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Opéra de Nice

Nice’s opera house is one of the most spectacular buildings in the city, and hosts world-class classical concerts.

TravelCurious Tip

Plan carefully what you want to see and when: opening nights tend to be pricey, while other tickets can be a snip.

The show must go on

The Opéra de Nice was built in 1885, on the site of a theatre that had stood on the site for over a century: a gas explosion during the opening night of Lucia de Lammermoor in 1881 caused a huge fire, destroying the whole previous building and causing the deaths of three singers.

The new theatre was designed by François Aune, a student of Gustave Eiffel, and opened with a performance of Verdi’s Aida on 7 February 1885.


Neoclassical sophistication

The interior is a cosmopolitan mix of Niçois tradition and Francophilia with Italianate style, including a ceiling fresco depicting the Chariot of the Sun and sculptures of the Muses (music, tragedy, comedy and dance). There is also a magnificent 600-bulb chandelier.

The Opéra was declared a historical monument in 1993. The stage and orchestra pit have both been modernised since its construction, but many original features have been carefully preserved or restored; today it still seats 1,093 spectators for a varied programme of operas, ballets and classical concerts, and is the home of the Nice Philharmonic Orchestra. Don’t miss a show if you’re in town!

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Nice
Le Cours Saleya
A busy and beautiful open-air market in the heart of Nice’s Old Town.
Cathedrale Sainte Reparate
Nice's cathedral is one of the city's architectural gems, honouring its patron saint.
Massena Square
Nice's most spectacular square and the largest in Vieux Nice, surrounded by Neoclassical façades.
Place du Palais de Justice
At the heart of Vieux Nice, Place du Palais de Justice is a wonderful display of the city's Neoclassical heritage.
Palace of the Kings of Sardinia
Also known as the Palace of the Prefecture, is the former Royal Palace of Nice which used to be the residence of the kings of Sardinia.
Palais de Justice
Courthouse located in the Nice Old Town.

Related Tours

Historic Old Town on Foot
Discover Nice’s Old Town, by wandering the many colourful lanes and marketplaces accompanied by your expert local guide. On your private tour, you will:

  • Visit the best of Old Town on foot with your private guide.
  • Explore the Italian-influenced city, with its distinctive Mediterranean flavour, and the mixing flavours of fresh produce at the daily local market (morning tours only).
  • Stroll the city’s highlights, including Bellanda Tower, Place Rossetti, and Opera de Nice.
  • Climb Castle Hill for the best views over the city, with views of the pastel-painted city, striped umbrellas, and mega-yachts in the neighbouring harbour. 
  • Finish at one of the promenade cafes, with a table reserved just for you. A glass of house of wine, beer, or soft drink is included to ease you into the rest of your day.

Step into one of the most iconic and idyllic cities in the French Riviera with a private guide to show you the best of the city. On your tour, you will explore the elegant square Masséna, see the many quaint boutique stores, the Opera de Nice, and the Palace Square, home to the stunning Palace of Justice. On the colourful Saleya Square, you will have time to enjoy the famous flower market stalls and some of the many local delicacies on offer when the market is operating (mornings, most days of the year).
The Old Town has some great eateries, old-fashioned bakeries, classic Italian ice-cream parlours and chocolate stores, and your guide will happily recommend several which you can pop into or return to after your tour. You will have time to try it all as well as to take wonderful photos of old Italian Nice. You will also have the pleasure of walking along the Promenade des Anglais to view the many historic highlights this area boasts, including the magnificent Hôtel Negresco and Opera de Nice.  

You will also have the pleasure of visiting Nice’s Castle Hill, which was the original site of the trading town founded by the Greeks 2,500 years ago. Not only will you visit Bellanda Tower and the sweeping waterfalls which cascade down to the sea, but also the magnificent viewpoints over the Bay of Angels and Old Town.  After descending the hill, your guide will take you to one of the beachfront cafes to finish your tour, where a refreshing glass of wine or house beer will be waiting for you (included).
The Best of Nice Live Virtual Tour
Explore Nice, a 2600 years old city that became the must-go holiday spot for Royalty and celebrities from all over the world and the second home for people in search of "The French way of life". With your professional tour guide, you will virtually wander the many colourful lanes,  tall pastel buildings and marketplaces.

On this live virtual tour, you will:
  • See the Elegant Massena Square (main square),  where you can find many quaint boutique stores,
  • Explore the Old town, an Italian-influenced district that offers a distinctively Mediterranean flavour,
  • Discover Nice Town hall, an 18th-century historical building,
  • Admire the exterior of the Opera, one of the most spectacular buildings in the city, 
  • See the colourful Saleya square with famous flower market stalls and some of the many local delicacies on offer,
  • See Cathedrale Sainte Reparate,  one of the city's architectural gems, honouring its patron saint,
  • Walk the Promenade des Anglais, the waterfront to view the many historic highlights this area boasts,
  • See the Monument for WWI inaugurated in 1928
  • See The Port which is the base for cruises, excursions and leisure activities.
Private Full Day Tour of Nice
Discover Nice on a full-day tour, with a half-day spent wandering Old Town and the afternoon spent in the comfort of a private vehicle, exploring other city highlights less easily reached by foot. On your private full-day tour, you will:

  • Spend the morning traversing Old Town on foot with your private guide
  • Explore the Italian-influenced city, with its distinctive Mediterranean flavour, and the mixing flavours of fresh produce at the daily local market.
  • Stroll the city’s highlights, including Bellanda Tower, Place Rossetti, and Opera de Nice.
  • Climb Castle Hill for the best views over the city, with views of the pastel-painted city, striped umbrellas, and mega-yachts in the neighbouring harbour. 
  • Pop back into the city centre, where you will enjoy lunch at your leisure. Your guide will be happy to recommend locations. (Price of lunch not included in the tour).
  • After lunch, hop into a private vehicle with your guide to see more of the city’s highlights, including Le Negresco, the Garden of Arenas Cimiez, Mont Boron, and the Modern and Contemporary Art Museum.
  • After your tour, your guide will happily take you back to your hotel in Nice. 

Step into one of the most iconic and idyllic cities in the French Riviera with a private guide to show you the best of the city. On your tour, you will explore the elegant square Masséna, see the many quaint boutique stores, the Opera de Nice, and the Palace Square, home to the stunning Palace of Justice. On the colourful Saleya Square, you will have time to enjoy the famous flower market stalls and some of the many local delicacies on offer when the market is operating (mornings, most days of the year).
The Old Town has some great eateries, old-fashioned bakeries, classic Italian ice-cream parlours and chocolate stores, and your guide will happily recommend several which you can pop into or return to after your tour. You will have time to try it all as well as to take wonderful photos of old Italian Nice. 

Then visit Nice’s Castle Hill, which was the original site of the trading town founded by the Greeks 2,500 years ago. Not only will you visit Bellanda Tower and the sweeping waterfalls which cascade down to the sea, but also the magnificent viewpoints over the Bay of Angels and Old Town. After descending the hill, your guide will take you into the city centre or back into Old Town to enjoy an hour’s respite for lunch. 

In the afternoon, hop in the car to cruise through several more of the city’s highlights, including Promenade des Anglais, a favourite walk-way of the European nobility of the last century and home to the magnificent Hôtel Negresco, the art deco Palais de la Méditerranée, and Le Opera de Nice. Then ascend Mont Boron for spectacular views over the mountainous and seafront landscape. Visit the Garden of Arenas Cimiez, ancient Roman ruins, which sit atop one of the hillsides of the area. After your tour ends, your guide will drop you off at your hotel or in the city centre, which you can discuss with your guide on the day of the tour. 
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