Discover Nice differently with 10 original ideas to visit the capital of the Côte d’Azur for free or very cheaply without overspending on your holiday budget! Don’t wait any longer, follow the guide!
1 – VISIT NICE WITH A GREETER
Markets, shopping, gastronomy, architecture? You choose!
Working in partnership with the Nice Côte d’Azur Tourist Office, Greeters are local volunteers who love their city and want to share their passion and ensure your visit to Nice meets all your expectations. Trust the Nice Greeters for a gastronomic, cultural or sports walk or bike tour – whether alone or with your family, you’ll find your perfect outing.
2 – CROSS NICE HARBOUR ABOARD A “POINTU”!
All aboard the Lou Passagin.
In the summer season, the Port of Nice offers free harbour crossings aboard the Lou Passagin – a traditional boat known here as a “pointu”. A short traditional Nice crossing with enough time to take a few pictures of the magnificent colourful facades lining the harbour. An original trip that you and your children will love. The Lou Passagin crossings start in the spring and continue every day non-stop from 10 am to 7 pm.
3 – VISIT THE RUSSIAN CHURCH OF SAINT-NICOLAS
A trip to Russia without leaving Nice? You’re not dreaming!
The Church of St. Nicholas is the most famous Russian church in Nice but it was not the first. For the record, the very first Orthodox church is in Rue Longchamp in the heart of Nice. It is because of the size of the Russian community in the 19th century that St. Nicholas Cathedral was built under the patronage of Tsar Nicholas II. Listed as a Historic Monument, St. Nicholas Cathedral is considered the most beautiful orthodox church in Western Europe. Free admission when there are no services. Guided tours every day: €10 for adults and free for children under 13.
4 – DISCOVER THE GROTTE DU LAZARET
Total immersion: you’ll find out all about the history of human civilization!
There is one place that has the merit of being known: the Lazaret cave in Nice, tracing over 70,000 years of the ancient history of humanity. Listed as a Historic Monument in 1963, this cave has been excavated and studied for more than a century. The site offers a guided tour in the company of a passionate and exciting guide who’ll show you the bones that have been found – there’s so much to learn! Access is free of charge from Wednesday to Sunday from midday to 2 pm. Guided tours can be booked from Wednesday to Sunday at 11 am, 2 pm and 4 pm. Price: €3 and €1.50 for under 16s, students and seniors.
5 – PICNIC IN NICE’S PARKS
Nice is full of parks for sunbathing, picnicking and relaxing!
Among the most famous parks in Nice is the Coulée Verte and its 2 hectares of green spaces and children’s playgrounds in the heart of Nice. The Colline du Château takes you up high and offers a panoramic view from Old Nice to the port. Parc Castel des Deux Rois, nestled on Mont-Alban, with over 3.5 hectares of palm trees, tables for lunch with friends or family is an ideal place to organize a child’s birthday party. You can get there on foot from the Port of Nice, along Avenue de la République, and will be surprised to meet some farm animals at the entrance to the park.
5 – PICNIC IN NICE’S PARKS (CONTINUED)
Parc Estienne d’Orves, an island of greenery in the heart of Nice!
Parc Départemental Estienne d’Orves is very popular in Nice especially at the weekend for picnics with family or friends. You will be pleasantly surprised by its richness and its 500 olive trees which cover the 15 hectares. A heritage discovery trail allows you to explore the park for free.
Villa Bellevue, is an old house that belonged to Comte d’Estienne d’Orves which is covered with trompe l’oeil friezes. Facing the mansion, Villa Vicina served as a painting studio for Félicie d’Estienne d’Orves. Discover the Parc Estienne d’Orves.
6 – AWAKEN YOUR TASTE BUDS AT CONFISERIE FLORIAN
A brand born in the Grasse countryside in 1949…
The workshop, on the harbour in Nice, has been open since 1974. Visiting the workshop is free and you’ll discover the artisanal methods used to make sweets and fruit jellies; chocolates; jams or candied flowers, not to mention the famous candied fruit. All products are from the local region, which has made Confiserie Florian’s reputation. You will, for sure, love the lavender honey to caramelize a leg of lamb, the rose “Mielofleurs” – half a teaspoon at the bottom of a glass of champagne and let the magic do its work! It’s a feast for the eyes and the taste buds.
7 – ESCAPE TO PARC PHOENIX
7 hectares of greenery in the heart of Nice: change of scenery assured!
Ideally located as you go into Nice, Parc Phoenix will offer you 7 hectares of relaxation and visual and olfactory discoveries. An ideal setting for family outings, Phoenix park is home to more than 2,500 species of plants and more than 2,000 animals – mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects. During your visit, head to the pyramidal greenhouse where there are six reconstructions of tropical and subtropical climates. A great idea and not expensive: adult admission €5, free for children under 12.
8 – GO ON YOUR TRAVELS IN THE MUSÉE DÉPARTEMENTAL DES ARTS ASIATIQUES
Free admission: head to Asia without leaving Nice!
Its exhibitions take you to India, Japan, China and Central Asia through photos, paintings and an ancient way of life. The Musée des Arts Asiatiques offers temporary exhibitions that complement the interest of the permanent collection so you can travel throughout the Asian continent. To learn more about the different Asian cultures, the museum also organizes origami workshops, introduction to Japanese calligraphy and Tai Chi and Qi Gong. Note, the museum is closed on Tuesdays.
9 – A WALK FROM NICE CITY CENTRE
The exceptional panorama over the Baie des Anges will leave you speechless!
Here is an original walk you can do during your stay in Nice! On Wednesday and Saturday afternoons all year round (and on Fridays during school holidays in zone B), the Observatoire de Nice organizes a 2-hour guided tour along the forest trails (2 km trail) to discover the beauty and richness of our heritage and the Mont-Gros site. The visit will give you the opportunity to discover astronomy, the history of the Nice observatory and its buildings. The guided tour costs €6 per person, €3 for children from the age of 6.
10 – VISIT THE LABORATOIRE X16 IN OLD NICE
The Laboratoire X16, old workshop of César: a meeting of all the art lovers!
It’s a quirky little museum in Old Nice! The Nice born artist Ben Vauthier decided to give this workshop a second life, to exhibit, meet visitors, exchange and promote Nice artists. You’ll be amazed by all the things that can be found inside, including a staircase from the Eiffel Tower recovered by César.
It is an independent museum run by volunteers, the schedules are not fixed, it is all down to good luck, but the frontage is certainly worth stopping to look at!
10 FREE OR INEXPENSIVE ACTIVITIES
A travel blogger, when I’m not out and about in distant lands I love exploring every little corner of the Côte d’Azur and sharing my favourite region from a different perspective. Follow me!
By Katou – Touristissimo.com