Castle Hill: A Guide to Visiting Nice’s Beloved Hilltop Park

Perched high above the azure waters of the French Riviera, Castle Hill (also known as Parc de la Colline du Château in French) is a beloved hilltop park that offers breathtaking views of the city of Nice and its stunning coastline.

This iconic attraction is a must-visit for anyone traveling to the region, and this ultimate guide will provide you with all the essential information you need to make the most of your visit.

How do you get to Castle Hill in Nice?

Getting to Castle Hill is a breeze, especially if you’re staying near the famous Promenade des Anglais.

The park is located at the end of the iconic promenade, just a 15-minute walk from the city center. If you prefer not to walk, you can take the tram to the Port Lympia station and proceed on foot from there.

Once you arrive at the base of the hill, you have two options to reach the top: take the wide, cobblestone staircase or opt for the elevator located at the beginning of the stairs.

Castle Hill Address

The address for the elevator to Castle Hill is:

1 Rue des Ponchettes, 06300 Nice


Here’s a handy map to help you locate Castle Hill and plan your route:

Opening hours

Even though it’s a public park, Castle Hill has set opening and closing hours to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all visitors.

During the winter months (typically from November to March), the park is open from 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM. In the summer (April to October), the hours are extended to 8:30 AM to 8:00 PM.

Regardless of the season, Castle Hill is open seven days a week, so you can plan your visit according to your schedule.

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That’s why I’ve created the “Nice Travel Guide,” a comprehensive resource packed with recommendations for the best restaurants, hotels, unique day trips, and hidden gems in the area.

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Best time to visit

Thanks to its Mediterranean climate, Nice is blessed with blue skies and sunshine for the majority of the year, making it an ideal destination to visit at any time.

If you’re looking to fully embrace the outdoor lifestyle and participate in activities like picnicking and sunbathing, the warmer months of June, July, August, and September are arguably the best times to visit Castle Hill.

That being said, the park’s unique charm and breathtaking views can be appreciated year-round, so don’t hesitate to plan your visit during the cooler winter months if that better suits your travel schedule.

Do you have to pay to visit Castle Hill?

One of the best things about visiting Castle Hill is that it’s completely free! As a public park, there are no admission fees required, making it an accessible and budget-friendly attraction for all visitors to enjoy.

Things to Do in Castle Hill

Castle Hill offers a variety of activities and attractions that cater to diverse interests, ensuring an enjoyable experience for everyone. Here are some of the top things to do during your visit:

1- Celebrate La Fete du Chateau

Every June, Castle Hill hosts a lively festival called “La Fete du Chateau,” which features concerts, exhibitions, and various other events for visitors to enjoy.

If your trip coincides with this annual celebration, be sure to partake in the festivities and immerse yourself in the local culture.

2- Walk around

One of the simplest yet most rewarding activities at Castle Hill is simply strolling around and taking in the stunning panoramic views of Nice and the Mediterranean Sea.

The park’s scenic pathways and vantage points offer countless opportunities for breathtaking photos and memorable moments.

3- Have a picnic with local specialties

With its picturesque setting and ample green spaces, Castle Hill is the perfect spot for a picnic.

Pick up some local delicacies like socca (a crispy chickpea pancake) or a fresh pissaladière (a savory onion tart) from the nearby Marché Aux Fleurs, spread out a blanket, and enjoy a delightful al fresco dining experience with a stunning view.

4- See the Cimetière du Château

While it may seem like an unusual attraction, the Cimetière du Château (Castle Hill Cemetery) is a fascinating and historic site worth visiting.

This final resting place for many prominent figures from Nice and France offers a glimpse into the region’s rich cultural heritage.

5- Participate in sports

With its vast open spaces and scenic surroundings, Castle Hill is a popular spot for outdoor enthusiasts to engage in various sports and activities.

Whether you’re a runner, cyclist, or simply enjoy a casual stroll, the park provides ample opportunities to stay active and enjoy the fresh air.

6- Go on a walking tour of Castle Hill

If you’re interested in learning more about the history and significance of Castle Hill, consider joining a guided walking tour.

Knowledgeable local guides will share fascinating stories and insights, providing a deeper appreciation for this iconic landmark.

7- Find Cascade Dijon

One of the park’s unique attractions is the Cascade Dijon, a man-made waterfall that cascades down the hillside. This picturesque feature is a popular spot for photos and offers a serene backdrop for relaxation or contemplation.

8- Admire The Ruins of Castle Hill

While exploring the park, you’ll come across the ruins of the ancient castle that once stood atop the hill. These remnants of the historic fortress provide a glimpse into the rich past of Nice and serve as a reminder of the city’s resilience and endurance.

9- Watch the sunset

There’s no better way to cap off a day at Castle Hill than by witnessing a breathtaking sunset. As the sun dips below the horizon, the city lights of Nice begin to twinkle, creating a truly magical and unforgettable experience.

Things to remember when visiting Castle Hill

Things to remember when visiting Castle Hill

To ensure a safe and enjoyable visit to Castle Hill, here are a few important things to keep in mind:

  • Respect the rules: As a public park, Castle Hill has rules in place to maintain cleanliness and ensure the safety of all visitors. Be sure to follow these guidelines at all times.
  • Wear comfortable shoes: The cobblestone stairs leading up to the park can be slippery, so it’s essential to wear comfortable, non-slip shoes or sneakers.
  • Avoid bringing pets: Pets are not allowed in the park to prevent disturbances and maintain a peaceful environment for all visitors.
  • Take your trash with you: Practice the “leave no trace” principle and take all your litter with you when you leave the park, helping to preserve its natural beauty.
  • Be mindful of the temperature: During the summer months, Castle Hill can get quite hot and exposed, so be sure to bring sunscreen, hats, and light clothing to protect yourself from the sun.
  • Listen to your guide: If you’re participating in a guided tour, pay close attention to your guide’s instructions and explanations to gain the most from the experience.
  • Take plenty of photos: With its stunning vistas and picturesque settings, Castle Hill offers countless opportunities for memorable photographs. Don’t forget your camera or fully charged smartphone!

Things to do after visiting Castle Hill

After exploring the wonders of Castle Hill, there’s still so much more to discover in the vibrant city of Nice.

Here are some exciting activities to consider adding to your itinerary:

1- Visit the Promenade des Anglais

Just a short walk from Castle Hill, you’ll find the iconic Promenade des Anglais, a stunning seaside promenade that stretches along the coastline of Nice.

Stroll along this beautiful walkway, take in the Mediterranean breeze, and soak up the lively atmosphere of this famous destination.

2- Try traditional Niçoise food and wine on a food tour

No visit to Nice would be complete without indulging in the city’s renowned cuisine. Embark on a food tour to savor local specialties like pissaladière, socca, and salade niçoise, accompanied by delicious local wines.

This culinary experience will tantalize your taste buds and give you a true sense of the region’s flavors.

3- Make your own perfume at Molinard

For a unique and unforgettable souvenir, consider creating your own personalized perfume at the renowned Molinard perfumery.

During this perfume-making workshop, you’ll learn about the art of fragrance creation and craft a one-of-a-kind scent to take home with you.

4- Visit the Matisse Museum

Art enthusiasts will delight in a visit to the Matisse Museum, dedicated to the works of the famous French artist Henri Matisse.

Immerse yourself in his vibrant paintings, sculptures, and drawings, and gain a deeper appreciation for his significant contribution to the art world.

5- Explore Old Town (Vieux Nice)

Step back in time by exploring the charming Vieux Nice, the historic old town of Nice. Wander through its narrow, winding streets, admire the colorful buildings, and soak up the lively atmosphere of the local markets and bustling cafes.

6- Go on a dynamic Nice City Segway Sightseeing Tour

For a fun and unique way to explore the city, consider booking a Nice City Segway Sightseeing Tour.

Glide through the streets on these eco-friendly vehicles, stopping at various points of interest and taking in the best views and landmarks that Nice has to offer.

Where to stay near Castle Hill

To make the most of your time in Nice and easily access Castle Hill and other nearby attractions, consider staying in one of these recommended hotels:

On a budget: Hôtel Vendôme

A cozy and affordable option just a short walk from the park and the Promenade des Anglais.

Mid-range: Hôtel Nice Azur Riviera

A comfortable and well-appointed hotel with easy access to Castle Hill and other top attractions in Nice.

Splurge: Boscolo Nice Hotel & Spa

Treat yourself to luxury accommodations and world-class amenities at this upscale hotel, conveniently located near Castle Hill and the old town of Vieux Nice.

Final Thoughts

Castle Hill is a true gem of the French Riviera, offering breathtaking views, rich history, and a wealth of activities for visitors of all ages and interests.

By following this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well-equipped to make the most of your visit to this beloved hilltop park.

From picnicking amidst stunning vistas to exploring ancient ruins and participating in outdoor sports, Castle Hill promises an unforgettable experience.

With the vibrant city of Nice right at your doorstep, you’ll have endless opportunities to immerse yourself in the local culture, cuisine, and attractions.

So what are you waiting for? Start planning your visit to Castle Hill today, and get ready to create lasting memories in one of the most beautiful and captivating destinations on the French Riviera.

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