Culture and heritage
From prehistory to contemporary art, Nice Côte d’Azur tells you its history. By pushing open the door of a museum or simply by looking up, admire the remains of a unique destination that has always fascinated and inspired artists.
Tip: To visit more while spending less, consider getting the French Riviera Pass!
The heart of Nice, on the Unesco list
Everywhere you look, Nice is a city of art. Because of its beauty, its history, its architecture and its natural spaces, the city of Nice has made its entry into Unesco in July 2021. Indeed, the capital of the Côte d’Azur has seen the four letters of its name inscribed on the World Heritage List as “Riviera Winter Resort City”.
Nice’s inscription on the Unesco list is based on an urban ensemble of 522 hectares. This includes the famous Promenade des Anglais, but also the bourgeois and tree-lined districts of Cimiez and Mont-Boron, the sublime villas and charming hotels spread throughout the various districts, the vegetation that is both local and exotic, as well as the urban planning and architecture that have shaped the city through two and a half centuries of tourist activity.
Discover the soul of Nice
Old Nice, its narrow streets, its little secret places. Its colourful facades and all those details to discover with your nose in the air. Nice likes to let you discover its unique soul, a complex mixture of deep south. From palaces to baroque monuments, the Old Nice will give you its diversity and richness.
To see: the Palais Lascaris, the Palais de Justice, the Palais des Rois Sardes, the Palais Communal Masséna, the former Senate, the Cathedral of Sainte-Réparate (and the Chapelle de la Miséricorde) and, of course, the municipal galleries, the private galleries, the art and craft stalls
Nice, a history, a memory
Nice is a city with a long memory and great taste; it has preserved the imprint of each period to offer a wide variety of architectural styles, from Baroque to Belle Epoque.
To see: the sites of Cimiez, its arenas and its thermal baths. Also, Greek traces and vestiges of the Middle Ages, on the hill of the Castle and under the Garibaldi square. Stroll around the beautiful residences such as the Château de l’Anglais and the Château de Valrose. Visit the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Saint-Nicolas with its icons, woodwork and exceptional frescoes. See also the Hotel Le Négresco (one of the ten best palaces in the world), Le Régina or Le Grand Hôtel…
Nice, looking towards the future
Magnificent heritage of yesterday, major achievements of today, in Nice culture is second nature. A major programme of rehabilitation and creation of cultural and leisure spaces will attract the attention of lovers of the arts and beautiful moments.
To see: the rehabilitation of the slaughterhouses into artists’ studios “Le 109”, the National Sports Museum integrated into the large Allianz Riviera stadium, the Tête Carrée…
The other towns and villages of the Nice Côte d’Azur metropolitan area are not to be outdone either, in terms of heritage and culture, as shown by the many spectacular buildings open to the public.
In Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, visitors will be eager to discover the renaissance-style Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild and its sumptuous gardens. The medieval hilltop village of Eze, with its artisan shops and perfume workshop, will also win you over. The view from its exotic garden is absolutely breathtaking. In Cagnes-sur-Mer, the Renoir Museum welcomes the public in the heart of a magnificent estate planted with olive and citrus trees. Vence, a pretty medieval village, offers some very nice historical discoveries, such as the Chapelle du Rosaire decorated by the painter Henri Matisse or the 24 fountains celebrated every year in May. Also to be discovered in Villefranche-sur-Mer, the Chapelle Saint-Pierre, dedicated to the patron saint of fishermen and entirely painted by Jean Cocteau, or the magnificent Citadelle, a bastioned fortification which houses several free museums and a magnificent Théâtre de Verdure where concerts and events are frequently held. Cap d’Ail is full of exceptional Belle Époque residences such as the Château des Terrasses and the Villa Les Camélias, which houses a museum on the local heritage. In Beaulieu, the Villa Kérylos, a real architectural folly imagined by a man in love with ancient Greece, will surprise many!
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“Nice 2028, European Capital of Culture” bid
Nice is applying to become European Capital of Culture in 2028.
“Nice has made an unexpected choice by proposing to make awareness of the issues linked to climate change and, by extension, the questioning of new cultural practices by these issues, the main thrust of its project for 2028. Nice’s bid aims to demonstrate that a more sustainable and durable future is possible and that this future also involves making relevant cultural choices and even, in some cases, revolutionising the way culture is created, promoted, shared and hosted’.
President of the NICE2028 bid
“The artistic and cultural programme of NICE2028 will reflect the identity and ambition to make this territory a cultural society which, based on its heritage and values, is betting on youth, innovation, digital technology and the future, on a European scale, to take up the major challenges of the contemporary world and particularly that of adapting to climate change”.
Mayor of Nice
President of the Metropolitan area
Delegate President of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region