Nice weather, good restaurants, a kilometre-long boulevard with a lovely city beach and the necessary cultural institutions and highlights. Welcome to Nice, the city in France where you can visit the most museums after Paris. A wonderful destination for a sunny city trip, because you can enjoy the nice weather here almost all year round.
ART AND CULTURE IN NICE
For art and culture lovers, Nice is the ideal destination for a fun, varied city trip. Why? Because after Paris you will find the most museums in France here, but also because of the beautiful architecture. And did you know that you can even visit some interesting remains from Roman times here? Reason enough to plan a city trip. In this blog you will find an overview of the cultural highlights and best museums in Nice.
TIP: FRENCH RIVIERA PASS
First of all, a tip of a practical nature. If you plan to visit many museums during your city trip to Nice, it is recommended to purchase the French Riviera Pass . This pass gives you free access to more than 60 (cultural) institutions in the region. You can use the pass for a number of important attractions in the center of Nice, as well as for trips in the region. With this discount card you can also visit the Picasso Museum in Antibes and take a boat excursion to Cannes.
1. WORLD HERITAGE IN NICE
As an art and culture lover, you don’t even have to go anywhere in Nice, because a large part of the historic city center has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Since the summer of 2021, many of Nice’s sights have been on the World Heritage List. This includes the famous Promenade des Anglais and the colorful streets in Vieux-Nice.
2. MARC CHAGALL MUSEUM
Painter Marc Chagall is the pride of Nice. He was known for his dreamy style and surrealistic paintings, and you can get to know his work in the museum of the same name. He liked to combine different movements and spent a large part of his career on the Côte d’Azur. In the museum in Nice you will find more than 400 works of art.
3. MUSEE MATISSE NICE
Another famous painter who liked to be inspired by beautiful Nice: Henri Matisse. The Musée Matisse is located in a colorful city palace, in the middle of a beautiful park in the Cimiez district. The collection is not very large, but it does give you a nice overview of the versatility of his work.
4. MUSEE MASSENA
One of the most beautiful buildings along Nice’s world-famous boulevard is Musée Masséna. The stately city villa is surrounded by a beautiful garden, but the interior is just as impressive. You can admire a large collection of classical paintings, sculptures and antique furniture.
5. OBSERVATORY DE NICE
Those more interested in science and physics should pay a visit to the Observatoire de Nice in Nice. The institute has been around since 1881 and is located atop a hill in the east of the city. The large dome was designed by none other than Gustave Eiffel and the surrounding park is also worth a stroll. In the exhibition you will learn more about the Big Bang, the universe and the planets in our galaxy.
6. MUSÉE D’ART MODERN AND D’ART CONTEMPORAIN
The Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain is quite a mouthful and is therefore also briefly referred to as the MAMAC. This museum has an extensive collection of modern art and has works by more than 350 different artists on display.
7. MUSÉE DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE CHARLES NÈGRE
Nice’s photography museum bears the name of the French painter and photographer Charles Nègre. He is also seen as a pioneer in photography and made iconic portraits of chimney sweeps, rag farmers and buskers as early as 1850. In the museum you will of course learn more about his work and his life, but there is also room for photos by contemporary photographers.
8. ART DECO AND BELLE EPOQUE IN NICE
You will quickly notice during a city trip to Nice: the city is bursting with architectural delights. The Art Deco and Belle Epoque architectural styles are particularly well represented. It is worth just walking around and marveling at the beautiful facades along the Boulevard des Anglais, among others.
9. MUSEUM OF THE FINE ARTS
A small museum, but free to visit with the French Museum Pass, which is why we include it in this overview. Housed in an impressive villa, the Museum of Fine Arts specializes in art from France and Italy.
10. ROMAN REMNANTS IN THE CIMIEZ . DISTRICT
A Roman settlement used to be on the site of today’s Cimiez district. You can, for example, view the ruins of the ancient Roman amphitheater (free entrance!), but also visit the Archaeological Museum of Nice. Various finds are on display in the museum and you can take a look at the old Roman bathhouse.
11. PALACE LASCARIS
Vieux-Nice is the old center of the city and here you can visit the Palace Lascaris. Built in 1648, this palace specializes in period musical instruments, but many visitors come mainly to admire its Baroque interior.
12. MUSÉE DÉPARTEMENTAL DES ARTS ASIATIQUES
East meets west at the Museum of Asian Art. In the remarkably modern museum you will learn more about art and culture from the Far East. There are photo exhibitions, as well as classical works of art from countries such as China, Japan and India.
13. CATHÉDRALE SAINT-NICOLAS
A notable landmark in Nice is the Cathédrale Saint-Nicolas. This Russian Orthodox church is located just outside the center of the city and you don’t see them that big outside of Russia. The church has a pink facade and onion-shaped domes, but the inside is also richly decorated and full of details. Worth a visit.
14. MUSEE PICASSO
The pleasant seaside resort of Antibes is about half an hour’s journey from Nice. A nice destination for a day trip, especially if you combine it with a visit to the Picasso Museum.
15. CHÂTEAU MUSÉE GRIMALDIA
The Château Musée Grimaldi is only a short distance outside Nice as the crow flies, but it is the ideal destination if you want to escape the hectic pace of the big city. The medieval castle sits atop a hill and is one of the main attractions along the French Riviera.
WHAT MORE TO DO IN NICE?
Although slightly less glamorous than nearby resorts such as Monaco, Cannes and Saint Tropez, Nice is regularly included in lists of the best cities in France. Not for nothing, because thanks to the wonderfully casual atmosphere, the good restaurants and beautiful streets, it is wonderful city trip here. Expedition Aardbol also experienced this ourselves during our city trip. Curious about all our tips for Nice? Check out the extensive article with tips for a city trip to Nice here .
TRAVEL TO NICE
Got excited about Nice? We can heartily recommend a city trip to this lovely French city. The fastest way to get there is with a direct KLM flight . The journey takes 1 hour 55 minutes and from the airport you are in the center of Nice in just 20 minutes.