Nice is a gem of the French Riviera and a popular getaway of VIPs and pleasure cruisers wishing to join the vibrant French nightlife. It's not just foreigners who are drawn to the city; the French love it too. An overwhelming majority of French respondents put Nice at the top of the list of cities where they would like to live.
The love of the French for Nice is also shown by the way they cherish its history, architecture and culture. Although it was badly damaged during the Second World War, the city has now been restored to its former glory.
In an effort to protect the resort from the ravages of modern civilisation, the local authorities pay particular attention to protecting the environment. Their efforts are recognised by the Blue Flag, awarded by the European Commission to environmentally friendly areas in Europe.
History and sights of Nice
The history of the city goes back to the beginnings of mankind. Excavations at Terra Amata have shown that the area was already inhabited 400,000 years ago. Nice was founded by the Greeks in the 4th century BC as a trading centre, and three centuries later the Romans settled here, attracted by its strategic location. The Roman thermae and arenas that still stand today are a reminder of those times.
For five centuries the city was owned by the Italians, except for a brief period of 40 years when Nice was in French hands. The strife between Italians and French did not end until 1860 with the final incorporation of Nice into France. From that moment on, the city began a rapid development as a resort and tourist destination
Each era of turbulent history has left its mark, turning the city into an unrivalled ensemble of organically coexisting architectural styles. The Cimiez Archaeology Museum and the Terra Amata Museum are the best places to learn about the past.
Impressive walk around Nice: better routes
The unique atmosphere of Nice is best experienced on a leisurely stroll through the old town, with small bars and cafés on every corner. Start in the Opera Square and the Palace of Justice. This quarter is almost entirely pedestrianised.
At the heart of Nice is Place Massena, designed in 1834. Its main attraction is the large fountain with bronze sculptures. Nearby is the Albert I square which was laid out during the last century.
A walk around Nice would not be complete without a stroll along the famous Promenade des Anglais, named after the Englishman Lewis Wareham who built it in 1820.
Nice is rightly considered the centre of modern art
There are 18 museums and galleries, usually housed in historic palaces and masterpiece residences. This city is inextricably linked to the work of great masters such as Toulouse-Lautrec, Modigliani, Matisse and Renoir. The city is also home to many famous musicians and writers.
The Museum of Art and History is housed in a luxury villa overlooking the Promenade des Anglais. It showcases pieces from the palace interior, as well as a fine collection of Belle Epoque works. Inside is a unique library with priceless books and manuscripts and archive documents covering the history of the county since the Middle Ages.
The Museum of Fine Arts is housed in a mansion built in the Genoese style by Prince Kochubey. Its extensive exhibition includes masterpieces of Italian and French paintings of the 16th and 19th centuries. There are also collections of sculptures by Rodin and ceramics by Picasso.
Explore the history of French and American avant-gardism at the Museum of Modern Art, part of a museum and theatre complex built in the heart of the city. The terrace on the top floor offers a wonderful view over the city.
The Matisse Museum, located in Villa de Arenes, traces the artist's entire career. In addition to paintings, the museum houses the artist's most comprehensive collection of sculptures.
There are many places in the city associated with the Russians' stay. The Museum of the Russian Colony in Nice houses a unique collection of Russian military orders, banners and uniforms of the imperial army, as well as an exhibition of old photographs and church vestments.
The Villa Tenard, where Grand Duke Nikolay Nikolayevich, commander-in-chief of the Russian army in World War I, lived and died, and the Chagall Museum, dedicated to the life and work of the famous artist, are connected to the names of Russian natives. The works in the museum are united by biblical themes. There are 17 large compositions, 39 gouaches and over 100 engravings and etchings.
Nice is a major music centre which attracts world-famous names and numerous fans every year
It is home to an opera house, a conservatoire, a famous symphony orchestra and three chamber orchestras. The annual Jazz Festival attracts the best musicians in the world. The festival programme includes not only performances by renowned masters, but also introductions to new names.
It's impossible to imagine Nice without the carnival
It is held every year in February. The street parades of up to 1,500 people, a chariot parade decorated with flowers, fireworks, dancing and flower contests interrupt the rhythm of the city for a fortnight.
The people of Nice take the organisation of the event very seriously and prepare for it well in advance as soon as the special committee in charge of the carnival determines the theme: the King of Arts, the King of Cinema, the King of Music and so on.
It is an ideal destination for a charter in the Mediterranean
After enjoying a sea cruise to Nice, be sure to wander through its neighbourhoods, each with its own personality. Lovers of art and architecture should not miss out on the sites, such as:
- Museum of Modern Art
- Matisse Museum
- Chagall Museum
- Musée des Beaux-Arts.
On the coast of Nice are some of the best sands of the French Riviera, such as Florida Beach, which boasts exclusive facilities. Popular destinations include Galion Beach and the more secluded Beaulieu-sur-Mer and Ville-Franche.
Two other must-see attractions on a seaside cruise to Nice are Cap d'Ail and the unique reserve of La Reserve, with its quaint staircases descending into the water, which give it the appearance of an exclusive poolside staircase.
There are relics and grottoes in the local waters that allow for exciting exploration, suitable for amateurs and experienced divers alike. The wide offer of water sports won't disappoint wakeboarders, jet skiers and parasailing enthusiasts.
Shopping lovers are in for a treat. Massena Square, the fashion district, and the luxurious Galeries de Lafayette shopping centre are filled with elegant boutiques that are worth a visit before enjoying the unique ambience of the Promenade des Anglais.
There are numerous hotels and pensions available for visitors to Nice
The most prestigious hotels in Nice include Negresco, Regina Palace, Grand Hotel and Hotel Alexandra. Or you can choose something more modest, for example a small 2 and 3-star hotel in the centre of the city. The modest furnishings are more than compensated for by the beautiful view from the rooms and the convenient location.
Nice offers exquisite entertainment and chic hospitality to travellers along the Southern French maritime route. If you are interested in this exquisite seaside destination, contact our manager for details of a boat trip to Nice or book your cruise now on one of our comfortable catamarans:
- Signature Concept for 8 guests with comfortable cabins and meals on board;
- Signature Vision for 10 guests with comfortable cabins and meals on board.
Book a scenic catamaran cruise in Nice
Signature Sailing Charter offers boat trips to Monaco, not only from Monaco, but also from Nice and Cannes. You can book a boat trip on this website:
- It could be a 1-day itinerary to the resort town;
- A 2-day itinerary for a weekend or at a time of your choice with an overnight stay on a catamaran;
- You can also choose an itinerary of 3 or more days for a boat trip to the Côte d'Azur with a visit to Nice for 1 day.
Signature Sailing Charter offer a full range of services to organise your holiday on the Côte d'Azur!
Book it now and travel later! Your sea cruise will be in complete comfort, accompanied by a crew of three: a captain, a chef and a stewardess.
Take advantage of our hot offer:
A boat trip to Nice for 1, 2 or more days with a discount of 5 to 10%. Find out more at the link.
Our service offers convenient dining options: either on board a sailing catamaran or on the shore in a restaurant recommended by us. Ask our manager about sea cruises organised by Signature Sailing Charter.
We wish you a fabulous holiday!