The list of top things to do in Nice is very looong. You could spend a few days in this beautiful city, or even a few months, and still explore new things.
But for now, let’s start with the top 10 things to do in Nice for first-timers.
Planning a Trip to Nice?
Make sure to include these 14 free things to do in Nice!
PROMENADE DES ANGLAIS
When people think of Nice, they immediately visual the beautiful Promenade des Anglais.
It snugs the Mediterranean and stretches for 7 km from the airport to the port.
Walkers, strollers, and bicycle riders share the large sidewalk, and everyone benefits from the amazing Baie des Anges view.
On the list of top things to do in Nice is, of course, the beach!
There are numerous private and public beaches to choose from, depending on whether you prefer to be closer to the old town, the main center, or further out.
All the beaches in Nice beaches are pebble beaches.
These pebbles are called Galets and are gray and of different sizes. Sand is rare around here, but this can be an advantage or a disadvantage.
Parallel to the Promenade des Anglais and bordering the old town is the Cours Saleya.
Lots of cafes and restaurants, and of course, the famous flower market.
Le Marché aux Fleurs takes place every day except Mondays and is paired with the fruit and vegetable market.
Vendors set up very early in the morning and start packing up to leave around 1230pm. That’s when restaurants set up their tables outside for lunch and dinner.
Stroll, take it all in, and why not try something delicious? Like fresh bread or the smaller olives typical of the region.
If you’re staying close by, you could fill up a basket with local produce and cook an easy recipe from the Cote d’Azur.
After you’ve had your fill of fruits, flowers, and spices, relax at one of the cafes, and just people watch 🙂
OLD TOWN a top thing to do here in Nice!
Just behind the Cours Saleya, enter the quaint labyrinth of cobblestone streets and narrow alleys.
No cars are allowed here, and you may get lost, but no worries, the old town is small enough that it will eventually lead you to beautiful squares and colorful buildings.
The old town is a must on the top things to do in Nice.
It has a village atmosphere, and the residents know each other, saying hello as they pass.
Small shops and cozy restaurants are tightly packed together on narrow streets, and the feel in the old town is like nowhere else in the city.
CASTLE HILL on the list of top things to do in Nice
Le Chateau means castle. However, there is no castle there!
It’s a beautiful green park with some seriously amazing views and even has a waterfall that adds to the charm.
Spend the day at the chateau, walk around, have a picnic, relax and enjoy.
From the highest point, you can see the amazing Baie des Anges, while on the other side, you can see the port and, from yet another viewpoint, Nice’s rooftops.
There are 4 ways to go up to the chateau:
1. Climb up the stairs, and there are lots of them! But you can see different points of view while catching your breath.
2. Take the elevator at the foot of the hill accessible from the Promenade des Anglais.
3. Take Le Petit Train, the small white touristic train that makes its way up to castle hill.
4. You could also drive, but I wouldn’t recommend it. If you do, then leave your car in the large parking lot and continue the rest of the way on foot.
It’s a nice break from sightseeing, and kids will have fun in the play area. The cafe at the entrance isn’t that great, but it’s ok if you want a coffee or a crepe.
PORT OF NICE
The port is a busy hub where yachts, small colored boats, and the Corsica ferry cohabitate together. If you get a chance, go to Corsica. But I’m getting off the subject.
You can enter the port neighborhood from behind the church Ile de Beauté.
Enjoy an eclectic mix of trendy shops, delicious restaurants, small galleries, and great cafes to chill out at any time.