10 of the Best Museums on the French Riviera

The French Riviera has over 40 museums with rich collections often set in picturesque locations overlooking manicured gardens, village squares or the sea.

From Belle Époque paintings to modern sculptures, visitors to the region will find enough cultural places of interest to entertain them for a day, week or longer.

french riviera museums

Musée Matisse in Cimiez, Nice

If you are planning on visiting a number of museums, look into the option to purchase a museum pass from the Tourism Offices – the Côte d’Azur Card has a good range of attractions and activities, or the Pass Musées de Nice offers access to Nice’s municipal museums including some of the smaller ones such as Terra Amata and Musée d’Art Naïf. NOTE: If you are a resident of Nice or the metropolitan area, you get free access to Nice’s municipal museums. You simply give I.D plus verification of your address and you are issued with the Pass which is valid for 3 years.

classical art museum mougins

Musée d’Art Classique de Mougins

The Best Museums on the French Riviera

For a cultural dose, click on the article link here to find out who rates in the ‘Top 10 Museums on the French Riviera’.

monaco oceanagraphic

Monaco Oceanarium is a natural history museum- aquarium

Other great museums I like (not included on this list above) are:

Musée des Merveilles at Tende

Musée Bonnard in Le Cannet

The National Sports Museum and Museum of Asiatic Arts, both in Nice

Férnand Léger Museum in Biot

Musée Volti at the Citadelle in Villefranche-sur-Mer

I hope you enjoy visiting these museums!  Don’t forget on the first Sunday of the month most museums have free entry too 🙂



7 Favourite Museums in Provence Côte d’Azur via Lou Messugo

Provence Côte d’Azur has an abundance of excellent museums worth discovering ranging from special interest such as the Perfume Museum (Musée International de Parfum) in Grasse right through to museums dedicated to artists (Picasso Museum / Musée Picasso).

Musée International de Parfum in Grasse

Musée International de Parfum in Grasse

I was kindly invited to share my thoughts about a few of my favourite museums as part of a blog post by Lou Messugo.

You can read the entire post here:  http://www.loumessugo.com/en/blog/entry/7-favourite-museums-in-provence-cote-d-azur

What are your favourite museums in the region?

Antibes : 10 Facts You Didn’t Know

Antibes is one of the first towns I visited in France and I’ll never forget the journey from the airport along the Bord de Mer coast road and that stunning turquoise sea beside the road all the way to Fort Carré.

Entering the archway to Old Town Antibes and following the road along the ramparts is lovely – the view overlooking plage Gravette with Port Vauban, Baie des Anges and the Alps in the distance is still one of my favourites.

Antibes - Chappelle Saint-Bernardin - Safranier - MAMO Le Michelangelo

Antibes – Chappelle Saint-Bernardin – Safranier – MAMO Le Michelangelo

For a town I visit regularly, it has lots of history and places still to discover – and some surprising facts that may be new for residents!   Read more here :  http://www.bespokeyachtcharter.com/luxury-yacht-charter/antibes-old-town/

Art Trails on the French Riviera

The French Riviera has fascinated painters, poets and artists for centuries who have been inspired by the beautiful landscapes and luminous light of the Mediterranean.

From Renoir to Chagall, from Picasso to Monet and Matisse the region is scattered with wonderful art museums and collections from the finest painters.

Follow my guide ‘Art Trails on the French Riviera’ for places to visit with an artistic influence including classic and contemporary art collections as well as off-the-beaten-track suggestions.


Musée Peynet

Musée Picasso

Musée Picasso. Antibes

Musée Picasso. Antibes


Musée National Fernand Léger

Cagnes sur Mer

Chateau Musée Grimaldi

Musée Renoir


Centre d’art La Malmaison

Musée de la Castre


Musée d’art et d’histoire de Provence

Le Cannet

Musée Bonnard


Musée Jean Cocteau

Musée Jean Cocteau, Menton

Musée Jean Cocteau, Menton

Mouans Sartoux

L’espace de l’art concret at Château de Mouans Sartoux


Musée d’Art Classique de Mougins



Galerie de la Marine

Galerie des Ponchettes




Monastre de Nôtre Dame de Cimiez (burial place of Raoul Dufy and Henri Matisse)

Musée des Arts Asiatiques

Musee des Beaux Arts

Musée Marc Chagall

Musée Massena

Musée Matisse

Musée Matisse, Nice

Musée Matisse, Nice

Hôtel Negresco

Hotel Villa La Tour

Hotel Windsor

Palais Lascaris

Villa Arson

Saint Jean Cap Ferrat

Villa Santo Sospir

Saint Paul de Vence

La Colombe d’Or

Fondation Maeght

Fondation Maeght, St Paul de Vence

Fondation Maeght, St Paul de Vence

St Paul de Vence cemetery (burial place of Marc Chagall)


Musée National Picasso


Chapelle du Rosaire

Chapelle du Rosaire painted by Matisse

Chapelle du Rosaire painted by Matisse

Villefranche sur Mer

Chapelle St Pierre

Chapelle St Pierre, Villefranche sur Mer

Chapelle St Pierre, Villefranche sur Mer

La Citadelle (home to the Musée Volti, Collection Goetz-Boumeester and Collection Roux – to read more about these 3 museums read my previous blog post about Villefranche sur Mer here

To see a map of Access Riviera’s ‘Art Trails on the French Riviera’ locations, click on this link (thanks to Wanderant!) where you can click on each location to read more:

If you found this Art Guide informative, please share on Facebook or Twitter. Thanks!

Image credits: Cimiez, Deluxe Drivers, France Culture, Oopartir, Panoramio

Free entry tonight at French museums – Nuit Européenne des Musées

Tonight, take advantage of free entry to many museums across France as part of the Nuit Européenne des Musées.

La Nuit Européenne des Musées (image: official website)

La Nuit Européenne des Musées (image: official website)

This initiative is a lovely way to experience some of the French Riviera’s best museums as the sun sets and the buildings and displays are illuminated.

Some participating museums on the French Riviera include:

  • Picasso Museum (Antibes)
  • Musée National Fernand Leger (Biot)
  • Musée Renoir (Cagnes sur Mer)
  • Musée des Beaux Arts (Nice)
  • Musée National Marc Chagall (Nice)
  • Musée de la Citadelle (Villefranche sur Mer)

The listing of participating museums in the Provence-Alpes-Côte dAzur region is  downloadable here:  Programme_PACA

For full downloads of France-wide participating museums, see the link here: http://nuitdesmusees.culturecommunication.gouv.fr/Actualites/Decouvrez-les-programmes-regionaux

Top tip: I have visited the website and the geo-locating and search is not very specific, so for the best user experience I recommend you click on the Programme_PACA link above, or for a general search go to ‘Accéder Au Programme’ or ‘A Proximité’ and zoom into the map of France, then the French Riviera region.  Click on each pin to see details of each participating museum including opening hours this evening.