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Art & History
The Museums and Galleries in Nice

French Riviera is a magical region – and those who say otherwise just don’t know what they are talking about. Sublime summers that seem so reluctant to end. Winters both brief and mild, that, elsewhere, could pass as spring. Villages with stone houses resting picturesquely atop the hills like ready-made film sets.  The beaches and the mountains. The food, the wines…

It is only natural that this region has long been a place of refuge for all those who have hungered for the good life, or sought to escape the ravages of war and its aftermath. At the begging and around the middle of the past century, it was above all artists, architects and designers who settled here. They came for the light and the colors, for the sun and the climate. They came to paint, build and create.  And in doing so, they brought modernism to art. They all left their mark on this area, which is believed to be home to a good 100 museums (not to mention countless number of galleries).

 Côte D’Azur is an El Dorado for art lovers and your perfect opportunity to follow in the footsteps of its artist.




Matisse Museum
Municipal Museum of Nice


164 Av des Arenes de Cimiez, 06000 Nice, +33 (0) 4 93810808



In a fully renovated Genoese villa set in the calm 2000-year-old olive grove in the Cimiez Gardens, this museum follows the artistic development of the painter who came to Nice in 1917 to cure his bronchitis till his death in 1954. Matisse’s grave is also to be found in the Cimiez Cemetery.

Since already up on Cimiez, check out the ruins of s Roman Amphitheater located to the right at the main entrance and ancient Franciscan Monastery with breathtaking Italian-style gardens and a small Friar’s museum in the church, especially the room devoted to the Shroud of Turin.


Opening Hours: 10.00-18.00 (summer), 11.00-18.00 (winter) Closed every Tuesday


Admission Fee:   Adults €10


Guided tours available for €6 every Monday, Thursday and Friday at 3.30 pm in English, German, Italian and French


How to get there:

Bus number 5  leaving from the bus stop called Alberti/Gioffredo located on 49 Rue Gioffredo or bus number 33 leaving from Promenade des Arts located at the back entrance of supermarket Monoprix on Place Garibaldi. Hop off at the stop called Arenes/Musee Matisse.

If you want to combine your visit of Matisse’s museum with the Chagall Museum, walk out of Cimiez gardens, pass former hotel Regina, walk 15 minutes downhill Boulevard Cimiez or take bus number 5 direction Nice for 6 stops.


National Museum Marc Chagall




Av Docteur Ménard, 06000 Nice, +33 (0) 4 93538720



Over 400 paintings, gouaches, drawings and pastels, essentially his works inspired by religion, make up the biggest permanent public collection of works by Marc Chagall. Created during his lifetime, Chagall himself provided detailed instructions about the creation of the garden by Henri Fish, and decided the place of each of his works in the museum. The museum contains a series of large paintings illustrating the first two chapters of the Bible, Genesis and Exodus, Song of Songs and Old Testament Book.


Opening Hours: 10.00-18.00 (May to October), 10.00-17.00 (November to April) Closed every Tuesday


Admission Fee:    Adults €9, only €7 on Sundays. Free for everyone on the first Sunday of each month


Guided Tours available only in French


How to get there – Bus number 5 from Alberti/Gioffredo stop located on 49 Rue Gioffredo. Hope of at the Musee Chagall stop.



Museum of Modern Art and Contemporary Art Nice (MAMAC)
Municipal Museum of Nice


Place Yves Klein, 0600 Nice




A museum focusing on the history of the European and American avant-garde movement from the beginning of the 1960’s to the present day.

MAMAC entertains visitors with both fixed and changing exhibitions.

Opening Hours: 10.00-18.00 (all year round) – Closed every Monday

Admission Fee:  Adults €10

Guided Tours available for €6 every Friday at 15.00

How to get there – Only few minutes’ walk from the Old Town, head towards place Garibaldi following the tram line. Turn left just after the supermarket Monoprix.



Museum of Fine Arts Nice (Musée des Beaux Arts)
Municipal Museum of Nice


33 Avenue des Baumettes, 0600 Nice, +33 (0) 4 92152828



Opening Hours: 10.00-18.00 – Closed every Monday

Admission Fee:  Adults €10

Guided Tours available only in French every Wednesday at 15.00 for €6

How to get there – Take tram line 2 and hop off at the stop called Fabron.



Palais Lascaris Old Town Nice
Municipal Museum of Nice


15 Rue Droite, 06300 Nice, +33 (0) 4 93627240



This baroque style “palace” was built in the early 1600’s and shows its visitors what the Vieux Nice used to be like (at least for the richest family in the town that has built it). Currently it holds over 500 musical instruments including pocket sized violins and exquisite 18th century pianos. There is an apothecary’s shop on the ground floor and apartments occupy the first floor.

Opening Hours: 11.00-18.00 / 10.00-18.00 (23 June-15 October) – Closed every Tuesday

Admission Fee:  Adults €10

Guided Tours available only in French every Friday at 15.00 for €6

How to get there – From the fountain at Rossetti Square walk up Rue Rossetti toward the Chateau, turn left at Rue Droite and the museum will be on your left, house number 15.



Museum of Photography Charles Negro
Municipal Museum of Nice


1 Place Pierre Gautier, Old Town Nice, +33 (0) 4 97134220



Newly established in the heart of Old Nice, the museum offers temporary monographic exhibitions of the biggest names in photography or thematic shows presenting all trends, from old photography to digital images.

One of the missions of this institution is to collect a photographic collection on Nice and its region, through research of ancient documents. Check for the temporary exhibitions on their website.

Opening Hours: 11.00 – 18.00 / 10.00 – 18.00 (23rd June – 15th October)

Admission Fee: €10

How to get there – Located in the heart of the old town next to the Cours Saleya (flower and fruit market).



Other Interesting (and free) Museums in Nice



Archaeological Museum of Terra Amata and Cimiez

25 Blvd. Carnot, 06300 Nice (Port).

The Terra Amata Museum of Human Paleontology is located on the east side of the Port of Nice.

The permanent collection of the museum consists of archaeological findings such as tools, hearths, bones of the hunted animals, all these are displayed to provide an image of the life of the prehistoric inhabitants of the place. One of the sections of the museum is dedicated to hosting sundry temporary exhibitions.

Opened from 11.00-18.00 (10.00-18.00 between 23/06-15/10), closed Mondays. Free entry!




Natural History Museum

60 Blvd. Risso, 06300 Nice

The Museum of Natural History of Nice was founded in 1846 by the grace of Jean Baptiste Barla and Jean Baptiste Verany. As it seems, it is one of the oldest museums in Nice, and a must-visit for all people who harbor at least a faint interest in natural history.

Opened from 11.00-18.00 (10.00-18.00 between 23/06-15/10), closed Mondays. Free entry!




Anatole Jakovsky International Naive Art Museum

Chateau Saints Helene, Avenue de Fabron 06200 Nice

The 600-item collection once owned by Anatole Jakovsky (art critic) is now the patrimony of the museum, and it consists of sculptures, paintings, drawings by Rimbert, Bauchant, Bombois, Vivin, Rousseau, Peyronnet. The collection is meant to present the history of naïve art as from the 18th century until now, featuring works of both national and international artists.

Opened from 11.00-18.00 (10.00-18.00 between 23/06-15/10), closed Tuesdays. Free entry!



Museums Outside of Nice



Picasso Museum Antibes

Chateau Grimaldi, Old Town Antibes, +33 (0) 4 92905428



Works created by Pablo Picasso during his stay in Antibes in 1946 reflect the light and love of the seaside town and revival of the painter’s spirits during this intense period of happiness in his life.


Opening Hours: 10.00-18.00 (June 15th – September 15th) plus late openings till 20.00


On Tuesdays and Fridays in July and August 10.00-12.00 and 14.00-18.00 in the winter

Closed every Monday


Admission Fee: Adults €6 – Free days – The first full week in November (closed Monday) – The first full week in February (closed Monday)


How to get there – Train from Nice Gare Thiers or bus number 200 from the stop Parc Phoenix (connection with tram line 2).


Fondation Maeght Saint Paul de Vence

623 Chemin des Gardettes, 06570 Saint Paul de Vence, +33 (0) 4 93324596



Located at the edge of Saint Paul de Vence, Maeght Fondation welcomes 200 000 visitors a year in a unique architectural complex and is home to one of the biggest 20th century art collections of 20th century art in Europe (both inside and throughout the gardens) including Miró, Calder, Léger, Braque, Giacometti, Chagall and many others.

Aime and Marguerite Maeght, a couple who had met with great success as gallerists and publishers, opened this museum during the mid-1960s. The location they chose is fantastic, the complex of buildings designed by the Catalan architect Josep Lluis Sert is an outstanding example of smart, elegant and friendly architecture, and the art on exhibit is without parallel.


Opening Hours: 10.00-19.00 (July-September) – 10.00-18.00 (October-June) – Closed on public holidays


Admission Fee:   Adults €15 (the most expensive museum on the Riviera)


Guided Tours available in English, French and Russian every Saturday at 10.30 or 15.00 for 10 EUR


How to get there – Bus number 400 from the bus stop Parc Phoenix (connection with tram line 2).


Renoir Museum Cagnes Sur Mer

19 Chemin des Collettes, 06800 Cagnes Sur Mer, +33 (0) 4 93206107


The Renoir Museum is a lucky find to any arts lover weather you are into Impressionism or not. This was Auguste Renoir’s family home estate that welcomes you with ancient olive trees and breathtaking panorama all the way to Cap d’Antibes.


Museum gives a very intimate feeling and a personal view of artist’s life with 14 original paintings, sculptures and furniture. You can even look at his studio and see his brushes and the colors that were last on his pallet.


Opening Hours: 10.00-12.00 and 14.00-18.00 Spring (April-May) – 10.00-13.00 and 14.00-18.00 Summer (June-September) – 10.00-12.00 and 14.00-17.00 Winter (October-March) – Closed every Tuesday


Admission Fee:  Adults above 26 years €6, Free for those under 26


Guided Tours are available but please contact the museum for details by phone or by email to



How to get there – Train from Nice Gare Thiers or bus number 200 from the bus stop Parc Phoenix  (connection with tram line 2).


The International Perfume Museum, Grasse


Boulevard du Jeu de Ballon, 06130 Grasse



Founded in 1989, The International Perfume Museum, the only museum of its kind in the world, is in the iconic town of Grasse, the birthplace of luxury perfumes of which France was the initiator. Dedicated to one of the most prestigious traditional French activities, the International Perfume Museum is a public institution labelled “Museum of France” allowing visitors to discover the history and uniqueness of the profession of manufacturers and large perfumery houses. Rose centifolia, jasmine, tuberose, lavender, geranium, juniper, orange blossom etc.; perfumes are born from plants, here or elsewhere. In the unique setting of the International Perfume Museum’s Gardens, visitors can discover and smell the species that have provided valuable raw materials for perfumery for centuries.


Opening Hours: 10.00-19.00 (May-Septembers) – 10.00-17.30 (October-April) – Closed on public holidays


Admission Fee:  €4 The International Perfume Museum / €4 The Gardens / €2 Museum of the Art and History of Provence – Guided Tours available free of charge (90min).


How to get there – With up to 12 departures a day from Nice main train station, Gare Thiers, taking a train is the best option. The journey takes about an hour and half and the ticket costs €10.40 one way.


If you want to save some pennies, opt for the bus number 500 that costs €1.50 one way. The journey takes around an hour and forty five minutes. Your bus leaves from the bus stop called Parc Phoenix (connection with tram line 2).


Jean Cocteau Museum, Menton

2 Quai de Monleon, 06500 Menton, +33 (0) 4 89815250



Menton, the easternmost city before the French Riviera ends and the Italian Riviera begins, was the stamping ground of Jean Cocteau. Cocteau was a painter, designer, poet, author and filmmaker. The still fairly new museum presents his oeuvre in temporary exhibitions, the Bastion Museum likewise shows his work, and also well worth a look in Salle des Mariages (Wedding Room) that Cocteau designed at Menton’s Hôtel de Ville (city hall) – a room so unique that couples from as far afield as Asia come here to tie the knot.

Important Note: On the night between 29 and 30 October 2018, a severe storm hit the Menton region. The museum, which is around 50 metres away from the shore, was hit by waves and its basement was flooded. The museum’s management (Menton’s city council) had decided to store a number of works in the basement. Those works were damaged by seawater, and the ground floor was also partially flooded. As a result of the storm, management decided to shut down the museum until further notice in order to allow for restoration of the damaged works at several locations throughout France. As of mid-December 2019, the museum is still closed “for repairs (travaux)”. No official expected date of reopening has ever been specified by Menton’s municipality. In the meantime, a partial exhibition has been set up at the Bastion Museum (also closed for works between 21.10. – 20.12.2019).

Opening Hours:   10.00-18.00 – Closed every Tuesday


Admission Fee:    Adults €6 – ticket includes entry into the Jean Cocteau Bastion Museum – Free first Sunday of each month.


Guided Tours are available only in French every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday at 14.30 for €6


How to get there – Bus number 100 from Port Nice (takes about 90 min) or Train from Gare Thiers Nice (takes about 50 min)




Access to all municipal museums and galleries for 24 Hours.


The best value around for any museum enthusiast! Access to all 14 municipal museums and galleries for a full week at your own pace. Please note that the Chagall museum is not included. Check the details on the official website of Nice Tourisme

Be aware that the museums are closed on public holidays and certain day a week (we have listed those days in our listings of museums).




Is the “city card” that provides you with the free entrance to the main sights, activities and attractions in Nice and on French Riviera such as free Hop on Hop off bus, trip on the little tourist train, free 30 min Segway ride on the prom, plus several advantages and reductions when shopping. Buy online or from the Tourist Office, check details on www.en.frenchrivierapass.com

24 HOUR PASS = €26

48 HOUR PASS = €38

72 HOUR PASS = €56



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