Formerly an ancient Roman city, Cimiez is now the home to several extraordinary sites. Of course you have the famous Matisse and Chagall Museums, but there is also…
- Museum of Archaeology built on a massive Roman bath complex.
- The Jardins de Cimiez feature the ruins of a Roman Colosseum
- Franciscan Monastery with its fabulous Italian-style Gardens
Here’s how to get there:
Take the Bus #15, 17 or 22… all three can be caught from rue Geoffredo , behind Galeries Lafayette, one block inland from the main bus hub off Place Massena (bottom right of the map). Catch the 22 earlier from anywhere on rue de France, and the 17 from the train station. The 22 runs the most frequently, every 10 minutes during the week and every 20 minutes on Sundays and French holidays. Like all bus routes in Nice, it will only cost 1 euro, and you pay as you board.
For Chagall take the 15 Rimiez/St-George or the 22 Rimiez Les Sources, but on Sunday only the 22 runs. Once the bus is well up the hill and you have a great city view to your left, you know your stop is close. After you pass the ‘Rolland Garros’ stop, push the red button and get off at the ‘Musee Chagall’ stop. The museum is via the road on your left.
For the Matisse and Archeology museums and Monestery, you can take the 15 and 22 as above (Matisse is just 6 stops after Chagall), but also the 17 Monestere/Cimiez from the train station, as well as the 20 Saint-Sylvestre from the Port. For all, you get off at the ‘Arenes/Musee Matisse’ stop: If you are on the 15 or 22, it’s just after you pass the beautiful Regina Hotel on your left, and on the 17 or the 20 it’s just after the ‘Edouard VII’ stop, and if you stay on a few more minutes. The 17 finishes at the Monastery.
Getting Back: Take any of these buses back down, but again the 22 comes the most frequently at every 10 minutes during the week and every 20 on Sundays. Due to the one-way streets, the bus takes a slightly different route on the way down, so if you want to get off the closest to Vieux Nice, get off at Place Wilson, which you can recognize by the small park on your right.
After doing the Matisse Museum, if you still have the energy for the Chagall Museum, take bus 15 or 22 toward Nice for 6 stops, or better yet, take the scenic tree-lined 15-minute downhill walk.