The Top 10 Things To Do And See In Vieux Nice

Cathédrale Sainte Réparate in Nice | © RudolfSimon/Wikicommons
Cathédrale Sainte Réparate in Nice | © RudolfSimon/Wikicommons
Photo of Alex Locker
9 February 2017

The second largest city in the Alpes-Cote-d’Azur after Marseille, Nice stands as one of France’s most popular tourist destinations. Nice’s Old Town allows you to travel into the 1700s as you get lost in its narrow lanes and its architectural gems, such as the Cathédral Sainte-Réparate. The area is also home to many restaurants, bars, small shops and boutiques. We have selected the top ten things to do and see in Nice’s Old Town.

Palais de Justice de Nice | © javno vlasništv/Wikicommons

Place du Palais de Justice

As the focal point of Nice’s Old Town, the Place du Palais de Justice is a bustling cultural melting pot of tourists and locals. The central square features a variety of architectural masterpieces, including the wondrous facade of the Palais du Justice and the awe-inspiring bell tower.

Place du Palais, 06300 Nice, France

Cours Saleya

The Cours Saleya is one of the central elements of daily life in Nice. The market place features a vast array of products. In the market you’ll be able to find from collectible, handcrafted carvings to a wide variety of well-kept quality fruit and vegetables. There’s also a popular flower quarter displaying a vibrant array of colors. This is the perfect location to take in the bustling local lifestyle.

Cours Saleya, 06300, Nice

Vieux Nice Port

One of the most popular ports in Europe, it is only natural that Nice’s port features on this list as the heart of Mediterranean life. Visitors are treated to spectacular views of boats trickling in and out for the old water gate, whilst the docking platforms are host to a friendly and bustling trading community. This is the perfect place to sit back and relax, and have a drink or a meal in one of the bars or restaurants in the area whilst absorbing the Mediterranean vibes.

Quai des Docks, 06300 Nice, France


Fennochio’s has a notorious reputation as the go-to place for ice cream, offering around 94 different flavors of both ice cream and mouthwatering sorbets. Whilst many people tend to stick to the mainstream favorite flavors, Fennochio’s offers a variety of unusual treats, with flavors such as jasmine and avocado or poppy, and sorbets including cactus, beer and lychee.

2 Pl. Rossetti, 06300 Nice, France

Palais Lascaris

Map View
Le Palais Lascaris
Le Palais Lascaris | © Dalbera/Flickr
Tucked into one of the quaint and narrow lanes of Vieux Nice, the Palais Lascaris is host to a variety of eclectic marvels from French antiquity, as well as hosting the recreation of a 19th-century French pharmacy. The palace dates back to 1700, featuring vaulted frescoed ceilings, tapestries and baroque stairwells in pink and gold alabaster. Unfortunately the beautiful exterior facade is missable at a street level and tourists have to look up in order to witness the architectural marvel. Tourists can purchase a variety of books about Nice here that cannot be found anywhere else, as well as a large selection of quality posters.

Matisse’s House

The townhouse of Nice’s most famous inhabitant, Henri Matisse’s House is located towards the eastern end of the Cours Saleya. The house is known to be the place where the artist spent the second half of the 1920s and early 1930s, when he worked on the third and fourth floors of this luxurious townhouse. Whilst the house isn’t open to the public, the building itself is a testament to the presence of the legendary artist in the cultural heart of Nice.

1 Place Charles Felix, 06300, Nice

Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate

Located in Vieux Nice’s most beautiful and artistic square – the place de Rossetti – the Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate was built in the 18th century in honor of the city’s patron saint, a teenage girl murdered in the holy land in 250AD. Although much of this story has been lost in translation, this cathedral stands as a symbol of Nice’s architectural prowess and is a spectacular sight to see for tourists.

4 Rue Sainte-Reparate, 06300 Nice, France

Nice Opera House

Opera House
Map View
Nice Opera House
Nice Opera House | ©Robin Pollock/Wikicommons
A trip to Nice is not complete without visiting the city’s famous opera house for a show. The Nice Opera oozes class and elegance from its exterior facade and the elegance permeates through to its interior. The opera is the perfect place to end your day, with a fabulous variety of cocktails and wines to choose from, and shows that will leave visitors in awe.

Promenade des Anglais

Undoubtedly the most popular tourist destination in Nice, located on the outskirts of the Old Town, the Promenade des Anglais is a bustling promenade with a vibrant cultural scene. The promenade is home to world-famous hotels including the elegant Hotel Negresco, and it also hosts a variety of nightclubs, bars and exceptional restaurants that cannot fail to satisfy your needs. If still stuck for options, the Hyatt hotel features a slick and classy casino, whilst the promenade itself offers spectacular views across the beach and out to sea.

Prom. des Anglais, Nice, France

Place Messena

Whilst technically part of Nice’s Old Town, in fact the largest square in Vieux Nice, the Place Messena adds a new refreshing vibe to the rustic exterior of the Old Town district. The square features a somewhat postmodern combination of columns displaying the Buddha made from resin, passing tramlines, and the only authentic reminder of the Old Town – the Fontaine du Soleil, displaying an image of Apollo with all the usual grandiose regalia. The square is now popular for being one of the main shopping areas in Nice, with an assortment of modern outlets to choose from.

Place Massena, Nice, France

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