Musée National du Sport in Nice

The Musée National du Sport is an excellent place to go for families visiting or living on the French Riviera.  Located at the Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice, it is the only national museum in France dedicated to sport.

Musée National du Sport

The Musée National du Sport (National Sports Museum) in Nice is the only national museum in France dedicated to sport

What is on display at the Musée National du Sport

The museum has a wide collection of different sports memorabilia dating from the 16th century to modern times spread across 2500m2 of exhibition space.

You will see historic sports items including Olympic medals and torches, team uniforms, sports equipment, postcards, photographs, posters, sculptures and trophies.

It is a great place for children to see recreational items which are not in use today such as vintage bicycles and wooden skis. 

national sports museum nice

musee national du sport

There are displays for cycling, snow sports, running, boxing, fencing, racquet sports, football, rugby, handisports, martial arts, sailing, skateboarding and motorsports.

There are also interactive sports animations such as trying a game of fencing, Wii controllers, baby football tables and a Formula car simulator.  A film room screens sports footage and documentaries.

The museum has a room dedicated to the OGC Nice football team with signed shirts, supporters gear and a jukebox with team chants. It is called Café des Aiglons but isn’t actually a cafeteria; there is a snack vending machine though!

The museum is excellent for families with kids of different ages because it has a good mixture of cabinet displays as well as interactive educational screens to keep children entertained.  It is in my opinion one of the more modern museums you can visit on the Cote d’Azur and is definitely underrated for families!

national sports museum nice

Temporary Exhibitions

As well as many permanent collections, the museum holds temporary exhibitions throughout the year.  There is a dedicated zone of 500m2 where you can explore different displays based on specific themes or subjects.  You can buy entry just for the permanent collections, or purchase a combined entry for the permanent and temporary exhibitions – the difference in price is €1 – €2 only.

Currently, the temporary exhibition at the museum until 11 March 2018 is ‘Jouez’ which is a fantastic showcase of games and toys, with a special focus on vintage items.  You’ll see retro game consoles, vintage wooden toys and games and modern video games.

vintage toys

The current temporary exhibition ‘Jouez’ has some excellent vintage games and toys including a ping pong set from 1901, a pinball machine from 1933 and a steeplechase game from the 1850’s

Slot cars and toys from the 1950’s and 1970’s

Mattel figurines from the 1960’s

atari nintendo pong intellivision

Games consoles from 1975 onwards – who remembers Pong, Intellivision, Atari and Nintendo?

What other things do they offer?

The museum offers guided tours for individuals, groups, or associations; guided tours are additional to the cost of museum entrance.

They run children’s workshops throughout the year (including school holidays and Christmas).  They also host kids birthday parties where you choose between several options that can include a visit of the museum, a sport-related activity and snacks.

Onsite, just to the right in the museum entrance foyer you’ll find a boutique selling items such as football shirts, books and posters.

(image: Insep)

Additionally, they have a huge collection of sports brochures, books, tickets, photos and films that have been collected since the 1960’s and the public can access this research area by pre-reservation every day (except Tuesday or the weekend).  Find out more here:  Le Centre de Researche et Ressources du Sport

You can also combine a visit to the museum with a tour of Allianz Riviera stadium; the cost varies between €8 to €13, reserve this via the museum site.  The tour goes for 1.5 hours and is hosted in French language, tour participants must be minimum 6 years of age.

Another thing to note (which parents will appreciate) is that the toilet facilities include a baby change table. Such a small consideration, but it is not so common to find a baby change table here on the French Riviera so it is a much appreciated amenity.

How to get to the Musée National du Sport

By car:  Getting to the museum is very simple.  If you’re driving, simply come off the A8 autoroute at Sortie 52 (Saint-Isidore) and follow the signs to the stadium and/or museum which is located on boulevard des Jardiniers.  There is free car parking right outside the museum entrance.

By train: Note, the museum can not be reached by train from either Nice Ville train station or Nice Saint-Augustin train station so don’t be led astray.  You can get the Chemin de Fer de Provence train line from the Gare Nice station (4 bis rue Alfred Binet) to Saint-Isidore stop, and then it is a 10-minute walk from Saint-Isidore to the museum.  See this map for the route from St Isidore station to the museum/stadium:  http://www.allianz-riviera.fr/sites/allianz-riviera.fr/files/media/plan_daccecs_stade_evenement_pieton.pdf    Chemin de Fer de Provence also have special fares when matches are on at the stadium too.

(image: Allianz.Riviera.fr)

By bus:  The museum’s brochure says you can get there using bus lines 11 and 59 that stop at Saint-Isidore.  🙂 However, for a tourist it’s not so easy to find more information online about these bus lines and where they travel to/from.  So, to make things easier here is the information you need if you want to go by bus!

Bus 11:  Travels between Carras / Frémont and Saint-Isidore. The line is called ‘Carras / Frémont – Centre Commercial Saint Isidore’ with Lignes Azur.  For the museum, you can get off at stops ‘La Carrière’ or ‘Saint-Isidore Église’ and walk less than 10 minutes.  The timetable at February 2018 is here:  https://www.lignesdazur.com/ftp/lines/170904ligne-11.pdf

Bus 59:  Travels between Nice and Plan du Var.  The line is called ‘Plan du Var-Trésorerie-Cathédrale Vieille Ville’ with Lignes Azur.  For the museum, you have to get off at stop ‘Les Baraques’ and walk 10 minutes to the museum/stadium.  It’s important to note that the roads around this area are part of a semi-industrial area and can be quite busy with the autoroute nearby, so be cautious walking along here and crossing roads.  The timetable at February 2018 is here:  https://www.lignesdazur.com/ftp/lines/180110ligne59.pdf

Note:  These bus routes have changes until the end of February 2018 because of roadworks and Nice Carnival, so check on the Lignes Azur website before you travel on these buses.

Opening hours / entry prices for the Musée National du Sport

The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday (closed on Mondays).

Between October and April, hours are 11am to 5pm.

Between May and September, hours are 10am to 6pm.

Ticket prices:

The best tip I can share is that on the first Sunday of every month the museum is free of charge for everyone. 

They also participate in the yearly Journées Européennes du Patrimoine held each September when museums open their doors to the public for free (or a very low cost).

Every other day, children under 18 years of age get free entry.

Groups, 18-25 years of age or job seekers = €3 for one exhibition, or €4 for permanent + temporary displays.

Adults = €6 for one exhibition, or €8 for permanent + temporary displays. There is no special rate for seniors.

If you are visiting the French Riviera for 3 days or more, the museum participates in the Côte d’Azur Card sightseeing pass.

The National Sports Museum is an excellent option for travellers on a budget, families looking for an interesting attraction or rainy day activity or anyone interested in history of sport.

Watch the promotional video of the museum below (video credit:  MuséeduSport / YouTube):

Accessibility information

The Musée National du Sport is suitable for persons with restricted mobility and is wheelchair accessible.  The museum is on the ground floor with no interior steps or steep inclines and there are wheelchair accessible toilets in the main entrance foyer.  I forgot to check if there are mobility spaces in the carpark but I’m 99% sure there will be some and the entrance path to the museum is flat and paved.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my blog post about the Musée National du Sport in Nice!  Please do share this post on social media if you found it useful, or for more information about the Sports Museum in Nice, go to their website www.museedusport.fr

 

French Riviera volunteers needed for UEFA Euro 2016

The city of Nice has launched a recruitment drive to find volunteers for UEFA Euro 2016 which will be held in France from 10 June to 10 July 2016.

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The role of volunteers

There is a need for around 560 volunteers to help across 17 sectors including spectator services, media relations, VIP services, transport, marketing, ticketing etc.

Volunteers will welcome, inform and direct supporters and tourists with a big focus on the Fan Zones in the heart of Nice.

Where are the Fan Zones in Nice for Euro 2016?

There are 2 dedicated Fan Zones – one is situated between Théatre de Verdure and Jardins Albert 1er and has a capacity to host 10,000 people on the evenings of the matches with 2 giant screens relaying live coverage and restaurants onsite.  The other Fan Zone is a 8000sqm area on quai des États-Unis.

What are the dates of the matches in Nice?

There will be 4 matches played in Nice at Stade de Nice / Allianz Riviera (CAPACITY: 36,000).  The dates are:

  • 12 June 2016
  • 17 June 2016
  • 22 June 2016
  • 27 June 2016

5 Facts about UEFA Euro 2016

  1. There will be 54 teams at qualifying, with 24 teams in the final stages.
  2. The mascot is called Super Victor and is a small boy with a cape and magic shoes – keep a look out for #MascotteDay events leading up to the matches. You can also follow him on Twitter @SuperVictor
  3. Around 2.5 million spectators will watch the matches in the stadiums in France, with each match estimated to attract 150 million television viewers from 230 countries.
  4. Nice is one of 10 cities that will host the final phase matches. The other host cities are Bordeaux, Lens Agglo, Lille Métropole, Lyon, Marseille, Paris, Saint-Denis, Saint-Étienne and Toulouse.
  5. The Ambassador for Nice is Daniel Bravo, winner of UEFA EURO 1984.

Did you know?

Cannes will be a team base camp and training location. See here: https://teambasecampseuro2016.uefa.ch/team-base-camps/cannes/training-ground#top

Criteria to become a volunteer:

  1. You must be aged 18 as at 01 April 2016.
  2. You must be available for the 4 Nice match dates
  3. You must be fluent in French with a good level of English

Important steps to become a volunteer:

  1. Pre-register your interest by sending an  email to benevoles.nice2016@ville-nice.fr
  2. Attend the Volunteers Meeting at MAMAC (Musée d’art modern et d’art contemporain) in Nice on 15 January 2016.
  3. After the Volunteers Meeting, if you are still interested reconfirm your interest by sending another email to benevoles.nice2016@ville-nice.fr

Important note for persons with reduced mobility:

All matches will be accessible for all spectators under criteria from UEFA and CAFE (Centre pour l’access au football en Europe).  If you need specific advice regarding accessibility in Nice for the matches, transport, accommodation or Fan Zones please contact me via email: accessriviera06@gmail.com

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