I know everyone goes to Nice dreaming of the beautiful blue waters of the Cote d’Azur, but there’s so much more to this town than just the beaches.

Since the French Riviera has always drawn creative types like Fitzgerald, Picasso, and Matisse to build homes in the area, it’s become a great hub for art.

Nice in particular, being one of the larger cities on the Mediterranean, has some really spectacular museums to check out.

I have made a point of trying to hit up at least one or two museums every time I visit, and always learn something new, and walk away feeling inspired.

So the next time you’re in town and need to take a break from the sun, or rain, check out one of these interesting museums in Nice.

1. Musée National Marc Chagall

Chances are, in one of your high school art classes, you learned about Marc Chagall.

He was an early modernist painter who’s well known for his distinct abstract style that merged Cubism, Surrealism, and Fauvism

The Chagall Museum in Nice holds the biggest collection of his work in the world, plus is home to a beautiful garden. 

While you’re there, don’t forget to check out his most famous works, a group of 17 paintings that make up the “Biblical Message.”

It’s a fairly small museum, so you can easily get through it in either a morning or afternoon. 

Address: Av. Dr Ménard, 06000 Nice, France

2. Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art

If modern and contemporary art are your jam, you’ll love MAMAC.

As a pleasant bonus, the museum’s terrace boasts some incredible views of Nice.

I haven’t been here yet, but it’s on my to-do list for when I’m back in Antibes in a few weeks.

From what I’ve read, the space is large and hosts a variety of special exhibitions besides their permanent galleries. 

Fun Fact: The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art is also known as MAMAC, or The Musée d’art moderne et d’art contemporain if you’re speaking French.

Address: Place Yves Klein, 06000 Nice, France

3. Musée des Arts Asiatiques de Nice

The Museum of Asian Arts offers free admission, and the opportunity to admire a bunch of Asian art.

It’s a fairly small museum and easy to see in about forty-five minutes, so well worth seeing if you’re in the area.

The one downside to the museum is that they only wrote the placards in French.

So if you speak the local language, you’re a bit stuck guessing what each piece means.

Address: 405 Prom. des Anglais, 06200 Nice, France

4. Palais Lascaris

Have you ever been to a musical instrument museum?

I haven’t yet either, but Palais Lascaris is certainly sounding like an intriguing stop the next time I’m in Nice.

This gorgeous seventeenth-century aristocratic building is home to over 500 instruments, making it one of France’s largest collections. 

The instruments span centuries, not to mention you’ll see some amazing Baroque interiors, including tons of cool tapestries and pieces of artwork inside.

Address: 15 Rue Droite, 06300 Nice, France

5. Musée Matisse

Even if your French isn’t great, chances are you’ve guessed Musée Matisse means the Matisse Museum.

The museum is home to one of the largest collections of pieces from this iconic French artist. 

It’s cool because as you’re seeing his art, you’re also learning about his artistic beginnings and evolution as he came up in the art world.

The only downside, like a lot of museums in France, most of the notes about the art are in French, with very few English subtitles provided.

Address: 164 Av. des Arènes de Cimiez, 06000 Nice, France

6. Musée Archéologique de Nice-Cimiez

You’ll find Musée Archéologique de Nice-Cimiez built on a Roman archeological site.

It’s a small museum, and the information is only in French, but well worth a stop if you want to see some cool Roman artifacts.

The archeological site is the really impressive part of this place, and they have a pamphlet available in English for this part.

Since this portion is outside, I’d recommend visiting when the weather is nice.

Address: 160 Av. des Arènes de Cimiez, 06000 Nice, France

7. Musée National du Sport

If there are sports fans in your group, they’re going to want to visit Musée National du Sport.

Here they’ll find a modern sports history museum with a collection of artifacts ranging from the 16th century to modern times.

They focus both on French and world sports, so there’s a bit of something for everyone, while still learning about France.

Address: Stade Allianz Riviera, 6 allée Camille Muffat, 06200 Nice, France

Book your tickets early to guarantee entry!

8. Villa Masséna Musée

After some research, this might be the museum I’m most looking forward to checking out.

It’s a museum on the Promenade des Anglais, whose collection features art of the riviera. 

The art spans from the attachment of Nice to France until the end of the Belle époque.

Some of the cool items to check out include Napoleon’s death mask and Josephine’s mother-of-pearl tiara. 

Don’t forget to check out Villa Masséna Musée’s stunning garden!

Address: 65 Rue de France, 06000 Nice, France

9. Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nice

Even though it’s on the outskirts of the city, I’ve heard Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nice is worth the trip

It helps that it’s housed in the Russian Princess, Elizaveta Vasilievna Kochubey’s stunning former 1878 private mansion. 

From what I’ve heard, it’s a smaller museum, and features a wide variety of artwork from French artists like Cheret, Dufy and Mossa.

Address: 3 Av. des Baumettes, 06000 Nice, France

10. The Museum of Photography Charles Nègre

On the edge of Old Town, you’ll find the small but popular Museum of Photography Charles Nègre.

This quaint museum offers some incredible photography galleries and special exhibits.

I’m hoping to hit this one up in a few weeks with one of my friends who loves photography.

They simply raved about this place when asked for Nice museum recommendations.

I’ve also heard it’s a pretty quick museum to check out. So bonus points if you’re looking for a museum to check out quickly.

Address: ​​1 Pl. Pierre Gautier, 06300 Nice, France

Wrapping It Up

best museums in nice 2

I hope this list has inspired you to view at least a bit of art while you’re in town. 

Let me know in the comments below which museum you’re most looking forward to checking out while you’re in Nice!

Check out some of these popular tours while you’re in Nice!


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