Nice, France

**Updated August 2019

Where to Stay:

Apartment Rentals: There are a ton of hotels in Nice but I’ve never stayed in one.  When travelling to Nice, we usually stay for at least 12 days so my hubs and I opt for an apartment rental.  They are typically cheaper than hotels and are located all throughout Nice, from the Promenade to the hillside.  You will no doubt find one that suits your budget.  We like being able to cook our own meals and I’m all about living like a local!

Where to Eat & Drink:

Wayne’s Bar: This is a super fun bar to head to when you’re looking for some after dinner drinks.  As with all restaurants in Nice, their patio is perfect for people watching.  They also have live music, which automatically leads to dancing!!!  This place gets PACKED during the high season but you’ll meet people from all over the world.  Definitely worth checking out.

Carrefour: A great little grocery store providing everything you need like fresh produce, baguettes, eggs, and of course rosé.  They do charge a small fee for plastic bags, so if you happen to have reusable bags, be sure to bring them.  This is usually the first place we head to once we’ve arrived and unpacked at our apartment rental.

Emilie & the Cool Kids: Leave it to my hubs to find the best cookies in Nice.  In addition to their yummy cookies, I’m also obsessed with the Ginger Fizz (lemon juice, water and ginger).  They also serve great coffee, including Americanos.  It can get busy so don’t be alarmed if there’s a line up, they move pretty quickly.

Fenocchio: This place is a must when you’re in Nice.  They have two locations within Vieux Nice.  They serve over 90 different ice cream and sorbet flavours including unique ones like lavender, tomato-basil or spiced bread.  I’m not going to lie, we go here every night we’re in town.  I highly recommend this place!

Bar du Coin: If you’re craving pizza this is the place to go.  They offer a huge selection of super delicious pizzas that are served with a perfect thin crust.  The only catch: each person must order their own; you can’t share one pizza between two people (although that is certainly more than enough food).  My hubs and I will order our two pizzas but then save what we didn’t eat and have that for lunch the next day.

Vegan Gorilla: This is a great restaurant for anyone looking for a vegan alternative.  The dishes are not only flavourful but the presentation is beautiful.  It can be a little tricky to find at first, we had to back track a couple times, but it’s worth heading there.

Chez Thérésa: Socca is a traditional Provençal flatbread made with chickpea flour and Chez Thérésa serves the best socca.  Socca is about as close to a “street food” that you’ll find in Nice.  It’s served warm and unapologetically plain.  You can order through the street-front window from their location in Vieux Nice.  Socca is a must when you’re in Nice.

The Fit Kitchen: THE spot to go to if you’re looking for something that will fuel you but won’t leave you feeling overly full.  This is where you’ll find that Buddha bowl or cold-pressed juice.  They are not strictly vegan or vegetarian so you can definitely get some lean animal proteins like chicken or salmon.

Joe & the Juice: Located in the Nice airport, this a great place for freshly made smoothies or a quick pick-me up after you’re landed from your international flight.  (If you’ve checked out my New York City guide then you know I’m completely obsessed with this place).

Le Plongeoir: A bit out of the way if you’re staying in the Carré d’Or or Vieux Nice districts but the location is a big part of what makes this restaurant a must.  It’s located above the sea (literally on a rock) and offers a delicious upscale menu focusing on sea food.  If you’re looking to get dressed up for the night, I highly recommend this restaurant.

Typical for the Mediterranean, some restaurants will close during mid-afternoon.  Look for signs of “Service Non-Stop” which indicate those places stay open. 

Getting Around:

Walking: If you’re there for a vacation you’ll likely be on the beach most of the day.  Getting around Le Carré d’Or district and Vieux Nice is best to to by walking (it’s also not a very large area).  There are also some pedestrian-only areas, which are a bonus and great for shopping.

Public Transit/Trams: If you’re wanting to explore any of the beautiful towns and villages surrounding Nice (which I highly recommend), the pubic transit system is your best bet.  It’s incredibly easy to navigate even if you don’t speak French.  You can head to the Tourism Office to pick up a transit map and figure out the route to take.  The Tourism Office does offer service in English.

Train: Another great option for exploring the nearby towns and villages.  You can taken the train to Monaco or Cannes or even Italy and be back the same day!  The train station (Gare de Nice Ville) is about a 15-20 mins walk from the Hotel Negresco.

Uber: We typically use Ubers over taxis in Nice, specifically when getting to and from the airport.  The drivers have always been professional and willing to help us out with suggestions of new restaurants or bars to check out.

Things to do:

Private Beach: A must for a least one day when you’re in Nice.  We typically book a private beach on the weekends because the public beaches fill up quickly with locals.  You can rent a lounge chair, umbrella and small table for the day.  Private beaches offer service to and from your lounge chair, so you can rosé all day without getting up!!  They also have lined pathways leading to the water, so you don’t need to use your water shoes (Nice is a pebble beach and the small rocks can be a bit tricky to navigate if you’re not used to them).  Each private beach has its own restaurant and washrooms.  There are a total of 15 private beaches in Nice.  One thing to keep in mind: some of the private beaches are affiliated with a hotel and those tend to fill up quicker.

Marché du Cours Saleya: This is an open air market and a perfect way to spend the morning wandering and browsing through the different vendors.  On one side you’ll find foods direct from local farms like fresh produce, meats and cheeses and bakery items.  On the other is the beautiful fresh flower market that I could literally spend all day walking through.  On Mondays this place becomes a flea market.

Luxury Designer Shopping: You’re in the French Riviera, after all!  You’ll find the typical big French designer names like Chanel, Hermès and Louis Vuitton.  But you’ll also find fabulous vintage and second-hand shops where you can score some great pieces from (and a fabulous story to go with it).

Vieux Nice: Translated to “Old Nice” this is the city’s old town where you’ll find narrow pathways and side streets lined with cobblestone.  There are a ton of restaurants and shops located in Vieux Nice.  We typically head there at night for either dessert or after dinner drinks.  During the summer months, this place can be tricky to navigate because of the narrow streets and the amount of people, but just take your time and enjoy!

 

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