In brief

City of Nice joins Unesco World Heritage sites


Officials hope that the sought-after title will help diversify the region’s tourism.

A stunning location nestled between the mountains and the Mediterraean, a state of the art airport, and of course, a century-old architectural and urban heritage. Nice, “the winter resort town of the Riviera”, has officially been named a Unesco World Heritage site.

The UNESCO title has been awarded to the Promenade des Anglais, the old town of Nice, south-east Nice and Port Lympia. Urban development in these areas will henceforth be strictly controlled to ensure the preservation of the city’s heritage.

Tourism is in the city’s DNA

“The history of the city Nice is at once rooted and open, Mediterranean and Alpine, European and cosmopolitan,” said Christian Estrosi, the mayor of Nice, following the announcement. At the beginning of the 19th century, the city of Nice became a sought-after location for European aristocrats, mostly English and Russian, looking for a warm climate where to spend their winters.

Two centuries later, the face of Côte d’Azur tourism may have changed, but Nice remains a popular destination, especially in summer.  

The deputy president of the Nice Tourist Office welcomed the news and said that he hoped the UNESCO recognition would help diversify the city’s tourism: “We are fighting to avoid mass tourism. We want our tourism to be balanced, cultural and environmentally aware. So yes, the nomination sends a strong message internationally and in favour of winter tourism, which is not as well known.”

The next step, and by no means a small one, is Nice’s candidacy as the 2028 European capital of culture.