Famous Places in Nice, French Riviera (Côte d’Azur) | Travel Guide

Nice french riviera

Famous Places in Nice, French Riviera

In summer as in winter, you will be blown away by the beauty of the capital of the Côte d’Azur. There are many famous places in Nice, visiting Nice means strolling on the Promenade des Anglais, enjoying an Italian ice cream or admiring the floats of the mythical Nice carnival. Exploring the treasures of the pretty town, this excursion to the south of France will leave your head full of beautiful memories.

Galerie Nice
From left to right and from top to bottom: the port, a view from the castle hill, the Ferris wheel, the Promenade du Paillon, a school near the business district, a house in Cours Saleya, a shopping avenue, a view from Mont-Boron. Aeris06, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

French Riviera Pass

The Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolitan Tourist Office has created the French Riviera Pass. This city card allows you to discover the most important tourist sites and activities in Nice and the Côte d’Azur. There are 3 cards with or without transport included: French Riviera Pass 24h (26 / 30 €), 48h (38 / 46 €) and 72h (56 / 68 €).

If you only have one day to visit Nice and you don’t plan to see museums or do paid activities, it’s not worth taking this city card. You will see that in the long list of things to do in Nice that I mention below, almost everything is free.

Are you dreaming to go to Nice? Here is a guide to visit Nice and its essentials.

1. Promenade des Anglais
2. Old Town
3. Nice cuisine and specialties
4. Matisse Museum and more
5. Nice beach
6. Nice Harbor District and boat trips, marine activities
7. Nice carnival
8. Castle Hill Gardens (Le parc de la colline du Château)
9. St. Cathedral Nicholas
10. Mont Boron and the fortress of Mont Alban

1. The Promenade des Anglais, one of the most famous places in Nice

Visiting Nice via this avenue along the Baie des Anges for nearly 7 km is obviously a must-do in Nice. This name dates back to the 18th century, during which many European aristocrats settled there on holiday. Although all nationalities crossed paths, the English were relatively numerous there. It is also said that the Prom ‘was financed by one of them: the Reverend Lewis Way.

How can we talk about things to do in Nice without mentioning the world famous Promenade des Anglais. Strolling and sunbathing on the Prom’ (as we say at home) is one of the favorite activities of the people of Nice. Many people jog there or simply sit on one of the blue chairs. It must be said that the setting is particularly beautiful between the sea, the palm trees and the Belle Époque facades.

The Promenade des Anglais is 7 km long from the airport to the beginning of Old Nice. I advise you to go at least as far as Villa Masséna and the Negresco, the most famous hotel in Nice. This walk is one of the essentials to do if you come to visit Nice.

Promenade des Anglais, Nice
Promenade des Anglais. Courrier International, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

United States Dock (Quai des États-Unis)

From the Albert 1er garden which allows you to enter the green belt, the Promenade des Anglais becomes the Quai des Etats-Unis towards the East. Continuing your walk you will pass in front of a replica of the 1.35 m Statue of Liberty signed by the sculptor Bartholdi, the same one who made the one in New York. The quay extends to Rauba Capeu which offers one of the most beautiful views of the Mediterranean. It is here next to the sundial that the famous sculpture # I Love Nice is located. She became popular on social media (when I took the picture there was a ribbon to celebrate Pink October). Rauba Capeu means “hat theft” in Nice, because of the strong wind that there can be. Don’t worry, it’s quite rare for there to be wind in Nice, nothing to do with Marseille for example.

Nice-night-view-with-blurred-cars 1200x900
A view along the Quai des États-Unis and the Promenade des Anglais in Nice at night. Picture taken from the hotel Suisse. W. M. Connolley, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

2. Old Town of Nice (Vieux Nice)

Let the colorful and shady alleys be discovered little by little. While airs of Provence and Italy intermingle, the countless small shops and restaurants will make you happy for a chic and local shopping. This is an opportunity to have a drink or a bite to eat in these narrow cobbled streets in pastel tones.

Some spots are essential to do in Nice. This is the case of the Place du Palais de Justice or the Place Rossetti, one of the liveliest places in Nice, where the magnificent Sainte-Réparate Cathedral is located. But getting lost in this maze is one of the best ways to visit Nice and its old town.

Place Massena

It is the central square of the city which links the Promenade des Anglais, Old Nice, the pedestrian zone, the Promenade du Paillon and Avenue Jean Médecin. It is therefore impossible not to go through Place Masséna if you plan to visit Nice. Created in 1840, it has continued to evolve, its current appearance dates from 2007 with the commissioning of line 1 of the tramway. Place Masséna is surrounded by Nice buildings with red facades, and to the south is the Fountain of the Sun with the statue of Apollo. As for the funny characters perched on their masts, it is a work by the Spanish artist Jaume Plensa entitled “Conversation in Nice”.

Promenade du Paillon (green corridor)

La Coulée Verte is an urban park 1.2 km long and 12 ha located between Old Nice and the city center. This large wooded area invites you to relax and stroll. The Promenade du Paillon brings together trees and plants from all over the world, a water mirror with 128 water jets and a large play area for children. It is a popular place for families for its setting and the largest playground in the center with 3 separate areas by age. In summer, children like to cool off on the mist plateau and the water mirror.

At the very south of the green belt at the level of the Albert 1er garden is a bandstand from 1868. On Sundays, a free concert by the Municipal Orchestra takes place. The Promenade du Paillon won the grand jury prize at the Victoires du Paysage 2014.

Opening hours: October 1 to March 31: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. / April 1 to September 30: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Miroir d'eau à Nice
The water mirror of the Promenade du Paillon in Nice offers a visual animation every quarter of an hour produced by the one hundred and twenty-eight water jets that make it up. Aeris06, Frédéric Oropallo, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Prefectural Palace, it used to be a Ducal Palace of Savoy

At Place Pierre Gautier located halfway up the Cours Saleya, you will face the Prefectural Palace, now the residence of the Prefect. This palace, which dates from the 16th century, belonged to the Dukes of Savoy. It was then the royal residence of the kings of Piedmont-Sardinia until the attachment of the County of Nice to France in 1860. It is from this date that the prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes was installed there (today it is located in Nice West). The prefectural palace can only be visited during Heritage Days in September. I had the opportunity to go there and the interior is worth a look if you ever come to visit Nice at this time.

Palais des rois de Sardaigne 02
Prefectural Palace, it used to be a Ducal Palace of Savoy. Miniwark, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Cours Saleya market

In the middle of old Nice, you will find this very lively pedestrian street. Perhaps it is these floral scents that have drawn you here. It is indeed on this course that the market for early vegetables and flowers is held. It is a real Mediterranean market where local products and bouquets of colors form a perfect harmony.

Warm and full of life, the Cours Saleya market is ranked among the exceptional markets in France and is therefore one of the essential things to do in Nice. Florists and greengrocers will welcome you every day except Monday, when they will give way to flea markets and lovers of old furniture and trinkets.

Cours Saleya - 2
Cours Saleya. Zil, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Chapel of Mercy (Chapelle de la Miséricorde)

At the corner of Place Pierre Gautier and Cours Saleya is the Chapel of Mercy (known as the Black Penitents). It is considered one of the ten most beautiful Baroque buildings in the world. The chapel with its yellow facade is only open the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month from 2.30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Visiting the chapel is free, but you have to pay €2 to visit the sacristy.

Cours Saleya - Chapelle de la Miséricorde - Nice
The cours Saleya with the chapelle de la Miséricorde (on the left), in Nice, France. In the background : the colline du château. dalbera, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Narrow streets of Old Nice

After getting your fill of colors and smells at the market, leave the hustle and bustle of the Cours Saleya to enter the alleys that make up the heart of Old Nice. I advise you to leave the shopping streets where the majority of tourists are concentrated to survey the top of the old town at the foot of the hill of the castle. It is in these alleys that you will find calm, in the shade of beautiful colorful facades, flower pots and laundry drying in the sun.

Pass by the rue de l’Ancien Sénat to see the last washhouse in Old Nice, where in the past the women of Nice came to wash their clothes. If you are attentive you will see at the corner of rue Colonna d’Istria / rue de l’Abbaye and rue Droite / rue de la Loge, a cannonball fixed on the facade. These balls were fired by the Turkish fleet allied to the King of France François I during the siege of Nice in 1543.

Lascaris Palace

The straight street that crosses the old town is home to several art galleries and the Palais Lascaris. This former 17th century aristocratic residence in the Baroque style is the best preserved in the city. It has been restored and converted into a museum of old musical instruments. I strongly advise you to pay a visit, more to admire this magnificent residence than for the collections themselves. The museum palace is open every day (except Tuesdays) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is €5 (free for residents of the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolis).

St. Francis Square

Heading north from Vieux-Nice just before arriving at Garibaldi beach, you will pass by Place Saint-François. This is where the fish market has taken place every morning since 1930 (except Mondays) around the dolphin fountain. This is an opportunity to meet Micheline, the emblematic local fishmonger in her 100% nissart style! Place Saint-François is bordered by the former Hôtel-de-Ville, a Baroque-style communal palace built in the 16th century and listed as a historical monument. Right next to the palace, the Franciscan church currently being renovated (archaeological excavations have brought to light elements dating from the 13th century) will become the new theater of Nice.

Place Rossetti and Sainte-Réparate cathedral

You cannot visit Nice and the old town without going through Place Rossetti, the most picturesque place in Old Nice. Bordered by ocher and yellow facades and decorated with a fountain, it is one of the liveliest places thanks to the presence of numerous ice cream parlors and restaurants. The party is not in full swing in the photos, but I took them at the end of October, which explains the calm compared to summer (and the shade in the alleys).

Place Rossetti is next to the Sainte-Réparate cathedral, the patron saint of Nice (celebrated every year on October 8). Its construction began in 1650, then several elements were added over the centuries (such as the campanile). It is classified as a historical monument with its Baroque style interior and exterior. Sainte-Réparate Cathedral is open from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday.

St. Francis Tower

The Saint-François tower is part of the landscape of Old Nice, you see it especially when you are on the side of the Promenade du Paillon. It was built in the 13th century as the bell tower of the Church and the Franciscan convent, before becoming a clock tower after the Revolution. Since 2019, an internal helicoidal staircase of 288 steps has been used to climb the 50 m to its summit. From the top the 360° view of Nice is magnificent, it is one of my favorites with those of the castle.

The Saint-François tower is only open on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. (last climb 30 min before). During the summer period, access is also possible on Fridays from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Price: €6 (reduced €2.50), payment by credit card only. Access is from rue de la Tour behind place Saint-François.

I’ll give you a tip if the tower is closed during your visit to Nice, or if you don’t want to climb all the steps. From the rooftop of the Hôtel Aston located at 12 bd Félix Faure, you will have a similar view for free (provided you have a drink on the terrace anyway).

Palace Square and surroundings

Place du Palais, which takes its name from the Palais de Justice, is the largest square in Old Nice. It is bordered by the Rusca Palace built in 1775 and the Clock Tower destroyed and rebuilt several times (the current version dates from 1718). Those who knew the Place du Palais with the fountain will be surprised to see that it was demolished in 2021 to be replaced by a sculpture of a metal olive tree. Every Saturday a market is held on the square where you can unearth old books, original works, rare editions and postcards.

Rue Saint-Francois de Paule

Not far from the Place du Palais, rue Saint-François de Paule is home to several buildings not to be missed in Nice. Among other things, there is the Opera with its superb facade (1882) and just opposite the Saint-François-de-Paule church (1775). From the street looking east you will see the Château waterfall. Among all the shops push the door of the Maison Auer (at n°7, opposite the Opera) which since 1820 has seen 5 generations of confectioners-chocolatiers pass by. The Florentine-style interior has a crazy charm.

3. Nice cuisine and specialties

Admittedly, visiting Nice and its warm architecture is an essential thing, but tasting its gastronomy is also a must to do in Nice. Typically Mediterranean, the cuisine of Nice combines vegetables, flavors and scents.

The “Cuisine Nissarde” label is awarded to restaurateurs who work to preserve and respect the region’s traditional recipes. Quality of products and guaranteed welcome, do not leave without having tasted it! Here is a sample.

You can start with the panisses. This Niçoise recipe based on chickpea flour generally takes the form of rolls that are fried: could it be a kind of Niçoise fries?

Also made from chickpea flour and olive oil, socca is a tender and crispy pancake. This recipe comes straight from Liguria, so the proximity to Italy can even be found on the plates.
Pissaladière is to Nice cuisine what pizza is to Italian cuisine. It takes its name from pissalat (peis salat in Nice) which means salted fish. It is therefore a candied onion tart enhanced with anchovies and black olives.
A little lighter, the niçoise salad is, as its name suggests, a pillar of the gastronomy of the region. There are many variations, but according to the traditional recipe, the Niçoise salad is made up of lettuce and tomatoes, topped with hard-boiled eggs, tuna and black olives. The greediest will accompany it with a bagnat bread.

4. Matisse Museum and more

Are you a fan of art and passing through Nice? So nothing better than visiting Nice by taking to the heights in the villa des arènes, on the archaeological site of Cimiez. You will discover one of the most important world collections of the French painter. This cultural site is labeled “Musée de France”. Here, art and nature mingle and make it possible to trace the life of Henri Matisse, his evolutions and his career.

Having ended his life in Nice in 1954, the artist himself participated in the enrichment of this collection. Paintings, sculptures, engravings, drawings and other personal objects. What better way to enter into the intimacy of the creative work of this artist with undeniable genius?

Le Cateau - Musée Matisse - Ecole de Filles - panoramio
Matisse Museum. charles lecompte, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visit Nice: the museums

The city of Nice has many museums and it will take you more than a few days to see them all. The idea is therefore not to go around all the museums, but to introduce you to the most important ones so that you can choose the one that interests you the most. This could be useful if it rains during your weekend in Nice.

The museums are free for the inhabitants of the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolis with the Nice museums pass (pass to be done beforehand with identity card and proof of residence).

For tourists, there is a “3-day museum pass” for €15 which gives access to all municipal museums and galleries for 72 hours. This is particularly interesting if you want to visit at least two museums during your stay in Nice.

All museums are open from May 2 to October 31 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from November 1 to April 30 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Read also: Most Famous Paintings in the World

Art museums
  • Matisse Museum: located inside the Arènes de Cimiez garden, this museum is dedicated to the painter Henri Matisse. He spent many years of his life in Nice where he produced most of his work. Price: €10 / Closed on Tuesdays.
  • Chagall Museum: this national museum is located at the bottom of the Cimiez hill (25 min walk from Place Massena). It is dedicated to the painter Marc Chagall. Price: €8 (€10 if exhibition) / Closed on Tuesdays.
  • Palais Lascaris: this palace built in 1648 is the most remarkable monument of Nice’s civil baroque. It is located in the heart of Old Nice. It houses a collection of decorative and fine arts from the 17th and 18th centuries as well as a collection of musical instruments. Price: €5 / Closed on Tuesdays.
  • Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMAC): located next to Place Garibaldi, this large museum with a marble facade presents a collection from the 1950s to the present day through more than 1,300 works by 300 artists. Price: €6.10 / Closed on Mondays.
  • Villa Masséna: the museum housed in this architectural masterpiece on the Promenade des Anglais presents the art and history of the Riviera from Nice’s attachment to France until the end of the
  • Belle Époque. Price: €10 / Closed on Tuesdays. The memorial to the victims of the attack on the Promenade des Anglais on July 14, 2016 is located in the garden of Villa Masséna.
  • Museum of Fine Arts: this museum presents a collection of works that covers the entire history of art from the 16th to the 20th century. Price: €10 / Closed on Mondays. To get there, take bus 38, stop: Musée Chéret.
  • Museum of Photography Charles Nègre: located in Old Nice between Cours Saleya and the Palace of the Prefecture, it offers temporary exhibitions of the biggest names in photography. Price: €5 / Closed on Tuesdays.
History and sports museums
  • Archaeological Museum of Cimiez: the collections relate to the ages of metals, antiquity and develop until the High Middle Ages. The museum provides access to the site of the ancient city of Cemenelum. Price: €5 / Closed on Tuesdays.
  • Terra Amata Prehistory Museum: this museum of human paleontology is dedicated to the prehistoric site of Terra Amata which has yielded the oldest homes in the history of humanity, dating back 400,000 years. Price: €5 / Closed on Tuesdays.
  • National Sports Museum: the latest addition to Nice museums, it is located in the Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice West. It houses one of the largest sports collections in the world. It is quite out of the way from the city center and the journey by public transport is a bit long. Price: €6 / Closed on Mondays.

5. Nice beaches

Nothing is more pleasant than visiting Nice along its seaside. The Mediterranean and its beaches are never far away. In summer, when the heat of the sun is felt, the water temperature is ideal for swimming. The bravest bathe in mid-season, while the chilly soak their feet in it.

But whatever the time of year, an Italian ice cream or sunbathing will always be welcome. And if the pebble beaches seem too uncomfortable for you, it is possible to turn to a private beach in Nice.

France-002498 - French Riviera (15905482471)
Beach in Nice, French Riviera. Dennis Jarvis from Halifax, Canada, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Walk to Coco Beach

If you have enough time to visit Nice, and after going around the quays to continue your walk to Coco Beach and the start of the coastal path towards Villefranche-sur-Mer. This promenade by the sea passes in front of the Club Nautique de Nice and its small beach, then the famous restaurant Le Plongeoir whose terrace is installed on a rocky outcrop. You will then walk along small coves accessible by stairs, very popular in summer with locals for swimming. Arrived at the Jardin Félix Rainaux you will enjoy a beautiful panorama of the Mediterranean. It is from here that the coastal path begins. If you feel like it, count 2.4 km and 45 min walk to reach Villefranche-sur-Mer.

6. Nice Harbor District and boat trips, marine activities

The port of Nice was dug in the 18th century, the Duchy of Savoy then needed a port to trade with other kingdoms. Today there are hardly any merchant ships that pass through Nice, the port is mainly used by cruise ships, ferries to Corsica and luxury yachts. It is also a wonderful destination for walking, between the quays and the buildings of Nice with their colorful facades. It is the natural continuity after the Promenade des Anglais and Rauba Capeu. You can take a nice walk from the Negresco to the yacht club.

The port is also a very popular area for having a drink or eating, there are many bars and restaurants with a view of the boats. It is also the terminus of line 2 of the tramway, which may be practical if your accommodation is not nearby.

You will certainly notice an old rust-colored crane on the port of Nice. The Applevage No. 14 crane was installed in 1937 by the Parisian company Applevage and was used for the freight of goods. It is classified as a historical monument and has the label “20th century heritage”.

Nice Port 1
Nice, Harbour (Port). Martinp1, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Between yachts and sharp

Along the Quai des Deux Emmanuels (east side of the basin) you will find many pointed, colorful wooden boats whose back and front end in a point. These fishing boats are typical of the Mediterranean (you can see them in Cassis for example). There are only 3 pointus still in operation in the port of Nice, the others are maintained by enthusiasts (the oldest are over 100 years old). These are collector’s items, no shipyard manufactures them anymore. Opposite, on the western part of the quays, you enter another world, that of luxury yachts.

During the summer, the “Lou Passagin” shuttle allows you to cross the port free of charge on board an electric-powered pointed boat. The boat connects the Charles Félix dock (west side) to the Entrecasteaux quay (east side). The journey is made aboard a 7-meter pointu which bears the name of Ratapignata (bat in Nice).

This updated shuttle is a real tradition. It was provided until the 1960s by a retired fisherman (at the time it was chargeable). The journey of a few minutes will give you a nice ride. Lou Passagin runs from May to the end of September from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

A boat trip

Once you have toured the beaches of Nice, another must-do awaits you: a boat trip! Indeed, by renting a boat in Nice, you offer yourself the possibility of admiring “Nissa la bella” from the sea. You can also set sail for a coastal trip to discover marine mammals or to reach Monaco, Saint- Tropez, the Lérins Islands and even Corsica!

Nautical activities

Aquatic activities are also a way to visit Nice. If you are fond of thrills, you will find more than one activity to do in Nice to your liking. Parasailing, scuba diving, towed buoy, Jet Ski, or canoe and paddle. For the more athletic, visiting Nice also means spending an active holiday in the great outdoors.

7. Nice Carnival (Carnaval de Nice)

Every year for a fortnight in February, Nice organizes the biggest carnival in France and one of the biggest in the world. The streets are animated by more than 1000 musicians and dancers, and hundreds of thousands of spectators from all over the world. During this period, a traditional battle of flowers takes place on the Promenade des Anglais and giant and colorful floats roam the city, day and night.

This authentic event will leave you with unforgettable memories and will make you discover another facet of the city. The Nice carnival and the sun of the Côte d’Azur will manage to make you forget winter.

Nice Parade
Parade in Nice Carnival. Bohyunlee, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

8. Castle Hill Park (Le parc de la colline du Château)

At the top of this rocky hill, you will have a breathtaking view of the Baie des Anges, the old town and the port. While strolling in the gardens, you will surely reach the waterfall of the castle. Artificial certainly, but much appreciated for the freshness it brings.

The ascent to the castle can be done on foot. To do this, you have to take a staircase passing through the Bellanda Tower which offers a magnificent view. Otherwise, it is also possible to opt for an elevator ride or with the little tourist train of Nice.

Colline du chateau waterfall
Artificial waterfall on the Castle Hill in Nice. Fraselpantz at en.wikipedia, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons


The castle of Nice was a fortified structure with a military vocation, present from the 11th to the 18th century on a rocky hill, overlooking the bay of Nice. After having suffered several sieges, notably in 1543 and 1691, it was taken in 1705 by French troops and then destroyed in 1706 by order of Louis XIV.

The place is now known as a park and garden, a cult place for the locals and a must-see place for many tourists. Its many breathtaking and accessible panoramas from dawn to dusk have earned it the nickname “Cradle of the Sun”, as the place offers magnificent and varied landscapes, depending on where you are. on the hill, whether at sunrise on the Port of Nice side and until sunset on the Promenade des Anglais side. This site is also very popular with photographers for the plunging and panoramic view of the Baie des Anges and the Promenade des Anglais.

Ascenseur du Château de Nice
Access to the hill by the Château lift, Rue des Ponchettes. In the center, the Bellanda Tower, built in the 19th century on the site of a defense tower of the old fortress (the Môle tower). Alex, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

How to climb the Castle Hill:
  • By car: it is possible to drive up to the car park next to the cemetery. But frankly, I don’t recommend it. Already it is not easy to find a place and in addition in a city where everything can be done on foot (or almost) it would be a shame to leave the car.
  • By stairs: from the Promenade des Anglais you can take the stairs that go up to the Bellanda Tower and then to the top of the Colline du Château. This is the route that I recommend because you will enjoy the pretty view on the way up. It is possible to go up and down by several routes, stairs lead to the top of Old Nice or in the direction of the port.
  • With the lift (elevator): for people with reduced mobility, those traveling with a stroller or if you simply do not want to face a hundred steps in the heat, it is possible to take a lift (free). It is located here next to the staircase that goes up to the Bellanda Tower.

9. St. Nicholas Cathedral

Not far throw from the station, the contrast between the Mediterranean vegetation and the architecture of Saint-Nicolas Cathedral will amaze you. Classified as a historical monument, it is the first Russian-Orthodox church built in France and one of the most important outside Russia.

By respecting certain rules, it is possible to visit the interior of this place of worship which has a very rich decoration. Even if it’s not necessarily what you expected to do in Nice, this surprising place with its style inspired by the churches of Moscow is worth the detour.

The city of Nice has the largest Russian Orthodox Church outside of Russia. The Saint-Nicolas cathedral, classified as a historical monument, was built in 1903. The reason for this construction is tragic. While on vacation with his parents in a villa they had rented here in 1865, Tsarevitch Nicolas Alexandrovitch died at the age of twenty following meningitis. His father then bought the land to build a mausoleum (which can be seen behind the church) in homage to his son. It was only several decades later that construction work on the cathedral began.

Russian Orthodox Cathedral Nice France
Russian Orthodox Cathedral, Nice. Amin, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This contrasts with the churches that we are used to seeing in Nice, the style is the one found in the buildings in Moscow. The interior has a very rich decoration adorned with multiple icons, frescoes and carved woodwork. Visiting Saint-Nicolas Cathedral is free, except for guided tours (€10) which take place every day from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. (except Thursdays). Guided tours in the morning are by reservation only.

The Russian Church is open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. except for the office, which takes place on Saturday evening, Sunday morning and the mornings of ecclesiastical holidays.

10. Mont Boron and fort of Mont Alban

Mont Boron Park is one of the most famous places in Nice. Located on a hill to the east of the city on the border of Villefranche-sur-Mer. It is a pleasant place to walk, play sports (several sports courses) or have lunch with the family around a picnic in the shade of the trees.

At the top of the hill stands the fort of Mont Alban, a military fortification built between 1557 and 1560. This work was one of the major points of defense of the county of Nice, making the connection between the hill of the castle and the citadel of Villefranche . Its position allowed it to dominate the bay of Nice and the bay of Villefranche-sur-Mer.

Fort du Mont Alban can be visited on Sundays in July, August and September at 10am, 11am and 12pm. The price is €6.10 per person (€2.5 reduced price and free for children under 18). Reservation required on the Heritage Center website.


Mont Boron offers some of the most beautiful panoramas on the Côte d’Azur. On the fort side of Mont Alban you embrace the entire bay of Villefranche-sur-Mer with the peninsula of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. On the other side you will discover a superb view of the hill of the Castle, the port and the entire Baie des Anges. The belvedere is at a bend in the road (coordinates).

It is easier to get to Mont Boron by car, you will find a small car park at the end of the road at the Fort du Mont Alban. Otherwise by bus, take line 33 to the “chemin du fort” stop. It is also possible to climb on foot via many stairs, which will take you a short hike (see section “visit Nice in 2 days”).

Port de nice
View from the hill of the castle in Nice (France) of the port Lympia in the foreground and Mont Boron in the distance. CHRIS BONTEMPS, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Famous Europe Travel Guide | Bucket List Ideas and Places to Visit

Sources: PinterPandai, Voyage Tips, The Crazy Tourist, Time Out

Photo credit (main picture): Sergey Ashmarin (CC BY-SA 3.0), source: https://web.archive.org/web/20161025020947/http://www.panoramio.com/photo/83248577 via Wikimedia Commons

Description: beach at night / Nice, France


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