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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.
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.
Massena Square
Nice's most spectacular square and the largest in Vieux Nice, surrounded by Neoclassical façades.
Chapelle de la Miséricorde
Chapelle de la Miséricorde is a beautiful Baroque church inside and out, dating from the mid-18th century.
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.

Related Tours

Historic Old Town on Foot
Colourful Old Town

Discover Nice’s Old Town, by wandering the many colourful lanes and marketplaces accompanied by your expert local guide. This Italian-influenced district offers a distinctive Mediterranean flavour, complete with tall pastel buildings and long lines of washing stretching from window to window.  


During 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 colorful Saleya Square, you will have time to enjoy the famous flower market stalls and some of the many local delicacies on offer.

Hidden Baroque 

Those of you who love the Baroque, will not be disappointed. Old Town boasts many architectural gems including: the Cathedrale Sainte Reparate, which honours the city’s patron saint; Chapelle de la Miséricorde; and 17th-century Palais Lascaris, one of the most beautiful buildings in Nice. Not to be missed, at the border of Old Town, where the streets get narrower, you will find the gorgeous Place Garibaldi, the largest square in Nice designed by Antonio Spinelli.

The Old Town has some great eateries, old-fashioned bakeries, classic Italian ice-cream parlors and chocolate stores. 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 art deco Palais de la Méditerranée. 

Sublime Views

You will also 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. 
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