Travelers looking for an escape to the Mediterranean who still want urban amenities and attractions might choose Nice over nearby Cannes, St Tropez or Monaco.
Nice is the fifth-largest city in France and he capital of the French Riviera, therefore drawing tourists in for more than just pretty beaches.
When you come to Nice, there plenty of the best places to stay in Nice France. Downtown Nice is fairly compact, and very walk able, so no matter where you stay, you won’t have trouble reaching other neighborhoods and attractions of Nice. We’ve rounded up some of the best areas to choose from when deciding where to stay in Nice.
Wondering where is the best place to stay in Nice? We will cover off all types of Nice accommodation options from Hostels to luxury Nice hotels as well as how to decide where to stay in Nice France 2024.
This guide shows the best Nice hotels, best places in Nice to visit, the best places to stay in Nice, hotels near Nice attractions, the best neighborhoods in Nice and many more.
Its best to note that some hotels may not be able to hold on to your luggage before you check in or after you check out, so can also use places such as Luggage storage Nice.
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Vieux Nice – Where to stay in Nice for first timers
Nice’s historic Old Town is a beautiful neighborhood and one of the best areas to stay in Nice when visiting Nice making it a great base for first-time visitors.
Why Stay in Vieux Nice (Old Town)
The streets of Vieux Nice go back to the 16th century and they are filled with cafes, bars, restaurants, and souvenir shops.
It’s right on the harbor and the coastline so everything is within easy walking distance. Many of Nice’s top tourist attractions are here too.
If you prefer to be in the thick of everything and don’t mind paying higher tourist prices for such a central location, then Vieux Nice is the place for you. Take a look at our suggested hotels in old town Nice.
Things To Do in Vieux Nice (Old Town):
- Climb Up Castle Hill
Castle Hill, and the surrounding park, make up roughly one-third of the entire area of Vieux Nice. It has a manmade waterfall, lots of walking trails, and not to mention exceptional views over Nice and the coastline.
On Castle Hill, you’ll find the Monument to the Dead of Rauba-Capeu carved into the rocky cliffside. This is a war memorial honoring the 4,000 locals who died fighting in WWII.
There’s also a children’s playground, a small chateau (hence the name of the hill!), and Cimetière du Château. Dating back to the 1700s, this cemetery is actually quite pretty with lots of flowerbeds and several notable figures buried here.
- Shop at the Marché Aux Fleurs Cours Saleya
This long-running market doesn’t just pop up on weekends or on odd days of the week. It opens rain or shine every single day of the year!
Mostly known for selling fresh-cut flowers, this market also sells fresh food produce, skincare, homewares like candles, and other souvenirs.
- Check out Nice Cathedral
France has lots of stunning and historic cathedrals, but Nice Cathedral is particularly opulent. Like most churches, parts of the church have been added in different periods so it has a blend of architectural styles, but it mostly has a Baroque style dating back to the 1600s.
Nice Cathedral boasts not one, not two, but three separate organs and supposedly houses the remains of Saint Reparata. There’s a lot to see in Nice Cathedral so it’s definitely worth visiting!
- Discover Musée du Palais Lascaris
Nice has lots of fascinating art and history museums as well as more niche museums like the Museum of Photography of Charles Nègre. One of the best museums in the Vieux Nice quarter is Musée du Palais Lascaris.
It’s housed in a 17th-century Baroque palace and exhibits beautiful frescoes, authentic furniture from this era, and antique musical instruments. It’s more like walking around a time capsule than visiting a museum!
Where to stay in Nice Old Town
Le Port – Where to stay in Nice on a budget
East of Vieux Nice is where you’ll find Le Port and, as the name implies, this is where you’ll find Nice harbor.
Despite the glitzy yachts and high-end restaurants that cater to the clientele docking for the night, the variety and price of cheap accommodation make it the best area to stay in Nice on a budget.
Why Stay in Le Port
Less popular with tourists, Le Port is nevertheless a great place to stay in Nice. Not far from Old Town so you don’t have to worry about navigating public transport to get to all the top sites.
Le Port has many great bars and restaurants to enjoy and they are definitely not all upmarket eateries. Once you head into the heart of the neighborhood away from the coastline, Le Port is much more affordable.
This glamour hasn’t erased all of the historical charms of Le Port, which is still evident in the neighborhood museums and architecture.
If you fancy an up-and-coming area not far from the city center, then Le Port is a great place to stay in Nice.
Things To Do in Le Port:
- Stroll Along the Harbor to Phare de Nice
What’s cheaper than free?! You might not be able to afford to rent one of these multi-million dollar yachts but it doesn’t cost to look.
Take a stroll along the harbor and out to the Phare de Nice lighthouse on the edge to look back at the city’s entire coastline.
- Visit the Modern and Contemporary Art Museum (MAMAC)
Vieux Nice might lay claim to most of Nice’s top things to do, but since these neighborhoods are next-door to each other, Le Port has its fair share. One of the best museums and galleries in this area is the Modern and Contemporary Art Museum (MAMAC).
This museum opened in 1990 so it has an ultra-modern, minimalist design and houses lots of avant-garde art from France, the US, and beyond.
- Marvel at the Tête Carrée Public Library
The Tête Carrée Public Library is just up the road from the MAMAC. While you might not feel like heading inside a library during your trip to Nice (and no one would blame you!), it’s well worth admiring from the outside.
It has an impressive and intriguing sculpture outside of the library’s entrance known as the ‘Thinking Inside the Box’ sculpture.
It’s a 28 meter high head that with a box over the eyes, nose, and mouth. It was designed by French sculptor Sacha Sosno in 2002 and it’s such an iconic building.
Best place to stay in Le Port
Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Le Port:
Open House Nice
Promenade des Anglais – Where to stay in Nice for relaxation
The seafront of Nice is also known as the Promenade des Anglais. This is the beachfront part of the city where you’ll find resorts catering to fans of private beach clubs and fans of all-inclusive vacations.
Why Stay in Promenade des Anglais
The Promenade des Anglais stretches for several kilometers along the coast and is lined with cafes and restaurants. Street entertainment abounds, with artists, buskers, and musicians vying for your attention.
Many of the beaches along Nice aren’t the soft, white sand most look for when booking a beach break. However, the sea is turquoise and inviting in the summer months and the beaches are more than adequate if you plan on splitting your time between exploring the city and relaxing on the beach.
Keep in mind that not all of the beaches here are open to the public, so that might be something to consider when deciding where to stay in Nice. If you want a tranquil strip of sand, look for a hotel here with a private beach.
Things To Do in Promenade des Anglais:
- Photograph the #ILoveNICE Sign
Everyone loves a huge sign they can pose with to post on social media. Luckily, Nice has one! There is a sign reading #ILoveNICE right on the promenade year-round that you should definitely say hello to as soon as you arrive in Nice.
- Swim and Sunbathe on Plage de Carras
If you love beaches, then you have to spend at least one morning or afternoon whiling away the hours on a beach in Nice.
Nice has several beaches, but one of the best is Plage de Carras. Bring a few towels to make the ground a little softer and don’t forget your flip-flops so you don’t cut yourself on any jagged rocks. You have to go for a dip in the sea, too, because Nice’s waters are so calm.
- Visit the Villa Masséna Musée
Every neighborhood in Nice has its own museum and the Promenade des Anglais is no different. The Villa Masséna Musée is an art history museum but it mostly exhibits pieces from local artists on the French Riviera.
Many of the pieces date back to the Belle Époque which is an art period starting in 1871 to the outbreak of WWI in 1914.
This museum also, interestingly, has Napolean’s death mask. Death masks were created by taking a cast of someone’s corpse shortly after they’d died and this was a common practice.
If you want to learn more about French art and notable people then this is a great museum to visit!
Best place to stay in Promenade des Anglais
Cimiez – Where to stay in Nice with family
Cimiez is a hilly, residential neighborhood a few kilometers north of the city center. It’s quieter with lots of supermarkets and small parks which is why it’s a great place to stay in Nice with family and young kids.
Why Stay in Cimiez
Though out of Nice’s historic center, Cimiez is still within walking distance of everything that you might want to see and do in the heart of the city.
Since Cimiez is a quieter neighborhood, you’ll be far away from the nightlife and crowds which might not be as ideal when traveling with kids.
Cimiez is mostly an upscale residential neighborhood so it’s a pleasant and low-crime area. It used to be a Roman outpost, and you can see ruins from that period at the Archeological Museum.
Despite it being almost suburban, there are still lots of things to do here as well as many restaurants and cafes.
Things To Do in Cimiez:
- Check out Marc Chagall National Museum
Never heard of Marc Chagall? You will have heard of him after you’ve visited Nice!
He was a Russian-born French artist that experimented with many different formats including book illustrations, tapestries, ceramics, and stage sets.
He also dabbled in different art styles like expressionism, modernism, and cubism. This highly-rated gallery features a huge selection of his work and is well worth a visit if you are at all into art.
- Visit the Musée Matisse
Yes, there is another fantastic art gallery in the Cimiez neighborhood but this time it’s dedicated to an artist you may have heard of before. Henri Matisse was a French artist known primarily for his paintings and he died in Nice in the 1950s.
Not only does this museum have an extensive collection of Matisse’s works, but it’s also an impressive 17th-century villa.
There’s also a library and you can join guided tours around the museum if you want to learn more about Matisse and his creations in-depth.
- Discover Cimiez Monastery
Next door to the Matisse Museum is arguably the top attraction in Cimiez, the Monastery. This religious building dates back to the 7th century and they even have Matisse’s grave in their cemetery.
It’s incredibly well-preserved and has a substantial art collection including works by the Italian Renaissance painter Ludovico Brea.
- Wander in Jardin des Arènes de Cimiez
As previously mentioned, Cimiez was built on the ruins of a Roman outpost and there is evidence of this fact in Jardin des Arènes de Cimiez. It’s a sprawling park with fairground rides, a cafe, and some cool statues.
You’ll also find what’s left of an ancient Roman amphitheater that, when it was intact, could accommodate audiences of 5,000 people. These gardens are just beautiful and the perfect place to visit with kids.
Best place to stay in Cimiez
Jean-Médecin (New Town) – Where to stay in Nice for shopping
West of Vieux Nice, the city’s Old Town, is where you’ll find the New Town which is more commonly known as Jean-Médecin.
While it’s much more modern than the Old Town and boasts lots of nice shops and restaurants, there are plenty of historic attractions here too.
Why Stay in Jean-Médecin (New Town)
While the southern section of Avenue Jean Médecin is a tourist area, the northern section is more of a local neighborhood.
You can choose to stay somewhere with a quieter, more relaxing vibe or somewhere more bustling where you’re in the thick of the action.
Place Massena is a new landmark located is at the center of the New Town. Avenue Jean-Médecin is considered the main shopping street in Nice, offering plenty of department stores and designer French fashion labels.
Jean-Médecin also features two cinemas, the Basilica of Notre-Dame, and the Nicetoile shopping center.
Other buildings of architectural interest include the Belle Époque Riviera Building, built in 1913. It’s a beautiful neighborhood where you will never get bored.
Things To Do in Jean-Médecin (New Town):
- Stroll Through Place Masséna
This elegant, 19th-century plaza is the closet Nice has to a central square. It has lots of charming cafes where you can stop for a break between shopping trips and admire the beautiful neoclassical buildings. This is where Nice hosts festivals and seasonal markets.
It’s also where you’ll find Fontaine du Soleil, one of the most famous sculptures in Nice. Installed in the 1950s, it depicts the Greek God Apollo.
It’s the focus of mockery amongst the locals because Apollo’s four horses sit atop his head like a crown rather than fearsome beasts at his side.
Due to the fact it’s a nude sculpture, many have found other ways to poke fun at this statue. Join a walking tour to find out more!
- Shop in Galeries Lafayette Nice Masséna
Along the Jean-Médecin main street is where you’ll find lots of high street stores as well as supermarket and department stores, but the Galeries Lafayette Nice Masséna is one of the best.
It’s a beautiful building that sells everything from designer clothes, makeup, books, and more.
- Check out the Basilique Notre-Dame de l’Assomption
With two bright white towers standing proudly in Nice’s skyline, the Basilique Notre-Dame de l’Assomption is a dazzling neo-Gothic church.
It doesn’t have the long history of Nice Cathedral as it was only built in the late 1800s, but it’s nonetheless a beautiful building. Its stained class windows are so skillful and you should visit it at night when the exterior is all lit up.
- Visit Jardin Albert 1er Garden
Aside from designer stores, cinemas, and cafes, Jean-Médecin also boasts a beautifully-manicured garden right by the coastline.
Jardin Albert 1er is a public park that dates back to the 19th century that has several ornate fountains and walking paths so you can stroll through this charming park. It hosts open-air theatrical performances in the summer months.
Best place to stay in Jean-Médecin (New Town)
Top 5 favorites accommodation options for Nice
|❤️ Best Area first timers
|Vieux Nice (Old Town)
|💸 Best Luxury Hotel
|Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Mediterranee
|👪 Best Hotel for For Families
|Novotel Nice Centre Vieux Nice
|🏨 Best Mid-Range Hotel
|AC Hotel by Marriott Nice
|🛏️ Best Budget Hotel
|Hotel du Pin Nice Port
|✨ Best Hostel
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