Matisse Museum

, ,
matisse museum

Matisse Museum in Nice is dedicated to the works of French Painter Henri Matisse. The Museum opened in 1963 situated in the Villa des Arènes. A seventeenth-century Genoese residence situated on the Cimiez Hill

Villa des Arènes was built between 1670 to 1685, it was named ‘Gubernatis palace’ after its owner, Jean-Baptiste Gubernatis, and in 1950 the city of Nice bought it from the real estate company and named it ‘Villa des Arènes’. The city bought the villa to preserve it.

The Matisse Museum shared its home with the museum of archaeology who occupied the ground floor, however, in 1989 the museum of archaeology moved to the nearby ancient site of the city. This allowed the Matisse Museum to expand, work began in 1989, when the museum closed to the public for four years while the renovations happened and finally in 1993, The Museum reopened with a new modern look and the museum could now exhibit the entire permanent collection.

Matisse Museum has one of the most important Henri Matisse collections in the world. Donated to the museum by the Artist, his Wife and their heirs. Hundreds of pieces of paintings, engravings, drawings and sculptures can be found in Matisse Museum.

Henri Émile Benoît Matisse
Henri Émile Benoît Matisse born 31 December 1869

Brief life history of Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse was born in 1863 in Le Cateau-Cambrésis and lived in the north of France and studied law in Paris, after gaining his qualification, he started painting in 1889. After his mother brought him art supplies during a period of convalescence following an attack of appendicitis. Henri Matisse returned to Paris in 1891 to study Art at the Académie Julian. After moving to the South of France he went to Coulliore and Corsica but later fell in love with Nice for its sun and the special lights.

In the winter months of 1921, Henri Matisse Moved to Nice Permanently in an apartment building at the top of Cours Saleya, during the next 17 years of Henri Matisse life he lived on the third floor with a beautiful view out on to the market and later moved from the third floor apartment floor to the fourth floor penthouse with the wrap-around terrace, where he would paint and enjoy the beautiful view of Nice. During the 17 years, Henri Matisse would go on to creating a masterpiece, The Dance.

Henri Matisse Moved to Cimiez in 1938, where he owned two apartments on the third floor of the Regina, towards the end of WWII Matisse moved to the Villa Le Reve in Vence to escape the threats of bombing and lived in Vence for five years until he returned to his home at the Regina, where he died in November 1954 and was buried in the Cimiez Cemetery.

Matisse dishes and fruit
Matisse dishes and fruit 1901, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Contact Information

Telephone: +33 4 93 81 08 08 | Official Website |

How To Get There

Nearby Bus Stop Les Arènes / Musée Matisse, bus service 15, 17, 20, 22, 24 and 25 stop there. fairs for busses in Nice: €1.50 or €1 if you buy the 10 trip card.

If you would like to avoid public transport, I would suggest getting an Uber, it will cost you between €7-€10 from the Old Town to the Museum. Don’t get local Taxi as sometimes they double the price, it could cost you anything from €15 to €20.

Nearest Train Station is the ‘Nice-Pont-Michel’, 25 Minutes walk from the Museum, however, I would recommend going from the main train station to the ‘Hospital Pasteur’ and then walking to the Museum, it would take you 18 minutes from the ‘Hospital Pasteur’ to the Museum.

The Dance
The Dance (first version), 1909, The Museum of Modern Art, New York City

Opening Hours

late June to mid-October 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
mid-October to late June 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Closing days: Closed every Tuesday, Easter Sunday, May 1st, Christmas day 25th of December and January 1.


Ticket Type Price
Adults €10
Children Under 18 Years Old Free Entry

Free for Students, Blue Pass Musee and French Riviera Pass 


  • Opened: 1963.
  • Artworks: Fleurs et fruits, Les Abeilles.
  • Type: Art museum.
  • On-site activities: Temporary exhibitions, Conferences and lectures, Workshop for children and Activities on specific themes.
  • Types of equipment: Auditorium, Projection room.

Nearby to See

Just latter of the Matisse Museum is the Cimiez Arena, historic site features ruins of a Roman amphitheatre and Musée Archéologique de Cimiez de Nice museum features statues, coins & other ancient finds. If you would like a nice walk in the park after visiting the museum, explore Arènes de Cimiez Garden.

Nearby for Food

If you feeling hungry after visiting Matisse Museum, we would highly recommend trying Resto Cote Sud, Restuarant services French, Mediterranean and European cuisines or Polly and Cie  Cuisine type French, International, Deli and Vegetarian-Friendly.

Where to stay in Nice

Nearby places to stay as cheap as possible budget under £100/$100/€100:

  • Villa Otero, 11 minutes walk from the beach. Located in the heart of Nice, in the Musicians district, Villa Otero is a hotel set in a 1920s building. ideal place to stay only 5 minutes walk from Nice Train station and located within 5 miles from Nice Airport. Check Price.
  • Hôtel Le Lausanne, 9 minutes walk from the beach. Located in the heart of Nice, in the musician’s quarter, Hôtel Le Lausanne is only a 10-minute walk from the Promenade des Anglais. Nice-Ville Train Station is 600 yards away and the Albert 1st Gardens are 1.2 from the hotel. Check Price.
  • Hotel de France, 3 minutes walk from the beach. Hotel de France is situated in the heart of Nice, 100 yards from the Promenade des Anglais, The beach and the city centre is a short walk away. Check Price.

Nearby places to stay at a budget price of £200 – £400:

  • Hotel Negresco, a 1-minute walk from the beach. The famous Hotel Negresco, dating from the beginning of the 20th century, overlooks the beach and the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. Hotel Negresco’s guests can benefit from access to the Neptune private beach area. Check Price.
  • Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée, a one-minute walk from the beach. Set on the Promenade des Anglais, Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée is an art-deco style hotel featuring an on-site casino, an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, a hammam and a sauna. The terrace offers panoramic views of the Baie des Anges. Regional cuisine and Mediterranean dishes are served in the hotel’s restaurant. Check Price.

Henri Matisse Artwork

bonheur matisse 1905–6, Barnes Foundation
bonheur matisse 1905–6, Barnes Foundation
Vase, Bottle and Fruit
Vase, Bottle and Fruit, 1906, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
Gustave Moreau's Studio, 1894-1895
Gustave Moreau’s Studio, 1894-1895

Visiting Nice, France? We have other posts that you may enjoy that will be helpful on your trip.

Looking for walk tours in Nice, France? There are entire books with self-guided walking tours.

Here some of our favourite.



Address: 164 Avenue des Arènes de Cimiez, 06000 Nice, France | Coordinations:  43°43′10″N 7°16′34″E

[su_button url=”” style=”flat” background=”#000000″ size=”6″ wide=”yes” center=”yes” radius=”0″ icon=”icon: arrow-circle-right”]Explore the city of Nice[/su_button]

Enjoyed this post? Save it for later on Pinterest! Share the Love

Matisse Museum

Matisse Museum