15 Best Performing Arts Venues in The French Riviera, France

Nuits du Sud

Fodor's choice

Since 1997, world-music lovers have taken over Place du Grand Jardin in mid-July for four weeks, with up to 9,000 revelers a night gyrating to various beats. Even if you don't want to buy concert tickets, come for the atmosphere and share a picnic—the music will find you no matter where you are.


Classical music, ballet performances, traditional French pop concerts, and even dog shows take place at Nice's convention center, the Acropolis.

Cannes International Film Festival

The Riviera's cultural calendar is splashy and star-studded, and never more so than during May's Cannes International Film Festival. Screenings aren't open to the public, so unless you have a pass, your stargazing will be on the streets or in restaurants (though if you hang around the backstreet exits of the big hotels around 7 pm, you may bump into a few celebs on their way to the red carpet). Cinéma de la Plage shows Cannes classics and out-of-competition films free at Macé beach at 9:30 pm. In addition, Cannes Cinéphiles ( www.cannes-cinema.com) gives 4,000 film buffs a chance to view Official Selections; you can apply online starting in February.

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Cinéma Rialto


What you will find here is the city's biggest selection of foreign- and English-language films, with some Cannes Film Festival screenings, too. What you won't find are concessions stands and popcorn.

Conservatoire National


The regional conservatory in Cimiez has a mixed calendar of events, from classical concerts to dance.

Festival de Musique

During the first two weeks of August, this festival's classical concerts take place at four locations around town, including the stone-paved plaza outside the church of St-Michel. Last-minute tickets can be purchased for €15 at the venue just before the show, and, for €5, a shuttle will pick you up from town hall.

Festival International Jazz à Juan

Launched in 1960 and held in July, this world-renowned jazz festival hosts a stellar lineup in a romantic venue under ancient pines. In the early years, stars such as Miles Davis and Ray Charles made their European debuts here. More recently, the festival has spawned the fringier Jazz OFF, with 200 musicians and free street concerts, as well as the Jazz Club at Les Ambassadeurs beach, where you can enjoy a drink with live music (headliners have been known to pop in for impromptu concerts here). Book online or buy tickets directly from the tourist office in Antibes or Juan-les-Pins.

Fête du Citron

This full-blown lemon love-in runs from mid-February through the first week of March. Floats decorated with real fruit glide through town, and musicians are on hand with entertainment. Think of it as France's answer to the Rose Bowl Parade, minus the football and add the NFT. That's right, in 2023 the festival launched a token collection.

Les Étoiles de Mougins

Since it first started in 2006, hundreds of the world’s best chefs have converged in Mougins Village to share their passion with demonstrations, workshops, and tastings in this open-air theater of gastronomy. Free shuttles transport you from the parking lot up to the village where you can roam freely, but you'll need to purchase tickets online for any demonstrations or events. The festival plans to increase its presence abroad, in countries like Italy and Japan, by taking a road tour every other year.

Les Nuits du Château de la Moutte

Every August, exceptional classical music concerts are given in the formidable gardens of the Château de la Moutte. What could be better? The new gourmet food truck and cocktail bar. You can book tickets online or by phone.

Menton Lemon Festival

Running 15 days in February through the first week of March, this full-blown lemon love-in features 140 tons of the citrus fruit on floats during daily parades and in gardens, which are lit up at night as part of the Les Jardins de Lumières (tickets are needed for both). Think of this as France's answer to the Rose Bowl Parade.

Nice Jazz Festival

For five days in July, the Nice Jazz Festival and Jazz OFF draw performers from around the world to Place Masséna and Théâtre de Verdure. Normal tickets cost €45 per show and can be purchased online or at Place Masséna.

Opéra de Nice

Old Town

A half-block west of Cours Saleya stands a flamboyant Italian-style theater designed by Charles Garnier, architect of the Paris Opéra. Today it's home to the Opéra de Nice, with a permanent chorus, orchestra, and ballet corps. The season runs September through June, and tickets start at €6. If you are under 30, head to the box office an hour before showtime for €5 tickets.

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4 rue St-François-de-Paule, Nice, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, 06300, France

Théâtre de Verdure

Built in 1945, the Théâtre de Verdure can seat 1,850 people or provide standing room for 3,200. It's a great spot for concerts and theater. Keep an eye out for the summer calendar for the Ciné Prom, when you can watch big-screen movies here.

Théâtre National de Nice

Centre Ville

Headed by Muriel Mayette‑Holt, the Théâtre National de Nice hosts 40 productions from all over Europe as part of an initiative to become a center for innovative European theater. Tickets range from €5 to €35, and on the "Entre spectateurs" section of the website, you can find people selling or exchanging their tickets for a cheaper price.

Promenade des Arts, Nice, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, 06300, France