Nice is the perfect place for a city escape from everywhere in Europe. We spent one day in Nice flying from London for just £10 return ticket. We couldn’t believe that our 1 day in Nice was that amazing. There are quite a few things you must do in Nice France in 1 day and we want to share with you our detailed list of the top 10 things to do in one day in Nice. The perfect guide without missing the top sightseeing and having a couple of hours relaxing on the Nice beach.
What’s the best time of year to visit Nice France? Nice is beautiful every time of the year, from winter to summer. We spent 24 hours in Nice during winter and 2 days in Nice France in summer.
Even if was winter in Nice, the Promenade is stunning as well. A landscape of the seaside of the Côte d’Azur will pay the price of your ticket.
10 things to do in 1 day in Nice
So this is the list of the 10 things to don’t miss in Nice France. Visiting for the first time the city in Southern France, you will enjoy the calm and relaxed life of this place. For sure, if you are visiting Nice, for just one day, you can’t visit Monaco, or Menton and Cannes. Those are luxurious places close to Nice.
- Promenade des Anglais
- Matisse Museum
- Place Massena
- Massena Museum
- Nice Castle
- St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral
- Lascaris Palace
- Nice Cathedral
- Phoenix Parc
- Saleya Market
- Promenade du Paillon
Promenade des Anglais
Have you ever had the sensation of being home even if you are in a different country? We had this feeling when we were walking through Promenade des Anglais. If you ever have been to Naples you will spot a few similar things, like the promenade and the beach.
Enjoy the walk during the evening, where you can have a lovely glass of wine while admiring the waves in the background. The perfect time to enjoy Promenade des Anglais during your one day in Nice is during the sunset.
The atmosphere and the colours are something which will be print in your mind.
One of the museums you should visit during your one day in Nice France itinerary is the Matisse Museum.
Do you know who is Matisse? He was a French artist known as a sculpture, printmaker but mainly known as a painter.
The museum is open every day except for Tuesdays and you can get access from 10 am until 6 pm. Remember if you are visiting Nice in 1 day during winter the museum will close at 5 pm.
The entrance to the Museum is free with Nice Pass Museum. With only 10 euros you can access to all Nice museum valid for 24 hours. Perfect for your one day in Nice.
Located close to the Old Town, Place Massena start with the Sun Fountain and with Apollon statue. This square is the perfect place to take some nice pictures as well. If you are visiting Nice in 1 day during summer you will be fascinated by the kids playing around the fountains at Promenade du Paillon.
This main square of Nice is the main place during the parade for the Carnival of Nice. On the side of the roads, where is passing by the tram, will be placed the sitting area to enjoy the show. On the side of the historical square of Place Massena, there is the Wheel, this is the perfect place to snap your ultimate shot from Nice.
Enjoy a coffee break in one of the cafè on the side of Nice, in a complete atmosphere between Le Parisian and the Mediterranean style.
Massena Museum – One day in Nice
Why you should visit this museum? There are two main reasons why we loved exploring it. First of all this Museum includes the memorabilia of Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine which I think is the most interesting part of the museum. Another reason is the structure and the architecture of the building as the ground floor has been kept the original and charming colours.
The Massena Museum is located close to Hotel Negresco, in the famous Villa Massena and you should pay a visit to admire this wonderful museum.
It’s open every day except for Tuesdays, and the access is from 10 am until 6 pm.
Do you want to have a nice view over Nice? Climb the Castle Hill and you will enjoy a spectacular and breathtaking panorama of Nice. You can reach the site using the elevator or the stairs. We recommend you to visit the castle for the sunset to enjoy a spectacular view over Promenade des Anglais.
The elevator is free which is one of the best as during a really hot summer you don’t really feel to go walking.
The entrance to the Castle Hill elevator is located in Rue des Ponchettes.
Apart from the stunning view, what you can’t miss is the artificial waterfall where you can cool off during a hot day in one day in Nice Frace.
St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral
This cathedral is considered the most important orthodox cathedral outside Russia.
It’s worth visiting the amazing basilica during your 24 hours in Nice and be surprised once you will see the interior decoration with murals and sculpted woodworks.
Visit the Orthodox Cathedral is free but there are some rules to follow:
- Men cannot enter without a shirt (which should be common sense as it’s a Cathedral)
- Women cannot go wearing a miniskirt
You can easily reach it by walk as it is close to Gare de Nice Ville.
While walking through the narrow streets of the Old Town in Nice you can view Lascaris Palace.
It’s a beautiful old baroque style museum which you can’t miss to visit it during your day in Nice France.
The building from outside itself is stunning, but the glorious interior of this place will make you feel luxurious. Lascaris Palace is for sure not on the top of things to do in Nice, especially for a just one day visit to the city on the Mediterranean sea.
But, if you are the kind of person that likes to go off the beaten path in place while visiting, this is the right spot to get lost and feel the vibes of the life on the Côte d’Azur.
Nice Cathedral – What to do in Nice France
The Cathedral is another monument which you need to put in your list of what to see in Nice France in one day.
It’s a Roman Catholic Cathedral, with a Baroque influence. Located in the heart of the city close to the old town, is one of the symbols of Nice. The inside is beautiful and we highly suggest you visit it.
If you are interested to visit those are the opening hours:
Tuesdays to Fridays from 9 am to 12 pm and 2 pm to 6 pm
Saturdays it closes at 7.30 pm
Sundays from 9 am to 12 pm and from 3 pm to 6 pm
Phoenix Parc – Unusual things to do in Nice
In your itinerary for Nice France what you can’t miss is visiting the Phoenix Parc, which is a botanical garden, zoo and a lovely place where to enjoy a picnic.
It’s very easy to reach this place, located close to the airport. You can get bus 9, 23 and 10 or the tram number 2 from the city centre, arriving there in about 20 minutes.
To access the parc there is a cost of 5 euros and for children under 12, the entrance is for free.
It’s one of the best off the beaten path things you can do while you visit Nice France and we highly recommend you to visit it.
We can’t miss getting at least one market in Nice, in our one day guide. The Saleya Market need to be in your list of best things to do in Nice France in one day.
They sell everything from food to local and gorgeous flowers. Every Mondays they turn the market into secondhand jewellery and clothes.
If you didn’t have your breakfast yet head to the market and try some local products which are amazing, like the chickpea flour crepes or the caramelised onion tart. As Italian, we always prefer to have our regular coffee with a croissant but as we woke up late we didn’t have much time so we stroll around the market and we had the best breakfast ever.
Day trips from nice France – Explore Monaco and Montecarlo
If you are spending more than one day in Nice you should consider to organise a day trip from Nice France and exploring Monte Carlo. It’s the perfect city to visit during your Nice itinerary 2 days. If you don’t want to explore the luxurious Montecarlo, there are many other beautiful villages close to Nice, ready to be explored.
The city of luxury and casinos well known on all the French Riviera. We had the amazing opportunity to enjoy a lovely coffee at Cafe de Paris while there was the Grand Pix of Formula Rally.
How lucky right? It was one of the best experience ever and can you believe that the coffee was not that expensive? I know it’s hard to believe it, but coffee and Italian hot chocolate cost us 7 euros.
How to reach Monte Carlo from Nice
You won’t believe it but the cost of the bus to reach Monte Carlo is 1.50 euro. Amazing right? We were surprised when we found out about it. You need to catch bus number 100 from Nice going towards Monaco. The journey will take you around 45 minutes which is perfect for a day trip from Nice.
If you want to save some time you can buy the ticket ahead at the Ligne D’Azur boutique which is located just off Place Garibaldi and the price will be always the same.
Due to some works going on around the port area, now you can catch the bus 100 to Monaco from the top of the Port, just right next to the church.
TopTips: While going towards Monaco you will have an amazing panorama which you can’t miss to see.
Try to sit on the right-hand side of the bus to don’t miss this amazing experience. There are some cute stops on the way to Monaco. You can get off the bus wherever you want and visit Menton or Villefranche-sur-Mer.
Saint Tropez boat trips
Saint Tropez is the typical place known for the amazing nightlife but not only for that. From Nice, you can organize boat trips to Saint Tropez and enjoy wonderful beaches along with the coast.
Book it here to have the best price for a round trip from Nice to Saint Tropez. Especially during summer Saint Tropez can get very busy and the best option is to book the tickets in advance and enjoy the lovely boat trip from Nice to St. Tropez.
Another option which you can consider if you want to explore this little gem of French Riviera is going from Nice to Cannes, stroll around the city and then getting a boat to your final destination.
Nice day trips to Cannes
Cannes is really easy to reach by bus from Nice. You need to take the bus 200 from rue Verdun/Albert 1ere bus stop, which is between the start of Promenade du paillon gardens and the Meridian Hotel.
The cost of the ticket is always 1.50 euros and you can either buy it on board or to the Ligne d’Azur boutique.
We suggest you take an early bus around 8/9 am to avoid traffic and be able to reach Cannes in a reasonable time.
How to reach the airport
One of the coolest thing about Nice is that the airport is really close to the city centre. Just 20 minutes from the city centre to the airport terminal, are the main reason why Nice is the ideal for a one day trip. You can easily get to the airport by public transport.
Be aware that there are many buses going to the airport and some of them look like public transport buses but instead are kind of private, as an express bus. The ticket cost 6 euros and the only thing which is different is that they don’t do all the stops that a normal bus does.
The public bus to reach the airport instead will cost you only 1.50 euro and will take you 10 metres away from the entrance, instead right in front of the door. You can buy the ticket on board so always carry with you some cash, they don’t accept Card as payment method.
Plan your one day in Nice France itinerary
Nice is the perfect place for a romantic escape or even for a short city break. As it is small you can easily spend one day strolling around the city centre. There are many passages that are traffic-free, so just walkable zones.
Despite common sense, wich associate Nice as an expensive area, it is fine for on-budget travellers. If you have got more days you can enjoy the little gems around Nice, some like Monaco and Cannes.
Are you ready to discover Nice in one day? Pack your bags and discover the gorgeous French Riviera without missing all the things to do in Nice France.