Culture and heritage

From baroque walks to Roman, Belle Epoque or Art Deco itineraries, from museums to old palaces, with culture as a bonus, Nice Côte d’Azur lets you discover an architectural and artistic heritage that many destinations envy.

Summer 2021, the inscription of Nice to UNESCO!

In January 2020, the government accepted the candidacy of “Nice, the winter resort town of the Riviera” for inscription on the World Heritage List and presented it to UNESCO.

On 27 July 2021, UNESCO made its decision, recognising the Outstanding Universal Value of Nice’s architectural, landscape and urban heritage. This inscription is based in particular on a vast urban ensemble of 522 hectares, an eminent example of the fusion of international cultural influences, shaped from the middle of the 18th century to the middle of the 20th century by the cosmopolitan winter resort.

Discover, in the video below, the arguments that led to Nice’s inclusion in UNESCO!

Nice, culture and heritage

Nice is characterised by a great variety of architectural styles from different periods. Over the centuries of a tumultuous history, Nice has kept within its walls the imprint of each period…


To see: the Museum of Archaeology of Cimiez, installed on the ruins of the ancient Roman city and the Terra Amata museum where the first prehistoric home discovered in Europe is reconstituted. The Grotte du Lazaret is also an important site for the Stone Age period.


To visit: the site of Cimiez with its arenas and its thermal baths and also Greek traces and vestiges of the Middle Ages on the hill of the Castle.

Under Place Garibaldi, archaeological excavations of major interest have also uncovered an exceptionally well-preserved site retracing 700 years of history: the Archaeological Crypt of Nice!

Baroque art

The Palais Lascaris, dating from the 17th century, the Palais de Justice, the Palais de la Préfecture, formerly the Palais des Ducs de Savoie, the former Palais Communal and the former Senate, reveal the diversity and richness of the buildings in the old town. The religious architecture includes an exceptional group of buildings, including the Cathedral of Sainte-Réparate and the Chapel of Mercy, which bear witness to the very specific baroque art of Nice dating from the 17th century.

The Belle Époque

During the Belle Époque, the “winterers”, members of the aristocracy or the European bourgeoisie, gave free rein to their desires. The Château de l’Anglais, inspired by the Orient, the Musée des Beaux-Arts, and the Château de Valrose, now the Faculty of Science, one of the most beautiful campuses in Europe, were all built…

Let’s also take the example of the real jewel of the city, the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Saint-Nicolas! This one attests to the attraction that the imperial family felt for Nice at the time. Built at the foot of the Imperial Park, which has since become one of the most beautiful high schools in France, it is considered the most beautiful Russian church in Western Europe. Of course, the Négresco Hotel, classified as a historical monument and selected by the American press as one of the ten best palaces in the world, but also the Régina, the Grand Hotel

Art Deco

In Nice, there is still an Art Deco heritage from the interwar period of more than 4,000 buildings. The jewels: the Palais de la Méditerranée (façade), the Gloria Mansions, the Rotonde, the Palladium, as well as the churches Jeanne d’Arc and Notre-Dame-Auxilliatrice…

Contemporary Art

Contemporary art is at the heart of Nice’s life, culture and heritage. The Chagall Museum, the MAMAC (Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art), the Villa Arson, the National Theatre of Nice, but also, the Museum of Asian Arts, the Louis Nucera Library with its square head of Sosno and more recently the Allianz Riviera stadium.

The museums of Nice Côte d’Azur

By the number of its museums and the richness of its collections, Nice Côte d’Azur offers its visitors an exceptional ensemble through a universal museum tour.
(cover photo: Musée Matisse in Nice @OTM NCA / H.Lagarde)

Good Plan: the French Riviera Pass!

Access to the culture and heritage of Nice Côte d’Azur made easy!

The French Riviera Pass, an “all-inclusive formula to get to the essentials” is an essential passport for individual escapades. Indeed, it offers unlimited access to the commented tourist tour “Nice, le Grand Tour” (panoramic bus) but also entry to sites and museums on the French Riviera; themed tours; an original address book with exclusive advantages in shops, restaurants, artists’ studios… The French Riviera Pass allows visitors to optimise their stay.

The card is available in three versions: 24 h, 48 h and 72 h. A “city card” to use and abuse to experience Nice and the Côte d’Azur to the full!

Good to know: specific conditions granted to professionals.

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