What to see in Nice in 3 days

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Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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A short distance from the Italian border, Nice is the main city of the French Riviera and one of the most visited destinations in France. Elegant, colorful and always kissed by the sun, it is the ideal place for a complete holiday, whether it is in the name of glamor and relaxation or of art and history.


  1. 1 day
  2. 2 day
  3. 3 day
  4. How much does a weekend in Nice cost
  5. User questions and comments

1 day

1 - Morning: Port Lympia, Notre Dame du Port, Garibaldi square, Castle hill

The first day is the sea air to wake us up: our tour starts from Port Lympia, the main maritime hub of the city and largest cruise port in the Mediterranean. Together with the large tourist boats we can admire numerous private yachts and luxury sailing boats at the mooring.

After breakfast at the Café du Port (€ 7,00) we stop at the Notre Dame du Port basilica, a stage on the way to Santiago de Compostela and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Four hundred meters further on we cross piazza Garibaldi, the oldest square in the city dedicated to the famous patriot who was born in Nice in 1807.

Let us now return to the coast for climb the castle hill, a height of 92 meters where, however, only ruins remain of the castle. It was in the th century that the king of Sardinia decided to transform the hill into a park, which since then has been the first destination of the aristocracy and then of millions of tourists in search of the perfect shot. The hill is in fact the best panoramic point of the city: the top can be reached on foot with a twenty-minute walk, or by means of a tourist lift.

2 - Afternoon: Cours Saleya, Old Town, Nice Cathedral, Palais Lascaris

Down the hill we head towards Cours Saleya, a pedestrian area used as a market famous for its colorful flower stalls. The flower market is present every day except Mondays, where it is replaced by the antiques market. We have officially entered the area of old City: here the warm tones of yellow are the masters for the old houses and the baroque architecture of the ancient buildings. Right on Cours Saleya we can admire the first of these buildings, namely the house of Adam and Eve, so called because of the bas-relief made on the facade representing the couple in the Garden of Eden, and the house of the painter Henri Matisse.

We have lunch at Le Petit Ecailler De La Douce, a small place with delicious fish dishes (€ 45,00 on average). A little further on, in Piazza Rossetti, we visit the Nice Cathedral dedicated to Santa Reparata, the main place of worship in the city. We conclude our pilgrimage with a visit to Palais Lascaris, an aristocratic palace of the seventeenth century now converted into a music museum. You can access with a combined ticket for all museums, the French Riviera Pass, at a cost of € 26,00 (valid for 24 hours).

3 - Evening: Dinner, Promenade du Paillon, Place Masséna

In the evening we head to the Paillon promenade to cool off in the lush gardens and the water features that are the symbol of this urban oasis. For price we stop in the nearby Masséna square, one of the busiest pedestrian areas in Nice that offers a rich choice of restaurants, among which we choose Casa Nissa (€ 35,00). It is worth visiting the square after dark to admire the modern statues depicting the continents made by Jaume Plensa illuminated atop their pedestals.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 3,7 km / 49 min
  • Places visited: Port Lympia, Notre Dame du Port, Garibaldi square, Castle hill, Cours Saleya, flower market, old town, Nice Cathedral, Palais Lascaris, Promenade du Paillon, Masséna square.
  • Nice and Castle Hill: guided historical walking tour
  • Breakfast at Café du Port (Get directions), Lunch at Le Petit Ecailler De La Douce (Get directions), Dinner at Casa Nissa (Get directions)

2 day

1 - Morning: Matisse Museum, Cimiez Monastery

The morning of the second day is dedicated to museums and culture. After doing breakfast at Deli Bo (€ 7,00) take bus 15 near Piazza Garibaldi, from the Délfy stop to Arènes / Musée Matisse (about 12 minutes, 10 stops). The Matisse museum, dedicated to the famous painter, is housed in an eighteenth-century mansion which was in turn built on Roman ruins. For entry we use the 24-hour pass from € 26,00.

Less than 300 meters from the museum we visit the Monastère de Cimiez, founded by the Benedictine friars and later inhabited by the Franciscans. The monastery houses several works by Ludovico Brea and is flanked by a monumental cemetery where the remains of Matisse himself rest.

2 - Afternoon: Chagall Museum, St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral

We take bus 15 again, this time in the opposite direction, and get off after five stops at Chagall Museum. Before the visit, however, let's stop at the Buvette, in the gardens adjacent to the museum, for a light and quick lunch (€ 18,00).
The Chagall Museum houses the largest public collection of the works of the French naturalized Russian painter; the illustrations based on the Old Testament are noteworthy. This complex can also be visited with the French Riviera Pass.

Nice is in fact very linked to Russia: in the nineteenth century many Russian nobles chose the French city as their winter residence. Nice has kept numerous testimonies of the presence of this community, the most famous of which is certainly the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Nicholas, built in 1912 by the will of Tsar Nicholas II. To reach it from the museum we take bus 4, getting off at the stop of the same name.

3 - Evening: Dinner, Casino Du Palais De La Méditerranée

In the evening let's have dinner soon at Tradiswiss (starting at € 35,00), a Swiss foray into the heart of the city and we return to the hotel to change to wear something more elegant: the destination of the evening is in fact the Casino Du Palais De La Méditerranée, on the Promenade des Anglais. At the casino the dress code prohibits jeans and t-shirts, which are so comfortable for daytime itineraries, so remember to pack a jacket for him and an evening dress for her.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 8,3 km / 1 h 47 min
  • Places visited: Matisse Museum, Cimiez Monastery, Chagall Museum, Saint Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral, Casino Du Palais De La Méditerranée.
  • French Riviera: Half-Day Museum Tour with Admission Nice: 3-Hour Electric Bike Tour
  • Breakfast at Déli Bo (Get directions), Lunch at Buvette (Get directions), Dinner at Tradiswiss (Get directions)

3 day

1 - Morning: romenade des Anglais

The last day is dedicated to relaxation and shopping. Let's start with one breakfast dessert at Le Bistroy (from € 7,00) and then head to the famous one Promenade des Anglais, the promenade that runs along the Bay of Angels. There is truly spoiled for choice on which beach to choose: all the establishments of the Bay are well equipped and equipped with comfortable dining options. We choose Le Voilier Plage to spend the morning between sun and sea. The average price for an umbrella and two sun loungers is € 35,00, in line with the Côte d'Azur average.

2 - Afternoon: Boulevard Victor Hugo, Avenue Jean Médecin

For lunch we still stay at Le Voilier, enjoying an excellent menu with a sea view at around € 35,00.
A last sun bath and a refreshing shower, in the afternoon, we walk back to the center and indulge ourselves some shopping along Boulevard Victor Hugo and Avenue Jean Médecin. Most of these streets are pedestrianized, but the transit of trams is allowed. If the heat gets too hot, take shelter in the Nice Etoile shopping center and continue our shopping out of the sun.

3 - Evening: Dinner, Cours Saleya

In the evening we choose a cheaper (€ 20,00) but equally tasty meal at Ma Nolan's Vieux Nice, near Cours Saleya. We find the square totally transformed: where on the morning of the first day we saw a quiet flower market, now there is music, cocktails and fun. The double life of Cours Saleya is therefore an excellent reason for a second visit.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 4,1 km / 52 min
  • Places visited: Promenade des Anglais, Le Voilier Plage, Boulevard Victor Hugo, Avenue Jean Médecin, Cours Saleya.
  • Nice: Panoramic cruise to the Bay of Villefranche-sur-Mer
  • Breakfast at Le Bistroy (Get directions), Lunch at Le Voilier Plage (Get directions), Dinner at Ma Nolan's Vieux Nice (Get directions)

How much does a weekend in Nice cost

Nice is a very popular destination throughout the year, which bases a large part of its economy on tourism. Like the whole of the Côte d'Azur, the prices are not exactly cheap, but with some attention to the choice of meals and accommodation it will still be possible to experience an affordable holiday.

  • Costs to eat: about € 135,00 per day per person (including breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • Costs for museums and attractions: around € 26,00 with a 24-hour French Riviera Pass
  • Transportation: about € 10,00 per person, using the buses (single ticket € 1,50, ten-journey booklet € 10,00) only for longer routes and walking through the center.
  • Hotels, accommodation and b & b: Hotel and b & b starting from € 70,00 per room -
  • Fun: from € 50,00 per person (casino, drink)
  • Total cost of a weekend in Nice: from € 631,00 per person

Before leaving: useful tips

  • When to visit Nice: enjoys a pleasant climate all year round. Prefer the summer months to appreciate the beaches. Among the most interesting events we point out the Nice Carvenale (in late winter), the Nice Jazz Festival (in the summer), the Royal regattas and the Nice-Cannes marathon (in autumn) - find out more
  • Nice-Cote D'Azur airport is located just 8 km from the city. It is served by bus lines 9, 10 and 98 which take you to the city center in about 25 minutes, the ticket for the ride can be purchased directly on board from the driver for € 1,50
  • the city offers a huge choice of luxury hotels and cheaper bed & breakfasts. Most of the solutions are located west of the old city, in the area between Boulevard Victor Hugo and the famous Promenade des Anglais
  • Getting around: the center as well as the main attractions can be visited on foot. To reach the most distant destinations, trams and buses are available. The single journey lasts 74 minutes and costs € 1,50, but it is also possible to purchase a ten-journey booklet for € 10,00 - find out more
  • Other: the city is only 9 km from the principality of Monaco, easily reachable by train or by car for an evening visit to the Monte Carlo casino

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