Nice, France

Nice is the jewel of the French Riviera. Savor every beautiful moment in the city or on the beach. It is also the perfect base for exploring southern France, Monaco and northern Italy.

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1 Artist Painting the Mediterranean in Nice, France

It is easy to see why this artist was inspired to paint the Mediterranean Sea lapping along the Bay of Angels’ beach that runs parallel to Quai des Etats-Unis. The promenade was named to honor the US assistance to the Allied Forces during WWI. In the background along the cliff is Parc du Chateau, a hillside park. And protecting the town’s port is the 625 foot, forested Mont Boron. It offers wonderful panoramic views of Nice.

30 Quai des États-Unis, 06000 Nice, France
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2 Statue of Liberty Replica at Opera House in Nice, France

This façade of Opéra de Nice faces the Mediterranean along Quai des Éstas-Unis (the promenade of the United States). But look closely at the bottom center and you’ll see a 4.5 foot replica of the Statue of Liberty. It was erected on February 1, 2014, to honor the World War I centennial. There are at least ten replicas throughout France, including the original bronze model in Paris used by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi to design the final that stands in the harbor of New York City.

4 Rue Saint-François de Paule 06300 Nice, France
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3 L’Escalier Pub Wall Mural in Nice, France

I love finding great street art such as this colorful trompe l’oeil mural of a billiard table with cocktails and ashtray on the side of the L’Escalier Pub. Inside were pool tables and a bar surrounded by stone arches and accompanied by a live DJ and karaoke. It is located on Rue Raoul Basio just a few steps away from the costal promenade called Quai des États-Unis. Unfortunately, since this photo was taken, the mural is gone and the pub has closed.

10 Rue Raoul Bosio, 06000 Nice, France
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4 Opéra Nice Côte d’Azur in Nice, France

This location has housed artistic performances since 1776 but this building had two predecessors before being built in 1885. Since 1902, it’s been called Opéra Nice Côte d’Azur. The opera house is shared with the Nice Philharmonic Orchestra and the Ballet Nice Méditerrannée.

4 Rue Saint-François de Paule, 06300 Nice, France
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5 Basilica of Notre-Dame in Nice, France

Beneath twin towers that reach over one hundred feet is this elegant rose window with the statue of Our Lady of Liberation above the clock. The Basilica of Notre-Dame de Nice was completed in 1879 in honor of Our Lady of Assumption. This Roman Catholic church was designed by Charles Lenormand. He was also the architect for the Saint Nicolas Cathedral in nearby Monaco where Princess Grace was married and buried.

2 Rue d'Italie, 06000 Nice, France
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6 Marc Chagall’s Painting Abraham and the Three Angels in Nice, France

In 1973, the National Museum Marc Chagall Biblical Message was opened in Nice to display the painter’s religious art of the Old Testament’s books of Genesis and Exodus. It has since expanded into over 400 pieces of his work making it the largest public collection. This piece, painted with oil on canvas in the early 1960’s, is called “Abraham and the Three Angels.”

36 Avenue Dr Ménard, 06000 Nice, France
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7 Musée Matisse Art Museum in Nice, France

Henri Matisse was a famous French painter and sculptor who lived in Nice for 37 years until his death in 1954. A huge collection of his work that is dominated by bold colors and stylized portraits are housed in this three-story, red building that was called Villa des Arénes when it was built in 1685. The Musée Matisse opened on Cimiez Hill in 1963. Some of his works have been auctioned for $9 to $25 million.

164 Avenue des Arènes de Cimiez, 06000 Nice, France
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8 Gallo-Roman Ruins on Cimiez Hill in Nice, France

In 14 BC, a Roman settlement called Cemenelum was located on Cimiez Hill overlooking present day Nice, France. Augustus, the first Roman emperor, proclaimed it to be the seat of the Alpes Maritimae province. These ruins from the 3rd century AD include a bath complex, a basilica, an amphitheater and an aqueduct. The area is now an archaeological park and includes a museum of artifacts.

164 Avenue des Arènes de Cimiez, 06000 Nice, France
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9 Cimetiere de Cimiez Recumbent Statue in Nice, France

Next to the centuries-old Franciscan monastery and church is the Cimetiere de Cimiez. The adornment of the mausoleums and burial vaults ranges from simple crosses to elaborate recumbent statues. Among the tombs in the cemetery are the French painter Henri Matisse and General Estienne who invented the military tank.

Place Jean Paul 2, 06000 Nice, France
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10 Death of Virgin Mary Fresco at Musée Franciscan in Nice, France

This fresco, which appears to be the death of the Virgin Mary as Angels carry her to heaven (the Assumption), is outside the monastic building that was built in the 13th century. The Franciscan Friars maintained this church and monastery until the 18th century. It is now the Musée Franciscan located on Cimiez Hill in Nice, France. Inside is a collection of art and manuscripts regarding the teachings of Saint Francis of Assisi, the monk who founded the religious order.

Place Jean Paul 2, 06000 Nice, France
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11 Régina Palace on Cimiez Hill in Nice, France

The Hôtel Excelsior Régina Palace was built in 1896 on Cimiez Hill in Nice to accommodate Queen Victoria’s annual visits to France that were known as her “French connection.” A statue of the United Kingdom’s longest reigning monarch is in the gardens nearby. This elegant building that reflects the prosperity of the Belle Époque period is now for residential use.

71 Bd de Cimiez, 06000 Nice, France
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12 Drying Laundry and Flower Pots on Terraces in Nice, France

Since 350 BC, the town of Nice along the Mediterranean coast in southeast France has been a haven for royalty, aristocrats, artists, the ultra-rich and millions of tourists a year. But it is also home to about one million people, some who decorate their cramped terraces with flower pots while using them to air dry their laundry.

15 Rue Lascaris, 06300 Nice, France
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13 Palace Caïs Pierlas in Nice, France

Nestled at the end of Cours Saleya, which is a cobblestone square in Old Nice that is famous for its flower market, is the stunning yellow Palace Caïs Pierlas. Built in 1782, it was once owned by a local family that was prominent since the 13th century. The famous painter Henri Matisse, who was a friend and competitor of Pablo Picasso, lived on the third floor for several years.

1 Place Charles Félix, 06300 Nice, France
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14 Palais de la Préfecture in Nice, France

In 1613, Charles Emmanuel I made the Palais de la Préfecture his residence. It then became the palace for generations of Dukes of Savoy, a European ruling family dynasty. Since 1860, around the time that Victor Emmanuel II became King of Italy, the building became the government administration office for the Alpes-Maritimes region.

Place Pierre Gautier, 06300 Nice, France
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15 André Masséna Statue Detail in Nice, France

This detail is at the base of an André Masséna statue sculpted by Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse in 1869. Masséna was born in Nice and became Marshal of the First Empire while fighting beside Napoleon Bonaparte. The monument is located along Promenade du Paillon near Place Massena, a huge public square with checkerboard tiles connecting the old and new town. Mostly for pedestrians, it is lined with shops, restaurants, statues and fountains.

Promenade du Paillon & Allée Résistance et Déportation 06000 Nice, France
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16 Place Massena Apollo Statue in Nice, France

In 1956, this 23 foot statue of Apollo was unveiled in Place Massena, a large square in Nice, France. However, the League of Feminine Virtue was aghast and campaigned to have it removed. In 2011, the French became more accepting. So, the Greek god of music, poetry and art by artist Alfred Auguste Janniot was reinstalled in the Fontaine du Soleil in front of the red ochre building of Caisse D’epargne Côte d’Azur, the French Riviera’s largest financial institution.

Place Masséna 06000 Nice, France
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17 Russian Orthodox St. Nicolas Cathedral in Nice, France

Colorful stones, bricks and ceramics were used to finish the striking façade of the Russian Orthodox St. Nicolas Cathedral in Nice, France. On top of the green tiled onion domes are gilded crosses. Also notice the ornate windows that are decorated with a tin-glazed pottery called majolica plus a huge mosaic of the Holy Face of Christ. In the sunlight, the La Cathedrale Orthodoxe Russe Saint-Nicolas becomes a sparkling gem.

Avenue Nicolas II, 06000 Nice, France
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18 Palais de la Méditerranée Casino in Nice, France

The exquisite Palais de la Méditerranée was built on the shore of the French Rivera in 1929. Except for its Art Deco façade, it was mostly demolished in 1990 and then reopened in 2004 after a $300 million renovation. It is now the home of the Casino Partouche and the Hyatt Regency.

15 Prom. des Anglais, 06000 Nice, France
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19 Bay of Angels Coastline in Nice, France

This gorgeous view of the Mediterranean coast in Nice epitomizes the French Riviera’s beauty. It is called Baie des Anges or Bay of Angels. I assumed it derived its name from the angelic atmosphere offered by the warm sunshine, the beaches and the promenades. However, the origin comes from the squatina angelus, a shark that has two fins shaped like angel wings. But don’t worry … it has not been seen in these waters since the 19th century.

11 Quai Rauba Capeu, 06300 Nice, France
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20 Le Negresco with Pink Dome in Nice, France

Alexandre Henri Negresco opened this palace with an iconic pink dome as a luxury hotel in 1913. But when WWI started the following year, the guests stopped coming, he went bankrupt and it became a hospital. But now it has returned to its former glory as the five-star Hotel Negresco. It is located a short distance from Old Town “Nieux Nice” along the Promenade des Anglais that’s on the Mediterranean coastline.

37 Prom. des Anglais, 06000 Nice, France
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21 Centennial Monument in Nice, France

In 1792, the First French Army captured the County of Nice, making it part of France. In recognition of this annexation, this Centennial Monument by sculptor André-Joseph Allar was erected 100 years later in the Albert Garden. The bronze winged Victory signifies loyalty and the marble statues below of a girl hugging a woman represent allegiance to France.

1 Espl. Jacques Cotta 06000 Nice, France
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22 Cascade Donjon in Parc du Chateau in Nice, France

The panoramic view of Vieux Nice or the Old Town of Nice, plus the beaches that run along the Mediterranean’s Bay of Angels, is spectacular from this observation platform above a 300 foot, artificial waterfall that was built in the 18th century. The Cascade Donjon is located in the Parc du Chateau which is on Castle Hill at the east end of town. It was a defense fortification from the 13th through the 17th century until it was destroyed by the King of France in 1706.

Cascade Du Casteu Montée Lesage, 06300 Nice, France
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23 Que Rauba Capéu in Nice, France

Beneath the Colline du Château on Castle Hill is the Que Rauba Capéu, a semi-circular promenade built in 2003 that leads from Nice’s Old Town to its harbor. A colorful, yellow and orange hotel with wrought-iron terraces acts as a backdrop to concrete seats. These benches serve as an amphitheater for viewing the Côte d’Azur coastline. Children also enjoy the point to skate beside their parents during family outings.

7 Quai Rauba Capeu, 06300 Nice, France
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24 Monument aux Morts War Memorial in Nice, France

Built into the side of a cliff in 1927 at the base of Colline du Château or Castle Hill is a 105 foot war memorial called Monument aux Morts. It consists of an urn within a niche and two high reliefs: the left represents war and the right is for peace. It honors over 3,600 men from Nice who died during World War I. It is also a somber remembrance of the 1.5 million French people who lost their lives between 1914 and 1918.

Quai Rauba Capeu & Place Guynemer, 06300 Nice, France
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25 Yachts and Sailboats Moored at Port Lympia in Nice, France

The port of Nice is filled with moored luxury yachts and sailboats. But sightseeing boats, cruise ships and car ferries also leave from Port Lympia. Nice welcomes over four million visitors a year and, except for Paris, it has the largest hotel capacity in France. If you spend a day or two in this French Riviera town, you’ll understand why some call it Nice la Belle or Nice the Beautiful.

6 Quai Papacino, 06300 Nice, France
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26 Columned Arcade Building on Quai Lunel in Nice, France

The Port of Nice is shaped like a three-sided rectangle. Along the middle or northern edge called Quai Lunel you’ll be delighted to find red and ochre columned arcade shops, the Theatre du Port, restaurants serving French cuisine and the Notre Dame church.

9 Place de l'Île de Beauté 06300 Nice, France
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27 Port Lympia Breakwater in Nice, France

This breakwater that protects Port Lympia was first constructed in 1750 using stones from the base of Castle Hill. After the 1860 annexation of Nice by France, the port was enlarged and the jetty was extended into its current shape. At the end is a lighthouse that guides watercraft into Lympia Harbor.

Quai Rauba Capeu & Place Guynemer, 06300 Nice, France
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