For any lover of French and Italian culture, Nice is the perfect hybrid. With the Italian border just 14 miles away, this is a place always on the blurred line between cultures. With its mix of real-city grit, old-world opulence, year-round sunshine, and stunning seaside location, the city has long attracted holiday makers from the north for the best part of two centuries, making the most of the weather conditions and the coastal landscape during winter time. Here are some of our favorite places to visit in Nice.
Nice’s surrounding region is easy to reach and packed with beautiful seascapes, historic landmarks, and museums that make for a perfect day trip. If you need a little break from your sunbathing session, here are a few notable places worth checking out in the morning.
Just a few minutes of walk from the center of Nice, you can find yourself in a lush green park at Colline du Chateau, shaded from the intense Mediterranean sun, high enough to benefit from a cool breeze, and with spectacular views of the bay of Nice. Cool off afterward with a reviving citron pressé in the park cafe, which overlooks a 19th-century waterfall.
Among the many artists who loved the French Riviera, two have namesake museums in Nice’s leafy district of Cimiez. Start a mini art tour at the Musée Matisse, where you’ll see the progression of Henri Matisse from Fauvism to colorful cut-outs. A mile away downhill you can also find Musée National Marc Chagall, which houses works of mainly religious inspiration by the Belarusian-born painter.
Experience the marine world beneath the Mediterranean’s surface on a snorkeling tour from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer. Take a long stroll to Chango Diving Port to rent equipment for the day. Before you go on an excursion, the instructors will give you a quick briefing. Make sure to bring your bathing suit and some sunscreen.
While you could easily spend the rest of your vacation enjoying Nice’s beach, there’s plenty more to see around the city, especially once you begin to explore areas away from the Old Town.