While less glamorous (and less expensive) than Cannes, the capital of the French Riviera offers a lively honeymoon destination within easy reach of all the major resort towns.
Blessed with an average of 300 days of sunshine a year, a picturesque beachfront setting, a quaint old town, numerous art galleries, museums, restaurants, bars and cafés, Nice has attracted visitors for centuries, including numerous artists and writers such as Dumas, Nietzsche, Apollinaire, Flaubert and Victor Hugo.
Stroll through the atmospheric narrow streets of Vieux Nice (Old Nice), crowded with baroque churches and charming cafés then wander along the famous beachfront promenade des Anglais.
This palm-fringed boulevard is lined with Belle Epoque hotels and grand cafés. Relax in the lush manicured gardens of the Parc du Château, which offers great views of the city.
Discover Nice’s famous art museums: admire a collection of paintings and sketches by Matisse in the Musée Matisse and work by artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg and Yves Klein, among others, in the Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain.
See sculptures by Carpeaux, Rude and Rodin, plus masters of the Second Empire and the Belle Epoque periods and 19th and 20th century paintings by artists including Raffaelli, Boudin, Monet and Sisley at the Musée des Beaux-Arts.
At the Musée Chagall, see a display of more than 450 of Chagall’s oils, gouaches, drawings, pastels, lithographs, sculptures and ceramics.
At La Foundation Maeght, admire a fabulous collection of art works by Picasso, Rouault, Léger, Miro, Braque, Kandinsky and Matisse inside one of the world’s most famous small museums of modern art.
La Foundation Maeght is located in the charming hilltop village of St Paul de Venice, around 25km from Nice.
Nice offers newlyweds an excellent choice of accommodation options to suit all tastes, including the sumptuous Hotel Negresco, a landmark on the promenade des Anglais since 1913, as well as following 4- and 5-star hotels…
Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée
Location: 13 Promenade Des Anglais, Nice
Ave nightly price: AUD363 per room
Description: Set on the Promenade des Anglais, Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée is an art-deco style hotel featuring an on-site casino, an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, a hammam and a sauna. The terrace offers panoramic views of the Baie des Anges. Free WiFi, a minibar, tea and coffee making facilities and a flat-screen TV are provided in the air-conditioned guest rooms and suites. Most have a furnished terrace with views of the sea or of the town. Regional cuisine and Mediterranean dishes are served in the hotel's restaurant, Le 3e. You can enjoy drinks in the Lounge Bar Le 3e at Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée. The fitness centre at the Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée has cardio-training gym equipment. Nice Train Station is a 5-minute walk away. Nice-Cote d’Azur Airport is just 6 km away.
Hôtel La Pérouse
Location: 11 Quai Rauba Capeu, Nice
Ave nightly price: AUD307 per room
Description: This luxury, 4-star boutique hotel is high above the Promenade des Anglais, nestled into the Colline du Château. The hotel is 275 yards from both Cours Saleya and the harbor, and features a heated outdoor swimming pool and a terrace with sea views. A minibar, free Wi-Fi access and wired internet are provided in each air-conditioned room. Some of the rooms feature a private balcony where guests can enjoy views of the sea and have breakfast. All of the rooms have an Italian marble bathroom and elegant Mediterranean décor. Guests can also enjoy Provencal cuisine on the terrace, in the shade of the lemon trees. A buffet breakfast, including hot and cold dishes, local and organic products is prepared every morning at Hôtel La Pérouse. The 24-hour front desk has concierge services. Guests can also exercise in the on-site fitness center before enjoying a session in the sauna, hot tub or solarium. Nice Opera House is just an 8-minute walk from the hotel and Nice-Ville Train Station is 2 miles from the hotel. The famous Flower Market and Old Town are a few steps from the property.
Location: 37 Promenade Des Anglais, Nice
Ave nightly price: AUD304 per room
Description: The famous Hotel Negresco, dating from the beginning of the 20th century, overlooks the beach and the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. From Louis XIII style to modern art, 5 centuries of history are exhibited throughout the hotel. Free WiFi access is provided. Each room and suite is decorated individually with antique furniture, and features air-conditioning and a four-poster bed. Rooms are also equipped with a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom. A fresh buffet breakfast is served each morning in La Rotonde restaurant, where guests can watch the chef cook. Gourmet meals and drinks can also be enjoyed in the British-style bar Le Relais, or Le Chantecler restaurant, which is recognized with 2 stars by the Michelin guide. Hotel Negresco's guests can enjoy access to the Neptune private beach area, for an extra fee, where water sports can be enjoyed. The hotel is a 15-minute walk from Nice’s Old Town and Nice-Ville Train Station. Nice Côte d'Azur Airport is just 3 miles from the hotel. A private limousine shuttle service is available for a charge upon request. Private parking is available on site.
Boscolo Exedra Nice, Autograph Collection
Location: 12 Boulevard Victor Hugo, Nice
Ave nightly price: AUD205 per room
Description: Swimming pool. Guests have free access to the 500m² spa and fitness centre. It also has a billiards hall and is situated under a 10-minute walk from Promenade des Anglais. The hotel is non-smoking throughout. The spacious guest rooms are decorated in shades of white and gold and include air conditioning. They each offer a minibar, free WiFi and a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. Guests can enjoy Italian specialties in restaurant La Pescheria or have a drink on the terrace at Bar Génési. Breakfast is served every morning on the terrace or, with an extra cost, in the comfort of guest rooms. The Old Town is a 10-minute walk from the hotel and Nice Train Station is 700 metres away. Boscolo Exedra Nice provides a 24-hour reception with a tour desk.
Hôtel West End Promenade des Anglais
Location: 31 Promenade Des Anglais, Nice
Ave nightly price: AUD187 per room
Description: The stylish beach front hotel is ideally located on the Promenade des Anglais, just over a quarter mile from the Vieux-Nice district and 1.5 miles from the Acropolis Congress Centre. It features air-conditioned accommodations with satellite TV, some overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Guests can choose from soundproof rooms and suites, all equipped with a minibar and a spacious bathroom with a bathtub. Some have a balcony. The West End’s restaurant, Le Siecle, serves traditional Mediterranean cuisine. During the summer, the breakfast and lunch buffets are served in La Palmeraie, and both restaurants have sea views. Guests can also enjoy breakfast in the comfort of their room, for an extra fee. The airport shuttle bus #98 stops at the Gambetta/Promenade station, situated in front of the Hotel West End Promenade des Anglais. Access to the private beach across from the hotel is available for an additional fee. Nice Côte d'Azur Airport is 4 miles away.
The best time to visit Nice for a beach holiday is from late-June to late-August, but anytime between May and September is good.
Tip: to avoid the crowds, noise, traffic jams and high prices of July and August, visit Nice in May, June and September.
Nice enjoys a Mediterranean climate of warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters, with 300 days of sunshine per year. The Mediterranean coast has the driest climate in France, with the most rain falling in spring and autumn.
For more climate info: French Riviera Weather Guide…
Nice is located on the French Riviera around 24km (15mi) to the east of Cannes, between Antibes to the west and Monte Carlo to the east.
The most convenient route to Nice is by air to Nice Côte d'Azur Airport (NCE), located 7km (4mi) southwest of Nice city centre.
Alternatively, high-speed TGV rail services provide access from all major French cities, including Cannes, Marseille, Lyon, and Paris (5 hours 47 minutes).
Known as the Côte d’Azur in France, the French Riviera stretches for around 160km (99mi) along the southern Mediterranean coast of France, from St Tropez’s clothing-optional beach of Plage de Tahiti to the exclusive enclave of St Jean-Cap Ferrat, along the way encompassing the elegant resorts of Cannes, Cap d'Antibes, Juan les Pins and Nice.
For more information: how to get to Nice…
Latest update: Nice Honeymoon Guide: 1 August, 2022