Seismic shock on the Nice Museum scene: On January 1st, 2015, and with absolutely no warning, the 14 Nice municipal museums went from being completely free to costing a whopping 10€ a pop!
Locals, don’t despair: it seems that the city is really aiming the hike towards tourists… Locals can get a free 3-year all-access Passe Musee card by bringing a recent utility bill, rent receipt, or property tax bill, plus some ID to any of the museums. There are also several other categories of free as well:
- Children under 18
- Students of any age with valid student ID
- and, during most of March, anyone under 26-years-old for Mars aux Musees.
So tourists, sorry about this, but you have to admit, at ‘completely free‘ the museums in Nice were rather under-pricing themselves…
There are a couple of ways to soften the blow of the 10€ ticket. The best deal is the 7-day Museum Pass for 20€, which is worth it if you want to see two or more museums, and will actually encourage you to see some pretty interesting ones that you might not have normally gone to see. There is also the French Riviera Pass, which includes more museums and extras (like the hop-on hop-off tourist bus), but it is more expensive and has a much shorter time frame, so I say, relax and take the 7-day pass. (Click the link below for more on the various passes.)
Also, certain museums are grouped together in a theme, so buying a ticket for one museum gets you into a couple of others within 48-hours. The only problem is, they are cleverly grouped so there is only one real high-interest museum in each category, and the most popular Matisse Museum is not even in a shared group (nor is the tiny Palais Lascaris in the Old Town, oddly). So really, best just to go for the 20€ one-week pass.
One other thing: the very popular Chagall Museum is not municipal, it’s a national museum, so it is not even covered by this pass! They charge 8€, but have a free day on the first Sunday of each month (as does the Museum of Asian Art, and also the Picasso Museum in Antibes, by the way).
And there is still one 100% free museum left in Nice, the tiny Franciscan Friar Museum tucked in the Cimiez Monastery …which is starting to sound a lot more interesting…!
See related pages:
- Tickets for Museums in Nice with all the details on the various museum passes and ‘ticket groupings,’
- and check out my extensive museum pages, covering everything you need to know about the best art museums and the most interesting history and science museums on the Cote d’Azur.
Photo credits: Matisse Museum by Tubantia, licensed under creative commons.