Sightseeing in Nice: so much to see and so little time!  To help you refine your itinerary, here are our picks on what to see in and around Nice, including insider tips on the more standard sights, suggestions on more obscure sightseeing fare, and a few stories to liven things up!


Museums

The Cote d’Azur boasts a wealth of amazing museums, from art (Matisse, Chagall, Picasso…) to history (Roman ruins, the Garibaldi Crypt, cave man digs…) to nature (the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco…).

Matisse Museum ExteriorHere’s our rundown of the best art museums and the most interesting history and science museums, including how to get there, closing days, prices, passes and deals, what not to miss and what else to see while you’re there.

 

Monuments

Apollo Statue at Place MassenaThere are some pretty interesting back stories behind some of Nice’s monuments, including the Apollo statue at Place Massena, the Chateau (that has no chateau!), Adam and Eve, Catherine Segurane, Place Garibaldi and more…

WWII monuments are dotted all around town including the massive Monument aux Morts carved into the Port side of the Chateau Hill, the inscription at the Quai des Etats Unis archway commemorating the U.S. Allies that liberated the coast (although not Nice… read the story of The Liberation of Nice here), and various memorial plaques around town marking the execution sites of local resistance fighters, including one in the local high school.

 

Churches 

Cathedral Sainte Reparate at nightOld Nice has 9 churches in just a single square mile, and from the most opulent to the most obscure, each has its own quirks and surprising stories.  Here’s what’s behind all that stained glass…

 

Best Gardens  

Villa Massena gardens

From manicured French estates, flowery Italian-style gardens, a lush botanic jungle, a forested oasis, to cactus and even a little-known bird sanctuary; here’s where to find your secret garden in Nice.

 

 

Stunning Views

The best views in Nice and up the coast: some are free, some need a car, some come with a drink, some are best suited for a picnic, and some are even Michelin-starred.

 

Cemeteries

If you’re game to go off the well-worn tourist path, don’t miss the stunningly beautiful Cemetery on the Chateau, which is like an ethereal sculpture garden, and then the very poignant Jewish cemetery next door.

Up on Cimiez, behind the Monastery, you’ll come upon a beautiful little hillside cemetery, where you can find Matisse’s surprisingly sober tomb as well as that of artist Raoul Dufy.

 

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Photo credits: Matisse Museum by Tubinata, Sainte-Reparate by Rudolf Simon,  Villa Massena by Georges Jansoone, all licensed under Creative Commons.  Apollo by Best of Nice.

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