Le Port

Le Port is a beautiful harbour area full of history.

TravelCurious Tip

This is a great place to base yourself for a holiday in Nice - there are a number of good hotels, and nearly everything you’ll want to see can be reached in a ten-minute walk.

First port of call

The area around Nice’s port is simply called ‘Le Port.’ Rather surprisingly, the city did not have a real port until the mid-18th century; before that, ships had to be run aground on the shore, or smaller boats would go out to meet arrivals and unload their cargo.

Count Amédée Castellamont decided in 1672 to establish a port on the site of Lympia, where it remains today as one of the most picturesque harbours in the Riviera. Local products such as olive oil, lemons, oranges, anchovies and tuna were exported from here; imports included salt, sugar, cocoa and coffee from the Americas.

Sitting by the dock of the bay

Today, the Port area is full of interest (and good places to eat). It adjoins the 18th century square Place Garibaldi - which has excellent seafood restaurants - linking it to the Old Town. A stroll along the quays also offers a number of great eateries, and Lympia’s 18th century buildings are picture-perfect. Boat trips that operate from here include ferries to Corsica.

Place Arson, named after a local family, has a number of bowling greens and hosted great competitions in the heyday of boules between 1890 and 1930. The Quartier Antiquaire has earned comparisons to London’s Notting Hill thanks to its proliferation of antique and second-hand stores, and regular flea market. Le Port's old streets are crammed with history, including Rue Bonaparte, where a plaque commemorates Napoleon’s stay there before his Italian campaign.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Nice
Castle Hill
Once the city’s citadel, Castle Hill is the best place for a breathtaking panoramic view of Nice and the French Riviera.
Nice Old Town
Vieux Nice is the city’s picturesque Italianate district, with flower and food markets, narrow streets and piazzettas.
Palais Lascaris
A magnificent collection of musical instruments housed in a stunning Baroque palace.
Cathedrale Sainte Reparate
Nice's cathedral is one of the city's architectural gems, honouring its patron saint.
Place Garibaldi
A monumental 18th century Baroque square, designed by Antonio Spinelli in the 18th century.
Chapelle de la Miséricorde
Chapelle de la Miséricorde is a beautiful Baroque church inside and out, dating from the mid-18th century.

Related Tours

The Essential Highlights of Nice
Ancient Beginnings

In this comprehensive tour of Nice, you will have the pleasure of visiting Mont Boron, where you will enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of the Bay of Angels and Nice Old Town. You will then move on to explore the Castle Hill, original site of the trading town founded by the Greeks 2,500 years ago. Interestingly enough, this ancient town was entirely dismantled by the soldiers of the French King, Louis XIV.

Venturing onwards to beautiful Cimiez, you will discover the former Roman settlement of Cemenelum, and learn how the area would later become the winter home of Queen Victoria. Spoilt for choice, you will see the Roman amphitheatre and ruins, you will enjoy the Belle Epoque architecture, and see the famous Cimiez Franciscan monastery with its stunning garden. Indeed, you will not be surprise that Cimiez would become home to Henri Matisse, and would be where he would get much of his inspiration for his fabulous work. 

Colourful Old Town and Beyond

One of the main highlights of the French Riviera capital is the prestigious Promenade des Anglais, a favorite walk-way of European nobility in the last century. Here you will find the magnificent Hôtel Negresco and art deco Palais de la Méditerranée. 

A tour of Nice would not be complete without a visit to the Italian-influenced, picturesque district of the Old City, where you can enjoy the many beautiful Baroque churches, cobbled streets, and small colourful squares. On the Saleya square, you will enjoy the famous colourful flower market as well as having the opportunity to experience gourmet specialties, including the famous socca or pissaladière, artisanal olive oil and delicious local wine. The elegant Masséna, on the border of the Old and Modern Town, will impress with its elegant style and faultless atmosphere.


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