What to see in Nice? What is interesting in this city, except fashionable hotels, expensive clubs, restaurants, comfort and excellent service? Many people have heard about the sights of Nice, and there is a huge number of them.
In the 19th century, Nice in France was a winter resort for aristocrats from all over Europe, especially those where the winter was too harsh. Gradually, Nice has become a fashionable and expensive resort, accessible only to wealthy people of high society. In fact, even today, this jewel of the French Riviera is not for everyone.
Top 15 attractions in Nice
Nice has not only beaches and entertainment, it is an extremely beautiful city, where you can find many palaces, temples and museums. Lovers of architectural delights can admire their best Italian and French examples. We offer you a description of places of interest in Nice with pictures and names.
As you know, Nice has always been considered an English resort, because. Since the 19th century it was mostly Englishmen from aristocratic families who vacationed here and purchased real estate. Therefore, the most popular in Nice is the Promenadedes Anglais, built in the British style in the mid-19th century. English ladies and gentlemen used to stroll along it, and Queen Victoria was here too.
Later the English Promenade has repeatedly increased in length and width, near her on the odd side built magnificent palaces, luxury hotels, casinos, squares with palm trees – all that is necessary for wealthy tourists. As a result, today this promenade stretches to the local airport and has become the most famous and popular landmark of Nice.
This is probably the most famous hotel in Nice. It stands opposite the Promenade des Anglais and is considered one of the symbols of this resort, and indeed of the entire coast. The Hotel Negresco first opened before World War I, taking its name from the first Hungarian owner. Chanel, Hemingway, Dietrich, Camus, Cocteau and other greats and celebrities once lived here.
The Hotel Negresco has a famous pink dome that was forged by a student of Gustave Eiffel. The four-meter-high chandelier under the hotel dome is not unique. It has only one counterpart, once owned by Russian Emperor Nicholas II, and today installed in the Grand Kremlin Palace. The hotel’s large rug was made in the early 17th century and previously belonged to Maria de Medici.
Each room in Hotel Negresco is decorated in its own unique style: Gothic, Empire, Baroque, Rococo, Classicism, Art Nouveau, etc. Here the world-famous Chantecler restaurant receives its visitors, constantly receiving the highest marks from the best experts in the field of gastronomy and restaurant business. It is also worth noting that the porter at the Hotel Negresco is dressed as their colleagues did in the 19th century.
This is the heart of Nice, telling the history and culture of this beautiful city. What can I see in the Old Town of Nice? It’s an architectural historian’s paradise. The area is full of unique architectural monuments, most of them built in the Baroque style. Also in the Old Town there is a mass of restaurants and cafes offering exquisite local cuisine and the best French wines.
Be sure to walk through the Old Town of Nice and see the Museum of Modern Art with its collection of avant-garde paintings, the Place Saint-François and its tower with a large clock, the Palace of Lascari, the Place Rossetti, the Cathedral of Saint Reparata, the Palace of Justice, the Palace of Rusca, the Place du Cour Saleya, the Chapel of Mercy and many other unique attractions of Nice.
Nice was a very popular resort among aristocrats of the Russian Empire, who often bought or built local properties. Almost the entire 20th century, for obvious reasons, there were significantly fewer Russians in this city. And with the beginning of the 21st century, a lot of wealthy people from New Russia appeared here. Now every year their number is only increasing.
The Russians have left their mark on the architecture of this beautiful city on the Côte d’Azur. It is believed that in the Old Town there is a whole Russian quarter, which includes the Nicholas Cathedral, a monument to Tsarevich Nicholas who died in Nice, the Russian Cemetery of Cocade, Boulevard of Tsarevich, the street of Nicholas II, etc. You will surely be interested in wandering among the monuments of 19th-century Russian history.
Marc Chagall Museum
The name of this museum translates from French as “The Biblical Message of Marc Chagall. It exhibits 17 illustrations of the Old Testament by this famous artist, donated by him to France. In addition, several of the artist’s earlier illustrations on a biblical theme, created in the thirties of the last century, can be seen in the museum. This is such a Russian cultural attraction in Nice.
The Marc Chagall Museum in this city was opened to the public in 1973. It was organized by the French writer André Malraux. A one-story building was built especially for the museum. It has three halls, which today house Chagall’s works, and one concert hall, where various musical evenings are often held. The famous artist himself created the stained glass windows and mosaics for his museum.
Perhaps one of the best attractions in Nice and all of France is the museum of the famous Fauvist painter Henri Matisse. It is located in a small house built in the 17th century. All of his paintings and almost all of his sculptural works are on view here. Professionals and amateurs of painting can trace all the stages of the creative path of this artist and great man.
In the Matisse Museum, you can also see books illustrated by Matisse, ceramics, stained glass, tapestries and silkscreen prints of his work. His personal belongings and documents are collected here. For admirers of the artist’s talent, a visit to his museum is a real pleasure. It should be noted that he lived in Nice for more than forty years, enjoying the beauty of this city, and Henri Matisse was buried here in 1954.
St. Nicholas Cathedral
It is one of the largest Orthodox churches in Western Europe and is located in the Russian quarter of Nice, not far from Boulevard Tsarevich on rue Nicolas II. Nicholas Cathedral was built in memory of the heir to the Russian throne, Tsarevich Nicholas, son of Emperor Alexander II, who died here.
First, on the site of the villa, where he died Tsarevich Nicholas, was built by order of the emperor’s chapel of white marble, and in the early 20th century began construction of a large Orthodox Church. Money for its construction was donated by Nicholas II, Prince Golitsyn, Countess Apraksina, Rothschild, merchants Eliseyevs, etc.
In the 20th century, the church existed outside of Russia, and only in 2010 a court in Nice recognized St. Nicholas Cathedral as belonging to the Russian Federation, later it was transferred to the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church. In 2015, the cathedral was restored and re-lit, followed by its second official opening.
Monument of the Century
This monument was erected in Nice in 1896 to commemorate the centenary of the city’s annexation to France. It is a high stele, on top of which is a sculpture of the goddess of victory Nika. The Monument du Centenaire stands near the Albert II Garden and is facing the Promenade des Anglais.
This landmark in Nice, dedicated to French history, is much loved by the people of the city. Near the Monument of the Century are often held various state celebrations and festivities, which love to be not only residents of Nice, but also tourists from all over the world with foreigners – property owners in this city.
Chapel of Mercy
This Catholic chapel (Chapelle de la Misericorde) is located in the heart of the Old City. There is a bustling market and many cafes with tables and chairs outside. In general, the place is very picturesque and French. The chapel building is a universally recognized architectural masterpiece in the Baroque style. Architectural experts consider the chapel to be one of the ten best buildings of this style in the world.
It was erected in the second half of the 17th century in that part of Nice where the wealthiest families lived at the time, and land was very expensive. Therefore, the chapel itself is small, but its interior is simply luxurious. In 2010 it was restored along with its organ, and today concerts are held there, exhibitions are held, tourists come for sightseeing purposes.
Museum of Fine Arts
This municipal museum is another interesting attraction of Nice. It was founded in 1928 by the artist and graphic artist Jules Chéret, bears his name and has a large collection of his work. The building chosen for the Museum of Fine Arts is also extremely elegant: a mansion built in the neo-Renaissance style.
The museum’s collection includes works by Italian and French artists of the 17th and 18th centuries, and salon paintings of the 19th century. There are also many paintings and sculptures by impressionists and avant-garde artists of the 19th and 20th centuries, including. Claude Monet and Alfred Sisley. The exhibition is constantly replenished by donations from individuals and the state.
The Cathedral of St. Reparata
This Catholic cathedral is one of the main attractions of Nice and its surroundings. In the 3rd century, Reparata preached Christianity, for which she was captured by the Romans and, after severe torture, beheaded. Since then the faithful have turned to her with prayers for protection against wars and epidemics. Today Reparata is the official defender of Nice.
The Cathedral of St. Reparata was erected in this city in the second half of the 17th century. In the early 19th century, its facade was remodeled in the Baroque style. In the same style was made and his interior. Separately, we note that the cathedral has three organs and excellent internal acoustics. Mass in this cathedral is worth a visit, even just to listen to the magnificent sound of the organ.
Every year in October, Nice residents and tourists visiting the city celebrate the Day of Saint Reparata. To this end, a solemn procession with a statue of the patron saint of Nice departs from the cathedral. It moves toward the Bay of Angels, where, according to legend, Reparata came by boat. And then the procession returns to the cathedral, repeating the mournful path of the murdered holy martyr.
On the outskirts of Nice you can see and visit Fort Alban, a well-preserved fortification that protected the city from the sea since the mid-16th century. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the fort was of great military importance because. The city constantly changed hands, now to the Italians, now to the French.
The problem of belonging and the fate of Nice was decided by the Great French Revolution. In 1793 the city finally came into the possession of France. Interestingly, as a result of the Revolution, the fort became a prison and remained so until the mid-19th century. Today it is a popular tourist attraction in Nice.
The fortress can be accessed by a special elevator. Here it is interesting to see the guardroom, the walls of which are painted by artists. A modern multimedia center is organized in the fortress, which tells about the history of the fort and the city. From the hill you can see the whole of Nice, the peaks of the Alps, and in good weather – Corsica.
Port of Limpia
The marina of Nice began to be built in the mid-18th century on the orders of King Charles Emmanuel III. Construction lasted about 150 years. Only after Nice finally became French did the port of Limpia have a temporary and then a permanent lighthouse, and the port itself took its present form and size.
Today large ships and cruise ships are docked here. Yachts and fishing boats, of which there are countless in the port, look picturesque. Ships and boats are always available for rides to see the surroundings of Nice and the entire coast. Passenger and cargo ferries go from here to Corsica.
The place in and around the port is very beautiful. It is surrounded by 19th century Baroque mansions, many cafes and restaurants. Near the port is the Monument to the Fallen in Wars and the Church of the Immaculate Conception. Once you are here, you will understand even better the mentality, history and culture of the natives of this city.
The opera house of this city is considered one of the best in France. Back in the 19th century, Berlioz and Massenet presented their operas here, and Strauss conducted. And in the 20th and 21st centuries, all the great opera singers and singers of our time sang for appreciative audiences from the stage of this theater, premieres of operas were given.
The first building of this theater burned down right during the opera, with tragic loss of life. The municipality of the city built a new building with excellent acoustics and interior decoration. The New Opera of Nice opened its doors in 1885. Here lovers of the art form first heard operas by Verdi, Wagner, and Tchaikovsky.
Today, the Nice Opera has been restored and is perfectly equipped technically. The best French classical and contemporary orchestras often perform here; each season the theater premieres a new opera and presents more than a hundred productions of the highest directorial, musical and performing level.
For the first time this place was chosen by the ancient Greeks in the 4th century BC, who came here by sea and built here Nicaea, which wanted to become a strategic trading and military center of the entire coast. Today on the Castle Mountain you can see the ancient remains of the fortress and the ruined cathedral from the 11th century and the Watchtower, built in the first half of the 19th century. From here, a cannon fires every day, marking the time.
Castle Mountain has a second name – Chateau Hill. On it is the Chateau cemetery, where Alexander Herzen, who was once “awakened by the Decembrists,” is buried. To get up to the mountain to look at Nice and everything near it, tourists can use a special elevator or just walk up the mountain, and on the Castle Hill itself you can explore the ancient ruins, walk through the park and botanical garden with a waterfall.