Many visitors to Nice see only the Old Town and those sights immediately outside it. However, if time allows, there is so much more to this fabulous city than that. If you venture a little further afield, you can enjoy sights in Outer Nice as diverse as a Russian Orthodox church, a Roman amphitheatre, an Art Deco church and even a monastery garden.
Before you begin: Visit the Tourist Office on the Promenade des Anglais and obtain a map of the town. This itinerary involves visiting some sites which are well outside the main centre. It may be advisable to consult the timetable and route map of the Ligne d’Azur buses first. Note that the Gare Routière (bus station) no longer exists so you may need to consult with Ligne d’Azur regarding where to catch a particular bus.
It is possible to reach all of the sights on foot. Some however, e.g. Cimiez with its amphitheatre the Musée matisse, involve a long climb up a fairly steep hill. An easier alternative might be to use a Vélo Bleu. Although you can do this itinerary in one day it might be better to take two leaving, Cimiez till last. There is a good selection of hotels but book in advance as Nice is a busy place all year round.
Turn right out of the Tourist Office and head along the Promenade des Anglais for about 500m. On your right, set in beautiful grounds, the impressive neo-classical Masséna Museum houses a chronological history of Nice. A little further on is the immediately recognisable Belle Époque landmark of Hôtel Le Negresco whose rooms are all equipped with period furniture.
Like several hotels and restaurants, the Negresco has its own private beach opposite. This is just one of the Twenty five Beaches of Nice you will have seen along the Promenade. All these beaches are on the fabulous Baie des Anges stretching from Cap d’Antibes to Cap Ferrat.
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About 150 m further along the Promenade turn right into the Boulevard Gambetta and in about 1km turn left into the Boulevard Tzarewitch. You are now in Outer Nice. After about 200 metres turn right into Avenue Nicolas II where straight ahead you will the seemingly out of place exotic Russian Orthodox Church of St Nicolas.
Return to Boulevard Gambetta turn right, under the dual carriageway and turn left into Avenue Thiers.
Head east for about 800m passing the unusual and seemingly out of place Louis XIII style Gare de Nice Ville. This is the main railway station of Nice. On Ave Jean Médicin board the tram at Gare Theirs and go as far as Borriglione. Walk along Avenue Alfred Borriglione and turn right into Rue Charles Péguy. On the left you will see the stunning concrete art deco structure of Ste-Jeanne-d’Arc.
Go back to the Borriglione tram stop and return to Place Masséna in the centre.
The next part requires a return to Outer Nice. The itinerary includes sights in Cimiez high above Nice in the suburbs. If you decide to take a bus there you have a choice of four from the centre – numbers 15, 17, 20 and 25 . If you are in or near Place Masséna, number 17 leaves from the Masséna/Guitry stop in Rue Gustave Deloye behind the Galeries Lafayette. You will need at least half a day at Cimiez and since there are very few restaurants nearby, this being a suburb, it may be a good idea to pack a picnic.
When you reach the fashionable suberb of Cimiez which the Romans called Cemelenum, head for the Avenue Arènes de Cimiez and at the top you will find the splendid Amphitheatre and an archaeological museum. Moreover, next door is the red Genoese folly which houses the Musée Matisse. Turn right outside the Arènes and right again into Avenue Monastère Cimiez and after about 250 metres bear left towards the Monastery with its splendid formal Garden.
Return to the Boulevard de Cimiez where near the top at number 71 you can see the impressive Excelsior Regina Palace, where Queen Victoria used to stay, complete with a splendid statue of the great lady. From here you can return to Nice centre.
Why not check out my smart phone apps Nice’s Best & Provences’s Best? Find out so much more about Vieux Nice and this sun-drenched region. You’ll find all the top beaches, top villages, top markets and fascinating places waiting for you to visit and enjoy.
To book a suitable hotel or other accommodation in or around Nice, you can use the map below, which shows current prices for hotels and apartments. If you wish to book further afield, then just enlarge the map (+/-) to see more properties or, if you have somewhere particular in mind, enter your preferred resort/town/village in the ‘Where are you going?’ box.