Southern France, particularly Côte d’Azur is an extremely popular international travel destination, with visitors flocking to well-known cities like Nice, Cannes, and Saint Tropez. Côte d’Azur, synonymous with cloudless skies, topless beaches, super yachts, and a vibrant nightlife, rightly attracts travelers from across the world. The nearby islands of Corsica and Sardinia, both extremely popular summertime destinations for Europeans have stunning beaches and rustic countryside. Nice, the second most popular tourist destination in France, after Paris, has a vast range of hotels and restaurants, catering to every budget, and the Nice Airport is the perfect gateway to the region, with a range of domestic and international flights, as well as easy access to surrounding areas like Monaco, Provence, and the islands of Corsica and Sardinia.
Gare de Nice
Gare de Nice is conveniently located in central Nice. The station is a 20 minute walk from Rue de Anglais (the promenade) or a short taxi ride. A few blocks from the train station is the tram, which will take you down Place Massena.
Getting Around Nice
Nice is a very walkable city and easy to get around.
Where to Stay in Nice
Nice offers a vast range of accommodation from large beachfront international chains, to smaller boutique hotels throughout the city. The most sought after location is either in Vielle Ville or along the waterfront.
Location: Not close to the beach or Vielle Ville, but it is minutes from the train station. It's about a 15 minute walk to Place Massena, and Vielle Ville, with the beach and promenade just a bit further. The neighborhood is less touristy than the area closer to the promenade. Style: Modern interior with a well preserved and stunning exterior. Amenities: Free wifi, nespresso machine in the lobby and breakfast is available. Getting there and away: Proximity to the train station in Nice is perfect. There is a bus from the train station to the airport.
This is a new boutique hotel.
Location: Ideally located across from the central promenade. Less than five minutes from the beach and Vieille Ville. Style: Grand contemporary. Amenities: Free wifi, rooftop restaurant and pool with panoramic views, and some rooms have balconies. Getting there and away: 15 minute walk from the train station or a short ride on the tram, or an even shorter taxi ride.
This is the largest hotel (150 rooms) we recommended. The location is fantastic and the rooftop pool is a great feature. This was one of booking.com most booked hotels last year.
Location: About a 15 minute walk from Vieille Ville and the beach. Just around the corner from VIlla Otero. Style: Small boutique hotel with a beautiful facade and contemporary style rooms. Amenities: Wifi and breakfast available. Getting there and away: About a five minute walk from the train station.
Part of a larger hotel brand, Accor Hotels, but a smaller hotel with only 47 rooms.
Location: While its not near the train station, its is on the promenade facing the beach in the Vieille Ville area. By far the best location of all the hotels presented. Style: Contemporary. Amenities: onsite bar/restaurant, free wifi, and some rooms have balconies. Getting there and away: Centrally located just blocks from the bus to the airport.
The location is perfect, but its part of Accor, a large European-based hotel chain.
Location: Only 150 feet from the beach. Ideal location, set in a historic hotel that was once frequented by artists. Style: contemporary. Amenities: Free wifi, airport shuttle, bar/restaurant, and private beach access. Getting there and away: About a 20 minute walk from the train station or a short ride on the tram, followed by a short walk. The hotel has its own airport shuttle, great for early morning flights.
Great location for a 118 room hotel. Beautiful exterior.
What to Do in Nice
Vielle Ville (Old Nice) by Albert Bond
Beaches - (pebbles) some of the best in the Mediterranean. Nice is most famous for Promenade des Anglais and its spectacular pebble beach. The beach is set in a large bay (Bay des Anges) running west to Nice International Airport and east to the city’s port. The pebbles are large smooth stones, and make for an adventure getting in and out of the water. They are extremely awkward to walk on without shoes and are hot from the beating sun, so every trip to the water and back to your towel is a careful exercise of bravery and trying not to look stupid and fall. I would strongly suggest water shoes. The nice part about the pebble beach, however, is that you leave the beach free of any sand.
Vielle Ville - the old part of Nice built in the 1600s is filled with beautifully-maintained buildings and narrow alleys with restaurants and shops that lead to several squares, and eventually to the promenade. We spent a lot of time wandering Vieille Ville, getting lost in the alleys and stopping at various restaurants and cafes, like Les Distilleries. Les Distilleries, a corner cafe located in the lower part of Vieille Ville close to the beach, had a wide range of beers and wines, a good happy hour, and was perfect for people watching.
Matisse Museum - The bright airy museum located about 2.5 km from the city center will shed light on the great painter’s use of color. Matisse lived nearby in the early 20s.
Walks - Nice is a small, walkable city. Some of its best walks are around Place Garibaldi, up Parc du Mont Boron, along Avenue Jean Medecin, along the beachfront promenade, and of course winding your way through Vieille Ville.
Marche aux Fleurs - Great market with lots of outdoor seating, perfect for people watching.
Perfect Day Trips from Nice
Monaco - A bonus to staying in Nice is the relative ease of getting to and from the Principality of Monaco. You can catch a local bus (100) from Port Lympia for €1.50. From there it is a stunning 45 minute ride along the coast, passing through several villages before arriving in one of the grandest places on earth, the Principality of Monaco.