Find in
France > Nice > Vieux Nice > Vieux Nice travel guide

Vieux Nice Travel Guide

Vieux Nice is the city’s old historic center, the site of the original Greek port market of Nikaia. Framed by the hilltop château and Cours Saleya, Vieux Nice is the city’s most attractive quarters. It definitely has a medieval feel of slow-paced life to it with its grid of narrow streets, five-storied dark houses fluttered by laundered clothes, and crowns of Baroque churches at every corner.

The main attraction of Vieux Nice is the Cours Selaya, a long pedestrian half-street, half-square that is the heart of Old Nice. The picture you’ll find here is of a marketplace lined with sidewalk cafés and restaurants, colorful flower stands, 18th century mansions, antique shops, the crown known as Place Félix – a yellow stone building once home to the painter Matisse in the 1920s and 30s, and the Place de l’Ancien Senat a few feet away.

To the east not too far from the heart of Cours Saleya is the Chapelle de l’Annonciation, a 17th century Carmelite chapel in the Niçoise Baroque architectural style. The interior is extravagantly lavished with arches, cupolas, and marbles. Further northeast are a cluster of chapels and churches that include the Chapelle de la Miséricorde and the Cathédrale Ste Réparate. The Chapelle de la Miséricorde features cupolas and half-domes in the exterior and its interior is gilded with frescoes, marbles, crystal chandeliers, and a stunning Bréa alterpiece. The Cathédrale Ste Réparate, on the other hand, is an 18th century cathedral that dominates Old Nice’s horizon with its bell tower, glossy tile dome, columns, and cupolas. The church’s interior is decorated with frescoes, gold, ocher, and ornate plasterwork.

The Palais Lascaris is another impressive architectural marvel, close to the cluster of churches in Vieux Nice. This palace was built in the mid-17th century by Jean Baptiste Lascaris Vintimille and features a grand vaulted staircase, Flemish tapestries, beautiful frescoes depicting historical events, and stone balustrades that are etched to display various gods.

Northeast of the aristocratic Palais Lascaris is the Place Garibaldi. This square has an impressive fountain sculpture at its center, encircled by vaulted stucco arcades in rich yellow.

The only museum in Vieux Nice worth visiting is the Musée d’Art Moderne, which is right across from Place Garibaldi square. Its collection includes contemporary pieces from the 1950s onwards, highlighted by several sculptures by Nikki de Saint Phalle.

Cours Selaya
Palais Lascaris
Place Garibaldi
Colline de Château
Musée d’Art Moderne
Cathédrale Ste Réparate
Chapelle de l’Annonciation
Chapelle de la Miséricorde

More Travel Guides

> Places in Nice


Promenade des Anglais

> Cities in France






> Countries in Europe


Czech Republic

Jan Mayen



Article Contributors
Anonymous user updated 14 years ago

Some rights reserved ©.
The travel guide article on this page is subject to copyright restrictions.

Forgot your password?

member image
Korea, South