Best Art Museums in and around Nice

Explore the wealth of amazing art museums both in Nice and the surrounding Riviera towns.

I especially love single-artist dedicated museums as you get such a great sense of their body of work, you can witness their evolution, and it makes their style and struggles come alive.

Just click the links for pages with all the details, extras, anecdotes on the life of the artist, and what not to miss nearby.

Matisse Museum Exterior

Matisse Museum in Nice

One of the world’s largest collections of the art of Henri Matisse, tracing his evolution from the beginning, through his Nice period, and up to his last works, plus a section on Matisse in Nice.


Chagall Museum in Nice  (15 min. walk from Matisse)Inside the Chagall Museum in Nice  A museum created by the artist himself.  This is the only museum in Nice not included in the Museum Pass, but it does have a monthly free day.  There is free entry to visit the Chagall-designed gardens, where you can have lunch at the only museum snack bar in Nice.

Picasso in Nice

Picasso Museum in Antibes

In 1946 Picasso spent a joyous year in Antibes using this magnificent seaside chateau as his workshop, and creating some of his most famous paintings.


Renoir Museum in Cagnes-sur-mer  This was Auguste Renoir’s family home, and this little gem of a museum invites a very rare and personal view of the artist, his daily life, and the importance of his family.  You can even peek into his studio and see his brushes and the colors that were the last on his pallet.

Jean Cocteau art posterThe work of the multi-talented Jean Cocteau is less well known outside of Europe, but if you are not familiar with his art, you should be.  His distinctive style and fanciful Mediterranean imagery is emblematic of the Cote d’Azur.  The Jean Cocteau Museum in Menton is still closed due to earthquake damage, but the nearby Bastion Museum and the Menton Marriage Hall are still open, plus you can visit his tiny painted fishermen’s chapel in Villefranche-sur-mer. 

Modern ArtExterior of Museum of Modern Art in Nice in Nice 

The major Museum of Modern Art is closed for a 4-year facelift, but Nice has several smaller (and free!) modern art museums, plus surprising art in architecture and public works all over town.  Here’s your guide.

Apart from the museums above, there are several other favorite museums in and around Nice that are all well worth a visit, especially the single-artist dedicated museums.  The Other Best Art Museums on the Cote d’Azur, include the Fine Arts/Beaux Arts in Nice, the Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul-du-Vence, the Bonnard Museum in la Cannet, and the little gem L’Annonciade in Saint Tropez.

See related pages

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Photo credits:  All artworks depicted are in the Public Domain.  Inside Chagall museum by Antostudio, Nautilus by Chris 73, Cupola by Ericd, all licensed under creative commons.  Jean Cocteau poster from Jean Cocteau Museum website. MAMAC and Matisse exteriors by Best of Nice.  Picasso photo from poster owned by Best of Nice.  


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