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Art Museums Walking Tour (Self Guided), Nice

Nice is considered one of the oldest cities in the world. Due to its location and climate, Nice attracted many famous painters. Because so many artists have resided here, there are a large number of art museums. Check out the most visited ones in Nice in this next self-guided tour.
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Art Museums Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Art Museums Walking Tour
Guide Location: France » Nice (See other walking tours in Nice)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 4 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 9.2 Km or 5.7 Miles
Author: jenny
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Musée d'art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain (MAMAC)
  • Palais Lascaris
  • Musée de la Photographie Charles Nègre
  • Musée Masséna
  • Musée des Beaux Arts (Fine Arts Museum)
  • Musée International d'Art Naïf Anatole-Jakovsky
  • Musée des Arts Asiatiques (Asiatic Art Museum)
Musée d'art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain (MAMAC)

1) Musée d'art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain (MAMAC) (must see)

This relatively new location has become quite popular in recent years in Nice. It was opened to the public in June of 1990 and was designed to be a museum of contemporary and modern art. The project of putting together the plans for the place started in the 1970s and really took off by 1985 when an exhibit of contemporary art at Acropolis got people thinking about the need for a museum that would feature newer art.

With the help of the French government and some grant money, plans were made to start acquiring works of art for the museum. An architectural project was also started the same year for the actual building. The plans to open were finalized in just five years, which was quite incredible.

There are now examples here from modern and contemporary art, European Nouveau, Minimalism and even pop art. The building is neo-classical in design and form and is quite beautiful in its own right. It is located on Traverse Garibaldi, very close to the Promenade des Anglais.

Why You Should Visit:
For the modern art fan, the permanent collection includes creations of Yves Klein and Niki de Saint Phalle.
Temporary exhibitions are worth checking out as well – some more interesting than others depending on your own interests.

Be sure to go to the rooftop terrace. It has great 360-degree views of Nice. Also on the rooftop is one of Yves Klein's famous flame sculptures.
Watch your step on the terraces as they are not maintained that well and have several loose boards and stones that could pose a serious tripping hazard.

Opening Hours:
Sat-Thu: 10am-6pm; Fri: 10am-10pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Palais Lascaris

2) Palais Lascaris (must see)

Palais Lascaris was built in the 1600s for the Lascaris-Vintimille family. It is one of the best representations of how the truly wealthy lived during that time period. The palace was restored during the 1940s and then was open to the public as a museum. The spectacular Baroque building is well worth the visit for anyone, but an absolute must-see for those who love musical instruments.

Le Groupe AXA loaned an extensive collection of period instruments to the museum. In addition, there are also paintings that depict musical instruments, and it is not unusual to be able to hear some of the instruments being played. The palace also hosts several musical events throughout the year – check the schedule.

Be sure to see the 'étage noble', the noble story, where much of the original grandeur has been restored. This was used as a gathering place and is very fitting for a rich, noble family. The palace has the obligatory Baroque staircase as well as beautiful murals and tapestries. There is also an apothecary on the ground floor that houses many original pieces from the 18th century and some beautiful delft pieces.

Why You Should Visit:
Much to see – from the spectacular entrance of golden aura glory to the rooms that are very unique inside, with well carved magnificent details and infinite complex abstract designs.
The artifacts include musical instruments; a room dedicated to pop/rock music, (including well-known American artists); religious artifacts; paintings; and historic tapestries.

Remember that you can get a combined city museum ticket for €10 valid 24 hours or a week-long ticket for €20 allowing access to all Nice museums.

Opening Hours:
Wed-Mon: 10am-6pm; Tue: CLOSED
Sight description based on wikipedia
Musée de la Photographie Charles Nègre

3) Musée de la Photographie Charles Nègre (must see)

The photography museum is a new arrival in the heart of Old Nice and organises temporary monographic exhibitions on the biggest names in photography along with theme-based exhibitions that present all the trends from the earliest photographs to digital pictures.

One of the missions of the museum is to compile a collection of photographs on Nice and the surrounding region by researching old documents but also by asking contemporary photographers to compile an inventory of the city's human, urban, historic, natural and industrial heritage.

Opening Hours:
(Jun 23 - Oct 15) Tue-Sun: 10am-6pm; (Oct 16 - Jun 22) Tue-Sun: 11am-6pm

Musée Masséna

4) Musée Masséna (must see)

The Masséna Museum has been undergoing a lot of renovation but still is one of the best places for visitors in the city of Nice. It is also nicknamed the Masséna Villa, as it is located inside the old home of Victor Masséna. It is notable for art and history exhibits. You can find this place along the Promenade des Anglais. There are some beautiful garden spots located around the place as well. They were the work of Edouard Andre, who is quite famous as a landscape designer. He was also the person behind the beautiful gardens at the Monte Carlo Casino. The location was built over a period from 1898 until 1901. It was designed for Masséna by Hans Tersling. The museum of art and history moved into this location in 1921. Inside you will find twenty exhibition rooms filled with the history and art of old Nice. Each room tries to depict an era in the history of the city, which includes its art, design, furniture, fashion, and the like. One of the more interesting artifacts on display is the death mask of Napoleon. They also exhibit his coronation robe. In total, there are over fifteen thousand items featured here.

Why You Should Visit:
The view from the outside of the house or looking at the beach across the street are amazing; the gardens (free to everyone) are a nice, tranquil spot away from the busy Promenade; the museum's ground floor is furnished in the style that the rooms were intended for; and you also get to see some nice exhibits on the other floors.

Most of the descriptions are written in French, so if you don't speak the language at all, it may be frustrating to pay €10 for entrance.

Opening Hours:
(Oct 16 - Jun 22) Wed-Mon: 11am-6pm; Tue: CLOSED; (Jun 23 - Oct 15) Wed-Mon: 10am-6pm; Tue: CLOSED
Sight description based on wikipedia
Musée des Beaux Arts (Fine Arts Museum)

5) Musée des Beaux Arts (Fine Arts Museum) (must see)

The Fine Arts Museum in Nice is the modern version of the museum that was started in 1860 from the donations made by Napoleon III. The gifts and the location were given by the Emperor when the area of Nice was annexed to France. By 1928, it was moved into the home of the former Princess of Russia Kotchoubey. This home was very old too, having been built in 1878. An American architect was hired to finish the project.

The grandness of the old home of the Princess has made the perfect setting for a museum in today’s times. The house has very high ceilings, good lighting, and wonderful grand staircases that bring a sense of elegance to the whole affair. Some renovations were done in 2002, to make room for a collection of sculptures that were designed by Michel de Tarnowsky. You can find art here from the 13th to the 20th Century.

Why You Should Visit:
Fantastic paintings collection of Raoul Dufy who lived and worked locally, along with sculptures (Rodin, 'The Kiss') and works by other impressionists as well as more traditional artists.
No big gift shop or audio guides but a lovely way to view French art and architecture.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 10am-6pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Musée International d'Art Naïf Anatole-Jakovsky

6) Musée International d'Art Naïf Anatole-Jakovsky

The Anatole Jakovsky Museum has only been part of the Nice landscape since 1982. It has slowly grown an international reputation, though, as a world class center for the promotion of Naïve Art. The institution used to be located in the old home of the famous perfumer Francois Coty. In 1930, Mr. and Mrs. Coty began a project to design something new for the location. In 1973, one of Coty’s children sold the building to the city of Nice, upon which the municipal authorities transformed it into the museum it is today.

The institution is the primary home of the art collection from Jakovsky, but also houses the collection of the Centre Georges Pompidou. There are some beautiful statues in the front of the location that were designed by the famous Frederic Lanovsky.

The location gets around twenty thousand visitors a year currently. There is art on display here from 27 different countries. Included in the combined exhibition are the works of renowned masters, such as Grandma Moses, Henri Rousseua, and Seaphone Louis.

Operation hours: Wednesday - Monday: 10 am- 12:30 pm/ 13.30 pm - 6 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Musée des Arts Asiatiques (Asiatic Art Museum)

7) Musée des Arts Asiatiques (Asiatic Art Museum)

The Museum of Asiatic Arts is one of the newer museums in Nice, but it has certainly begun to attract a good following among the locals. The basic mission of the institution is to display and promote the Asian Arts in France. So, the displays will show the beauty of this culture, as well as the diversity of the art from the East.

It is located in Phoenix Park. It opened to the public for the first time in 1998. The designer of this very modern looking building was Kenzo Tange. The whole facility is built on round and square segments of foundation. They were designed that way with the intent to symbolize the “earth and sky” in a very Japanese way. The whole building is also constructed of an almost pure white marble, which is very beautiful indeed. A small lake also has been placed in the overall landscaping. It is a nice spot to stop a second and enjoy and ducks and other water fowl that come there.

There are many wonderful exhibits to see, and also many activities to come and view. The Tea Pavilion is a very popular spot, especially when an authentic Tea ceremony is being performed. Many local Asian performers also come to the museum. There is also a very nice gift store inside.

Operation hours: Wednesday - Monday: 10 am - 5 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Nice, France

Create Your Own Walk in Nice

Create Your Own Walk in Nice

Creating your own self-guided walk in Nice is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Famous Museums of Nice Walking Tour

Famous Museums of Nice Walking Tour

Throughout time life has been reflected in art, preserving the past and human history till today in the works that remain. These preserved works continue to be admired by thousands of people and will continue to do so long into the future. Museums keep the history of our ancestors alive. Take the following tour to discover the history of Nice.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 Km or 3.4 Miles
Nice Introduction Walk

Nice Introduction Walk

Nice, an iconic destination in Southern France, has been the lure for the rich and famous for centuries thanks to its temperate Mediterranean climate and picturesque seafront. Other than chic boutiques, hotels and restaurants, the city is famed for its historic attractions, such as the Promenade des Anglais ("Promenade of the English"), 19th century Opéra de Nice, Château, Cours...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Kids Entertainment Tour

Kids Entertainment Tour

Nice is a very interesting city with activities for all ages and tastes. There are museums, galleries, historical buildings and theaters for people who love art in all its forms. For younger crowds there are clubs, pubs, bars and parks. There are also places for families that parents and children can enjoy. Take the following tour to discover the most popular attractions for kids.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.1 Km or 3.8 Miles
Religious Building Walking Tour

Religious Building Walking Tour

Catholicism is the main religion in France. Besides Catholic churches there are other churches of other religions including Orthodox, Anglican, Baptist, Evangelistic, Protestant and others. Take the following tour to discover the churches of Nice.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.6 Km or 4.1 Miles
Historic Buildings Tour

Historic Buildings Tour

Thanks to its history, the culture and architecture of Nice is diverse and very beautiful. The influences of Gothic, Italian, Latin and Genoese styles define the architecture of Nice. The beauty of this blend of styles is seen in the old buildings, churches and palaces. Take this tour to discover the masterpieces of art made by people centuries ago which are preserved to this day.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.0 Km or 4.3 Miles
Shopping Areas in Nice

Shopping Areas in Nice

Nice is a beautiful city with large streets, a beautiful atmosphere, beautiful places, important historical sites, monuments and buildings. It is a great place to shop. In nearly every region of the city are streets with large zones dedicated to markets and shops with everything from clothes and books, to food and souvenirs. Take the following tour to discover the most beautiful places for...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 Km or 0.7 Miles

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Shopping, Dining, and Playing in Nice, France: Good for You, Good for the Planet

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When we travel, sometimes we forget to take care of ourselves. There are just so many wonderful things to see, do, eat, and drink that our well-being can suffer while we live it up. That’s why a stop in Nice is a great idea when you’re in France. A few years ago, the city of Nice decided to...