranean Sea and the two cities from this hill with a very panoramic effect. Taking your camera is a must here. The hill has a history of becoming a hunting territory many decades ago. Walking along the hill you will find many exotic plants along with Mediterranean flowers and vegetation growing about which give the place its charm and make the walk less tiring and more refreshing. Visit the Parc Forestier du Mont Boron after a tiring day and relax in its vicinity.
Cimiez Convent (Monastere de Cimiez)
The Cimiez Convent includes a church, a cemetery and a convent where many French friars still reside. It possesses and exhibits many of the finest paintings by Matisse, Dufy and Brea which are beautiful and enchanting to look at. The Cimiez Convent was founded in the 9th century originally. The convent in it was built in the 17th century and is an active monastery.
Find the paintings in the church and the frescoes inside the church which give it a special look and quite attractive to look at. This church is filled with history. The cemetery next to it is the burial place of some famous personalities in history and their headstones still exist mentioning it. The rose garden around the building is one of the finest and oldest places for blooming roses which cover the walls of the church giving it a more unique and mysterious look. The Cimiez Convent provides a panoramic view of Cimiez and the walkway next to it. Take your camera along and capture the lovely things around Cimiez Convent.
Theatre de la Photographie et de l'Image
This museum was opened in 1999 and exhibits many pictures of Nice and the landscapes around it also including the work of Charles Negre. The photo gallery also keeps small exhibitions which change every month or so. Wandering through the halls of some amazing shots captured by cameras all around Nice gives the place a very unique feel while making it lively and colorful. The works of Charles Negre are the most important aspect of the site and his works are worth admiring.
Moreover, the Theatre de la Photographie et de l'Image also has a library which is filled with over 3500 books just on photography. Step into the library to enhance your knowledge on photography and learn how to polish your skills if you also want to take some classic photos of Nice. This site should be visited to look at the lovely works of different local photographers and gain more knowledge about the talent of photography. This is also your chance of viewing all of Nice in one place through pictures.
This place is a monumental square surrounded by buildings of Baroque architecture and has been there since the 18th century. It is located on the east of the Old Town and has recently been renovated to give some strength to the buildings around it. In Place Garibaldi you will find many shops, cafés, bars and some antique shops. Visit the Grand Café de Turin for some classic seafood of the French cuisine.
On weekends you will find the square loaded with many stalls selling different items and bric-a-bracs. The square has a very majestic atmosphere and surrounding with a fountain in the centre with a statute of Giuseppe Garibaldi who unified Italy in the 19th century. It was once hoped that Nice should become a part of Italy. Walk through this place and be enchanted by the lovely surroundings.
This building was built in the middle of the 17th century for the Lascaris-Vintimille counts. Later on it became a museum when it was restored in 1963 to become a historical monument. This is one way to find out how the aristocrats used to live in that time. The architecture of the place is mesmerizing and takes you all the way back in time. Glide through the building and the stairways to find paintings and exhibitions of different musical instruments along with many other beautiful items. Visit the Palais Lascaris to truly enjoy history.
Nice is filled with pretty buildings and colorful surroundings. To make your trip worthwhile go to the historical monuments and the Castle Hill to enjoy some spectacular views of the city. Go to the promenades and walk along them to find different sights and culture scattered around the city of Nice. On a clear day go to the observatory on top of a hill. Don’t forget to visit the Old Town which will enlighten your spirit while you walk around the colorful Italian structures. Sit in the squares and enjoy the time and roam around the special park with exotic species of flowers. Try to visit all the sites and enjoy a tour trip to Nice.
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