How to visit Nice almost for free

France is one of my favorite destinations, and the Côte d’Azur is no exception. Here you can find beautiful landscapes, palaces to visit and sensational food.


1. From / to the airport there is Nice Airport Express Bus which costs 6 EUR / trip and runs every 20 minutes. The last bus is at 23:50 and the last stop is at Garibaldi Square via the Old Center.

You can also take the taxi which costs 32 Euro (it is a fixed rate regulated by the City Hall) or Uber (costs between 28-32 Euro).

2. In the city you can use the bus or tram, and the ticket is 1.5 Euro. If you subscribe for 10 trips, the price is 10 Euros.

3. If you want to travel by bus outside Nice, use the Ligne d’Azur. You can pay directly to the driver 1.5 Euro / trip, but this subscription does not apply to extra-urban travel.


In this sun kissed city, there are many tourist attractions which can be visited for free, but also some worth seeing though there is an entrance fee. I made a mix of the most interesting places to visit below:

  • The old center (Vieille ville) with the flower and restaurant market – you find here excellent seafood and fish.
  • On Promenade des Anglais you need a stroll. On this famous boulevard is the famous Hotel Negresco,    made by a Romanian. Have a cocktail at the bar and admire the interior artwork, including a chandelier for a Russian tsar.
  • The Massena Palace-Museum from the eighteenth century is located right next to Hotel Negresco. Here is Napoleon’s mortuary mask, as well as Josephine’s headband and cape and the letters of the two. Entry costs 10 Euros. Program: We-Mo, 10-18. Masenna Square is next to the museum.
  • In Cimiez neighborhood there are the Roman ruins of Cimeneleum, the former Roman capital of the Provincial Alps, with the Roman amphitheater. Here is also the Matisse Museum.    Entry: 4 Euro/person.
  • Nice Castle or Colline du chateau offers a superb panorama of the city, although the walk is quite steep up. Program: 8: 30-18 (20 summer). Try to catch a sunset in this place, it’s great.
  • Lascaris Palace is located in the Old Center, and the entrance costs 10 Euros. Program: Tu-Su, 10-18.
  • The Marc Chagall Museum was created with the help of the artist who installed the mosaic and other works. Access is free on the first Sunday of the month. Entry: 9 Euro / person. Program: We-Mo, 10-17 (18 summer).  

There are three museum options:

  1. Buy tickets for every museum you want to visit.
  2. Buy a valid 24-hour ticket with free access to the 14 municipal museums that cost 10 Euros. It includes the following museums: Matisse Museum, Archeology Museum, Modern Art Museum, Lascaris Palace, Fine Arts Museum, Massena Museum.
  3. Buy a valid 7-day ticket with free access to the 14 municipal museums and cost 20 Euros. It does not include the Chagall National Museum.

The free museums of Nice are:

  • Museum of Asian Art. Program: We-Mo, 10-17.
  • Villa Arson has contemporary art works. . Program: We-Mo, 14-18.
  • The Franciscan monastery located in the Cimiez area. Program: Mo-Sa, 10-12; 15-17: 30.

Most museums are closed on Tuesday, but there are a few which are open:

Excursions near Nice

You must take a trip to Monaco, which you can visit in about half a day (take the coast, see the Casino, the Oceanographic Museum, the exotic garden, then go up to the palace, admire the panorama, the old town etc.).

To get to Monaco take the bus, costs 1.50 Euro / trip; the ticket is paid to the driver. It is worth seeing the Cote d’Azur that winds by the sea. You can also take the train, arrives a little faster, the price varies between 2-8 Euro / way.

On the way to Monaco there’s the village of Villefranche sur Mer   (you can stop going to /returning from Monaco). It is extremely chic and picturesque, it has a beautiful beach and the food is very good at the restaurants in the center.

Take a trip to Cannes. Transportation by train costs about EUR 7, and bus No 200 in Nice costs 1.5 Euro. Start with a walk on La Croisette Boulevard, admire the old harbor, the old town (Le Suquet) dates back to the Romans. Visit Forville    (Marche Forville), see the City Hall building and visit the La Croix des gardes park    built in the 19th century around a castle; the park culminates with a huge cross at its highest point. Shop on Rue des Antibes and go to the beach.

In Cagnes sur Mer (towards Cannes) there is the Renoir Museum, which costs EUR 6. Program: We-Mo, 10-13, 14-18. The film about Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s last years of life is charming, he was filmed right in this residence.


The Côte d’Azur area is at the crossroad of tastes.

Among the delights that you have to try here are: Socca – a crispy pancake made in the oven, Niçoise salad – a mix of salad, tomatoes, onion, boiled egg, tuna and anchovies, Le Pan Bagnat – Niçoise salad in sandwich, Pissaladière – a sort of pizza with an onion, anchovies and olives topping, Ratatouille – a French-specific dish with origins in Nice, is a vegetable pot seasoned with aromatic herbs, Soupe au pistou – bean soup with pistou sauce made from cloves, basil, and olive oil. Try seafood in pasta or rice, or fresh fish. Mornings definitely need a croissant with coffee.

You can also read about some other activities to be done in this little piece of heaven – 10 free attractions in Nice.

How did you like Nice?