A Day In Nice

Favorite highlights to help maximize your time

How to Get the Most of your Time Nice, France

Sponsored by Norwegian Cruise Line

The French Riviera — the name conjures up images of old money and glamorous stars. And as the biggest city on the French Riviera and the second most visited destination in Paris, Nice is often considered this region’s unofficial capital.

For many travelers, this seaside city is also the jumping off point for exploring the French Riviera as part of their Norwegian cruise. There’s a lot to do and see in Nice and the surrounding area, on your day in port.

We’ve picked out a few of our favorite highlights to help you maximize your time:

Promenade

Take a Walk on the Promenade des Anglais

No visit in Nice would be complete without a walk on this city’s famous and iconic Promenade des Anglais. This popular promenade is approximately four miles long and runs alongside Nice’s pebbly beach and the beautiful blue waters of the Bay of Angels.

It’s the perfect spot to people watch, go for a stroll or to take a rental bike for a spin. You’ll also find many great places to eat or to purchase souvenirs along the Promenade des Anglais.

Take a Tour of Nice

If you really want to get to know Nice, book a tour with a guide who can share with you tidbits and tales about this charming coastal getaway.

There are several different options, including traditional tours such as those offered by the Hop-on Hop-off bus services.  But if you prefer a quirkier or more active tour, consider booking a bike or Segway adventure. There are also tours that focus on specific aspects of Nice. For example, you could embark upon a food tour that will take you around the city to sample examples of the local Nicoise cuisine.

So if you're a foodie, taking a cooking class while in Nice is one of the most interesting ways to get to know the special flavors of this region

Stroll Through Old Town Nice (Vieux Nice)

Pastel houses, narrow streets and lively markets make Vieux Nice a popular destination for both locals and travelers. But Old Town’s Cours Saleya market is the main draw for many. Filled with flowers, fresh produce, cheeses and baked goods, this spectacular market is a true feast for the senses. Make sure to go early, as the market ends about mid-day.

On Mondays, there’s also a flea market where — with any luck — you’ll be able to find some unique and unusual finds. The Cours Saleya is also an excellent place to grab a bite to eat as there are many restaurants located around this lively marketplace.

Harbor in Nice

Immerse Yourself in Art

Are you an art aficionado?  Then you’ll love Nice, which is home to a surprisingly large number of art museums, including the Musee d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain, which is dedicated to modern and contemporary works from European and American artists, and to the Musee des Beaux-Arts de Nice, which includes works by Rodin, Degas and Monet.

Nice is also home to the Chagall Museum, which was created in cooperation with the artist himself, as well as to the Musee Matisse, a national museum devoted to the works of famous painter Henri Matisse, who spent much of his life in this city.

Stroll Through Old Town Nice (Vieux Nice)

Pastel houses, narrow streets and lively markets make Vieux Nice a popular destination for both locals and travelers. But Old Town’s Cours Saleya market is the main draw for many. Filled with flowers, fresh produce, cheeses and baked goods, this spectacular market is a true feast for the senses. Make sure to go early, as the market ends about mid-day.

On Mondays, there’s also a flea market where — with any luck — you’ll be able to find some unique and unusual finds. The Cours Saleya is also an excellent place to grab a bite to eat as there are many restaurants located around this lively marketplace.

Castle Hill offers visitors stunning views of the coastline
Church in Nice

Immerse Yourself in Art

Are you an art aficionado?  Then you’ll love Nice, which is home to a surprisingly large number of art museums, including the Musee d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain, which is dedicated to modern and contemporary works from European and American artists, and to the Musee des Beaux-Arts de Nice, which includes works by Rodin, Degas and Monet.

Nice is also home to the Chagall Museum, which was created in cooperation with the artist himself, as well as to the Musee Matisse, a national museum devoted to the works of famous painter Henri Matisse, who spent much of his life in this city.

Check Out Castle Hill

As one of the highest points in Nice, Castle Hill offers visitors stunning views of the coastline, especially at sunset. Once home to a citadel that was thought to be impregnable this is a big part of local history.

In 1706, this castle which had stood at the top of this hill from the 11th to the 18th century BC was captured in 1705 by French soldiers, then finally destroyed by command of King Louis XIV in 1706.

Today, you can still view the ruins of this citadel on Castle Hill. You’ll also find a lovely park as well as several other interesting sites on Castle Hill, including an artificial but beautiful waterfall. To get to the top of the 300-foot hill, you can either tackle it on foot, hop aboard a “train” — actually a tram — or ride a free elevator.

Check out the local Churches

Check Out the Churches

Built in the early 20th century, the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Nicolas is a colorful church topped with spires and beautiful onion domes. It’s also the largest Russian orthodox place of worship located outside of Russia. This church, which contains a large collection of religious icons, paintings, sculptures and wooden carvings, is worth a visit even if you’re not religious.

Another church of note in Nice is the Chapelle de la Misericorde (Chapel of Mercy). Built in the mid-1700s, this church, which was declared a national monument in 1921, is known for its gorgeous Baroque style. The only drawback? Currently, this church is only open one day a week to visitors.

Learn about Nice through its Cuisine

Because of its location, the cuisine of Nice is unique, with both French and Italian influences. So if you’re a foodie, taking a cooking class while in Nice is one of the most interesting ways to get to know the special flavors of this region. Fortunately, there are several vendors in Nice that offer cooking classes, which means that you may just be bringing home some new Nicoise recipes as a special souvenir to yourself.

Check Out Castle Hill

As one of the highest points in Nice, Castle Hill offers visitors stunning views of the coastline, especially at sunset. Once home to a citadel that was thought to be impregnable this is a big part of local history.

In 1706, this castle which had stood at the top of this hill from the 11th to the 18th century BC was captured in 1705 by French soldiers, then finally destroyed by command of King Louis XIV in 1706.

Today, you can still view the ruins of this citadel on Castle Hill. You’ll also find a lovely park as well as several other interesting sites on Castle Hill, including an artificial but beautiful waterfall. To get to the top of the 300-foot hill, you can either tackle it on foot, hop aboard a “train” — actually a tram — or ride a free elevator.

Check Out the Churches

Built in the early 20th century, the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Nicolas is a colorful church topped with spires and beautiful onion domes. It’s also the largest Russian orthodox place of worship located outside of Russia. This church, which contains a large collection of religious icons, paintings, sculptures and wooden carvings, is worth a visit even if you’re not religious.

Another church of note in Nice is the Chapelle de la Misericorde (Chapel of Mercy). Built in the mid-1700s, this church, which was declared a national monument in 1921, is known for its gorgeous Baroque style. The only drawback? Currently, this church is only open one day a week to visitors.

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