Always chic and stylish, historic Nice is the capital of the French Riviera. Here you can spend a weekend among the old city’s ancient sights; getting lost along the old streets, sauntering around galleries, and sipping champagne at sunset. Nice is decadent, atmospheric and a whole lot of fun to explore.
An ancient city with a beautiful beach, Nice boasts good food, fine wine, historical sights, cultural museums and pretty parks. Tessellations of architectural styles from Baroque to Belle Epoque make for an interesting mix of traditional and laid-back lifestyles. The city center is easy to travel around on foot, with bus routes and trains connecting top sights and districts that are further afield.
Map of the Best Places to Stay in Nice
1. Old Town · 2. Promenade des Anglais · 3. Le Port · 4. Jean-Médecin · 5. Cimiez · 6. Gambetta
For a French city with so much finesse and depth of culture, Nice offers surprising value for money when it comes to accommodation. There’s a big selection of places to stay in Nice with plenty of luxury lodgings for those who want to splash the cash, but budget hotel rooms are also widely available. Take time out of your daily routine and slip into the indulgence of a chic seaside city break in the forever stylish and deliciously decadent Nice.
Nice’s old town is a warren of ancient streets that connect 16th-century buildings. A dense network of history makes this area a magnet for travelers who want to stay amongst the city’s top sights. The iconic flower market, full of color and fragrance, draws visitors from all around to watch the spectacle – once a week this turns into a hip flea market.
This lively old quarter is also where you’ll find the Place Rossetti and the Cathedral St Réparate at the center of the city. Indulge yourself during the day in the old town’s shops and soak up the culture in the art galleries, before an evening drinking and dining at the best spots in the city.
Fun and busy, the old town is perfect for short breaks and offers a selection of boutique hotels housed in beautiful Baroque buildings. Luxury chic hotels work perfectly for visitors looking for a long weekend in comfort and class in the buzz of the old town. Many of the city’s top sights are within easy walking distance of the old town, meaning you can make the most of your trip.
Recommended Hotel: Palais Saleya Boutique hôtel
Chill out and take it easy; life along the Promenade des Anglais is all about the beach. Enjoy sunny days sipping drinks in beachside bars, lounging in the blue chairs and gazing out across the Baie des Anges. At sunset, tuck into fresh fish and delicious dessert while you watch people rollerblade, jog or stroll in their evening wear along the promenade. This area has been synonymous with Nice since the 19th-century and it’s still booming with locals and tourists today.
Its stunning location along the Mediterranean coast makes it a more desirable and expensive area. Accommodation is high-end luxury; hotels with sea views are often famous and have accommodated the city’s more well-known visitors. The area is home to attractions such as Phoenix Park and the Palais de la Mediterranee, but it’s also easy to take a walk to Nice’s iconic sights, or just grab a cab if the beach vibes have got you feeling lazy.
Recommended Hotel: Hôtel West End Promenade
Low-key Le Port offers fantastic views across the harbor and is within easy walking distance of the old town, Promenade des Anglais, and Rue Bonaparte, plus many of the city’s hottest dining and nightlife venues. Le Port is a great base if you’re arriving or leaving by boat, with its chic and shiny million dollar yachts gliding into the port. The area remains down-to-earth with working locals and rustic eateries.
There’s a range of charming, mid-range hotels here, bringing life to old buildings. They’re often more reasonably priced than similar accommodation further into the center. Take a walk along the coast to see more of the scenic waterfront, or take the train into the old areas of Nice.
Recommended Hotel: ibis Styles Nice Vieux Port
A lot of money and work has gone into making this district a modern, open area. Masséna is at the center of the New Town, where streets stretch off in various directions, each offering different attractions. Here department stores and designer French fashion labels entice passersby. Take time out from retail therapy and muse over masterpieces at the Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain and the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle.
The sprawling streets edged by townhouses sit close to the spectrum of shopping and dining venues. Accommodation is mid-range and fashionably creative and quirky, with some hotels offering rooftop terraces for sunset drinks and dinner.
Recommended Hotel: Hotel Nice Riviera
Stylish villas and a sense of British history fill the Cimiez district. It has links to Queen Victoria and as such, many of the streets are named after British royals. Charming lanes and Belle Epoque architecture edge the landscaped public gardens of the Matisse Museum. The mainly residential neighborhood offers families a safe, clean place to stay in Nice, with plenty of green spaces and quiet streets. Museums make this area popular with day trippers who come to soak up the culture and affable surroundings. Though Cimiez is slightly away from the main tourist sights, the stunningly beautiful Cathédrale Saint Nicolas is nearby, and other hotspots are a simple bus ride away.
Hotels here have a high, stylish standard and are perfect for a quiet couple’s holiday or family city retreat. Eating in Cimiez is about French cafes and fantastic food in the district’s parks. Nice’s top nightlife spots are easily accessible by bus or the area’s railway stations.
Recommended Hotel: NH Nice
Out in the 20th arrondissement of Nice, Gambetta oozes European style in its everyday city life. Spend days here enjoying the delights of the area’s cafes – boasting views overlooking historic sights – and sip coffee in sun-drenched plazas. Spend your time in Nice chilling in the chic eateries and watch the day unwind; locals come and go and people meet for large lunches and indulge in French specialties. This is a multicultural area and jammed full of all the eccentricities of the city.
Walk around Gambetta and discover the district’s secrets. There’s the market on Rue de Pyrenées, where you can sample the global food scene at the street stalls, with almost anything from Lebanese to Chinese dishes on offer. Then relax in the area’s public parks alongside cool young families enjoying sunny Sunday afternoons together.
Accommodation here is less costly than other parts of the city, as it’s further out from the center, but hotels are welcoming and there’s a selection to suit different types of travelers. For quick transport to the city’s sights, opt for a hotel close to Gambetta station and hop around on Nice’s trains and buses.
Recommended Hotel: Armenonville