Planning a solo trip to Nice, France? Here’s everything you need to know for your visit:
- Second largest French city on the Mediterranean cost, with a population of around 340,000 residents.
- A picturesque city, Nice attracts visitors year-round from all over the world. Usually combined with a visit to Monaco, Cannes, and Antibes.
- Nicknames: Nica, Nissa, Nissa la Bella (“Nice the Beautiful”)
- Currency: Euro (EUR).
- Spoken languages: French.
- Best time to visit: from April to October.
- Arriving via airport: The airport is located at Cote d’Azur, 3.7 miles from the city center. An airport bus service runs from both terminals to the city’s main railway station – Gare Villa SNCF. The airport buses run every 30 minutes, and a one-way adult ticket costs EUR 4.00. The taxis from the airport to the city center are on a fixed tariff of EUR 35.00.
WHERE TO STAY
- Best hostel in Nice for solo travelers: Antares (steps from the train station, and close to both the beach and Old Town). Great value for money.
- Anywhere in the old town (Vieux Nice) is convenient, as it is right next to the Promenade des Anglais and the beach.
- The Port of Nice, just around the corner from the old town, offers some spectacular views and is also a great place to stay.
- Another area to consider is the centrally located Etoile Quartier.
- Although Nice is a sprawling city, most of the historical attractions can be explored on foot.
- Local buses are operated by Ligne d’Azur, and tickets can be purchased and validated on board. A single ticket costs around EUR 1.00, valid for an hour after validation and can be used for one transfer or return. The 10-trip multi pass costs EUR 10.00.
- Taxis can be booked by calling the company directly (0033-4-93-13-78-78). It is best to agree on the rate before entering the cab. Taxi fare anywhere within Nice should be less than EUR 20.00.
- Drinking age is 18, last call is 2 AM.
- Hip/local scene: there are chic bars in the old town and Promenade des Anglais.
- Trendy scene: L’Effervescence in the old town is the city’s top champagne bar.
- College crowd: check out High Club and Studio 47, located at Promenade des Anglais.
UNIQUE LANDMARKS TO VISIT
- Promenade des Anglais. The famous English promenade on Nice’s Mediterranean waterfront is the de facto city center. With lively bars, restaurants, shopping areas lining the entire promenade, this is the place to go people watching.
- Colline du Chateau. A vantage point from where one can get a spectacular view of the city. There is a ruined castle with crumbling walls, surrounded by a park (which closes at sunset). A pleasant uphill walk.
- The Nice Port. Watch the Corsica ferries lift off from the Port area, which is just around the corner from the old town.
- Walk along the city’s main sea-side promenade, the Promenade des Anglais.
- Go for a leisurely stroll around Vieux Nice and the port area. Observe the sun-bleached hues of the buildings and the changing colors of the sea.
- Walk from the old town through the maze of streets and alleyways to Cours Saleya, the daily fruit and flower market.
- Knowing French helps a great deal! Try to pick up a few basic phrases before arrival – locals will appreciate your efforts. In any case, a pocket dictionary could quickly become your best friend.
- The inter-urban bus network (Transport Alpes-Maritimes, or TAM) connects all Eastern Riviera towns between Cannes and Menton and villages – it is the cheapest available transport as the Bus fares are EUR 1.00. This is considerably cheaper than the train. It takes quite a long time to reach cities as far as Cannes by the EUR 1.00 bus from Nice; however it is ideal for destinations like Monaco, Eze and Villefranche. The tickets can be bought and validated on board.
- Great restaurants to try in Nice: Le Bavastro Burger, IKKO Ramen, Chefoo (Chinese), Puro Italiano, The Fat Mermaid (Fish & Chips), Le Millésime, Les Deux Canailles ($$$), Restaurant JAN ($$$)
- Where to find good cheap eats: in the old town (rue de Collet, rue Miralhetti), there are some cafes which serve Nicoise specialties at a very affordable price. The Chateau Hill is also a great place for a meal. The fixed menu at most of the restaurants is around EUR 15.00 – 20.00.
- Dangerous areas: Nice is generally a mellow city. In any case, solo female travelers are advised to avoid the beach area and the area around the train station late in the evening.
Recommended trip duration: 2-3 days