15 Fantastic Reasons Why Nice is Worth Visiting

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You’re likely considering a trip to the dreamy South of France, and while there’s so many towns throughout the French Riviera to explore, you must ask: is Nice worth visiting?

Sitting on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and just below the French Alps, Nice boasts picturesque landscapes far and wide. It’s not only beautiful, but it’s a city etched with deep engravings of history, art, and vibrant culture. After spending about a week exploring the French Riviera’s capital city, I soon discovered it’s one of my favorite cities in the world.

Is Nice Worth Visiting

Is Nice Worth Visiting?

While Nice is the main hub for flying into the South of France, you’ll likely pass through the city regardless of how you’re traveling. But is it worth spending time there? The answer is yes, absolutely! As a city that’s accessible to the region with tons to offer, Nice is a great place to stay for a few days (check out this guide for where to stay in Nice). Throughout the city, explore its historic Old Town, enjoy amazing food and shopping, and immerse in the city’s buzzing energy.

 Short on time? My top recommendations for your trip to Nice include:

Hotel: Hôtel Petit Palais

Recommended Excursions:

Perfume Making Workshop,

NO DIET CLUB – Unique Local Food Tour

15 Fantastic Reasons to Visit Nice

Based off of my travels throughout the city, below are my recommendations on the top 15 reasons and best things to do and see while visiting Nice.

1. Experience Why it’s Nicknamed ‘Nice the Beautiful’

Explore the largest city of the French Riviera and see for yourself why it’s nicknamed ‘Nice la Belle’, or ‘Nice the Beautiful.’ Whether you’re wandering colorful laneways or marveling at the French Alps atop turquoise waters, there’s no shortage of incredible views throughout Nice.

One of the best ways to see Nice, especially if you’re pressed for time, is via an organized tour. This segway sightseeing tour is loved by tourists and takes you through the best parts of the city. Plus, you get to try something new while taking in the views!

Nice the Beautiful

2. Amazing Beaches

Nice’s clear blue waters really do sparkle. Take a dip, catch some rays, and pop into one of the many beach clubs afterwards for a bite to eat. Most of the beaches here have pebbles instead of sand, so make sure to bring the right shoes and a quality towel.

We loved lounging at one of Nice’s main beaches, Ruhl Plahge Beach, and then grabbing a bite to eat at the beach club next door, Le Temps d’un Ete (both pictured below).

Beach in Nice
Is Nice Worth Visiting

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    3. Explore Old Town

    Get lost in the lively laneways of Nice’s Old Town (Vieux Nice). This part of Nice is my favorite and an absolute must to visit, with its cobblestone streets, old buildings, and rich notes of history woven throughout. Check out the many cafes and shops that line Old Town, and discover hidden gems that make this area a special one.

    To get the inside scoop on the best spots in Old Town, this top-rated walking tour takes you through the best of the neighborhood, led by a local.

    Nice Old Town

    4. Walk the Promenade de Anglaise

    Go for a stroll along the Promenade de Anglaise that stretches over four miles along the water. Throughout the promenade you’ll find various pieces of art, cyclists, and gorgeous views of the city and Mediterranean Sea. I’d recommend walking along here either in the morning or evening as it can get quite hot mid-day over summer.

    is nice worth visiting

    5. Amazing Shopping

    Nice is known for its fantastic shopping, and has some of the best in the French Riviera. Head to the Jean Médecin neighborhood and its main street, Avenue Jean Médecin, for an an array of great shopping options. I bought some of my favorite souvenirs from France in this area!

    is nice worth visiting

    6. Place Massena

    Dressed in black and white tiling, Place Massena is the main square of Nice. Many events take place in this plaza, including Carnival, Jazz Festival, and many more throughout the year. Place Massena connects Old Town with New Town.

    Place Massena in Nice
    Place Massena

    7. Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat

    The stunning town of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is a must-visit while in the South of France. We wished we had more time here after we took a day trip! Only twenty minutes from Nice by car, it’s perfect for taking a day trip (or longer) and seeing spectacular sights. There’s plenty of things to do there that will make you feel like you’ve stumbled into a French daydream.

    One of the best activities is getting out in the sparkling waters of this area. This snorkel and swim tour does just that and takes you through the majestic bays of Eze and Cap d’Ail.

    Why you should visit Nice

    8. Discover its Rich History

    Nice was founded by the Greeks around 350 B.C., and later taken over by the Romans. Throughout Nice, and especially Old Town, you’ll find Italian influence in many of its buildings and historic landmarks. Visit the Masséna Museum, located in a beautiful villa, to learn more about the history of Nice.

    9. Nice Jazz Festival

    The Nice Jazz Festival is an annual event that takes place over summer. Dating back to 1948, it was the first jazz festival that held significance internationally. The festival continues to represent Nice’s influential history of jazz.

    jazz festival nice

    10. Carnival

    Nice Carnival is a two-week event that takes place annually over winter. It’s one of the largest carnival events in the world and attracts millions of attendees. Similar to Mardi Gras, it feature lavish parades, floats, and eccentric art.

    carnival nice

    11. Musée Matisse

    Pay tribute to the famous French painter, Henri Matisse, and marvel at his incredible works of art. The museum houses essential works of his like Fleurs et Fruits and Nu Bleu IV.


    12. Cathedral of Saint Nicholas

    This gorgeous cathedral is an Eastern Orthodox Cathedral that opened in 1912. It was built to serve the Russian community in France and is recognized as a national monument.

    Saint Nicholas Cathedral

    13. Mont Boron

    Explore the lush and lavish area of Mont Boron that overlooks the port of Nice. Mont Boron is popular for its historic park, hiking and biking trails, as well as panoramic views of the Côte d’Azur.

    mont boron nice

    14. Outdoor Markets

    There are several outdoor markets worth checking out in Nice. A few of the more popular ones include the flower market, antiques market, and artisan market, all which take place in the Cours Saleya every week.


    15. Easily Explore the French Riviera

    Nice is centrally located in the South of France, making it easy to take day trips and explore nearby towns. You can train, drive, or Uber to towns like Èze or Monaco, which take around 45 minutes. From Nice we were able to travel to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Èze, Monaco, and Cannes.

    Find day trip ideas in this South of France itinerary. Fortunately, tons of tour companies depart from Nice for day trips around the French Riviera.


    Travel Tips for Nice

    As of recently there are more airlines that fly directly into Nice. Once you’ve arrived, Nice is a very walkable city if you don’t have a car. You can also utilize its great public transportation services like trains and buses for getting around.

    Where to stay in Nice?

    There are several great neighborhoods and plenty of amazing hotels to stay in Nice. This ultimate guide to where to stay in Nice will help you decide where is best for you!

    How many days do you need to see Nice?

    To get a good feel for Nice, I would recommend spending at least three days there. Nice itself has so much to offer, but it also serves as a great base for taking day trips to other parts of the French Riviera.

    Is it better to stay in Nice or Cannes?

    You can’t go wrong when deciding between Nice or Cannes as they’re both amazing cities. However, Nice is more budget and family-friendly, while Cannes leans to more upscale and luxury.

    What is the best time to visit Nice?

    With its mild climate and events like Carnival and Jazz Festival happening throughout the seasons, there’s never a bad time to visit Nice. If you’re looking for warmer temperatures and fewer crowds, May and September are ideal months to visit.

    Wrap-up: Is Nice Worth Visiting?

    I hope that after reading this post you feel inspired to visit Nice. It really is one of the best cities in France, and one of my personal favorites. For more tips on where to go in the region, check out this 7-day South of France itinerary. Au revoir!

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