With its beaches and promenades, elegant restaurants and art museums, Nice offers plenty of tempting, sun-drenched attractions. The capital of the Côte d’Azur is also a perfectly situated jumping-off point for further Riviera explorations. From local explorations to day-trip destinations, here’s how to plan a 3-day stay.
Day 1: Sightseeing by Land and Sea
A morning hop-on hop-off bus tour is an easy way to get acquainted with Nice’s landmarks and neighborhoods. Alternatively, book a Segway or e-bike tour to zip efficiently around town. In the afternoon, complement your city tour with a boat excursion on the Baie des Anges. Admire Nice from the water, sail past glitzy yachts, and spot other coastal destinations, from the Cap d’Antibes to Cannes; there’s no better way to immerse yourself in the tranquil, Mediterranean ambiance. Once the sun begins to set, venture to a neighborhood restaurant to sample regional specialties such as ratatouille, or, to end the day on a high note—quite literally—book an evening helicopter flight for yet another perspective on Nice’s charms.
Day 2: Food and Culture
Dedicate your second day in Nice to creature comforts and cultural highlights. Begin the morning with a market tour; see how the locals shop, nibble pastries and other treats, and get acquainted with the city’s sights and smells. In the afternoon, retreat to one of Nice’s banner art museums—the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain) or the Nice Fine Arts Museum (Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nice)—or delve into the work of individual artists at the Musée Marc Chagall or the Musée Matisse. Wind down the day in style: Enjoy an aperitif before venturing to one of Nice’s many Michelin-starred eateries. Finish with a stroll down the Promenade des Anglais or a nightcap in one of the city’s grand hotels.
Day 3: Riviera Adventures
Nice’s convenient, seaside setting means that it’s within easy day-trip distance of many of the region’s top destinations. Book a small-group or private day tour and venture to area attractions ranging from Saint-Paul-de-Vence (a medieval hilltop town) and Antibes (a glittering, coastal haven for the wealthy) to Èze (renowned for its perfume industry) and Cannes (long the province of the rich and famous). Illustrious Monaco, star-studded St. Tropez, and scenic Italian cities such as Sanremo are likewise just a quick trip away. For an alternative escape, explore world-class vineyards in Provence’s wine country.