There are many things you can do free of charge in Nice. I found a dozen of good deals for Nissa by Elsa’s followers: a free guided tour with a local volunteer, a marked snorkeling path, a ride on a modernized typical boat from Nice, museums, perfume factories and much more ideas to discover the city and around, without paying any entrance fee.
A tailor-made tour with a greeter : be our guest!
Visit Nice with a resident willing to share his passion for the city with you, on a voluntary basis. Thanks to this participative tourism initiative invented in New York, and organized here by the Nice conventions & visitors bureau, you will discover places which have a particular personal significance for your greeter.
You just need to book online with the Tourist Office and specify the topics you’re interested in: markets, gastronomy, shopping… 50 greeters in Nice are available to accompany you on a walk around their district or favorite places, to share their good deals. A lot of them speak English. You are sure to see very typical places where you wouldn’t have thought to head to, such as admiring the Belle Epoque magnificent frontages or hidden gardens.
So, get off the beaten track and go for a human experience with a greeter!
N:B: Of course if you decide together to have a coffee or to visit a museum, each person pays his own expenses.
This proposal is available for groups up to 6 people.
More details about Nice Greeters
La colline du château
This is a must-see place for a weekend or holidays in Nice. There are few remains of the ancient citadel which the hill is named after, however, this park and the many paths that lead to it deserves a walk or “climb”, as the view is breathtaking. There, you can admire the bay of angels, the harbor, get surprised by its waterfall, and enjoy a quite environment, the perfect scenery for a picnic. You will also find a nice café and terrace. Take a look at the ceramics on the ground and read the panels explaining the history of the city (FR/EN).
♥ If you wander on the hill at noon, don’t be surprised to hear a cannonball shoot, as Scottish sir Thomas Coventry-More established this rule in Nice in 1875.
How to get there:
Free acces by lift in rue des Ponchettes (line can last 15 min.), or stairways from rue Rossetti, montée Monica-Rondelly, rue Catherine Ségurane.
Those blue city bikes are easy to unlock and they are the most convenient and green way to move in Nice. You can choose from 175 station locations in Nice, Cagnes sur Mer and St Laurent du Var.
1750 bikes are available and you’ll find many bicycle paths (70 km in Nice).
This service is NEARLY free of charge! You only need to pay 1€ f or one day registration or 5 € for a week.
Afterwards, every ride under 30 minutes is free.
You can register with your mobile and your credit card at any station (explanatiosn are available in English) or visit www.velobleu.org
– Vélo Bleu agency : 17 avenue Thiers.
From Monday to Friday 8 am to 7pm and Saturdays from 8 am to 3 pm. Closed on Sundays and bank holidays.
– See the Map of Nice bicycle paths : click here
Every first Sunday of each month, entrance at French national museums is free of charge.
Here is the list in Nice and around.
- Marc Chagall Museum
Each detail of the construction of the building was overseen by the artist himself, who inaugurated the museum in 1973. This new museum was built to host Marc Chagall’s work about the biblical message. This museum is a must see in Nice, the visit lasts approximately one hour. Audio guides are available in English, at a charge. Don’t miss the final piece in the auditorium: a 3-pieces stained-glass window representing the creation of the world, which is to be read from right to left. One of the outside frontages presents a ceramics piece that shows a different skill of the artist.
– Open every day exept on Tuesdays, from 10 am to 8 pm from May to October (closing at 5 pm in winter)
– How to get there: from The Jean Médecin avenue, you can take Bus N° 15, and you can also go there by walking.
Avenue du Docteur Ménard
… More National Museums around :
- Musée Fernand-Léger, in Biot
- Musée Picasso, in Vallauris
>> More information about National Museums in Nice & around, click here>>
- Musée Fragonard in Grasse, Collection Hélène & Jean-François Costa
The Fragonard painting museum in Grasse is located in the elegant Hotel de Villeneuve. This museum is dedicated to the most famous artist of this small city at 45 minutes drive from Nice. There you can see 15 paintings of Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806), this is the most important collection of the artist after the Louvre.
Visits and free entrance every day :
– From September to June from 10am to 6 pm
– In July and August from 10 am to 7 pm
– Closed on Sundays in November, january, and february
How to get there: From Nice via A8 motorway:
Exit N° 42 Cannes-Centre/Grasse then follow national Road N85 in direction of Grasse/Castellane then follow Centre-Ville.
Musée Fragonard Collection Hélène et Jean-François Costa
Hôtel de Villeneuve
14, rue Jean Ossola
A selfie at the sundial in which you are the marker :
The selfie is now part of our everyday life it is often seen as a souvenir of enjoyable holidays, a picture that we share with our beloved ones when they are not around. An original and personalized selfie can replace the traditional postcard, so you need to chose carefully your setting for a unique souvenir from Nice to send to your friends and family.
The sundial is located on quai Rauba Capeu Between the Promenade des Anglais and the harbor.
Enter in the face and go to the center of the circle, your shadow will tell you what time it is.
Now turn backand look at the sea, you are facing a wonderful view.
More details: click here
Crossing the harbor with Lou Passagin
From May to August, 7 days a week, from 10 am to 7 pm, get on board of a typical boat from Nice called Lou Passagin, and cross the harbor for free. Last year, more than 36 000 passenger crossed from the harbor basin Charles Felix and Entrecastreaux Wharf.
This service was created by a retired fisherman looking for some extra money and existed until the sixties. 4 years ago, the city of Nice re-established this old tradition with a very modern boat. This 7 meters long boat has two immersed electric motors, made in Nice, a major innovation. The boat is also called Ratapignata, and thanks to its solar panels, it can be recharged at the dock.
This is an original and environmentally-friendly proposal to discover Port Lympia.
More information : click here
Snorkeling, a human size aquarium ?
>> Let’s watch this short video as an introdution>>
You will see 5 buoys with immersed panels explaining the different species of fishes and seaweed that you can see around you, according to the type of floor, sandy, rocky or seaweed.
Unfortunately the panels are in French, but you will see many fishes apart from the panels.
This nice snorkeling path is at everybody’s reach and lasts approximately 40 minutes.
How to get there? You can go to Port de St Jean by bus, the stop is at 5 minutes walk from the Fossettes Beach. Leave with bus N°81 from the Promenade des Arts stop, next to Garibaldi square.
More information: Saint Jean Cap Ferrat tourisme
Free activities around Nice:
Fragonard in Grasse: the historic perfume factory since 1926
The Fragonard historic perfume factory in the heart of the old town of is one of the oldest in Grasse, world capital of perfume. Here, on a daily basis, are produced perfumes, cosmetics and soaps in a setting imbued with respect for tradition.
Fragonard welcomes you for a free guided tour in English, during which you can discover the various procedures involved in creating and producing perfumes.
Of course you can then access to the shop and buy all the souvenirs you like. My favourites are the rose or blossom transparent soaps and the new unisex Eau du Bonheur.
Afterwards, you can admire 3 000 years of perfume history in the private perfume museum on the 1st floor, featuring ancient small flasks and stills.
Opening days and times: Fragonard’s premises are open every day, sundays and public holidays included, from 9 am to 6.30 pm (closed 12.30 pm to 2 pm from mid-November to Mid-December).
How to get there? From Nice or Aix-en-Provence by the A8: Leave the motorway at Exit 42 signed Cannes-centre, Grasse; take the N85 signed Grasse, Castellane and follow the signs to Centre-Ville
L’usine historique & Musée du parfum
20, bd Fragonard