Cruise trips usually stopover in a different place every day, so it’s best to make sure you’re well-informed so you can make the most of each city stop!
Most Mediterranean cruises stop or start in Nice. Sat on the pebbly shores of the Baie des Anges, this beautiful French city blends the historical with the modern. Nice’s stunning buildings, churches and museums offer a well-rounded cultural experience, just as its beaches, restaurants and shops provide a delightful ambiance.
Visit the Old Town (Vieux Nice)
Start your day with a leisurely stroll through the pedestrian-only streets of Vieux Nice. The Old Town has changed little in 300 years, still capturing Nice’s authentic Mediterranean mood. Both sides of the narrow and winding streets are lined with colourful historical buildings, quaint churches and charming boutiques.
Promenade des Anglais
You can’t stopover in Nice without wandering down its famed seafront boulevard, Promenade des Anglais. Sweeping around the Baie des Anges (Bay of Angels), the prom is bustling with life. Bordered by wonderful Belle Époque buildings, it provides access to Nice’s many beaches, as well as to bars and restaurants.
The Baroque Opera de Nice
The elaborate architectural style of the Baroque period characterises Nice’s old quarters. Its Opera house – with its stunning façade, ceremonial staircase and beautifully painted ceilings – have made it one of France’s most admired theatres.
On rue Saint-François-de-Paule, accros from the Opera house, you’ll find the Eglise Saint-François-de-Paule. Built between 1736 and 1775, this Catholic church marks the transition between the Baroque and Neoclassic style. In contrast to its neighbour, it can seem more modest and austere, but is equally as beautiful.
Nice’s Old Town is full of life thanks to its many markets. Place Saint François is a charming little square that hosts a daily fish and herb market. On Mondays, it extends into a fully-fledged food and clothes market. If you head over to the Cours Saleya, you’ll also find the world-famous flower market every morning Tuesday through Sunday.
Visit Castle Hill for Great Views and Medieval Ruins
Make your way to Place du 8 Mai 1954 at the end of Rue des Ponchettes and take the lift to La Colline du Chateau (Castle Hill).
La Colline du Chateau is Nice’s highest point, offering an unequalled panoramic view of the city and its surroundings. You’ll also be able to visit the old citadel’s ruins and walk through the park which is covered by Mediterranean trees and features a decorative waterfall.
Enjoy a Delicious Lunch at La Terrace
Along the Promenade des Anglais, you’ll come across the Méridien hotel, home of La Terrace, one of Nice’s best gourmet restaurants.
La Terrace serves elegant and simple Mediterranean food that matches the restaurant’s luxury ambiance. They offer a range of sandwiches, salads and pasta dishes from just €15, or larger mains from €29. Though the food is certainly a treat for your taste buds, the restaurant’s setting is its ultimate selling point. Located ten floors up, it provides stunning views of both the sea and the mountains. If you book in advance you can make sure you get a table by the window!
Visit the Palais de Justice Square
Centrally located in the Old Town, the Palais de Justice Square neighbours Nice’s most popular tourist sites.
This beautiful square, with its neoclassical architecture and vibrant atmosphere, should definitely be on your itinerary. The best time to go is in the evening when some of the buildings are lit up and create an almost fairytale-like picture.
Sainte Reparate Cathedral
Just around the corner from Palais de Justice Square, halfway between Palais Lascaris and Opera de Nice, is Nice’s Cathedral.
Built in the 17th Century, the Cathedral de Sainte Reparate is a monumental building featuring detailed decorations and perfectionist gildings on the outside. Its interior is filled with colourful stained glass windows and religious paintings.
Entrance is free of charge and it is open weekdays from 9am-noon then 2pm-6pm. On Saturday, it closes at 7pm and on Sundays is open from 9am-1pm then 3pm-6pm.
The Matisse Museum
Located in the heart of the olive grove in the Gardens of Cimiez, the Matisse Museum is a newly refurbished 17th Century Genoan-style villa.
You wouldn’t get a full-rounded cultural experience of Nice without visiting the famous Matisse Museum. It exhibits both the painter’s personal collection and other works from the Fauvist period.
It is open Wednesday through Monday from 11am to 6pm and entry costs 10€.
End the Day in Style at Boscolo Hotel
After a full-packed day, nothing beats a relaxing evening spent soaking in the gorgeous sights of Nice with an aperitif. The Boscolo Hotel has a glamourous rooftop bar which provides a breath-taking view of the Mediterranean Sea and the Bay of Angels. Sit back with a chilled glass of French wine and enjoy a gorgeous sunset.
How to Get to Vieux Nice
Your cruise ship will most likely dock in Port de Nice ferry terminal, four kilometres from Vieux Nice. Don’t waste time hanging around the port – book a transfer to collect you from the port as soon as you anchor. Cruise port transfers to Nice’s Old Town only takes seventeen minutes, so you’ll be strolling along the beachfront in no time!
About Shuttle Direct
As Europe and North Africa’s most respected transfer provider, Shuttle Direct guarantees a hassle-free transfer service. Book a shared, group or private one via our website and a friendly driver will meet you at the cruise port to safely take you to your destination.