St. Nicholas Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Nicolas)
Though built by the Russian royal family at the turn of the 20th century, the cathedral is a National Monument of France, and one of the most visited attractions in Nice. The church’s ornate interior is the star attraction, in particular its collection of icons (decorative woodwork and items of significant historical value) made in Russia by the Khlebnikov workshops, some of which were moved from Russia during the country’s Civil War. Travelers may enjoy the cathedral as part of a half-day, full-day private or group tour that incorporates a sightseeing excursion of Nice’s most popular attractions as well as food and wine tastings. Many modes of travel are possible, including Segways, bicycles, and even a Citroen Meharis or a helicopter. More extensive tours add a trip to Monaco with a ride down the Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit, and a trip to the Fragonard perfumery in Eze.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Suitable for solo travelers, couples, and families.
- The cathedral is free to enter.
- Appropriate dress is required for entry (no mini skirts).
- During the summer, remember sun protection and water for hydration.
- Tours may include guide, round trip hotel transport and round trip boat transport, but perhaps not food or drink. Check specific tours for details.
How to Get There
The Russian Orthodox Cathedral is located on Avenue Nicolas II and the Promenade des Anglais. If driving, ample parking is available on-site. If taking public transportation, buses #4,# 7, and #23 stop at the nearby Parc Impérial / Gambetta stop.
When to Get There
The Russian Orthodox Cathedral and its accompanying park is open daily, 9.00am - 12:00pm and 2:30pm - 6.00pm. Church services are Sunday, 5:00pm and Sunday, 10:00am (confessions are 9:30am). Check in advance for any special events that may prevent visitors from touring the interior. With a mild Mediterranean climate, Nice is a pleasant place to visit any time of the year. Come in the spring and the autumn to avoid the crowds and the heat of the summer.
Russians on the Riviera
Russian nobility in search of a sunny climate started to visit the French Riviera in the mid-1850s. As soon as the railroad was able to reach Nice, Tsar Alexander II visited by train. Soon the chapel built to serve the burgeoning community was too small, and construction of the cathedral was consecrated in 1912 by order of the Tsar, who built it on the very spot his son died from sudden meningitis.
- Hotel Negresco
- Massena Art & History Museum (Musée Masséna)
- Nice Old Town (Vieux Nice)
- Marc Chagall National Museum (Musée National Marc Chagall)
- Massena Square (Place Masséna)
- Molinard Perfumery (Maison Molinard)
- Quai des États-Unis
- Cours Saleya Flower Market (Marché aux Fleurs Cours Saleya)
- Place Garibaldi
- Castle Hill (Colline du Château)
- Promenade des Anglais
- Quai Lunel
- Matisse Museum (Musée Matisse)
- Cimiez Monastery (Monastere de Cimiez)
- Mt. Boron (Mont Boron)