Welcome to Nice the Beautiful!

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You choose!
Basic Information
Short Description
An introduction to the history of the city. You will see all the most important monuments in Old Nice such as the Fountain du Soleil, the Opera House, Cathedral Sainte Reparate or Castle Hill and more.
Total time
~ 2,5 hours
Language
English (check the booking calendar for availability)
Price
„Pay what you wish” tours do not have a fixed price. It is up to you to evaluate your guide’s work and reward it. Some people give 10€, others 50€ depending on their satisfaction and abilities.
Meeting point
Fontaine du Soleil at Place Massena - look for a yellow umbrella!Go to map
Ending point
Castle Hill (Colline du Château)
Additional info
♿️Suitable for people with reduced mobility, except for the last point, which is going up the hill. The guide tells you all about the hill beforehand, so you can end the tour at this point if you are unable to make it up the hill.
This tour is provided by

A picture of a palm and a chair - symbols of Nice, France

About

Mighty mountains, sparkling sea, elegant promenade, fabulous beaches, delicious food, stunning architecture, history and art. If you search for such a gem, look no further – Nice has it all! Starting from baroque chapels, elegant Belle Époque palaces and Mediterranean-blue chairs lining the promenade, the queen of the French Riviera emanates glamour and style. Come and visit this legendary seaside town with us!


Nice’s history is as captivating as its dramatic scenery, with sea on one side and mighty mountains on the other. Established around 350 BC by the Greek settlers, originally named Nikaia in honour of the goddess of victory, Nike, attracted various powers, including the Romans, who left behind remnants of their civilization. French and Italians fought to control it over and over again, but despite the turbulence, Nice flourished, capitalising on its prime location. Its true transformation however took place in the 19th century. As the upper class of Europe discovered the therapeutic benefits of the Riviera’s climate, it became a winter haven for royalty and aristocracy. Soon the iconic Promenade des Anglais was built, and magnificent Belle Époque buildings sprung up, catering to the elite tourists and Nice started to emerge as a centre of art and culture, attracting artists like Henri Matisse and Marc Chagall, whose works were inspired by the beautiful landscape and unique soft light of the Côte d’Azur. It also became the favourite place of the artists and writers of the Lost Generation, including F.S. Fitzgerald, known for organising their wild parties here. That is when jazz arrived in Nice. You can still hear it today oozing from many bars when you stroll the streets of the city on warm summer evenings.


Our Welcome to Nice tour will start on Place Massena, the heart of the city, at the somewhat controversial Fontaine du Soleil depicting the Greek god Apollo. Walking through Esplanade Georges Pompidou towards the most iconic part of Nice, the famous Promenade des Anglais, we will pass the hyperrealistic facade paintings – Trompe L’Oeils (meaning “deceiving the eye”) as well as the “Neuf Lignes Obliques” (“Nine Diagonal Lines”) an artwork celebrating 150 years of Nice rejoining France. Reaching the promenade, we will be able to see what truly makes Nice. The palm trees, les galettes de la plage (flat stones on the beach), and of course, the famous “Azur Blue” chairs. Along the way, we will see the two architectural masterpieces: the legendary Negresco hotel as well as the Opera House. We will step into Vieux Nice, the old town, to discover among others the lively Cours Saleya, food and flower market, and learn about Nicoise cuisine and food culture, with a short break to discover some of the temptations it offers. At the majestic Palace of the Prefecture we will learn how this stunning edifice was first built in the 16th century as the winter palace for the ruling House of Savoy, a trend still strong among the rich, powerful and famous 5 centuries later. Making our way through Old Nice, we shall see the equally impressive Palace of Justice and hear about the infamous and fascinating “bank heist of the century” perpetrated by the criminally clever Albert Spaggiare and immortalised through the film “The Easy Way”. We will visit the historic centre of old Nice – place Rossetti and its nearly 1000-year-old Cathedral of Sainte Reparate. Making our way to Rue Droite, once the high street of mediaeval Nice, we will delve into the fascinating history of Nicois culture and local dialect as well as its transformation from slum to tourist icon. Passing the former apartment of the renowned painter Henri Matisse, we will reach Castle Hill to see one of the most breathtaking views on earth: a stunning combination of blue water beaches, luxurious yachts, palm trees, colourful Italian facades and snow covered Alps… and learn why there is no longer a castle on castle hill. 


Book our tour and let yourself be enchanted by the beauty of Nice. Discover why this French town has a Greek name and feels very Italian and why people ranging from Queen Victoria, Fredrich Nietzsche, Henri Matisse, Sean Connery and even Elton John have decided to call it their home. After all, Nizza La Bella (Nice the Beautiful) is more than just the city’s motto. Come and experience it first-hand!


During this 2,5 hour tour you will see and hear:



  • Fontaine du Soleil at Place Massena

  • The Underground River at Parc du Paillon

  • Conversations a Nice – modern art installation

  • 9 Lignes Obliques – “Nine Diagonal Lines” artwork

  • Les Trompes l’oeil – hyperrealistic facade paintings

  • The Promenade des Anglais 

  • The history of the blue chairs

  • The legendary Negresco hotel 

  • The Opera House of Nice

  • The Cours Saleya flower market

  • Place Rossetti

  • Palace of the Prefecture

  • Palace of Justice

  • Cathedral Sainte Reparate

  • Rue Droite

  • Castle Hill (and it’s Waterfall) with a panoramic view of the sea, the city and the port

  • and much, much more!



 


Meeting Point
Fontaine du Soleil at Place Massena

BOOKING RULES
Booking is obligatory. Walkative! pay as you wish tours are designed for individual travelers and small groups. In the best interest of our visitors we aim to keep our free tours relatively small. Hence, we cannot accept parties of more than 7 people on our regular free tours and guides have the right to deny participation to such groups. If you travel in a party of 8 or more, please choose a paid option, if it's available, or book a Private Tour. For more information on the latter, please contact us.



Rainy ☔ but beautiful walking tour

Rated 5.0 out of 5
1 day ago

The walking tour was awesome….I recommend to one and all who visits Nice….Marcin was awesome… his knowledge on the city and on the history was amazing.

Pavan Reddy

Fascinating tour – time flew by!

Rated 5.0 out of 5
3 days ago

We highly recommend this tour guide. Marcin’s tour was entertaining, peppered with historical context and anecdotes. His craft as a storyteller is engrossing – and he was very good at responding to our queries as they came up. We loved his food recommendations and his wealth of knowledge on history, linguistics, and even photography!

Luc Lewitanski

Enjoyed the tour

Rated 5.0 out of 5
1 week ago

We enjoyed Marcin’s tour. It gave us a flavour of Nice’s history with some colourful anecdotes, in particular the story about the biggest bank robbery in Europe. My only constructive feedback was that the tour went 30 mins over time. Still Marcin was very passionate and friendly.

Kamil

A very entertaining walk through Nissa la Bella

Rated 5.0 out of 5
2 weeks ago

Marcin headed this lovely, entertaining and not least of all instructive walking tour through Nice – past and present. We heard lots of amazing stories about the town and its people. Some of them outright hilariously breathtaking. If you come to Nice, this is a must-do!

Susanne and Thomas

A very wet walk in Nice

Rated 4.0 out of 5
2 weeks ago

Despite the rain ( one of the very few rainy days in Nice according to statistics) the walk was well attended and Marcin made it very interesting and informative. He kept our attention and tried his best to inspire us whilst the rain poured down. We intend to revisit several of the landmarks en route as we have 4 more days here . However today is another very wet day – maybe we should have asked what’s best to do on such wet days?

Fiona


This tour is also available as
a Private Tour.

Private tour