Nice, capital of the Alpes-Maritimes department on the French Riviera, sits on the pebbly shores of the Baie des Anges. Founded by the Greeks and later a retreat for 19th-century European elite, the city has also long attracted artists.
Before visiting any town or city make sure you know the basics. General details and important information.
- Emergency Services: 112
- Language: French
- Currency: Euro
- Country Code: FR
- Travel Visa: None required
- Population: 344,875
Researching various official sources, we perceive the risk to holiday makers and travellers are as follows;
Top travel advice and interesting tip bits of information from experienced travellers.
- If you are holidaying with children under 16 and want to explore the French Riviera, consider buying a Pass Isabelle Famille at the local railway station. This costs around €35 and allows two adults and two children unlimited travel for a day.
- Solo diners might find it difficult to be given a table in high season. Ask for a table for two and if anyone questions it when no one turns up tell them your partner can’t make it. Take some reading material to keep yourself occupied.
- It’s usually much cheaper to go out for a meal at lunchtime as restaurants offer good-value plats du jour or two-course menus. Also, to save money, order a carafe d’eau (tap water) instead of pricey bottled water.
For the Emergency services just dial 112 from any phone.
Public transport in Nice is provided by buses and trams. Almost all lines use the same 1.50 euro ticket, which can be bought from the driver or vending machines. You can also use buses from Nice to reach neighbouring towns such as Cannes and Monaco.
Gare de Nice-Ville is the main train station serving Nice. Click the text below for more information.
What are the top safety tips?
Always check your bill after eating in restaurants and cafes, as there is a huge tourist industry some people will try to add extras to your bill that you did not have. Make a mental note of what you order and roughly how much it should cost.
Be alert at all times and be aware of your surroundings. Take the usual safety precautions so you do not become a targets for pickpockets. Don’t put your wallet or mobile phone in your back pocket. Put any valuables items in a dark colour shopping bag when going out to avoid attention.
Credit card fraud, cloning cards can be an issue be careful where you use your cards. Also if you are withdrawing money from cash machines make sure you cover your pin and be discreet about the amount of cash you withdraw.
How can I keep up with the local news?
What are the common crimes?
During rush hour the traffic can be really slow moving, when you are stopped or at a red lights, the thief will try to open your side door or break the window to grab your bag purse or laptop. The best thing to do is keep your door locked and valuable items out of sight.
Pick pocketing is a problem like in most large tourist cities, these thieves are professionals and you wont notice until your wallet or purse has gone. The best option is to try to not make yourself a target, keep bags closed and wallets or purses in inside pockets.
The gold ring scam, someone will seemingly pick up a gold ring and come over to you, they make out that you have dropped it. The con artist will then try to give it to you, when you reply its not yours they will say to keep it, in return for for the ring you can then give them money. The ring is worthless, the best way out is to either walk away or suggest to contact the police about the lost ring.
Which areas should I take more care?
Be careful in nice around the train station at night. Try and keep to the main streets and busy areas around the old town.
The Massena gardens at night are known for drug dealers and La Californie. La Promenade des Anglais is a known area for prostitutes. Try to stay in groups and take extra care after dark. Some neighbourhoods should also be avoided like Ariane and Les Moulins.
Improve Your Personal Safety
Knowledge – the more you have the better equipped you are.
Awareness – the more you see the safer you become.
Response – the right reaction can change a situation.
Annual events allow a city come together for some amazing experiences. If visiting at this time, make sure you have your accommodation booked and are always aware of your surroundings when travelling around.
Feast of Saint Peter
Fishing has always been a huge part of the lifestyle and culture of people from Nice, this festival usually takes place at the end of June and showcases the skills and life of local fisherman. Fresh fish is caught and sold in the city’s markets, locals and tourists can enjoy fresh fish been cooked hours after been taken out of the waters. The festival is to honour St Peter who is said to watch over the fishermen as they work at sea.
In April of each year Nice holds a half marathon, most runners raise money for charity and it is considered a fun and light hearted event. Saying that there are some serious competitors who enter and race to win, its a beautiful setting for the event and in April its held before the weather gets to hot.
Mardi Gras Carnival
Every year in in February the city springs in to life after the winter season with street processions and flower parades along the beach walkway, evenings see large scale concerts and firework displays. Every year has a different theme and locals create huge papier mâché figures that join the processions around the city. A great event if you are visiting the city.
The first ever Jazz festival was created in Nice, it has now been running for over 60 years. Usually the festival takes place in July each year and attracts Jazz enthusiasts from all around the world. Nice is the perfect venue with amazing concert halls and venues for people to enjoy the amazing music. A must visit festival if you are in the city.
Régates de Nice
The regatta in Nice usually takes place around September each year and the harbour is filled with amazing sailing ships, tourists and boat enthusiasts descend on the city to enjoy the amazing sights of the ships showing what they can do in the beautiful Mediterranean waters. For the owners and captains of the ships there is a highly sort prize and award for different ship categories. If you are visiting the city its a great event to witness.
La Fête de Mai
In May every year Nice holds a series of free events to celebrate the end of the winter season and the coming of the summer months, the festival puts on a series of shows and parades through the city showcasing the unique history and traditions of the city. There is a buzz in the air as all residents are preparing for the summer and the tourist season.
What are the best beaches?
A local favourite, tiny La Réserve is a lesser-known public beach tucked away to the east of Nice town in the port area.
Plage Beau Rivage
Long a Nice hotspot, this private beach at the foot of the Old Town is the largest in the French Riviera and has five star amenities to match.
A private beach open year round that’s only steps away from some of Nice’s best hotels like the Negresco and Palais de la Méditeérranée on the Promenade des Anglais.
Keep wandering past the port and La Réserve beach, and with a keen eye you’ll spot this tiny slice of rocks and pebbles – sometimes heaving with locals, sometimes completely deserted.
What are the top places to visit?
Musée d’art moderne et d’art contemporain
Museum of modern and contemporary Art, the artistic style of the museum balances between New European Realism and the Art of Assembling and Pop Art. It also has many temporary exhibitions throughout the year, the building itself is a marvel and if you have an interest in the creative its a great place to spend some time.
Nice Cathedral is located in the old town and is built in the early 13th century. It is a great example of the skill and craftsmanship of the masons at that time. The interior of the Cathedral is amazing and will give you a wow moment when you enter, its great to see buildings such as this been preserved in such good order to this day, well worth taking a look and getting away from the modern parts of the city.
Palais Nikaia is a concert hall located near the international airport. It plays host to many performances from local and international artists and performers. When you are visiting the city it is advised to check whats happening as usually there is a great show or spectacle that is well worth seeing.
Promenade des Anglais
Promenade des Anglais or Promenade for short is a popular walk for many tourists and locals alike. On Sundays couples and families can be seen out wandering along the Promenade. It has also become a favorite place for skateboarders. Each year many events are held along the beach walk like the Battle of Flowers, there are many blue chairs available for people to sit and watch the world go by. The Promenade is lined by many of Nice’s top hotels and casinos.
What are the highlight attractions?
For art lovers and people who admire the French painters this museum is a must see, Henry Matisse is one of the greatest painters and this museum gathers one of the largest collections of his works, the work dates from his artistic beginnings, his evolution through his final works. Its amazing to see the life of an artist through his works.
Musée Marc Chagall
The Museum of Marc Chagall is a story board though the years, he was an amazing 20th century painter taking many influences though the years of the ism’s that went though the art world. His works are not realistic interpretations of what is seen by the eye but more imaginary pieces using many bright colours and scenes from the artists mind.
Opéra de Nice
The Opéra de Nice is the primary opera venue in the city. It offers three main styles of performances namely operas, ballets and classical concerts. It is also the home of the Ballet Nice Méditerrannée and the Nice Philharmonic Orchestra. The building itself is amazing and from inside is even more beautiful, dressed in bright colours with interesting architecture. If you have the opportunity to see a performance its well worth it.
The Ruhl Casino was the first of its kind on the Côte d’Azur. It is still one of the best places for fun and games in Nice with hundreds of slot machines and many gambling tables of all varieties. There is also a restaurant which serves traditionally French food, each weekend there is theme nights and the place gets very busy with both locals and tourists.