13 March 2023
Get a bird’s eye view of the city of Nice…
I’ve selected for you the most beautiful places that offer breathtaking panoramas of the city’s rooftops, the Mediterranean Sea and the surrounding hills.
1 – La Colline du Château (Castle Hill)
Like the prow of a ship, the Bellanda Tower overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and offers the most stunning panoramic views of the Baie des Anges, the old town and the hills. At the top, you’ll be as enthralled as any visitor by this extraordinary viewpoint, which reaches far on a clear day ( so very often, needless to say…).
You can get there by taking the Lesage staircase to the top of the hill or by taking the Art Deco-style lift (for a fee). The tower is home to Le Bellandarium, a museum presenting the history of Nice in an original scenography.
Good to know: The stairs and access to the tower terrace are free. There is an admission charge to the Bellandarium. The tower and its gatehouse were home to Hector Berlioz during the creation of the overture to “King Lear”.
2 – La Tour Saint-François
With comfortable shoes, you’ll climb to the top of the narrow spiral staircase. Sometimes you’ll stop to catch your breath… But 50 metres further up, at the top of the Saint-François clock tower, you’ll forget all about your efforts as you marvel at this 360-degree postcard!
Good to know: Not recommended for people with vertigo, cardiac patients, claustrophobics or pregnant women. Flat shoes highly recommended. 2 Rue de la Tour – Vieux-Nice – Admission fee
3 – Les Terrasses du MAMAC
The terraces of the Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain (MAMAC) are metal footbridges linking the museum’s 4 square towers. From here, you can overlook the hustle and bustle of the city from a unique vantage point, 30 metres high, with a glimpse of the sea to boot.
While you’re there, admire the roofs of Old Nice and its bell towers, or the neighbouring Tour Saint-François, and take a photo stop!
Good to know : Museum open every day except Monday – Terraces close at 5.40pm
4 – Rooftops
If you’re looking for a Dolce Vita-style evening out, don’t hesitate to visit Nice’s rooftops. These rooftop terraces, where you can sip cocktails, eat tapas, dine with friends or lovers, listen to music and dance, are absolutely perfect places to spend a memorable evening. As a bonus, you can admire the sunset over the Baie des Anges. The sky blazes with a thousand colours over the pretty, colourful buildings. All your senses will be on alert!
Good to know: The rooftops are also open during the day. Some also offer brunch at weekends.ent également des brunchs le week-end.
5 – L’Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur
By definition, an observatory is always located high up in a privileged spot. Between the sky and the sea, the Côte d’Azur Observatory is no exception to the rule… From the Mont-Gros hill, you can enjoy a remarkable view over the city of Nice, the Baie des Anges and the surrounding hills.
Walking tours lasting 1 and a half to 2 hours, accompanied by a scientific mediator and including the Grande Coupole and the Universarium, will enable you to appreciate the beauty of the site’s architectural and natural heritage. It’s a timeless visit that will appeal to young and old alike!
Good to know: The Observatory is home to some exceptional, rare and fragile flora and fauna. Cigarettes and pets are not allowed.
6 – Le Parc naturel départemental du Vinaigrier
To the east of the town, between Nice and Villefranche-sur-Mer, the Parc du Vinaigrier is a 31-hectare nature park with plenty of green spaces and hiking trails. At an altitude of 370 m, you’ll find an observatory and orientation table at the top of the park, offering exceptional views over Villefranche-sur-Mer, Nice, the Baie des Anges and the Estérel massif in the Var. This park is an invitation to discover and stroll around, which I’m sure you’ll love!
Good to know: Freely accessible to all. Free parking for 50 cars. The Maison du Vinaigrier houses an educational exhibition on the site.
7 – La Cascade de Gairaut
Located to the far north of Nice, the Cascade de Gairaut is a man-made site, but one that is nonetheless surprising and quite secret, and I invite you to discover it. All the pools, waterfalls, rock grottoes and the Austrian-style “guard’s cottage” are listed as historic monuments. Ducks have taken up residence here, helping to make this a particularly bucolic and friendly place to visit. Your children will love it!
You’ll also discover a superb view over the surrounding hills, the city of Nice and the Mediterranean Sea.
Good to know: Built in 1883, the Cascade de Gairaut commemorates the arrival of water from the Vésubie canal, which brought running water to the districts of Nice. Free access
“Getting a bit of height also means taking a step back… Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, you take all the time you need to marvel at so much beauty”.Joëlle M.