Nestled on France’s southeastern coast, the nightlife in Nice is as sizzling as the summer temperatures. And while a night out in its Cote D’Azur neighbors, Monaco and Cannes, doesn’t exactly fall into the budget bracket, Nice is a far more relaxed proposition.
The place to start is the busy Promenade des Anglais; a strip of cafés, bars and restaurants running along the seafront. Here, a cool evening breeze provides a welcome respite from the heat of the day and people gather to watch the street performers.
Out to the east of the city, Vieux Nice (Nice’s Old Town center) is next port of call. There’s often a crafts market in the square of Cours Saleya and the cafés and bars that line it are an unbeatable vantage point from which to indulge in some people-watching.
But the Cours Saleya is certainly not just the place for an early evening drink; as the evening lengthens, the streets fill up with more and more people and late-night bar after late-night bar throw open their doors to the gathering hordes of revelers.
Like many cities in France, Nice isn’t exactly overflowing with top clubs. But the city does have plenty of great little music bars and ‘disco-bars’ that open quite late or even, when they can get away with it, carry on into the early morning.
The nearby rue Mascoinat has some cool bars with the action spreading out into the rue de la Prefecture and a couple of spots on the quai des Etats Unis. In amongst the narrow old streets – on a hot evening, particularly – the area ripples with noisy excitement.
Away from the Old Town and the Promenade des Anglais, the action doesn’t let up. The Place Massena (admittedly just a stone’s throw from both) and, a little to the north, the rue Chauvain and the rue Massena also have some attractive options.
A couple of great events stand out on Nice’s calendar, too: the Carnival de Nice is a burst of color to celebrate the coming of Spring, while the Nice Jazz Festival attracts some of the biggest names in jazz to the city throughout July.
Outside of the peak summer months, European students and backpackers still flock to the city in search of a bit of winter sunshine. And this year-round influx of travelers, allied with a lively local population, means that a night out in Nice is a reliably raucous business.