What to do on Sundays in Nice
Nice has many Sunday-only events, some weekly, some monthly…
Free Sunday Afternoon Concerts: Every Sunday at 3:30pm the city of Nice sponsors a free concert with the Orchestre d’Harmonie de Nice. During the winter, they’re held at the church on the Port or else Notre Dame, but come springtime the concerts go open-air in the gazebo across from the seaside at the end of the Promenade du Paillon.
All museums in Nice are open on Sundays, including the Museum of Asiatic Art (located in the Parc Phoenix complex) which the only major museum in Nice that is always free.
First Sundays are FREE at:
- The Chagall Museum
- The Picasso Museum in Antibes
- The Museum of the Mer on Ste-Marguerite Island off Cannes
- and the first full weekend of each month is free at Parc Phoenix arboretum and animal park, but this applies only to locals (and you need to bring proof of residency.)
Sunday Masses: Experience an authentic Catholic Mass in one of Nice’s opulent baroque churches. There are 8 churches just in the Old Town alone, so you have lots to choose from! Check out the current schedule of upcoming masses in Nice from MessesInfo and then read a little background and some of the wild stories behind some of the churches.
Matinees Musicales at the Opera: One Sunday a month the evening gowns and bow ties are replaced by happy families introducing their children to the joys of a symphony orchestra at a bargain price. The concerts are open seating so you’ll want to get there early to get a good spot or even stake out one of the private loges. The best idea is to drop by the day before to get your tickets so you won’t be stuck in the ticket line while the others are racing for the best seats. Dates for 2023 for Sundays at 3pm are Oct 29, Nov 5, and Feb 11 and Jun 9 2024; morning concerts are on Sundays at 11am on Nov 12 and Dec 10 2023, and Feb 25 2024. 10€ adults, children under 12 free.
Cours Saleya Market is at its best on Sundays, with the vendors out in full force, complimented by the weekend artists and street musicians. It’s the perfect day to experience the market, pick up a little something for lunch, and then picnic on the beach or at the top of the Chateau (free elevator across from the beach for those disinclined to climb the stairs).
Take a FREE Old Nice Walking Tour (in English!) It starts at 11am at the Apollo statue at Place Massena, lasts 2 hours, there is no fee but you can tip your guide at the end if you enjoyed it (and you will). This tour happens every day at 11am, including on Sundays and Mondays.
Beach Bars: In the winter most beach bars and restaurants are closed, but a few open up only on the weekends. Sunday is the perfect moment to head to the sea to sip a glass of rosé, soak in the winter sun, and listen to the sound of the waves. Not to mention the super jealousy-inducing selfie photo-ops.
Sunday Shopping without the crowds: Downtown is usually kind of a ghost town on Sundays, but now all the retail giants Galeries Lafayette, H&M, and Nice Etoile Shopping Center are open for Sunday shopping. Until recently, Sunday closing was mandated by law, so consequently the French are accustomed to staying home on this day, which makes Sunday the best day to shop without the crowds…
Vintage Bargains: Sunday is when neighborhood flea-markets are usually held, called Vide Greniers (’empty your attic’) Check this current list of upcoming vide-greniers: Just scroll down for ‘Dimanche’ (Sunday).
Where to Eat: Most restaurants are closed on Sundays and Mondays, making it difficult to find a good place to eat. Here’s a list of recommended spots where you can be assured of a good meal: Where to Eat on Sunday and Monday in Nice
The new Bobar Comedy Club in Old Nice does monthly stand-up comedy shows in English – just check the Sunday schedule and look for ‘Spill the Tea’, usually at 5:30pm and cover charge 8€ or 5€ students. 27 rue Benoit Bunico, tram stop Cathedrale.
Free nighttime walking tour of Old Nice in English Despite their company name, this is not a bar crawl tour but a real history/stories/hidden places walking tour. It starts at 6pm at the Apollo Statue at Place Massena, lasts 2 hours, and there is no fee but you can tip your guide at the end if you enjoyed it (and you will). It happens every night, but also Sunday and Monday nights. Reservations a must via their site.
Don’t miss the Brocante at Cours Saleya, a giant open-air weekly antique market that goes on all day.
The Museums open on Mondays are:
- Matisse, Chagall and also the Archaeology (Roman Ruins) which are all on Cimiez and accessible with bus #5
- Palais Lascaris in Old Nice
- Musee Massena, next door to the Hotel Negresco
- Terra Amata (Caveman museum) above the Port
- Museum of Naïve Art
- and the free Asian Art Museum adjacent to Parc Phoenix botanic gardens and exotic animal habitat (which is also open), near the airport
Monday you can take advantage of weekday-only lunch deals at Bistrot Gourmand, Bocca Mar on the beach, and Bistro du Port.
Monday is cheap movie night, with discount tickets at most cinemas in Nice, many showing films in English.
Photo credits: Opera by Best of Nice Blog, Orchestra d’Harmonie courtesy Ville de Nice.
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