Entrance to all of the museums in Nice is free except for the Chagall museum.
Musée National Marc Chagall
The Chagall Museum stands out among Nice's museums as one of the most interesting on the French Riviera. It contains seventeen superbly displayed large canvases. 12 of which are depicting scenes from the Old Testament in bright, joyous colors. The other five paintings illustrate The Song Of Songs (Le Cantique des Cantiques), not as a homogeneous series, but as five variations on the same theme-love.
The Chagall Museum also holds sculptures, tapestries, preparatory sketches, engravings, and lithographs from this important 20th-century artist. If you are looking for things to do in Nice the museum is an excellent option.
Chagall himself designed a stained-glass window for the museum and contributed a mosaic. The museum is open daily 10am - 5pm except for Tuesdays. Entrance is €7.50 and €5.50 for students. It offers free entrance the first Sunday of every month.
Famed French artist, Henri Matisse spent 37 creative years of his life in Nice after moving here from Paris to recover from Bronchitis. Before passing away, Matisse donated a collection of works to the city. The Matisse Museum is located in a 17th century villa on Cimiez Hill. It is open every day except Tuesday, 10:00 – 18:00 and has been recently renovated.
The Musée Matisse should not be your only stop in this glamorous part of Nice. Visit the Franciscan Monastry and enjoy a stroll or a picnic in the Franciscan Park. Surrounded by ancient olive trees and with a fantastic view of East Nice, this is a great stopping spot. Behind the Musee Matisse lie ruins of the 14BC Roman City of Cemenelum (founded by Julius Caesers nephew and successor, Augustus). Entry is free to see the Roman Ruins and the Musee Archeologiques. The public baths, amphitheatre and original paved streets remain. You can also view the original relics from the days of Roman rule.
Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain (MAMAC)
The Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain is not only a bastion for modern art, but an architectural triumph. Situated in the city centre, this huge building is hard to miss. It has Carrara marble towers that link with glass footbridges around the roof terrace of the building (known as the Jardin d'Eden ) which provides a spectacular bird's-eye view of the city. Works from the 1950s to the present day are featured in the permanent collection, including work by Andy Warhol, Niki de Saint Phalle, Roy Lichtenstein and several other artists. Temporary exhibitions and the École du Louvre lecture series are also held here (November to April), as well as monthly film screenings. There is an excellent museum shop on the ground floor which offers design pieces and books.
Musée Oceanographique de Monaco
Perched dramatically on the cliff-top in Monaco, the Oceanographic Museum is Monaco's most visited museum and is home to exhibitions and collections of various species of aquatic life. Along with the aquariums there is also an interesting oceanographic museum, with skeletons and all manner of weird specimens perserved in yellow liquid from a bygone age. On the top of the museum is a restaurant and a great place for viewing Monaco. The opening times are 10:00 – 18:00 from October to March. It only closes on the day of the Grand Prix. Entry fees are €14 for adults, €7 for children and free entry for children under 4.
Fondation Maeght, St Paul de Vence
Located about an hour North of Nice in the breath-taking St Paul de Vence, the Maeght Foundation is a must-see for dedicated and new art lovers alike. A true museum in nature, the Maeght Foundation is an exceptional site that contains one of the most important collections in Europe, with paintings, sculptures; drawings and graphic works of modern art from the 20th century (Bonnard, Braque, Calder, Chagall, Chillida, Giacometti, Léger, Miró...) and contemporary artists (Adami, Kelly, Kuroda, Monory, Tàpies).
Musée Picasso, Antibes
Located in a spectacular setting on the fortification walls of Antibes, Chateau Grimaldi became "Musée Picasso" on 27 December 1966. Picasso stayed there from mid-September to mid-November 1946 where he produced a great deal of work and donated 23 paintings and 44 drawings to the town of Antibes. From 1952 onwards, many donations and purchases, including donations from Jacqueline Picasso in 1991, have greatly enriched the Picasso collection in the museum.