Planning a trip to Nice? Get some inspiration on what to do while you’re there with our idea of a perfect three-day itinerary. History, culture, entertainment, restaurants… Pack it all in at a comfortable pace and don’t miss a thing!
Your weekend in Nice begins at the Palais Masséna, a villa from the Belle Epoque. The objects and memories inside will transport you back into the prosperous period before World War I. The grandiose site dotted with flowers is now home to the Musée Masséna. It’s free to visit and offers a chance to discover the city’s history through objects, graphic art pieces and historic furniture. Finish your visit by strolling through the magnificent garden designed by architect/landscaper Edouard André, which looks out over the Promenade des Anglais.
The lively ambiance, colours and smells of this site are sure to charm you from the very start of your weekend in Nice. Next, pass through the Jardin Albert-Ier, an oasis of greenery on the seaside esplanade. Continue down rue Saint-François-de-Paule towards Cours Saleya and its warm and lively Mediterranean market. The best products of the Niçois countryside await you here. Take a walk through the labyrinth of narrow roads in the old town before settling in around a table at the restaurant Acchiardo. This family-run establishment has been offering delicious Niçois specialities since 1927.
Start your afternoon on the emblematic and very centrally-located Place Masséna. Here you can observe the day-to-day life of Nice’s inhabitants in a natural setting. Between the ochre red arcades and the immense esplanade, the superb sculptures of the Fontaine du Soleil are truly a sight to see. Cross over the square towards rue de France, a pedestrian thoroughfare lined with all kinds of boutiques.
For the early evening, head back to the Promenade des Anglais, which was constructed in the 19th century for the many nobles who came here to flee the grey skies of the United Kingdom. Its blue chairs offer an exceptional view of Baie Des Anges, making it a perfect spot to enjoy a pre-dinner drink while watching the first sunset of your weekend in Nice.
Head to the north of the city to visit the Cimiez neighbourhood, which was the former capital of the Alpes-Maritimes province during the Roman Empire. There you will find a collection of beautiful Belle Epoque villas, which are contrasted by the spectacular Gallo-Roman ruins of the Musée Archéologique de Cimiez. For a weekend in Nice, transport yourself 2000 years into the past and explore the impressive arenas which were designed to hold more than 4000 spectators.
Next on the agenda is the Musée Matisse, home to one of the largest collections of Henri Matisse’s works. There you can discover the artistic career of the famous artist, as well as hundreds of works including paintings, drawings and sculptures by this man who so appreciated the light and colours of the French Riviera.
Once you’ve finished at the museum, walk down the boulevard for a pleasant lunch at the restaurant Côté Sud, where you can sample delicious fish and seasonal vegetable dishes. It’s the perfect place for a break before heading to the Marc Chagall Museum. This serene building is the perfect place for the artist’s most important spiritual works to be displayed. His religious-inspired paintings are all gathered together here. Take a moment to admire his series of seventeen paintings illustrating the message of the Bible, from the Résurrection to Paradis. Before you leave the calmness of the museum behind you, check out the garden’s Mediterranean flora, which includes olive, cypress and pine trees.
Begin your evening at the bottom of the boulevard de Cimiez, at the excellent restaurant L’Eau de vie. It’s a refined yet casual establishment where the intimate setting is wonderfully complemented by the perfection of the food and the look of the carefully plated dishes. This delicious evening is the perfect ending to the second day of your weekend in Nice.
Begin the last day of your weekend in Nice with a visit of the Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain (MAMAC). Here you can see an astounding collection of pieces by French and American artists, with works from the 1960s to today. Yves Klein and the new realists are found side by side with the American pop art of Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, while examples of the Ecole de Nice, founded by Ben, and the “anti-art” movement founded by Fluxus are also on display. Enjoy the surprises this unusual museum has in store for you, with its innovative permanent collection that’s constantly oscillating between seriousness and self-mockery.
For lunch, don’t miss the delicious socca, a pancake made from chickpea flour and baked until it’s golden-brown in the oven. A speciality of Chez Pipo since 1923, this Niçois recipe is eaten simply, with a little bit of pepper. The establishment also offers delicious variations and sauces to accompany this traditional dish. Take advantage of your weekend in Nice to learn more about the secrets of this popular dish.
Once you’ve recovered your strength, it’s time to climb to the top of the nearby Parc de la Colline du Château. The castle may no longer be there, but the park is still worth visiting, as its seaside location gives it one of the most beautiful views of the city facing the Mediterranean. From atop this hill, you can enjoy a panoramic view of Nice’s old town, the port and the splendid landscapes of the French Riviera.
In the evening, a table at Chat Noir, Chat Blanc offers an intimate setting. In this candlelit restaurant you can enjoy the flavours of seasonal local products boldly prepared by the Italian and Niçois chefs. It’s a perfect transition before finishing up your evening at the cosy bar Le Shapko, with its lounge filled with the sounds of live jazz and soul.
Your weekend in Nice, a unique city influenced by both France and Italy, offers a sampling of the delicate charms of the Mediterranean paired with the energy of a true modern city. The local culture, which can be felt in the winding roads of its many diverse neighbourhoods, reveals itself over the course of your stay.
Nice blends glamour and tradition, resulting in a city whose charms you’ll be hard-pressed to resist. This city, known as the capital of the French Riviera, is clearly deserving of its title. Between its unique lifestyle and cultural heritage, your weekend here is sure to be the beginning of a beautiful love affair between yourself and the French Riviera.