Nice is pretty damn nice (…I bet you haven’t heard that one before!)
But in all seriousness, Nice is an EPIC city. Famous for its colourful buildings, pristine beaches, turquoise waters, rich history and overall charm. It’s not one to miss off your French travel itinerary.
Nice is a sprawling and lively city on the chic French Riviera. It’s been luring the world’s rich and famous (and the rest of us) for generations. It has an eclectic, unique mix of Italian, English, French and even pre-Roman influence.
You history buffs will be happy to know that Nice is home to the largest number of museums in France! It is also considered to be a city of art.
As it is a big ol’ city, full of many neighborhoods – choosing where to stay in Nice can be a daunting task. But don’t worry about a thing, I’ve got you covered.
I’ve taken one for the team and explored every inch of Nice so that I could confidently put together this guide (I know it was tough, but someone had to do it). The aim is to make it a hell of a lot easier for you to decide which area to stay in Nice.
If you’re having trouble deciding where to stay in Nice, you’ve come to the perfect place. With the help of this guide, you’ll be able to find the best place to stay in Nice that best suits your style, interests, and budget.
So, without further ado – let’s get to it.
So, you’re backpacking in France and heading to Nice? You’re in for a treat! There’s a reason tourists have been flocking here for centuries and you’re about to find that out for yourself.
Just scroll down a little and you’ll find my top picks for the best places to stay in Nice.
Hotel 64 Nice | Best Hotel in Nice
Hotel 64 Nice is easily one of the best Nice hotels. It is a modern and luxurious four-star hotel located in the Jean-Médecin neighborhood. It’s within walking distance of the beach, public transit, great restaurants and world-class shopping.
It has a range of facilities and rooms have private bathrooms, free wifi, and air-conditioning. A delicious breakfast is also available.
Hostel Meyerbeer Beach | Best Hostel in Nice
For social travellers looking to make travel buddies and backpackers on a budget, there is no better place to stay than Hostel Meyerbeer Beach.
Located in the centre of the city, it is close to the beach, public transit, restaurants, and clubs. It offers shared and private accommodation, hot showers, free linens, and unlimited wifi.
Cosy & Comfortable One Bedroom | Best Airbnb in Nice
This one-bedroom is at the bottom of Castle Hill and a few steps away from Cours Saleya, famous for its flower market. Enjoy delicious ice creams from the nearby place, Rossetti.
Before dinner, have a cocktail while admiring the sunset on the seaside. You will be close to the beaches, museums, Castle Hill, Place Masséna and Avenue Jean Médecin.
Nice Neighborhood Guide – Best Places to Stay in Nice
Old Town, or “Vieux Nice”, is the heart of the city of Nice. A dense labyrinth of cobblestone streets, this is where you’ll find colourful buildings, charming shops, quaint cafes and historic landmarks. This is our top recommendation for where to stay in Nice for first-timers.
Gambetta is a small neighbourhood on the west side of Nice. Stretching from the train station down to the shores of the Mediterranean, this lively and vibrant borough is where you’ll find a variety of great restaurants, pristine beaches, and plenty of things to do in Nice.
Jean-Médecin is Nice’s New Town neighbourhood. Home to grand avenues and tree-lined streets, this downtown neighbourhood is renowned for its high-end boutique and street shops as well as it’s world-class museums, top-notch restaurants, and cute cafes.
Located east of Old Town, Le Port straddles both sides of the city’s iconic and charming marina. More than just a fun destination for the cool boat crowd, Le Port is a great place for everything, from an afternoon stroll to a night on the town.
Cimiez is a neighbourhood packed with history. An old Roman outpost, Cimiez was favourite vacation destination of Queen Victoria. For centuries, many historic aristocrats and noblemen travelled to this area to enjoy peace, quiet, and paradise on the south coast of France. This is our top recommendation for where to stay in Nice for families.
Nice is a stunning city and one of the best places to stay in France. Famous for its beautiful waterfront and charming old port, Nice has long been a holiday destination. Particularly for movie stars, socialites, and royalty from around the world.
Today, travellers of all styles, ages, and budgets flock to the shores of the Mediterranean. Many go to soak up the sunshine, lounge on the beach and indulge in the French, joie de vivre.
Nice is the fifth largest city in France and is home to more than 338,000 people. It is divided into a variety of distinct neighborhoods that cater to all sorts of interests, styles and budgets.
The Old Town is the centre of Nice and the city’s most iconic neighborhood. It has winding cobblestone streets, colourful buildings, and a vibrant atmosphere.
Sandwiching Old Town are the neighborhoods of Jean-Médecin and Le Port, two of the coolest areas in the city. Here you’ll find great bars, trendy clubs, fabulous shopping, and incredible views. Night owls and culture vultures will love calling either of these two areas of the city home.
North and west of the city centre are the neighborhoods of Thiers, Gambetta, Vernier, and Cimiez. They are home to a myriad of great museums and a wide variety of restaurants. These neighborhoods are where you’ll find great accommodation options for families and those who are budget backpacking.
You might still be wondering, “Where to stay in Nice, France?” In which case, I say do not fret and check out my detailed breakdown of each area below!
Nice’s Five Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
Now, let’s take a look in more detail at the five best areas to stay in Nice. Each is a little different to the last, so be sure to check out which is right for you!
Old Town, or “Vieux Nice”, is the heart of the city centre and is one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Nice. A dense labyrinth of cobblestone streets, this is where you’ll find colourful buildings, charming shops, quaint cafes and historic landmarks. Not only is it one of my favourite neighborhoods in Nice, but it’s my top recommendation for where to stay in Nice if you’re visiting for the first time.
One of Old Town’s most famous attractions is the Cours Saleya Flower Market. Bustling and vibrant, even travellers without a green thumb will adore browsing the flower stalls and stopping to smell the blooms.
For history buffs, Old Town has cultural landmarks and architectural gems, including the Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate and the Eglise de Jesus.
Hotel Albert 1er Nice | Best Hotel in Old Town (“Vieux Nice”)
Hotel Albert 1er Nice is situated in the city centre. It’s close to restaurants, clubs, and the city’s most famous attractions. No matter your Nice itinerary, this hotel will have you in a pretty damn good location.
This charming hotel has modern décor and a variety of amenities including a tour desk, breakfast buffet, and an on-site casino (I know, pretty cool huh!)
La Maïoun Guesthouse | Best Hostel in Old Town (“Vieux Nice”)
Being built in a 19th-century temple, La Maïoun Guesthouse oozes charm and atmosphere – and is our recommendation for where to stay in Old Town. It is close to the beach, the Promenade des Anglais, and a wide variety of delicious restaurants and vibrant clubs.
It has comfortable, spacious rooms, private bathrooms, and FREE breakfast and wifi (can’t go wrong with a free breakie).
Cosy & Comfortable One Bedroom | Best Airbnb in Old Town
This one-bedroom is at the bottom of Castle Hill and a few steps away from Cours Saleya, famous for its flower market. Enjoy delicious ice creams from the nearby place, Rossetti.
Before dinner, have a cocktail while admiring the sunset on the seaside. You will be close to the beaches, museums, Castle Hill, Place Masséna and Avenue Jean Médecin New Town.
Things to See and Do in Old Town (“Vieux Nice”)
- Stop and smell the roses at the Cours Saleya Flower Market where you’ll see hundreds of colourful, exotic, and familiar plants and flowers.
- Admire the ornate façade of the Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate, which dates back to the mid-17th century.
- See incredible works of art at the Musee des Beaux-Arts.
- Climb to the top of Castle Hill and take in the stunning views of the city and the sea.
- Wander the winding streets of charming Old Town, where you’ll pass by colourful buildings, quaint shops and beautifully decorated window displays.
- Join an informative guided walking tour of Old Town & Castle Hill
We’ve tested countless backpacks over the years, but there’s one that has always been the best and remains the best buy for adventurers: the broke backpacker-approved Osprey Aether and Ariel series.
Want more deetz on why these packs are so damn perfect? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!View on Osprey View on REI
#2 Gambetta Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Nice on a Budget
Gambetta is a small neighborhood on the west side of Nice. Gambetta stretches from the train station down to the shores of the Mediterranean. This lively and vibrant borough is where you’ll find a variety of great restaurants, pristine beaches, and plenty of places to visit in Nice.
From history and culture to fashion and food, there’s something to pique everyone’s interest in this charming neighborhood. Hence it is one of the best areas in Nice to stay.
Gambetta is also where travellers will find a wide range of affordable accommodation options. From backpacker hostels to boutique Nice hotels, there’s a range of options that will meet any style and every budget.
Hotel La Villa Nice Promenade | Best Hotel in Gambetta
Hotel La Villa Nice Promenade is a charming and beautiful three-star hotel – and my top choice for where to stay in Gambetta. It is centrally located and within walking distance from the beach, restaurants, shopping and nightlife.
It has a sun-soaked terrace, an on-site bar, and a relaxing library too. What more could you ask for?
Hostel Meyerbeer Beach | Best Hostel in Gambetta
For social travellers and budget backpackers, there is no better place to stay than Hostel Meyerbeer Beach. Located in the city centre, this hostel is close to the beach, public transit, restaurants and clubs.
It has shared and private accommodations, hot showers, linens, and FREE wifi.
2 bedrooms and terrace with stunning views | Best Airbnb in Gambetta
This Airbnb is pretty damn epic. All rooms (except the bathroom) open onto the stunning terrace. There are electric sunshades so you can easily enjoy your breakfast, lunch and dinner outside while soaking in the view.
The apartment is on the sixth and top floors of the building (hence the stunning views). There are a few steps and then a lift that can take you all the way up to the apartment. It is the perfect pad for a weekend away in Nice.
Things to See and Do in Gambetta
- Visit the famous 20th-century Hotel Negresco and take in the amazing views of the Mediterranean from its terrace.
- Relax and soak up the sunshine as you stare out at the azure blue waters of the Mediterranean from one of Nice’s many beaches.
- Enjoy delicious and authentic Italian and Mediterranean fare at Le Terre Del Sud.
- See works of art from la belle époque at the musée Masséna, the Museum of Art and History.
- Admire the architecture and detail of the Basilique Notre-Dame de Nice, the largest church in Nice.
- Join a half-day trip to Eze, Monaco, and Monte Carlo.
Jean-Médecin is Nice’s New Town neighborhood. Home to grand avenues and tree-lined streets, this downtown neighborhood is renowned for its high-end boutique and street shops. As well as its world-class museums, top-notch restaurants, and cute cafes.
Vibrant throughout the day, Jean-Médecin truly comes alive as the sun goes down. Tourists and locals alike flock to this area of the city to eat, drink and dance at one of Jean-Médecin’s many great nocturnal hotspots.
Whether you want to sip cocktails in a posh bar or dance the night away at a wild club, there’s something for every style in this gorgeous downtown neighborhood.
Hotel 64 Nice | Best Hotel in Jean-Médecin
Hotel 64 Nice is a modern and luxurious four-star hotel within walking distance to public transit, the beach, great restaurants and world-class shopping.
Guests will enjoy a range of facilities, and rooms have private bathrooms, FREE wifi, air-conditioning, and more. There’s also a delicious daily breakfast service.
Villa Saint Exupery Beach | Best Hostel in Jean-Médecin
Conveniently located at the centre of the city, this hostel is just 20 meters from the main square, Old Town, and Nice’s fantastic beaches.
This hostel has modern rooms with comfortable beds, amenities, and a wide range of fun social activities. It’s home to a vibrant bar with a fun happy hour, and a breakfast buffet every morning.
Beautiful Rental on Avenue Jean Médecin | Best Airbnb in Jean-Médecin
This cute little Airbnb is the perfect place for a solo traveller or a couple. It has a super cool terrace with an incredible view overlooking the Notre Dame Cathedral. The terrace is a bangin’ spot to enjoy a vino at the end of the day.
Located on the famous avenue Jean Médecin New Town, you’ll be in a prime position to explore the famous Place Massena and the beaches. The apartment is perfect for two people, ideally, a couple to enjoy. It’s super cosy with a kitchen, sofa and TV.
Things to See and Do in Jean-Médecin/New Town
- Shop til you drop at Galeries Lafayette and Nice Etoile, the city’s venerable department stores.
- Enjoy an afternoon of sunshine and people-watching on the Promenade du Paillon.
- Grab a drink and take in the views from the 9th-floor terrace of the iconic Hotel Le Meridien.
- Spend a pleasant evening listening to cool jazz at Le Kosma.
- Live music, great drinks and a cool atmosphere are what make Jam an ideal night out in Nice.
- Hike up Colline du Château and take in the beautiful views
- Join a Perfume Creation Workshop at Molinard.
A new country, a new contract, a new piece of plastic – booooring. Instead, buy an eSIM!
An eSIM works just like an app: you buy it, you download it, and BOOM! You’re connected the minute you land. It’s that easy.Grab an eSIM!
#4 Le Port Neighborhood – Trendiest Place to Stay in Nice
Le Port is one of Nice’s best-kept secrets. Located east of Old Town, Le Port straddles both sides of the city’s iconic and charming marina. More than just a fun destination for the cool boat crowd, Le Port is a great place for everything, from an afternoon stroll to a night on the town.
At Le Port, you’ll find a great number of smart and lively restaurants and bars as well as a handful of great nightspots. One of the best things about Le Port is the amazing views. From almost any point in this great neighborhood, you’ll be rewarded with incredible vistas of the golden sand and glistening cobalt sea.
Hotel Le Geneve | Best Hotel in Le Port
Modern décor, comfortable rooms, and a central location are just a few of the reasons I love Hotel Le Geneve. Situated in Le Port, this hotel is close to nightlife and entertainment districts.
It has FREE wifi and a laundry service, and each room comes with hair dryers, bathrobes, and private showers.
Open House Hostel | Best Hostel in Le Port
One of the nicest hotels in Nice. Open House Hostel is the closest hostel to the lively and fun Le Port neighborhood. Located in Jean-Médecin, it is a short walk from the main city square, beach, and Nice’s top pubs, bars and clubs.
This hostel has free linens, a large kitchen, and never-ending hot showers.
Top-Floor, Sea-View Loft, Balcony Over Old Harbor | Best Airbnb in Le Port
This Airbnb has bloody spectacular, panoramic views of the Nice harbour. The studio has a well-stocked kitchen and is super cosy. It’s best suited for those travelling as a couple to Nice.
The location is ideal and is within walking distance of the harbour, beach, promenade des Anglais, Castle Hill and the old town. You won’t be short of things to do! You’re also close to buses and trams if you would like to explore further afield.
Things to See and Do in Le Port
- Browse the Puces de Nice, an open-air collection of antique stores where you’re bound to find a treasure or two.
- Take a stroll around the charming Old Port.
- Head east of Le Port to the Réserve Diving Boards, where you’ll find a public beach perfect for lounging in the sand or taking a dip in the sea.
- See unique and interesting works of art at the Galerie LYMPIA.
- Walk to the Place Ile-de-Beaute and enjoy iconic views of Nice and the luxurious Old Harbour.
- Join a guided tour of the French Riviera from behind the wheel of an open-top 2-seat vehicle.
Cimiez is a neighborhood packed with history. An old Roman outpost, Cimiez was the favourite holiday destination of Queen Victoria. For centuries, many historic aristocrats and noblemen travelled to this area to enjoy peace, quiet, and paradise on the south coast of France.
Nowadays, Cimiez is just as peaceful and relaxing. Characterized by fine villas, elegant streets, and lush and expansive parks, this neighborhood is an excellent home base for families with children.
With fantastic museums and family-friendly attractions, parks, and restaurants, kids of all ages will enjoy exploring this neighborhood.
NH Nice | Best Hotel in Cimiez
NH Nice is a luxurious and modern four-star hotel – and my top choice for where to stay in Cimiez. It has a number of health and wellness features, including an outdoor swimming pool, sauna, rooftop terrace, and a gym.
Each room has comfortable beds, free wifi and a range of amenities to ensure a wonderful stay.
Hôtel Petit Palais | Best Luxury Hotel in Cimiez
Hôtel Petit Palais is a wonderful boutique hotel with a lovely atmosphere. It is in a gorgeous location, surrounded by villas and gardens. It’s a nice reprieve from the hustle and bustle of Nice. However, it’s still walkable into town or just a short taxi ride.
The pool and garden provided a much-appreciated oasis of peace. They also serve a delicious breakfast!
Stunning Apartment with Terrace | Best Airbnb in Cimiez
With a charming view from the private terrace, this family Airbnb has made it into my favourites list. However, it only accommodates up to 4 people at a time, so the space is a little bit limited. It’s a loft-style studio with one bed and two sofa beds (which are just as comfortable).
Nevertheless, it’s one of the most charming and welcoming homes in Cimiez. Located on the top floor, you’ll have great views of the city and the ocean as well.
Things to See and Do in Cimiez
- Explore Roman ruins at the Musee Archéologique de Nice-Cimiez, where kids can run amongst and even touch the ruins
- See the world’s largest collection of art by French painter Henri Matisse at the Musee Matisse.
- Celebrate another fabulous French painter at the Musee Marc Chagall.
- Pack a picnic and enjoy an afternoon in the Parc des Arenes de Cimiez, a beautiful and quiet park with Ancient Roman City ruins and lush landscapes.
- Enjoy fresh and delicious French fare at Resto Cote Sud.
- Great food and amazing views, you can’t ask for much more at Brasserie LE 65 Rooftop.
- Join a tour of the Allianz Stadium and National Sports Museum
Stash your cash safely with this money belt. It will keep your valuables safely concealed, no matter where you go.
It looks exactly like a normal belt except for a SECRET interior pocket perfectly designed to hide a wad of cash, a passport photocopy or anything else you may wish to hide. Never get caught with your pants down again! (Unless you want to…)Hide Yo’ Money!
FAQs about Finding a Place to Stay in Nice
Here’s what people usually ask me about the areas of Nice and where to stay.
What To Pack For Nice
Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.
Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.
Hanging Laundry Bag
Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.
Sea To Summit Micro Towel
Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.
Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.
Grayl Geopress Water Bottle
Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!
Check out my definitive Hotel Packing list for even more top packing tips!
Where is the best place to stay if I want to party in Nice?
Jean-Médecin (Nice’s New Town neighborhood) is full of vibrant pubs and clubs. It’s the place to be if you fancy yourself a bit of a night owl. From posh cocktail bars to dance clubs to let a bit loose in – Jean-Médecin has it all.
Where is the best place to stay in Nice to be close to the beach?
Staying anywhere close to the Promenade des Anglais will have you pretty much on the beach. I’d recommend staying at Hotel La Villa Nice Promenade, you’ll be mere steps from the ocean.
Where is the best place to stay in Nice for the first time?
The Old Town is the best place to stay if you’re heading to Nice for the first time. It’s a great big mixed bag of everything amazing Nice has to offer. You’ll be nice and close to all the iconic places to visit (and the beach!).
Where is the best place to stay in Nice for couples?
Jean-Médecin is a pretty neat spot for couples. Whether you’re up for a romantic stroll along the promenade or head out for a few drinks – you won’t be short of date ideas in this area. Check out this Beautiful Rental on Avenue Jean Médecin for the perfect romantic getaway pad.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Nice
Look, I know buying travel insurance is a bit shit. But believe me, you can’t plan for everything. If you do come to need it, it really can be a lifesaver.
ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.
They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.
SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!
Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Nice, France
Full of rich history, stunning beaches, epic shopping, and vibrant nightlife – you won’t want to miss this gem on the French Riviera. I hope this guide has helped you to decide which little nook of Nice will be best for you.
If you’re still not quite sure where to stay, the Old Town (Vieux Nice) is my number one choice. Not only is it charming and iconic, but you’ll find amazing restaurants, cool bars and pristine beaches at your doorstep.
My recommendation for one of the best hotels in Nice is the Hotel 64 Nice. It’s brimming with modern luxury and is centrally located. It’s a solid option for travellers of all ages, styles AND budgets. But if you’re looking for cheap, cheerful and social, I’d recommend Hostel Meyerbeer Beach.
Let me know if I’ve missed anything in the comments below!
- Planning out an itinerary for Nice is a great way to maximise your time.
- Save yourself hassle and money and get an international sim card for France.
- Swing by our super epic backpacking packing list to prep for your trip.
- Our in-depth Europe backpacking guide will help you plan the rest of your adventure.
And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!