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Ultimate Guide for Where to Stay in Nice
As the capital of the French Riviera, Nice is a vibrant city that’s home to rich history, incredible architecture, and a colorful culture. A trip to the south of France is not complete without visiting Nice, with so much to see and do throughout its bustling streets. While Nice is the largest city along the dazzling Côte d’Azur, deciding where to stay in Nice requires some research. This guide will walk you through the best neighborhoods in Nice, as well as the top-rated hotels in each area.
Nice is home to turquoise waters, a multitude of museums and markets, along with fantastic shopping and restaurants. Whether you’re looking to soak up some vitamin sea or discover historic landmarks, Nice has something for everyone. It’s the perfect place to settle in for a few days, explore the sights, and take day trips to neighboring towns.
Based on your interest and itineraries, you’ll be able to determine which neighborhood is best for you by the time you’ve finished reading this guide. If you’re still putting your itinerary together, I’d suggest checking out this south of France itinerary that highlights the best of the French Riviera.
At the end of this blog post I’ve listed answers to some FAQs about staying in Nice, including topics like transportation and the best things to do while you’re there.
Where to Stay in Nice: Best Neighborhoods & Hotels
So let’s dive right in! Below is a list of the best neighborhoods and hotels that I recommend considering based on my personal travel experiences and reviews from other expert travelers.
1. Old Town (Vieux Nice)
The Old Town of Nice is a neighborhood that must be explored while visiting, especially if it’s your first time in the city. Old Town carries a rustic charm that makes you feel like you’ve transported back in time to historic Europe. Along its cobblestone streets you’ll find colorful buildings, outdoor eateries, and Nice’s famous outdoor market, the Marche aux Fleurs Cours Saleya.
Old Town is great to stay in if it’s your first time visiting Nice, and if you’re looking to immerse in the city’s culture and lively atmosphere. In this neighborhood you’ll find historic landmarks like the Nice Cathedral, the Palais Lascaris museum, and the Nice Opera.
Best Hotels in Old Town
This hotel is a great option for those looking to be in the heart of Old Town while visiting on a budget. For about $200 per night you get modern suites that overlook the city’s main square, Place Masséna. Visitors love the location of this hotel and size of the rooms. Learn more.
2. Jean-Médecin (New Town)
Also known as New Town, the Jean-Médecin neighborhood is where you should stay if you’re wanting to take advantage of Nice’s fantastic shopping. This area is polished and very central to many of the city’s big attractions. Its most popular street is Avenue Jean Médecin, which is lined with boutiques and cute cafes.
New Town is located close to both the beach and train station, and it’s right next to Old Town. We personally loved staying in this neighborhood and felt it had everything we needed!
Best Hotels in Jean-Médecin (New Town)
3. Promenade des Anglais
If you’re coming to Nice for its beaches, then the Promenade des Anglais is where you want to be. The promenade is a relaxed yet lively area to stay; it’s home to beachfront hotels and several beach clubs. While you won’t be in the heart of town, you can expect ocean views from your hotel and fresh breezes from the Côte d’Azur.
Hotels are a bit pricier in this area, but it’s definitely a fun place to stay with great energy.
Best Hotels in Promenade des Anglais
Hotel Le Negresco ($$$)
This historic and iconic hotel is arguably the most famous in Nice! Throughout the hotel you’ll find incredible artwork and sculptures from a variety of eras and styles. The 5-star hotel offers a private beach area, two restaurants, ocean views, nad luxurious designs in every room. | Learn more.
4. Le Port
As the neighborhood’s name gives away, Le Port is located around the port of Nice. It’s recently become of one of the more trendy neighborhoods in the city, and offers some lovely views with boats docked along the harbor. Le Port is right in between Old Town and an area called Mont Boron which has great hiking and panoramic view of the city.
If you’re coming in by boat or want access to some fancy restaurants and nightlife, Le Port is a great area to stay.
Best Hotels in Le Port
A bit further west of of Old Town and New Town is the neighborhood of Gambetta, known for its multicultural atmosphere. Because it’s not in the heart of Nice, Gambetta offers some accommodation that are more budget-friendly. There’s several small markets to explore in this area, along with one of Nice’s main attractions, St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral.
The Gambetta neighborhood is close to the train station as well, making it a great option to stay in if you’re going to be taking day trips during your time in Nice.
Best Hotels in Gambetta
If you’re looking for an amazing rooftop pool and terrace then I’d highly recommend this hotel! This is a 4-star hotel that goes for about $500 per night. It offers panoramic views of the city and sea, as well as a bar and two onsite restaurants. It’s also very close to the beach and sits just above of the promenade. Learn more.
Nestled in the northern hillside of Nice sits the quiet and lovely neighborhood of Cimiez. This area is mostly residential and is great for families, art, and history lovers. Cimiez was favored by prominent figures such as Queen Victoria and the artist Matisse (his museum is located here!). The neighborhood features Belle Époque architecture, parks, and charming cafes.
Cimiez is perfect to stay if you’re wanting to explore Nice but avoid the bustle and crowds. The main attractions in this area include Musée National Marc Chagall and Musée Matisse, along with ruins of a Roman city and Regina Palace.
Best Hotels in Cimiez
7. Le Carré d’Or
The Carré d’Or area is a vibrant one and surrounded by upscale cafes and shop. The name translates to Golden Square, and it’s surrounded by bustling landmarks like Place Massena and the Promenade des Anglais. This area is a great one to stay if you’re wanting to be in the middle of high-end shopping and nightlife.
Best Hotels in Le Carré d’Or
Step into luxury at the gorgeous 5-star Anantara Plaza. Treat yourself at their spa and wellness center, and dine at one of their two restaurants with views of the sea. This hotel is so beautiful and definitely worth the splurge. Room rates range from $600 to $1,900. Learn more.
FAQs: Deciding Where to Stay in Nice
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions on where to stay in Nice. I’ve also shared some insight into transportation and getting to Nice.
What part of Nice France is best to stay in?
When determining where to stay in Nice, it’s really up to what you’re looking to do and see. Personally, I think that staying in either Old Town, New Town, or Cimiez are best as they offer proximity to main attractions in the city.
Is it nicer to stay in Nice or Cannes?
Nice is more central to other towns throughout the French Riviera. Cannes is absolutely lovely but a bit pricier due to its upscale visitors and attractions. Plus, being able to fly into Nice is a huge perk, and so much of the city is beautiful and clean.
Resources for Traveling to Nice
We didn’t rent a car while we were in Nice, we found that utilizing the train, buses, and Uber were sufficient for the day trips we took along the French Riviera. Nice itself is very walkable and you get everywhere pretty easily. If you do choose to rent a car for taking day trips, I’d recommend using Discover Cars, they always have great rates!
Getting to Nice
There are several ways you can get to Nice; the most popular is flying into the Nice airport. You can also fly into the Marseille airport and drive, this is a great option if you want to explore more of the Provence region. If you’re wanting a French road trip, you can fly into Paris and drive to Nice, which is about a 9-hour drive.
Best Things to Do in Nice
There’s so many great things to do in Nice, from discovering its history, art, beaches and markets. For a full list of the best things to do in Nice, check out this blog post.
You might also like this 7-day south of France itinerary that will help you plan your entire trip while visiting the region. Enjoy! I know you’ll very much love it there.