Hello! Welcome to my Nice for art lovers guide! Here’s everything that you need to know about getting to, staying in and spending time in Nice.
Travelling To & Around Nice
I visited Nice from Genoa, so I took a Flixbus (Affiliate Link), as always! It cost €10 return and the trip took just under 3 hours each way. If you’re going to be taking a lot of public transport in Nice, you can get a day bus ticket for €5. There is also the French Riviera Pass which gives free or discounted entry to many tourist attractions.
By Train: Nice is easily accessible from many places in Europe by train, and you can reach everywhere on the Côte d’Azur from Nice too. The main train station is Nice Ville, which is next to the tourist office.
By Air: Nice’s airport serves all of the Côte d’Azur and is quite close to the city. You can take an express bus (number #98 – €6) to the Promenade des Arts which takes you to the old town area. To reach Nice Ville train station, the #99 can get you there. There is also a public bus which is much cheaper (€1.50). You can find the bus schedules here for more information.
Around Nice: A bus & tram ticket costs €1.50 and lasts 74 minutes. You can get them from the bus driver, but be sure to validate your ticket with the yellow machines.
I stayed at the Hôtel Du Centre (Affiliate Link) and I really liked it. The rooms were nice and the staff were really friendly. It’s super affordable and the location is so central and perfect, albeit a tad noisy at night. The train station was a 5-10 minute walk away, as were the bus and tram lines. The hotel is just off the main high street so there’s plenty of restaurants and eateries nearby.
Day One: Visiting Monaco & Antibes
I went for a weekend, and on the Saturday I headed out of Nice. In the morning, I went to Monaco which made this a 2 country trip! You can view my day trip guide to Monaco here, which gives you a bunch of things that you can do. I definitely recommend going in the morning so that you can see the changing of the guard.
From Monaco, I went to the other side of Nice to visit Antibes. This was my favourite part of the weekend and if you have some spare time to fill, I’d say go to Antibes. You can check out my post with 9 things to do in Antibes here, it’s such a fun, arty place with lots of historic charm.
Day Two: Cimiez, Matisse Museum, Archeology Museum, Nice Fine Arts Museum & Anatole Jakovsky’s Museum of Naif Art
Top Tip: All of these museums are €10 entry initially, but you can visit 14 of the cities museums over 24 hours with the same ticket.
Sunday was my day in Nice, and I headed up to Cimiez to visit the Matisse Museum, Monastery & Archeological Site and Museum.
I adored this museum and would implore any art lovers to visit. They have both a permanent and special exhibitions. It’s close to the monastery, archeological museum and is set in a beautiful park so you can easily spend a few hours exploring the area. The #5 bus is the best way to reach Cimiez as it’s overlooking the city on a hill, so walking might be tough.
Opening Times: Everyday except Tuesdays, 10:00 – 17:00
There are some lovely paintings and frescos to be seen here, as well as their cemetery where Matisse is buried. The monastery also has an amazing ecological garden which you can visit and see views over the city. They don’t use pesticides and are trying to diversify the wildlife!
Opening Times: Daily except Sunday mornings, 10:00 – 12:00 and then 15:00 – 18:00
Entry is included in the €10 museum pass and it’s right next door to the Matisse museum. Information is available in English and it’s interesting to spend a little time learning about the archeological site and amphitheatre that you can then visit at the back of the building.
Opening Times: Daily except Tuesdays, 10:00 – 17:00
After visiting Cimiez in the morning, I then went to the Promenade des Anglais to see two lesser known galleries that are a little out of the way. The first was the museum of Fine Arts (entry included in the €10 ticket). There were a few different styles represented in the gallery and the buiding itself was beautiful, so if you are an art-lover then it’s one to have on your radar if you have a spare hour or two.
Opening Times: Daily except Mondays, 10:00 – 18:00
This is one of the quirkiest museums that i’ve ever been to, and I loved it! I had 0 knowledge of Naif art before visiting, and it’s such a cool and interesting style. This museum is a little bit of a trek but definitely worth it (included in the €10 ticket), it’s about a 15 minute walk up hill from the Promenade des Anglais. When you arrive, you need to press the buzzer and explain that you’re there for the museum and you’re let in. There’s a small sculpture garden and then the museum has several floors of artwork to explore.
Opening Times: Daily except Tuesdays, 10:00 – 12:30 then 12:30 – 18:00
I hope that you found this Nice for Art Lovers guide useful whether you’re visiting Nice soon or just want to in the future. Let me know if you have any other recommendations for this amazing city in the comments below!
Bye for now x